University of Mobile Names Chris McCaghren, Ed.D., as Vice President of Academic Affairs
Former Samford University Administrator a ‘Premiere Academic Leader’
MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile has named Alabama native and former Samford University administrator Christopher McCaghren, Ed.D., as vice president of academic affairs.
Currently, McCaghren is dean of the College of Education at Anderson University in South Carolina, where he served with then-provost Dr. Tim Smith. In April, Smith was appointed president of University of Mobile after a nationwide search. Previously, McCaghren was assistant to the president for external programs at Samford University in Alabama, where he was mentored by Samford President Dr. Andrew Westmoreland.
“Christian higher education is truly my passion,” said McCaghren, adding that “it stands in a unique crossroads between ministry and the world.”
McCaghren will start his new position July 18. He will lead UM’s academic programs, including areas such as the library, adult and graduate studies, academic support and the registrar’s office.
He succeeds Dr. Audrey Eubanks, who has served at UM for 34 years, including 27 years in administration. In recognition of her dedicated and effective service, the Board of Trustees named her vice president for academic affairs – emeritus. Effective July 18, she will join the faculty as professor in the School of Education. She started at the university in 1982 as assistant professor of education, becoming professor in 1991. During her tenure, she served as dean of the School of Education, director of graduate programs, vice president for administration, and, since 2002, as vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer, and first vice president for University of Mobile Corp.
UM President Smith said, “Dr. Chris McCaghren is one of the premier academic leaders of Alabama Baptist higher education, and University of Mobile is grateful to have him join our team as vice president of academic affairs. His solid academic preparation, prior relationships throughout Southern Baptist life in Alabama, and his unique academic experiences as an educator and administrator will serve to foster the ongoing growth of University of Mobile.”
Dr. Andrew Westmoreland, president of Samford University, also praised McCaghren.
“Dr. McCaghren’s varied background and experience will effectively serve the interests of University of Mobile in his new role as vice president for academic affairs. I have known him for a decade, first as an exceptionally bright student, then as an inspired, tireless administrator, and always as a friend. It is an honor to welcome him back to Alabama to serve alongside our colleagues at University of Mobile,” Westmoreland said.
McCaghren described his approach to academics as “education innovation.”
“I adopt a steady entrepreneurial spirit that is defined by a mentality of measurable outcomes and data-driven improvement. I also have a great respect for the tradition and collaborative outlook that is typical of a collegial environment. Bringing those two aspects of higher education together is really where I find my greatest passion,” he said.
McCaghren said new program development is a top priority, with a goal “to continue to position University of Mobile as an academically rigorous and Christ-centered institution of higher education, not only in the state of Alabama, but in the Southeast; and to ensure that we are equipping our students to go about their academic disciplines with a focus on ministry wherever they might be, and sending those students out into a world that certainly needs that perspective.”
A native of Montgomery, Alabama, McCaghren holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in communication studies and classics from Samford University, a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from Beeson Divinity School, and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University.
He 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. Prior to being called as dean of the College of Education at Anderson University, he served as assistant to the president for external programs and division head for the Division of Professional and Continuing Studies at Samford University.
He is married to Lauren McCaghren, and they have a 14-month-old daughter, Callen.
About University of Mobile:
University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study, with an 880-acre campus located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama.
For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.edu or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.