The University Of Alabama System Board Of Trustees have a
history of behaving badly. Acording to this article,
The early years of UA and its Board of Trustees
, the University of
Alabama System Board of Trustees opened the Univesity with shady
land deals in 1831.
In 1956, the UA Board of Trustees expelled
the only African American University of Alabama student in order to
continue the fight against integration, and in 1963, the board forced
another African American student, James Hood to stop attending The
University of Alabama through intimidation tactics. The University Of
Alabama System Board Of Trustees currently oversees the 3 universities
in the University of Alabama System, The University of Alabama,
Tuscaloosa, AL, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL,
and The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL. The Board
has had a history of favoring The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
over the other 2 universities.
In 1983, in an attempt to maintain UAB's reputation as a commuter
college, The Board Members denied UAB's request to apply for Federal
funds to build on campus housing. In 2001, The Board Members forced UAB
President Ann Reynolds to resign. In 2005, The Board settled a lawsuit
with Ann Reynolds which alleged gender and age discrimination by paying
Ms. Reynolds $475,000. In 2006, The Board did not allow UAB to hire
Jimbo Fisher as the UAB Football coach. In 2011, a member of The Board
appointed himself to the committee to search for a new UAH President.
Also, in 2011, The Board denied UAB an on campus stadium for its
football team, even though all 31 skyboxes were presold. In 2012, UAH
requested input in the search for a new Chancellor for the University of
Alabama System, but their request was denied.
In December of 2014, the UAB Football program was shut down, and many
UAB alumni, students, and employees believe the members of The
University of Alabama Board of Trustees were behind the end of UAB
Football. The members deny they were involved in the decision, and even
if they were not behind the decision, they have thrown their full
support behind the decision. The decision angered UAB students, alumni,
employees, and supporters, and united them in a fight against The Board.
In response to the outrage, The University of Alabama System Board of
Trustees approved paying for an ad to attempt to restore their
reputation. It is alleged this ad campaign cost more than the salary of
The UAB Football coach, Bill Clark.
The ad has done nothing to quash the anger; the only thing the members
of The Board have accomplished is uniting supporters of UAB in a fight
to gain independence for UAB. The first goal is to restore football, and
the ultimate goal is to gain more representation on The Board, create
UAB’s own Board, or even completely abolish the University of Alabama
System. Members of the FreeUAB movement will travel to Montgomery in an
attempt to ask legislators to help free UAB from the grip of The
University of Alabama System Board of Trustees.