Samford Trustees Approve Construction Projects, New Faculty
Samford University's board of trustees took several actions, including approval of two construction projects and electing several new faculty members, during their regular fall meeting Sept. 6 in Birmingham.
New faculty members include:
Bradley M. Burckel, instructor of German. Burckel has a graduate degree in German studies from the University of Alabama and has been serving as an adjunct instructor in German at Samford.
Jane Daugherty, assistant librarian. She previously was an adjunct reference and electronic services librarian at Faulkner (Ala.) State Community College. Daugherty has a graduate degree in library science from the University of Alabama.
Charles Clifton Eason, visiting instructor in marketing. He is completing a doctorate at the University of Mississippi, where he had been serving as a graduate assistant since 2010. He also has an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Margaret Johnson, associate professor and department chair in speech language pathology. Johnson has and a doctorate in speech language pathology from Nova Southeastern University. She had been assistant professor and acting department chair at the University of Montevallo (Ala.).
Mark Alan Lackey, assistant professor of music. He has a doctor of musical arts in music composition from John Hopkins University. He had been on the adjunct faculty at Towson (Md.) University.
Thomas Victor McCay, instructor of theatre and dance. McCay has a graduate degree in fine arts from Rutgers University and most recently has been acting professionally in movies, television and theatre.
Debra Morrison, assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics and director of the dietetics internship program. She has a graduate degree from the University of Alabama and has been manager of nutrition and wellness at Cullman (Ala.) Regional Medical Center.
Kenneth M. Stoltzfus, associate professor and department chair in social work. He currently is associate professor at LCC International University in Lithuania and has a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University.
Trustees also approved more than 350 members of various academic and professional advisory boards.
Birmingham attorney and former Cumberland School of Law faculty member Carolyn B. Featheringill was approved as a new member of the university's board of overseers, filling the vacancy created by the recent death of her husband, Bill.
Trustees took action on two construction projects. They authorized the university administration to proceed with design and construction plans for the previously approved new building for the Brock School of Business, with tentative plans for groundbreaking later this year. Trustees will give final approval to design and costs. University officials asked for the authorization to continue moving forward so the building could be ready by fall 2015. The new building will be located on the north side of the campus adjacent to Mamie Mell Smith Hall and behind Harwell G. Davis Library.
The board also approved construction of temporary facilities on the third floor of the Cooney Family Field House for the university's new College of Health Sciences (CHS. When the building was constructed in 2009, the third floor was left vacant for future expansion needs. University officials told trustees that the space would be designed to be flexible for other purposes if CHS moves to more permanent facilities.
Trustees received the annual audit for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which ended June 30. "The audit went very well this year," said Drew Wagoner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers representative. "We expect to issue an unqualified opinion when the audit is fully complete."
R. Philip Kimrey, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, reported record enrollments for the fall semester. Official totals will be released Sept. 13, but preliminary numbers show a record freshman class of 757 and a total enrollment approaching 4,900. There also is record residence hall occupancy of 2,200, Kimrey said.
Samford Provost J. Bradley Creed reported that the university received a positive report during the summer for its mid-point review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He also noted that implementation plans for the new College of Health Sciences are moving forward with hopes to attract students for several new programs by fall 2014.
Harry B. Brock III, vice president for business and financial affairs, said the university ended the fiscal year with a positive operating margin of $2.6 million, the fourth consecutive year to do so. Revenues exceeded budget by $1.5 million, and expenses were $1.1 million under budget, Brock said.
In addition, Lisa Imbragulio, the university's investment officer, reported that endowment was valued at about $255.6 million at the close of the fiscal year.
W. Randy Pittman, vice president for advancement, reported that Samford ended the fiscal year with annual gifts of $19.2 million, a 7.9 percent increase over the previous year. Gifts and pledges to the university's multi-year fundraising campaign had exceeded $173 million at the end of August. The campaign is scheduled to conclude by December 2014.
In his report to trustees, Samford President Andrew Westmoreland said the university has stabilized and strengthened "many things" since he became president in 2006. "We've had some extraordinary progress," he said, most of which was mentioned in various reports to the trustees.
Westmoreland also discussed future challenges facing Samford and higher education, including proposed new federal regulations and a smaller pool of prospective students because of lower birthrates among students now in high school. "But, this is an exciting time to be part of Samford," he added.
The next meeting of the board is Dec. 3 in Birmingham.
ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.