Category: Messages from the President

A Message from the President – May 11, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Families,

Our UA community has completed another successful academic year! It launched with record-breaking enrollment, including the largest freshman class and Graduate School enrollment in UA history, the most freshmen from Alabama in a decade and a record 940 National Merit Scholars. It concluded with commencement this past weekend, with over 5,000 degrees conferred on the Class of 2022, comprising graduates from 31 countries and 50 states and 564 first-generation students.

Once again, our faculty and staff have equipped and empowered legendary students.

It is an honor for me to lead this great University, and I am pleased to share with you this video highlighting many of our accomplishments. Thank you for your role in our success.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

video screen grab

A Message from the President – April 21, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Yesterday, faculty and staff gathered for spring Campus Assembly to connect as a professional community while recognizing the commitment and efforts of all our people. Dr. Donald Keith and Dr. Stacy Jones were presented with prestigious UA awards for bettering the lives and experiences of countless students through their dedicated service to the Capstone.

April showers were in full force last weekend, yet students and devoted fans reveled in a first look at the Crimson Tide at the annual A-Day game. Prior to kickoff, we honored UA’s first Black football players, Wilbur Jackson and John Mitchell, by unveiling a plaque outside Bryant-Denny Stadium. John Mitchell said it best at the ceremony, noting that his NFL coaching successes related to “the things that I learned right here at Alabama.” He closed by stating, “I’m indebted to this great institution for the rest of my life.” Our great institution is indebted to him, and to Wilbur Jackson, for what they have taught us about courage, grace and leadership.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Clifford L. Henderson, the next dean of the UA College of Engineering, who will begin his tenure here Aug. 1. Dr. Henderson will continue the college’s progressive trajectory of success. Dr. Stacy L. Jones has also been named the new dean of students after an impactful tenure of more than 28 years at the University.

Earlier this month, the University secured its position as the command center of national water research and operations following the announcement of a $360 million competitive grant from the federal government, the largest external award in UA’s history. The grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be administered by the Alabama Water Institute.

UA Honors College student Jules Bates became the 60th UA student recipient of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for 2022-2023. Bates, a participant in UA’s Randall Research Scholars Program, has focused her efforts on neural stem cell therapy for the treatment of neurological disorders.

Recently, The University of Alabama School of Law ranked 25th among the nation’s top law schools — ninth among publicly supported institutions — according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Law School Rankings.” We are proud of their ongoing success. The Crimson Tide Wheelchair Tennis team also claimed its seventh National Championship last weekend, its sixth consecutive championship title.

We Are UA, the University’s faculty and staff giving campaign, and Bama Blitz 2022, UA’s annual days of giving, conclude today. You can direct your support to a variety of key projects in UA’s colleges, schools and units. All gifts also benefit The Rising Tide Capital Campaign.

Finally, I am looking forward to shaking hands with our newest graduates at commencement in Coleman Coliseum in just over two weeks. It is my ongoing honor to serve as your president.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – March 22, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I hope you have returned to our campus with renewed vigor and focus as classes resume for spring semester. For those in the final stretch of your educational journey, we look forward to celebrating commencement with you in one of our eight ceremonies May 6-8 at Coleman Coliseum. You will be a #BamaGrad in just a little over six weeks!

As the semester continues, our students remain involved and committed. First, congratulations to international studies and political science double major Ben Borja for earning a Critical Language Scholarship to study Mandarin in China this summer. Also, students across campus can look forward to several events to facilitate networking opportunities and highlight research success.

More than 400 students will present at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference in the Bryant Conference Center on April 4. Over 275 submissions will underscore the prevalence of research and creative endeavors in all academic areas across our campus. In addition, UA’s inaugural Women in Business Conference, hosted by the Culverhouse College of Business Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will be held March 25-26 to highlight the vital role of women in business and leadership.

Faculty and staff, please join me in celebrating UA’s recognition as a university committed to supporting first-generation students. Recently, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators selected the Capstone Center for Student Success to participate in the 2022-2023 First-gen Forward cohort. The initiative demonstrates the success of our ongoing efforts to encourage and support our students who are the first in their family to attend college. We know the power of a degree from The University of Alabama to change lives, bolster communities and empower families for the future.

As a community, we continue to remember and support our students, faculty and staff impacted by the events in Ukraine. Recently, the UA Counseling Center offered two free support group meetings, and I encourage any students affected by the crisis to continue using the Center’s resources. The Capstone International Center is also available for advising and assistance for our international students. Concerned UA employees can confidentially use the Employee Assistance Program, which runs in partnership with Uprise Health. We are one family at UA, and we share a united vision with the international community for reestablishing peace and safety for the people of Ukraine and the surrounding region.

Faculty and staff, also please remember that beginning tomorrow we need you to CHIME IN and share valuable feedback about your workplace experience. The survey will run through Tuesday, April 5. The University remains committed to your professional and personal growth and career satisfaction.

Finally, in recognition of the recent passing of Dr. Autherine Lucy Foster, UA will honor her legacy by hosting a memorial service on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Foster Auditorium. Members of the UA community are invited to attend.

It is my distinct honor to serve as your president.

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – March 1, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Last Friday was a historic day at The University of Alabama and a testament to the character and generosity of our campus, alumni and friends. We gathered as a community to dedicate Autherine Lucy Hall in honor of Dr. Autherine Lucy Foster. It was a privilege to pay tribute to Dr. Foster, a humble alumna and living legend, by adorning the building that houses our College of Education with her name. As our future teachers enter the hall, they will recall Dr. Foster’s influence and courage as a pioneer for civil rights and be reminded of their own opportunities to impact their students and generations to come. At the ceremony, the state of Alabama also awarded Dr. Foster a master teacher certificate for her celebrated career as an elementary school teacher.

We also announced a momentous gift commitment of $20 million in honor of the late Mark Smith by his wife, Linda, and her son and daughter-in-law, Clay and Cameron Smith. Pending final approval by the UA System Board of Trustees, we will name the Performing Arts Academic Center — a facility that will allow us to fully showcase our students’ exceptional talents — the Smith Family Center for the Performing Arts. The Smiths’ generous contribution is the largest gift in University history allocated for the construction of an academic facility.

In addition to being an incredible legacy for the Smith family, their philanthropy propelled UA’s Rising Tide Capital Campaign past $1 billion in charitable contributions. Already, more than 133,000 donors have contributed to the campaign, creating over 650 new scholarships, establishing nearly 40 new faculty endowments and affecting impactful changes to more than 500,000 square feet of campus. We are thrilled by what has been accomplished to date and look forward to seeing more of the direct impact on our students, research efforts, faculty endeavors and much more.

We are also proud of UA’s student-led Capstone Agency, which recently held its annual CreateAthon. In 24 hours, over 60 students donated the equivalent of almost $58,000 worth of services to 10 local organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club, Turning Point, Books to Prisons and Family Counseling Services. Through the power of service and purpose, UA students continue to exhibit an unwavering commitment to community.

March is another opportunity for our students to shine with the annual Edward K. Aldag Jr. Student Business Plan Competition. The event is an exciting occasion for UA students to demonstrate their creativity and innovation by presenting business ideas that have strong potential. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, the courage to share your ideas — and could benefit from prize money — be sure to sign up by March 4. Visit UA’s Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute’s website for more details.

March is Women’s History Month, and UA’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is hosting several special events to commemorate the significant achievements of women on our campus and throughout American history. This month also provides our UA community with a well-deserved respite during spring break. I hope you will enjoy time off to relax and recharge.

Truly, it is a remarkable season at the Capstone. As we continue authoring our next chapter, the contributions of our students, faculty, staff and alumni are the essence of our story. Thank you for your influence and for supporting our constant quest for excellence.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – February 14, 2022


Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

On Friday The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees passed a resolution to amend the name of the building that houses our College of Education to Autherine Lucy Hall. We are honored that Dr. Foster’s name will grace this prominent campus landmark for future generations — acknowledging the great power of an individual with purpose. We are proud to call her an alumna of this institution, and I am grateful to call her a friend. I hope you will make plans to join us for a celebration of Dr. Foster’s legacy at a dedication ceremony in front of Autherine Lucy Hall on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m.

Facilities are an important part of our landscape and an important part of supporting our mission. Drummond Lyon Hall will be a cutting-edge facility and the future home of our fashion retailing and apparel design concentrations. Made possible through the generosity of many, especially alumna Terri Drummond Lyon, the new building will accommodate the growth and teaching needs of these programs.

Recently, as part of Phase II of The Crimson Standard initiative, we announced the planning for a new competition arena for Alabama men’s and women’s basketball and gymnastics teams and a new golf practice facility. As the Tide Rises, new and upgraded UA facilities will continue to be intentional investments in our students and our future.

Special recognition is due to UA junior Simran Dhoju for earning a Brooke Owens National Aerospace Fellowship. One of only 51 students in the nation to earn the nationally acclaimed award, she also has been named an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Diversity Scholar and is currently a project manager with the Alabama Rocketry Association. Without question, she will continue to inspire and motivate many others in the aerospace industry.

As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, I want to congratulate students Jonathan Kelly, Za-Nyah Truitt, Ta’Kyla Bates, Deja Evans and Christine Thompson — the core members representing the Capstone in a competition centered on Black history. It was UA’s first appearance in the Black History Scholars Bowl, and we’re proud of their second-place finish by a very close margin. Events such as this are an integral part of our Path Forward and the inclusive, educational environment we offer at the University.

Campuswide, our community is also serving children through the 16th annual Books for the Alabama Black Belt campaign, sponsored by The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development. Through donations of new or gently used books, we can change the lives of young students in disadvantaged counties by encouraging their love for learning and reading. I encourage you to donate before the Feb. 25 deadline.

Finally, we are pleased to honor Dr. Sharlene Newman, executive director of the Alabama Life Research Institute. She was awarded one of the most distinct honors within the scientific community by being elected as a Fellow to the newest class of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Newman joined UA in 2019 as part of UA’s prominent cadre of engineers, scientists and pioneers who are advancing research that makes a significant difference in the lives of those we serve.

We have much to celebrate and even more to look forward to this spring. It is an honor to serve as your president.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – February 1, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

February is Black History Month and a special opportunity to recognize the students, alumni, faculty and staff who have influenced UA’s history and legacy through their contributions and achievements. I encourage you to explore, celebrate and learn from our history, including the events, resources and exhibits offered throughout the month, both on our campus and in the surrounding community.

Though we are only in the second month of the new year, UA students continue to inspire through remarkable success. Congratulations to Alabama Cheerleading and our coaches for claiming the UCA Division 1A All-Girl National Championship title, the program’s third win in Division 1A and its sixth national title overall. We also recently released the fall 2021 Dean’s and President’s lists, with almost 12,000 undergraduates recognized for their outstanding academic accomplishments.

Our distinguished UA faculty and staff continue to innovate and influence. Assistant Professor Dr. Steve D. Mobley Jr., who joined our faculty in 2016 and whose work examines institutional and interpersonal equity, was recently selected as one of the nation’s top 15 emerging scholars under the age of 40 by “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.” In addition, a team that included Associate Professor Dr. Brandon Dixon and doctoral student Cole Frederick won first place and set a new world record for speed in the first self-driving racecar competition challenge at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. And Stephanie Plumb, the creative voice behind 92.5 FM UA Info Radio, was recently recognized as a UA Everyday Champion for providing important public safety announcements and campus information.

I’m also pleased to highlight UA’s ongoing leadership in national water-related research. We have partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey to build a new high-tech science and engineering Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility (USGS-HIF) on our campus. This mission-driven partnership will provide countless teaching, research and service opportunities for our students and faculty in an area critical to mankind.

Lastly, I want to recognize the Student Health Center and Pharmacy and the University Medical Center. The medical professionals and support staff in these areas have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of our campus community and the continuation of our educational mission. Please join me in thanking them for their dedication and compassionate care.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – January 25, 2022


Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

At The University of Alabama, one of the goals of our Strategic Plan is to enrich our learning and working environment by providing an accepting, inclusive community. Each semester, I reaffirm our pledge to promote and preserve a safe, respectful campus atmosphere. We remain steadfastly committed to providing an environment that promotes prevention and the reporting of sexual misconduct. To that end, the University provides numerous resources, support and reporting options for students, employees and members of our community. I encourage each of you to review the information and links provided about these valuable services.

The Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy provides detailed information about what is considered Prohibited Conduct, how to report Prohibited Conduct, available supportive measures and the University’s prevention, education and awareness efforts. Students, employees and campus visitors are encouraged to report sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual or gender-based discrimination, sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, stalking, sexual exploitation or other concerns related to sexual misconduct to any of the multiple reporting avenues.

The UAct program presents a central location for information about reporting sexual misconduct. The University of Alabama Police Department also provides a comprehensive array of law enforcement services 24/7 through a dedicated staff of sworn, state-commissioned police officers. A criminal report may be filed with the UAPD by contacting them at 205-348-5454 or by visiting their headquarters located at 1110 Jackson Ave. on the University campus.

Reports may also be made to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Programs, which oversees the University’s compliance with Title IX by receiving and investigating reports of sexual misconduct. The Office also offers assistance with supportive measures such as counseling, safety planning and academic support and provides training and education programs, including programming to improve communication and conflict resolution skills. To make a report or inquire more about the services available, please contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Jessica Humber, at 205-348-5496 or by email at titleix@ua.edu.

In addition, the University also offers confidential reporting and counseling options. The Women and Gender Resource Center provides victim advocacy and counseling services for all members of the University community who are survivors of interpersonal violence, as well as family and friends impacted by abuse. The WGRC can be reached at 205-348-5040. On-call advocates are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays, for crisis intervention and support. The on-call advocate can be reached after hours by contacting the UAPD.

Additional confidential counseling services include the Counseling Center, which provides counseling and outreach programming for students, and the Capstone Family Therapy Clinic, which provides psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families affiliated with The University of Alabama and surrounding community. The Employee Assistance Program provides eligible employees and their family members with resources for resolving a variety of work-related and personal concerns. The Tuscaloosa SAFE Center, a 24/7 sexual assault crisis center, also provides a free, compassionate, patient-centered environment for sexual assault examinations.

All of these valuable services are summarized on the Sexual Assault and Misconduct Services website. We have a shared responsibility to create and maintain a culture of safety and respect. I encourage you to partner with us in our ongoing effort to combat and prevent sexual misconduct.

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – December 7, 2021


Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Students, it’s finals week, and I encourage you to continue the exemplary work you’ve been accomplishing all semester. As courses wind down, your final exams and projects are an opportunity to demonstrate all you have learned. I’m proud of you for finishing another semester strong. Congratulations to those of you who are graduating for achieving such an important academic and personal milestone. We look forward to celebrating with you this weekend at commencement.

Celebrations are in order for Dr. Russell Mumper, vice president for research and economic development, who was just elected to the prestigious National Academy of Inventors. The NAI Fellows Selection Committee praised him for demonstrating “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and welfare of society.” This is a well-deserved recognition. Congratulations, as well, to Dr. Ravi Kumar, director of the Center for Convergent Bioscience Medicine, for being selected for the Humboldt Research Award. Dr. Kumar’s designation is further proof of his ongoing contributions to outstanding research, and the award brings additional recognition to the innovative research being conducted at the Capstone.

It was another record-setting weekend for Alabama Athletics, with our incredible student-athletes raising the bar as the first school to beat AP top-5 teams in college football and basketball on the same day. The atmosphere in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium was electric as Alabama fans cheered on the Tide to a 41-24 win over the Bulldogs. It was the 29th SEC title for the Crimson Tide and back-to-back championships. Congratulations to our coaches and players for the victory and for earning the top seed in the College Football Playoff. Commendations are also well-deserved for quarterback Bryce Young’s nomination as one of four finalists for the 2021 Heisman Trophy, and for Will Anderson’s selection as the recipient of the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy.

During the holiday break, I encourage you to take time to rest and enjoy fellowship with family and friends. With all the activities of the season, it’s easy for memorable moments to pass too quickly. Cherish this time with your loved ones and be present in the joy, celebrations and hope for the future. Susan and I wish you the happiest of holidays and peace and prosperity in the coming New Year.

Roll Tidings!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – November 23, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Thanksgiving break begins Wednesday for our students, and it’s an especially meaningful holiday this year as more families and friends will be resuming traditional gatherings. I know you’re looking forward to being with your loved ones and celebrating the many reasons we have to be grateful. Susan and I are especially thankful for our UA family, and we wish everyone a safe and restful break filled with the aromas, sights and sounds of home.

Please join me in congratulating senior Nicholas “Nick” Hayes for his selection as UA’s 16th Rhodes Scholar. A Randall Research Scholar, Nick was one of only 32 students in the country to be chosen for his outstanding scholarly achievements, character, commitment to service and potential for leadership in applied mathematics and German. We commend his success and recognition from one of the most established and celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. We also applaud all our students for setting a new school record and collecting over 319,000 pounds of food for the West Alabama Food Bank in our annual Beat Auburn Beat Hunger Food Drive.

Moreover, we are thankful for a record-breaking year at The University of Alabama, where our research efforts have realized remarkable success. The University is now ranked No. 1 in the SEC and in the top 10 among all 131 Carnegie-designated research universities in the nation for research growth. UA faculty, staff and students continue to expand knowledge, spark innovation and better society in significant ways.

Earlier this month, we officially dedicated Wade Hall in honor of Dr. Archie Wade. A legendary and beloved professor, Dr. Wade was the first Black UA faculty member, a founding member of the Black Faculty and Staff Association and actively involved in the integration of our football program. Having worked for 30 years in the building that now bears his name, Dr. Wade continues to be an inspiration.

Congratulations to Dr. Laura Reed, associate professor of biology, our winner of the 2021 Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor Award. A specialist in evolutionary genomics, Dr. Reed was chosen for her leadership as director of the Genomics Education Partnership, which has amplified funding and significantly increased student engagement. Dr. Reed’s work continues to bring us notable recognition and inspires creative thinking, research and science.

While enjoying the cooler temperatures, I’m certain you have also been appreciating the melodic sounds of “New York, New York” and “Yea, Alabama” on campus recently, as our Million Dollar Band is preparing for its first appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The band will march down Central Park West in New York City to represent UA as the largest and one of the most talented student organizations on campus.

Much farther away, UA’s Dr. Jennifer Feltman is also representing the Capstone in Paris through her hands-on research, contributing to the restoration of the famed Notre Dame Cathedral. Dr. Feltman is one of only 14 specialists appointed to begin working on the project. It is a privilege to have an esteemed member of our faculty involved in the historic restoration.

Whether in Tuscaloosa, New York City or even Paris, UA’s fingerprints can be seen almost everywhere. Drawn together by a shared purpose and driven by our mission, our efforts make a difference. Whether faculty, staff or student, what you do every day contributes to our legacy as the Tide continues to rise. I’m thankful for you!

Roll Tide,

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – October 5, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

As we continue to expand our influence as a flagship university, every investment we make in our facilities is an investment in our UA community.

With the official opening of the Parker-Haun Tennis Facility, our champion wheelchair tennis team now has a championship-caliber facility. Likewise, our Alabama Initiative on Manufacturing Development and Education, Alabama IMaDE, opened the doors to its new manufacturing complex last week. The new center will provide students and faculty with high-end technology to engage in real-world experiences that will solve future industrial challenges.

I was pleased to learn we are one of six recipients of the 2021 WOW Award as a Digital Learning Hero by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The award recognizes the College of Continuing Studies’ Instructional Technology and Academic Services and the Office of Information Technology’s Center for Instructional Technology for their efforts to support our transition to emergency remote learning and virtual events during the pandemic. We are grateful for the heroic efforts of the ITAS and CIT teams and their leadership.

Every year I am proud to present the Premier Awards to faculty, staff and students who exemplify the highest standards of scholarship, service, leadership and character. I encourage you to consider nominating a worthy student, faculty or staff member for one of these prestigious awards by the Nov. 1 deadline.

In case you haven’t seen it, our Department of Human Resources has unveiled an inspiring videoto welcome new faculty and staff to our community. This recruitment and orientation tool effectively highlights the University’s traditions, values and expectations. It is also a good reminder that whether your journey at the Capstone is just beginning or you are a seasoned employee, you make it possible for us to accomplish our mission.

And finally, please join our efforts to provide meals for underprivileged children and families in West Alabama through the Beat Auburn Beat Hunger Food Drive and help us continue to dominate this friendly rivalry for a good cause.

It is an honor to work in partnership with you.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President