University of Mobile Selects 4th President: Timothy L. Smith, PhD, PhD, CRNA, APRN
MOBILE, Ala. – The University of Mobile Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Timothy L. Smith as the fourth president in the Christian university’s 54-year history.
Smith, who holds two Ph.D.s, two master’s degrees and is licensed by the South Carolina Board of Nursing and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, has extensive experience in Christian higher education and the field of healthcare education.
Smith, 52, said he is coming to the University of Mobile to listen, collaborate, partner and build.
“The University of Mobile has a great foundation, with many building blocks already above the foundation. I believe there are huge opportunities to serve the community and partner with so many organizations. My methodology in leading as president will be a very collaborative approach. I want people inside the institution and externally to know that I’m coming in to listen; I’m coming in to collaborate; and I’m coming in to partner,” said the president-elect.
Smith will assume the presidency on May 16. He succeeds Dr. Mark Foley, who announced last October that he would step down after 18 years as leader of the Baptist-affiliated liberal arts university. In January, the Board of Trustees launched a nationwide search for the next president.
UMobile Board of Trustees Chair Fred Wilson, former partner in P.J. Lumber Co. in Mobile, introduced the president-elect at a press conference Monday at the Harrigan Center on the University of Mobile campus. Joining in the introduction were Terry Harbin, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, and Foley. The press conference followed a Board of Trustees meeting called specifically to elect the university’s next president.
“Dr. Tim Smith will be a president for every constituency of the university. He is a tireless worker and a great visionary with a broad range of experience,” Wilson said.
Smith is provost of Anderson University in South Carolina. Previously, he was dean of the School of Nursing at Union University in Tennessee, where he oversaw a 79 percent expansion in enrollment and founded the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Practice that included a nurse residency program for five hospitals.
Harbin said the search committee recommended Smith for three primary reasons.
“He is unbelievably well-qualified through his academic preparation. Secondly, he has practical experience. He has done in other places what we need done at the University of Mobile. And thirdly, he has demonstrated humility. A man who has accomplished what he has accomplished in life to come in and be a down-to-earth, Christ-centered servant is amazing,” said Harbin.
“We saw in Dr. Smith an absolute commitment to academic excellence in faculty, staff and students. I think the bar will be raised significantly,” added Harbin, who is past chair of the UMobile Board of Trustees and market president of BancorpSouth Bank in Mobile.
Smith said he and his wife, Penney, are excited about the opportunity. She is a healthcare administrator consultant, serving as chief quality officer and helping hospitals with healthcare regulatory compliance. The couple has two children: daughter Ashley Wainscott, 24, who lives in Jackson, Tennessee with her husband, Alex; and son Blake Smith, 21, a junior at Clemson University studying engineering.
Foley said he and the Board of Trustees have been working toward the goal of having a new president in place, with a planned strategy for a successful hand-off of leadership.
“Marilyn and I are delighted to welcome Tim and Penney to the University of Mobile family,” said Foley. “We have invested 18 years of our lives into this special place, and I can think of no better person to lead the university to even greater things than Dr. Tim Smith.”