Posted by Philip Poole on 2009-10-22

Samford University’s board of trustees executive committee approved one new faculty member and a revised employee pension plan during their regular fall meeting Oct. 20.

Cynthia G. Cortes was approved as associate professor of nursing, effective immediately.  A Samford graduate, Cortes earned a doctor of public health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  She previously was a pediatric nurse practitioner and case manager, department of pediatric rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

The revisions in the pension plan affect new employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2010.  The main adjustment is with the accrual formula and elimination of an early retirement subsidy that existed previously.  Adjunct faculty no longer will be able to participate in the pension plan. The revisions earlier had been affirmed by both the university’s Faculty Senate and Staff Advisory Council.

Harry B. (Buck) Brock III, Samford’s vice president for business affairs, said the adjustments are financially necessary for the university to ensure funding of its long-term pension liability.

Trustees also approved a new faculty service award to honor full-time faculty members who have made “significant and sustained service contributions” to the university.  Nominations will be made by full-time faculty and administrators, and recipients will be selected by the Faculty Senate executive committee.  W. Randall Pittman, Samford’s vice president for university advancement, told trustees that the first award likely will be made in spring 2010.

In a series of reports, trustees heard about the university’ record fall enrollment of 4,658 undergraduate and graduate students and that applications for fall 2010 are running slightly ahead of the same period last year.

The next full meeting of the board of trustees is Dec. 1.

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.