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President

A Letter From the President

Since its humble beginnings in 1896, the University of Montevallo has become a leading institution of higher learning in the state and region. Our liberal-arts foundation makes us attractive to thinking, doing, achieving students who are not only serious about their education, but who are also driven to change the world. Montevallo benefits from a collaborative, wise Board of Trustees and a forward-thinking, innovative, and dedicated faculty.

As Alabama’s only public liberal arts university, our mission remains unique in higher education. As a state university with intimate class sizes and highly credentialed faculty, Montevallo is a rock star in higher-education value and is truly a student-focused place.

While other universities are increasing class size to deal with budget concerns, we continue to make faculty engagement with students a priority by maintaining our 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio and our average undergraduate class size of 21. The University’s research agenda is alive and well, but the members of our faculty are focused on teaching in the classroom, with more than 95 percent holding the Ph.D. or other terminal degree in their fields. Our graduates go on to attend professional, medical, and law schools such as Johns Hopkins, Duke, Emory and Oxford.

Montevallo is nationally recognized as a model for quality and affordability in higher education. The average Montevallo graduate finishes with forty percent less debt than those at competing universities. A robust career placement effort helps secure internships and job opportunities for students.

The University of Montevallo continues to receive accolades through the rankings of “America’s Best Colleges,” published by U.S. News & World Report. According to rankings for the 2013 edition, released September 12, 2012, UM is once again ranked as the No. 1 public master’s-level university in Alabama, a distinction it has held each year since 2008. For 2013, Montevallo is listed as the 14th best public university in the South in its division and 37th overall in the South, up 22 spots from its 2007 ranking. Montevallo is also recognized in the 2013 edition as one of the top four Southern universities that graduates students with the lowest average debt loads.

In early December 2011, UM officials were notified that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges reaffirmed the accreditation of the institution with zero recommendations and no sanctions of any kind – a rare achievement. This announcement was the culmination of a process of self-examination and peer review designed to ensure that institutions meet standards established by the higher-education community to address the needs of students and society, at large.

The magic that takes place in our classrooms is what truly defines us. Now it is time to share that magic with the world, and especially with the young men and women in our state and region. We invite the entire Montevallo family to support our unique and important mission. This is our time!

— Dr. John W. Stewart III
President, University of Montevallo

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