Bentley praises UNA during Shoals visit


Gov. Robert Bentley addresses UNA’s administration and board of trustees March 6. Bentley praised the university’s new science and technology building and its contribution to education in Alabama.

Campus officials received good news during the “Montgomery Update” luncheon with Gov. Robert Bentley at the Marriott March 6.

Bentley also visited campus and said he was impressed with the growth of UNA.

“The University of North Alabama is a strong educational asset to Alabama,” Bentley said. “The new science and technology building will provide a modern instructional setting that prepares students for the future in the most current scientific techniques.”

Interim President John Thornell provided Bentley information about the new science building and plans for a new nursing building.

The material highlighted UNA’s new degree program which blends engineering science and computer programming. This new program is focused toward “engineering-light” jobs that drive the growth of North Alabama.

The information also detailed the plans for a new multimillion dollar nursing building that will double the capacity of UNA’s nursing program.

Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs Clinton Carter said government funding for UNA increased 7.5 percent last year.

“That put us as the third highest increase out of the 14 universities that receive funding from the governor,” Carter said.

He said UNA gained a $1 million earmark for the future nursing building and the $800,000 earmark for the science and technology building in the governor’s recommended budget for this year.

“I want to caution you guys that we might not be able to keep it, but we may be able to get more,” Carter said.

He said the governor makes recommendations for the budget, but the legislature makes the final decisions.

When Carter was hired, former President William Cale said Carter’s experience as the Alabama Department of Finance deputy officer for the previous four years would be an asset to the university’s accounting and budget planning.

“We need to make sure that this sits well with the legislature,” said President Pro Tempore of the board Marty Abroms. “It’s important that we keep the governor’s proposed budget.”