University of Mobile Names Award-Winning Arkansas CFO as New Finance Chief

Kathy Dean News

MOBILE, Ala. – The University of Mobile has named one of Arkansas’ top finance chiefs to be the university’s new chief financial officer.

Mel Sansom, EdD, CPA, will join the University of Mobile as vice president for business and financial affairs on Aug. 19. He will oversee business services, campus operations and athletics.

Sansom was named the 2018 Arkansas Business Chief Financial Officer of the Year for Education by Arkansas Business, a statewide business journal published by Arkansas Business Publishing Group.

University of Mobile President Lonnie Burnett said Sansom has a proven track record in Christian higher education.

“Mel brings a wide range of experience leading business operations in the higher educational environment. We are delighted to have him as a key part of our leadership team at the University of Mobile,” said Burnett.

Sansom grew up in Pensacola, Florida, and is a Tate High School graduate. His parents still live in Pensacola, and his sister’s family lives in Mobile.

“I look forward to joining the team at the University of Mobile and continuing to glorify God by blessing the lives of students,” Sansom said. “On a personal level, I’m looking forward to coming home.”

Sansom joined Harding University in 2002 as vice president of finance and CFO, where he led more than 400 employees and 100 student workers in areas including finance, human resources, construction and maintenance, food service, Harding Place retirement community, bookstore, public safety, legal affairs and more.

He is active in leadership positions in the community, having served as chairman of the Searcy Water Utilities Board, chairman of the board and chair of the 2008 annual fundraising campaign for United Way of White County, treasurer of the Searcy Chamber of Commerce, and was a participant in Searcy Leadership Institute and Dalton Leadership Institute, among other community leadership roles.

Sansom is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Doctor of Education in higher education administration from University of Arkansas at Little Rock; and a Master of Science in accounting and Bachelor of Business Administration, both from Harding University.


 About the University of Mobile

The 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. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 77 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 more information about the University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author
Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean

Kathy is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist with a strong background in strategic communications, feature writing/story-telling, copywriting and editing. She serves as assistant vice president for university communications. Kathy joined the University of Mobile marketing/public relations staff in 1993 and has earned awards for writing, public relations and advertising, including twice receiving the grand prize for feature writing from the Baptist Communicators Association. She serves on the board of the John M. Will Scholarship Foundation, awarding scholarships to promising student journalists; and is a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Baptist Communicators Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Kathy lives in Daphne with her husband, Chuck, who earned his M.B.A. from University of Mobile. They have two children and two grandchildren.