Union University news office
JACKSON — Union University trustees celebrated the 25th anniversary of the McAfee School of Business, approved a $95 million budget and granted tenure and promotions to several professors during their April 9 meeting on the Union campus.
In his report to trustees, Union President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver updated them on the status of the university’s “United in Spirit. Grounded in Truth.” strategic plan, which was adopted in 2015.
Oliver shared success stories from each of seven strategic themes that the plan emphasizes: bearing witness to the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, expanding enrollment across the university, enhancing operational effectiveness and efficiency to advance the mission, revising the liberal arts core curriculum, supporting meaningful research among faculty and students, developing leaders for the future, and bolstering student life and building community.
For example, Oliver reported to trustees on the patents secured by Blake Watkins, professor and chair of pharmaceutical sciences in Union’s College of Pharmacy.
He also cited the university’s Leadership Union program which has trained about 50 faculty and staff members in leadership principles over the past five years.
“The strategic plan builds on our strengths and core values of being excellence-driven, Christ-centered, people-focused and future-directed,” Oliver said. “Its strategies and accompanying goals have enabled Union to pursue ongoing distinctiveness in its academic programs, constantly seeking after Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate embodiment of truth.”
The budget approved by trustees of $95.1 million for the 2021-2022 academic year is an increase of 4.3 percent, or about $4 million from this year’s budget.
Trustees approved tenure for four professors while 14 professors were promoted.
In addition, trustees granted emeritus status to five professors. Emeritus status may be awarded to Union faculty who are retired from the university, hold at least the rank of assistant professor, completed at least 15 years of full-time service, demonstrated excellence in their work and are recommended by the department chair and dean.
Professors who were awarded with emeritus status were:
• Elizabeth Bedsole, retiring in 2021 as professor of music;
• Steve Beverly, retiring in 2021 as associate professor of communication arts;
• Theresa Blakley, retiring in 2021 as professor of social work;
• William Nance, retiring in 2021 as associate professor of management; and
• Thomas Proctor, who retired in 2020 as professor of accounting. B&R