TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The University of Alabama’s board of trustees voted Thursday to appoint the first permanent woman president in the school’s 181-year history.
The board met in an executive session for about an hour before announcing the appointment of current Provost Judy L. Bonner, 65. She’s the older sister of U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, and served as interim president before outgoing President Guy Bailey took over in early September.
Bailey announced Wednesday that he was resigning after less than two months in the job, citing his wife’s health. The two-time UA graduate and Alabama native moved back to the state after leaving the presidency at Texas Tech University.
A statement released by the university quoted Bailey as saying he made the decision to step down after “much discussion” with wife Jan Tillery-Bailey.
“My family and I appreciate your understanding and your prayers,” Bailey said.
University spokeswoman Deborah Lane said Bailey’s wife was “critically ill this summer,” but she didn’t elaborate on her condition.
A story published four years ago in the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal described Bailey’s wife, a Lubbock native, as a two-time cancer survivor.
Aside from Alabama spending most of the fall as the No. 1 football team, the most notable campus event during Bailey’s brief tenure was the administration’s decision last month to end all pledging activities by male fraternities amid allegations of hazing at some houses.
The university suspended three current or former members of one fraternity, and another group was forced to suspend all social and new-member activities indefinitely. Six fraternities were cleared of hazing allegations, but officials said administrators are still reviewing Greek-letter groups on campus.