Lewis Promoted to UMO Chief Academic Officer

Lewis Promoted to UMO Chief Academic Officer

July 5, 2023

Contact: Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive has announced that Dr. Burt Lewis will head its Office of Academic Affairs.

University of Mount Olive President Dr. H. Edward Croom said, “Dr. Lewis has been a part of the University of Mount Olive for many years; first as a student, then as an employee.  This uniquely prepares him to understand and navigate our culture, people, programs, and priorities.  I look forward to seeing how he propels our academics to new heights in his new role.”

No stranger to UMO, Lewis has worked with the University since August of 1996, a fact that he feels will be beneficial as he leads the University’s academic endeavors. “Higher education is in a wonderful, but weird place,” he said.  “When I went off to college, I was competing with other students to be accepted.  Today, most institutions are competing for the same student.  As an institution, we will need to be good educators, good recruiters, and good relationship builders.  I believe the relationships that I have been built throughout my experiences will assist in moving UMO to the next level.”

Lewis has served UMO in various roles including athletics, faculty, administration, curriculum development, and retention.  “Each of these experiences has shaped my vision that we can do more together as a group at UMO than trying to meet our needs individually,” he said.

With a record of communication and relationship building, Lewis feels well equipped to hit the ground running.  “I first want to communicate with faculty and academic staff regarding our UMO mission, vision, and strategic goals.  Secondly, I want to learn, from our academic faculty and Staff, where we are with current programs.  Finally, I want to establish a unified vision and strategy for best meeting the needs of current and future students,” Lewis shared.

Lewis’ vision for his new role includes continuing to develop a collection of regionally and nationally recognized academic programs that support the overall mission and vision at UMO.  “We have a diverse group of seated and online students who are looking for academic programs that prepare them for the workforce and graduate school,” he noted. “Our UMO faculty are versatile and flexible in finding different ways to connect and deliver curriculum to our students.”

A UMO alumnus, Lewis earned his bachelor’s degree in leisure services and studies in 1987.  He graduated from NCSU in 1992 with a master’s degree in parks, recreation, and tourism management.  He obtained his Ph.D. in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources in 2009.

Lewis and his wife, Susan, have been married for 32 years.  They have two sons, Will and Daniel.  The family resides in Goldsboro.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.