February 29, 2008
Samford University announced the appointment of two new vice presidents Feb. 26 as part of several administrative changes reported to the board of trustees by President Andrew Westmoreland.
W. Randall Pittman will become vice president for university relations, effective April 15. Pittman most recently has been chief financial officer for Emageon, Inc., and had served on Samford's board of trustees since 2001. As vice president, he will oversee development, communications, and alumni and parent relations.
"Mr. Pittman is extraordinarily familiar with Samford, and he has a keen mind for sales, finance, management and marketing that will hold him in good stead as we approach the largest capital campaign in Samford's history," Westmoreland said. "A lifetime of business, civic and charitable involvement has prepared him for this important role."
Pittman has a successful 32-year career in Birmingham, including executive positions with AmSouth Bank, Caremark and BioCryst. Pittman and his wife, Daina, are the parents of two daughters who have attended Samford.
Michael D. Morgan, current vice president for university relations, will become assistant to the president. Morgan has been at Samford since January 2003 and led the recently completed 18-month, $53 million Promise for All Generations campaign. In his new role, he will be involved in several administrative assignments.
"This new role fits Dr. Morgan's skills as a creative thinker and administrator as we look for common themes that unite our university," Westmoreland noted. "It is my intent that he will help with the development of new and creative ways to tell the Samford story."
Sarah C. Latham, who has been assistant to the president since 2006, will assume a new role as vice president for operations and planning, effective June 1. A Samford administrator since 2002, Latham will have responsibility for facilities management, the office of institutional effectiveness, university-wide event coordination and related functions.
"Dr. Latham's background in public administration and her interest in promoting best practices will help us do an even better job of serving our constituents," Westmoreland said.
Westmoreland said the restructuring began when current Vice President for Facilities Don M. Mott reached the university's mandatory retirement age of 65 for executive officers. Mott will remain at Samford indefinitely as a construction consultant.
"Mr. Mott has added a strong element of professionalism to our supervision of construction projects," Westmoreland noted. "He is a careful steward of the resources allocated to the physical improvement of the campus.
During Mott's tenure, Samford has added the Pete Hanna Center, Jane Hollock Brock Hall, a 600-space parking deck, expanded heating and cooling systems and refurbished several campus facilities.
Samford University's undergraduate tuition will increase 7.7 percent for the 2008-09 academic year. The increase was approved Feb. 26 by the university's trustee executive committee.
Undergraduate tuition for 2008-09 will be an additional $690 per semester for an annual total of $19,300. The current annual tuition is $17,920.
The increase, necessary to cover rising costs and to sustain Samford's standard of quality education, will be used by the university's administration in developing a budget for approval by the full board, according to Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. Samford's fiscal year begins July 1.
Westmoreland noted that tuition accounts for only about half of Samford's annual revenue and that Samford's tuition continues to be "about 25 percent below the national average for private four-year institutions."
Westmoreland told trustees that even with the increase Samford "remains near the bottom of the list of tuition charges for selected private institutions." Samford's tuition will be the lowest among the five private institutions in the Southern Conference, to which Samford moves next summer.
Trustees approved a recommendation to name Martha F. and Albert P. Brewer Plaza in front of Memory Leake Robinson Hall, which houses Samford's Cumberland School of Law. The plaza will be dedicated April 4 and honors the former Alabama governor and his late wife. Brewer retired as a law professor and now serves on Samford's board of trustees.
Trustees approved a feasibility study for Daniel House, which has housed Samford's London Centre for more than 20 years. The study will determine future use of the facility and costs for needed renovations so the university can make long-term plans for its popular London program.
Labor Day was approved as an official university holiday, effective in 2008. Samford has held classes on Labor Day for a number of years, but is one of the very few colleges and universities doing so.
A medical evacuation benefit was approved for the university's medical coverage for employees and students. The plan provides for air transportation back to Birmingham from anywhere in the world, an especially important benefit because of the university's extensive international studies program.
In a series of reports, trustees heard that annual giving to Samford from June 1 - Jan. 31 was more than $16 million, exceeding the $15.2 million given during the 2006-07 fiscal year. Freshman applications for fall 2008 have exceeded those for fall 2007, which was Samford's second largest freshman class in history.