Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents,
With a few days of in-person instruction remaining in this semester, I want to thank all of you for your hard work, perseverance and trust.
The eyes of the world were on our university and the University of Alabama System when we announced our goal of opening safely in August, guided by a comprehensive Health and Safety Plan. Many institutions around the country followed our model, and once again our people led by example. Special appreciation goes to Chancellor Finis St. John, the Board of Trustees, Governor Kay Ivey, the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Return to Full Operations, the UA Situational Response Team and all who provided the necessary resources to help us achieve our ambitious goal.
A robust testing program has served as a critical component to our success this semester. We are grateful to Dean Ricky Friend, Dr. John Higginbotham and the many faculty and staff at University Medical Center, the Student Health Center and our campus partners who have administered more than 80,000 tests over the past four months.
Students, as you leave for Thanksgiving and winter break, please remember: free exit testing is available to you at Coleman Coliseum. Scheduling an exit test is a smart, practical way to protect you, your family and your hometown community. Appointments will fill quickly, so please schedule your free test as soon as possible.
The work of the Presidential Advisory Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, led by Dr. Christine Taylor and her team, has been another signal achievement of 2020. Charged with developing plans to build on our strategic goal to attract and support a diverse community, the committee of faculty, staff and students has produced a comprehensive report, featuring strategies derived from institutional data, best practices and research. This report and its recommendations will be an essential guide star for our continued progress.
At a time when public health dominates the global spotlight, we are pleased to share the news that Dr. Heather Carter-Templeton, a professor in the Capstone College of Nursing, has been inducted into the American Academy of Nursing 2020 Class of Fellows. After a rigorous national selection process, Dr. Carter-Templeton was chosen for her extraordinary commitment and contributions to her field.
My family and I are deeply thankful for the faculty, staff and students here at the Capstone. Our faculty have risen to the occasion and developed innovative instruction methods to connect with students. The transformational educational opportunities for which we are known are changing lives, and our stature as a leader among research universities continues to soar.
Best wishes for safe travels and good health during the holiday season.
Stuart R. Bell