UAB State of the University Address

UAB State of the University Address


Welcome everyone. It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity
to provide this encore and updated State of the University presentation. And in particular, we wanted to make it as
broadly available as possible so we’re live streaming it today for those to watch on their
computers and on their mobile devices and truly 2016 has been a record year a groundbreaking
year for UAB. Every part of our mission is thriving, really
like never before. Our educational programs, our enrollment is
at its largest ever. Our serve funding has increased dramatically
over the past two to three years after the economic downturn. Our faculty is working hard, being very successful. We’ve seen more patients this year than
ever in our health system. Over a million and a half patients, saved
more lives, helped more families than ever before. Our community service is broader and deeper
here at home and our local community across the state, across the nation and on every
continent around the world. We have faculty and students working and learning. And we continue to have a very powerful impact
on economical development of Birmingham of Alabama and America. And our innovation district initiative partnership
with the Birmingham Business Alliance, the city of Birmingham, Jefferson County. Our major corporations, Alabama Power, Regions,
McWane, Community Foundation and others is going to set the stage for a transformational
next one to two to three years around innovation in Birmingham. We’ve got a tremendous campus master plan. We’re going to build four new buildings
over the next three years along with a lot of other facilities and projects we’ll talk
about. We’re almost to 20,000 students this year. 19,535. Largest freshman class ever. Very talented academically. Largest honors college classes ever and this
is all a result of great teamwork by our terrific people. The provost office and enrollment management
team, lead by Bradley Barnes, but that’s really been in concert with all of the deans
and faculty and leaders across all of our schools in the college of arts and sciences. This video will provide a highlight:
UAB ushers in a groundbreaking fall semester, with its largest freshman class ever and a
record year for recruitment and retention. UAB’s total enrollments numbers reflect
incredible growth on campus, with 19,535 students, an increase of 6.5%. Vice Provost for enrollment management, Bradley
Barnes, says, “This growth is a testament to hard work and an aggressive recruitment
strategy.” We put a variety of programs in place to help
gets us to this mark. Including adding additional recruiters out
of state. We added one in California, Texas, Tennessee
and Georgia to give us a total of five including our Illinois recruiter. That attributed to about a 13.7% growth in
out of state enrollment. We also saw sizeable growth in international
students as well. UAB welcomed its largest freshman class ever
with 2,021 first time students. Scores remained consistent with last years
record high achieving freshman class with an average ACT 24.9 and a GPA of 3.65. Five hundred of those students were accepted
into UAB’s Honors College. Barnes says growing a campus and maintaining
quality is most rewarding, but he’s most pleased with the uptick in UAB’s retention
numbers. Our increase in retention is probably one
of the most exciting things that has come out of this past year. It’s an institutional priority. It’s important to the university. It’s important to me. Retention is tied to so many things. It’s tied to enrollment. It’s also tied to graduation rates. So to be able to increase first-time freshman
retention by more than 3% is quite a feat and all of campus should be really pleased
with that number. This record-breaking enrollment comes on the
heels of exciting new additions to campus and student services. Last fall we opened a new residence hall;
in the spring we opened the new student center. The state of the art practice facility for
athletics this summer, this fall we break ground on the new school of business and a
new school of nursing. That level of excitement will continue to
produce momentum on this campus. With its diverse student population, unique
programs, world-renowned faculty and opportunities for student to be engaged in like never before. UAB’s moment is contagious and its impact
reaches far beyond its backyard. We’re going to break records this year in
every aspect of our mission. Our student enrollment, our research is over
five hundred million dollars a year and growing, we’re treating more patients and saving
more lives than ever. We’re having a tremendous impact on our
community. We’re driving economic prosperity in Birmingham. Amazingly, our honors college has doubled
in enrollment over the past four years. Dean Shannon Blanton and our leaders of the
honors program. The science and technology program, and our
experiential learning and global learning communities are doing a fabulous job of providing
our students with unique experiences. And you can see the tremendous growth in these
curves. We’re excited about growing our international
student population. We already have a strong international population,
from over sixty countries. But through our partnership with N2 International,
we plan to grow that and offer student from around the world opportunity to come here
and attain a world-class undergraduate education. And by so doing, enrich our student body and
give our students exposure to many cultures and people from different backgrounds and
to make friendships and collaborations around the world. Many of the global collaborations we have
now are because students or trainees or scientists or physicians came from elsewhere to here
and went back to their home countries and we established strong partnerships and research
programs together. We are also working closely with our two-year
community colleges, in particular Jefferson State, the largest. We just sign a reciprocal credit hour recognition
agreement with them, so any class taken there will be credited here, same ours there. And we created two new full tuition scholarships
for students who successfully complete their two-year associates degree and come to UAB. As you saw, there’s really growth across
every aspect of the university. All of our schools and colleges and you can
see that all are in the six to eight percent growth range. Public health has grown so much because of
the undergraduate program and its tremendous growth. Honors College, you can see, just in this
year 24% increase in credit hour production. The graduate school, our masters programs
particularity, are growing rapidly. We have capacity because we had built capacity
and with the three new academic buildings, we will be completing over the next two to
three years, along with our new genomic medicine and data sciences research building, we have
capacity for more students. We continue to innovate around majors that
we can uniquely provide because we have a world-class comprehensive university. A health science center and world-class college
of arts and sciences, engineering, business, and the other health sciences. And you see the newest majors, just recently
approved. A bachelor of science in Immunology, B.S in
Human Resource Management, a growing area of need, B.A. in Computer and Information
Sciences, that’s for those who want to be computer scientists but are not calculus whizzes
who might do the B.S., and this is a growing area of interest which is why we developed
that. A Masters of Social Work and a Doctorate of
Nursing Practice which is now specific to our nursing school at our campus. New majors in the works and plans: Bioinformatics,
information science around large biological datasets, like genomic datasets. Digital Forensics, ever more important, Genetics
and Genomic Sciences, and perhaps the first undergraduate degree in Cancer Biology in
the nation. Our undergraduates have unparalleled opportunities
to interface with our world-class faculty and do research early in their tenure, not
just as juniors or seniors. Our research expos where they present their
work in front of others. The faculty, the students, our community are
expanding. You can see the numbers. We have had to expand from one day to two
days and we now have a spring and summer and fall expo. Our students continue to break records in
winning national, international scholarships and fellowships and other recognitions. Road scholarships: Marshal, Goldwater, and
Boren. And a growing number of Clinton Global Initiative
university opportunities. Our graduate programs continue to rank highly
nationally. You can see there across a spectrum of disciplines
how well they are doing. They are continuing to grow. Our talented marketing team, communications
team and our new digital marketing team have put together a campaign and they are working
hard to share through the digital formats our young people of today are more familiar
with than television ads or billboards. And you’ll see in just a moment one of those
that they adapted for YouTube. But our efforts are across the nation now
and we are working hard to make sure we are available, even on their iPhone or smartphone. Choosing a college can be tough. Classic or Modern? Big game or big sound? Close to home or a doorway to the world? Choose A and B, choose UAB. That’s produced by our students. Rosey O’Burn is here who leads that group. They chose the music, they chose the visuals,
they chose the wording and it’s a rapping BAM BAM fifteen second tell you about UAB
and hopefully capture your attention. I’m sure it will. We also have a world-class, beautiful, new,
fifty million dollar student center, which has everything imaginable. Our folks who programmed and planned that
for several years did an exceptional job. Everything a student could need outside the
classroom is there. Our One Stop, our advising, our various organizations,
student affairs, dining, BBQ, Asian noodles, Panera Bread. The faculty go in there more and more for
lunch. It’s a great environment. It has really just been a tremendous success. It’s also a beautiful extension of our campus
green with the green space that’s in front of the student center. Our in house team has produced a great new
video that shows a tour of the center. We now have a new Dragon Wagon for welcoming
new prospective students and their families for tour around campus. We are going to break ground on more facilities
over the next few years than we have in a very long time, perhaps ever. Our new Football Operations Center, Legacy
Pavilion, is already broken ground on. It’s already coming out of the ground. It’s going great and it’s going to be
ready by next summer. We just broke ground on our School of Nursing
building, which will be on top of the current site for our School of Nursing building. It’s going to be a world-class, 21st century
educational building with a lot of space for simulations and modern training. Collat School of Business, which will also
have the Harvard Institute for Innovations in Entrepreneurship. We’re going to break ground on that in December
2016. It’s going to be a beautiful world-class
building right in University Blvd., between 13th and 12th street. We are in the planning stages and already
saw the architectural drawings for the new College of Arts and Sciences building, which
will be on the southwest corner of the campus green. It’ll be a reflection of Heritage Hall. It has been termed Heritage Hall II for now,
but I’m sure we’ll come up with an even better name. We plan to break ground on that sometime in
2017. Our first research building in a number of
years, will be a new world-class genomic medicine and data sciences research building on the
corner of 18th street and between 8th Ave and 9th Ave, beside the school of health professions
and across the street from Shelby and our other research buildings. We just met today with some of our housing
consultants, who are putting together a master plan for student housing. We just opened that new freshman residents
hall a year ago, 714 beds were full and over subscribed by about 100 students this fall
and we already know we need additional housing and are planning for that through this study
for not just now, over the next one to two to three years, but over the next five years
and beyond. The McCallum Research Building is our largest
research building. We are beginning a comprehensive renovation
of it in phases because it is so big and contains so many of our laboratory researchers. We are going to accomplish that over the next
three years or so. We’re going to transform that building into
to equivalent of a brand new research building. We are also beginning plans for renovation
of Campbell Hall, which is both educational space along with research and educational
laboratory space in the College of Art and Sciences. We will be initiating the plans in the coming
year. Sterne Library. We continue to make investments in not only
the content, but in the space. We created a Maker’s Space with the collaboration
of students and faculty along with the school of business, the school of engineering and
Biomedical Sciences. You can see a picture there on top of the
3D printer and other technology our students have access to. It’s in Sterne Library so it’s available
almost 24/7. The Maker’s Space has been a great collaboration
along with a number of other schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. In the process of that, we applied for and
attained funding from the National Science Foundation for four innovation fellows per
a year. Who help lead this space, lead the activities
there and who help push innovation at UAB, especially among undergraduates as well as
our masters programs. Also, on the second floor of the Stern Library,
we’re renovating a large space for our N2 International Student Center. You can see the various kinds of classrooms,
meeting rooms, learning resource center and so forth. That will be done in January of 2017. Lister Hill Library, our library for the health
science, we continue to also add content and make renovations. Both of these libraries have really become
even stronger magnets for students studying by themselves but especially in small groups
or larger groups and that continues on the first floor where we just made major renovations
and have made plans on the second floor along with a new museum for the archives of UAB. We have a fabulous innovation lab at Innovation
Depot. Our incubator has about 100 companies in it,
plus or minus at any one time. School of Business initiated this I-Lab and
it has become a hotbed of activity. Already half a dozen student run new companies
have been formed and the faculty work with our students there, mentor them, both undergraduate
as well as masters and advance degree levels. They do real work for the companies that are
there in the form of marketing plans, business plans, funding plans and otherwise. We’ve got some exciting new expansion of
green space. Intramural fields. One that will be a square block, large, and
it will be done in the coming year between 5th and 6th Ave and 11th and 12th St. It’ll
be the equivalent of two football fields and it’ll be for our club sports and our intramural
activities as well as for our recreation center. The campus master plan, J. Fowler and our
facilities team, lead by Bob McMaines and others are doing a fabulous job. We now have a ten year forward looking master
plan that truly is helping us develop one of the most welcoming, attractive, sustainable,
state-of-the-art urban campuses in the nation. We have expanded now to about a hundred blocks
in Birmingham on the south side, about 25% of downtown Birmingham, and we want to make
sure we are good neighbors to all of the communities and activities around us. We now are basically connected to downtown
via Park Side, as we are contiguous to Parks Side where Regions Park and Railroad Park
and all of the housing and retail and other development is occurring. It connects us down to where we transfer to
downtown under the viaducts and across the railroad tracks. Our campus life is richer and busier than
ever and you see there on top fireworks being shot off with our basketball opener at Hoops
on the Green. That’s been a fabulous event, one of the
best events leading up a basketball season in the nation. We expect great things from our Men’s and
Women’s basketball teams this year. We are strongly promoting sustainability and
our facilities department has set aside a specific budget that continues to expand for
our sustainability projects and our green space projects. Our campus is becoming more and more green. We were rewarded a Trees Campus of America
last year. We planted many hundreds of new trees across
campus. We just attained a silver rating in our first
national sustainability assessment by the Associations for the Advancement of Sustainability
and Higher Education. We just dedicated after installing a new campus
recreation center hundred-panel solar system, which is the largest solar energy system in
Birmingham. It runs our campus recreation center with
the energy that’s generated. We are also making important enhancements
to campus. Walkability, Bike ability, and safety from
the standpoint of traffic. We are in a city and we strive to be a very
safe and secure campus, which we are, but we got exciting new 10th Ave. project that
will totally chance our street scape, in that extended, very important corridor, which parallels
University, which is 8th Ave and I’ll show you a few pictures that kind of point out
some of the changes. On the left you see the existing, it’s a
four lane in some areas and two lanes at the ends. So there’s the opportunity for cars to accelerate
and go too fast in those four lane areas. We are going to change it to two lanes with
a center turn lane and we are going to put biking lanes and each side and still have
some on street campus parking. They’re extending the intersections that
will stop traffic from coming up all the way to the intersection and turning right. And we’re putting in two new signals at
17th street and I think it’s 13th or 12th, somewhere in that area. So it’s really going to change the whole
landscape of that. Also, there are also some addition plannings
on each side of the road, but in the future the plan it to install a median with additional
plannings and make that area even greener, much like University Blvd. is a beautiful
backbone of the campus now. We continue to try to strive to make sure
we’re a great place work, a great place to study, and great place to come and have
your health care delivered by a world-class team. We just won recognition as among the 25 best
midsize employers, that’s up to several billion, in the US. We were one of four universities in that top
25 and one of only two academic medical centers, the other being John Hopkins so we were proud
of that and we continue to strive. Our HR teams continues to strive to make sure
we supply benefits that are as good, or better, than anywhere else. We’ve added some new, consumer driven health
plans. Our new parental leave policy, our plan to
expand our childcare and other amenities are what make us a great place to work, because
the most important asset we have at UAB is our people. We have a great people and we want to be a
place that people are proud to come to work every day, are excited about it and are thriving. Same for our students. We’re going to have a new, first-time climate
survey, engagement survey, our faculty and staff across the university in the spring. We are working with a group called Modern
Think who have a lot of benchmarking data. They work with the Chronicle of Higher Education
and hundreds of universities, presidents and colleges and we want them to work with us
to develop a survey. See what we are doing well, what we can do
better, because we want or faculty and staff to work and think everyday about how we can
work better together and we want everyone to have a voice in our direction forward and
we want to have very strong shared governance with our faculty, our staff, our students
and our alumni and community. Our faculty continued to do well nationally
and internationally. We ranked in the top 150 world universities,
the top 1% around the world, and 67th in the US and these are based on metrics and you
can see those metrics on the left. In the world, we were number 89 on patents
approved last year. 116th ranked in influence. You see in publications, scholarly productivity,
we ranked 145. Our research expenditures, again, we increased
on almost one hundred million over the last one to two years and we continue to go up
and to grow. We’re tenth among public universities in
NIH funding, just under 250 million in the year and that’s up about 20% over the last
two years. We know that to be a world-class research
intensive university we have to have world-class infrastructure. Information technology and research computing,
we’ve made major investment over the last year. Under the leadership of our Chief Information
Officer, Curt Carver, we’ve made really big enhancements over this past year. We’ve improved our bandwidth, our connectivity
and our storage and we have the first 100 gigabyte internet connection in the state
of Alabama. We have connections to Nashville and Atlanta
to back-up our data systems. We have a new expanded supercomputer that’s
the most powerful in Alabama. So it’s changing, over time. Each time point is up two seconds here and
it’s just this how your brain is changing. You can see how fast that’s rendering. UAB has taken a quantum leap into high performance
computing and researchers like Kristina Visscher will reap the rewards. We’re trying to understand how the brain
works, but we’re trying to understand what parts of the brain are connected to other
parts of the brain. To do that, we collect data using MRI about
a lot of people and each dataset is enormous. Way too big to have on your laptop. Thanks to a relationship with Dell Computers
and UAB, the upgraded supercomputer can now store 6.6 petabytes, a tenfold increase over
UAB’s last computing hardware. Processing power has increased to 110 teraflops,
which is an 11-fold increase. This increase represents an incredible investment
in providing infrastructure to UAB’s world-class faculty. Allowing researchers to input more data, run
more complex software and process a higher volume of experiments. The high performance computer at the University
of Alabama at Birmingham is the largest and fastest high performance computer in the state
of Alabama at this point, so it creates an advantage for our researchers, those that
are working with very large datasets, such as genomics or genomic packages and sequencing,
are now able to load the entire genomics sequence in that they’re working on and the be able
to manipulate that. If you go back one year, we had to split it
into very small pieces and then try to stich all of that back together. Right now, in 2016, most of the new progress
that going to be made in the next few years in science is going to be a result of the
amazing advances in computation that are occurring now. And because we can analyze and quickly display
these enormous dataset, that would not have been possible five years ago, much less ten
or fifteen years ago, because we can do that, we can move forward in science. By the way, that was a human cerebellum and
that was instant-by-instant activity while thinking about or processing cognitive or
sensory or other activities. What it used to takes days to do, we can do
in hours now in these large, massive datasets. We have certainly always been an institute
on the cutting edge of innovation; collaboration and we continue to work hard to accelerate
that. Our Harvard Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
has a very successful year. Had more revenue, more start-up companies,
more licenses and patents last year than ever before. Innovation Depot, the largest business incubator
in the Southeast is thriving. It’s full. It’s got about 100 companies, the good thing
is five to ten a year graduate and the next year five to ten come in. Through our plans for the Innovation District,
we will be building in downtown Birmingham technology villages, which will be homes for
companies that grow out of there and the companies that we recruit to partner with our city and
business community. There are some constitutional amendments on
upcoming November 8th ballot in Alabama. One in particular is very important for communities
around the state. It’s call the budget isolation resolution
act and if you just read the act itself it doesn’t make a lot of sense because it’s
written in legislativese. But essentially, what it would do is allow
a thousand or so bills that have been passes since 1984 to remain in action because there
was a subtle legislative twist when those were enacted and there was a ruling by a judge
that said that didn’t quite follow, we’ve got to hold these up. The lodging tax on hotels in Alabama and in
Birmingham, which supports the county of Jefferson County Convention Center, that’s one of
them. About 20 million dollars to our schools in
Birmingham and Jefferson County. Vestavia, City of Birmingham, other county
schools. There’s a lot of other projects that go
on. Well for UAB, we plan to play our future football
games in a new world-class Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center Stadium, right beside the
convention center where the have space and plans and this amendment needs to be voted
yes in order for the county to be able to continue to attain those funds and fund that
project. It’s also going to renovate the entire convention
center. It will provide a tremendous economic impact
on that part of Birmingham and the opportunity really for that whole Norwood neighborhood
to see economic progress. We don’t tell you how to vote, but we want
to make sure everybody’s informed, especially our UAB and Birmingham community. Well, our hospital and clinics and School
of Medicine continue to provide among the very best care anywhere in the world. We now have the third largest public hospital,
1157 beds, 19th largest in America. More importantly, it is as advance technologically
as any in the world and our people are compassionate as well as highly competent. Every week, I get a lot of feedback in the
community about great experiences people have had with their family or loved ones or friends
who have had very serious, life threating illness who’s lives were saved in out hospitals,
both UAB, our adult hospitals and children’s pediatric hospital. Our faculty, our physician, our nursing staff
are unsurpassed, the compassion along with the excellence provides us, our community,
our state with the best care in America and the world. Our specialties in both the adult hospital
and the children’s hospital continue to rank highly and climb in their acclaim. We have 23,000 employees and 20,000 students
and we want to make sure that we’re using all that brainpower and processing power to
help our community, both here in our city and in the metropolitan community across the
state and rural areas as well as the nation and around the world. Our Benevolent Fund, which is our employee
giving fund for those who are in need increased 5% this past year to over two million dollars. 1.2 million of that goes to United Way of
Alabama, which funds over eighty agencies across our city and in our metropolitan community
doing great things for people truly in need. Our employee assistants fund helps out employees
who have a difficult illness or a difficult situation and we’re building our third Habitat
for Humanity house this year in the last three years. You can see how many of our employees and
students have volunteered. This will be dedicated this Saturday. The future homeowner is a US Navy veteran. We’re very proud that our students provided
over 309,000 service hours last year. Both here and around the world and that translated
into about 23 million dollars worth evaluation. We continue to promote the arts not only through
our campus, but our community. We have a very thriving cultural art quarter. We’re in one of those facilities, The Alys
Stephens Center, a world-class performing arts center. Our Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual
Arts just across the street in a new, world-class venue for our art and art history department,
our faculty and students, but also having a remarkable collection and some very remarkable
installations over the last couple of years. You can see that ArtPlay, which is our art
education program, through the Alys-Stephens Center, served over 19,000 people, many of
them students through out our community who wouldn’t have access otherwise. We go to them, then we bring them here, to
the Alys-Stephens center. We have a great collaboration between ArtPlay,
Alys-Stephens Center, visual arts with our patients and our nursing units. We have an institute for art in medicine,
where our teachers and artists go into our hospitals, many times on the wards with the
sickest patients with cancer or other life threatening diseases and they make a tremendous
difference for the patients, for the family and for the staff. The staff gets as much out of it as the patients
and families do. It’s been a tremendous added advantage and
really something we can be very proud of. You can see out front of Alys-Stephens Center
here, our new digital marquee. You can’t see it scale here because of the
size of the picture, but it’s a beautiful new digital marquee. The new branding for the Alys-Stephens Center
was celebrating our 20th anniversary so this is the celebration year for us. Our Campaign for UAB which has a goal of raising
a billion dollars to invest in our people and programs and initiatives is going extremely
well. We just past 745 million and we’re on our
way in the next two or three years to complete that. We raised the most money ever raised last
year with 113 million. That’s the third year we’ve gone up over
a hundred million and increased each year over these last three. And you see it’s not a few people, it’s
91,000 people who have contributed and more than half are first time donors. Tremendous support of our athletics programs
this last year with our strategic plan. We raised 20 million dollars for new facilities
in the Legacy Pavillion. We’re very appreciative of that partnership,
the largest partnership agreement that we’ve had for UAB athletics and the impact is being
felt across all of our various athletic programs. Our endowment continues to grow. Our goal when we started the campaign was
450 million, we almost there, so we’ve informed the development team that the new goal is
500 million. The problem with success is that we expect
more. Strategic planning has played a critical role
in these successes. This is a strategic plan that we want every
person at UAB to feel a part of. Our faculty, our student, our staff, certainly
our leadership and our alumni and our community have participated together to put together
a truly comprehensive forward-looking, living, dynamic, strategic plan to guide UAB’s growth
around our priorities over the next five years. We have continued to refine the plan and have
now put together a strategic planning council, which is more of a coordinating and communicating
group that will interface with our constituents. Members from every constituent group, our
faculty, our students, our alumni and are staff as well as our community leaders. We want the input of all of our talented people
and we want to make this a plan that’s a plan for all of us. We created last year a staff council, comparable
to a faculty senate as a body that represents the staff’s voice as the faculty senate
represents the faculty’s voice. We want them to have their role as well in
our shared governance. We just celebrated the second annual Staff
Day conference or Staff Day Celebration. The staff have really become energized and
they’re more engaged in our thinking forward that ever before, similar to our students
through our student government association and our faculty through our faculty senate. Really, this is all about the accomplishments
of the great people that make up UAB. I want to thank you, each and every one of
you, and all of you tuning in on YouTube and elsewhere. Thank you for your involvement in the great
work that’s going on here and it’s truly something we can all be extremely proud of,
which is having a tremendous impact. Thank you very much for your attention!

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