Let Dr. Witt fix UAB

Editor’s note: This mailbag idea started as one post, but the answers ended up being longer than I anticipated. I’m breaking them down into smaller posts for your reading pleasure.

Email: Write something about the idiot on Finebaum.

–I take that to mean the Legal Schnauzer guy. I didn’t post anything on Thursday since I took the day off from blogging to take my mom in for some eye surgery. I have to admit, I did hear the interview and immediately made a few notes. I didn’t post it because I decided to force myself to actually stick with my plan to take the day off. Anyway, here was my quick reaction to the assertion that Dr. Robert Witt was a pawn of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees:

Dr. Witt doesn’t buck the board? I guess the board was all for firing Mike Price?

No? You mean the facts don’t fit what someone on the radio is saying?

Who would have thunk it?

UAB saw a host of bad presidents who followed Dr. Volker and Dr. Hill. Following Dr. Volker isn’t easy. However, arrogance on the part of Dr. McCallum created unnecessary tension between the board and the Birmingham campus. Dr. J. Calude Bennett was treated shabbily by many within the University community. Dr. Reynolds was horrible, and Dr. Garrison worse. It makes sense to hold the board accountable for these appointments.

But I’m sick of everything being blamed on the board of trustees. One trend in Birmingham’s history is to blame everyone else for Birmingham’s troubles. Dr. Tennant McWilliams who wrote New Lights in the Valley, a history of UAB, typifies this problem. McWilliams book on UAB reads as a polemic against US Steel and Wall Street control of southern industry. The book even asserts Birmingham’s lack of progress on civil rights was a legacy of US Steel’s influence on the community. Isn’t life easy when everything is some Yankee’s fault?

The problem is Birmingham’s civil rights problems were an outgrowth of the people of Birmingham. The truth is the people of Birmingham created their own troubles, not Yankees and not the University of Alabama System. The truth is UAB has been given too much autonomy.

You want to fix UAB, fire Dr. Garrison and let Dr. Robert Witt run both campuses. It seemed to work very well when UAB was subservient to UA in the past. Look at the growth on Southside since the extension center was first opened. Look at the mess created post-Volker.

The record speaks for itself. Save UAB from itself. Let Dr. Witt run it!


Add Yours
  1. 1
    E.G White

    Oh please! For God’s sake, Dr. Whitt has his hands full in Tuscaloosa! Especially with the athletic department and the ‘Good Ole Boy’s’ club. UAB need’s to stand on its own feet now. The thing is – it never should have been let out from under Tuscaloosa’s wing in the first place! RTR!

  2. 2

    Yeah, obviously Wittless is great with institutional control. That’s why the football team (the university’s #1 and, well, only concern) is back on probation yet again. I’m sure him handling a campus that he will not even be working on and does not care about would work out great. And how dare Dr. McCallum not bend over and let the board tell him how to run things at UAB! The arrogance of him trying to look out for UAB’s best interests (isn’t that the job of a university president?)! Let the West campus worry about football, and we’ll handle the big boy stuff.

  3. 3

    Handling big boy stuff? Such as following in the footsteps of UA? You guys are a joke. You’re Alabama’s sisterly extension school, originally constructed for the retards who couldn’t make it in T-Town. Your program is in the same condition the city of Birmingham is in, so to you and the other six UAB fans out there, please keep the inferior puns to yourself.


  4. 4

    “Email: Write something about the idiot on Finebaum.

    –I take that to mean the Legal Schnauzer guy.”

    roger shuler.

    honk if you’ve been implicated in his “illegal termination from uab”.

    kim jung ill was involved in his “illegal termination”

    ditto rush limbaugh.

    and alice martin.

    karl rove.

    nicholas sarchosy.

    joe namath.

    steve herlihy.

    jim from tuscaloosa.

    and finally, yes generalisimo fransisco franco is still dead but he too was involved in the “illegal termination” of roger shuler from uab.

    and shuler’s gonna get to the bottom of this.

    heads are gonna roll.

    if he has to blog his fingers to the bone.

  5. 6


    What are you talking about? UAB has an incredible future. I went to Auburn as an undergrad and I’m now at UAB in grad school. It originally was an extension campus for the UA medical program, not the “retards” school you are so quick to proclaim. UAB is the lifeblood of Birmingham with a research budget larger than all other state schools combined. Move along little Trojan. Move along.

  6. 8

    “UAB is a great school. Just has a horrible football team. As usual, 5-19 is wrong.”

    not just a horrible football team.

    a horribly run athletic dept. worse than tuscaloosa. (and that says a hell of a lot!)

  7. 10

    It is a great school… but it’s not as great as Alabama! 😀

    I’m just joking around anyhow. I realize it’s hands down one of the best medical schools in the country (to my understanding). Maybe what I said was a little too harsh, but you’ve gotta fight fire with fire (see Crapstain Report’s comment).

  8. 11

    UAB is an autonomous university and the 3rd largest in the state. It’s the largest employer in the state and generates more research dollars than all other universities in the state combined.
    To think that one president can function over two autonomous universities is absurd.

  9. 12

    Like one president can’t run the country? Or one governor administer the state? Or like one CEO can’t manage big companies like a BP or a Chevron or a Exxon?

    The issue is management at UAB, at least according to critics. Why not get someone who is a great manager.

    And like Hunter mentioned, there is a Chancellor for the UA System. Perhaps finding a way to give the Chancellor more power to handle problems at UAB would be a good idea?

  10. 13

    Dr. Witt has done some incredible things at UA and the population has exploded. While UAB is most definitely not as great as UA athletically, I’m sure both schools are good academically since they both have the same national accreditations.

    Any school can get you where you want to go in life.

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