Newsletters

Students, faculty and staff, 

UAB has lost one of our own. Our hearts are broken by the passing of UAB Police Sergeant Parnell Guyton, who lost his months-long battle today after contracting COVID-19 this spring. Countless people in the UAB family, the Birmingham community and beyond have followed Sergeant Guyton’s courageous fight. We thank everyone who has cared for, supported and prayed for Sergeant Guyton and his family and ask for continued prayers. 

His fighting spirit, bravery and love have inspired us and warmed our hearts, and now our hearts go out to his family, friends and colleagues, who will miss him dearly. If you knew Sergeant Guyton personally, you are fortunate and better for it. He was an exemplary officer and dear friend. Most importantly, he was a beloved husband and father, and our thoughts, prayers and support are with his family in this difficult time. 

UAB continues to provide resources, including counseling services, to those who may be struggling in our campus community. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take advantage of Student Counseling Services (205-934-5816) or the Employee Assistance and Counseling Center (205-934-2281). 

Please take care of yourselves and each other with kindness. 

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UAB students, faculty and staff,

As we continue in partnership with the UA System to implement our phased approach to gradually unite on campus, UAB and UAB Medicine strive to be the safest campus in America and keep health and safety our top priority. Among many other strategies, we are adopting sentinel testing as an additional layer to minimize risk and support a continued re-entry.

The sentinel testing system collects information useful for monitoring trends in diseases and pathogens. We plan to test between 2.5% to 5% of the on-campus population weekly to detect how COVID-19 may be circulating among our asymptomatic population. The test will be a self-administered swab of the nostril. Click here for additional information and frequently asked questions about sentinel testing.

This random sentinel COVID-19 testing of those who have returned to campus will begin the week of July 6. Those selected for testing will receive an email on the Sunday of the week they are to be tested, with instructions on how and where to get tested.

Submitting to sentinel testing is voluntary. Your choice to participate or not will in no way impact your employment or your status as a student. Nevertheless, we hope that you will participate and help us in the fight against this virus. Sentinel testing will supplement mandatory COVID-19 testing for returning students through the Testing for Alabama program announced on June 29. Additional testing strategies for employees are being explored.

Students, please continue to read the Greenmail e-newsletter every Wednesday for important announcements and details about reentry. Faculty and staff, please continue to read eReporter, and UAB Medicine employees also read ONE. For more information on UAB’s re-entry to campus, visit uab.edu/reentry.

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UAB students, faculty and staff,

As UAB continues our phased, gradual reentry to campus, we want to assure you that our COVID-19 safety protocols, based on the input of infectious disease and public health experts, will be enforced to help promote the health of our community and the continuity of our mission. 

We know that creating and maintaining a culture of safety will require awareness, vigilance, monitoring, effective structures for reporting concerns and corrective action for non-compliance. 

We need to be united for our common good, and each of us has a role to play. 

UAB’s Reentry Expectations and Guidelines are posted online at uab.edu/reentry, as are Personal Safety Practices . Everyone who returns to campus is expected to comply fully with these safety protocols and any specialized guidance from their particular departments/units/schools. We also ask that — to protect the UAB family and our broader community — you practice safety guidelines when you are off campus. 

If you observe that health and safety rules are not being observed or enforced on campus, discuss your concerns with your supervisor. If non-compliance persists, you may contact Human Resources or report it anonymously through the UAB Ethics Hotline. Anyone who reports non-compliance is protected against retaliation, and concerns of retaliation should be reported to Human Resources or the Office of Compliance and Risk Assurance.

Persistent failure or willful disregard for health and safety protocols by any employee or student will result in consequences consistent with UAB’s discipline policies for stafffaculty and students.

We are committed to preserving the health of the communities in which we live, learn and work, and the safety precautions we have adopted and will continue to adopt to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic apply to everyone equally. By observing them, we are confident we can continue to teach and learn, research, support Alabama’s social and economic needs, and deliver vital patient care.

Students, please continue to read the Greenmail e-newsletter every Wednesday for important announcements and details about reentry. Faculty and staff, please continue to read eReporter, and UAB Medicine employees also read ONE. Employees or others who want to keep up with student communications, sign up to receive Greenmail and visit the student sections of uab.edu/coronavirus and uab.edu/reentry.  

UAB students, faculty and staff,

Please join UAB and UAB Medicine from 8:40-8:55 a.m. on Friday for an institution-wide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others who have suffered and died under systemic racial injustice in America.

Visit go.uab.edu/momentofsilence on Friday to join virtually. To receive a reminder closer to the event, text MOMENT to 35742.

If you cannot attend the virtual event online, please take a moment wherever you are at 8:46 a.m. on Friday to reflect on the significance of these tragedies, show your respect for those lost and think about what you will do to be a difference for positive change.

In the meantime, we encourage our students, faculty and staff to learn more about and seek the resources and programming offered by UAB’s Student Multicultural and Diversity Programs and Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as UAB Medicine Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

If you are struggling and need to talk to someone, please utilize the free counseling services UAB offers through Student Counseling Services and the Employee Assistance Counseling Center.

UAB Community,

Integrity, respect, accountability, diversity and inclusiveness are shared values of our institution and are at the core of what it means to be a UAB Blazer. Everybody counts every day. The students, faculty and staff who comprise our richly diverse and inclusive campus — and take pride in living these values — are hurting, along with our community and country.

The senseless murder of George Floyd — fueled by racism and hate — is tragic, unacceptable and not isolated. The recent abhorrent killings of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery show a disturbing pattern and are proof that an intentional focus on the values we espouse as members of the UAB community are needed now. These incidents have continued to surface as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the systemic health disparities in African American and Latinx communities consistently addressed by leadership in our School of Medicine, as well as uneven enforcement of social distancing executive orders and anti-Asian bias.

Nothing we can say can heal the deep pain and fear in our community. But we can recognize injustice and actively and purposefully live for integrity, respect, accountability, diversity and inclusiveness every day. Do not let your concern subside. Be a difference for positive change.

We are proud of and affirm our student government association’s condemnation of these tragedies and its message encouraging fellow students to take actions beyond words with “donations, signing petitions, safely attending protests, and exercising your civic duties.”

There are many opportunities to get involved. We encourage all of our students, faculty and staff to learn more about and seek the resources and programming offered by UAB’s Student Multicultural and Diversity Programs and Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion.

Self-care is important in times like these. If you need them, utilize the free counseling services UAB offers through Student Counseling Services and the Employee Assistance Counseling Center.

Please take care of yourself and each other.

Sincerely,

Ray L. Watts, President
Pam Benoit, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Allen Bolton, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
Selwyn Vickers, Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean, School of Medicine
Jim Bakken, Interim Chief Communications Officer
Shannon Blanton, Dean, Honors College
Tom Brannan, Vice President for Advancement
Jennifer Breland, President, Staff Council
Chris Brown, Vice President for Research
Andrew Butler, Dean, School of Health Professions
Curt Carver, Vice President for Information Technology/Chief Information Officer
Autumn Cypres, Dean, School of Education
Paulette Dilworth, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Paul Erwin, Dean, School of Public Health
Will Ferniany, CEO, UAB Health System
Kasia Gonnerman, Dean, Libraries
Doreen Harper, Dean, School of Nursing
Ria Hearld, Chair, Faculty Senate
Mark Ingram, Director of Athletics
Eric Jack, Dean, School of Business
Alesia Jones, Chief Human Resources Officer
John Jones, Vice President for Student Affairs
Lori McMahon, Dean, Graduate School
Kelly Nichols, Dean, School of Optometry
Kathy Nugent, Executive Director, Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Rosie O’Beirne, Interim Associate Vice President for Digital Strategy and Marketing
Robert Palazzo, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Russell Taichman, Dean, School of Dentistry
Tim Wick, Interim Dean, School of Engineering

UAB students, faculty and staff,

The following is a video message from UAB President Ray L. Watts about UAB and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Next week, President Watts and other UAB leaders will host virtual Town Hall events to provide additional updates and answer questions. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to submit questions online at go.uab.edu/townhalls.

President Ray Watts Addresses the UAB Community

Ray Watts Speech


Faculty and Staff Virtual Town Hall
Thursday, April 16
8:30-9:30 a.m.

Student Virtual Town Hall
Friday, April 17
2-3 p.m.

More information will be communicated in eReporter and GreenMail.

Live HealthSmart kickoff

I want to express my deepest thanks to UAB students, faculty and staff as well as our partners and friends throughout Alabama for your continued efforts to flatten the curve of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

Live HealthSmart kickoff

Yesterday afternoon we marked an exciting milestone for UAB and the state of Alabama: the official launch of the UAB Grand Challenge, “Live HealthSmart Alabama.”

Top Young University of 2019

I am delighted to announce that UAB has achieved record overall enrollment for our fourth consecutive year with 22,080 students, up from 21,923 last fall.

Top Young University of 2019

We are delighted to share with you some very exciting news: earlier today at the Times Higher Education (THE) Young Universities Summit in Surrey, England, it was announced that UAB is ranked the Top Young University in the U.S. (50 years or younger) for the second consecutive year and 12th globally.