TUSCALOOSA — The president of the University of Alabama said Wednesday he was quitting after less than two months on the job because of his wife’s health.
A statement released by the university quoted Guy Bailey as saying he made the decision to step down after “much discussion” with wife Jan Tillery-Bailey, but it didn’t disclose what sort of health issues she may be experiencing.
“My family and I appreciate your understanding and your prayers,” Bailey said.
Bailey took over as president of the Tuscaloosa campus in early September. The Montgomery native, a two-time graduate of Alabama, moved back to the state after leaving the presidency at Texas Tech University.
University spokeswoman Deborah Lane said Bailey’s wife was “critically ill this summer,” but she didn’t elaborate on her condition then or now.
A story published four years ago in the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal described Bailey’s wife, a Lubbock native, as a two-time cancer survivor.
Trustee Paul Bryant Jr., president pro tem of the Alabama board, said members would discuss Bailey’s successor at a specially called meeting today.
“We understand and respect that President Bailey’s priorities at this time must be focused on his wife Jan’s recovery,” Bryant said in the statement.
The Tuscaloosa News reported that the board would meet in a closed session at noon to discuss the resignation and reconvene in an open session at 1 p.m. at the Bryant Conference Center. The board is expected to accept Bailey’s resignation during the meeting.
Bailey’s salary and incentives package at Alabama is worth as much as $652,000 annually. His base salary was $535,000. He was the 37th UA president and replaced Robert Witt, who left the presidency to become chancellor of the three-campus University of Alabama System.
Bailey served as president of Texas Tech from 2008 to 2012 and was chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 2005-2008. He also was an administrator at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was chair of the English departments at the University of Memphis and at Oklahoma State University. Before becoming an administrator, he taught at Texas A&M and Emory.
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