University of South Alabama names new president

Tony-Waldrop

Dr. Tony G. Waldrop has been named president of the University of South Alabama following a vote by the University’s board of trustees.

An accomplished researcher, teacher and administrator in higher education for more than 30 years, Waldrop was selected from an initial field of more than 130 candidates from across the country. He will start at South Alabama in April. Waldrop succeeds the late Gordon Moulton, who retired July 1, 2013 after 15 years as president. Dr. John W. Smith has served as acting president.

Waldrop has served since 2010 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. 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.

“The University of South Alabama delivers a quality education for students, serves the health needs of the central Gulf Coast and is an economic driver for Mobile and the surrounding regions. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join USA at this exciting juncture,” said Waldrop. “The people of the University are unified in their energy and dedication to providing an outstanding, affordable education. I am proud to become part of the team.”

“In Tony Waldrop, we believe we have found the absolute best person to lead the University of South Alabama as we begin our next 50 years,” said Dr. Steve Furr, chairman of the USA Board of Trustees and vice-chair of USA’s Presidential Search Committee. “His leadership at some of the nation’s most prestigious, fastest-growing universities makes him eminently qualified to lead USA through the next exciting and dynamic chapter of our history.”

Waldrop enrolled in 1970 at the University of North Carolina as a John Motley Morehead Scholar – now the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Program – one of the oldest, most prestigious merit scholarship programs in the United States. 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, three minutes and 55 seconds.

After earning his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at North Carolina, 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 in progressively greater areas of responsibility and earning the school’s Arnold O. Beckman Research Award, and recognition as a University Scholar and an American Heart Association Established Investigator.

Waldrop returned to his alma mater in 2001 as the University of North Carolina’s vice chancellor for research and economic development and as a professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology. Nine years later, he was named provost and executive vice president at Central Florida.

At Central Florida, he is the second-highest ranking officer of the university and has provided academic leadership for the university’s 12 colleges, multiple campuses and research centers and institutes, while overseeing academic support services and student services, and responsibility for curriculum, academic planning, faculty appointments, faculty development and promotion, and tenure decisions.

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 is currently on the faculty of the College of Nursing at the University of Central Florida. She is a published clinician and researcher and is also an accomplished triathlete. They have two sons, Cabe and Dallas.

The University of South Alabama is a comprehensive, global university that offers students a quality education in a variety of fields. USA awards nearly 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees through its nine colleges and schools and is ranked “Research University/High” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. South Alabama annually enrolls more than 15,000 students and has awarded more than 77,000 degrees. The University’s annual economic impact exceeds $3 billion.

In health care, USA plays a dual role by providing students with a first-class education and the community with advanced treatments through the USA Physicians Group, USA Medical Center, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital and the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute.

Courtesy University of South Alabama

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