Published on February 27, 2015  
Library with clouds

Dennis Sansom, chair of Samford University’s provost search committee, said President Andrew Westmoreland’s goal of having a candidate for campus-wide interviews in April can be met.

The committee met for the seventh time Monday, Feb. 23, and the prevailing attitude was one of determination to meet both the goal and assignment, according to Sansom. The committee will meet again March 3.         

Other members include Garry Atkins, student affairs; Buck Brock, business and financial affairs; Kristi Chandler, human development and family science; undergraduate student Rachel Cobble; Kathryn Fouse, arts; undergraduate student Hunter Gibbs; Denise Gregory, diversity and intercultural initiatives; Woody Hartzog, law; Kim Herndon, libraries; Emily Hynds, mathematics; Margaret Johnson, communication sciences and disorders; Dave Luthin, pharmacy; undergraduate student Laura Ann Prickett; Sharron Schlosser, nursing; Frank Thielman, divinity; graduate student Cam Thomas; Tom Woolley, business; and Debi Whitcomb, technology services.

“I am grateful to the 19 members of the faculty, administration, staff and student body who have agreed to assist us with the important task,” said Westmoreland.

Likewise, Sansom lauded the makeup of the committee noting that every aspect of the university’s work was represented. “There is no ideological divide or conflict in this committee, although there is diversity of opinion,” he said. “However, members are able to reason with each other and reach a conclusion.”

According to Sansom, most of the meetings to date have been introductory. “We wanted to build trust, disclose our love for Samford and identify the issues the new provost will face,” Sansom said.

Among those issues are a student body that is both undergraduate and graduate, the mission of Samford as a Christian institution, and Samford’s commitment to academic excellence.

Working with and advising the committee is Diversified Search, with national headquarters in Atlanta. However, the person assigned to the committee is Gene Head, who is a member of the Howard College of Arts & Sciences Advisory Committee, an alumnus of Samford and has worked with other search committees at Samford.

All candidates will be considered by Diversified Search, who will then provide the provost search committee a “packet” of approximately two dozen candidate applications for consideration, Sansom said.

Sansom noted that while a suggested job description was provided by the national search firm, the committee had made “lots of changes” to it and had come up with a three-page description based on the committee’s recommendations.

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.