Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Guy Bailey Named President of University of Alabama

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Guy Bailey Named President of University of Alabama

Article excerpt

Two-time University of Alabama graduate Guy Bailey has been named the next president of his alma mater.

Bailey, who has been the president of Texas Tech University since 2008, was interviewed this morning by the UA system's board of trustees, which approved his hiring during the meeting.

"This is a beautiful place and a place that's touched many people's lives," Bailey said. "Part of my interest in this position was paying back the university for what it did for me.

"The University of Alabama over a six-year period - that's two degrees by the way, bachelor's and a master's, it didn't take six years to finish undergrad -- that six year period provided me with the foundation that not only helped me fulfill my dreams, it helped me do things that I could never dream about. This is home and it's great to be home."

The Montgomery native attended the Capstone from 1968 to 1974, earning bachelor's and master's degrees in English. He also received a doctorate in English linguistics from the University of Tennessee.

Bailey was the university's top target throughout the search process, emerging as a candidate who could continue the improvement and growth that Tuscaloosa has seen during the past decade, said search committee chairwoman Karen Brooks.

"They were all great, but Guy Bailey was the best," Brooks said. "For me personally, (Bailey) seems to be commonsensical, down to earth, smart, he's well rounded, he had all the attributes that I like to see in a person when they're leading.

"It's really not the main factor, but he does remind us a lot of (former UA president Robert) Witt," she said. "He had the exact same goals, and he did the exact same thing at Texas Tech as Dr. Witt did at Alabama. He was growing enrollment, building buildings, increasing the research funds. Everything seemed to be the same pattern that we had here, so he just fit and he fit in a way that would take us forward, not stand still."

Bailey replaces Witt, who was named chancellor of the UA System in March after the retirement of Malcolm Portera. He expects to start in Tuscaloosa in early September.

During Witt's tenure, which began in 2003, the university's enrollment grew from 20,000 to 31,747 students. Witt also oversaw numerous major construction projects, including several suite-style dorms, the construction of the science and engineering complex and two additions to Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Texas Tech, in Lubbock, Texas, also saw significant enrollment increases under Bailey's leadership growing from 28,433 students in fall 2008 to 32,327 in fall 2011. He also led a push towards Tier 1 status for the school, which was ranked 160th in the annual U.S. News and World Report ranking of colleges and universities.

"The enrollment of an institution is probably the best gauge of its health," Bailey said. …

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