Category: Messages from the President

A Message from the President – March 8, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Last week, The University of Alabama System announced plans for a return to traditional in-person instruction without classroom capacity restrictions for the Fall 2021 Semester. As we plan for the fall, we will continue to work with the UA System Health and Safety Task Force and monitor recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health to ensure the well-being of our entire UA community. And, while we currently have a record low number of COVID-positive students, faculty and staff, continuing to follow recommended safety measures is essential for our ongoing progress.

In the persistent pursuit of academic excellence, our high achieving students, faculty and staff continue to excel academically and break boundaries. For the fifth time in the past six years, UA has been recognized as a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Student Awards, widely considered one of the most prestigious international scholarships. We are immensely proud of the 17 students in the 2020-2021 cohort. In addition, the Capstone’s highest honors, the Premier Awards, were recently awarded to nine students, faculty and staff who personify UA’s character to the highest degree. Finally, The University of Alabama Dance Marathon announced its impressive fundraising total of $303,126 for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham. Our people continue to learn, teach and serve with integrity.

Our momentum continues on the hardwood as congratulations are due to Alabama Crimson Tide Men’s Basketball Coach Nate Oats and our talented student-athletes for securing UA’s first regular season SEC championship since 2002. Coach Kristy Curry and our women’s basketball team have also enjoyed a fine season and are well-positioned for a berth in the NCAA Tournament. We are immensely proud of both teams and look forward to cheering them on throughout March Madness.

March also brings the celebration of Women’s History Month. In recognition of the many outstanding achievements of women throughout history, I encourage you to learn more about those who played important roles at our institution and others who continue to inspire future generations as trailblazers. Many of today’s impactful innovators, artists and journalists, and other professionals, are UA alumnae who have made tremendous contributions to society. We are proud to honor all women, especially those who have made lasting contributions to our University, state, nation and beyond.

Finally, students — as you continue to prioritize your academic focus this semester, don’t forget Monday, March 15, is a non-instructional wellness and study day. It’s important to set aside time to rest and reflect so you can recharge and finish the semester strong.

I remain thankful for the resiliency, dedication and determination of our UA community. You are our change makers and the dream builders of a better future. Thank you for how you represent this University and its values.

Tide Together,

Stuart R. Bell

A Message from the President – March 2, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

One of the most important values at The University of Alabama is the belief in the inherent dignity of every member of our community. Each semester, I reaffirm our pledge to promote and preserve a safe, respectful campus environment. We remain steadfastly committed to preventing sexual misconduct and any egregious behavior that threatens the freedom or respect due to every human being.

To that end, the University provides numerous resources, support and reporting options for victims of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, gender discrimination and harassment of any kind. We will continue to support survivors and to investigate complaints in an appropriate, unbiased manner that respects due process.

I encourage each of you to review the information and links provided in this message to be informed about the resources available to assist the members of our community, as well as providing contact information for reporting incidents. Please take the time to review UA’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy, which was updated in August 2020. I also encourage you to visit the UAct website, which was created as part of UA’s commitment to raise awareness and promote the prevention of sexual violence. For comprehensive Title IX information and to report sexual misconduct, please call the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Jessica Humber, at 205-348-0582 or email her office directly at To report misconduct, the UAPD may also be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days per week by calling 205-348-5454. Please also note that in the case of an on-campus emergency, bright blue emergency phones are available and are clearly marked. Each is a direct line to the UAPD Communications Center, and no dialing is necessary.

Additional support includes the Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC), which provides free, confidential counseling and advocates who are on call around the clock, including weekends and holidays. Additional counseling services are available to students at the Counseling Center and to employees through the Employee Assistance Program. Another important agency is the Tuscaloosa SAFE Center, which provides free health care, advocacy and compassionate counseling services to victims of sexual assault.

The UA Student Health Center and the UA Safe Zone Resource Center provide other vital support. The UA Safety App is a valuable tool that can provide immediate access to information during an emergency, including the ability to contact campus and law enforcement agencies. All of the resources at the Capstone are available to serve members of our community and guarantee everyone has the tools and support needed.

The University of Alabama takes the issue of sexual assault and any type of misconduct very seriously. We have a shared responsibility to create and maintain a culture of safety and respect. Please remain Tide Together, review the information presented here carefully and partner with us in our ongoing pursuit of dignity and well-being for all.

Stuart R. Bell

A Message from the President – February 18, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I hope you enjoyed a safe extended weekend thanks to the winter weather earlier this week.

With an ongoing emphasis on testing and the continuation of our vaccine distribution to faculty and staff, we have seen a steady decline in positive COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Because of the talented staff at our Student Health Center and University Medical Center, symptomatic and exposure testing continue to run smoothly and remain available for everyone in our UA community.

The Student Health Center’s medical professionals have dedicated long hours to serving our students over the past year, providing a skilled standard of care that has been both indispensable and impressive. I sincerely appreciate the servant leadership of our medical teams and staff.

This week we continue our celebration of Black History Month. Please make time to visit the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website to review the special programming to showcase African American culture and to support our path forward as an accepting, inclusive community. Join me in honoring the many black students, alumni, faculty and staff who have positively shaped UA’s history and legacy by learning more about their contributions and accomplishments.

Our legendary faculty and alumni contribute to our communities and the world with a pioneering impact on projects beyond the realm of our planet. In 2025, UA engineering researchers, including Dr. Rohan Sood, will partner with Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA to better understand how the sun and solar system function. We also look forward to the results of work led by Dr. Marcia Hay-McCutcheon through a $2.18 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for improving the lives of individuals with hearing loss in underserved, rural Alabama communities. Our revolutionary work as leaders in research, service and teaching continues in earnest and with unrivaled excellence.

Students, as we complete the sixth week of the spring term, I hope you will continue to set and pursue SMART goals to aid your focus on academic success. Learning is a lifelong process, and our dedicated faculty and staff are here to walk beside you on the journey toward a remarkable future.

Stay healthy; stay warm; and stay Tide Together. You make me proud.

Stuart R. Bell

A Message from the President – February 4, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

As members of The University of Alabama family, you serve as champions for the betterment of our state, nation and world. As such, we continue to do all we can to protect your health and well-being, including our ongoing COVID-19 response efforts that support our mission of transformative education.

The availability of vaccines is anticipated to grow throughout the spring and we have begun our campus vaccine program following the guidelines of CDC and the Alabama Department of Public Health. I am especially grateful for Dr. Richard Friend and the dedicated staff in the College of Community Health Sciences and the University Medical Center for their ongoing leadership and efforts to mitigate COVID-19 transmission. In addition, five faculty members from the University are contributing to a national research coalition to strengthen the equitability of COVID-19 vaccinations in our country.

Another important component of our proactive approach to fighting the virus is UA’s free sentinel testing efforts led by Dr. John Higginbotham and the COVID support team. We have seen a great response to our sentinel testing program through the first two weeks of the spring semester, and I want to thank those who have already participated. While symptomatic and exposure testing continue to be available, sentinel testing helps us detect trends, identify potential outbreaks and monitor the prevalence of the virus in our community.

These ongoing initiatives have enabled our campus to continue to boldly pursue our aspirations. Students, I am so proud of your academic accomplishments. An impressive 13,128 full-time, undergraduate students earned a position on either the Dean’s or President’s List during the Fall 2020 Semester. In addition, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship was awarded to three UA students who will study abroad during 2021-2022 to learn more about other countries and cultures. Senior Lauren Pan, who endeavors to bring more diversity to the field of engineering, demonstrated UA’s standard of excellence by receiving one of the Society of Women Engineers’ most prestigious collegiate awards this past November.

Unquestionably, our students’ notable achievements are inherently linked to our enterprising faculty and staff. We recently announced Dr. Sara McDaniel as UA’s recipient of the 2020 Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor Award. For his service, Dr. Ajay K. Agrawal was awarded the 2020 Burnum Distinguished Faculty Award. And Dr. Krystal Williams was selected as one of thenation’s top 15 emerging scholars under the age of 40. I applaud their achievements and appreciate all our faculty and staff for their exceptional work.

In conjunction with Black History Month, this week we recognize the 65th anniversary of Autherine Lucy Foster’s enrollment as the first African American student to integrate the UA campus. A trailblazer and living legend at the Capstone, Foster’s courageous legacy serves as a reminder of the impact of one brave individual. I invite you to watch this video we have produced in her honor.

I’m proud of this University, and it remains my honor to serve as your president.

Tide Together,

Stuart R. Bell

A Message from the President – January 13, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Today is the first day of the Spring 2021 Semester, and as classes begin, I am delighted to welcome you home to Tuscaloosa and to your campus community. A new semester is always exciting – an opportunity full of promise and possibility.

What better way to begin than by claiming our hard-earned position as football national champions! Monday night’s victory accentuates the continued excellence and integrity of our program. Congratulations to our outstanding student-athletes, Coach Nick Saban and our skilled coaching staff for a triumphant season. It was a uniquely challenging year for many reasons, and I am proud of how they represented the University both on and off the field.

The gatherings that followed the game underscore the need for continued vigilance and caution by every member of our community. For this reason, we have given faculty and students the flexibility for remote learning for the next two weeks.

Our faculty and staff have worked very hard to prepare for a successful spring. Despite the unique challenges we faced in the fall, we persisted and prevailed in finishing the semester and celebrating our graduates. Now we must continue our combined efforts to protect each other and stay healthy. We have hindsight to inform us, and medical experts who continue to advise us on how to remain safely on campus for the spring semester. I implore you to continue to do your part. Stay vigilant and follow the important health and safety standards we have in place.

Student, faculty and staff testing, which is a core component of our plan, will increase this spring, including sentinel, exposure, symptomatic and for-cause testing. Through UA’s comprehensive testing, we will continue to reduce virus spread and provide prompt support for those who may become infected. The health and well-being of our community remain our highest priority.

Faculty and staff, as our students pursue their interests in our state-of-the-art facilities with your support and expertise, I remain grateful for your continued commitment. You play an essential role in their experiences and success, and your contributions to our mission are crucial. Thank you for all you do.

It is going to be another great semester at The University of Alabama. Welcome back – and, of course, ROLL TIDE!

Stuart R. Bell

A Message from the President – December 15, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Over the weekend we celebrated nearly 1,800 students who participated in UA’s fall commencement ceremonies. For the class of 2020, comprised of students from every state and 19 countries, it was a monumental achievement forged by persistence and determination. I invite you to share in some of their stories and the remarkable journeys they took to achieve their educational goals at the Capstone.

As I reflect on our efforts since last spring, I am deeply grateful for all you have contributed to our success. Last week, I shared my pride and gratitude with our students for all they have achieved this year. Likewise, I could not have asked for a more caring, dedicated and supportive group of professionals than the faculty and staff who serve the students on this campus. It is an honor to work with you.

Faculty, thank you for your commitment and ingenuity. Through your flexibility and creativity, you found innovative ways to share your expertise and talents with our students and propel them to finish strong. Your efforts and personal investment are the foundation from which Alabama students will leave our campus and impact the world.

And, to our dedicated and resourceful staff — you deserve sincere appreciation. Your resilience has paved the way for the University to continue to achieve its mission. You have remained engaged, driven and invested in our University’s and students’ success. Thank you for your adaptability and your unwavering dedication to our campus community.

We look forward to cheering on the Crimson Tide in this weekend’s SEC Championship game and hope everyone will enjoy some richly deserved rest over the holidays.

Wherever you are this holiday season, Susan and I wish you joy, prosperity, good health and peace. As the celebrations begin, I’m happy to share this festive video from me and a few other familiar faces.

Roll Tidings!

Stuart R. Bell

P.S. If you have not had the opportunity to make a contribution to our United Way campaign, I hope you’ll consider doing so this week. The need in our community is greater than ever, and we still have a few days to reach our campaign goal

A Message from the President – December 7, 2020

Dear Students,

As I reflect on the fall semester, I am immensely proud of all you overcame and accomplished. I hope you will be encouraged by this video message in honor of your outstanding efforts and in tribute to our fall 2020 graduates.

Wherever you are during the break, we remain Tide Together in the spirit of the Capstone.

Happy Holidays!

Stuart R. Bell

A Message from the President – December 4, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

The University of Alabama annually reaffirms its full commitment to equal opportunity, nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including the policies and procedures that prohibit discrimination and unlawful harassment throughout our campus community. This commitment is supported by our strategic plan, which includes our goal to “enrich our learning and work environment by providing an accepting, inclusive community that attracts and supports a diverse faculty, staff and student body.” A central objective of the goal is to enhance the recruitment, hiring and retention of diverse faculty, staff and administrators.

I pledge my personal commitment to uphold the values expressed in this declaration, as well as to equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in all employment-related decisions. I trust all of you will join me in this pledge.

Please review the Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, and Affirmative Action Policy Statement and contact the appropriate office or individual if you have any questions. This policy, as well as other policies and information related to equal opportunity and unlawful discrimination in employment and education, is available on the Equal Opportunity Programs website and the Human Resources website.

Stuart R. Bell

A Message from the President – November 18, 2020

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.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell

A Message from the President – October 22, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff, Students and Parents,

Teaching, research and service are thriving at The University of Alabama. It was announced this week that we have experienced record-breaking external funding for research and other sponsored activities, the seventh consecutive year we have achieved an increase in sponsored awards for our research enterprise. For the third consecutive year, external grants and contracts also reached record levels. It is remarkable and unprecedented growth as we continue our ascent as a Very High Research Doctoral University.

Our dedicated faculty are earning national awards and recognition for their remarkable contributions. Congratulations to criminology and criminal justice instructor Douglas Klutz for being named the No. 1 college professor in the United States by Forbes for the second time in his career. Special recognition is also fitting for the four UA professors who have received national recognition early in their careers. The National Science Foundation selected Dr. Janna Fierst, Dr. Qiang Huang and Dr. Evan Wujcik for a CAREER Award, one of the nation’s most prestigious recognitions of top-performing young educators, scientists and academic role models. Dr. Alain Plattner was also awarded the Planetary Science Early Career Award from NASA, which supports outstanding early-career planetary scientists.

We are pleased to announce fall commencement details, including the ceremony times for the four exercises scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12, in Coleman Coliseum. Our December ceremonies will follow the same model that worked well for our nine safe and successful commencement exercises in July/August.

As we reach the third full week of October, I am happy to report many of our fall traditions are alive and well. Like you, I always look forward to our annual gridiron match-up with Tennessee. Last weekend’s thrilling victory over Georgia beamed another bright light on our University and I was proud of the way our student-athletes competed and our students and fans conducted themselves.

Please continue to do your part to protect our campus community. Our united efforts are working and we must remain vigilant to finish the semester strong and Tide Together.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell