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    Office of the Provost

    The provost is responsible for the operation and improvement of all of the academic programs and academic support services of the university. We invite you to learn more about our schools and academic programs.

    J. Bradley Creed

    Samford Provost Elected Campbell University President

    During a special called meeting on January 2, the Campbell University board of trustees unanimously approved the selection of Samford University Provost and Executive Vice President J. Bradley Creed as Campbell’s next president. He will succeed Jerry M. Wallace, who will step down following 12 years as president.

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    Michael Hardin

    Michael Hardin Named New Provost

    J. Michael Hardin has been appointed as Samford University’s new provost, effective July 1. The announcement was made May 1 by Samford University President Andrew Westmoreland.

    Hardin currently serves as dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and will replace J. Bradley Creed, Samford’s provost since 2002. Creed will become president of Campbell University in North Carolina on July 1.

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    Strategic Plan+

    Samford University is committed to accepting the best students, hiring the best faculty and developing the best programs. 

    Recruit and Retain the Best Students

    • Create full scholarships for academic merit awarded by representative faculty entities to at least 5% of the incoming class
    • Provide services for graduate students that recognize their needs and support their goals
    • Offer assistance to ensure that 10% of graduates are from minority group

    Recruit and Retain the Best Faculty

    • Bring faculty salaries to a comparable or better than level with peer institutions
    • Provide significant raises for promotion
    • Create endowed professorships in every department
    • Create a faculty development fund equivalent to 3% of faculty salaries
    • Reward active scholars, artists and teachers with teaching loads and resources comparable to peer institutions
    • Provide funds for faculty development related to projects and initiatives that benefit the programs of the university

    Develop and Sustain the Best Programs

    • Bring library funding into parity with peer institutions
    • Increase study abroad programs to 45% of full-time students
    • Provide seed money for the development and implementation of special programs/initiatives
    • Technology
    • Promote the highest levels of achievement in the academic programs of the university
     
  • Staff+

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    Dale Baldwin 

    Administrative Assistant
    Academic Affairs
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    Biography

    Dale Baldwin is the Administrative Assistant for Dr. Nancy Biggio, Associate Provost for Administration.  Her responsibilities include processing Supplemental Pay Forms for faculty and staff, processing Letters of Agreement and hiring paperwork for part-time faculty and special projects for the Provost area.  Baldwin joined Samford University in 2006 after being in the telecommunications industry for most of her prior career.  She has B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tennessee.

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    Nancy C. Biggio 

    Associate Provost for Administration
    Academic Affairs
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    Biography

    In her role as Associate Provost for Administration, Nancy Biggio oversees University-wide efforts for student success including student retention programs. Specific areas which report to her include the Career Development Center, Disability Resources, Academic Success Center, Student Records and Academic Grants Office. In addition, Biggio works with deans and directors setting budgetary policy and allocating resources for the Academic Affairs division consistent with the University’s strategic plan.  Prior to joining the Provost’s office, Biggio served as Director of the Honors Program; Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship; and Director of the Samford in Mission Grant, a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment's Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation. She has been on the faculty at Samford since 2005 and has taught courses at University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Birmingham-Southern College.Biggio's research is in the area of the rationality of the use of violence by religious and secular groups using an expected utility theory and she is frequently called upon to comment on terrorism and international events by local media. She serves on many committees for the University including Academic Technology and Learning Resources, Curriculum Committee, Campus Life, Business Affairs and Faculty Welfare, Retention Task Force and Undergraduate Enrollment Management. In the community, Biggio serves as chair of the Steering Committee of the Youth Leadership Forum of Birmingham and a middle school representative to the Homewood Education Advisory Board. She is also active in Homewood Schools music programs.  From 2009-2014, she served on the Junior Board of the YWCA of Central Alabama.   Biggio received a B.A. in political science from Drew University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from the University of Alabama.

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    J. Bradley Creed 

    Provost and Executive Vice President
    Academic Affairs
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    Biography

    J. Bradley "Brad" Creed is Provost and Executive Vice President and Professor of Religion at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.  A native of Jacksonville, Texas, he received the B.A. in Religion from Baylor University, and the M.Div. and Ph.D. in the History of Christianity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Prior to coming to Samford University in 2001, Creed was Professor of Christian History, Associate Dean, and Dean at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  He has also served as the Scholar in Residence at the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs in Washington D.C. and Visiting Professor of Church History at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Falls Church, Virginia. Creed is a frequent speaker for universities, civic organizations, and churches, and is the author of several published works and articles on religion, ethics, education and history which have appeared in journals, magazines and books. While at Samford, he has taught Cultural Perspectives, Biblical Perspectives, Foundations, and the Western Intellectual Tradition in the University Fellows Program.  Creed is the Chair for the Chief Academic Officer's Task Force of the Council of Independent Colleges, board member for the Alabama Historical Association, and serves on the board for the Lilly Fellows Program in the Humanities and the Arts. 

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    Katy Crowson 

    Executive Assistant to the Provost
    Academic Affairs
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    Biography

    Katy Crowson has served as Executive Assistant to the Provost and Executive Vice President since 2009. Her primary duties include providing administrative support in the Office of the Provost, managing the calendar and scheduling appointments for the Provost, logistical arrangements of events and meetings emanating from the office, and assisting with other projects as needed. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Studies from Samford University.

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    Denise J. Gregory 

    Director of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives
    Academic Affairs
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    Biography

    In her role as Director of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives, Denise J. Gregory oversees University-wide efforts that assist the Provost in developing, implementing and monitoring programs and processes that promote and sustain diversity, equity, and respect throughout Samford University. The Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives has developed program initiatives to educate the University community on cultural events including Heritage Month Speaker Series, IMPACT peer mentoring program, and increase the amount of outreach programming in the minority community.She serves on the University’s Diversity committee and as advisor to the Sigma Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Student Members of the American Chemical Society.Gregory has taught courses at Tuskegee University and Lawson State Community College.Gregory's research focuses of bioremediation of pharmaceutical drugs found in wastewater.  She has served as a research advisor for students and has presented the work done in her lab at national and regional meetings.In the community, Gregory is a member of the Jack and Jill of America, The American Chemical Society, and the Birmingham Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Gregory is a part of the 2014 class of Momentum, Alabama’s premier women’s leadership program.   Gregory received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Jackson State University and her Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    Publications

    Bosworth, B. G.; Small, B. C.; Gregory, D., Kim, J.; Black, S.; Jerrett, A. Effects of rested-harvest using the anesthetic AQUI-S™ on channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, physiology and fillet quality. Aquaculture2007, 262, 302-318.
    Gregory, D.J.; Waldbieser, G.C.; Bosworth, B.G. Cloning and characterization of myogenic regulatory genes in three Ictalurid species. Animal Genetics 2004, 35, 425-430.
    Henderson, P.T.; Jones (Gregory), D.; Hampikian, G.; Kan, Y.; Schuster, G. B. Long distance charge transport in duplex DNA: the phonon-assisted polaron-like hopping mechanims. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 1999, 96, 8353-8358.
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    Joellen Henson 

    Administrative Assistant
    Academic Affairs
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    Biography

    Joellen Henson has worked at Samford for nineteen years, eighteen of those years with Dr. William E. Hull, former provost. She now provides administrative support to Chris Metress, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. Her responsibilities include scheduling meetings, organizing special events, reviewing budgets, and assisting with special projects.

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    Chris Metress 

    Associate Provost for Academics
    Academic Affairs
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    Biography

    In his role as Associate Provost for Academics, Chris Metress provides administrative leadership for programs and initiatives that expand faculty and student opportunities for academic excellence. Working closely with offices from across campus, as well as the university’s consortia partners, he works to strengthen Samford’s position as a regional and national leader in the purposeful integration of liberal education, professional studies, and civic engagement. Prior to becoming Associate Provost in 2014, Metress served for two years as University Professor, working with the provost’s office to promote interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and scholarship. Before that, he served as the Founding Director of the University Fellows Program (2008-2012), raising more than $1,000,000 to create and sustain initiatives such as the Great Ideas Summer Institute, the Daniel Foundation International Study Scholarship, the Alabama Power Foundation Summer Research Program, and the University Fellows’ study abroad program in Italy. From 1993-2008, he was a member of the English Department, serving in the fall of 2003 as a Visiting Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kalmar University in Sweden. He has won several teaching awards, most recently the 2009 George Macon Memorial Award, given annually to a Samford faculty member for outstanding performance as a teacher and mentor to students. He also served as the university’s NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative for sixteen years.Metress has published more than ninety essays and reviews, with his work appearing in journals such as the Southern Review, the African-American Review, and Studies in the Novel, as well collections such as The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the Civil Rights Movement (forthcoming).He has also published four books: The Critical Response to Dashiell Hammett (Greenwood, 1995), The Lynching of Emmett Till (Virginia, 2002), and Emmett Till in Literary Memory and Imagination (LSU, 2007; co-edited with Harriet Pollack, Bucknell University) and Memory, Invention, Delivery: Transmitting and Transforming Knowledge and Culture in Liberal Arts Education (UPA, forthcoming 2015; co-edited with Richard Dagger, the University of Richmond). The Lynching of Emmett Till was a university press bestseller and was featured in news stories in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Nation magazine. In 2003 the Association of American University Presses named the book among its "Best Books for Understanding Race Relations in the U.S.," and the collection has been used in courses in more than 100 colleges and universities.  He is currently at work on a study of Birmingham in civil rights memory, the focus of an interdisciplinary course he taught   at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in 2013. He has also lectured widely on the intersections of literature and history, including invited talks at the University of Alabama, the University of Virginia, Fisk University, the University of Connecticut, and Wolfson College, Oxford.Metress received a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Mary’s University (San Antonio) and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Vanderbilt University. 

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    Jenée Spencer 

    Program Assistant
    Academic Affairs
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    Biography

    Jenée Spencer is the program assistant for the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives. Her primary responsibilities include the coordination of office programmimg, management of the office budget, Sedona management for the university, and webpage updates. Jenée has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Marketing from Samford University.

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    Sheila L. Thomas 

    Director of Special Projects
    Academic Affairs
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    Biography

    Sheila has served in the university in the Division of Academic Affairs for over 20 years. In her current position as Director of Special Projects, she provides staff support to the provost for administrative and faculty initiatives and works with him on special projects. Her primary areas of responsibility include faculty employment, academic policy and procedures, budget planning and monitoring, and office oversight. Sheila received a bachelor of science in medical record administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.