Smith holds a Ph.D. in in leadership and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, both from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; a PhD. in nursing (anesthesia) from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Graduate College; a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Nursing; a diploma in nurse anesthesia from the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine; a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Memphis State University, and a diploma in nursing from Baptist Memorial Hospital School of Nursing.

His dissertation for the Ph.D. in leadership was “A Study of Factors that Predict the Success of Christ-Centered Higher Educational Institutions: A Mixed Method Study.” His Ph.D. in nursing dissertation was on “The Evaluation of Auditory Evoked Potentials and Psychological Priming Techniques as Indicators of Implicit Memory Formation During General Anesthesia” with an emphasis in anesthesia with foci in neuroanatomy and physiology. His thesis for the M.S.N. was on “Effect of Propofol and Desflurane on Recall During Anesthesia.”

Smith has held a variety of academic positions, from assistant professor to provost. At the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Nursing, from 1997-2004, he rose from assistant professor to associate professor and director of the nurse anesthesia program. At Union University from 2005-2014 he started as associate professor and dean of the School of Nursing, rising to professor and then executive director of the Center for Excellence in Health Care Practice.

Prior to being selected as the fourth president at University of Mobile, Smith was at Anderson University as vice president of strategic initiatives and special associate to the provost, becoming provost in 2015. Since 2014 he has served as adjunct professor in the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He is the author of numerous scholarly articles as well as book reviews and research abstracts.

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

A native of Alabama, Dr. Chris McCaghren holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies and classics from Samford University, a Master of Theological Studies from Beeson Divinity School, and a Doctor of Education in higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University. He joined the University of Mobile administration in July 2016. Dr. McCaghren began his career in higher education working in advancement for Samford University before serving as special assistant to Congressman Spencer Bachus in Washington, D.C. Upon returning to Samford University, he served under Dr. Andrew Westmoreland as assistant to the president for external programs and division head for the division of professional and continuing studies. Before assuming the role of Vice President for Academic Affairs at University of Mobile, Dr. McCaghren served as dean of the College of Education at Anderson University in Anderson, SC.  He is married to Lauren McCaghren and they have a 15-month-old daughter, Callen. Dr. McCaghren and family are members of Meadow Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL while they are transitioning to a new church in Mobile.

Vice President for Marketing & Public Relations

A native of Alabama, Mrs. Lesa Moore holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from University of South Alabama and a Master of Business Administration from University of Mobile, where she was presented the Dr. William K. Weaver Jr. Honorary Fellows Award and Best Composition Paper Award in 2007. She has over 25 years of experience in marketing and public relations in the high-tech industry, retail advertising and higher education. She has developed and led award-winning teams whose advertising, public relations and design work has been recognized locally and nationally by the Bay Area Advertising Federation, Public Relations Council of Alabama, Baptist Communicators Association and Higher Education Advertising Awards. Also, she is an adjunct instructor in marketing at University of Mobile. Prior to joining the university in 2002, Mrs. Moore enjoyed a successful career as director of marketing communication at Xanté Corporation, an international high-tech printer manufacturer. Mrs. Moore is married to Jay and they have two children, Logan and Olivia. They are members of Cottage Hill Baptist Church in Mobile, AL.

Vice President for Enrollment Services

A native of Alabama, Mrs. Charity Wittner holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Mobile, where she was presented the Area Award in Psychology in 2005. She has served in various roles in Enrollment including director of both the Admissions and Financial Aid teams at University of Mobile over the last 11 years. Prior to serving at University of Mobile, Mrs. Wittner enjoyed a successful career in sales management. She is married to Chase Wittner and they have one son, Braxton. Mrs. Wittner and family are members of Crawford Baptist Church in Mobile.

Vice President for Advancement

A native of Alabama, Mr. Travis Grantham holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from UAB and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia Southern University. He has over 30 years’ experience working with non-profit organizations, most recently working as Director of Hospital Development for the University of South Alabama. He serves on the Board of the Autism Society of Alabama and the Mobile Medical Museum. Mr. Grantham is married to Beth and they have three children, Carter, Ragan and Ryley. They are members of East Pointe Baptist Church in Spanish Fort, AL.

Associate Vice President for Advancement

A native of Alabama, Ms. Tonya Gollotte holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a minor in sociology from the University of South Alabama.  She joined University of Mobile in 2011 and has served in several roles within the advancement office, including Director of Annual Giving as well as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.  She has more than 12 years experience working with non-profit organizations.  Prior to the University of Mobile, she served as Executive Director for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for all of Alabama and West Florida as well as Executive Director for Making Miracles for Cystic Fibrosis.  She currently serves at the Past President with the Gulf Coast Chapter for Annual Fundraising Professionals and is a member of Rotary, CASE and SECFR.  Ms. Gollotte has two children, Lexi and Brannon. They are members of Christ the King Catholic Church in Daphne, AL.