Meet the President

Dr. Stuart R. Bell became the 29th president of The University of Alabama on June 18, 2015.

He previously served the Capstone for 16 years as a faculty member and then department head of mechanical engineering. 

Under his leadership, UA has seen an increase in both student retention and graduation rates; increased faculty headcount; grown sponsored program awards crucial to direct learning and experience opportunities for students; and benefited from historic fundraising. New interdisciplinary research centers have been established and join many other programs on campus focused on solving critical, real-world challenges. 

 In September 2021, Dr. Bell announced the launch of The Rising Tide, the largest capital campaign in University and state history. The transformative fundraising campaign will serve as a catalyst for heightened enrollment, advanced research and creative endeavors and expanded opportunities for students to benefit from the premier educational, leadership and research opportunities available as part of the Alabama experience. In February 2024, The University of Alabama achieved its initial target of $1.5 billion and embarked on The Rising Tide 2.0, increasing the campaign’s goal by 20% to $1.8 billion.

 Prior to becoming UA’s president, Dr. Bell was executive vice president and provost at Louisiana State University and served as both the chief academic officer and the chief operating officer. Before his time at LSU, Dr. Bell served the University of Kansas as dean of the School of Engineering.

 With research concentrations in combustion engines, Dr. Bell has expertise in fuels for engines, innovative engine designs and modeling of engine and engine processes. He founded and directed UA’s Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies, an interdisciplinary research center producing new generations of engineers and scientists. Dr. Bell was also inducted as an Engineering Department Fellow by UA’s department of mechanical engineering. He was awarded the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Ralph Teetor Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research and Teaching and the T. Morris Hackney Faculty Leadership Award for the College of Engineering. 

 Dr. Bell was also honored with the Richard S. Woodbury Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, was selected as a recipient of the Dwight Look College of Engineering Outstanding Alumni Award from Texas A&M University and was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni in Mechanical Engineering at his alma mater.  He currently serves on the SEC Executive Committee, beginning a two-year term as the Committee’s president on July 1, 2023. 

 An Abilene, Texas native, Dr. Bell earned a degree in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M in 1979. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the same university in 1981 and 1986, respectively.

 It was also at Texas A&M that Dr. Bell met his wife, Susan. They are the proud parents of three adult children, Stuart, Stacy and Stephen, three granddaughters and three grandsons. Both of Dr. Bell’s sons followed in his footsteps and are engineers, and his daughter is a UA alumna.


Photos & Videos

The President’s Mansion

The President’s Mansion is a historic three-story stucco brick Greek Revival style mansion on the campus of The University of Alabama. The structure narrowly avoided destruction during the American Civil War, making it one of the oldest surviving buildings on campus today. The mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 14, 1972, due to its architectural and historical significance. It has been renovated on numerous occasions in the more than 160 years since it was completed and still serves as the president’s on-campus residence.