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