By Josie Shaw
University of Montevallo’s Board of Trustees discussed renaming University of Montevallo on Main, among other topics such as Critical Race Theory and tuition increases. Their quarterly meeting took place on Feb. 18th, the Friday of UM’s homecoming weekend.
UMOM is being renamed to Dr. Wilson Fallin Hall. This was proposed by the Marketing and Communications Committee.
Vice President of Advancement and External Affairs Scott Dillard credited the building’s name change to Dr. Fallin’s reputation in the civil rights movement, as with his history of being an UM professor for 28 years. Fallin collaborated with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and they worked as fellow activists.
Farmer Hall’s post office will be named Charlie Webb Post Office. Webb was a mailman that served as a university staff worker for 35 years.
The board also approved to name the stock ticker in Stephens Hall the Don and Jan Chance Stock Ticker in honor of a $75,000 donation the couple made.
The Audit and Finance committee shared that UM’s tuition, housing, board and fees rates will not increase in the 2022-2023 school year. This is with an exception of meal plan prices rising 6% due to contractual obligations with Chartwell’s, the company that does the catering for the school cafeteria. The university’s tuition has remained frozen for the past five years.
The committee also had funding approved for the Campus Electrical and High Voltage Project in response to the power outage on campus this past January. This provides new electrical writing that will prevent multiple buildings losing power in accidents.
Karen Kelly, representing the UM Foundation Board, reported that the university’s unaudited financial statement shows net assets of $56.4 million dollars, as of Dec. 31, 2021. She continued, saying that this reports record earnings and record growth for the university. Board of Trustees Chairman Todd R. Strange commented that this is about a 20% increase from last year.
University President Dr. John Stewart III welcomed Stephanie Shaw as the new UM National Alumni Association President and congratulated past president Cynthia Todd on her past term. Stewart also thanked student representatives for their mature handling of responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faculty Senate President Dr. Raymond Ozley shared a statement written by the Faculty Senate affirming academic freedom and student career readiness. This was in response to pending Alabama state legislation limiting classroom discussion on race, religion and sex in the classroom.
Ozley reported that Faculty Senate is in opposition of all Alabama state legislation restricting classroom conversations on diversity and inclusion, and has sent the written statement to a number of legislators. This includes Rep. Ed Oliver, Gov. Kay Ivey and House Chair Mac Mccutcheon. Oliver filed one of the bills attempting to ban Critical Race Theory, House Bill 9. Faculty Senate says they will continue to oppose anti CRT bills as they happen and will do all they can to protect academic accreditation.
Ozley also reported that Faculty Senate is updating the university’s academic dishonesty policy, and hopes to have more to present at the next board meeting.
The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held May 4. This meeting will be open to the public.