Beck A. Taylor Biography | Samford University
Learn more about Samford's 19th president, Beck A. Taylor.
Pictured: Chloe, Julie and Beck Taylor
Beck A. Taylor comes to Samford University after serving as the 18th president of Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, since 2010. Prior to this appointment, Taylor served as dean and professor of economics for Samford’s Brock School of Business (2005-2010), and associate dean for research and faculty development for Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business (1997-2005).
Taylor's tenure at Whitworth was highlighted by a renewed emphasis on community involvement; efforts to enhance academic programs and quality; the building of new campus infrastructure to facilitate the university's academic, athletic, and student life programs; the creation of newly endowed faculty positions and centers; leading Whitworth's largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign; and an emphasis on overall institutional effectiveness.
After earning his undergraduate degree from Baylor with majors in economics and finance, Taylor was employed as an analyst for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in Houston, Texas. He went on to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University. After returning to the Baylor faculty, Taylor was named the first holder of the W.H. Smith Professorship in Economics. In 2002, he was appointed as a visiting scholar by Harvard University where he spent one year in residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
As dean of Samford's Brock School of Business, Taylor led the rapid transformation of the business school, including its renaming to honor Harry B. Brock, Jr., founder of Compass Bank. Taylor led the Brock School of Business to establish eight new academic programs, as well as the school's new honors program. The school's entrepreneurship program was recognized in 2010 as the nation's top emerging program by the U.S. Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship. In an effort to build bridges between students and the Birmingham business community, Taylor established the Samford Business Network, as well as a 45-member advisory board of the region’s top business leaders.
As a scholar, Taylor has published dozens of studies in economics journals such as Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Human Resources and Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking. Illustrating his diverse research interests and his connections to the social sciences, Taylor has also published groundbreaking research in public health and child developmental psychology. His research has been cited in testimony given before the U.S. Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, and the California State Assembly, and also has been referenced in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Christian Science Monitor.
Taylor is a member of numerous professional and academic organizations, and he has served as a strategic business consultant for dozens of organizations. Taylor and his wife of 28 years, Julie, have three children: Zachary, 25, a Nashville-based music recording artist, Lauren, 22, a recent Whitworth graduate, and Chloe, 14.
- President and professor of economics (2010-2021)
Samford University, Brock School of Business
- Dean and professor of economics (2005-2010)
Baylor University, Hankamer School of Business
- Associate dean for research and faculty development (2004-2005)
- Graduate program director, Department of Economics (2003-2004)
- The W.H. Smith Professor of Economics, Department of Economics (tenured; 2000-2005)
- Assistant professor of economics, Department of Economics (1997-2000)
- Visiting scholar, Graduate School of Education’s Department of Human Development and Psychology (2002-2003)
- Research fellow, Purdue University Research Foundation (1996-1997)
- Lecturer, Krannert School of Management’s Department of Economics (1993-1996)
- Ph.D., economics, Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management
- M.S., economics, Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management
- Bachelor of Business Administration, economics and finance, Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business