The University of South Alabama, the only major public institution of higher learning on
the upper Gulf Coast, was created by act of the Alabama State Legislature in May, 1963.
With Alabama's two older universities more than 200 miles distant, the University is
strategically located in the greater Mobile area, which has a population of more than a
million within a 100-mile radius.
THE GULF COAST REGION
Exploration in the Mobile River area began in 1519
when the Spanish Admiral Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda entered and charted the area now known
as Mobile Bay. The old fort, now known as Fort Morgan, guarding Mobile Bay, was first
fortified by the Spanish in 1559. Settled in 1711 by the French, the bay area has had a
tradition rich in culture and vital in the affairs of the nation from its formative years
to the present.
Trade and shipping are vital to the economy of the area. More than forty-two million tons
of shipping are handled annually through the Port of Mobile, which is rated among the top
ports in the country. More than fifteen million tons of shipping are carried yearly on the
Tombigbee-Black Warrior waterway system with its modern locks and dams. The intracoastal
waterway, crossing the southern end of the state, is connected at Mobile Bay with both
inland and ocean shipping. Railroads and airlines serve the Bay area. Diversified farming,
woodland crops, and seafood and fisheries are major factors in the area's economy.
EDUCATION IN MOBILE AREA
Mobile, the oldest city in
Alabama, is the birthplace of public education in the State. The Barton Academy,
constructed in 1836, was organized as a public school by Alexander B. Meek, a pioneer in
Alabama public education. The Academy is still in use by the Mobile Board of School
Commissioners. In 1853-54 the Alabama State Legislature under the guidance of an education
committee, including Alexander B. Meek, drafted Alabama's first public-school law, modeled
in part upon the organization and curriculum of Barton Academy. Today the Mobile Public
School System is the largest in the State. Medical education in Alabama began in Mobile
with the founding of the Medical College of Alabama in 1859. After an interruption during
the war years it continued until 1897 when a reorganization was effected. The College was
discontinued in 1920. The Daphne Normal School, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, was
founded on July 4, 1907. It pioneered in teacher education in south Alabama until its
closing in 1940. The University of South Alabama was opened in June, 1964. Its
establishment continues an early progressive tradition of education in south Alabama. A
number of private schools, elementary and secondary, supplement the public schools in the
area. Two church-related colleges are located in Mobile; the first, Spring Hill College,
was founded in 1830; the other, Mobile College, (now University of Mobile) opened in 1963.
The growth of these four-year institutions and the addition of several junior colleges in
south Alabama increase the opportunities for higher education in the upper Gulf region.
The establishment of the University of South Alabama was highly significant in meeting the
needs of the increasing numbers of high school graduates of the region. The University is
confident that the growth can keep pace with the needs of the expanding population in the
area and, at the same time, serve students from other states and other countries.
The University of South
Alabama was chartered in 1963 by the State of Alabama as a comprehensive, coeducational
institution of higher education. The University serves as a major center of high quality
and accessible undergraduate, graduate, and professional education for metropolitan
Mobile, the State of Alabama, the Gulf Coast region, and the southeastern United States.
The University mission actively embraces the functions of teaching, research, public
service, and health care through which it vigorously pursues the preservation, discovery,
communication and the application of knowledge. As it grows and develops, the University
will focus its strengths to produce programs of interdisciplinary excellence that address
the special needs of the people it serves. Undergraduate education is designed to promote
the growth of the individual to think critically and analytically, to communicate
effectively, to acquire information and apply it to problem-solving, and to understand the
context of global complexity and diversity in which knowledge is applied.
The University is committed to the education of the whole person - the creative person.
To accomplish this, a wide range of curricular and co-curricular opportunities for
students to expand their cultural, physical and emotional awareness are provided. The
University's environment must encourage and foster the qualities expected of leaders, such
as integrity, service, stewardship, involvement and respect for individuals, as well as an
appreciation for diversity. Graduate education provides students with increasing levels of
challenge and opportunities for independent investigation, creative achievement, the
advancement of knowledge, and participation in traditional and new forms of scholarly
activity in a broad range of discipline-based and interdisciplinary programs. These
programs will prepare students for new, as well as traditional, professional and academic
careers. Scholarship is an important aspect of the mission of the University and the
responsibility of every faculty member. The University of South Alabama will provide
quality research and scholarly activity in all areas of its academic programs and
community service activities, as illustrated by the work of its faculty in business,
education, engineering, mathematics, science, fine arts, humanities, and health sciences.
To advance scholarship, the University will provide appropriate instructional and
investigative facilities within an atmosphere of academic freedom and shared governance.
Because of its location and commitment to the community, the University's academic health
center is an important resource for accomplishing its mission. The University is dedicated
to the education of physicians, health scientists, allied health professionals, and
professional nurses who will provide the community and the region with the highest quality
health care. To promote improved health care in its service region through research,
teaching, and outreach programs, its hospitals and clinics will offer the latest
scientific and medical technology possible. The University is further dedicated to the
promotion of lifelong learning and to the enhancement of access to education for a variety
of individuals and communities. Thus, it will continue to develop programs that meet the
needs of its evening, weekend, off-campus, and special program clients who seek both
credit and non-credit learning experiences on campus and at the USA Brookley campus site.
The USA Baldwin County campus will provide degree programs and other learning
opportunities required by the rapidly growing population in Baldwin County.
The University of South Alabama's programs of education, research, public service, and
health care are all founded upon the basis of a reciprocal relationship between the
institution and the community it serves. Instruction, research, scholarship, public
service, and health care that enhance the economic development of the State and improve
the quality of life and health of its citizens are integral and essential parts of its
mission as a comprehensive, metropolitan university.
The mission of the Department of Athletics at the
University of South Alabama is to complement and supplement the total educational program
of the institution. The athletic department must provide learning experiences for all
student-athletes and give each individual the opportunity to share in personal and group
success. The University of South Alabama Department of Athletics provides student
involvement in activities that help develop unity by encouraging a common quest for all
students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University. The athletic program is
committed to enriching the mental and physical capabilities of its student-athletes while
developing and building a respected program that is competitive on a national level in
selected sports, at the same time operating a quality program in the other sports that
will create a basis for pride among the varied constituencies of the University.
The University of South Alabama is dedicated in
purpose to the creation of an environment of intellectual excitement and an educational
climate that will stimulate both faculty and students. A forum of free thought and
discussion is provided which is intended to help develop an independent spirit undergirded
by the moral and ethical values essential for effective participation in a free society.
The University strives for fresh approaches to courses and programs. Emphasis is placed on
the traditional dedication to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, as a center
of learning concerned with the arts and humanities, study of human nature, phenomena of
the physical world, processes of human relationships, and the knowledge and skills
necessary for participation in professional vocational endeavors. The University actively
encourages the students to take responsibility for their own welfare and that of the
community, thus stimulating them to become vitally involved in the pursuit of knowledge
and the continuing use of their intellectual capabilities as responsible and effective
individuals. Students are encouraged to participate in University decisions involving
their own welfare, impressing upon them the responsibility inherent in this participation.
The University is conscious of its obligation to the local, state, and national
communities to assist students to attain the fullest possible knowledge of themselves in
relation to society, and to become enlightened participants in civic affairs. An
ever-present concern with the problems of a changing society causes recognition of the
University's responsibility to cooperate with local, civic, professional, and governmental
organizations. It inculcates an awareness of the necessity for effective leadership in the
social, political, and economic affairs of our society. The University intends to extend
its academic and professional programs to the highest level by introducing graduate
programs and forming new schools and colleges when appropriate. New programs will be
instituted only after necessary facilities, library resources, and faculty are acquired.
The University reaches outward to the international community and encourages a wide
exchange of knowledge and cultural relationships with other peoples. Relations are
maintained with other colleges and universities, for the purpose of sharing resources and
responsibilities in teaching, research, and service, in this country and abroad, as well
as with the secondary schools and junior colleges in this vicinity. The need for
continuing adult education accounts for the public being offered an opportunity to profit
from these intellectual and technical resources. By contributing to the advancement of
knowledge, by involving faculty and students in teaching, learning and research, and by
offering its services to society commensurate with its resources, the University will
achieve its maximum effectiveness.
The University of South Alabama, operating as a state institution of higher learning and
financed in large part by public funds, is governed by a Board of Trustees composed of
seventeen members; twelve members are appointed from south Alabama, three members are
appointed from the State at large; the Governor of Alabama serves as President, ex
officio, of the Board, and the State Superintendent of Education serves as a member, ex
officio. Of the twelve members appointed from south Alabama, three of the members are
appointed from Mobile County and one member is appointed from each of the nine southern
senatorial districts as those districts were designated at the time the University was
organized. All except ex officio members are appointed by the Governor with the advice and
consent of the Senate. The administrative organization of the University has been designed
to provide the greatest possible efficiency in operation for a multiplex, yet young,
institution. The framework is sufficiently flexible, involving three primary areas of
operation: academic, administrative, and student personnel, to provide for revision as the
institution becomes more complex. The three primary areas of institutional operation are
supplemented and supported by programs in development and university relations. The
organization below the Board of Trustees is composed of the President, appointed by the
Board of Trustees, and other chief administrative officers who report directly to him:
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Medical Affairs,
Administrator of University Hospitals, Vice President for Business Affairs, Vice President
for University Services and Planning, Vice President for Student Services; and Vice
President for Finance. Under the present organization, the University comprises the
College of Allied Health Professions, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business
and Management Studies, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Medicine,
College of Nursing, School of Computer and Information Sciences, School of Continuing
Education and Special Programs, and Graduate School, each headed by an academic officer.
University Libraries, operates in cooperation with the faculty and reports directly to the
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Medical Affairs.
Departments within colleges operate under the direction of departmental chairs who report
directly to the deans of the colleges.
The University of South Alabama was admitted to
membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools at the annual meeting on
December 4, 1968. The total program of the institution was fully accredited by this
action. This accreditation was reaffirmed in December 1993.
In addition to the Southern Association, the University of South Alabama has programs
accredited by the following organizations: Accreditation Board for Engineering and
Technology: BS programs in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical
Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering are accredited by the EAC of ABET. American
Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, American Chemical Society Committee on
Professional Training, Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs,
American Medical Association Council on Medical Education, American Occupational Therapy
Association, American Physical Therapy Association, American Speech Language
and Hearing, Association: ESB & PSB, Association of American Medical Colleges,
Computer Sciences Accreditation Commission, Joint Review Committee on Education in
Radiologic Technology, National Accreditation Association for the Clinical Laboratory
Sciences, National Association of Schools of Music, National Council for Accreditation of
Teacher Education, National League for Nursing, National Association of Schools of Art and
POLICY OF NON-DISCRIMINATION
The University of South Alabama and its colleges and
subdivisions follow a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of sex, race, and
disability in admission policies and practices, educational programs, activities, and
employment practices according to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The
University of South Alabama provides equal educational opportunities to and is open and
accessible to all qualified students without regard to race, color, creed, national
origin, sex, or qualified handicap/disability, with respect to all of its programs and
The University of South Alabama does not discriminate on the basis of disability. No
otherwise qualified person with a disability, solely on the basis of such disability, will
be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to
discrimination in the administration of any educational program or activity including
admission or access thereto or in treatment or employment therein by the University of
REHABILITATION ACT (SECTION 504)
AND THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
The University of South Alabama complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973 and the ADA of 1990 as amended. Any questions relating to the accessibility should be
directed to the office of the Vice President for Business Affairs, AD 328, (334)460-6121,
or Manager, Special Student Services, Student Center, Room 270, (334)460-7212.
The University of South Alabama
Libraries provide information and access to materials needed to fulfill the teaching,
research, public service and health care missions of the University. The library is a
crucial component of an education designed to promote critical thinking, effective
communication, the acquisition of information, its application to problem-solving and the
understanding of global issues.
The Libraries consist of the University
Library, the Biomedical Library with a location on campus and another at the USA Medical
Center, the Archives at the USA Springhill campus, and an extension at the USA Baldwin
County campus. Its online catalog, selected periodical indexes and the catalogs of other
Alabama academic libraries are also available remotely through modem connections and a WWW
Library personnel are available to assist
patrons in finding and using its materials and services, offering reference assistance,
online bibliographic searching, circulation of materials, interlibrary lending, library
instruction, photocopier use and assistance for disabled users.
The Instructional Media Center provides
access to audiovisual materials. As a Federal Depository Library, government documents are
made accessible to both community and University users.