Category: Messages from the 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

The Rising Tide

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I want you to be among the first to know about a momentous opportunity for the Capstone:
We have just embarked on the largest fundraising campaign in state history, The Rising Tide Capital Campaign, to further our mission of exemplary teaching, research and service.

As you know, philanthropic giving is a key driver of excellence in the UA experience. Gifts allow us to expand opportunities for students through scholarships, fellowships and programs for leadership development, as well as to advance our research efforts and bolster our already competitive facilities and athletic programs.

Our $1.5 billion undertaking will impact all areas of campus. It will allow us to further elevate our students as future legends, to champion the fields of research and athletics, to recruit and retain elite faculty, and to develop the potential within us all to serve, support and lead. Communities, organizations and individuals near and far will be impacted in remarkable ways.

The Rising Tide represents a gathering wave of students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters whose collective influence is greater than what any of us can accomplish individually. Together, we are a force strong enough to transform the landscape of the world around us. I cannot wait to see the University’s impact grow as we reinvest in our success.

I invite you to learn more about this historic effort at risingtide.ua.edu. Join us as we create the next chapter of UA’s legacy.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – September 1, 2021

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Because The University of Alabama remains committed to promoting and sustaining a safe, respectful campus environment, every semester I pledge to share important resources and reporting options to provide support for those impacted by sexual misconduct, gender discrimination or harassment. Please know we take these issues seriously. The well-being, safety and security of every member of our community is, and will remain, an absolute priority.

The UAct program provides a central location for information about reporting sexual misconduct and other issues. Any member or visitor of our campus community who has concerns about sexual harassment or sexual violence, including sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and dating violence, is encouraged to report those concerns by utilizing the reporting options designated by UAct. UAct designates multiple reporting options across campus and also includes an option to file a report online.

The University of Alabama Police Department, which can be reached at 205-348-5454, provides a comprehensive array of law enforcement services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through a dedicated staff of sworn, state-commissioned police officers. University police officers work with Tuscaloosa County’s violent crimes task force, which has jurisdiction for all investigations of sexual assaults that occur in the county.

In addition, the Women and Gender Resource Center provides victim advocacy and counseling services for members of the UA community who are victims/survivors of interpersonal violence, as well as family and friends who have been impacted by the abuse. On-call victim advocates are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays, for crisis intervention and support.

The University’s Counseling Center also employs counselors available to provide services to students affected by sexual misconduct and sexual assault. The Center also offers one-on-one counseling and outreach programming. Ulifeline contains many mental health resources that students may access at no cost to learn more about mental health, with free online mental health screenings also available.

All of these resources are summarized on the Sexual Assault and Misconduct Services and Support webpage. I encourage each of you to be informed about the resources and reporting options available. Please take the time to review UA’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy, which provides information regarding how to report prohibited conduct, how a report may be addressed or investigated, options for informal resolution of reports, and supportive measures available to students and employees. For comprehensive Title IX information and to report sexual misconduct, please call the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Jessica Humber, at 205-348-5496 or email her office directly at titleix@ua.edu.

One of the most important values at The University of Alabama is the belief in the inherent dignity of every member of our community. I hope you will personally commit to partner with us in an ongoing effort to combat sexual misconduct.

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – August 24, 2021

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

We’re now one week into the fall semester, and I hope you’re embracing all the opportunities UA provides. We want to enhance your experience here and help you find new and exciting ways to lead and serve others.

Students, as you’re getting plugged in on campus, be sure to visit Get on Board Day, one of our most popular traditions for getting connected, on the Quad Thursday evening. You can also use the SOURCE to explore the 600-plus student organizations at UA. From service and mentoring to ballroom dancing and gaming networks, there is a group for everyone.

A hearty Roll Tide is in order for the six current and 12 former UA adapted athletes who will be competing in the Tokyo Paralympics starting today. Representing three countries, the student-athletes and one assistant UA coach will showcase their skills over the next two weeks as they compete in several events. A UA staff member will also serve as an official.

Congratulations are also due to Dr. Leigh Terry, assistant professor in the UA College of Engineering, for receiving a Fulbright Specialist Award. Dr. Terry will be collaborating and working with faculty in Barranquilla, Colombia on research and teaching projects related to water quality.

I want to remind everyone to be especially vigilant about observing the COVID precautions we have in place in accordance with the UA System Health and Safety Task Force and recommendations by the CDC. Please get vaccinated if you have not already done so; it’s the best way to ensure a successful fall semester. Also, make sure you’re wearing face coverings in all classroom buildings and on campus transportation.

I’m proud of the University’s involvement in spearheading a project to help get 70% of eligible individuals in the Black Belt vaccinated over the next year. Through a $1 million grant and the efforts of Dr. Hee Yun Lee, associate dean for research in the UA School of Social Work, and an interdisciplinary team, UA will assist with vaccine information and outreach programs to support remote and pop-up vaccination clinics through 18 counties in the state.

It’s going to be a great semester at the Capstone. Thank you for your ongoing dedication to our University. Tide Together, we are improving the world through UA’s mission — one champion at a time.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – August 18, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

It is exciting to have everyone back on campus for what I know will be a remarkable, productive and life-changing Alabama experience. With classes beginning today, activities are in full swing, and campus is once again full of anticipation and energy. Please take advantage of the many wonderful opportunities available to you, keeping our health and safety protocols in mind.

Students, I hope you will participate in the many special events planned during the Weeks of Welcome. This morning I was excited to join several other administrators to serve you a welcome back breakfast at the Ferguson Student Center Plaza.

In addition to our amazing students, we continue to feature the most talented faculty and staff in the nation. Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Raffo Dewar, professor of interdisciplinary arts with UA’s New College and School of Music, for being selected for two grants from the esteemed Fulbright program to teach and research abroad. Dr. Lesley Reid, professor and chair of our department of criminology and criminal justice, was named associate provost for faculty affairs effective Sept. 1 after previously serving as interim dean in two colleges. In addition, Dr. W. Edward Back has been appointed interim dean of the College of Engineering, bringing with his leadership a revered career in higher education and infrastructure engineering. We’re also pleased to welcome Susan Norton, a talented professional with more than 25 years of HR experience, to the University as senior associate vice president for human resources on Oct. 1.

I hope you familiarize yourself with some updates and changes on campus this fall. Crimson Ride will be even easier to use with new route names and a mobile app to track buses. Bama Dining has added several perks for students and faculty, including an app for mobile ordering. And, the new 2nd Avenue Overpass opened this month and is already significantly helping traffic flow.

Awesome activities, talented students, dedicated faculty and staff, and a beautiful, innovative campus — what a semester it will be as we learn, work and grow Tide Together! I am grateful to everyone who has made our return possible. Please wear your mask, get vaccinated to keep you and our campus safe, and continue to use healthinfo.ua.edu as a valuable resource for information and updates.

It is my continuing honor to serve as your president.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – August 10, 2021

The countdown to the fall semester is underway, with only eight days remaining until the first day of classes. I am excited for the semester’s start, and as our campus community prepares for a return to in-person instruction, events and activities, I want to emphasize again how important it is for you to be vaccinated to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19.

Students, please call the UA Student Health Center to schedule your vaccine appointment or you may use the patient portal. In addition, Saturday vaccine clinics for students are being offered Aug. 14 and Aug. 21, and vaccine rewards are being provided for students enrolled for the fall semester. Faculty and staff, the University Medical Center offers free vaccination as well.

With safety strategies in place, we are hopeful that more people will be vaccinated and statewide and local cases will decline. We will continue to be flexible in the coming weeks and keep working together. Please help us stay Tide Together by getting your vaccine as soon as possible.

In other campus news, I want to thank Director Donald Keith and the devoted staff at UA’s Office of Emergency Management for earning continuation of their emergency management accreditation, a noteworthy accomplishment that no other university has received. I am very proud of our Emergency Management team and their dedicated work, in unison with units across campus, to plan and prepare for emergencies.

Finally, I want to again congratulate our graduates from the summer class of 2021. UA’s recent commencement ceremonies honored over 1,400 degree applicants, including 187 first-generation students. At one ceremony, I observed a first-generation student with a decorated cap that stated, “Nevertheless, she graduated.” Yes, you did and we are very proud of you!

UA students are driven, pioneering and persistent. And, with the fall semester we look forward to welcoming a new class of rising legends.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – July 26, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Last week, The University of Alabama System released an update to the System’s Comprehensive Health and Safety Plan, including important policies for the upcoming fall semester. Please review UA’s Fall 2021 Plan for Operations carefully and adhere to the guidelines in place to help protect our UA community.

I strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated as soon as possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We must do all we can to stay healthy, care for others and ensure that a robust Alabama experience is possible for everyone this fall. All students who upload proof of vaccination will receive a reward in the form of Bama Cash as a thank you for doing their part to protect themselves and our community.

As we continue to anticipate the fall semester, the summer term at UA is drawing to a close. We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates with friends, family and our UA community at summer commencement this weekend. Over 1,400 talented men and women are poised to take their next steps as distinguished UA alumni and leaders in their respective career fields and communities.

UA’s championship status continues to command prestigious national recognition. Congratulations to the Alabama Astrobotics team for recently winning NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition. The victory marks the seventh time in nine years the team has clinched the title in what was its sixth consecutive win for UA and the College of Engineering. Very impressive!

Beyond the national stage, our athletes are primed for international prestige, with four current student-athletes and 17 alumni representing 13 countries competing in the Tokyo Olympics. Additionally, six current student-athletes are preparing to compete in the Paralympic Games. I know Bama fans everywhere are cheering them on in their respective events, and we will all be watching the results with pride.

Finally, I hope you are continuing to enjoy the stories of the Everyday Champions we have been featuring to highlight some of UA’s legendary faculty and staff. Individuals such as Jeanine Brooks work behind the scenes, boldly support our community’s efforts and embody the spirit of the University. I invite you to nominate a champion in your department, division or college, as the efforts and positive impact of one have a strong influence on us all.

I am thankful to each of you for the way you support and represent the Capstone.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – June 29, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

The Summer 2 term begins today, and I want to send congratulations for several recent student accomplishments. Our UA community is leading and achieving in remarkable ways.

The UA EcoCAR Mobility Challenge team was recently named the third-year champion of the four-year national auto engineering competition, besting 10 other universities. We commend their success and will keep a close watch on next year’s final round of the competition. And our Model UN team showcased their talents in leadership and public speaking in the 2020-2021 North American College Model U.N. World Division, moving up 10 spots in the rankings and claiming UA’s first delegation award at a ranked conference.

An impressive 11,813 full-time undergraduate students were named to the Dean’s List or President’s List for Spring 2021, an indicator of their notable academic endeavors. And soon we will recognize over 1,000 student candidates at UA’s two summer commencement ceremonies on July 31 at Coleman Coliseum.

Talented students like these are cultivated by our esteemed faculty. During the past academic year, four UA professors received early-career national recognition for leading-edge research through the National Science Foundation. Dr. Chris Crawford, Dr. Adam Hauser, Dr. Jason Pienaar and Dr. Aijun Song were the recipients of CAREER Awards, one of the nation’s most prestigious recognitions of top-performing young scientists. Their research advances knowledge and enhances lab instruction, but their work also has outreach potential in local schools and in our community. The Alabama Water Institute also recently selected three UA faculty members as inaugural fellows in the AWI Faculty Fellowship Program. Congratulations to Dr. Lisa Davis, Dr. Leigh Terry and Dr. Milad R. Esfahani for their contributions and support of our next generation of water-research scientists.

We also want to recognize some of the unsung heroes of the Capstone who make a difference every day. Throughout the summer we will be highlighting some of our Everyday Champions who work behind the scenes to support our community with a spirit of pride, determination and ingenuity. We are honored to spotlight these individuals and I hope you will join me in thanking them for their many contributions.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t take one last opportunity to recognize the incredible accomplishments of our student-athletes. To say it has been an impressive year seems understated. An extraordinary 18 of our 21 teams reached the national postseason this year, with football participating in the College Football Playoff and 17 teams competing in NCAA Championship events. From winning the CFP National Championship to cheering on the softball team in the Women’s College World Series to witnessing numerous individual accolades and honors, UA student-athletes dominated the competition. Their collective efforts have culminated in a No. 7 national ranking of the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings, which includes fall and winter sports. Final rankings will be announced later this week, and we are in a great position for our highest finish in program history.

In academia, research and athletics, we continue to prove we are champions. UA is the catalyst for legendary results, and I am honored to serve as your president.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – June 7, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

As the summer sessions continue, I want to take a moment to outline the numerous resources and reporting options available at The University of Alabama for those affected by sexual misconduct and protected class harassment and discrimination. Please take the time to read this important message in its entirety and continue to partner with us in our ongoing efforts to combat and eliminate sexual misconduct.

The UA Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Programs works with University administration, departments, students, faculty, staff, campus police and other support services to ensure that University policies and programs foster a campus community free of discrimination and harassment based on protected classes and sexual misconduct. In addition, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Programs will assist complainants in notifying UAPD or local law enforcement if requested. For comprehensive information about the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Programs and to report sexual misconduct, please call the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Jessica Humber, at 205-348-5496 or email to jbhumber@ua.edu. The UAPD may also be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days per week by calling 205-348-5454. Further on-campus counseling and support services are available from the UA Student Health Center and Pharmacy, University Medical Center, Safe Zone Resource Center, Women and Gender Resource CenterUAct Program, UA Counseling Center and Employee Assistance Program.

The Tuscaloosa SAFE Center, another valuable resource in the Tuscaloosa community, is located at 1601 University Blvd. East, Suite 150. The Center offers high-quality care in a compassionate, patient-centered environment to anyone 14 years old or older affected by sexual assault and can be reached at 205-860-SAFE (7233). I also recommend you download the UA Safety App, which provides students and employees with immediate access to information in case of an emergency, including the ability to quickly contact campus and area law enforcement agencies.

I encourage you to review UA’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy, which describes in detail how the University may take action and assist affected individuals involved in a sexual misconduct report. Individuals found in violation of this policy will be subject to corrective action, including potential termination from employment or expulsion from the University. Supportive measures to aid victims may include medical treatment, counseling services, academic support, housing support, no contact orders, safety planning, employment assistance and filing of student conduct complaints.

Discrimination and harassment based on protected classes, including sex or gender, are prohibited in any educational program or activity, including: athletics, recruitment, admissions, financial aid and scholarships, course offerings and access, counseling, hiring and retention of employees, and benefits and leave. For more information, please read the University’s Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Affirmative Action Policy and Harassment Policy. For more information regarding the Office of Equal Opportunity and to report protected class discrimination or harassment, please contact the University’s Director of Equal Opportunity, Marques Evans, at 205-348-5855 or evans061@ua.edu.

As president, I pledge to continue regularly sharing information about the resources available to our community members. The University remains devoted to providing an environment free from discrimination or harassment based on protected classes and expects everyone who lives, works, teaches and studies within this community to contribute positively to the environment. Please refrain from any behaviors that threaten the freedom or respect due to every human being. Your support and partnership are key to our success.

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – May 26, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to the start of the summer sessions at the Capstone. We are glad to have many of you on campus. I am delighted to share some of the exciting successes we have witnessed over the past few weeks.

UA’s championship status continues to be validated nationally. Well-deserved congratulations are due to Coach Patrick Murphy and the Alabama softball team for a legendary season. Earlier this month the team won the 2021 SEC Tournament with Montana Fouts and Bailey Hemphill setting the SEC tournament strikeout and UA all-time home run records, respectively. This past weekend, we hosted the NCAA Softball Regionals in Rhoads Stadium as the No. 3 national seed, and our team dominated three games without surrendering a single run. We will host Kentucky for the Super Regional beginning Friday at noon. With results like these, Alabama continues to set the standard.

Student accolades continue with four new Fulbright Awards, including a Fulbright Student Research Award and three Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Awards for the 2021-2022 academic year. We are also pleased to learn last year’s five UA Fulbright Student Award recipients who were unable to travel to their host countries are expected to be able to serve this year as travel restrictions ease. UA students continue to excel in significant academic pursuits locally, nationally and worldwide.

Our students’ achievements are built upon the strong foundation provided by our academic community. Congratulations to Dr. Steven Jones who was named a Fulbright Scholar Alumni Ambassador and will serve a two-year term. He will share his Fulbright experience from his time in Namibia on college campuses and at academic conferences across the United States. In addition, nine members of the UA faculty were recently honored for their research and creative contributions as part of Faculty Research Day, which highlights and celebrates excellence in research, creativity and scholarship. UA’s research growth places us at No. 1 for all 14 universities in the SEC, No. 1 for all research universities in the state of Alabama and No. 9 for all 131 Carnegie-designated R1 universities. Our faculty and students continue to engage in meaningful research projects to creatively solve real-world problems.

Finally, I want to remind every member of our campus community that COVID-19 vaccinations are available to all UA students, faculty and staff at the Student Health Center and University Medical Center. Please carefully consider being vaccinated as we continue to plan for normal, on-campus operations this fall. Please help us protect yourself — and our community—by being vaccinated.

Enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures. It’s going to be a great summer at UA!

Roll Tide,

Stuart R. Bell
President