UWA Board of Trustees elects new officers, evaluates President

The University of West Alabama Board of Trustees elected new officers to lead the governing body for the next three years. Pictured left to right are Secretary Hal Bloom, Treasurer Justin Smith, President Jerry Smith, and Vice President Randall Hillman. All four men are UWA alumni. (Contributed Photo)

The University of West Alabama Board of Trustees elected new officers to lead the governing body for the next three years. Pictured left to right are Secretary Hal Bloom, Treasurer Justin Smith, President Jerry Smith, and Vice President Randall Hillman. All four men are UWA alumni. (Contributed Photo)

LIVINGSTON, Ala.—The University of West Alabama Board of Trustees in its regular quarterly meeting on June 6 elected a new slate of officers to serve the next three-year term. The board has also reported on the recent evaluation of University President Ken Tucker.

Jerry F. Smith of Auburn will serve as president pro tempore for the new term. Smith is a 1966 graduate of the University and spent the early part of his career at UWA. He president and CEO of J. F. Smith Group, a company he founded to conduct feasibility studies and capital campaigns for clients across the country, including UWA’s “The University We Will Be” campaign. He serves in an at-large position on the board. He is the previous vice president of the board and replaces Terry Bunn.

Randall I. Hillman will serve as vice president of the board. He is the executive director of the Alabama District Attorneys Association and Alabama Office of Prosecution Services, a position he has held since 2002. Prior to this he was the chief assistant district attorney for Shelby County, Ala., and also was assistant district attorney for Jefferson County, Ala. Hillman is a 1986 graduate of the University and represents District 6. He replaces Smith as vice president.

Hal Bloom will serve as secretary of the board. A 1972 graduate of the University, Bloom is the founding principal of The Bloom Group, located in Montgomery. A lobbyist, Bloom brings to the board knowledge of the legislative process and expertise in public and governmental finance. Bloom, who represents District 3, replaces Victor Vernon as secretary.

Justin Smith, a Tuscaloosa attorney, will serve as treasurer of the board. Smith is a 1999 graduate of the University and has practiced law since finishing law school in 2003. He is a member of both the Alabama State Bar and the Mississippi State Bar. Prior to attending law school at Mississippi College School of Law, Smith was an admissions counselor at UWA. The treasurer post was previously vacant.

At the Monday meeting, the board committee tasked with an evaluation of the University president gave a report of their process, lauding Tucker’s performance for the year.

Bloom, who chaired the ad-hoc committee, noted that Tucker received “excellent” or “above average” marks in every category. The 52-item evaluation addressed the president’s performance in the areas of leadership, management, communication, interpersonal skills and relationships, decision making and problem solving, and other general categories including academics, fundraising, athletics, diversity, and morale. The evaluation also measures the president’s performance and achievement of objectives linked to the University’s strategic plan.

Tucker is in his second year as president of the 181-year-old university.