UA president is impressive

Published 2:23 am Wednesday, November 30, 2005

By Staff
I was Thad Moore Sr.'s guest at Rotary Club this week where I listened to Dr. Witt, the president of the University of Alabama speak to a packed out crowd.
He had a lot of wonderful things to say about the university – of course that comes with the job. It wouldn't be very good public relations if he bad mouthed the university.
Being an Auburn advocate I went in with a little skepticism. I attended Auburn University for quite some time but decided to get my degree from another university closer to home.
My father graduated from the University of Alabama and it just so happens that the person I date graduated from there as well. So, lately, I've been hearing a lot more about the university and got my first chance this year to visit this school that I've heard about all my life.
While I would never admit it to my significant other (he doesn't read my column) I have to say that it's a very pretty campus and probably wouldn't have minded attending school there.
But on top of the great campus, what Dr. Witt had to say grabbed my attention.
He has a lot of ideas for the university – some of which are long over due.
For instance, it will be mandatory for incoming freshmen to live on campus. The idea is to promote a friendlier, more accepting atmosphere for kids who have never ventured off from home before.
I lived off campus my first year, and if I had to do it all over again I would live in the dorms.
Dr. Witt is right. You miss out on the college experience if you take yourself out of the main part of the equation, which is experiencing college life by living on campus.
Another step the university is taking is being more aggressive with recruitment. The recruits are there to get to know you personally so when you step on campus the first time you're not a social security number but an actual individual on campus.
I think many universities and even small colleges should adopt Dr. Witt's policies. He's creating a sociable atmosphere, but at the same time creating an atmosphere that's easy to learn in.
Too many schools focus on sports or social activities. It's easy to get caught up in the fun and games and is easier to forget that your parents are spending their hard earned money to send you to school to learn.
Mary-Allison Lancaster is the Managing editor of the Brewton Standard. She can be reached via e-mail at

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