Dear UAB Community and Friends,

I was delighted this past Monday to deliver the annual State of the University Address and share some of the outstanding recent accomplishments of our university. With the continued partnership and support of our community, UAB has tremendous momentum in all areas of our mission. We are entering an exciting new era of innovation and excellence campus-wide, and our impact is more profound than ever around our state, nation and world. 

I invite you to take a moment to watch a video of the address now posted on the newly launched UAB President website. Here are just a few highlights:  

  • Our fall 2015 freshmen are our highest-performing ever academically, with an average ACT of 25 (that’s in the top 21 percent nationally) and an average high school GPA of 3.66.
  • In the 2014-15 academic year, UAB produced the most student finalists and winners of competitive national and global honors in our history (51), including our second Rhodes Scholar in five years.
  • We are among the top universities on the globe in several recent rankings, including one released earlier this month by U.S. News & World Report.

UAB rankings in U.S. News & World Report 2016 Best Global Universities


  • UAB continues to secure increasingly competitive research funding, including NIH funding for FY15 (with contracts) that is projected to top $225 million, a 20 percent increase since FY13.
  • In Becker’s Hospital Review, UAB Hospital is the third largest public hospital in the U.S. and listed among “100 Great Hospitals.”
  • Thanks to our generous donors and friends, The Campaign for UAB has now raised more than $631.7 million (63 percent of our goal) and FY15 was UAB’s biggest fundraising year ever with more than $107 million raised.
  • We have hired several new senior leaders in key positions, most recently our new Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Paulette Dilworth, who starts Jan. 15, 2016.
  • We continue implementing effective measures recommended by our Safety Task Force.
  • We are in the process of forming the UAB Staff Council—an important initiative we celebrated yesterday on the Campus Green—as part of our efforts to foster greater communication and collaboration campus-wide.
Dr. Watts at UAB Staff Council picnic

I want to thank UAB faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as our many supporters and advocates, who are driving all of this success. We have accomplished much together in recent months and our opportunities are boundless. I look forward to our continued collaboration to achieve our shared goals—for UAB, Birmingham and the state of Alabama.