Published on November 8, 2021 at 6 p.m. by Holly Gainer  
Joe Hopkins

Joseph Hopkins, dean of Samford University’s School of the Arts, has been named the next president of Campbellsville University, effective Feb. 1, 2022. Hopkins was elected the 12th president in the 115-year history of the Christian university in Campbellsville, Kentucky, by the university’s board of trustees on Nov. 8.

“I know you will join me in congratulating and thanking Dean Hopkins for his tremendous service to Samford,” said President Beck A. Taylor. “Through this new opportunity, I am certain his experience and leadership will strengthen and advance the faith and learning of the Campbellsville community.”

Hopkins was named dean of Samford’s School of the Arts in 2006. As dean, he led the school through extensive growth in enrollment, fundraising and community engagement. Under his leadership, Hopkins recruited acclaimed faculty, established new programs, created innovative curricula, and introduced vibrant international programs.

“It has been an honor to work with Dean Hopkins and watch the School of the Arts flourish under his leadership,” said J. Michael Hardin, provost and vice president at Samford. “His contributions to the university will be appreciated for decades to come. I know I speak for the entire Samford family when I say we will be supporting him, and his family, as they transition to  Campbellsville University.”

“The Samford community has taught, strengthened, encouraged and sustained me through challenges and triumphs,” Hopkins said. “We have never had a stronger faculty and staff, and the future is exceedingly bright as the School of the Arts looks toward new facilities, staffing and opportunities.”

Prior to being appointed as dean at Samford, Hopkins served as dean of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Evansville.

Hopkins is one of a number of Samford administrators appointed as college presidents in recent years. After serving as dean of Brock School of Business, current President Beck A. Taylor was president of Whitworth University from 2011-2021, before returning to Samford this summer. J. Bradley Creed, who previously served as the university’s provost and vice president, was appointed president of Campbell University in 2015. John Knapp, former director of Samford's Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, became president of Hope College in 2013 and later became president of Washington and Jefferson University in 2017.

Samford will conduct a national search for a new dean. Transition plans will be announced at a later date.

For more information, read the announcement by Campbellsville University.
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.