|Mobile Extension Center of the University of Alabama (1944-1963)|
|Motto||"Research, Teaching, Service"|
|Type||Public research university|
|Established||May 3, 1963|
|Endowment||$667 million (total of USA's two separate endowment funds 2021)|
|Campus||Midsize city, 1,224 acres (495 ha)|
|Newspaper||The Vanguard (member of the combined student media group Jag Media)|
|Colors||Blue, red, and white|
|NCAA Division I FBS – Sun Belt|
The University of South Alabama (USA) is a public research university in Mobile, Alabama. It was created by the Alabama Legislature in May, 1963, and replaced existing extension programs operated in Mobile by the University of Alabama. The first classes were held in June 1964, with an enrollment of 276 students; the first commencement was held in June 1967, with 88 bachelor's degrees awarded.
USA is divided into ten colleges and schools that include one of Alabama's two state-supported medical schools. In the fall semester of 2018, South Alabama had an enrollment of 15,093 students. By the spring of 2019, the university had awarded over 90,000 degrees. It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".
USA has an annual payroll of more than $400 million (US), with over 6,000 employees, and is the second-largest employer in Mobile. The university claims to have an annual economic impact of US$3 billion.
|U.S. News & World Report||299-391|
The university offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in ten colleges and schools. Several programs offer masters level degrees in addition to undergraduate degrees. Doctoral level degrees are offered in several areas, including a Doctor of Pharmacy degree offered in collaboration with Auburn University.
USA also offers classes in nearby Baldwin County at its Fairhope campus, and in 2015 opened its new Gulf Coast Campus in Gulf Shores. In all, undergraduate students at South Alabama can choose from more than 50 bachelor's degree and certificate programs while there are more than 40 master's degree programs. As of 2011, USA ranks as the 22nd best public university in the southern United States, and 52nd overall (in the South). It has an acceptance rate of 86.5%.
The student-faculty ratio at USA is 18:1, and the school has 44.1% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. USA students are 57% female and 43% male. As of 2018, the university had a 44% six-year graduation rate and a 22% four-year graduation rate for bachelor's degree programs.
The University of South Alabama has ten colleges and schools:
The university is governed by a board of trustees appointed by and including the governor of Alabama. The board appoints a president of the university. Frederick Palmer Whiddon served as president from 1963 until 1998 and was succeeded by V. Gordon Moulton who served until 2013. John W. Smith, the current executive vice president, served as an interim president until the arrival of Tony G. Waldrop in 2014 and after his retirement in 2021. Jo Bonner was appointed as university president in 2021.
Main article: South Alabama Jaguars
The Jaguars participate in 17 NCAA sanctioned sports (8 men's and 9 women's), and are founding members of the Sun Belt Conference. Men's sports include football, basketball, baseball, tennis, cross country, golf, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. Women's sports include basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, cross country, volleyball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and golf. All sports participate in the Sun Belt Conference, a Division I/FBS conference.
The university announced the creation of an NCAA sanctioned football team on December 6, 2007, with the goal of fast tracking the program to full FBS status by the 2013 season. Since starting the football program from scratch, South Alabama has built a state of the art football facility and has several practice fields featuring both natural and artificial turf. The Jaguar Training Center, the largest practice facility in Alabama at 96,000 square feet, was constructed prior to the 2018 football season. South Alabama then added Hancock Whitney Stadium, which is an on-campus football stadium that opened in September, 2020. The stadium and practice facility have been used for other events, such as Senior Bowl and LendingTree Bowl.
South Alabama men's and women's basketball play in the 10,000+ seat Mitchell Center.
South Alabama's home park is Eddie Stanky Field, which is a 4,500-seat stadium featuring a natural grass playing surface. The Jon Lieber Clubhouse was originally constructed in 2005, but was torn down following the 2019 season to build a new Jon Lieber Clubhouse that was completed prior to the 2020 baseball season. South Alabama Baseball also has the Luis Gonzalez Indoor Hitting Facility, featuring three hitting stations, two pitching mounds, and a locker room for umpires.
On October 12, 2012, 18-year-old freshman Gil Collar was shot by a campus police officer, after appearing naked outside the police station. The university released a statement saying a campus police officer "was confronted by a muscular, nude man who was acting erratically." Collar was 5 foot 7 and weighed 135 pounds. Authorities state that Collar appeared to be on drugs when the incident occurred. The student's family filed suit against the university, the officer involved, and the police chief, Herbert Earl "Zeke" Aull. In February 2013, a Mobile County judge ruled that the university was not liable for the student's death. in 2014 the case moved to federal court. In 2015, the officer was cleared in a civil suit. The shooting inspired Brian Burghart, then editor of the News & Review in Reno, to found Fatal Encounters, a database that tracks killings by law enforcement officers.
On April 4, 2014, a group of students belonging to Students for Life USA, a pro-life student organization, filed a complaint about alleged discrimination in federal court against University of South Alabama officials. The university later settled the lawsuit, paying the students an undisclosed amount of money. According to a copy of the settlement document provided by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the university "denied all material allegations and Plaintiff's claims of constitutional infirmities". USA agreed to change a portion of its policy on use of its space and facilities, and to pay an unspecified sum settling "all of plaintiff's remaining claims, including liability, damages, and attorney's fees".
In September 2021, a lawsuit was filed against a former University of South Alabama volleyball coach due to alleged sexual and mental abuse in 2019 and 2020. The lawsuit included eight former players as plaintiffs. The amendment also alleged that university administrators had knowledge of the abuse and added the university's athletic directors and coaches as defendants. A second lawsuit was filed in 2022 by a former player uninvolved in the first lawsuit. WKRG-TV reported that the claims of abuse made by the second lawsuit was similar to the first and that both allegations included inappropriate touching and overtraining. The volleyball coach was hired by the University of South Alabama in December 2018 and resigned in February 2021.
|Race and ethnicity||Total|
Notable alumni of the University of South Alabama include:
Michael Kearney, a child prodigy, graduated from the University of South Alabama at the age of 10