Messages from the President - 2018

USA President Tony Waldrop’s messages to the University community are posted below and on the University’s Facebook page, You can also follow him on Instagram (USA Waldrops).

November 30, 2018


I'm pleased to announce that Dr. Paul Frazier has been hired as South's first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. He begins work Monday.

Paul arrives after a decade at Texas Tech University, the last five years as associate vice president for institutional diversity, equity and community engagement.

The creation of his position at South reflects the University's commitment to diversity and inclusion as institution-wide priorities. At USA, Paul will provide direction and support in the areas of diversity and inclusion by streamlining existing efforts and facilitating the development of strategies and policies that advance our work in these areas. He will be part of the University's leadership team and report directly to me. As the first person in this position, Paul faces an added responsibility but a great opportunity: Building a program from the ground up. He has the benefit of existing energies by our faculty and staff and a University committed to his success.

I know Paul is right for this task. He impressed both me and a selection committee with his knowledge and strength in program development, ability to communicate and speak frankly about tough issues, use of data-driven assessment and collaborative approaches to his work.

In Lubbock, Paul provided administrative leadership for diversity programs with a special focus on the recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations in higher education. In addition to his associate vice president duties, he was an adjunct instructor in the College of Education, where he taught courses on diversity, global perspectives, and access and equity.

Prior to his entry into higher education, Paul worked in secondary education, including five years as a principal of a magnet high school.

He received his bachelor's degree, two master's degrees and a doctorate in education leadership from Texas Tech.

For the position at South, we received more than 200 applications and interviewed several candidates. I'd like to thank members of the search committee, particularly its chair, Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Angela Coleman, for the time and thought they put into the search.

Paul will begin by meeting with faculty, staff and students to assess needs and campus climate in order to determine priorities and establish an agenda. As he gets settled in and makes his way around campus, please help me welcome Paul to South.

Tony G. Waldrop, Ph.D.
University of South Alabama

November 14, 2018


Join the Movement!

We are pleased to announce and support the new JagFIT@South health and wellness initiative, which is being implemented for all employees at South Alabama's main campus, Fairhope campus, USA Health University Hospital, USA Health Children's & Women's Hospital, USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute and USA Health Physicians Group.

With the help of the University's Health and Wellness Initiative Committee, we are prioritizing a culture change at South Alabama around health and wellness. The new JagFIT@South website will feature health and wellness resources, events, activities and opportunities. 

The focus will be on health, exercise, nutrition, emotional wellness and sustainability. The new website also focuses on fun and exciting exercise and wellness challenges and quality giveaways to the employees who join the health and wellness movement and reach specific milestones. 

JagFIT@South for students will be rolled out next fall. We value health and wellness, and we want the University family focused on healthy lifestyle choices.

We want you to join the movement, because JagFIT@South is here!


Dr. Tony G. Waldrop

Dr. John Marymont
Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

Dr. Julee B. Waldrop

November 10, 2018


Dear USA employees and students,

The University of South Alabama Board of Trustees voted today to authorize Phase II of the construction of an on-campus football stadium, paving the way for the USA Jaguars first game in the new stadium to be scheduled for September 12, 2020.

This is a great day for the University of South Alabama and Jaguar athletics. The outpouring of support from our students, alumni and fans for the stadium project, along with the contributions of our generous sponsors and donors, has created the momentum and foundation to move forward with an expected stadium opening in 2020.

For details about this important decision and to see a video representation of the stadium, please visit


Tony G. Waldrop, Ph.D.

October 26, 2018


Dear USA Family:

Earlier this month, Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle. Living on the Gulf Coast, we all know that the long recovery from a hurricane involves addressing basic necessities to meet our most essential needs. Students, faculty and staff leaders have determined that by working together to serve our neighbors, we can have a greater impact on the ongoing recovery efforts. With this in mind, there are two ways to make a donation to one of our community partners – Feeding the Gulf Coast – that is assisting hurricane victims who are in desperate need of food, water, and supplies.

A special website has been set up to help make donating easy. To make a donation, follow this link -

Between October 30 and November 2 you can drop off supplies at one of the following locations:
USA Health Children's & Women's Hospital Front Desk
USA Health University Hospital Front Desk
University of South Alabama Student Government Office, Student Center Room 214

We would like to thank you in advance for demonstrating our University's caring spirit, and in doing so assuring our Gulf Coast neighbors that the students, faculty and staff who make up the University of South Alabama and USA Health family are here for them at a time of great need in their lives.


Tony G. Waldrop, Ph.D.

John V. Marymont, M.D.,M.B.A.
Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

G. Owen Bailey, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
USA Health

October 25, 2018


Thank you to the donors who generously supported the 2018 USA Employee and Retiree Campaigns for the United Way. I am very proud to announce that our South Alabama family raised more than $255,000 from 2,254 donors in support of the campaign to benefit and enrich the communities we call home.

As the community-wide campaign chair for the United Way of Southwest Alabama, it gives me great pleasure that our combined giving will help further the United Way and its 48 partner agencies. While visiting many of the United Way agencies, I've seen first-hand how our giving allows them to continue providing real solutions for our community's most critical needs, focusing on protecting, improving, and empowering our neighbors who need it the most. Gifts to the campaign will be prudently invested in programs and services focused on education, health, financial stability, and life's basic essentials for individuals in every community served by the United Way.

Thank you to our leadership team for guiding us through another successful campaign, Mr. Danny Rickert and Dr. Nicole Carr, employee campaign co-chairs, Mrs. Barbara Shirvanian, retiree campaign chair, and Ms. Jean Tucker and Dr. Suzy Figarola, USA Women United co-chairs. Thank you to the campaign representatives for serving on the front lines and your commitment to its success. Your efforts will have a lasting impact for our neighbors who need hope to get through their unfortunate hardships.

Again, thank you for continuing our South family tradition of making our community a better place to live.


Tony G. Waldrop, Ph.D.


September 28, 2018


Dear USA Students, Faculty and Staff:

As you may be aware through media reports, this morning one of our students reported seeing a swastika carved into the back of a seat in one of our classrooms. As soon as University authorities were notified, USA Police reported to the scene, verified the presence of the swastika, and steps were taken to eradicate the symbol from the classroom. University Police are investigating, and I encourage anyone with information to please call 251-460-6312 or use the LiveSafe app to make a report.

This is the second occurrence this week involving a symbol of intolerance and hatred found on our campus. These symbols have no place in our community, they are in opposition to everything our University community stands for, and we are committed to taking action whenever the rules of our campus community are violated.

It's difficult and painful for all of us to witness and confront the realities of intolerance, bigotry and racism in our world. It's much more difficult and painful when those behaviors happen on our own campus. It hurts when an individual or group takes action that disturbs us, and even frightens us. But these incidents remind us that we must and will stand united, together, as a community, to support and respect one another. Our mutual respect and support for each other is the best defense against these kinds of despicable actions.

The past few days have been very difficult for our University family. When any person on our campus takes an action that makes others feel unsafe or afraid, it's confusing and hurtful to the vast majority of us, who believe in treating others with dignity and respect. The most important thing we can do in the face of these actions is to stand together, support each other, and take action in our own lives to show that we care for and respect each other.

For those of you who are having a particularly difficult time understanding or dealing with these recent events, please know that we are here to help. If you need assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to our counseling services office, the dean of students, or any member of the faculty or staff. Please also know that our commitment to your safety and security is at the forefront of all that we do to make the University of South Alabama a community that we all remain proud to be a part of.


Tony G. Waldrop, Ph.D.


September 26, 2018


Good afternoon, 

As some of you are aware, University of South Alabama police received an anonymous tip last night of a noose and a bicycle hanging in a tree in front of the campus dining hall. When officers arrived, they observed a rope and a bicycle in a small tree. Although the photo sent to USAPD appeared to show a noose, there was no noose at the time officers responded to the scene. According to USAPD, it appeared to officers the rope had held up a banner that was no longer there. 

Upon further investigation today, USAPD learned that the same tree held a "sheet sign" the day before. Sheet signs, of course, are used throughout campus to advertise upcoming major events, such as Homecoming or recreational activities. 

Please be assured that your University's leadership does not condone any symbols or activities that promote hatred or intolerance. If any member of the USA community experiences such actions, I encourage you to contact a faculty or staff member, the Dean of Students office or University police. 


Tony G. Waldrop, Ph.D.


August 31, 2018


Dear USA Employees:

The University today will unveil a new name for the region's only hospital offering Level I trauma care, as the USA Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to change the name of USA Medical Center to University Hospital, a transformation that more accurately reflects the hospital's teaching and research mission.

University Hospital, as a component of USA Health, will continue to serve the Mobile region as it has for generations, providing unique, nationally ranked services that include the region's only Level I trauma center and the Arnold Luterman Regional Burn Center. The USA Health name will serve as the umbrella brand for the University of South Alabama's entire health system, including USA Health Children's & Women's Hospital, USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute and USA Health Physicians Group.

The University Hospital name was selected after an extensive, yearlong review of the overall health system brand by a committee of more than 50 faculty, staff, patients and community stakeholders. As part of this process, the committee examined research that explored the Mobile community's understanding of the breadth and depth of services offered at University Hospital, and the quality of care that patients experience throughout USA Health. As a result of the process, the new name was selected to improve awareness of University Hospital's services and its mission of providing medical education, innovative care and new treatments through research.

In the next few weeks, you will hear more about the University's plans to continue to position USA Health at the forefront of care in the Mobile region, including the launch of an entirely new USA Health website that will create an unparalleled experience for our patients.

Thank you for all that you do for our patients, our families and our students.

Tony G. Waldrop

John Marymont
Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

Owen Bailey
CEO, USA Health


May 18, 2018


I am moved by the generosity of our employees and retirees as the 2018 South Fund annual giving campaign comes to an end with $822,856 raised for scholarships, research, healthcare and other University needs.

This is the second-largest amount raised since the fund's inception, bringing in a total of $8.2 million over 15 years.

Though impressive, the money raised is just part of the power of your gift. By supporting "our own," your investment in the University of South Alabama reaffirms that faculty, staff and retirees believe in USA's mission and its transformational impact on the community. And through gifts that support needs such as endowments, student scholarships and life-saving equipment at USA Health, you are changing lives today and for future generations.

In addition to the campaign's name change this year to the South Fund, this was the first year of USA Giving Day. Employees raised more than $100,000 on March 22, a 24-hour giving initiative that brought in $364,368.

Thank you to the chairs of this year's South Fund campaign: Scott Weldon, Vice President for Finance and Administration; Dr. John Marymont, Vice President for Medical Affairs; and Dr. Jean McIver, Professor Emeritus. Also, thank you to the Office of Development and the unit representatives who were involved in the day-to-day fundraising efforts. Most of all, thank you to all the donors, including those who offered matching gift incentives.

For more information about this year's South Fund, visit:

Tony G. Waldrop, Ph.D.


May 7, 2018


USA employees are tremendously generous with their time. The University wants to support that spirit of giving through the launch of the USA Employee Community Volunteer Program. Through this program, which will allow all eligible full-time (1.0 FTE employees from campus and the health system) to use paid leave to volunteer for up to eight (8) hours each fiscal year, we also are upholding our institutional priority of University-Community Engagement.

The program will begin this month and repeat on October 1 for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Eligible employees can volunteer at a United Way of Southwest Alabama-affiliated agency through the United Way Volunteer Connect site, which can be accessed through the website of South’s Office of Community Engagement under the Faculty and Staff tab at

As you know, United Way has been a strong partner with the University of South Alabama. Last year alone, South employees donated nearly $250,000 to agencies through USA’s annual giving campaign. The Office of Community Engagement is administering this new program. More information, including program policies and procedures, are on their website. Before registering, employees should get approval from their supervisor and discuss options for when they will do their service.

Participation is voluntary, and we know that employees donate considerably more than eight hours a year of their time and energy to causes across our community. This is a small but important way that the University can support your efforts.

Please consider joining us by volunteering with an agency whose mission and work inspires you and is positively impacting lives.

For questions, contact the Office of Community Engagement at or 460-6116.

Dr. Tony G. Waldrop
  Dr. John V. Marymont
Vice President, Medical Affairs/Dean, COM
Dr. G. David Johnson
Provost and Sr VP for Academic Affairs
  G. Owen Bailey
Chief Executive Officer, USA Health
Senior Associate VP for Medical Affairs


April 12, 2018


Faculty, staff and students,

Please consider joining others at businesses, schools and organizations across the state by participating in National Walk @ Lunch Day on April 18th.

National Walk @ Lunch Day was designed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association "to encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles to make walking a healthy habit for life." It can be challenging to find time in our busy schedules for physical activity. For some people, walking at lunch can be a first step toward a healthier lifestyle. For others, it can be a way to enhance their current level of exercise. Also, this may be the perfect time for you to try out the new 1.5-mile shaded Jag Fitness Trail.

Participation is easy. Bring your comfortable footwear to work. Take time as permitted during your regular lunch break to walk or join your co-workers in group walks. There will be organized groups at the following locations:

  • Main Campus: Jag Fitness Trail (at Fitness Zone 2 near the traffic circle), Glenn Sebastian Nature Trail (at the Kiosk), Jaguar Track.
  • Medical Center Campus: Walking Path
  • Children's & Women's Hospital, MCI and the Strada Center: Geri Moulton Children's Park

For USA employees, the Employee Wellness Initiatives Committee would like to know how many employees walk on April 18. Please help us capture USA's participation by sending an email on April 19 to that includes the name, department and phone number of each participant. If you walked with a group of employees, only one email is needed. The committee thanks you in advance for your assistance.

To learn more about the Employee Wellness Initiatives Committee and National Walk @ Lunch Day, visit the committee's website at

*People with health issues/concerns should always seek medical guidance before beginning any new exercise regimen.

Tony G. Waldrop, Ph.D.
University of South Alabama


March 15, 2018


Dear Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to announce that on April 17 we are hosting the inaugural All Employee Picnic at Moulton Tower and Alumni Plaza, a result of the input many of you gave about expanding our employee recognition events.

This picnic will run four hours in an attempt to accommodate the diversity of employee work schedules. I am asking every senior leader and manager to allow you flexibility within your schedule to attend this event at some point during the day. Please visit this link to view the Save the Date.

Expect additional details, as well as registration information, in the near future. If you have any immediate questions, please contact our Office of Special Events at Also to learn more about Employee Recognition events for the year, please visit this website.

On behalf of the entire senior leadership team, thank you for your continued passion and commitment to the University of South Alabama.

Tony G. Waldrop, Ph.D.
University of South Alabama


March 13, 2018


Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

The University of South Alabama is committed to providing opportunities for fitness and wellness for our community. As part of this commitment, we are pleased to announce the completion of the Jag Fitness Trail.

Please join us for the dedication of our new fitness trail on Thursday, March 15. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a brief program beginning at 11:30 at the end of USA North Drive near the traffic circle.

The 1.5 mile finely crushed stone trail runs alongside USA Drive North, Aubrey Green Drive and Health Services Drive. There are three fitness stations along the way for functional fitness and body-weight training.

The path is near other opportunities for fitness and recreation. It is directly across the street from the wooded Glenn Sebastian Nature Trail and borders the disc golf course. Each of these amenities are free and open to the University community.

The vision for creating this path was carried out by the Department of Campus Recreation and Student Affairs with help from Facilities Management, and we thank them for making the trail an outstanding new addition to our campus.

It has been encouraging to see many people already using the Jag Fitness Trail. If your schedule allows, bring your sneakers and join us March 15 to see it yourself.

Tony G. Waldrop, Ph.D.,

John V. Marymont, M.D.
Vice President for Medical Affairs