Posted by Philip Poole on 2008-12-03

Samford University will have modest tuition and fee increases for 2009-10, based on figures approved by the board of trustees in their regular winter meeting Dec. 2 in Birmingham.

Approval of rates is the first step in the university's annual budget planning process. Undergraduate tuition would increase 4.6 percent. Additional full-time increases include pharmacy, 4 percent; law, 6.5 percent; and nurse anesthesia, 3 percent. Room increases will average about 5.5 percent, while board fees will average about 5 percent depending on the meal plan. Part-time graduate tuition rates will increase 3.48 percent. Rates for Beeson Divinity School will not increase, with the exception of a 3.3 percent increase for the doctor of ministry program.

The master of science degree in educational administration was renamed the master of science in instructional leadership to meet requirements mandated by the Alabama state Department of Education.

Trustees also approved an interdisciplinary film production minor in the department of journalism and mass communication.

U.S. Federal District Judge Karon Owen Bowdre of Birmingham was elected to fill a one-year term on the board. Re-elected to four-year terms were D. Warren Bailey, Birmingham; Charles T. Carter, Birmingham; Gerald C. Hallmark, Alexander City; Pete M. Hanna, Birmingham; Robert Holmes Jr., Birmingham; Richard D. Horsley, Birmingham; Victor E. Nichol Jr., Birmingham; Mazen M. Sahawneh, Mobile; and Albert L. Shumaker, Centre.

Jimmy Jackson, pastor of Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville, was attending his first meeting as an ex officio trustee. Jackson recently was elected president of the Alabama Baptist Convention replacing Roger Willmore, who had been president for two years. The state convention president and executive director serve as ex officio trustees.

Trustee officers reelected to additional one-year terms were W. Clark Watson, Birmingham attorney, chair; former Alabama Gov. Albert P. Brewer, Birmingham, vice chair and Executive Committee chair; Birmingham businessman John E. Bell, Jr., secretary; and Wynema J. Lowry, retired businesswomen from Cullman, assistant secretary.

In routine actions, trustees approved the final audit report for fiscal year 2008 and approved candidates for December graduation.

Trustees also heard reports on the university's cost-saving measures in dealing with current national economy. Harry B. Brock III, Samford's vice president for business affairs, said the university is looking at fundraising and enrollment goals, while also deferring some budget items and eliminating some expenditures. Although the university's endowment earnings have suffered in recent months, W. Randall Pittman, vice president for university relations, reported that annual giving through November was up about 15 percent over the previous year.

Pittman reported that students working in Samford's Phonathon are using two nights a week to call prospective students while spending the other nights making fundraising calls. Even with the reduced fundraising calls, gifts and pledges through the Phonathon are up about 10 percent over last year.

Phil Kimrey, dean of admission and financial aid, reported that applications for fall 2009 are up by about 200 over the same period last year and are on a record pace for the full year.

In a brief report to trustees, Samford President Andrew Westmoreland encouraged trustees to be an active part of the student recruitment and retention process. He provided trustees with a list of suggestions for how they could assist in identifying and cultivating prospective students and their parents.

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.