Posted by Philip Poole on 2005-04-18

Samford University's board of trustees approved new faculty and gave final approval to a $109 million operating budget during the board's regular spring meeting April 14.

On a historic day when the board of trustees approved more than $50 million in capital projects and set in place a presidential transition process, other approved actions will have immediate effect on Alabama's largest private university.

Nine new faculty members were approved, including a new international studies coordinator. Marigene Chamberlain of Nashville, Tenn., will coordinate the University's multiple study abroad programs and be instructor of Spanish.

Other new faculty members are Alyssa A. DiRusso, assistant professor of law; Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism in Samford's Beeson Divinity School; Ryan W. Galloway, assistant professor of communication studies; Tatyana A. Karaman, assistant professor of political science; David L. Loudon, professor of marketing; Marcia L. McCormick, assistant professor of law; Nina E. McLain, assistant professor of nurse anesthesia; and Barry M. Robinson, assistant professor of history.

Trustees also approved promotions for 14 faculty members and granted tenure to 11 faculty members.

In an earlier meeting, trustees had given preliminary approval to the university's budget for the 2005-06 fiscal year, but gave final approval to the $109 million budget at the April 14 meeting. The budget is a 3.5 percent increase over the 2004-05 operating budget and includes a 5 percent increase in tuition. About 65 percent of Samford's 2005-06 operating budget will be generated by tuition revenue, according to Clayton Fogg, Samford's director of finance. Contributions from the Alabama Baptist State Convention make up about 5 percent of the budget.

The university's planetarium was named in honor of Boyd and Sara Christenberry of Montgomery. Christenberry is a retired vice president of ALFA Insurance Co. and is a life trustee and former chairman of Samford's trustee board. The Christenberrys are active members of Montgomery's First Baptist Church and have provided financial support for several Samford programs and projects.

Two new trustees were elected to fill unexpired terms. Joan Williams of Birmingham was elected to fill the unexpired term of her late husband, Tom. Williams is a member of Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham. Ronald DeVane of Birmingham also was elected to fill a vacancy. DeVane is the mid-South regional chief executive officer for SouthTrust/Wachovia Bank and a member of Shades Mountain Baptist Church.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.