Published on November 10, 2020 by William Nunnelley  
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Samford University's Presidential Search Committee has received more than 60 nominations and applications to succeed President Andrew Westmoreland, who will retire next year. The committee met Nov. 7 in Birmingham and began narrowing its list of potential candidates.

The committee has established a deadline of Dec. 1 to receive nominations and additional applications. Anyone is welcome to submit a nomination to the committee by email to

"This diverse pool of nominees represents a wide variety of types of institutions and is drawn from across the nation based upon recommendations of faculty, students, alumni and friends of the university," said Presidential Search Committee Co-Chair Tim Vines.

Each nominee is contacted with an invitation to allow the committee to consider them as candidates for the position, Vines noted.

The committee has begun carefully reviewing each nominee's administrative experience, record of teaching and scholarly publications, fundraising abilities and capacity to effectively engage with a wide variety of university constituents, Vines said.

"It is essential that the next president be an effective ambassador to the public for the meaning and value of Samford's distinctive Christian mission and vision for academic quality with learning and spiritual growth as mutual outcomes," he said.

The committee plans to include a review by panels representing faculty, staff, students, alumni and other key constituents at the appropriate time.

Vines noted that the committee has not set a specific timeline for the process, although Westmoreland has announced his intention to retire as of June 30, 2021.

The 23-member search committee is comprised of Samford trustees, faculty, staff, students and alumni.

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.