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UAB vs UA: The Battle for University Equality
Tue, 9/07/13 – 10:39 | One Comment

This post is in response to “How Badly is the Univ. of Ala. hurting Birmingham? (ComebackTown)” by David Sher.
David’s article says it all and I just wanted to take a moment and throw my 2 …

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Home » Featured, Interesting, UAB

The UAB Restructure….what?

Submitted by astone on Tuesday, 7 April 200914 Comments
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 commission@uab.edu 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!

More info:

NBC 13 Report “UAB looking to realign, consolidate six schools”

InsideUAB.com “Academic Realignment Commission meets with students, faculty

UAB Reporter Online “Academic Realignment Commission created to assess academic options, alternatives”

Popularity: 4% [?]

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14 Comments »

  • Colin says:

    I was surprised when only a handful of faculty and students showed up at yesterday’s meeting, but then again everyone I know isn’t aware of the plan either.

    We posted up a podcast that discussed yesterday’s meeting here:

    (Link removed, I linked your podcast in the post. -Stone)

  • astone says:

    Like I said, I don’t think many know about this stuff and I really don’t know if people understand how big this is. I thought it was…odd… that they scheduled that meeting at such an awkward time yesterday.

  • tfayyad says:

    from my humble experience, whenever there is a similar situation where such critical activity is going on, and the answers are so vague or unadvertised, that means that whatever is being planned is going to be something that we will not like!

    compare the advertisement and clearness of the project going on at the Sterne library to this issue, big difference ey? fixing the library and adding a starbucks is something that everyone will definitely like! why wouldn’t they advertise it as much as possible?

    What makes me more worried about this is the fact that this kind of project is one that has definitely been in the plans for a while, why was it not mentioned in the most recent Student Forum?

    anyways, this is all my speculations… some people may think I’m exadurating and they might be right, I’m no expert

  • cbritton says:

    I agree with tfayyad.
    Something is weird here…
    I am very involved at UAB and NEVER heard about a meeting or anything where we could give our input.
    Also why is the info we are getting so limited and vague?
    I know starbucks is going in the library and Taco Bell in the HUC but, I don’t know ANYTHING about the whole “consolidating schools” idea.
    Someone coughgarrisoncough needs to give us the DL on whats up.
    Send an email out to all the students saying there will be an open forum to discuss this______.

  • Colin says:

    Stone,

    Thanks for the link. Didn’t notice that earlier. Is it working for you? I get an invalid URL message here.

  • astone says:

    Colin, it’s fixed now.

    Have you really not heard about this CJ?

  • AdamB says:

    I haven’t been to any of the meetings (just went through the slideshow, not much info), but if I had a hunch by “realigning” this would be an opportunity to remove tenured professors (who perhaps should or shouldn’t go) by merging and then removing departments, re-hiring the professors they want to keep.

    I could also see some practical moves, such as moving Neuroscience (and perhaps even Psychology) from SBS to NSM (Department of Psychology and Neurosciences?), or more interdisciplinary work between NSM and Engineering to de-facto create Engineering majors (or “concentrations”) that the UA Board of Trustees has denied (such as Chemical Engineering or even Wireless Engineering). This could be done without hiring the usual number of new faculty needed to create a new department (“Chemical Engineering” could be housed under Biomedical and/or Mechanical, “Wireless Engineering” could be housed under Electrical).

  • Molly says:

    I tried to find out more via that article in the Birmingham News, but it was equally as vague. I just wish someone would ACTUALLY tell us what’s going on :/

  • Nathan Welch says:

    I believe the school is trying to align some functions/schools to the new federal spending initiatives. The state funding gaps in Alabama change constantly. This could be a good move on UAB’s behalf–become less dependent upon fluid state funding sources that are run by a bunch of backwards UA law grads. Any move to get the University further outside of the idiot Board of Trustees’ reach is a good move.

  • Connie Lee says:

    So I work in President Garrison’s Office and Dr. Capilouto’s Office too…so I mean if you really want to know…I can always ask. I work on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so you can come up and visit them anytime you want Stone. lol. I mean it’s not like there’s top-notch security because there’s none at all, which is kinda scary now that I think about it…

  • astone says:

    You know what, I may just do that, how does one go about getting a meting lined up with the Provost or President?

  • Connie Lee says:

    umm…idk…if you call, their secretaries will answer and ask like a million questions about what you want…but maybe if you act super professional and tell them you are a “concerned student” and throw in that you have this website, them maybe you can get a meeting with one or the other.
    otherwise, walking up to the tenth floor of the administration building with like 50 other people demanding answers might work! lol.
    heres the number for the office: provost’s office 205-934-0622; president’s office 205-934-4636

  • Molly says:

    http://www.uab.edu/kscope/kaleidoscope-article-1391.html
    Apparently they’re dropping some departments.

  • I agree with tfayyad.Thanks.




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