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The University of Alabama

UA in the News: December 20, 2011

UA faculty looks into crystal ball, predicts Obama victory in 2012 – Dec. 19
University of Alabama faculty members have looked into their crystal balls to make their annual  “educated guesses” for 2012, including one that puts President Barack Obama in office for another four years. For the 31st consecutive year, the UA media relations office has compiled faculty predictions, which the school says have a pretty decent track record for accuracy.
WLTZ-NBC (Columbus, Ga.) – Dec. 19

Cuba may be state’s next big customer – Dec. 20
For the 31st consecutive year, The University of Alabama’s Office of Media Relations offers predictions from faculty experts for the coming year. The Alabama business community needs to practice its Spanish, and that suggestion has nothing to do with the state’s controversial immigration law. Dr. Jase Ramsey, an assistant professor of marketing at The University of Alabama, predicts the United States will continue to ease trade sanctions on Cuba and, as early as this time next year, some U.S. businesses will visit the island nation on state-sponsored trade missions to size up market potential.

UA student advocacy group raises $4,000 to attack functional illiteracy – Dec. 19
A University of Alabama student advocacy group dedicated to ending functional illiteracy in West Alabama announced it raised more than $4,000 in its 2011 campaign. With its “Empower Literacy” campaign running from Nov. 7 until Dec. 1, Literacy Is The Edge (LITE) aimed to raise awareness about functional illiteracy problems in West Alabama, recruit reading tutors, produce communication materials and raise funds for the Literacy Council of West Alabama.

Recent Tide graduates hit practice field
Tuscaloosa News – Dec. 20
A dozen University of Alabama players received a degree over the weekend, and more than 20 of those who will participate in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9 will have graduated.

UA’s advertising and public relations department named one of top five in the country
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Dec. 19
The University of Alabama is receiving national recognition…The College of Communication’s department of advertising and public relations has been named one of PR Week’s top five programs in the country. The other programs include Georgetown, BYU, Syracuse and NYU. Chair of UA’s advertising and public relations department Dr. Joe Phelps says it’s an honor to be among the elite pr programs in the country. Phelps says the partnership between the students and teachers is what makes this program great. This is the fourth year in a row that the program has received the honor. It is also only the fourth year the magazine has held the award.

Business appointments
Birmingham News – Dec. 20
John Gunderson has been appointed to the Alabama Center for Real Estate‘s Leadership Council at The University of Alabama. Gunderson is senior vice president at Daniel Corp., overseeing community development operations including acquisitions, governmental affairs, master planned development and residential initiatives.

University transit turns to technology, partnerships to cope with demand
Metro Magazine – December 2011
To accommodate increasing ridership and tightening budgets, university transit systems run by both private and public operators are adding more onboard technologies to increase efficiency and seeking support to expand or maintain services via public-private partnerships…Onboard vehicle technology is especially important to student riders, who tend to be younger and are often attached to their phones…Ralph Clayton, assistant director of transportation services, University of Alabama, agrees. “[With] this generation, you have to have the technology available to support your bus system,” he says. “Students are tech-savvy and they may not be as patient as some groups, so you have to provide them the tools to see where the buses are and provide feedback.”… UA’s Clayton says the success achieved in bringing a transit system on a traditionally car-centric campus and making the campus core pedestrian-friendly was a team effort. The university’s President, Dr. Robert E. Witt, announced plans to grow the campus and student population. He wanted to make the campus more pedestrian-friendly by building infrastructure to support the growth, taking away most of the parking at the inner core of campus, and creating a bus system. The plan was to push vehicles out to the perimeters of the campus and bus students in from parking lots, enabling them to get around during the day without having to move their cars to get from class to class…Additionally, UA partnered in August with the local Tuscaloosa Trolley Authority on a university shuttle route that picks up students for free at apartments to campus and downtown that the UA system hadn’t been able to service before. Due to this partnership both UA and the agency have seen an increase in riders.

This prize goes to the best law-related short story
National Law Journal – Dec. 20
A year after the American Bar Association paired with the University of Alabama School of Law to launch its Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, Southwestern Law School and the Association of American Law Schools’ Journal of Legal Education have announced a contest for short works of fiction related to law school or the practice of law. . . . The Harper Lee Prize is for full-length, published books (the inaugural award went to best-seller list fixture John Grisham for his novel The Confession). 

UA National Alumni Association to hold Bama Bowl Bash
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Dec. 19
In just a few weeks the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Bayou Bengals will meet in the BCS championship game. It’s the hottest ticket in town, and New Orleans is the place to be. And here to tell me about a big event going on down in the big easy before the game is Mark Roberts from the University of Alabama Alumni Aassociation. The Bama Bowl Bash is Sunday, Jan.8, at the New Orleans convention center.


The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.