Case Study: Samford University’s Professor Program

Case Study: Samford University’s Professor Program

Case Study: Samford University

In 2015, an existing Get Momentum member realized how relevant the experience would be to other professors at Samford University where he serves as a tenured Associate Professor. He approached us to design a customized Get Momentum program for recently tenured Associate Professors.

Research shows this demographic is driven; however, they actually experience a decrease in productivity, publishing and extra-curricular activities that originally earned them tenure in the first place! (Chronicle of Higher Education, “Helping Professors Overcome Midcareer Malaise”, May 7, 2017)

We assessed the needs of the group based on the University’s 3 expectations from Professors:

  1. to excel in classroom teaching
  2. to publish in scholarly journals in their discipline
  3. to be active community members (participating on Boards, volunteering on projects and actively supporting student success in applying for grants, awards and etc.)

In 2016-17, we led the first group of 19 professors in determining their own successful outcomes including increased number of articles submitted to academic journals, increased community involvement and increased personal satisfaction in career path.

We scheduled three visits throughout the academic year for in-person trainings. The first consisted of an orientation of the whole program, completing a self-assessment of the topics to be covered, a tour of the members-only website and an introductory workshop on leadership in academia (within the department, classroom, community and their discipline).

The second on-site visit included a workshop on the productivity through technology specifically for professors and classrooms and a small group discussion of best practices.

The third on-site visit included one-on-one interviews of success stories and next steps for continual improvement. We also presented Strategic Thinking for Academic Success.

In addition to attending all three onsite workshops, the professors attended the live, online Master Class webinars, participated in the Mastermind Group calls, completed the activities in the Course Work and called in for the private, one-on-one coaching calls quarterly.


Success Stories:

One professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, Mark Castle had his play produced at Westminster Hall in the House of Lords as a result of his strategic thinking and renewing his commitment to his playwriting profession. He wrote, “This wouldn’t have happened without the impetus of Get Momentum.  Anyway, thanks again for the kick in the pants!”


Another professor, Robert Wang from the Pharmacy Department credited the Resilience curriculum in Get Momentum for helping him work with a student to receive an award that no other student has in Samford’s 176-year history. The official announcement in their press release is scheduled for November 2017.

Tarsha Bluiett Associate Professor and Director, M.S.E. Elementary Education at Samford

said, “I enjoyed this workshop program! I gained a deeper insight of planning, organizing and making good use of my time and talents.  I’m concerned about being fruitful not just being busy…so I believe the program helped me to move forward in this direction. I had/have access to a wealth of resources, I plan to continue to review them. Again, thank you!”

And on a personal note, Danielle Cruthirds, also in the Pharmacy Department said she had the courage to apply for an industry committee that she normally would have thought to be out of her league. And she was successfully selected.

These are just a few of the success stories that the professors shared with us about their experience in the Get Momentum Leadership Academy.

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