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Meet President Harpool

David Harpool photo

Dr. David Harpool has more than 35 years of experience in public and private college education. He has served as a tenured faculty member, dean, vice president, provost, president and a trustee of both traditional and non-traditional universities. He was the founder and director of the Webster University Debate Program.

He most recently served as Provost, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Northcentral University. He became associated with Northcentral University in 2011 as a consultant and was named Scholar in Residence in 2012. Dr. Harpool was named General Counsel for the University in 2014 and subsequently assumed the role of Provost and now President. Under Dr. Harpool’s leadership, Northcentral University has added 39 new programs and two additional schools.

Dr. Harpool has published numerous articles in juried legal journals and has appeared on CNN, NBC and CBS. He has been quoted in over 100 media outlets and frequently speaks at national education conferences. He earned a PhD in Higher Education with Distinction from St. Louis University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he served as Student-Body President and a B.S. in Education from Missouri State University. As an undergraduate he placed third in the National Collegiate Debate Tournament and was selected Outstanding Education Major. Dr. Harpool is a recognized leader in teaching pedagogy, online and distance education and higher education law. He has served as a consultant peer-evaluator for three different accreditors.


  • PhD, Higher Education, St. Louis University
  • JD, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • BS, Education, Missouri State University

Select Presentations, Papers and Media Appearances

  • 2019, TBD, A Legal and Policy Framework for Remote Faculty and Staff
  • July 2018, UBTECH Conference, Emerging Models of Higher Education: The Modern University
  • 2017. Lifetime Television. Appearance promoting University on the Balancing Act
  • April 2017, WSCUC ARC(accreditation) Convention, A Holistic Approach to New Program Development
  • June 2013. APSCU Convention, Characteristics on Online Students as Predictors of Success and Services Needed
  • February 2013. Blackboard Symposium Online Learning. Matching Student Services with Student Demographics
  • January 2013. Teaching and Learning Educational Symposium, Orlando, Florida. How to Negotiate and Exit Relationships with 3rd Party Providers
  • May 2012. Blackboard Symposium on Online Learning, Indianapolis, Indiana. Update on the Law and Higher Education
  • 2006-2009. NBC-Chicago Political Analyst for NBC News
  • 2001-2004. Education and Political analyst for NBC, CNN, ABC, WB and other media sources
  • 1999-2001. Political and legal commentator for WVVA (NBC) Virginia and West Virginia
  • Winter 1998. Article: Journal of College and University Law. Minimum Compliance with Minimum Standards Vol. 24, No. 3, p. 465
  • May/June 1998 Article: Trusteeship. Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges: Preventing Trustee Conflicts of Interest, p.22
  • Fall 1996. Article: Conflicts of Interest in the Modern University, The Journal of College and University Law, Vol. 23, No. 2, p.255
  • 1992 – 1999. Political and legal commentator for NBC television (KSDK) and CBS radio (KMOX)