As the spring semester dawned, so did a new era for the School of the Arts at Samford University with the announcement of Lance Beaumont, D.M.A., as its next dean. The university has been searching to fill this position since the fall of 2021 when Joseph Hopkins, previous dean of the School of the Arts, was hired to become the next president of Campbellsville University.
Beaumont will start his new position as dean on July 1, 2023. He currently works at California Baptist University (CBU) as a professor of music, the associate dean of program development and program director of commercial music. He holds a D.M.A. in Music Education and an M.M. and B.M. in Guitar Performance. He also served the Baptist Convention in Texas as a music and worship associate for three years.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Hardin played an essential role in the search for the next dean. According to Hardin, the university formed a search committee, which boasted of representatives from various areas of the School of the Arts, including students, faculty and staff. The committee also worked with Denise Gregory, Associate Provost for Student Success and Diversity and Inclusion, to consider diversity in the process.
Hardin said that while they did advertise for the position, most people qualified for a top-level job like the dean position are not looking for employment because they are happy in their current jobs.
“It’s those kinds of people that you want for these positions,” Hardin said. “They’re really happy and really busy where they are, so they might not see an advertisement.”
Beaumont said he learned about the open position at Samford through a search firm, an organization that helps recruit qualified candidates for jobs.
“Through this process I came to love the mission and vision of Samford and the School of the Arts,” Beaumont said. “All of this happened at a great time for my family.”
After the applicants were narrowed down based on the requirements for dean and Zoom interviews, the committee made a recommendation for their top three finalists to visit Samford for on-campus interviews. Hardin, in collaboration with President Beck Taylor, then made the final decision.
Hardin said that all three final candidates were “outstanding” people. However, in his opinion, Beaumont stood out because of his background at CBU, a school similar to Samford in its mission and values, and his experience in areas like commercial music and worship leadership. Hardin also thought his leadership style would work well with the faculty, the other deans and President Taylor.
“He’s had great experience in areas like commercial music, which we are kind of beginning to start and make some progress in,” Hardin said. “He’s going to bring continued and even renewed creative, innovative ideas in those areas to help push those forward, so I’m excited about that. At the same time, he’s got to keep all the other stuff going with the same level of excellence.”
Hardin is not the only one at Samford excited for Beaumont to join the School of the Arts faculty. Interim Dean and Professor of Art & Design Larry Thompson said he is “thrilled” for Beaumont to start working with them in July.
“He will bring a fresh vision to help the School of the Arts continue its current growth momentum and build on the solid foundation already in place,” Thompson said. “Personally, I am thrilled to have new leadership coming so I can get back in the classroom with our wonderful students.”
Beaumont said he looks forward to beginning his new position at Samford’s School of the Arts.
“When I visited campus, it was evident that Samford is a student-centered university,” Beaumont said. “I heard numerous stories from faculty about the caliber of students in the school of the arts. Being a part of a school that is focused on student success is what excites me.”