Published on March 6, 2014 by Philip Poole  

Samford University's board of trustees executive committee approved several new programs and faculty appointments in a March 6 meeting in Birmingham.

Trustees gave approval to a renamed master of science degree in policy, organization and leadership to replace the master of science degree in educational leadership. Samford Provost J. Bradley Creed said the change will help differentiate the renamed degree from the doctoral program and better reflect the key concepts of the M.S.Ed.

Trustees also approved a new master of science in education degree in physical education as a fifth-year nontraditional program. The new degree is designed to prepare prospective teachers who already hold a degree with the opportunity to earn teacher certification in an accelerated program, Creed explained.

A new bachelor of science in criminal justice was approved in the university's Evening College. The program allows working adults the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in this growing field, Creed said. The program curriculum follows the national standards for best practices in criminal justice education.

A new minor in sports and recreation ministry was added in the School of Health Professions. Creating this program allows students from any major to study sports and recreation ministry, Creed said.

New faculty include:

Melissa M. Galvin, professor of public health. Galvin is associate dean, academic and strategic programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she earned the doctor of philosophy degree.

Mallory R. Marshall, assistant professor of kinesiology. She is a graduate assistant at Michigan State University, where she anticipates earning her doctorate in May.

Drayton Nabers, director, Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership. Nabers earned his law degree at Yale University. Previously he was chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and retired as CEO of Protective Life Corp. in Birmingham.

Trustees also approved 21 appointees to endowed chairs and professorships, including two for the first time: Henry C. Strickland as Ethel P. Malugen Professor of Law and Jason Wallace as the first Richard J. Stockham Jr. Chair of Western Intellectual History.

Creed reported that 98 percent of May 2013 undergraduate degree recipients are in graduate school or have employment or post-graduate internships.

He also reported on rising retention rates and a special initiative during the university's Jan term that targeted students with academic challenges in an effort to help them remain at Samford and progress academically. R. Phil Kimrey, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, reported that freshman retention rate from fall to spring rose to 97.5 percent.

Kimrey also reported that applications and admissions are ahead of 2013.

Harry B. Brock III, vice president for business and financial affairs, reported that administrators are projecting a positive operating margin at the end of the fiscal year on June 30. Also, the university's endowment was valued at $269 million at the end of February.

W. Randy Pittman, vice president for advancement, reported that more than $191.5 million has been pledged or given to "A Campaign for Samford," which is scheduled for completion by Dec. 31. Annual giving to date is $12.8 million.

The next meeting of the full board of trustees is May 6 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 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.