Published on January 3, 2023 by Jessica Black  
Fidelitas Artwork

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (January 3, 2023) – Samford University is casting its eyes to the future with the launch of its next comprehensive strategic plan, “Fidelitas: Faith and Future.” The new plan was unanimously adopted by the Samford Board of Trustees in December. 

“Samford aspires to be the school of choice among national comprehensive Christ-centered universities, particularly among those that place extraordinary emphasis on residential undergraduate education as the foundation for its full complement of academic programs,” said President Beck A. Taylor.

The new strategic plan is aligned along eight themes:  

  • Academic Distinction
  • Student Engagement
  • Employee Elevation
  • Faith Formation
  • Community Celebration
  • Athletic Success
  • Financial Stewardship
  • Global Influence

Each theme has four main goals, with corresponding objectives to guide and measure ongoing progress.

The plan was developed over the last 10 months under the direction of President Beck A. Taylor and Vice President for Finance, Business Affairs and Strategy Colin Coyne. A newly created University Council composed of more than 50 students, faculty and staff from across campus convened to lead the planning effort.

Guided by a commitment to transparency and constituent participation, the university engaged in town halls and interviews with students, faculty, staff and key stakeholders during the planning process. Similarly, digital surveys, virtual listening sessions and visits to nine different cities captured insights from alumni, parents, community members and donors. In total, the leadership team conducted 17 town hall meetings and campus interviews, 15 city visits, two virtual listening sessions and received more than 3,000 survey responses. 

Through the work of the University Council and feedback of Samford constituents, the process resulted in a plan that is mission focused, reinforces Samford’s distinctive role as a Christ-centered institution and promotes aspirational goals for the university. 

“We know that if people don’t trust the process, they won’t believe in the plan. Based on the breadth, depth and quality of participation, this is a plan we all can believe in,” Coyne said. “When I look at this plan and I look to my colleagues, I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of Samford University.”

Coyne also emphasized that the new strategic plan will serve as a roadmap for the future, while also providing the flexibility to adapt.

“This plan provides the scaffolding for ideas and initiatives for the next decade and beyond,” he said. “The structure and themes will ensure congruence in plans across the university, and that our resources are aligned with our vision.”

Implementation of the plan is underway. The University Council will provide oversight of the plan, ensuring strategic integration, assessment, and optimization.

Learn more about Fidelitas: Faith and Future at

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.