Published on March 31, 2010 at 7 p.m. by Philip Poole  

Samford University’s board of trustees executive committee approved five new faculty members and approved plans for expanded athletics and student recreation facilities during their regular meeting March 30.

New faculty members include:

Daniel L. Halberg, associate professor of pharmacy. Halberg has a doctorate in pharmacy health care administration from the University of Florida. He currently is regional director of scientific and medical affairs for AstraZeneca in Little Rock, Ark.

Jane Holston, assistant professor of nursing and family nurse practitioner clinical coordinator. Holston has a master’s degree in nursing from Samford. She is a nurse practitioner for a local medical clinic in the Birmingham suburb of Alabaster.

Herman N. Johnson Jr., assistant professor of law. He has an undergraduate degree in economics from Duke University and his law degree from Columbia University. He is an attorney with a Birmingham firm.

Anna Meador, assistant professor of pharmacy practice and pharmacy director of the Christ Health Center. Christ Health Center is a new community partnership between Samford’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy and Birmingham’s Church of the Highlands and is located in the Woodlawn area of Birmingham. Meador has a doctorate in pharmacology from Auburn University.

Susan B. Mitchell, assistant professor of nursing. She earned an undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Alabama and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Since 2004, she has been a nursing instructor at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Thirteen retired faculty were granted emeritus status: Jerry Batson and Fisher Humphreys, divinity; Paul Blanchard, Ellen McLaughlin and Robert Stiles, biology; Becky Clapp, law; Fred Hendon, business; Greg Jeane, geography, Raymond King, education; Jean Thomason and Olivia Wood, library; John Harris, associate provost; and Joe Lewis, provost.

Two degree program adjustments were approved. The former master of theological studies degree was renamed the master of arts in theological studies. Graphics design degrees were united under a bachelor of fine arts–graphics design degree to “better represent the professional intent of the program and enhance recruitment efforts into the program,” according to Samford Provost J. Bradley Creed.

Harry B. Brock III, vice president for business affairs, reported to trustees that Samford’s endowment had rebounded from 2009 economic slumps to $221.5 million as of Feb. 28.

R. Phil Kimrey, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, reported a record number of undergraduate applications – 2,342 – already had been received through March 26. Paid deposits are running ahead of the same date in 2009.

The next full meeting of the board of trustees is April 20 in Birmingham.

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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 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.