Professor shares UM updates at Chamber lunch

Published 6:10 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2019


COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Chamber members in attendance at the Chamber Connections Luncheon on Feb. 7 heard an update on the University of Montevallo from one of its professors.

Dr. Stephen Craft, Dean of the Stephens College of Business, gave an overview of academic offerings at UM compared to other four-year colleges and universities in the state.

Craft said the average class size at UM is 23 students, and the majority of UM students are pursuing undergraduate degrees in one of the university’s four colleges: Arts & Sciences, Stephens College of Business, Education and Fine Arts.

He also addressed the common concern for students and their families regarding post-graduation loan debt.

“Our students graduate with about 40 percent less student loan debt compared to Alabama, Auburn and UAB,” Craft said. “It’s a privilege to teach at an institution like the University of Montevallo. It’s the kind of education you’d expect to find at a $50,000- or $60,000-a-year private liberal arts college.”

Craft said UM is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and holds national accreditation for specific degree programs.

“Our teachers are fantastic professors,” he said. “What happens in the classroom is dynamic.”

In other UM news, Craft said the construction of a new facility for the Stephens College of Business is projected to start at the end of the current academic year, with expected occupancy in fall 2020.

Work on UM’s new Center for the Arts continues. The 36,000-square-foot building will include an art gallery, Theatre Department offices, multipurpose classrooms and studios, a multi-use digital fabrication lab, areas for scene design, wardrobe shops, hospitality and performance venues.