Samford University’s Board of Trustees approved new faculty, new academic programs and candidates for spring graduation at their meeting on April 27.
More than 1,300 candidates for spring graduation were approved by the trustees. Following their vote, trustees continued their long-standing tradition of praying for the students as they prepare to graduate.
Two faculty members were appointed to endowed chairs, beginning in the 2020-21 academic year: Matthew Mazzei as the Brock Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and LaJuana Davis as the Judge J. Russell McElroy Professor of Law.
Trustees also approved the awarding of promotion and tenure for 31 faculty members across campus. Recently retired faculty member Lowell Broom was granted Professor Emeritus status.
Trustees also affirmed several academic program additions, changes, and deletions, including two new programs in the School of Public Health: the Master of Science in Health Informatics and Data Analytics Fast Track and the Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics and Analysis with a concentration in Sports Injury Prevention Analytics.
Trustees approved the renaming of two academic departments. The Department of Interior Architecture was renamed the Department of Architecture and Interior Design and the Art Department was renamed the Department of Art and Design to account for growing programs and courses within both departments. The mergers of two academic departments were also approved, resulting in the creation of the Department of Geography and Sociology and the Department of Healthcare Administration and Informatics.
Three degree program adjustments were also approved. The former Master of Public Health was renamed the Master of Public Health with concentration in Public Health Management. The Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management was renamed the Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics. The Ed.D. Educational Leadership was renamed the Ed.D. Educational and Organizational Leadership.
In a series of reports by university administrators, trustees heard updates on student recruitment, athletics, advancement, marketing, and progress on the campus master plan. The advancement report noted that as of April 19, more than $221.3 million has been given or pledged to the $300 million Forever Samford campaign. As of February 28, the university’s endowment was valued at $326.7 million.
Trustees received an update on the work of the university’s Task Force on Racial Justice, which was established in June 2020 to advance the university’s commitment to promote and support racial diversity across campus. In a unanimous vote, the trustees affirmed the final report of the task force with a resolution that “extends appreciation to the members of the Task Force on Racial Justice for their devoted efforts to this worthwhile and righteous calling and stands in solidarity with the University administration, faculty, students and other stakeholders in achieving the goals recommended in the task force report.”
In a moving tribute to retiring President Andrew Westmoreland and his wife Jeanna, the trustees presented both with resolutions honoring their contributions to the university. Trustees approved a resolution naming Andrew Westmoreland president emeritus. Likewise, in honor of her leadership of Samford's Legacy League, Jeanna Westmoreland was named executive director emeritus of that organization. Trustees also granted the Westmorelands recognition as honorary alumni of Samford University.