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Alabama A&M announces partnerships, programs to create opportunities for students

NORMAL — Alabama A&M is launching partnerships and programs to enhance recruitment and expand opportunities for students.

The university announced the initiatives during its board of trustees meeting last week. 

“As we look toward the 150th anniversary of this University, we’re growing in a way that we’ve not seen in our recent history,” said President Daniel K. Wims. “We have to be strategic about managing that growth and building the necessary support alongside this thriving Alabama A&M of the future.”

The board approved a memorandum of understanding with Girls Inc. of Huntsville to create a STEM Center on the campus and  provide programming for up to 400 students grades 1-12.

Alabama A&M also entered into a partnership with Ross University School of Medicine to increase admission opportunities for AAMU students.  

“In order for us to go places we’ve never been, we’re going to have to do things we’ve never done,” said Dr. Roderick Watts, board president pro tem. “This university is on an upward trajectory. In order to go new places, we’re going to have to do the things that are  uncomfortable. Much of the work we will do together has never been done before. That’s going to be uncomfortable.

“Some people see problems. I see opportunities for increased growth and development.”  

Watts said the mission toward becoming an R2 institution and continuing to increase enrollment will take a commitment from everyone in the AAMU community. Higher education institutions are classified as R-2 if they graduate about 20 doctoral students each year and spend about $5 million annually on research activities.

“I want to share my commitment to this administration, to this board, and to the direction this university is headed,” he said.  

Board members echoed Watts’ position that a unified approach is crucial to continued success. 

“As one of the newest trustees, I am so grateful for how this administration has really intentionally engaged in outreach and building meaningful partnerships with our city and county government,” said Dr. Elizabeth B. Richardson. “I’m excited now  when I meet officials and can express the wonderful work this administration is doing to support not only our students, but really for the community.

“I’ve been able to witness, in a very short period of time that, among this Cabinet, there is  an admiration for the president and his leadership.”

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