Updates and Messages

May 28, 2021, Message to the University Community

Dear USA Students, Faculty and Staff,

I’m writing to provide you with an update on the progress of the President Search Committee as we embark upon the search for the next president of our University.

The search committee has met several times over the past month to discuss the process and the desired qualifications for the next president. Included in those discussions have been representatives from our search consultant, R. William Funk & Associates. The committee has approved advertising to be placed in a number of national publications, and has developed and finalized a leadership statement that provides a comprehensive overview of the University and the position for potential candidates. In addition, the committee has sent individual letters to many leaders and friends of the University to encourage them to nominate individuals for consideration.

All of the information related to the search, including the position profile and information on how to nominate candidates, is contained on the President Search Website.

Over the next few months, our search consultant will be accepting applications and nominations for the position, and will be providing updates to the committee on a regular basis. The committee will most likely not need to meet again until it is time to begin reviewing candidates, and I will provide the University community with an update as that part of the process gets underway.

Alexis Atkins
Secretary, USA Board of Trustees
Chair, President Search Committee


April 15, 2021, Message to the University Community

Dear USA Students, Faculty and Staff,

This week the Executive Committee of the USA Board of Trustees met on two occasions to make a number of decisions related to the search for a new University president. In keeping with the board’s commitment to inform the University community about major milestones in the presidential search process, we want to share with you the actions the board has taken.

First, after discussions with President Tony Waldrop, the executive committee has agreed to allow President Waldrop to utilize his accrued vacation time for the remainder of his time with USA, effective as of today and until his retirement on July 1. President Waldrop has guided the University of South Alabama through a tremendous period of growth and improvement in academics, healthcare, student life and athletics, and he has the gratitude of the Board for all that he has done to enhance the teaching, research and service missions of the University.

Second, the executive committee has asked Executive Vice President John Smith to serve as acting president, effective immediately. Dr. Smith has been with USA since 2008, serving initially as vice president for student affairs and later as special assistant to the president. The Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Smith as acting president in 2013, a position he held until Dr. Waldrop was named president in 2014. Dr. Smith was named executive vice president in 2014.

Also this week, the executive committee approved the recommendation of the presidential search committee to engage the services of R. William Funk and Associates, a national search firm with an outstanding record of successful presidential placements, to assist with the president search. You will be hearing more about the search process in the near future, and the entire University community will be provided opportunities to give feedback on the finalist candidates.

Finally, the executive committee this week approved the charge to the presidential search committee and the proposal from the search firm, which you can read on the Board of Trustees website. In particular, the role of the search committee includes the responsibility to communicate timely news about the structure, timing, process, and progress of the search to the University community.

The Board of Trustees is confident that the work of the search committee, along with USA’s reputation and standing as a first-class institution of higher education and healthcare, will result in a very strong pool of interested candidates from which the next president of the University will be selected. We will continue to communicate with the University community throughout the search process.

Jimmy Shumock, Chair pro tempore
USA Board of Trustees

March 5, 2021 Press Release

USA Trustees Announce President Search Committee

February 11, 2021, Press Release

USA President Tony Waldrop to Retire; National Search to Commence