Samford Trustees Approve New Programs, New Faculty
In wide-ranging actions, Samford University's board of trustees approved candidates for graduation, new programs and new faculty members in their regular spring meeting May 7 in Birmingham.
Trustees gave formal approval to updated organizational nomenclature resulting from the recently announced College of Health Sciences. Within the new college, the department of kinesiology will be housed in the new School of Health Related Professions and the department of nutrition and dietetics, previously combined with kinesiology, will be in a new School of Community and Public Health.
With the move of kinesiology and nutrition to the new College, trustees approved changes for the Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education with three renamed academic departments: curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and human development and family life education. A new master of science degree in educational leadership also was approved. The new degree is designed for students seeking positions in educational organizations and institutions, according to Samford Provost J. Bradley Creed.
Changes in the Evening College include a new bachelor of science degree in youth studies, providing an interdisciplinary view into "the cultures and dynamics of young people with an emphasis on the development of strategies for working effectively with youth in a variety of settings," Creed said. The new degree replaces a degree program in counseling and human services. Also, the bachelor of science in interdisciplinary studies degrees in paralegal studies, liberal studies and organizational leadership were changed to bachelor of arts degrees.
Trustees also approved new graduate business and entrepreneurship minors in the Brock School of Business.
About 900 candidates for degrees were approved for spring, pending completion of degree requirements. Samford President Andrew Westmoreland reminded trustees that "of all the things that you do, that is one of the most important. That is where we make the greatest investments."
New faculty members include:
Carlos Enrique Aleman, assistant professor of history. Aleman is a Latin American expert and has a doctorate from Michigan State University. He has been an instructor at Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Ga.
Shannon Ashe, instructor of kinesiology. She has a master of education degree in sports administration from Northwestern (La.) State University and has been an athletics trainer at Champion Sports Medicine in Birmingham since 2006.
Mark Busbee, associate professor and chair of the English department. Busbee currently is chair of the department of language and literature at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. He has a doctorate in medieval British literature from the University of California-Davis.
Robert Theodore (Ted) Champion, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication. He anticipates completing his doctorate in media studies from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Champion currently is an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Jongwha Chang, assistant professor of social and administrative sciences. Chang has a doctorate from the University of Michigan and currently is assistant professor at Penn State University.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Emmons, instructor of journalism and mass communication. Emmons is completing a doctorate in mass communication at the University of Alabama, where she is an adjunct instructor. She previously served as an adjunct instructor at Samford.
Katrina Hunter Mintz, associate dean of assessment and associate professor, McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Mintz has four degrees in secondary education, including a doctorate from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She currently serves as director of assessment at Walden University.
Charles (Chuck) Stokes, assistant professor of sociology. Stokes earned his doctorate at University of Texas, Austin, and has been scholar-in-residence at Samford since 2011.
Demondrae Thurman, associate professor of music. Thurman has degrees in euphonium and trombone performance, including a doctor of musical arts from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, where he has been an assistant professor since 2005.
In other business, trustees approved hiring PriceWaterhouseCoopers to handle the university's audits of the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Trustees also approved a new tuition payment plan that students can use in the fall and spring semesters to pay their total cost over a multi-month period. The plan is structured to "provide benefits to students and parents and at the same time be financially feasible for the university," according to Harry B. (Buck) Brock III, Samford's vice president for business and financial affairs. Brock said Samford had been an "outlier" among its peer institutions by not having a payment plan available, and the new Samford plan is in line with what other schools are doing.
Brock also reported a preliminary budget of $141.6 million for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. That is a slight increase over the projected budget of $141.5 million for the current fiscal year. The proposed budget includes no merit increases for employees and essentially flat operating budgets. The final budget will be based on fall enrollment, Brock said, and presented to trustees for approval at a later date.
Lisa Imbragulio, assistant vice president and general counsel, reported that the university's endowment was valued at $256 million as of March 31.
R. Philip Kimrey, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, reported that paid deposits for entering freshmen for fall 2013 are up 56 over the fall 2012 numbers as of May 3. Kimrey said officials are optimistic that the university may see record numbers when fall 2013 enrollment is complete.
Annual giving totaled $16.9 million as of April 30, according to a report by W. Randy Pittman, vice president for university advancement. Gifts and pledges to "A Campaign for Samford" have exceeded $170.8 million, representing about 85 percent of the goal for the multi-year, multi-million campaign scheduled to end in December 2014.
The next meeting of the board is Sept. 5-6.
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.