University of Mount Olive Appoints New President

University of Mount Olive Appoints New President

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive has appointed Dr. David L. Poole as its fifth President.  Board Chair Earl W. Worley, Jr., made the announcement, following a letter to students, faculty, and staff.

Poole will take office on July 1, 2018.  His selection by the UMO Board of Trustees is the result of an extensive and rigorous nationwide search that has taken more than eight months. A search committee comprised of trustees, OFWB leadership, faculty, staff, and community members recommended Poole to the full UMO Board of Trustees. Academic Search, a global search firm that helps academic institutions find and recruit leaders with the talent and credentials to do well in today’s complex academic environment, has played an instrumental role in the presidential search process.

“David brings a rich combination of academic expertise, innovation, and student-centered focus that are at the heart of the UMO mission,” Worley said.  “We are fortunate to attract someone of his experience, accomplishment, and vision to our team.”

Poole will succeed Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter, who has served as President since July of 2009.  In August 2017, Kerstetter announced his intent to retire at the end of the 2018 academic year.

“This is an exciting time for the University of Mount Olive,” Kerstetter said. “We wish Dr. Poole and his wife, Mary, all the best as they build on the successes forged by our students, faculty, and staff.  It is my hope and desire that the Pooles will enjoy the work of moving this great institution to even greater levels of achievement, every bit as much as Mary and I have.”

Poole has over 36 years of experience in the business and education environment with significant experience in academic and enrollment management, marketing administration, operations, customer relationship management, information technology services, and program development. He currently serves as Vice President for Online and Professional Studies and as an Associate Professor of Leadership and Management at California Baptist University.  Over the past eight years his focus has been establishment and oversight of CBU’s online, hybrid, and education center programs.  During this time, the division has grown from 589 students to serving approximately 4,000 from 40 states.  Academic programs have increased from 12 majors and concentrations at the undergraduate level to 42 and now includes graduate and doctoral degrees.

“Mary and I are excited about the mission of the University and look forward to joining an outstanding faculty, staff, board of trustees, and community on this journey into the future.  The University of Mount Olive’s decision, many years ago, to serve both traditional age students and adult working professionals clearly establishes the conditions for success and broadens the University’s reach to offer Christian higher education to a significantly growing market,” Poole said.  “We are honored and humbled to follow in the footsteps of Phil and Mary Kerstetter and their many contributions to the advancement of the University.”

Before his appointment at CBU, Poole served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Hope International University, Associate Dean for Graduate and Executive Programs for the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University, and Vice President of Marketing and Product Development at Virtual CEO, Inc.  Poole served 13 years as Executive Director for Executive Programs with Pepperdine University.  In 1999, under his leadership, the Executive MBA program was recognized by Business Week as one of the “Leading Twenty” in the nation. In 2001, the program was ranked eleventh globally, fourth in strategy, and first in ethics.

From 1998-2000, Dr. Poole served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Executive MBA Council, a global organization representing 19 countries encompassing a membership of over 200 of the top business schools in the world. During his tenure, Poole expanded the organization’s membership into Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He also developed/expanded relationships with AACSB, the Graduate Management Admissions Council, and the European Foundation for Management Development.

Chair of the UMO Presidential Search Committee Wesley Beddard said, “David has an exemplary record of leadership in fundraising, enrollment management, academic innovation, and working with business partners. He possesses keen insight into the special qualities of the faith-based, liberal arts college experience. Dr. Poole will be an outstanding leader and spokesperson for the University of Mount Olive.”

In addition to his formal appointments, Poole has held board positions with a number of non-profit organizations.  He has been quoted in professional journals including U.S. News and World Report, The International Herald Tribune, Business Week, and INC.

Poole received both his master of science in administration and technology and his bachelor of arts in music in education from Pepperdine University. He completed his doctorate in higher education leadership at California State University Fullerton, and he is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. Poole has been married to his wife, Mary, for 32 years.  They have three adult daughters.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, in Smithfield at Johnston Community College, and online.  For more information, visit