UA System chancellor Ray Hayes steps down

Savannah Bullard

Ray Hayes announced on June 1 that he will leave his position as Chancellor of The University of Alabama System.

Hayes, 64, served as chancellor for two years before deciding to make the switch to a new position within the system.

“Chancellor Hayes is not resigning or retiring,” Kellee Reinhart, spokesperson for the UA System said. “He is transitioning to a new role in our system that focuses primarily on behavioral health, which includes the full range of substance issues and strategies to achieve long-term wellness and lifelong success.”

Hayes announced his plan to shift positions at the Board of Trustees’ regular June meeting. He will transition to emeritus status in order to focus on systemwide projects.

“Along with other initiatives, [Hayes] will lead The University of Alabama System Behavioral Health Project, which is a major effort to support students on our campuses in preventing, treating, and experiencing long-term recovery in areas of addiction, substance abuse, emotional and mental health,” Reinhart said.

Hayes said he was optimistic about the transition and owed the smooth process to his colleagues at the UA System.

“It is just the right time,” Hayes said. “The board has been very supportive and good at that and given me the opportunity to work on that for several years.”

Reinhart said Hayes’s new position will be a great benefit to the UA System.

“Through this collaborative effort, The University of Alabama System strives to address critical behavioral health issues, conduct groundbreaking research and inform public policy.”