UA in the News: September 22-24, 2012
September 24, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Bailey welcomes students and families at President’s Mansion
Crimson White – Sept. 24
As students and their families crossed the threshold into the President’s Mansion on Friday afternoon, they were greeted by an unfamiliar yet friendly face…Guy Bailey, the new University of Alabama president, welcomed students and their families into his home on Friday as part of Parents’ Weekend, and he was there to greet them at his front door. As he shook parents’ hands, he looked students in the eye and reminded them he was in their shoes nearly 40 years ago. Visitors were able to roam the first two floors of the mansion, examining many of the historic pieces of furniture and artwork…“Families are able to see how generous he is by him letting them into his home,” freshman Tabitha Greene said. Greene’s mother, Teresa Greene, said Bailey’s invitation into his home shows he is open to people and willing to personally speak with them. Bailey, former president of Texas Tech, was chosen to be the 37th president of the Capstone in mid-July and began his term on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Bailey attended the University from 1968 until 1974, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English…Bailey made a point to speak to every person who walked through the door…“I love to meet the parents,” Bailey said. “They are the lifeblood of the University. They are the University.” The President’s Mansion open house is traditionally held on family weekends and graduation weekend, Ray Taylor, assistant director of special events, said.
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Sept. 21
Parent’s Weekend sees increase in participation
Crimson White – Sept. 24
Parent’s Weekend saw a marked increase in parent participation this year, according to Mary Alice Porter, the assistant director of Parent Programs. The Office of First Year Experience and Parent Programs organized the annual event. Porter said all parents had the opportunity to buy a Family Weekend package for $45 and could then opt in for buying football tickets in the upper north and south end zones for an additional $55 each. “We sold 3,548 packages this year, which is an increase of about 500,” Porter said. Litsa Orban, the assistant director of Freshman Year Experience, claimed the increase in package sales continues to happen yearly. “I think parents remember what a great time they had in the past, and it starts to become a tradition.” The weekend-long celebration also featured three signature events: a Beach Bash at the Recreation Center pool, a Full Moon BBQ-catered tailgate at Presidential Park and a Student Affairs Expo accompanied by a Jazz Brunch…A growing number of campus partners offers events over the weekend, as well, including the Women’s Resource Center’s new Chocolate Festival and the annual President’s Mansion Tour.
Million Dollar Band celebrates 100th anniversary
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – Sept. 24
Bama’s top-ranked football team prepares to take the field, but, the University of Alabama band is getting ready for a milestone performance … While Bama’s getting ready to take on Florida Atlantic Saturday, its Million Dollar Band will celebrate 100 years in existence. ABC 33/40′s Isaiah Harper tells us what’s in store for the ‘centennial’ performance. From the trumpets to the drums, the notes are crisp and clear, as the Million Dollar Band prepares to celebrate its own big birthday, 100 years.
Nursing schools struggle to keep up with demand
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 24
The demand for nurses far outweighs the supply, a gap that is expected to grow much larger as nursing school enrollment struggles to keep up with demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the registered nursing workforce as the top occupation in terms of job growth through 2020, with the number of employed nurses rising from 2.74 million in 2010 to 3.45 million in 2020. In addition to 712,000 new job openings, the department predicted 495,000 replacement hirings, bringing the total number of nursing job openings to 1.2 million by 2020. However, nursing school enrollment is not growing fast enough to meet the projected demand for registered nurses. The nursing demand generally is also tied to the economy. When the economy slumped, older nurses who had planned to retire remained in the workforce and some working part-time moved up to full-time, said Sara Barger, dean and professor at UA’s College of Nursing. However, as the economy slowly improves, nurses will retire, creating more openings. In addition, the Affordable Care Act will provide access to care to an additional 30 million to 40 million people and that, coupled with an aging population, will create a larger demand for nurses, Barger said … The biggest challenge to increasing enrollment is finding qualified faculty and having adequate clinical space. Clinical settings require at least one faculty member per eight students; in some settings, the faculty-student ratio is even smaller. A school can expand its enrollment only if it has enough faculty to do so. “Finding qualified faculty is imperative in order to take more students,” Barger said. “We need to promote nursing faculty careers as a good career choice for nurses … but nurses with the same level of education in the teaching arena make less than their counterparts in a hospital setting. We have to do something to make that more equitable.”
August unemployment numbers suggest little change
Anniston Star – Sept. 22
Local and state unemployment numbers remained relatively flat in August, but efforts are under way to stimulate improvement…According to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations, Calhoun County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly to 8.9 percent in August from 9.4 percent in July…Meanwhile, the state average unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in August, a slight increase from 8.3 percent in July. “It mainly looks to me like it’s the same old, same old,” said James Cover, professor of economics at the University of Alabama. Cover said such small changes in the unemployment rate are due partly to mathematical variations in how the job statistics are calculated.
Associated Press – Sept. 22
UA Theatre to open fall season Neil Simon’s comedy ‘Fools’
Al.com – Sept. 21
The University of Alabama Theatre & Dance department is back in action next week with a four-play semester beginning with Neil Simon’s comic fable “Fools.” The comedy will begin Sept. 24 and run through Sept. 30 at the Allen Bales Theatre on campus. Cast members say they’re excited about doing a Vaudevillian style comedy and especially about opening the season with this play. “It’s a really wonderful one to open the season with because it’s really funny and lighthearted and it’s just a laugh a lot show and a good bonding experience for us too,” says Loui Clagett, a UA transfer student. The “Fools” cast members range from first-time UA performers to cast members who have done as many as seven plays including “Animal Crackers,” “Screwtape,” “Big River” and “Italian Straw Hat,” among others.
Crimson White – Sept. 23
Fraternity shaves heads, fights cancer
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 23
William Overhultz was 8 years old when he learned his older sister had cancer. “She was 14 at the time,” the now 20-year-old University of Alabama junior said. “As a little brother, I had no idea what to do, how I could help.” Feelings of helplessness were overwhelming to the young boy, but as he watched his sister lose her hair as a result of treatment, he had an idea. “I shaved my head. It was the only thing I could think of to show support,” Overhultz said. “The only thing I knew I could actually do.” That one supportive act ignited something in Overhultz, and he has continued to shave his head every September in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This year, he went bigger. As the Alpha Kappa Lambda philanthropy chairman, he pitched an idea to his fraternity brothers — and they agreed. On Saturday, more than a dozen volunteers, both members of the fraternity and the community, shaved their heads in an effort to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a California-based, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research.
Publication names Maddox municipal leader of the year
Gadsden Times – Sept. 21
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox was told at 10 a.m. Friday to drop everything and head to a surprise meeting to discuss finances with a credit rating agency. He didn’t buy it… It turns out that the surprise was much more pleasant than a discussion about credit. City staff, council members and Maddox’s wife Stephanie had gathered to congratulate him on winning a national award. Maddox was named Municipal Leader of the Year by American City and County, a publication for local and state governmental officials since 1909. He was one of more than 100 nominees across the country. Leaders at the University of Alabama had nominated Maddox, noting his work in the wake of the April 27, 2011 tornado. “We nominated him certainly because of the leadership he shows every day, but also because of the April 27 storm and forward,” said Gina Johnson, associate vice president for auxiliary services at UA. “How he worked with all entities to keep us all going was just amazing. This is certainly well-deserved.” Maddox said he was humbled to receive the honor.
LETTER: Prison industries are controversial
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 23
Dear Editor: The consternation over loss of Hamilton jobs to federal prison inmates is a continuation of a controversy started in 1829 when Pennsylvania Quakers opened Eastern Penitentiary to try out their new experiment of punishing criminals by having them serve extended periods of incarceration. In the years I spent researching and writing “Dictionary of American Penology” (Greenwood Press), I found the same controversy throughout American history in every era since the 1800s. Given that we have the highest incarceration rate in the world, citizens very reasonably feel that the able-bodied incarcerated should earn money that would be used to pay the considerable expense of keeping them locked up. But schemes to accomplish that quickly draw bitter controversy…The evolved solution to non-controversial use of inmate labor is to use such labor only to produce services and products for other government agencies. One federal prison has printing presses and makes forms for the IRS; another produces mail sacks for the Postal Service, etc. In states, inmates make license places for our vehicles and often furniture for other state agencies. So it is logical that the new federal women’s prison in Alabama makes uniforms for the military. (Vergil L. Williams, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Alabama).
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.