The UAB Restructure….what?
Ok, so as many of you may or may not know, UAB evidently has a “restructure” or “realignment” in the works. The thing is, nobody really knows what that means. I will be the first to say that I am very confused and I kind of feel like I am in the dark regarding this whole situation. And from what I have hear, so is the rest of the student body. However, when it comes to being in the dark about the issue, students are not the only ones. I have talked to almost everyone I know in administration, asking them casually about the restructure and they are just as clueless as I am. I would dare to say that probably half the student body hasn’t even heard about the “restructure”. Not that if they had they would know much more than I do, I’m just saying.
So let’s take a look at how it all began. Maybe you remember getting this email from UAB President Carol Garrison. I am assuming it went out to all students, and maybe also all UAB employees. I’m just going to quote the part that applies most to us as students:
In the academic units, Provost Eli Capilouto is working with deans and faculty to develop the “Creating our Future” program, being announced today. The focus is on how to conceive of and invest in our future so that we are best able to meet the educational needs of the 21st century student. As part of that exercise, a Commission has been formed to begin university-wide discussions on whether we should consider realigning the six schools on the west side of our campus. The Commission, a panel of national and community leaders, will guide those discussions over the next two months, with many opportunities for input from the UAB community. To learn more about the commission’s charge, membership, and how to participate, please see http://www.uab.edu/future. The Commission activity will be followed by a review of libraries and the provost administrative organization to best support the academic mission. Concurrently, the provost has asked our health-related schools to propose new
synergies in their operations and plans.
Carol Z. Garrison, President
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Ok so, there is a lot of information there, and to be honest it’s all kind of vague. The parts that really stand out to me are “…a Commission has been formed to begin university-wide discussions on whether we should consider realigning the six schools on the west side of our campus” and “…with many opportunities for input from the UAB community.” Now what does that mean?! Realign schools (those schools being: Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Math, Business, Education, Engineering, and Social and Behavioral Sciences)? Uh, does that mean merger of schools, or maybe merger of majors? I don’t really know. I do know what there is a TON of speculation going on around campus. Who knows to what extent this realignment and restructure will effect us as students.
Also she said that the UAB community will have chances to put forth some input. How would one go about putting forth input? Well it looks like you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to say what you want to say. To what extent your say will matter, I do not know. One thing that took place, which was supposed to help clear up some things, was a “town hall” meeting which happened yesterday (Monday April 6th) at the Alys Stevens Center. This was a meeting set up, as I said, to clear up some speculation, entertain questions from the public, and accept input. However, I talked to some people who went to this meeting, and they said they were just as confused after the meeting as they were before it. I unfortunately was not able to attend the meeting so I don’t know exactly what went on, I do applaud the committee though for trying to reach out.
So, considering that I am just a student and I don’t know a whole lot about the issue (doesn’t look like anyone else does either!), I don’t really know what to say about it. I will say that the Email, Bham News Article, Town Hall meeting and “UAB Future” website are all very vague. I really would like to get some concrete information out of the commission, but who knows, maybe they are just as clueless as I am.
Do you know anything about the UAB restructure? What do you think will happen? Let me know in the comments!
InsideUAB.com “Academic Realignment Commission meets with students, faculty”
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