Posted by Philip Poole on 2005-08-29

Samford University's presidential search committee continued a review of candidates and heard from the student body president at an Aug. 26-27 meeting in Birmingham.

Matt Harrison, a Huntsville, Ala., senior and 2005-06 Student Government Association president, asked the committee to ensure that student concerns are considered in the selection process. Harrison was the fourth constituency representative to address the committee. In July, the committee heard from faculty, staff and Alabama Baptist State Convention representatives.

Harrison said it is "crucial that the new president lives and reflects" the University's unique mission of integrating faith and learning. Students also want more housing and parking before the University tries to increase enrollment.

The committee will be contacting students during the first week of classes for their input and nominations, according to search committee secretary Sarah Latham. Other constituents were contacted during the summer through letters, but the committee chose to delay a letter to students until the beginning of the fall semester so that all students would have an opportunity to respond. Classes began Aug. 29.

The committee co-chairs reported that they spoke to faculty at the annual faculty workshop prior to the start of classes. Latham addressed the University's staff at a similar gathering.

The committee continues to receive nominations, according to committee co-chair Albert Brewer of Birmingham. Brewer is a former Alabama governor. The committee has received nominations and applications from all regions of the United States.

"Every nominee is being contacted and asked if they would allow the committee to consider them," Brewer said. "We look at each candidate carefully as we consider the unique mission of Samford and the need for a president who embodies the integration of academics and faith."

The committee continues to operate under a Code of Ethics adopted at its first meeting in May which calls for "fair consideration of viable candidates and a strict code of confidentiality," Latham said.

The committee expects to receive additional nominations in the next month and will continue reviewing nominations at the next meeting Oct. 14-15 in Birmingham. Decisions on interviewing potential candidates will be made after the October meeting, Brewer said, although the committee has not yet developed a specific time line for completing their search.

"At the end of this process, we want to be able to say that the best candidate possible emerged from the process," Latham said.


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.