Dr. Malcom Portera, the University of Alabama System's longest serving Chancellor in the school's history, announced his retirement today. His career in higher education spanned three decades and included service as the President of Mississippi State University and interim president at both UAB and UAHuntsville. He was elected as Chancellor of the UA System ten years ago, in January 2002.
"The time is right for a transition in leadership for the state's largest System of higher education," Portera said during his announcement.
"My wife Olivia and I want to thank the Board of Trustees for giving us the opportunity to lead what I believe to be one of this country's finest University Systems. It has been a pleasure to serve with the outstanding people who govern our System, and I believe that our Board of Trustees is due a great deal of credit for the successes we have enjoyed," he said.
"We have been blessed to have an exceptional staff in the Chancellor's Office and we are supported by a truly outstanding group of campus Presidents," Portera added, according to a media release sent out by the University of Alabama system.
Portera says he plans to continue to live in Tuscaloosa and teach on a part-time basis. The UA Board of Trustees will begin the process of finding a successor for Portera, the University's fifth Chancellor.
UA President Dr. Robert Witt responded to Portera's retirement announcement with the following statement:
"Chancellor Mac Portera has been a visionary and highly effective academic leader. The University of Alabama System has made extraordinary progress under his leadership and that progress will be his legacy."
President pro tempore of the UA Board of Trustees Paul Bryant, Jr. said Dr. Portera is one of the foremost leaders in Alabama's education, economic development and public service.
"We accept Mack's decision to retire with reluctance, and we thank him for his exemplary record and the valuable contributions he has made to our campuses and the State of Alabama. His legacy is outstanding by every measure," Bryant said.
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