UAB's Carol Garrison to step down after decade as president

UAB President Carol Z. Garrison has announced that she will step down from office; she will continue serving until an interim president is named.

UAB President Carol Z. Garrison has announced that she will step down from office; she will continue serving until an interim president is named.

uab_campus_sunrise_s“I have had an extremely rewarding 10 years as president of UAB. Most of all, I have appreciated the opportunity to work with a team of talented and dedicated administrators, and with students, faculty and staff that any university would be proud to claim,” Garrison said. “Also, in all of our endeavors, we’ve had strong support from our many alumni, friends and organizations in the Birmingham community and around the state and nation. To all of you, please accept my deepest thanks; it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as president of UAB.

“Together, we have achieved much — record enrollments year after year with diverse and  accomplished students; many new facilities; national recognition for research, community engagement, academic programs and health care quality; and an economic impact that  exceeds $4.6 billion annually,” she said.

"Together, we have achieved much – record enrollments year after year with diverse and  accomplished students; many new facilities; national recognition for research, community engagement, academic programs and health care quality; and an economic impact that  exceeds $4.6 billion annually."

“That is why I can confidently begin a new chapter in my life. UAB is strong, and I know that those who are currently here and those who will come through these doors in the future will achieve great things.”

Garrison, who was named president in July 2002, is one of UAB’s longest-serving presidents; she and S. Richardson Hill (1977-87) both completed 10 years in office. An alumna of UAB, she began her first full-time job at UAB Hospital in the 1970s.

An alumna of UAB, Garrison began her first full-time job at UAB Hospital in the 1970s.

“We appreciate Dr. Garrison’s service to The University of Alabama System and the state of Alabama,” said UA System Chancellor Robert Witt.  “As one of the nation’s longest-serving research university presidents, she has accomplished a great deal in continuing to move UAB forward.  The increase in sponsored research, expansion of the physical campus, improved national rankings, growth in overall enrollment and historic success in fundraising have set new benchmarks of excellence.

“Carol Garrison has served her alma mater well, and we appreciate her contributions to UAB, our System and the state.”       

During Garrison’s tenure, the institution has enjoyed remarkable growth and development. Recent years have seen the opening of state-of-the-art facilities such as the North Pavilion of UAB Hospital, the Shelby Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building, the UAB Women & Infants Center and the Hazelrig-Salter Radiation-Oncology Facility. A burgeoning Campus Green along University Boulevard is now home to a campus recreation center, dining commons, residence halls and Heritage Hall. A new Alumni House hosts many campus and alumni events. Soon to be completed is the renovation of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and construction of the new Abroms-Engel Visual Arts Institute is under way.

Likewise, UAB has seen record enrollment for three consecutive years, reaching 17,575 in fall 2011, and recently was among only 11 universities nationwide (and the only Alabama university) to receive the prestigious Beckman Scholars Program Award, which provides scholarships for promising undergraduate researchers at universities that have demonstrated exceptional mentoring and training.  In recent years, UAB has boasted Rhodes, Goldwater and Truman scholars and winning teams in the national ethics and bioethics bowls. The Princeton Review has ranked the university among the top 10 nationally for student diversity for three consecutive years (currently 5th).

The growth of the physical campus and academic programs has been guided by UAB's strategic plan, called UAB21. Developed with campus-wide participation, the plan has led to the recruitment of internationally known faculty and physicians, and the creation of innovative new curricula and honors programs for undergraduates.

Under Garrison’s watch, UAB received its largest grant in history – a $66.8 million grant to the School of Dentistry.

A native of Montclair, NJ, Garrison earned her bachelor's (1974) and Ph.D. in epidemiology (1982) from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She was a faculty member, department chair, dean and associate provost at the University of South Carolina (1982-1997). She joined the University of Louisville as provost in 1997 and was appointed interim president there in early 2002.

The president of UAB, the state's largest single employer, also chairs the board of the UAB Health System, which includes UAB Hospital, The Kirklin Clinic and other of UAB's nationally ranked patient care facilities, and the board of Southern Research Institute.

During her tenure as president, Garrison was named to the Alabama Academy of Honor and served as president of Operation New Birmingham and the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, as well as on the boards of numerous other civic organizations.

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