David Barnett, Ph.D.

David L. Barnett, Ph.D., is the 11th president of Brenau University.

A native of Georgia, Barnett earned a doctorate in educational leadership and organizational development and a Specialist in Education from the University of Louisville. He also earned a Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts from Mercer University. He is also a member of the academic honor society Phi Kappa Phi and received many academic awards and honors during his educational pursuits.

Barnett previously served as executive vice president and chief financial officer at Brenau, overseeing the university’s day-to-day operations and its strategic financial planning.

He also has served in executive leadership roles at six universities in Georgia and Kentucky, including appointments that spanned the spectrum of executive administrative and academic leadership. Barnett held positions as chief financial and risk management officer, dean of a college of education, assistant vice president and dean of student life and development, and dean of distance learning programs. Early in his career, he served as director of financial aid, director of international programs and director of student housing.

Barnett also teaches doctoral courses and serves as chair for doctoral students’ dissertations. He has presented at numerous national and regional professional conferences on the topics related to strategic planning for accreditation, financial risk management in higher education, adult learning theory, organizational leadership and development, and the application of systems theory in organizational management. Barnett serves on boards for many non-profit educational and community groups. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and board member for the Lake Lanier Olympic Foundation, Quinlan Art Center, Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education, and Georgia Independent Colleges Association.

Barnett and his wife, Kimberly, have two children and a grandson. He is an active member in a local church and participates in civic activities. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys various outdoor activities.