University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama (U.S.A.) was founded in Mobile in 1963.

Fred Whiddon came to Mobile in 1960 with a vision to build a major university. He was the director of the University of Alabama’s two-year extension campus in Mobile at the time, and persuaded local leaders and legislators to create a four-year, degree-granting institution. The Legislature approved in 1963; a year later, the ribbon was cut. Whiddon personally signed for a $250,000 bank loan to help build the first building. He went to local high schools to recruit students, and worked long hours to attract top professors.

Whiddon oversaw the expansion of the University of South Alabama to over 12,000 students, three hospitals and extensive timberlands and natural gas reserves in assets. Whiddon retired in 1998.

In 1998, Gordon Moulton became the USA President. Under Moulton, enrollment has significantly increased.

Enrollment at USA now tops 14,000, and it has awarded over 64,000 degrees.

The USA Health System includes the College of Medicine, USA Physicians, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and USA Hospitals.

The University of South Alabama is governed by a seventeen member Board of Trustees composed of twelve members from south Alabama, three members 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 organization below the Board of Trustees is composed of the President, appointed by the Board of Trustees, and 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.

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 a dean. In addition, there are two specialized units: University Libraries and Department of Cooperative Education. 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 accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1968 and reaffirmed in 2003.

The USA Foundation manages the University’s endowment.

U.S.A. fields a full set of athletic programs, including a football team.

The editorial staff of The Vanguard ranked the 10 most powerful people at USA in April 2006: 1. Mayer Mitchell, entrepreneur and trustee. 2. Gordon Moulton, University of South Alabama President. 3. Sam Jones, Mayor of Mobile and trustee. 4. Don Langham, Union leader and trustee pro tem. 5. Wayne Davis, Vice President for Financial Affairs. 6. (tie). Dale Adams, Vice President for Student Affairs. 6. (tie) Steve Stokes, Physician and trustee. 8. Maxey Roberts, Managing Director of the USA Foundation. 9. Joe Gottfried, USA Athletics Director. 10. Patsy Covey, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

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