Shorter University Departure # 83
Ms. Sandra Terry
Asst. Vice President for Intercultural Services & Programs
10 years of service

Shorter University Departure # 82
Ms. Cynthia McGehee
Director of Student Engagement & Success
3 years of service

Shorter University Departure # 81
Ms. Sallie Samples
Administrative Asst. (Education)
22 years of service

Shorter University Departure # 80:
April Allen, Administrative Asst. (Nursing)
4 years of service

Shorter University departure # 79:
Nathan Young, Head Coach, Lacrosse
2 years of service

Sallie Samples was fired today for not being a “team player” and having “a bad attitude”. After 22 years of working for Shorter, after helping hundreds of students and faculty, Sallie was deemed unsuitable by a Dean of Education that has only been on the campus a few weeks.  Dozens of posts on the Save Our Shorter Facebook page attest to Sallie’s wonderful attitude, her helpful ways and her knowledge of the School of Education. Surely she deserved better than to be given an hour to pack her personal belongings and being escorted off campus. The actions of this administration are not only shameful in the extreme, they reflect a careless attitude toward the integrity of the university. We will miss you, Sallie. You were a much-loved fixture at Shorter!


Thirty days. Just thirty days until classes begin at Shorter. 

Let’s assume for a moment that Dr. Dowless can replace all of the faculty that Shorter has lost. How prepared is the rest of the campus for carrying out the business of the university? Parents, what sort of difficulty will your child face when trying to get information or help from half-filled departments? What is the margin for error when ill-equipped individuals try to run the institution effectively? 

Core requirement 3.2.9 of the SACS Standards demands that “The institution has qualified administrative and academic officers with the experience, competence, and capacity to lead the institution.” Most of the administration’s recent hires have come after the reaffirmation committee visited the Shorter campus. We certainly hope the recent hires fulfill the requirements imposed by the Standard.

We feel sure that all of the following individuals are good people. Many may come to the Hill with good intentions and a fervor for spreading the Georgia Baptist word.  They are, however, poorly qualified for the job that they have taken.  Wayne Phipps had a reason to be worried and so should anyone dealing with Shorter these days.

In December 2011, James B (Bert) Epting Jr. accepted an offer to become Shorter’s Vice President for Advancement.  He replaced Suzanne Scott, who had departed Shorter after serving as Acting Vice President for Advancement.  If the name “Epting” rings a bell with our readers, perhaps it is because James B. Epting Sr. Is president of North Greenville University, former home of Don Dowless.  After less than two months on the job, Bert decided that he needed to fire some people.  And so he did.

Institutional Advancement –

Mark Tunnell – Director of Alumni Relations; 6 yrs at Shorter, and a Shorter Alumna

Replaced by:

Sheri Ransome – formerly Director of Annual Giving at Samford University. No ties to Shorter which is unfortunate, because she has a very large number of alumni that are not too happy with the new regime.

Jamie Clements – Associate Director of Alumni Relations; Shorter class of 2005. According to the announcement of Jamie’s hire, Jamie brought social media and digital technology experience to the department.

Replaced by:

Neely Raper – Director of Development. Neely is a graduate of Shorter, and has been general manager of an industrial products company. Shorter’s announcement also touts Mr. Raper’s involvement as a volunteer with Ducks Unlimited and his military experience.

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Dr. Debra Faust – 20-plus years at Shorter. Dr. Faust was transferred to the Atlanta campus and stripped of her title.

Replaced by:

Mr. Corey Humphries – Mr. Humphries came from Charleston Southern University, where he held the position of Assistant Dean of Students for Campus Life. It is important to note that the position at Charleston Southern is not the equivalent of the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. As noted in a previous post, Mr. Humphries graduated from Charleston Southern in 2004 and received his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Charleston Southern in 2009. We hardly think that a criminal justice degree qualifies Mr. Humphries for the position that he has been given, however in Shorter’s defense, it does eliminate one more female from an upper level management position. Again, we are sure Mr. Humpries is a good man. It’s just our impression that he’s just ill-equipped for this job.

And then there’s the case of the new Executive Vice President.

According to the announcement about the appointment of Mr. Donald “Skip” Martin,” his responsibilities will include oversight of the institutional strategic planning process and the integration of faith and learning.” Yet in less than a month after he was employed, Skip was promoted to Provost AND Executive Vice President.

Dr. Martin may be qualified as chief academician at Shorter, however we find it strange that after Dr. Craig Shull signed the Personal Lifestyle Statement, after he took the heat for firing Michael Wilson, he, too, was demoted to the Atlanta campus.

 As we have previously noted, Dr. Martin came from Charleston Southern as well. It is customary for a candidate for Provost to appear before the full faculty during the interview process. It is also customary for there to have been a nationwide search for an individual that is second only to the President in the university hierarchy.  Did Shorter advertise the position? Did they interview for an Executive Vice President or did they interview for a Provost?  Why was Dr. Martin named Provost within a few weeks of coming on the Shorter campus? 

There are far more questions than answers here, and perhaps that is at the heart of why Wayne Phipps left.


  1. I just cannot imagine Sallie Samples being fired for having a “bad attitude,” but then, that’s the go-to claim they make about people they want rid of…one way or another, for whatever reason! And then, to have an hour to retrieve her things….and then to be escorted off campus….ARE YOU KDDING ME?!! Is it not bad enough that they’ve already driven way scores of faculty and staff members? Now, they are resorting to firing and humiliating someone who has been a beloved icon at Shorter for 22 years?? It’ll be interesting to see who Sallie’s replacement will be (if she’ll have one) ….perhaps cutting this position will help save Shorter $$….or, perhaps one of the new hires has a wife/husband who needs a job…who knows… There’s always a reason other than the one they offer.

  2. Cindy will be irreplaceable. She has been involved in every aspect of academic and student life at Shorter. No one cared more about the welfare of the students than she did, and her work ethic was incredible. I can’t wait to see who they get to take her job. They will have to hire at least five.

  3. LAST few days I have been rereading segments of Grady Cothen Whatever Happened to the Southern Baptist Convention. The Chapter that feature Stafford Durham’s testimony of how the takeover artists gathered heresy information against seminary proffs is telling. What happened in SBC Seminaries in late 80’s and early 90’s has finally made its way to Shorter. Hope some of you willl find the book to see just how dark and entrenched a force you are facing.

  4. Lynn Hogg Robinson

    to GBC– Please STOP this takeover. You are fighting a losing battle. You are discriminating against gay people. God LOVES gay people. Remember His message is Love,and Love conquers all. Your actions do not show any grace. Please listen to your hearts and reverse your decision.
    Lynn Hogg Robinson
    former resident of Rome

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