From SACS Principles of Accreditation:

From SACS Principles of Accreditation: 3.2.11 The institution’s chief executive officer has ultimate responsibility for, and exercises appropriate administrative and fiscal control over, the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program. (Control of intercollegiate athletics)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The time for change has come

My alma mater is under attack, from within. Its president, Ray Watts, who took office in February of 2013, has done nothing in his short tenure as president to instill confidence in the students, faculty, staff and alumni of UAB. However, his malfeasance has reached a head with his handling of the controversy surrounding the future of UAB football. A malfeasance and gross incompetence that may put the entire future of the University at stake.

You see, at present, Watts is supposedly leading the Campaign for UAB, an ambitious $1 billion fundraiser for the University and all of its constituents. However, rumors have swirled, which Watts refuses to put to rest, that none of the money raised by the campaign will be used for football. Then, in recent weeks, it was revealed that UAB's new head football coach, Bill Clark, still has no signed contract, nor does the football team have any games scheduled beyond 2016 (when Clark's unsigned contract is set to expire). When asked about the future of UAB football by several alumni and former football players, Watts silence spoke volumes. 

However, it's not just football that has many concerned. When Watts took over as president, he immediately began an assessment of the UAB Honors Program, one of the most respected University honors programs in the country, with the apparent intent of dismantling it in favor of far less impressive, and less rigorous, university-wide honors. That led a virtual angry mob of Honors Program alumni, as well as current honors students, leading a campaign to save the Honors Program. 
So far, the program appears safe, but concerns remain, mainly because Watts has yet to give his support for the interdisciplinary program that has done nothing but produce continued academic accolades for UAB since its founding in 1983. 

This site welcome any and all contributions to support the ouster of Ray Watts as president of UAB. It's not because we have a vendetta against the man. It's because we love our alma mater and want to see it succeed, thrive and grow without the continued meddling of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, led by Paul Bryant Jr., who has had a public hatred of UAB that dates back years. And the problem with the BOT pulling Watts strings is that, according to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a board's meddling in the internal affairs of the University and its chief operating officers handling of those affairs, is illegal and a primary reason for a loss of accreditation (see the pinned note above). Yet, that doesn't seem to stop the BOT from micromanaging every dime UAB spends, while it spends willy-nilly at the only campus is cares about, the golden child in Tuscaloosa. 

Watts has done nothing, near as anyone can tell, while at UAB worthy of making him president. Under his tenure as dean of the School of Medicine, the school's national rankings and federal grants dropped every year while top researchers fled his employment. Yet, he was rewarded for that failure with the office of president following an essentially secret search that many insiders believe was completely orchestrated by the BOT. It's time for UAB to have a president who is independent of the BOT's actions. It's time for another president in the mold of Joseph Volker, S. Richardson Hill or Charles "Scotty" McCallum, leaders who didn't suck at the teat of Bryant Jr. and his BOT cronies but truly acted in the best interests of UAB and the city of Birmingham. It's time to fire Ray Watts. It's time for real leadership to return to UAB.

Steven E. Chappell
B.A., 1991; M.P.A., 1997


  1. Thank you sir. I agree completely.

  2. Read this. Courage and leadership from the coaches of the women's teams. Please note that they are defying an order to be silent.

  3. UAB and UAH hsve to break away from the UA system. If a president stands up to Tbe UABOT then there is no doubt he will be shown the door faster than he can blink.