University of Mobile Announces Academic Updates

Kathy Dean News

Debra Chancey
Joyce Woodburn
Todd Hicks

MOBILE, Ala. – The University of Mobile announced several updates in academic leadership as Spring Semester 2023 begins on Jan. 9.

Dr. Debra Chancey has been named associate vice president for institutional effectiveness in the Office for Academic Affairs. Previously, she served as dean of the School of Education.

Dr. Joyce Woodburn, associate professor of education, has been named dean of the School of Education. 

Dr. Todd Hicks, professor of nurse anesthesiology, has been named to the new position of executive dean of the College of Health Professions. The College of Health Professions encompasses UM’s School of Nurse Anesthesia, School of Nursing, and School of Health and Sports Science. Hicks will continue to serve as director of the School of Nurse Anesthesia.

Dr. Jessica Garner, assistant professor of nursing, has been named graduate dean for the School of Nursing.

Dr. Doug Wilson, professor of biblical studies, has been named to the new position of executive director of the Center for Christian Calling in the School of Christian Studies. The Center for Christian Calling coordinates experiential learning and church outreach, including internships and mission trips. The School of Christian Studies (previously known as the Center for Christian Calling) moves to the College of Arts and Sciences.

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university with a vision of “Higher Education for a Higher Purpose,” founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions in an environment where they are known.

About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university offering on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is associate vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.