Published on May 1, 2018 by Philip Poole  
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Samford University’s board of trustees approved new academic programs, new faculty, new facilities and candidates for spring graduation during their regular spring meeting May 1.

In what is often called the “most important action trustees take,” more than 1,000 candidates for graduation were approved, pending completion of all requirements. Following their longstanding tradition, trustees paused to pray for the graduates after their vote.

Trustees authorized the university administration to proceed with renovation of Beeson University Center at a cost not to exceed $16 million. The project will begin May 14 and continue through the 2018-19 academic year. (See related story.)

New academic programs approved include:

Bachelor of Arts in Worship and the Arts. This is designed for students committed to worship ministry in the church and parachurch organizations. 

Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry. This is designed for students considering a career in ministry or missions or those who might have other career aspirations but desire to pursue God’s calling in any vocation. 

Master of Music in Instrumental Performance. This has been designed to prepare students to be proficient performers who are ready to pursue professional careers. 

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. This is designed with a focus on clinical medicine, evidence-based practice, anatomy, pharmacology and physiology preparing the student to work within diverse medical practices. 

Two degrees in the Ida Moffett School of Nursing were renamed:  Doctor of Nursing Practice Health Systems and Administration-Information Concentration changed to Doctor of Nursing Practice, Nursing Informatics and Analytics and the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Health Systems and Administration Concentration changed to Doctor of Nursing Practice, Nursing Administration. The name changes better reflect current marketplace needs, according to university officials. 

The Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems in Brock School of Business was renamed as the Department of Accounting. 

Three faculty members were appointed to endowed chairs, beginning with the 2018-19 academic year:  Roy Ciampa as the S. Louis and Ann W. Armstrong Chair of Religion;  Brannon P. Denning as Starnes Professor of Law; and Deborah Young to the Judge J. Russell McElroy Professorship in the law school. 

Trustees also approved 18 new faculty members in 13 different academic disciplines. 

In reports from university administrators, trustees heard that projected enrollment for fall 2018 is another anticipated record, and university housing will be at full capacity. The university’s endowment was valued at $303 million as of Feb. 28. Through April, a total of $75 million had been given or pledged for the Forever Samford campaign. 

The next meeting of the board is Sept. 6-7.

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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 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 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.