The provost is responsible for the operation and improvement of all of the academic programs and academic support services of the university. We invite you to learn more about our schools and academic programs.
J. Michael Hardin was appointed as Samford University’s new provost, effective July 1. Hardin previously served as dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and replaced J. Bradley Creed, Samford’s provost since 2002.
Dale Baldwin is the Administrative Assistant for Dr. Nancy Biggio, Associate Provost for Administration. Her responsibilities include processing Supplemental Pay Forms for faculty and staff, processing Letters of Agreement and hiring paperwork for part-time faculty and special projects for the Provost area. Baldwin joined Samford University in 2006 after being in the telecommunications industry for most of her prior career. She has B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tennessee.
In her role as Associate Provost for Administration, Nancy
Biggio oversees University-wide efforts for student success including student
retention programs. Specific areas which report to her include the Career
Development Center, Disability Resources, Academic Success Center, Student Records
and Academic Grants Office. In addition, Biggio works with deans and directors
setting budgetary policy and allocating resources for the Academic Affairs
division consistent with the University’s strategic plan. Prior to joining the Provost’s office, Biggio served as
Director of the Honors Program; Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning
and Scholarship; and Director of the Samford in Mission Grant, a $2 million
grant from the Lilly Endowment's Programs for the Theological Exploration of
Vocation. She has been on the faculty at Samford since 2005 and has taught
courses at University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and
Birmingham-Southern College.Biggio's research is in the area of the rationality of the
use of violence by religious and secular groups using an expected utility
theory and she is frequently called upon to comment on terrorism and
international events by local media. She serves on many committees for the
University including Academic Technology and Learning Resources, Curriculum
Committee, Campus Life, Business Affairs and Faculty Welfare, Retention Task
Force and Undergraduate Enrollment Management. In the community, Biggio serves
as chair of the Steering Committee of the Youth Leadership Forum of Birmingham and
a middle school representative to the Homewood Education Advisory Board. She is
also active in Homewood Schools music programs.
From 2009-2014, she served on the Junior Board of the YWCA of Central
Alabama. Biggio received a B.A. in political science from Drew
University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from the University
Katy Crowson has served as Executive Assistant to the Provost and Executive Vice President since 2009. Her primary duties include providing administrative support in the Office of the Provost, managing the calendar and scheduling appointments for the Provost, logistical arrangements of events and meetings emanating from the office, and assisting with other projects as needed. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Studies from Samford University.
In her role as Director of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives, Denise J. Gregory oversees University-wide efforts that assist the Provost in developing, implementing and monitoring programs and processes that promote and sustain diversity, equity, and respect throughout Samford University. The Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives has developed program initiatives to educate the University community on cultural events including Heritage Month Speaker Series, IMPACT peer mentoring program, and increase the amount of outreach programming in the minority community.She serves on the University’s Diversity committee and as advisor to the Sigma Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Student Members of the American Chemical Society.Gregory has taught courses at Tuskegee University and Lawson State Community College.Gregory's research focuses of bioremediation of pharmaceutical drugs found in wastewater. She has served as a research advisor for students and has presented the work done in her lab at national and regional meetings.In the community, Gregory is a member of the Jack and Jill of America, The American Chemical Society, and the Birmingham Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Gregory is a part of the 2014 class of Momentum, Alabama’s premier women’s leadership program. Gregory received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Jackson State University and her Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Joellen Henson has worked at Samford for nineteen years, eighteen of those years with Dr. William E. Hull, former provost. She now provides administrative support to Chris Metress, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. Her responsibilities include scheduling meetings, organizing special events, reviewing budgets, and assisting with special projects.
In his role as Associate
Provost for Academics, Chris Metress provides administrative leadership for programs
and initiatives that expand faculty and student opportunities for academic
excellence. Working closely with offices from across campus, as well as the
university’s consortia partners, he works to strengthen Samford’s position as a
regional and national leader in the purposeful integration
of liberal education, professional studies, and civic engagement. Prior to becoming Associate
Provost in 2014, Metress served for two years as University Professor, working with
the provost’s office to promote
interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and scholarship. Before that, he served
as the Founding Director of the University Fellows
Program (2008-2012), raising more than $1,000,000 to create and sustain initiatives
such as the Great Ideas Summer Institute, the Daniel Foundation International
Study Scholarship, the Alabama Power Foundation Summer Research Program, and
the University Fellows’ study abroad program in Italy. From 1993-2008, he was a
member of the English Department, serving in the fall of 2003 as a Visiting
Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kalmar University in Sweden. He
has won several teaching awards, most recently
the 2009 George Macon Memorial Award, given annually to a Samford faculty
member for outstanding performance as a teacher and mentor to students. He also
served as the university’s NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative for sixteen
years.Metress has published more than
ninety essays and reviews, with his work appearing in journals such as the Southern
Review, the African-American Review,
and Studies in the Novel, as well collections such as The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and The Cambridge
Companion to the Literature of the Civil Rights Movement (forthcoming).He has also published four books: The Critical Response to Dashiell
1995), The Lynching of Emmett Till (Virginia, 2002), and Emmett
Till in Literary Memory and Imagination (LSU, 2007; co-edited with Harriet
Pollack, Bucknell University) and Memory,
Invention, Delivery: Transmitting and Transforming Knowledge and Culture in
Liberal Arts Education (UPA, forthcoming 2015; co-edited with Richard
Dagger, the University of Richmond). The
Lynching of Emmett Till was a university press bestseller and
was featured in news stories in the Washington Post, the New
York Times, the Atlanta Journal Constitution,
and Nation magazine. In 2003 the Association of
American University Presses named the book among its "Best Books for
Understanding Race Relations in the U.S.," and the collection has been
used in courses in more than 100 colleges and universities. He is currently at work on a study of
Birmingham in civil rights memory, the focus of an interdisciplinary course he
taught at the Birmingham Civil Rights
Institute in 2013. He has also lectured widely on the intersections of
literature and history, including invited talks at the University of Alabama,
the University of Virginia, Fisk University, the University of Connecticut, and
Wolfson College, Oxford.Metress received a bachelor’s degree in English from St.
Mary’s University (San Antonio) and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Vanderbilt
Jenée Spencer is the program assistant for the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives. Her primary responsibilities include the coordination of office programmimg, management of the office budget, Sedona management for the university, and webpage updates. Jenée has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Marketing from Samford University.
Sheila has served in the university in the Division of Academic Affairs for over 20 years. In her current position as Director of Special Projects, she provides staff support to the provost for administrative and faculty initiatives and works with him on special projects. Her primary areas of responsibility include faculty employment, academic policy and procedures, budget planning and monitoring, and office oversight. Sheila received a bachelor of science in medical record administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.