Montgomery Advertiser asks real questions about Jo Bonner

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt May 30, 2013

Thank you Montgomery Advertiser and its D.C. Reporter, Mary Orndorff Troyan, for digging deeper into Rep. Jo Bonner’s new job with the University of Alabama System.

Please take a moment to read Troyan’s article. Please link it, Like it, +1 and Tweet it. The public needs to support this kind of watchdog reporting for it to continue.

Also check out this interesting thing I found from the April 12, 2013 U.S. Congressional Record:

[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E446-E447]


                             HON. JO BONNER

                               of alabama

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, April 12, 2013

  Mr. BONNER. Mr. Speaker, a decade ago this spring, Dr. Robert Witt 
became the 26th president of The University of Alabama.
  Last March, after nine highly successful years as UA president, Bob 
was unanimously elected Chancellor of the University of Alabama System. 
In his new post, he is continuing to transform the UA System, which is 
comprised of the flagship campus in Tuscaloosa, as well as The 
University of Alabama at Birmingham and The University of Alabama in 
Huntsville, into one of America's fastest growing public university 
  Together, the UA system budget exceeds $4.6 billion with student 
enrollment at the three campuses exceeding 57,000 and more than 26,000 
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute Bob Witt for over a decade of 
dedication, service and leadership to The University as well as to the 
State of Alabama.
  When Dr. Witt was selected UA president in 2003, he brought to the 
campus an ambitious ``Plan for Growth'' to boost student enrollment and 
school prestige. During a period of austerity in state funding and with 
challenges in the UA's storied football program, Dr. Witt laid out a 
strategy of increasing enrollment by forty percent, raising faculty and 
staff salaries, boosting financial aid to students, and upgrading and 
expanding university facilities.
  His record of growth in Tuscaloosa was truly unprecedented.
  During his tenure as president, The University of Alabama established 
the tremendously successful University Honors College and hired head 
football coach Nick Saban.
  And under Dr. Witt's leadership, total enrollment at the Tuscaloosa 
campus increased from fewer than 20,000 students to more than 31,000 
students. Today, total enrollment at the Tuscaloosa campus exceeds 
33,000 students and The University of Alabama is ranked first in the 
nation among public, flagship universities in the enrollment of 
National Merit Scholars.

[[Page E447]]

  Along with the student population, Bryant-Denny Stadium was expanded 
during Dr. Witt's presidency, from 84,000 to 101,821 seats, and now 
sports three more national championship title flags.
  Under his guidance, The University of Alabama campus has also seen 
$1.5 billion in new construction and has expanded by 168 acres with the 
purchase of the historic Bryce Hospital property.
  Dr. Witt began his distinguished 36-year higher education career in 
the state of Texas in 1968, joining the business school faculty at 
University of Texas at Austin. He was named the Zale Corporation 
Centennial Professor in Business in 1983 and bestowed the Mortimer 
Centennial Professorship in Business two years later. After rising 
through the ranks as chair and associate dean, Dr. Witt was named dean 
of the business school in 1985. He was elected president of University 
of Texas at Arlington in 1995 and served until 2003.
  Dr. Robert Witt received his B.A. in economics from Bates College, 
his M.B.A. from Tuck School at Dartmouth College, and a Ph.D. from 
Pennsylvania State University. In 2011, he was inducted into the 
Alabama Academy of Honor.
  As the Chancellor of the University of Alabama School System, Dr. 
Witt works closely with UA President Judith L. Bonner, UAB President 
Ray L. Watts and UAH President Ralph A. Altenkirch to constantly raise 
the bar of expectations by providing the taxpayers of Alabama with a 
first-class educational experience.
  On behalf of the people of Alabama, I would like to extend my 
personal congratulations to Dr. Witt as he marks his decade of service 
at The University of Alabama system, and wish him, and his lovely wife, 
Sandee, all the best.


About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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