Vice President for Administration
As Penn State’s Vice President for Administration, Dr. Thomas G. Poole reports directly to the President and is responsible for the administration of the Office of the President and the Office of the Board of Trustees. The Vice President is a senior adviser to the President and assists the President in the development and administration of policies and programs, serving also as the principal senior liaison with members of the Board of Trustees, and as the Secretary of the Board.
The Vice President is responsible for monitoring a broad range of University administrative matters, including oversight of searches for executive positions reporting to the President. Other responsibilities include drafting reports and position papers; managing the flow of internal and external communications for the Office of the President; representing the President on boards, committees, and councils; and carrying out special assignments of administrative priority.
Among other activities. Dr. Poole chairs the Facilities Naming Committee and the Policy Administration Committee, and is a member of the President’s Council, University Faculty Senate, Campus Environment Team, Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, University Records Management Advisory Committee, Penn College Board of Directors, Administrative Response Team, Athletics Integrity Council, and Emergency Management Group.
Dr. Poole was elected Secretary of the Corporation/Board of Trustees in May 2013. In that capacity, he answers directly to the Chair of the Board. The responsibilities of the Secretary are to perform the corporate duties that pertain to the office, serve as the custodian of the corporate seal, conduct the ordinary correspondence of the Board of Trustees, and maintain an accurate record of all proceedings of the Board of Trustees and of the executive committee. Dr. Poole also serves as Executive Secretary of the Trustee Presidential Selection Council.
Prior to joining the President’s office, Dr. Poole served for nine years as Associate Vice Provost for Educational Equity. In that role, he helped to create and implement the University’s “Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State.” He also chaired the Equal Opportunity Planning Committee (EOPC) and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee. Prior to his position in Educational Equity, Dr. Poole served for 16 years in Student Affairs, including 10 years as the director of Penn State’s Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs.
The author of several articles, chapters, and reviews, Dr. Poole has taught in both religious studies and African and African American Studies. His research and teaching have focused on African American religion, Christian social ethics, social transformation, and cultural studies. Dr. Poole’s course offerings have included The Life and Thought of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Introduction to African American Religion; and The Development of the Spirituals and the Blues.
Dr. Poole earned a B.A. from Roberts Wesleyan College (1974, religion and philosophy), an M.Div. from Colgate Rochester Divinity School/Crozer Theological Seminary (1977, theology and ethics), and a Ph.D. from Penn State (1984, religious studies).