Was Moving from Arkansas to Alabama the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Andy Westmoreland?

“Jobs are so unappreciated in so much of higher-ed and I think that’s a misfortune because a whole lot of love and care that takes place through student affairs makes, especially Christian colleges work” -Andy Westmoreland

From a first-generation college graduate, to working in the student affairs department of his alma mater, to the President of Samford University, Dr. Andy Westmoreland’s journey has been anything but typical. 30 days into his retirement I had the chance to sit with him and pick his brain about his approach to being a leader, his thoughts on second chances, and why he decided to leave the position that he loved. 

Although he is glad to have moved on from Arkansas, Andy’s small town upbringing taught him a lot of important life lessons, and in turn, he has been able to teach many valuable lessons to the many people whom he has worked with throughout his career in higher education.

Not only does Andy embody a wealth of knowledge and experience, but talking to him also brought back fond memories of my days at Samford when I was a graduate student in their MBA program. I hope you are able to take as much value away from this episode as I did! 

“Remember always the significance of listening to your people.” -Andy Westmoreland

Time Stamps

[1:54] – An introduction to today’s guest, Dr. Andy Westmoreland

[2:38] – What did and didn’t change during Andy’s time as president of Samford University. 

[3:11] – Why Andy is grateful for his small town upbringing. 

[4:29] – Andy’s very first job, and his first ‘real’ job, and the lessons he learned from them.

[5:58] – The misfortune in how people often perceive student affairs departments at universities. 

[7:19] – The most effective approach to being a leader, according to Andy.

[9:13] – Andy shares what he believes to be good practice when it comes to hiring staff members in higher education institutions. 

[11:43] – How Andy approaches interviews.  

[14:10] – I share a few quotes about second chances.  

[14:49] – Andy’s opinion on giving people second chances. 

[16:41] – The wealth of experience that Andy has with fundraising.  

[19:18] – Traits that Andy thinks are important for a vice president of advancement to have.

[20:25] – Why it’s a good sign if some people are irritated by your development approach.

[21:10] – How Andy made the decision to leave his position as President of Samford University. 

“The fulfilling nature of seeing a person reclaim is one of the more inspirational things in life.” -Andy Westmoreland

Links and Resources

JobfitMatters – Website

Samford University

Ouachita Baptist University


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