Montevallo faculty members are an important part of an institution committed to quality in its academic programs and its faculty. The University’s unique mission, incorporated into State statutes in 1979, is as follows:
The mission of the University of Montevallo, unique in higher education in Alabama, is to provide to students from throughout the State an affordable, geographically accessible, “small college” public higher educational experience of high quality with a strong emphasis on undergraduate liberal studies and with professional programs supported by a broad base of arts and sciences, designed for their intellectual growth in the pursuit of meaningful employment and responsible, informed citizenship.
The University of Montevallo was proposed in 1892 in a bill introduced in the State Senate by Sol D. Bloch of Camden. The bill, steered through the House by John McQueen of Birmingham, was passed the following year. In June 1895, after considerable competition from other parts of the state, Montevallo was selected as the site of the University because of the town’s location near the exact geographical center of the state, its healthful surroundings—and a substantial gift of cash and property by local citizens who wanted a public educational institution in their town.
The school, dedicated to the education of Alabama females, opened on October 12, 1896, with Captain Henry Clay Reynolds of Montevallo as President, a faculty of 10, and a student enrollment of 145. The “campus” consisted only of Reynolds Hall, erected in 1851. The institution, known as Alabama College for most of the century, became the University of Montevallo in 1969.
Management of the University from the beginning was vested in an eleven member Board of Trustees in addition to the Governor, who is its president, and the State Superintendent of Education, both of whom serve ex‑officio. Members are appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the State Senate.
The University has had fifteen presidents. The first, Captain Henry Clay Reynolds, was a lieutenant in the Confederate States Army, and at the time of his election was a merchant and a planter. In 1898 he was succeeded by Dr. Francis Marion Peterson, professor of Ancient Languages at Southern University (now Birmingham‑Southern). The third president, Dr. Thomas Waverly Palmer, before coming to Montevallo in 1907, had been Dean and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Alabama. In 1926, Dr. O. C. Carmichael, Dean of the University since 1922, became the fourth president. Dr. Arthur Fort Harman, former State Superintendent of Education, served the University as its fifth president from 1935 to September 1, 1947, when he was succeeded by Dr. John Tyler Caldwell, its sixth president. On July 1, 1952, Dr. Caldwell was succeeded by Dr. F. Edward Lund, former Dean of Florence State College. In August 1957, Dr. Howard Mitchell Phillips, Sr., Dean of the Graduate School, Emory University, became the eighth president of the College. Dr. Delos P. Culp, President of Livingston State College, succeeded Dr. Phillips becoming the ninth president of the University. In March 1968, Dr. Kermit A. Johnson became the tenth president of the University of Montevallo. On August 1, 1977, Dr. James F. Vickrey, Jr., became the eleventh president of the University. In March 1988, Dr. John W. Stewart became acting president and was appointed as the twelfth president on October 12, 1989, serving until his retirement in June, 1992. On July 1, 1992, Dr. Robert M. McChesney became the University of Montevallo’s thirteenth president. Dr. Philip C. Williams became the University’s fourteenth president on August 1, 2006. On May 17, 2010, Dr. John W. Stewart, III, was appointed as the fifteenth president.
In the fall of 1955, President Lund recommended to the Trustees that the institution become a coeducational liberal arts college, offering standard courses in the arts and sciences and in the various professional fields in which the University had historically pioneered. In response to the recommendation, which was approved unanimously by the Trustees, the State Legislature on January 17, 1956, passed the necessary legislation to permit the University to admit qualified male students. The University thus opened its sixty‑first session as a coeducational liberal arts college.
The University of Montevallo has developed from its beginning as a women’s school with a curriculum covering high school subjects, special work in commercial courses, normal training, music and domestic arts to a public, liberal arts university granting undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is committed to the attainment of national accreditation in all of its undergraduate programs where such recognition is available and appropriate. In addition, UM is also a member of the prestigious Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Montevallo’s facilities include a 160-acre main campus, with more than 30 major buildings included in the $50-plus million physical plant. Spacious lawns, stately trees, red-brick walkways and streets, and an unusual number of flowers and shrubs contribute to the natural attractiveness of the campus, the center portion of which is a National Historic District.
The University is comprised of five divisions: the Division of Academic Affairs, the Division of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness, the Division of Student Affairs, the Division of Business Affairs, and the Division of University Advancement. UM offers study in four colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Michael E. Stephens College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Fine Arts: The University grants Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, and Bachelor of Science degrees, as well as the Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Science, and Educational Specialist degrees.
The University of Montevallo is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Montevallo.
The UM faculty and staff recognize the importance and public trust that accompany regional accreditation, and the national and international acceptance accorded degrees granted by accredited institutions. In carrying out the University’s mission, Montevallo is committed to adhering to the principles and requirements set forth and refined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), including those referred to in SACS literature under the heading of Institutional Effectiveness, a term which encompasses the systematic and documented processes of planning, assessment, and improvement. It is incumbent upon the faculty to be familiar with and to abide by the requirements contained in the SACS Principles of Accreditation, housed in the Division of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness and/or in all departmental offices, and to participate in the ongoing activities necessary for continuous improvement.
All provisions in this Handbook are subordinate to any contrary provisions in Federal and State law and/or University policy. University policy is developed, revised, and issued as conditions warrant, as the Board of Trustees’ action dictates, or as new state or federal legislation is enacted.
Faculty are encouraged and expected to be aware of all University policies. Complete information about each of the University’s official policies is available through the Office of Human Resources, and in the Policy Manuals located in departmental offices, or in the Policies section of the University’s web page. Questions should be directed to the appropriate Department Chair, the appropriate Dean, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, or the Office of Human Resources.