04/17/09 — Mount Olive College names its fourth president

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Mount Olive College names its fourth president

By Staff Reports
Published in News on April 17, 2009 1:46 PM

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Dr. Philip Paul Kerstetter

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College has named a new president.

Dr. Philip Paul Kerstetter, president and chief executive officer of Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kan., has been selected as the fourth president by the board of trustees.

Darrell Horne, trustee chairman, announced the appointment this morning.

Dr. Kerstetter, 61, will take office on July 1, succeeding Dr. J. William Byrd, who previously announced that he would be stepping down after 14 years as president of the college. Upon the appointment of the new president, Dr. Byrd will transition into the role of chancellor. In this new position, he will concentrate on external relations and special projects with continued involvement with institutional advancement.

"Phil Kerstetter embodies the ideals of learning, innovation and service that are at the heart of Mount Olive College's mission," Horne said. "We are fortunate to attract someone of Phil's experience, accomplishment and vision to our team. He has an exemplary record not only in fundraising, but in working well with board and other constituencies. As someone who possesses keen insight into the special qualities of the liberal arts college experience, Phil promises to be an outstanding spokesperson for Mount Olive College."

His selection is the result of an extensive and rigorous nationwide search that began more than a year ago.

Dr. Kerstetter received his bachelor's degree in religion from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., his M.Ed. in college counseling from the University of Delaware and his doctorate in special education administration from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. His 35 years of higher education experience in both the public and private sector encompass a wide range of increasingly responsible roles in all segments of university governance including student affairs, academic and curriculum development, initiating and completing major advancement goals and designing and implementing fiscal strategies.

He has served on numerous state and national committees, authored grants and been published in professional journals and is a recognized authority on assessment and strategic planning.

He also is active in the community. A member of the University United Methodist Church, he currently serves on several local advisory groups, including the boards of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, the Salina Area United Way and the Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts.

He and his wife, Mary, have two grown children, David of Florida and Jodie of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Kerstetter said he is honored and humbled to be taking on the new role.

"Mount Olive College is a unique and special place with a powerful sense of comm- unity," he said. "The educational opportunities it offers, both for traditional and nontraditional students, are exceptional, and the loyalty and passion of its alumni, faculty, staff and students are unrivaled. I could not be more excited about this opportunity to help build on Mount Olive College's great traditions as well as its firmly grounded position in higher education."