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University President and Professor
(615) 547-1223
Memorial Hall, Room 101
Office of the President
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business
B.I.E., Auburn University
M.S., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
M.A.E., Cumberland University
Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. Paul Stumb was named as the 26th President of Cumberland University in August 2015. He has served Cumberland University since 2003, when he became an Adjunct Professor for two years before being named Dean of the Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business, a position he held for 10 years before he was named president. During his tenure as president, Cumberland has seen record enrollment and the addition of over 40 new faculty members.

Prior to joining Cumberland University, Dr. Stumb enjoyed a successful career in the for-profit business sector, serving in a variety of increasingly responsible positions including: Director of Marketing and Business Development for Georgia Pacific Corp, General Manager of American Corrugated, Vice President for Operations and Owner of One Coast Network, and Regional Vice President for Curtis 1000 Inc. Earlier assignments included work in the nuclear industry with Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, and 26 years of service in the US Navy Reserves, where he retired with the rank of Commander.

Dr. Stumb is a graduate of the Navy War College Strategy and Policy Program, and holds a BS in Engineering from Auburn University, an MS from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a Master’s in Education from Cumberland University, and earned his PhD at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Before joining CU, he served as an Adjunct Professor for the National Security Agency, Georgia State University, Shorter College, and Middle Tennessee State University. He is a member of a number of professional and honor societies, and deeply engaged in several civic and professional activities.

Dr. Stumb is married to Dr. Cristy Stumb, a CU alum and former faculty member, who now owns and operates Stumb Healthcare Professionals, a primary care clinic in Carthage, TN. Together; they have four children and four grand-children.


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Executive Director, Office of the President and Instructor
(615) 547-1268
Memorial Hall, Room 101
Office of the President
B.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
M.S.P., Cumberland University

Leslie Steele began working at Cumberland University in 2006. She serves as Executive Director, Office of the President and works closely with the Board of Trust. Additionally, in the fall of 2018 she began teaching the Foundations of Scholarship and Learning course to incoming freshmen. She also assists with the Cumberland University Parents Association, and is the proud mother of son Ethan. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of Tennessee in 1995 and her Masters of Science in Public Service Management from Cumberland in 2018. 



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Special Advisor to the President
Memorial Hall
Office of the President
B.S., The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
M.B.A., Vanderbilt University
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Ron serves as Chief Operating and Financial Officer and Professor at Cumberland University.  

Dr. Ford most recently served as CFO at Armstrong. There, he restructured the dramatically improved operating results, helping deliver a 45% increase in stock price. In a career spanning over 30 years, Ron achieved similar results in a range of public and private corporate officer roles – including CEO, President and CFO – for businesses like Silgan Containers, St. Clair Vision, Wells Real Estate Funds, and Media Arts Group.  Dr. Ford received his Doctor of Executive Management from Case Western Reserve University, his MBA from Vanderbilt University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee. Ford also served as a faculty member at UCLA and at Pepperdine University. As the associate dean at Pepperdine, he led the school to a national ranking for its EMBA program. In 2017, the Haslam College of Business presented Dr. Ron Ford with its Accomplished Alumnus Award. He was recognized as Global CFO of the Year in both 2018 and 2019.

Ford believes that the role of a 21st century leader is to encourage others to reach their greatest potential, both to make the world a better place and to bolster a firm’s competitive advantage. He demonstrates that passion both within organizations and through his own commitment to ethics, excellence and civic engagement.

Ford’s has served on the boards of Vanderbilt University, ThinkThin,  Quixote, Smashbox, the UT Advisory Board and Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.  His civic and community involvement has included Leadership Atlanta, past president of the American Cancer Society Board in Atlanta, Young Presidents’ Organization Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Atlanta Rotary Club.