Jim Bakken

Jim Bakken

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(205) 934-3887

Director, Public Relations

Creates and leads strategy for communicating news from UAB to the media and general public, as well as key stakeholder and constituent groups
UAB secured more than $328.5 million in federal research funding in 2015, ranking the institution No. 18 among public universities and No. 34 overall in the United States during a year in which UAB’s total research and development expenditures exceeded $516 million.
Following a national search, Charles W. “Chuck” Holmes, a veteran journalist and newsroom leader at NPR in Washington, D.C., has been named the general manager of WBHM 90.3 FM, the listener-supported service of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The Innovate Birmingham Regional Workforce Partnership, a broad coalition of public, community, business and education leaders committed to fostering economic growth for the region and offering better opportunities for young adults, partnered to secure a nearly $6 million U.S. Department of Labor Education and Training Administration’s America’s Promise grant. 

Christopher S. Brown, Ph.D., former vice president of Research for the University of North Carolina System and director and primary investigator of the NASA/North Carolina Space Grant, tapped to grow UAB’s $500 million annual research portfolio.

After the acquisition, the DoubleTree by Hilton on University Boulevard and 20th Street South will undergo a significant renovation that will upgrade the property and the guest experience.
U.S. News & World Report ranks UAB No. 162 in its 2017 Best Global Universities ranking, up from its rank of No. 200 in 2016 and 269 spots higher than the next-highest-ranked university in Alabama.
UAB has increased campus internet connection speeds 10-fold and become the first university in Alabama to achieve 100 gigabits per second, up to 10,000 times many standard home internet speeds — increasing the institution’s competitive advantage in teaching, research and health care.
In Forbes’ 2016 report of America’s Best Employers that examined 1,900 companies with more than 1,000 employees to identify factors that influence employee satisfaction, UAB ranked in the top 25 among America’s best midsize employers.
Record student recruitment and retention gains have vaulted UAB enrollment from a previous high of 18,698 in 2014 to 19,535, with key increases mirroring targeted initiatives to attract and retain freshmen, Honors College, Blazing Start, international and transfer students, and officials say it is just the beginning.

After major investments in information technology infrastructure — bringing the fastest supercomputer in Alabama to campus — UAB can now execute tasks in a couple of hours that took an entire day just a year ago. 

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