Guy Bailey steps down from office of President of UniversityBy Will Tucker | 10/31/2012 2:44pm
UA President Guy Bailey announced today through a campus-wide email that he would be stepping down from his post as the University president.
“Today I have notified Chancellor Witt that I am stepping down as President of The University of Alabama,” Bailey said. “This is a decision my wife Jan and I made together after much discussion about how we can best address her health, which is the most important priority in our lives.”
Bailey was chosen by the Board of Trustees in July to take the place of Robert Witt, who left the position to become Chancellor of the UA System.
“By announcing this decision today, I hope the Board of Trustees will be in a position to take the next appropriate steps during its meeting in Tuscaloosa this week,” Bailey said. “We want to thank the faculty, staff, students, alumni and our many friends for your warm welcome. My family and I appreciate your understanding and your prayers.”
In an Oct. 15 email, Kellee Reinhart, vice chancellor for system relations of The University of Alabama, said neither Bailey nor Witt have employment contracts with the University. She said to her knowledge, no president or chancellor has ever had a contract and this fact does not affect Bailey's resignation.
"According to board policy, the president and chancellor serve at the pleasure of the board," Reinhart said.
Paul Bryant, Jr., president pro tempore of the university Board of Trustees, said the board would have a meeting Thursday to discuss presidential succession.
“We understand and respect that President Bailey’s priorities at this time must be focused on his wife Jan’s recovery. The Baileys are in our prayers and have our support,” Bryant said in an emailed statement. “We will address the issue of presidential succession at The University of Alabama in a specially called Board meeting Thursday. ”
According to a Lubbock Avalanche-Journal report from 2008, Bailey's wife Dr. Jan Tillery-Bailey has been diagnosed with cancer at least twice and is a two time survivor. Chris Cook, the managing director of communications & marketing at Texas Tech University, where Guy Bailey served as University president from August 2008 to July 2012, said her health has been issue for several years.
"I don’t know the specifics, but I know she had health issues and that was very important to him," Cook said. "She has these health issues and they’re very attentive to those. From what he said in the statement, it’s clear that they have decided that they need to focus on those issues, understandably so. I don’t know any specifics about it at this moment. He kept a lot of it private and rightfully so, but everyone was aware that she had health issues while he was at Texas Tech."
Debbie Lane, assistant to the president and assistant vice president of University relations, said in a prepared statement that the University was aware of Tillery-Bailey's health condition.
"Mrs. Bailey was critically ill this summer, and the Baileys' priority for the foreseeable future is focused on her continued health," Lane said.
Director of the Office of Media Relations Cathy Andreen said she has no further information on Tillery-Bailey's personal health.