Executive Committee 

Hal Bloom, Jr., President 
Joseph Brown, Vice President 
Jody W. Beard, Secretary 
Toni Terry, Assistant Secretary 
Sheila Cloud, Treasurer 
Justin Smith, Past President Pro Tem


Mrs. Jennifer Estes Agee 
District At-Large

Jennifer Estes Agee attended the University of West Alabama from 1997 to 2000 and was a varsity cheerleader and a member of Phi Mu Sorority. Jennifer graduated from The University of Alabama in 2001 with a BS in Healthcare Management. Jennifer’s husband, Brandon, and several other family members also attended the University of West Alabama. Jennifer is a licensed nursing home administrator and is the fourth generation of her family to own and operate Skilled Nursing Homes. Jennifer’s family operates NHS Management, LLC, a Skilled Nursing Facility company in Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, and Missouri. She operated several facilities early in her career, and now serves in a corporate capacity helping with operations, human resources and community outreach. She has served her community on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of West Alabama and Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama. She has also served on the Alabama Nursing Home Association Board as region six director and currently is a board member for The DCH Foundation. Jennifer and Brandon live in Tuscaloosa with their two daughters.

Mrs. Jody Wise Beard 
District 1 

Jody Wise Beard grew up in Livingston and received her B.A. in English and Business from Livingston University in 1985. She was proud to become the first woman President of the Student Government Association. She attained her Law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1988. After prosecuting in the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s office for three years and the Baldwin County District Attorney’s office for 6 ½ years, she was appointed Circuit Clerk in 2004 and has been elected twice since. She was the former first Vice-President of the Alabama Association of Circuit Clerks. She is a former member of the University of West Alabama Foundation Board and serves on the Finance Committee at First Baptist Church in Bay Minette. Jody has three sons, Bradley, Gary Patrick and Watson. 

Mr. Hal Bloom, Jr. 
District 3 

Hal W. Bloom graduated with a BS in Business and Commerce from the University of West Alabama in 1972 and is the founding principal of the Montgomery-based The Bloom Group, one of Alabama’s premier governmental relations firms that has been serving its diverse clients for almost 30 years. He is a member of the Alabama Alliance of Business and Industry, the University of Alabama President’s Cabinet, the University of West Alabama’s Society of the Golden Key, Chairman of the Baptist Medical Center-East’s Advisory Board, a Montgomery Rotary Club past president and Chairman of The University of West Alabama Foundation’s board. 

Mr. Joseph Brown 
District At-Large 

Joseph Brown has worked for Alabama Power Company for over 30 years and currently serves as the Western Division Area Manager with responsibilities including Economic Development, Marketing, Public Relations, Community Development and Government Relations for 14 counties and 78 cities. He holds a BS in Economics and Finance from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, is a graduate of the Duke Business School for Southern Company Officers, is an inactive State of Alabama Licensed Real Estate Appraiser and inactive State of Alabama Licensed Real Estate Broker. Mr. Brown is VP of the University of West Alabama Board of Trustees, a University of Alabama Capstone Medical Board Trustee, Community College President Search Committee Chair, a member of the WIOA State Executive Board, Founding Chair of West Alabama Works and past Chair of Region 3 Workforce Development Council and past Chair of the Montgomery Institute. 

Mrs. Sheila S. Cloud 
District 5 

Mr. Jerry W. Groce 
District 4 

Jerry Groce is currently the Administrator of Easter Seals of Northwest Alabama located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Easter Seals provides Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy along with Vocational Rehabilitation Services to people with disabilities. Prior to being named the Administrator for Easter Seals, he retired as a District Administrative Specialist with the Alabama Department of Human Resources. He was elected to Russellville City Council in 1988 and served four terms (1988-2004). Mr. Groce was appointed to the Russellville City School Board in 2004 and continues to serve in that capacity. He is also an Executive Board Member for Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (NACOLG). Mr. Groce has a BS Degree from University of North Alabama, 1978, a Master Degree in Business Administration from UNA, 1988 and Master Degree in Social Work from University of Alabama in 2001. Mr. Groce is married to the former Benetia S. Bucker since 1981 and they have two children: Evan, 31, and Alayna, 27. 

Mr. Randall Hillman 
District 6

Randy Hillman was born and raised in Saraland, Alabama. He put himself through college at the University of West Alabama and law school at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Randy was a career prosecutor for 25 years until his retirement in 2017. As Chief Assistant District Attorney for Shelby County in Alabama from 1993-2001, his courtroom and prosecutorial tenure was spent running complex investigations and prosecuting hundreds of felony cases, including capital murder, violent felonies, and white-collar crimes. As Executive Director of the Alabama District Attorneys Association/Alabama Office of Prosecution Services from 2001 to 2016, he was ADAA’s chief legislative liaison/advisor in the Alabama Legislature and the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. In this role, he drafted, helped draft, and/or significantly influenced the passage of over 300 new laws or revisions to current law and greatly impacted innumerable criminal justice policies and practices. He was also directly responsible for a budget of over $100 million and 1,200 District Attorney employees statewide.

Mr. Matthew Lavender 
District 7 

Matthew Lavender graduated from the University of West Alabama in 2005 with a bachelor of science in industrial technology. He was a three-year letterman for UWA football from 2002-2004. He began his career in education and athletics as athletic director, and head coach of football and basketball at Pickens Academy in Pickens County, Alabama, where he served until 2009. He is now president and co-owner of Lavender, Inc., a general industrial contracting company that employs more than 300 people and has operated in Aliceville, Alabama, for nearly four decades. He serves on workforce advisory committees for Bevill State, Shelton State and Wallace State Community Colleges and Reid State Technical College. He is a ruling elder at First Presbyterian Church in Aliceville, where he resides with his wife, Angela. and two sons, Andrew and Sawyer.

Mr. Michael Maddox 
District At-Large 

Mr. Tom Perry 
District 7 

Taylor T. “Tom” Perry, Jr. graduated from the University of Alabama in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, and legal studies, and in 1986 from the University of Alabama School of Law, where he was a member of the Trial Advocacy Board. Since 1988, Mr. Perry has practiced law in west Alabama, with a heavy concentration on representing personal injury and wrongful death cases, as well as insurance fraud and other abuse victims. He has handled substantial cases in the 17th Judicial Circuit, the 1st Judicial Circuit, and the 4th Judicial Circuit. He is admitted to practice in the United States District Court (southern, middle and northern districts of Alabama) and all federal courts in Alabama, including the United States Federal District Court, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Having served on the Alabama State Bar Commission from 1996 until 2005 and as bar commissioner since 2014, he will take office as Alabama State Bar president, effective July 2024. He has served on the board of his local hospital and represented the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority. Mr. Perry is married to Melinda Cooper Perry and has two children: Eugenia “GiGi” Compton Perry Mitchell (Chase) and Taylor T. “Tripp” Perry, III.

Mr. Scott Stadthagen 
District At-Large 

Scott Stadthagen graduated with a BS in Physical Education from the University of West Alabama in 2002. A student-athlete, Mr. Stadthagen played football (running back position) for the UWA Tigers from 1996-2001. In 2005, he founded Hagen Homes, Inc., which serves the North Alabama area. In 2018, Mr. Stadthagen was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives and then as House Majority Leader in 2022. Mr. Stadthagen has been recognized as one of the nation’s top “50 Under 50” legislators by the American Legislative Exchange Council and part of “Power and Influence 50” by Yellowhammer News. He was also inducted into UWA’s Society of the Golden Key and the Bennett C. Russell Atheltic Hall of Fame at Pace High School. Additionally, Mr. Stadthagen has served as past chairman for the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce and as a Hartselle Kiwanis and Hartselle Rotary Club member.

Mr. Victor H. Vernon 
District 2 

Victor Vernon retired in 2015 from the Business Council of Alabama as Vice President for Legislative Policy, where he specialized in tax, public education, workforce training and governmental fiscal policy issues on behalf of Alabama’s business community. Previously, as Senate Fiscal Officer, Mr. Vernon directed the preparation of state budgets and fiscal analyses of all legislation pending before the Alabama Senate. Mr. Vernon was the 1998 recipient of the Steven Gold Award, presented by the National Conference of State Legislatures for significant contributions to public finance and fiscal policy. Mr. Vernon was the 2015 recipient of the Alabama Department of Education’s, Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative’s Friend of AMSTI Award for his role in creating legislation for the Alabama Science in Motion program in 1994, which was later incorporated into AMSTI. Mr. Vernon holds an MA in Finance from the University of Alabama. 

District At-Large 

Seat Awaiting Appointment

Board of Trustees Committees

June 2022 – June 2025 

 Hal Bloom, Jr., President 
Joseph Brown, Vice President 
Jody W. Beard, Secretary 
Toni Terry, Assistant Secretary 
Sheila Cloud, Treasurer 

Executive Committee 
Hal Bloom, Jr., Chair 
Joseph Brown 
Jody W. Beard 
Sheila Cloud 
Academic Affairs Committee 
Jerry Groce, Chair 
Jody W. Beard 
Randy Hillman 
Matthew Lavender  
Athletic Committee 
Scott Stadthagen, Chair
Jennifer Agee
Hal Bloom, Jr.  
Matthew Lavender 
Michael Maddox 
Tom Perry
Victor Vernon 
University Facilities Committee 
Joseph Brown, Chair 
Hal Bloom, Jr. 
Sheila Cloud 
Jerry Groce 
Tom Perry 
Victor Vernon 
Finance Committee 
Matthew Lavender, Chair
Hal Bloom, Jr.
Joseph Brown
Sheila Cloud 
Scott Stadthagen
Victor Vernon 
Institutional Advancement Committee 
Randy Hillman, Chair 
Joseph Brown 
Sheila Cloud 
Jerry Groce 
Student Affairs Committee 
Jody W. Beard, Chair 
Jennifer Agee 
Joseph Brown 
Sheila Cloud 
Jerry Groce 
Michael Maddox 

The Honorable Kay Ivey, Governor  
State of Alabama  
c/o State Capitol, Room N-104 
600 Dexter Avenue  
Montgomery, AL 36130 

Dr. Eric Mackey 
State Department of Education  
P O Box 302101  
Montgomery, AL 36130

Quarterly Meeting Schedule 

2023-2024 Academic Year 

This tentative schedule was approved on June 5 at a regular quarterly meeting. Details are subject to change by protocol. 

DateTentative TimeMeeting 
September 11, 20239:00 A.M.*
10:30 A.M. 
Academic Affairs Committee Student Affairs Committee Facilities Committee Finance Committee Quarterly Board Meeting 
December 11, 2023 9:00 A.M.*
10:30 A.M. 
Institutional Advancement Committee Athletic Committee Facilities Committee Finance Committee Quarterly Board Meeting 
March 4, 20249:00 A.M.*
10:30 A.M. 
Academic Affairs Committee Student Affairs Committee Facilities Committee Finance Committee Quarterly Board Meeting 
June 3, 2024
Join the Webinar
Webinar ID:
929 0707 3167
Password: 529974  
9:00 A.M.*
10:30 A.M. 
Institutional Advancement Committee Athletic Committee Facilities Committee Finance Committee Quarterly Board Meeting 

*The first committee meeting will begin at 9:00 A.M., and each subsequent committee meeting will follow at the conclusion of the preceding meeting. 

Board of Trustee Minutes

Meeting minutes are listed upon approval at the following quarterly meeting. 

2023March 6, June 5, September 11, December 11
2022March 7June 6September 12December 12
2021March 1June 7September 13October 28December 13
2020March 2June 1September 14December 14
2019March 4June 3September 9December 2
2018March 5June 4September 10December 3
2017March 6June 5September 18December 1
2016March 7June 6September 19December 12
2015March 2June 1September 2September 14December 1
2014March 3April 22May 15June 2September 8,  November 14
2013March 4June 3September 9December 2
2012:March 5June 4September 10December 3
2011: March 7June 13September 12November 28
2010:March 1June 7September 13November 11December 8 
2009: March 2June 1September 14December 1  
2008: March 3June 2, September 8December 1
2007: March 5September 10December 13
2006: March 6June 5September 11December 4  
2005:March 7June 6September 12December 12
2004:June 7July 12September 9December 13
2003:March 3June 2
2002:March 4June 3September 9December 2  
2001:March 5June 4September 10December 3  
2000:March 6June 5September 11October 2December 11

Report on Freedom of Speech and Expression at the University of West Alabama

Download printable copy. 

In compliance with the Freedom of Speech and Expression Act (Act 2019-396) that was passed by the Alabama Legislature during the 2019 regular legislative session, the University of West Alabama, on behalf of its Board of Trustees, has issued this report, which covers the 12-month period running from August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021: 

  1. The date and description of each violation of the policy adopted pursuant to this act. There have been no violations of the University’s Policy on Free Speech and Facility Use for the period of August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021. 
  1. A description of the administrative handling and discipline relating to each violation described. Not applicable. 
  1. A description of substantial difficulties, controversies, or successes in maintaining a posture of administrative and institutional neutrality.The University has always strived to support its faculty, staff, and students in being able to express their thoughts and opinions, thereby ensuring to the fullest extent possible intellectual freedom and free expression across campus. The University also endeavors to remain neutral, as an institution, on the public policy controversies of the day, except as far as administrative decisions on the issues are essential to the day-to-day operations of the University. This year the University has followed these principles in maintaining a posture of administrative and institutional neutrality. 
  1. Any assessments, criticism, commendations, or recommendations the Board of Trustees sees fit to include. The Policy on Free Speech and Facility Use has served the University well by allowing its faculty, staff, and students to take positions on public controversies and engage in protected expressive activity, while maintaining order and the safety of all involved. 

Board of Trustees Documents

Board Bylaws 

UWA Charter 

Dismissal of Board of Trustee Members Policy 

Trustee Emeritus Policy 

Trustee Emeritus

A Trustee who has served at least one full term on the Board of Trustees and who has rendered meritorious service during his/her tenure is eligible for nomination as Trustee Emeritus upon leaving the Board. Election to Trustee Emeritus status is by a majority vote of the Board upon recommendation of the Executive Committee. 

Trustee Emeritus status is customarily conferred in a public ceremony appropriate to the recognition of such distinguished service. A Trustee Emeritus may be invited to participate in Board meetings and functions as a non-voting participant and may be appointed by the Board President to serve on Board committees as a non-voting member, and he/she may be called upon to assist the Board in other matters where his/her interests, experience, and expertise can best serve the University. 

Adopted by UWA Board of Trustees March 3, 1997 


Hugh Edmonds 

Rev. Billy F. Hall 

Joe C. McCorquodale 

Louise Nolen 

Leigh Pegues 

Drayton Pruitt 

Winton Wise  

Board of Trustees Code of Ethics

Adopted by Board of Trustees on June 6, 2005 

WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees of the University of West Alabama, on June 6, 2005, adopted a resolution entitled “Code of Ethics,” and 

WHEREAS, in accordance with accreditation requirements and emerging principles of institutional governance, the Board of Trustees now wishes to adopt as policy those elements described in this resolution and to recommit itself to the principles reflected therein; and 

WHEREAS, effective governance of the University of West Alabama depends upon the willingness of the Board of Trustees to give its time and energy for the benefit of the institution and the people of the state; and 

WHEREAS, the members of the Board of Trustees hold positions of public trust and act in a fiduciary capacity that requires unquestioned confidence in their professional integrity on the part of all of the institution’s constituencies; and 

WHEREAS, in exercising its responsibilities, the Board of Trustees should conduct its affairs in a way that will demonstrate that its decisions are based solely and entirely upon an understanding of what is in the best interests of the University of West Alabama; and 

WHEREAS, the University of West Alabama Board of Trustees should consist of individuals with diverse backgrounds and successful involvement in business, industry, the professions, government, and other endeavors and, as a result, such members necessarily bring with them potential exposure to decisions that may directly or indirectly affect their outside business or professional responsibilities or their personal interests; and 

WHEREAS, service on a governing board carries with it a requirement of loyalty and fidelity to the institution served, and it is the responsibility of the members of the board to govern the institution’s affairs honestly, effectively and economically, and to render independent judgments where the benefit of the institution is the sole concern; and 

WHEREAS, the University of West Alabama Board of Trustees desires that all of its transactions should be conducted in compliance with the highest ethical and moral standards, and further in compliance with applicable law and in an environment where the University’s constituencies are assured that any potential duality of interest or possible conflict of interest of any member of the Board shall be fully disclosed and such member shall have no involvement in any decision where such a conflict is present. 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Trustees of the University of West Alabama, as follows: 

  • A member of the Board of Trustees shall, when making decisions in that capacity, exercise independent judgment so that no minority cohort of the Board, or organization or interest separate from the Board, controls the decisions of the Board, and accordingly, such that the sole concern of each member is the benefit of the institution. 
  • A member of the Board of Trustees shall not use his or her position on the Board of Trustees of the University of West Alabama to profit financially from any service on the Board of Trustees, except by receiving normal and customary reimbursement for expenses for service as a Trustee. 
  • In order to avoid any potential or real conflict of interest involving the position of a Trustee of the University of West Alabama and any business or economic interest which said member of the Board has, the Board member shall fully and publicly disclose said interest and will not participate in the discussion, debate, or voting upon said matter. Said disclosure shall be duly noted in the minutes of the meeting of the Board of Trustees or committee, if appropriate. The Board of Trustees, or a duly charged committee thereof, has the responsibility for administering the disclosures required in this Code of Ethics. 
  • No member of the Board of Trustees shall disclose confidential information regarding current or planned decisions or actions to others that may have a detrimental or adverse impact on the University. 
  • Upon appointment to the Board and thereafter at each annual meeting, each member of the Board of Trustees shall affirm that he or she has reviewed this Code of Ethics and will comply with its requirements on a form and in a manner set forth by the Board of Trustees, or a duly charged committee thereof.