Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

EDITORIAL: SEC Smart to Spotlight Faculty Achievements

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

EDITORIAL: SEC Smart to Spotlight Faculty Achievements

Article excerpt

Around the nation, the animosity toward the Southeastern Conference is easy to detect. With this academic year's national championships in both football and basketball already in hand, the initials SEC are enough to set teeth on edge in Big 10, Pac 12 or Big 12 country. Should the SEC manage to successfully defend South Carolina's College World Series title, it'll be a clean sweep of the big three in men's athletics.

Football is a real sore point, with the conference winning six straight BCS Championships. In lieu of winning, fans and alumni in other conferences huff and insinuate that SEC schools are nothing but "football factories."

Once asked by a reporter if he majored in "basket weaving" at Alabama, the great Joe Namath responded that he'd taken journalism because it was easier. Touch Joe Willie.

Whether based on jealousy or regional snobbery, the academic reputations of SEC schools are frequently impugned and their priorities questioned. This is one reason that the Southeastern Conference's establishment of its Faculty Achievement Awards was an excellent idea.

The awards, which are unrelated to athletics, recognize professors at SEC universities with "outstanding records in teaching and scholarship who serve as role models for other faculty and students." The award goes to one professor at each SEC university and comes with a $5,000 honorarium. From this pool of honorees, an SEC Professor of the Year is selected and given a $15,000 honorarium.

The University of Alabama's honoree is David A. …

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