Published on March 21, 2024 at 1 p.m.  
David Cimbora

After an extensive nationwide search, Samford University has announced David Cimbora as its next provost and vice president for academic affairs. Cimbora is currently the executive dean of George Fox University’s Wellness Enterprise. He will begin his tenure at Samford effective July 1.

“Throughout the search process, David Cimbora distinguished himself among many fine candidates by his clear articulation of the role of Christ-centered higher education and the impact that excellent academic quality plays in preparing Samford’s graduates for lives of meaning, service, and professional success,” said Samford President Beck A. Taylor. “Dr. Cimbora is just the right person to lead Samford’s comprehensive academic program to new heights, and I warmly welcome him to the Samford family.”

Cimbora says he is both honored and excited to serve as the incoming provost and vice president for academic affairs. “In this role, my aim is to continue to strengthen the positive momentum that Samford is experiencing. I endeavor to be an active leader in supporting the mission of the university under President Taylor’s leadership, and more specifically to serve and equip Samford’s extraordinary faculty and staff in their commitment to be successful with students, supporting their education and growth. I consider it a true privilege, and I am thrilled to be joining the Samford family!”

Since 2020, Cimbora has served as the executive dean of the Wellness Enterprise at George Fox University. The enterprise oversees all behavioral and health science academic disciplines. His leadership oversaw 13 programs: four undergraduate, five master’s and four doctoral, eight of which have national accreditation. Prior to that, he served as dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences and also served as the interim dean of the College of Business and subsequently held an interim leadership role of the College of Education.

Cimbora earned his PhD in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. Upon receiving his doctorate, he worked for Biola University from 1997 to 2019. While at Biola University, he became the associate dean of doctoral programs, where he was the program chair for the PhD and PsyD programs in clinical psychology. Additionally, Cimbora provided psychological services in part-time private practice for 23 years in Southern California.

When announcing Cimbora's selection, Angela Dee Thomason, chair of Faculty Senate and the co-chair of the search committee, said, “I am excited to welcome Dr. Cimbora to the Samford community as our next provost. Dr. Cimbora consistently demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence as a dynamic leader with a passion for Christ-centered higher education. I look forward to working with Dr. Cimbora to advance the comprehensive academic enterprise at Samford University.”

Cimbora assumes the role from J. Michael Hardin who has served as Samford provost since 2015. After a sabbatical in the fall, Hardin will return to the classroom next January.

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.