Published on June 13, 2013 by Philip Poole  

Samford University recently announced several new academic and administrative appointments and reassignment of some organizational units and responsibilities.

Several of the appointments were announced by Samford President Andrew Westmoreland as part of new initiatives and recommendations resulting from year-long studies by several university-wide work groups.

Amber Kustos is the new coordinator for environmental stewardship and campus enhancement. She will be an ombudsman for the physical environment of the campus and will help to make the best use of resources, Westmoreland said. Previously, Kustos served as administrative assistant to the vice president of operations and planning. Her appointment is effective July 1.

Chris McCaghren has been appointed assistant to the president for external relations. McCaghren, who has two degrees from Samford, most recently worked in the office of U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., in Washington, D.C. "[Dr. McCaghren] already is working with staff members responsible for our non-credit programs so that we may refine our strategies and, ultimately, build a program that will prepare us for a world of learning in which all the walls have fallen," Westmoreland said.

On Aug. 1, Lane Smith will become director of student financial services reporting to the vice president for business and financial affairs. He currently serves as director of financial aid and will be assuming additional responsibility for the bursar's office following the retirement of current bursar Linda Sneed. "In combining the positions of Director of Financial Aid and Bursar, we will offer a unified approach to student accounts and further streamline our operations while enhancing the quality of our service," Westmoreland said.

Westmoreland also announced organizational changes for two vice presidents who are taking on responsibilities previously assigned to the Office of Operations and Planning, which is being dissolved as a separate division.

R. Phil Kimrey, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, will assume administrative responsibility for the offices of residence life and public safety and emergency management. Harry B. Brock III, vice president for business and financial affairs, will now oversee facilities management, capital planning, and event and venue management, in addition to the revamped office of student financial services.

"These adjustments allow us to streamline our organizational structure and be financially prudent without sacrificing services to our constituents," Westmoreland said in announcing the reassigned responsibilities. "I believe this will be a relatively easy transition."

Samford's Provost and Executive Vice President J. Bradley Creed also announced several appointments in academic affairs.

Effective July 1, Angela Ferguson will assume a new role as director of international education. Working from the provost's office, she will coordinate university-wide strategies for all of Samford's international education initiatives and a multi-institution collaborative project in which Samford is participating. Ferguson will maintain her faculty connection in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. The new position will evolve over the next few months "as we determine priorities and processes to best achieve the university's goals in international education," Creed noted.

Beginning with the fall semester, Ginger Frost will become research professor of history. Frost has been a Samford faculty member since 1996. In this new role out of the provost's office, she will focus on scholarship and research, continue to teach some courses in the history department and be available to other departments and offices on campus for special projects. "This appointment affirms Ginger's strong credentials in teaching and scholarly research and offers the broader university community the opportunity to benefit from her expertise," Creed said.

Denise Gregory will become director of diversity and intercultural initiatives, also effective July 1. "We are asking [Dr. Gregory] to give full-time direction to this new program as an extension of the provost's office but working across the campus with all departments and program areas," Creed said. Gregory has been a member of the chemistry/biochemistry faculty since 2005, where she will continue to have a faculty relationship. During the 2013-14 academic year, she coordinated several diversity and intercultural events.

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.