Summer 2001
Vol 18 No. 2

Celebrating 160 Years, and a Bright Future

Overcoming Years of Bitterness

New Arts & Sciences Dean

Kelly Jones Claims Miss Alabama

The Business of Jets

Picturing Samford's History

Choir Pleases Russian Audiences

Exciting Swiss Winter Escapade

A Conference for All Sports

Bulldogs To Spread Field, Rely on Defense

Other Stories

Samford Names Brad Creed to be Associate Provost

Samford Gets $100,000 FIPSE Grant for PBL Project with Maastricht

Faculty Compendium: Ross Article Cited in Microsoft Ruling; Bass Book Nominated for Pulitzer Prize

New Arts and Sciences Dean Samford ÔAnything But SleepyÕ: Chapman Davis

Davis Proudest of Hiring Strong Faculty

Teaching Aspect of Nursing Has Always Attracted New Dean

Baur Steps Down as Nursing Dean, Will Continue to Teach

John Carroll Brings Breadth of Legal Experience to Role as Cumberland Dean

Early Edmund D. Pellegrino Medal Honors Namesake, Secundy and Fletcher for Bioethics Contributions

Biology Students to Map Nature Conservancy Properties

Cumberland Professor Ware Writes the Book on Alternative Dispute Resolution

Samford ODK Celebrates 50th Year, Recognizes 50 Leaders with Impact

Samford hosts Alabama GovernorÕs School

Halbrooks Inaugurated as President of Colgate Rochester Crozer

Frank Stagg Library Adds Greatly to Samford Baptist Collection

Student Callers Raise More than $137,000 in Phonathon Effort

Issue Photo: SCIENCENTER

 

New Arts and Sciences Dean
Samford 'Anything but Sleepy': Chapman

When Dr. David Chapman first came upon the name of Samford University, he imagined "a sleepy little college that wouldn't be too interested in change."

That was in the late '80s, when Chapman was coordinating a Writing Across the Curriculum project at Texas Tech University. What caught his attention was Samford’s desire to develop a broad program of writing itself.

"Recognizing an opportunity to develop a model writing program, he joined Samford in 1990 as English professor and director of the Writing Across the Curriculum Program. He found Samford "anything but sleepy." Rather, he said, the school worked aggressively to improve its curriculum.

"I think we must be one of the most dynamic institutions in the country," Chapman said in June. "We were one of the first universities to apply total quality management tools to higher education. We implemented an ambitious program of writing that continues to have an impact on our students. We have made major changes in curricula-both in general education and in the majors. We have become a national leader in problem-based learning. We are also making some major strides in using service learning in courses across the campus.”

Chapman became dean of the Howard College of Arts and Sciences this summer. He had served as associate dean since 1996 and director of the Co-neXus core curriculum since 1997. Samford Acting Provost Joe O. Lewis described Chapman as "a guiding force in the development and implementation" of the innovative core program. The new dean also has been a leader in Samford’s Problem-Based Learning Initiative.

At larger universities where faculty are research driven, Chapman was dismayed at the “take a number” approach to education.

"Samford faculty are committed to quality undergraduate education," he said. "We try to think about what students need as a foundation for their college experience. This led to a series of interdisciplinary courses that stressed the interconnections of literature, history, philosophy, art, music, etc. With these courses as a foundation, students can then go to explore more specialized subject matter in various majors."

David Chapman, right, accepts the mantle of arts and sciences leadership from Rod Davis.

Some of his goals are to pursue the use of PBL, to enhance student opportunities for study abroad and to emphasize service learning to encourage involvement in community service.

A native of Tulsa, Okla., Chapman is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He holds the M.A. in modern letters from the University of Tulsa and Ph.D. in English from Texas Christian University.

Chapman is the author of numerous journal articles and two books on writing techniques. He is also collaborating,on books about communication arts and PBL.


Davis Proudest of Hiring Strong Faculty

After 11 years, Dr. J. Roderick (Rod) Davis '58 stepped down August 1 as dean of Samford's Howard College of Arts and Sciences. The alma mater that he says served him so well and for which he developed such affection as a student drew him back over a decade ago to serve in return.

"Ever since I was a student here, I have had an irrational affection for this school," said the Albertville native, who began his Samford journey on the old East Lake campus and earned his degree in the first graduating class on Lakeshore Drive.

Davis credits Samford-it was still Howard College during his student days-with providing excellent instruction, especially in his major field of English."I had several unusually dedicated and challenging eachers who masterfully introduced me to most of the major texts in the field and had me write critical papers about them, on which they gave back such helpful critiques that I was well prepared for graduate school," he said.

His academic credentials validate that assessment. Davis earned the M.A. degree from Boston University (1960), the M.Div. degree from Yale University (1963) and the Ph.D. in English from Columbia University (1973).

Davis spent 20 years teaching at Rutgers University and John Jay College of City University of New York before returning to Samford as dean in 1990.

Davis believes one of his greatest accomplishments is the faculty he has hired in the past 11 years, which he believes, has markedly raised the academic level of the college. "Helping to bring to this campus so many first-rate new people to strengthen the institution has been the accomplishment I have enjoyed the most," he said.

Samford’s future, Davis said, is as great as its vision, commitment and resources can create.

“We will never be a mass-market institution, but we can continue to develop into a major influence in private higher education that will continue to help leaven the loaf,” he said.

Davis remains at Samford as professor of English. He does so in the belief that arts and sciences is in good hands, those of former Associate Dean David Chapman.

"I cannot imagine anyone bringing to this office a stronger commitment to academic excellence," Davis said." He
is exceedingly intelligent, houghtful, creative, articulate, energetic and amiable. He has had years of experience as an outstanding teacher here and elsewhere.