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THE UA STRATEGIC PLAN: Advancing the Flagship

Advancing the Flagship set the tone for a number of accomplishments during 2016-2022. These include:

  • UA's fall 2021 enrollment was 38,320.
  • In fall 2021, UA welcomed its largest freshman class ever. The class of 7,593 set 47 other internal enrollment records.
  • Minorities made up a record 22% of the 2021 freshman class.
  • In fall 2021, the University also set records for graduate, law, and medical students enrolled with 6,632 students.
  • Fall 2021’s freshman class included a record 281 National Merit Scholars, bringing the total number of National Merit Scholars enrolled to 940.
  • In Academic Year 2021-22, UA awarded 9,355 degrees.
  • University of Alabama students continue to win prestigious national awards. Sixty UA students have been named Goldwater Scholars, and the University has produced a total of:
    • 16 Rhodes Scholars
    • 16 Truman Scholars
    • 38 Hollings Scholars
    • 16 Boren Scholars
  • UA saw improvements of its 2-year retention rate to 88.6% and its 3-year retention rate to 81.7%.
  • UA’s six-year graduation rate is now 72.2%.
  • UA decreased class sizes to improve the undergraduate student experience, with over 44% of undergraduate classes enrolling 19 or fewer students in fall 2021.
  • Among our colleges and schools, success continues, including the following examples:
    • UA’s School of Law ranks No. 9 among public universities by U.S. News and World Report.
    • U.S. News and World Report ranks The University of Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School of Business No. 22 among public universities.
    • UA’s School of Social Work ranks No. 28 by U.S. News and World Report.
    • The UA Capstone College of Nursing’s Bachelor of Science in nursing program ranks No. 31 on U.S. News and World Report's list of the 2022 Best Undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Programs.
    • UA’s Advertising and Public Relations Program was named a top-five finalist for Outstanding Education Program— the tenth time the program has been awarded this honor.
    • According to PLEXUSS 2021 Global Rankings, UA offers the best business, art and engineering programs in the state.
    • According to the 2021-22 edition of the Global 2000 List by the Center for World University Rankings, UA ranks in the top 2.4% out of 19,788 universities worldwide.
    • Since 2016, enrollment in UA online distance learning programs has increased 59.6%, with four programs ranked in the top 30 of the U.S. News and World Report 2022 Best Online Master’s Programs Rankings: Business (#5), Nursing (#11), Education (#20), and Engineering (#27).
  • UA has achieved and maintained R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity status in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
  • Thirty-three current UA faculty have received NSF CAREER Awards, one of the nation’s most prestigious recognitions of top-performing young scientists, in disciplines ranging from nanoscience and engineering to biological sciences. During the 2020-2021 academic year, four professors received this award.
  • In fiscal year 2021, The University of Alabama recorded the eighth straight year of record external funding for projects that expand knowledge and spark innovation. In fiscal year 2021, externally sponsored awards totaled $171 million. UA received 814 sponsored awards, a nearly 19% jump from fiscal year 2020. Since fiscal year 2014, UA has seen a 131% increase in externally sponsored awards.
  • Research and Development (R&D) expenditures have grown by 105% from 2017-2021 placing UA as one of the fastest growing Carnegie-designated R1 institutions in the US as determined by the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey.
  • UA continues to have significant and growing economic impact on the state of Alabama. For the most recent analysis available, in 2019-2020 every $1 invested by the state in UA returned more than $15 in economic impact, totaling almost $2.8 billion and providing 12,800 jobs.
  • The Rising Tide Capital Campaign has surpassed $1 billion in charitable commitments toward its $1.5 billion goal - the largest capital campaign in the history of the state.
  • UA launched the We Are UA faculty-staff giving campaign in 2019.
  • Since 2015 the square feet of on campus buildings has increased from 15,225,606.20 to 16,953,833.34.
  • In 2017 pursuant to Advancing the Flagship, the University established the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, hiring Dr. Christine Taylor as the inagural VP and Associate Provost.
  • In 2020, UA celebrated the opening of its Intercultural Diversity Center.
  • UA is becoming increasingly diverse, as shown in these University record-breaking numbers of total enrollment for fall 2021:
    • Total minority students (8,347)
    • Underrepresented minority (excludes Asian and two or more races) students (6,481)
    • Hispanic or Latino students (2,037)
    • African American or Black students (4,277)
    • Female students (22,090)
    • The percentages of underrepresented minorities (17%) and total minorities (22%) are also record-setting highs for the Capstone.
  • Despite the international pandemic, the University prioritized the importance of our employees and avoided furloughs and layoffs, while also instituting unique training opportunities and resources for our faculty and staff.
  • UA announced paid parental leave for all eligible employees for recovery from childbirth and/or to bond with their new child.
  • UA made Forbes’ list of the Best Employers for New Graduates 2021.