LSU Educator Top Choice to Lead University of Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ― A Louisiana State University administrator has emerged as the top choice to become the next president of the University of Alabama.

The University of Alabama system’s chancellor is expected to recommend Stuart Bell as president, the Tuscaloosa News reported. Bell is the executive vice president and provost at LSU.

Chancellor Robert Witt is scheduled to make the recommendation during a June 18 board of trustees meeting, said Kellee Reinhart, a spokeswoman for Alabama’s university system.

“I am honored by the recommendation that Chancellor Witt will be making, and I am just very excited to sit down with trustees on the 18th and talking about the position,” Bell said.

If his hiring is approved by the trustees, Bell said he would start July 15.

Bell was the only candidate recommended for consideration for the post during a four-month search by an advisory committee. He would replace Judy Bonner, who in December announced her plans to retire as president and return to teaching.

Bell’s compensation package would be considered later, following approval by the trustees of his appointment, Reinhart said. Bonner’s base salary is $565,000.

Bell would be returning to a university where he has strong ties.

Before coming to LSU, Bell worked from 1986 until 2002 at The University of Alabama, where he was the head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies.

“My wife, Susan, and I were there for a number of years, and we have very fond memories of the university and also for the state and Tuscaloosa,” Bell said.

Bell also served as dean of the University of Kansas School of Engineering from 2002 to 2012 before joining the administration at LSU.