Interim President
On May 28, 2019, University of Mobile alumnus Lonnie Burnett, PhD, became the institution’s fifth president, selected by the Board of Trustees to serve as interim president for the next 16 months. Previously, he served as professor of history and executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and has held a variety of administrative positions, including assistant vice president of academic affairs for planning and evaluation. Dr. Burnett has served as a member of the Saraland City School Board since 2010 and was one of five school board members statewide to be named to the 2017 All-State School Board by the Alabama Association of School Boards. Dr. Burnett has compiled an impressive scholarly research record. He has published two books with the University of Alabama Press, “Henry Hotze: Confederate Propagandist,” and “The Pen Makes a Good Sword: John Forsyth of the Mobile Register.” He has served in leadership positions or has been a member of professional organizations including the Alabama Historical Association, Society of Civil War Historians, and Southern Historical Association. He serves as managing editor for The Alabama Review, a quarterly journal of Alabama history published by the Alabama Historical Association in cooperation with the University of Mobile. 

He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts from University of Mobile, then Mobile College. He earned a Master of Arts from University of South Alabama and Doctor of Philosophy from University of Southern Mississippi. He taught regular and honors U.S. history at the high school and middle school levels in the Mobile County Public School System from 1980 to 2004, serving as chairman of the history departments at Semmes Middle and Satsuma High schools. He taught several years as an adjunct history instructor at UM, retired from the public school system, and focused on his second career as a college professor and author. He served as visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2002, where he earned a Ph.D. Dr. Burnett joind the University of Mobile in 2005, eventually becoming chair of the UM Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and a full professor. He gained tenure in 2012. He has written numerous articles, book chapters and reviews, and received the university’s Mitford Ray Megginson Research Award in 2006. He is an active member of Redemption Church in north Mobile. His wife, Lynne, and daughter, Lauren Burnett Wetzel, are both UM graduates.

Senior Vice President 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 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 | Interim Vice President for Student Life

A native of Alabama, Mrs. Charity Wittner holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Education in Higher Education Leadership & Policy 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 | Executive Director of University of Mobile Foundation

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 is 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.

Chief Financial Officer and Legal Counsel

Mr. Joe Wiegand oversees the business and financial operations of University of Mobile and serves as university legal counsel. He has extensive experience in Christian higher education, business, politics and law. Mr. Wiegand holds a Bachelor of Arts in American public affairs and social relations from Michigan State University and conducted legal studies at Notre Dame School of Law in London, England. He holds a Master of Arts in public policy from Regent University School of Government and the Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law, both in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He holds a Master of Laws from University of London, King’s College in London, England. He is completing a Doctor of Education with a specialization in educational leadership from Liberty University.

Mr. Wiegand is a member of the New Jersey bar, American Bar Association, New Jersey Bar Association, and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He is married to Michelle and they have three children, Maeve, Gunnar and Declan.