University of Alabama President Dr. Stuart Bell met with students attending their first classes today on campus.

Bell visited HM Comer Hall, one of the university’s engineering buildings. He also sent out an email to students, faculty and staff outlining changes made since summer began. The full letter is below.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

As we begin a new year at the Capstone, I am thrilled to see so many new faces on campus, both students and faculty, and I look forward to all of the opportunities and successes we will celebrate together. It’s also great to welcome back our continuing students as you look toward completing your degrees and our excellent faculty who are returning to engage students in classes and projects throughout the year.

I’m sure many of you have noticed more than a few improvements to our campus. University Boulevard has an inviting new look, complete with landscaped medians and a newly smoothed surface. The new Corner Supe Store on Bryant Drive has an extensive selection of books, school supplies and other merchandise and also includes a friendly coffee shop and welcoming study space. Our new classroom building, North Lawn Hall, as well as a newly renovated Moody Music Building are truly inspiring student learning and performance spaces. These (and more) are fantastic additions to our campus map.

Another update you will hear a great deal about over the coming weeks is our Strategic Plan, which will serve as a roadmap for us to achieve our aspirations over the next five years and beyond. I offer my deepest thanks to the Planning Council and all involved in developing our new plan over the past year – well done! An overarching goal of the Strategic Plan is to reinforce our shared commitment to excel in all we do at The University of Alabama – in our classrooms, in our research laboratories, on our stages and in our galleries, on our athletic and intramural fields, in our organizations and in our service to the community. It is through our primary responsibilities of teaching, research and service we work daily to enhance the lives of all we touch.

One of the first initiatives of this plan will be the search for and appointment of an equity, inclusion and diversity officer responsible for the organizational oversight and assessment of plans, programs and activities that enhance equity and inclusion on our campus. I know we will all look forward to working with this individual and seeing a unified approach across our campus to ensure we offer an inclusive and welcoming environment that encourages all of us to reach our greatest potential.

Another very important search underway is for our provost. I would like to thank the search committee members in advance for their upcoming work and for volunteering to serve our University in this way.

Finally, I hope each of you will take a moment to refresh your memory of the Capstone Creed and consider how you can demonstrate your commitment to the important values we all share. Remember to check out Get On Board Day and other events to find unique ways you can get involved with organizations and clubs that will connect you with other students who share your interests.

I am just as eager as you to see what the new year will bring, but I am confident we have many exciting adventures ahead and that this will be an exceptional year for our University. I am delighted that each of you has joined us on this journey, and I wish you the greatest success this semester.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell

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