The 2022-23 school year commenced over a month ago and with it, Beck A. Taylor’s second year as president of Samford University. With the adjustment that inevitably accompanies any new role now in the past, Taylor is taking on this new year with gusto, excited for the plans he hopes to achieve.
“I’m as excited about Samford’s future as I ever have been,” Taylor said. “I wake up every day just so grateful for the quality of this institution, what we do on a daily basis, and excited about all the opportunities we have going forward.”
One aspect of this school year that Taylor said he is especially looking forward to is the bustle of activity on a college campus that is now “largely unencumbered by public health considerations.” Taylor acknowledged how hard the past few years have been for student life on campus owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and he is excited for events to be at full capacity again.
“It just feels like a different level of energy this year, and I think that is welcomed by most,” Taylor said.
Taylor is also eager for Samford’s next building project to begin. With the completion of the Buchanan Hall renovation this summer, the next building to be updated is Seibert Hall.
According to Taylor, Samford will break ground on the new Seibert Hall in December after students leave for Christmas Break and will be finished in time for the fall 2024 semester. This next renovation is just one of many steps in Master Planning, or facility planning, for the campus.
“[The renovation] will completely transform, I think, the ways our students can take care of themselves, physically and mentally,” Taylor said. “It will also bring added improvements to some of our athletic venues as well.”
Taylor also emphasized the campus’s new strategic plan that has been constructed by Samford’s University Council, which consists of representatives from all areas of campus, including students, faculty and staff. According to Taylor, the plan will consist of eight thematic areas on which to focus, each with four tangible goals. Two examples of these thematic areas are academic distinction and student engagement.
Taylor said the council will take into account “the input that they have received from surveys, town halls, [and] road shows, and formulated for each of those thematic areas, four goals. ”
The strategic plan will be reviewed and hopefully approved by the Board of Trustees at their December meeting.
Taylor added that there are areas of his presidency he wishes to improve this year. One of these is “finding a more sustainable pace” for himself and being strategic about where he invests his time. He especially wants to invest more of his time into getting to know the faculty and staff and the students that make his job worthwhile.
“I try to consume as much of the university as I can, largely because I want to support students doing what they love to do,” Taylor said. “I’m excited to continue to roll up my sleeves, along with many others, to ensure that Samford has a great year and that Samford continues to have a great future.”