Dr. Tony G. Waldrop was named the third president in the history of the University of South Alabama following a vote on February 6, 2014, by the University’s Board of Trustees.
Under Dr. Waldrop’s leadership, the University has achieved a record enrollment of more than 16,000 students, along with significant increases in student diversity, academic standards, and successful retention of first-year students. Dr. Waldrop’s tenure has included new partnerships with community colleges and enhanced advising for freshman and transfer students.
In his inauguration address, Dr. Waldrop outlined five priorities that now form the foundation for the University’s strategic plan: Student Access and Success, Enhancement of Research and Graduate Education, Global Engagement, Excellence in Health Care and University-Community Engagement. These priorities also are the framework of Upward & Onward, a $150 million fundraising campaign that was publicly launched in 2015.
An accomplished researcher, teacher and administrator in higher education for more than 30 years, Dr. Waldrop came to USA after serving four years as provost and executive vice president at the University of Central Florida, with previous stints as vice chancellor for research and economic development at the University of North Carolina and vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois.
Dr. Waldrop has a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s in physical education and a Ph.D. in physiology, all from the University of North Carolina. Waldrop also attained athletic success at North Carolina, winning two NCAA championships as a mile runner on the track and field team and, in 1974, setting a world record for the indoor mile.
After earning his doctorate, he continued his training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in 1982 as a Research Fellow in the Cardiopulmonary Division, receiving a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Moss Heart Center.
In 1986, he joined the faculty in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Illinois, advancing to professor, earning the school’s Arnold O. Beckman Research Award, and recognition as a University Scholar and an American Heart Association Established Investigator.
Waldrop is a native of Columbus, N.C., and is married to Dr. Julee Briscoe Waldrop, who holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Duke University. She has been a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of North Carolina and the University of Central Florida. She is a published clinician and researcher and is also an accomplished athlete. They have two adult sons, Cabe and Dallas.