UA Preview – Feb. 6-12, 2023

UA Preview – Feb. 6-12, 2023


TWO TRANSFORMATIVE INITIATIVES HONOR SEN. SHELBY’S HISTORIC SUPPORT — Two distinct initiatives approved by The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees will enhance UA’s mission to educate tomorrow’s leaders and innovators, thanks to the visionary leadership of recently retired U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby. The Shelby Endowment for Distinguished Faculty leverages $100 million in congressionally directed funding to create a permanent endowment that supports the recruitment and retention of exceptional faculty members in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, disciplines. UA also announced the creation of the Shelby Institute for Policy and Leadership, focused on providing premier educational programs for students interested in policy. For more information, contact Shane Dorrill, UA Strategic Communications, at  

UA ECONOMISTS: STATE ECONOMY TO SHRINK SLIGHTLY IN 2023 — Alabama’s economy will likely contract in 2023, but just barely, according to researchers at The University of Alabama. Persistent inflation, labor shortages, lingering supply chain bottlenecks and international effects from the war in Ukraine will continue to drag national and state economic growth, according to the annual economic forecast from the Center for Business and Economic Research at UA. “The economy, at some point, will slow down,” said Ahmad Ijaz, CBER executive director and director of economic forecasting. “Even if we go into a recession, it is only expected to be a mild one, hopefully, but that can change.” For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at 

UA COLLECTING BOOK DONATIONS FOR BLACK BELT SCHOOLS — The UA Center for Economic Development launched the 17th annual Books for the Black Belt campaign Jan. 30 that encourages UA students, faculty, staff and local residents to donate books for K-12 students in the region. UACED strives to help children develop a love of learning and reading by distributing books to students in Alabama’s 13 Black Belt counties. UACED will accept donations of new or gently used classic and award-winning books frequently found on school reading lists for K-12 children until Feb. 24. For more information, contact Erin Hackenmueller, UA Center for Economic Development, at 


SUPER BOWL AD BUYS CONTINUE TO GROW — “Believe it or not, the Super Bowl ad buys are only getting bigger, with 30-second spots being sold at all-time high rates of $7 million,” said Dr. Andrew Billings, the Ronald Reagan Chair of Broadcasting in the department of journalism and creative media. “The Super Bowl audience has somehow managed to stay the same size while every other type of television programming has experienced steady decline as streaming options overwhelm the market. Because of that, Super Bowl advertising has always been the biggest outlet for advertisers, but now has become virtually the only game left in town. Combine that with the fact that hardly anyone skips or fast forwards a Super Bowl commercial while we actively seek to avoid them whenever possible otherwise and the result is an all-time high for Super Bowl commercials — both in terms of relevance and in cost.” To schedule an interview, contact Billings at 


WARNER TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM HOSTS BLOOD DRIVE — The Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum is teaming up with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers to host a blood drive Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Bloodmobile will be used for this event and will be parked in the museum’s parking lot. All donors will receive a recognition item, cholesterol screen and LifeSouth t-shirt. For more information, call LifeSouth toll-free at 888-795-2707 or visit 

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The University of Alabama strives to remain neutral on public policy issues. Strategic Communications may facilitate interviews or share opinions expressed by faculty, staff, students, or other individuals regarding policy matters. However, those opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the University or its leadership, and do not constitute a statement on behalf of the University unless explicitly designated.