So getting to the important question, is she competent?
I don't think the Board of Trustees would have appointed her unanimously if they didn't think so. Only time will give us the opportunity to evaluate her performance in this role. Here's a bit of her background:
Dr. Judy L. Bonner has been Provost and Executive Vice President at University Of Alabama since April 1, 2006. Dr, Bonner served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs since March, 2003. She served as Dean of the College of Human Environmental Studies at The University of Alabama since 1989 and prior to that, Special Assistant to the President, Assistant Academic Vice President, and Head of the Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management. She has held faculty positions at The University of Alabama in Birmingham and The Ohio State University. Dr. Bonner is an active member of civic, scientific and professional organizations and is the author of numerous books and articles. Dr. Bonner holds two degrees from The University of Alabama - the B.S. in Nutrition and the M.S. in Food and Nutrition, and the Ph.D. in Human Nutrition from The Ohio State University.
She is more than competent! She and Dr. Witt have worked together for some time. I think that they both share the same "vision" for the University rather than trying to make major changes and reinvent the wheel. I think she understands the workings of the University, it's rich history and traditions.
Dr. Bonner has been the Provost for years; she's certainly competant for the position. She also held the position as interim during the search for the last president, so she has already demonstrated her abilities to the Trustees. Plus, since Dr. Witt has worked closely with her over the years, he certainly would know first-hand about her abilities.
President Bonner is very competent. People in the know have told me that during President Witt's administration, Dr. Bonner ran the day-to-day operations of the university while Dr. Witt was more of the hands off big planner.
I'm so excited about this news. What better choice?! I was wanting her to be up for consideration for the job back when the search began. Nay sayers of the university are going to start finding themselves with nothing to discuss. How can you say UA isn't progressive after hiring its first female president? We takin' over. haha Roll Tide Dr. Bonner!!!
UA trustees made the appointment on Witt's recommendation after the board met in executive session. The president does not have a contract, but rather serves at the pleasure of the board, university officials said.
Bonner said she didn't apply for the president's job when Witt became chancellor earlier this year because she was handling the job as interim president and provost at the same time and wanted to concentrate on that. "I felt I had too many balls in the air," she said.
Witt also said that the criteria the board was considering for the job at that time was someone who was already a college president. "Her performance was so strong as interim president that it removed any question regarding appointing someone who is a sitting president," he said.
Bonner said that Witt asked her if she was willing to consider the job after Bailey announced his intention to resign. "I have always been willing to do whatever the University of Alabama needed me to do," she said.
Trustee John H. England Jr. said the board was not concerned that it picked a new president in just 24 hours. "It's not a concern because we know her. We know this person," he said.
"This person probably would have been a finalist for the national search had she not withdrawn in that interim capacity. That was the easiest part of this process," England said.