President’s letter highlights important news for UNA

President Kenneth Kitts discusses vital campus changes at the annual board of trustees meeting June 8. Kitts discussed important campus updates in his letter to campus released July 2.

by News Editor Anna Brown

President Kenneth Kitts announced developments in key elements of the university in his President’s Communique last week. 

Kitts shared new information about increases in state appropriations, the demolition of Floyd Hall and the construction of a new building for the College of Nursing. 

“Our total increase [in funding] will likely be in the $1 million range, and our final “ranking” in terms of institutional success in the annual budgetary process will place us either third or fifth among the fourteen public universities in Alabama,” Kitts said. 

This is a step in the right direction, but UNA needs more of these increases to close the funding gap between UNA and other colleges in Alabama, he said. 

“This extra influx of money will help the student body because it will allow university officials to invest the money in new buildings and resources that are necessary for the students,” said SGA President Nick Lang. “For example, some of this money can help with the implementation of the new Nursing building that will hopefully be coming to campus soon.”

Due to structural issues, university officials decided to demolish Floyd Hall instead of remodel, Kitts said. 

“The structural issues in Floyd are more serious than previously realized, and for that reason it would be difficult to justify investing large sums of money into the renovation of the existing building,” he said. 

He said the demolition of Floyd Hall will likely begin after the Fall 2015 semester ends. 

The construction of a new nursing building is UNA’s next capital project, Kitts said. 

“Recently, consensus began to emerge around the option of bringing down Floyd Hall and building on that site,” he said. “The condition of that facility has driven this decision.”

Dean of the College of Nursing Vicki Pierce said she would like to see updated simulation rooms including a camera system in the new nursing building. 

“We can record the simulations and students can come back and watch what they did,” Pierce said. “When students see themselves on screen, they can see their mistakes and critique themselves. These simulations are important because you don’t always get to practice these skills everyday. In the real world, you have one chance to get it right.”

Kitts said increased parking space will be a key element to the design of the new nursing building. 

He said work on this project begins in the upcoming academic year following the demolition of Floyd Hall.