Published on May 3, 2018 by Sara Roman  

Samford University Orlean Beeson School of Education has named educational leadership professor Monique Witherspoon as the school’s assistant dean. 

After nearly eight years of service as associate dean, Jodi Newton will step down from her administrative role effective June 30. Newton will be on sabbatical for fall semester before returning as a faculty member and liaison for The Hope Institute at Samford University. 

As assistant dean, Witherspoon will work to ensure that the school continues to function smoothly through initiating and supporting continuous improvement. Orlean Beeson School of Education Interim Dean Bonnie Rabe said the appointment reflects Witherspoon’s dedication to excellence in teaching, commitment to lifelong learning and impressive level of community involvement. 

“Dr. Witherspoon has proven her ability to work openly and collaboratively,” said Rabe. “She will be instrumental as we continue to enhance partnerships, develop curriculum, facilitate research and grant opportunities, and implement professional development across departments and districts.” 

Witherspoon has served as a faculty member for four years and is the current program director of the school’s Educational Leadership: Policy, Organizations and Leadership program. Additionally, she chairs multiple dissertation committees, participates in multiple university and community service activities and serves as a member of the Faculty Senate and Curriculum Committees. She also serves in a consultative role to state, local and national entities to lend expertise in the areas of human resource management, special project management, professional development and executive leadership coaching. 

In addition to her service to Samford, Witherspoon is heavily involved in the community. She currently serves with numerous organizations and has been recognized for her leadership qualities, community involvement and boardsmanship. 

Witherspoon says she is humbled and grateful. “I firmly believe in the importance of community collaboration,” said Witherspoon. “We have incredibly talented students and faculty who serve the field of education in a multitude of ways. In this role, I hope to strengthen our work and aid the continuous growth of our school’s reputation of academic excellence and innovation in education.” 

In addition to the traditional responsibilities of Assistant Dean, Witherspoon will be heavily involved in the collection, entry and monitoring of data as the education school approaches Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP) accreditation review in December of 2019. 

Witherspoon will continue to teach within the Department of Educational Leadership and serve on dissertation committees. Rabe states that she was pleased with the caliber and number of faculty who showed interest in the position and is excited to see Witherspoon and all faculty members continue to increase the strong reputation of the school as it continues to build excellence in education.

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.