Posted by Philip Poole on 2010-07-28

Seven new faculty members were approved by Samford University’s trustee executive committee during their regular summer meeting July 28 in Birmingham.


New faculty include:


Philip L. Copeland, associate professor of music and director of choral studies. Copeland most recently taught at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He has a doctor of musical arts degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.


Tracey K. Dick, instructor in nursing. Dick has a master’s degree in nursing from Samford. She has been a full-time faculty member and nursing clinical instructor at Jefferson State Community College, Birmingham.


Gregory Stephen Gorman, associate professor of pharmacy and director of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Institute. Gorman earned a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Georgia and has been director of bioanalytical sciences at Southern Research institute, Birmingham.


Marissa Grayson, instructor in political science. She is completing a doctor of philosophy degree in American government at the University of Florida, where she also earned her master’s degree. She was during of debate at Florida during 2008-09.


Lisa F. Gurley, assistant professor of nursing. Gurley earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at Samford. Previously she taught at Samford and was a perioperative nurse at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Birmingham.


Eric Mathis, instructor in church music. Mathis is completing a doctoral degree in Christian worship at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif. He earned master’s degrees in music and ministry from Baylor University and Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. He has been an adjunct faculty member at Baylor and Azusa Pacific University in California.


Betsy Rogers, assistant professor and department chair, teacher education. Rogers has four Samford degrees, including the doctor of education. The 2003 National Teacher of the Year, Rogers most recently was a teacher and administrator with the Jefferson County Schools in Birmingham.


Trustees approved candidates for summer graduation and two resolutions related to student finances: a $100 maximum cap on late fees assessed on student accounts and provisions for short-term emergency student loans to assist students not able to pay full tuition on the due date.


Also approved was a resolution related to earlier bond issues and banking relationships that should result in some cost-savings for the university, according to Harry B. Brock III, Samford’s vice president for business affairs.


In a series of reports from university administrators, trustees were told that paid deposits for the fall 2010 freshman class were up slightly over the same period in 2009, and the university ended fiscal year 2010 on June 30 with annual gifts of more than $21.6 million, the second highest total in recent history.


The university ended FY2010 with a positive net operating margin, although final figures will not be available until the university’s annual audit is complete. Preliminary figures show that the university’s endowment at the end of the fiscal year was valued at $212 million, with a 7.74 percent investment return for the year.


The next meeting of the university’s full board of trustees is Sept. 9-10 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.