Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

System Chancellor to leave position

University of Alabama System Chancellor Malcolm Portera announced Monday that he would be stepping down after nearly 10 years of holding the position.

“The time is right for a transition in leadership for the state’s largest system of higher education,” Portera said in a statement.

The board of trustees, headed by President Pro Tempore Paul Bryant Jr., will be tasked with finding a successor to Portera, who will stay on in his current position until a replacement is announced.

“We accept Mac’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, ” Bryant said in a statement.  “His legacy is outstanding by every measure.”

Portera worked for a decade at the Capstone in various academic and administrative positions before spending six years as Vice Chancellor for External Affairs for the UA system. He then served as the president of Mississippi State University from 1998 to 2001 and was named as chancellor of the University of Alabama System in 2002.

“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,” Portera said.  “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.”

During his time as chancellor, the system has seen record growth. Since he took over in 2002, the System has increased from 45,000 students to 57,000. Over that same period, the total operating budget for the UA System campuses and its affiliates more than doubled.

Portera also served as interim president at both the University of Alabama at Birmingham and more recently, the University of Alabama at Huntsville.

University of Alabama President Robert Witt also released a statement about Portera’s decision to retire.

“Chancellor Mac Portera has been a visionary and highly effective academic leader,” Witt said. “The University of Alabama System has made extraordinary progress under his leadership and that progress will be his legacy.”

“It is almost unheard of for somebody to be the head of one of the important institutions of higher learning in the country for ten years,” Vice President for System Relations Kellee Reinhart said. “We fully look forward to a smooth and seamless transition.”

The chancellor search is slightly different than the search for a president of a university, but the board of trustees will still lead the efforts. Reinhart said more information will soon be released on the search.

Portera said he plans to continue to live in Tuscaloosa and has a desire to teach in the future.

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