Category: Messages from the President

UA’s Commitment to a Safe, Respectful Campus Environment

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Each semester I pledge to maintain The University of Alabama’s commitment to promoting and maintaining a safe, respectful campus environment. The well-being and security of every member of the UA community is a priority and, as part of that commitment, we will continue to work to eliminate gender discrimination and sexual misconduct of any kind from campus. With the fall semester underway, I want to again share important information about the resources, reporting options and support available to those affected by sexual misconduct.

The University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy provides a wealth of information about how to report potential sexual misconduct, how a report may be handled or investigated, and resources available to those affected by sexual misconduct, among other important topics. Resources include medical treatment and counseling services, academic assistance, safety planning and risk reduction, housing assistance, assistance with filing a criminal report, and assistance with community resources.

And speaking of community resources, I am proud to announce the upcoming opening of the Tuscaloosa SAFE Center early next month. The University is deeply committed to our partnership with DCH Regional Medical Center and other local entities in helping establish the center, a centrally located facility offering the latest advances in providing high-quality care to those impacted by sexual assault. This is a valuable resource for all members of our community affected by sexual violence.

The University’s Title IX Office, located at 107 Burke Hall West, works diligently to oversee our efforts to foster a secure campus community free of discrimination based on gender. Reports of sexual misconduct can be made to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Beth Howard, at titleix@ua.edu or by calling (205) 348-5496. Reports of sexual misconduct may be filed directly with UAPD at (205) 348-5454. Confidential reporting is also available through the Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) and UA Counseling Center. A full list of reporting options is outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and by visiting UAct at www.ua.edu/uact.

I also encourage all of you to text “UASAFETY” to 444999 to receive a downloadable KEYNECTUP Contact Card. This valuable card allows you to easily upload into your phone relevant contact numbers and information related to safety and support resources like UAPD, Title IX and the WGRC.

In addition to the foregoing resources, the UA Safety App gives immediate access to information in case of an emergency, including the ability to quickly contact campus and law enforcement agencies. It features a built-in GPS to provide walking directions to any building location on campus, including the locations of shelters and AEDs. A variety of resources, services and support programs are listed on the Sexual Assault and Misconduct Services and Support website at ua.edu/SAMS.

Please know that The University of Alabama takes the issue of sexual misconduct very seriously. Each semester we will update our campus community about the full range of resources available to all of you. I hope you will personally commit to partnering with us in an ongoing effort to combat sexual wrongdoing.

Stuart R. Bell
President

Welcome Message

Dear Campus Community:

I am thrilled to see so many faces who are new to the Capstone this fall. Welcome to The University of Alabama! I can’t wait to see how our newest students, faculty and staff members will maximize their unique talents to continue building our university’s tradition of excellence.

I also want to welcome back our returning students, faculty and staff. We are so glad you will continue the good work you have already started at the University.  I hope you were able to use the summer to rest and recharge and are now ready to hit the ground running during this Week of Welcome. I encourage you to begin by seeking out ways to foster relationships among our entire campus community. With each semester, there is a new opportunity to make a positive difference in your own life and education – and in the lives of many others.

While you were away, we stayed very busy. More than 250 incoming freshmen immersed themselves in service projects in West Alabama through Alabama Action and Ripple Effect Day of Service. Students landscaped and painted schools, cleaned up outdoor recreational areas, conducted vision screenings, partnered with local nonprofits and more. Their contributions to the community are a reflection of the University’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians. What an impact these students’ hard work has already made on the Tuscaloosa area.

Our students also continue to win a large number of Fulbright Awards, ranking UA among the top producers of Fulbright Award winners in the country. For the current academic year, 15 University of Alabama students have been selected to teach, study and do research abroad through this competitive program. We remain steadfast in our mission to share knowledge and to spread positive influence.

Speaking of awards, the accolades just keep coming. Our Alabama Public Radio staff won the national Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for their yearlong work investigating and reporting on Alabama’s rural health crisis. The APR news team received their well-deserved award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., and we are delighted their documentary was recognized.

Additionally, Seth Panitch, professor of acting and head of UA’s acting programs, won a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to produce his play “Separate and Equal,” which will premiere at the Marian Gallaway Theater on campus Aug. 28-31. From there, the play will run a full month beginning Sept. 6 in New York.

These are tremendous accomplishments and are just a few of the many influential and impactful leaders we have on our campus. Let us use their examples and channel their energy as we all remember our commitment to the Capstone Creed.

I look forward to the friendships and exciting achievements ahead, and to working alongside you as we further the legacy of this great university. I am glad you’re here on this journey with us.

Again, welcome back and, as always, ROLL TIDE!

Stuart R. Bell

President

End of the Year Message

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

The University of Alabama has finished another successful academic year. It began with record-breaking enrollment of 38,563 students, and ended with the presentation of more than 5,000 degrees earlier this month.

Once again, our students, faculty and staff have distinguished themselves, and our athletic teams continue to excel at the highest level as we won national championships in football, as well as men’s wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.

It is an honor for me to lead this great University, and I am pleased to share with you this video highlighting just a few of our successes that all of you made possible.

Stuart R. Bell
President

End of the Semester Update

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Another academic year is about to close, and I want to thank you for making The University of Alabama your home this year. You are the essence of this University, and we take pride in your achievements.

Our students are busy studying as they head into finals, and Susan and I always enjoy hosting them for a late-night breakfast to get them fed and refueled. We look forward to seeing the students tonight for a complimentary breakfast from 10 p.m. until midnight at Fresh Foods, 500 Margaret Drive. Please note this is a new location from years past due to renovations at Lakeside Dining.

In the last few weeks, we have had several reasons to celebrate. Two of our students – Elizabeth Rowe of Chicago and Donna Xia of Tuscaloosa – became our newest Goldwater Scholars. Congratulations to both of them. This brings our total to 53, and we continue to be one of the top two producers of Goldwater Scholars across the nation.

Have you heard we won two more national championships this week? Our wheelchair tennis team won its third consecutive national championship, and fourth overall, defeating the University of Florida. Also, senior Jalen Drummond of Wedowee, Alabama, won first place in informative speaking at the 41st American Forensics Association Individual Events Tournament Championships. Congratulations to them and everyone who works with our highly successful forensics and adapted athletics programs.

We also won another SEC championship this month when our students won first place in the SEC Student Cyber Challenge. They had 48 hours to develop a solution in a hackathon-style challenge. Team members are Kevin Poorman, Austin Lucas, James Woods and Austin Hose. Their team adviser is Dr. Matthew Hudnall.

During last week’s Spring Campus Assembly, we were pleased to recognize Dr. David Hale and Lee Harris for their commitment to service and excellence as members of UA’s faculty and staff. Dr. Hale, professor of information systems, statistics and management information in the Culverhouse College of Business, received the E. Roger Sayers Endowed Distinguished Service Award. Lee Harris, assistant chief of the UA Police Department, received the Dr. Minnie C. Miles Endowed Excellence Award.

Next week, more than 5,600 of our students will graduate and begin a new chapter in their lives. Susan and I look forward to hosting them at a reception at the President’s Mansion from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 4, and we look forward to seeing many of you May 4-6 for commencementceremonies at Coleman Coliseum.

Susan and I wish all of you the best as you begin your summer, and we look forward to seeing you back here in the fall.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

Spring Semester Update

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

The end of the semester is a busy time so I want to make sure you are aware of several things that may be of particular interest to you this month.

This week we will be hosting Honors Week activities as we recognize many of our students for their commitment to excellence in the classroom. We are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Computer-Based Honors Program and its official renaming to the Catherine J. Randall Research Scholars Program.

Speaking of celebrations, the School of Social Work is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week, which will include a dedication of Little Hall after recent renovations. I hope you have also heard we are celebrating 125 Years of Women at UA as we recognize the impact women have had on the University since Anna Adams and Bessie Parker first enrolled in 1893. A list of events will appear on our website throughout this year.

As part of the nationwide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Denny Chimes will sound 39 times at precisely 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, once for each year of Dr. King’s life. It was also 50 years ago this month that the Black Student Union was founded on our campus. To commemorate this milestone, BSU will host a weekend-long celebration April 19-21.

Later this month, we will recognize excellence in research and scholarship at Faculty Research Day. I hope you can join us April 17 at 4:00 p.m. at the Bryant Conference Center. You can view the online list of 12 faculty who are being honored, and we will present the President’s Faculty Research Award at the event.

While I am mentioning faculty, please join me in congratulating Dr. Trudier Harris, a UA English professor, who was named a recipient of the 2018 SEC Faculty Achievement Awards, and is now a nominee for SEC Professor of the Year. This year, Harris also has received the 2018 Clarence E. Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing and was named a 2018-19 Fellow of the National Humanities Center. We wish her all the best.

Other significant awards were presented March 22 at the Premier Awards dinner. I hope you will take time to read the recipients’ bios because they are quite impressive. Student recipients were Marissa Navarro, Maggie Holmes, Asia Hayes, Nivory Gordon III, Theresa Stoddard and Manoj Sunny. Dr. Kristy Reynolds received the faculty award, and Lamea “Elle” Shaaban-Magana received the non-student award for demonstrating the highest standards of scholarship, leadership and service.

I also want to congratulate Maret Montanari for becoming UA’s first Public Relations Student of the Year as named by PRWeek. This is the highest honor given to PR students across the nation. It certainly speaks to our outstanding public relations program, which has been in the top five nationally eight out of the last 10 years.

Let me take a moment to congratulate our men’s wheelchair basketball team for bringing home their second national championship. It was also great to see our men’s basketball team advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Avery Johnson is building a terrific program, and we are already excited about next year.

A special thank you goes to our facilities and grounds crew that went to Jacksonville State University last week to help in the aftermath of an EF3 tornado that hit their campus March 19. About 50 of our students also went over the weekend to assist in this important effort as JSU works to reopen for classes. I spoke with JSU’s president, John Beehler, last week, and he told me how much their campus appreciates the tremendous support they have received from us.

We have new leaders for both our Student Government Association and Faculty Senate. Congratulations to Price McGiffert of Tuscaloosa, our new SGA president, and Dr. Rona Donahoe, professor in geological sciences, who is the new president of the Faculty Senate. I look forward to working with both of them in the coming year.

I hope you will mark your calendars for our spring Campus Assembly Tuesday, April 17, at 1:30 p.m. in the Ferguson Theater. We will present annual awards, hear from faculty, staff and student leaders, and I will provide a University update. Refreshments will be served. I hope you can join us.

Lastly, please take time to complete the survey about work-life balance that was sent to you by email. Your input is important as we work to make The University of Alabama one of the premier places to work in higher education. The email is from Modern-Think, and it contains both a link and a password. The deadline is April 13.

I know I say it often, but thank you for everything you do each day to make this such a special place for all of us who live and work here.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

Message from the President

We have learned of an offensive video involving racist language by a student who is no longer enrolled. We hold our students to a much higher standard than this. We are united in condemning this racist behavior and resolute in our commitment to ensure our students, faculty and staff know they are welcome, accepted and supported on our campus, and that discriminatory behavior will not be tolerated. The University is dedicated to continuing our collective work with students, faculty and staff to ensure an inclusive campus for every member of our community.

Stuart R. Bell
President

Great Accomplishments from this Semester

Good morning!

With the semester almost half over and spring break just around the corner, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of the great accomplishments from this semester.

Our students will be electing their representatives to the Student Government Association today. I hope our students will take time to vote and let their voices be heard. SGA plays such an important role in the lives of our students and on our campus.

I’m pleased to tell you The University of Alabama is once again a top producer for Fulbright U.S. Student Awards, and we are the leader in the SEC. Fifteen of our 47 applicants received the award, one of the highest percentages in the nation. This is the second time in the past three years UA has been recognized as a top Fulbright producer. Ten of our graduates won awards as teaching assistants, and five received Fulbright awards for research and study overseas.

I’m also happy to report that senior Luke Kaliszak, a member of the UA men’s swimming and diving team, was honored last month as the SEC Male Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Luke is an NCAA champion and a 10-time All-American who carries a 3.9 GPA as a pre-med major. This is the third year in a row that an Alabama swimmer has earned this honor. Also, at its meeting last month, The University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved a $21 million renewal and renovation of the Alabama Aquatic Center, home to the Crimson Tide men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the University of Alabama Dance Marathon announced it raised $341,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at Children’s of Alabama. Thanks to everyone who participated in this great fundraiser for such a worthy cause.

When we return to campus after the break, all faculty and staff will be invited to complete a work experience survey. This email will come from ModernThink, an off-campus vendor. The University is committed to providing a work environment that encourages our employees to thrive in all areas of life, and I encourage each of you to complete the survey.

The next few weeks will be busy ones, but I hope you will mark your calendar to attend the Spring Campus Assembly at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, in the Ferguson Theatre. We will present annual awards, hear from faculty, staff and student leaders, and I will provide a University update. Light refreshments will be served. I hope you will join us.

Best wishes for a happy and safe break next week, and Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

Chime In – Workplace Experience Survey

Dear Faculty and Staff:

As part of our strategic plan, Advancing the Flagship, the University is committed to providing opportunities and resources that promote work-life balance and enhance the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty and staff. In order to support this effort, we will be introducing a workplace experience survey in the coming weeks, and we invite you to participate.

The University has always been committed to providing a work environment that encourages our employees to thrive in all areas of life. As we continue to grow and move forward, we want to ensure we are making progress in this area. As an employee, your opinion matters to us. We invite you to CHIME IN and add your voice to this project. Your responses will help guide our leadership team as we work to support work-life balance. Your feedback will allow us to see where we are now and how we might improve.

The survey will be coordinated by a third-party, off-campus vendor, ModernThink, and your responses will be kept confidential. After the survey period is over and ModernThink has compiled the results, we plan to share them with the campus community. For more information about the project or the process itself, please visit http://oira.ua.edu/chime-in/.

In addition to aiding our work-life balance efforts, survey responses may also support our accreditation efforts through SACSCOC. Your input is important, and I hope you will take this opportunity to CHIME IN.

Stuart R. Bell
President

Resources to assist those affected by sexual misconduct

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

The conversations around sexual assault and misconduct happening across the national and social media landscape are a timely reminder for everyone to learn about the resources, reporting options and support available to members of the UA campus community.

The University offers a wealth of services, staff and other resources to any member of our campus community, outlined at https://www.ua.edu/sams, which includes how to report any type of sexual misconduct. The UA Sexual Misconduct Policy addresses how the University will respond and provide assistance to affected individuals. The University is also committed to providing employees with training for issues related to sexual misconduct.

Reports may be filed directly with UAPD or other University offices as outlined at www.ua.edu/uact. Confidential reporting is also available through the Women and Gender Resource Center at https://wgrc.sa.ua.edu/ and Counseling Center at https://counseling.sa.ua.edu/. A list of all confidential reporting options is available.

The University’s Title IX Office, located at 107 Burke Hall West, is instrumental to the University’s efforts to foster a campus community free of gender discrimination and sexual violence.

The Title IX Office also protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. A list of frequently asked questions addresses resources and support for pregnant and parenting students and is available on the Title IX Office website at https://titleix.ua.edu/.

Sincerely,
Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President

In light of the racist and disturbing videos posted by one of our students on social media, I want to express my personal disgust and disappointment.

Like many of you, I find the videos highly offensive and deeply hurtful, not only to our students and our entire University community, but to everyone who viewed them. The actions of this student do not represent the larger student body or the values of our University, and she is no longer enrolled here.

We hold our students to much higher standards, and we apologize to everyone who has seen the videos and been hurt by this hateful, ignorant and offensive behavior. This is not who we are; it is unacceptable and unwelcome here at UA. These types of incidents affect community members differently. If you have been impacted and would like additional support, please access resourceshere that are available to you on our campus.

Over the last year, I have had conversations with many of you who shared your UA experiences with me. You have voiced your pride in the progress we have made, but we still have much work to do. I want to thank all of the students, faculty and staff who met today to have conversations about this event and the steps we can take, individually and collectively, to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus. You have my commitment and the commitment of our leadership team to sustain progress and address directly any issues that arise.

I know you join me in taking a stand against this and all reprehensible behavior. As members of this community, we are a family and this is our home. Everyone has a right to feel safe and welcome here.

Stuart R. Bell
President