Una Hosts Members Of The Legislative Delegation
Jan. 10, 2020
FLORENCE, AL - During two days in January, the University of North Alabama administration welcomed members of the local legislative delegation to campus as well as to an off-site location in Decatur for an update on the University as it enters its 190th year, making it the state's oldest four-year institution.
"These events allowed us to meet with the lawmakers who will be in Montgomery for the start of the legislative session and who will be fighting to ensure UNA receives equitable funding," said President Ken Kitts. "We know UNA receives about $10 million less per year than other Alabama universities of comparable size, scope, and mission. It's time to change that."
Among those who attended was Sen. Tim Melson, who is also a UNA graduate.
"Obviously, we're further from Montgomery than any other institution, so, if we're not there and asking and pleading our case, then we're not as effective," he said. "But I believe we are making strides, and I hope we'll see a permanent increase in the budget going forward."
President Kitts created the Project 208 initiative three years ago; the number refers to the miles between UNA and the state's capital city. Since then, there has been an increase in the University's percentage of funding from state appropriations; however, there remains a wide gap between UNA and other similarly sized institutions.
Jason Cochran has also been hired as the Executive Director for Governmental Relations and Economic Development. He joined the staff in December.
"UNA is the primary economic driver in the Shoals, and, if we want to remain the vibrant and innovative University that we are, we are going to have to change the funding stream from Montgomery," he said. "Our legislators are an important part of that."
Another UNA alumnus and state legislator is Jamie Kiel; he was also in attendance at the legislative update.
"Until recently, when Sen. Melson and I and one other UNA grad were elected, the University had little voice in Montgomery," Kiel said. "Now that we're there and that there is a strong voice, I believe we're going to see improvements. We need this statewide support."
About The University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I's ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/