UWA a good partner in education

Published 10:48 pm Friday, June 19, 2009

The University of West Alabama (UWA) was named Friday by a unanimous vote of the Demopolis City Council to be the managing partner of the Demopolis Higher Education Center, replacing Alabama Southern Community College (ASCC).

The Demopolis Higher Education Center, constructed with federal funds, is a partnership among UWA, Auburn University, the University of Alabama and Alabama Southern Community College. Although UWA will now oversee the Center’s daily operations, ASCC will remain a viable partner that will play a role in the Center’s success.

Officials with UWA have noted that among the things that are scheduled to change will be that this facility, most commonly referred to as Alabama Southern’s campus, will be called by its proper name: the Demopolis Higher Education Center.

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That will go a long way in rooting this endeavor in our community.

University of West Alabama president Richard D. Holland said UWA is delighted to take on the new role. The university envisions the Center to be a full-service educational partnership offering myriad programs to serve citizens of all ages and stages as they seek to enrich their lives.

We share that sentiment.

While we may currently be in the grips of one of the worst economies in recent memory, we will recover.

Good jobs are still out there. Even better jobs will be around one corner or another.

We simply must continue to produce highly educated and highly motivated students for the betterment of our region and the betterment of our community.

Angelia Mance, Higher Education Center director under Alabama Southern Community College, is now employed by UWA and will continue to serve in that role.

That should ease the transition immensely.

And Alabama Southern will be asked to remain and continue the adult education program at the Theo Ratliff Center.

Adults seeking to better their education locally will retain that option.

Dr. David M. Taylor, UWA provost, said he envisions the move as a growth opportunity for both the school and the city. We share his vision.

It would appear the Demopolis City Council has sought and found an excellent partner in their quest to force the State of Alabama to take notice of our region for all the right reasons.

UWA’s new efforts in this community will become yet another strong link in the chain that is scholastic excellence in Demopolis.