Samford University’s trustee executive committee approved a major
technology upgrade, new faculty and new programs, among other actions,
during a July 29 meeting in Birmingham. The executive committee meets
between regular meetings of the full board of trustees.
The $1.8 million technology infrastructure upgrade will support
current and future needs, provide Internet threat protection and allow
for continued network growth, according to Harry B. Brock III, Samford’s
vice president for business and financial affairs. The upgrade will
include “industry-leading equipment,” Brock said. Funding for the
upgrade will come from student technology fees.
Trustees granted degrees to the estimated 122 who anticipate
completing degree programs at the end of the summer session. Following a
longstanding tradition, trustees prayed for the graduates as part of
New faculty members include:
Christson Adedoyin, associate professor of social work. He has been assistant professor at East Carolina University since 2012 and earned his doctorate at the University of Kentucky.
Donald E. Bradley, associate professor of sociology. Bradley
has a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin and most recently
was associate dean at East Carolina University.
Michael Carey, assistant professor of journalism and mass
communication. He anticipates completing his doctorate this year at Ohio
University, where he has been a graduate assistant since 2010.
Michael Crouch, professor of pharmacy. Crouch is new dean
of McWhorter School of Pharmacy and had been executive associate dean
at East Tennessee State University. He received his doctorate from the
Medical University of South Carolina.
Brad Diamond, assistant professor of music. Diamond earned a
doctor of musical arts at the University of Cincinnati. He had been an
assistant professor at the University of South Florida since 2008.
Ashley George, assistant professor of communication studies.
She received her doctorate at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa,
where she had been clinical instructor since 2012.
Celeste Hill, assistant professor of human development-family
life education. Hill has been a part-time lecturer since 2005. She has
four degrees, including her doctorate, from the University of Alabama,
Eleanor Howell, professor of nursing. Howell is new dean
of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing and most recently was nursing
dean at Creighton University. She earned her doctorate at the University
of Alabama at Birmingham.
Kathryn Kauffman, instructor of art and the Warner Foundation
manager. She has a master’s degree from the University of Alabama at
Birmingham and has been a part-time lecturer in art and art history at
Samford since 2011.
Sandra McMichael, instructor in nursing and clinical
coordinator. She has been a part-time lecturer since 2011 and earned a
master of science in nursing degree from Troy University (Ala.).
Laura Promer, instructor of communication sciences and
disorders. Promer was founder and director of Communication and Reading
Therapies. She received her master’s degree from the University of
Jean Roberson, instructor of social work. Roberson has been a
team leader and ministry consultant for Woman’s Missionary Union since
2007. She earned a master of social work degree from Southern Baptist
Karen Thatcher, associate professor of communication sciences
and disorders. Since 2001, Thatcher has been assistant professor at Ball
State University, where she earned her doctor of education degree.
Lydia Thurston, assistant professor of physical therapy.
Thurston has been a physical therapist at Birmingham’s Kirklin Clinic
since 2013. She earned her doctorate in physical therapy from the
University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Frankie Wallis, associate professor of nursing. Wallis
anticipates completing his doctor of nursing practice degree from
Samford later this year. Most recently he has been executive director of
nursing at Baptist Medical Center-South in suburban Birmingham.
Paul Wiget, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry.
Wiget earned his doctorate at the University of New Mexico and had been
a postdoctoral teaching and research scholar at Villanova University
Monique Witherspoon, assistant professor of educational
leadership. She earned her doctor of education degree from Gardner-Webb
University and had been executive director of Girls, Inc., in Birmingham
Trustees appointed four to endowed positions: Alyssa Di Russo, Whelan
W. and Rosalie T. Palmer Professor of Law; Joseph Snoe, Whelan W. and
Rosalie T. Palmer Professor of Law; Crouch, Fred E. McWhorter Dean of
Pharmacy; and Howell, Ralph W. Beeson Dean of Nursing.
Three new degree programs were approved. A new elementary education major with
a concentration in Christian education and missions is designed to give
students a “broad, multidisciplinary approach to Christian education in
the context of a local church or mission field,” according to Associate
Provost Nancy Biggio.
A new minor in medical ethics was approved in the philosophy department.
The program promotes the study of the ethical foundations of medicine
and health care through an interdisciplinary study of philosophy,
theology, literature and ethics, Biggio said.
A western intellectual tradition interdisciplinary minor in the University Fellows honors
program will allow students to continue studying the various
disciplines in the Fellows’ western intellectual tradition sequence.
Trustees approved a contract with Sodexo, Inc., as the university’s new food service provider.
This is the university’s first change in food service provider in 11
years. The contract includes renovations to dining facilities and other
In a series of reports from university officials, trustees heard that
the university is on track to end the recently completed fiscal year
with a positive operating margin, pending completion of the annual
audit. The university’s endowment had a market value of $277.5 million
as of June 30.
Fall enrollment is on track for another record, according to R. Phil
Kimrey, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management.
Summer enrollment also exceeded summer 2013 totals.
W. Randy Pittman, vice president for advancement, reported that “A
Campaign for Samford” had received $198.3 million in gifts and pledges
from more than 17,000 donors. The $200 million campaign is scheduled for
completion by Dec. 31.
The next full meeting of the board of trustees is Sept. 4-5 in Birmingham.