What is your educational background?

B.S. in mathematics from Oklahoma Christian University, Masters of Engineering and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Dr. Don Pope

Dr. Don Pope


What is your work background?

I worked 20 years in the aircraft industry with Lockheed in Fort Worth and Northrop Grumman/Vought Aircraft in Dallas.  My specific job was in the planning, analysis, simulation modeling and economic justification of technology modernization projects for the factory.
What do you teach at ACU?

I teach, or have taught the following:  statistics, management science, quality management, logistics & supply chain management, operations management, project management, and enterprise resources planning systems (SAP).
What committees/other duties do you have at ACU aside from teaching?

I currently serve on the university faculty athletics committee which functions as a bridge between the faculty and the athletics department. In the college, I serve a role working with assessment and accreditation issues.


What drew you to teaching? Why did you want to work with students?

After working in the aircraft industry for 20 years, I felt that teaching at a Christian university was an opportunity to utilize and apply my academic training, on-the-job real world lessons learned, and my Christian faith mission.  Professors were important in my own life, and I feel that I can play an important role in the lives of students.
What’s the best part of working with students?

The best part of working with students is that you can get to know them as people, pray for them, and help shape their values for eternity.

The Pope Family

The Pope Family


Have you ever given up any big opportunities to keep working with students?

I left a great job/career/future retirement, but it was worth it.
Outside of teaching, what passions and hobbies do you have?

My hobbies and interests include walking, home renovations (within a limited supply of time and funds), and disc golf.


What is a good, early story about your teaching?

I remember, that first year, making a passing reference to the Vietnam War.  (The Vietnam War had been a defining event in my generation’s college years.)  When I received a bunch of blank stares at the mention of this seemingly important historical event, I did the mental math about the student’s ages and year of birth, and then realized that I had been talking “ancient history” and not “current events” to them.


Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

I had a role in the implementation of large, complex systems in my company in the aircraft industry.  At ACU, I have played a role in the introduction of technology and related course options for business students, including hands-on use of the SAP software.



Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

Besides church related activities such as teaching and serving as an elder, my wife Beth and I have been weekly Meals on Wheels drivers for about 15 years.  This experience has been my connection to the reality that defines the lives of a large portion of our society.


Who is your role model, and why?

That is a hard question.  As the youngest child in my family, I always looked up to my parents and my siblings and admired their character.  My wife is a role model of selfless giving energy for others.  I tend to admire no-nonsense personalities who speak simply and plainly, who are quietly serving and not tooting their own horn or trying to impress someone.  I try to emulate that in my own life.



Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

That is another difficult question.  I suppose that it was Dr. Robert McMillan, mathematics professor at Oklahoma Christian University, and Dr. Bailey McBride, English professor and Provost, also at OCU.  They were great teachers, caring people, and devoted Christians and important influences during my undergrad years.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

That is another hard question.  You always wish you had the power to make sick children well, to make the elderly comfortable, to make people stop fighting, etc.



What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

No real surprises.  I am, at heart, a rather plain guy.  What you see is what you get.


Donald for President. He's the Prankster in Chief in COBA!

Donald for President. He’s the Prankster in Chief in COBA!


What would you really want students and alums to know about you?

That I really care about them and the kind of person that they are becoming.  I pray that they will be people of the 5Cs:  character, courage, compassion, clarity, and callouses (from working hands).