UAH interim president Dr. Charles Karr named permanent president

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Dr. Charles “Chuck” Karr has been named president at UAH. (UAH)

The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s interim president for the last year, Dr. Charles Karr, had the “interim” part of his title officially removed Friday when the university named him its permanent president.

Karr has served as interim president since November of 2021.

Impressive accomplishments over the last year

UAH has seen some impressive growth under Dr. Karr’s leadership. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

Under Karr’s leadership as interim president, UAH saw some pretty impressive improvements and accomplishments on campus. One of Karr’s hallmark accomplishments as interim president has been his keen ability to strengthen partnerships with leaders across the Huntsville area. Relationships with Redstone Arsenal, Cummings Research Park, business and the education sector are flourishing under his watch.

Earlier this year, UAH achieved the top level “R1 – Very high research activity” rank in Carnegie research classifications, which is the highest research activity designation among doctoral universities.

Research at UAH is a vibrant and expanding function and underscores the University’s valuable position in Alabama as a leading engineering and science research institution.

Also in the last year, UAH received one of the most significant appropriations in University history for its engineering building project, which will allow UAH to advance its flagship program, foster innovative and impactful research efforts, and address critical STEM workforce needs. With 73% of alums residing in Alabama, UAH supplies a highly educated workforce to the state and fills the community’s workforce pipeline.

“The enthusiastic support within the institution and throughout the broader community is a proven testament to Dr. Karr and the success he has already achieved at UAH,”

University of Alabama Board of Trustees Chancellor Finis St. John

Other significant accomplishments achieved by Dr. Karr as interim UAH president include recruiting new faculty and strategic leaders as well as securing merit raises for eligible UAH employees in FY 2023. Institutional giving has doubled during his tenure.

A history of achievement in academics

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Dr. Karr has a long history with the University of Alabama system. (UAH)

Before being appointed interim president of UAH in November 2021, Dr. Karr had recently retired from The University of Alabama after 26 years of service.

During his 16-year tenure as dean of the University of Alabama College of Engineering, Karr was credited with transforming the college into a research and academic powerhouse that ascended in national rankings.

He more than tripled the College’s undergraduate enrollment with the recruitment of high-quality students, grew the faculty, supported the construction of new facilities to enhance academic programs, and expanded research activity by increasing research awards more than $45 million.

He previously chaired UA’s aerospace engineering and mechanics department and was the College’s associate dean for research and graduate studies. He spent seven years as a research engineer with the U.S. Bureau of Mines before joining the UA faculty full time.

“Dr. Chuck Karr has exhibited the highest degree of excellence in every stage of his extensive and impressive academic career. The appointment of a campus president is one of the most important actions taken by the Board of Trustees. We have the utmost confidence in Dr. Karr and know he will be an invaluable asset to UAH, the University of Alabama System, and the State of Alabama.”

UA System Board of Trustees President Pro Tempore W. Stancil Starnes

Dr. Karr is a three-time UA graduate, earning a B.S. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering mechanics. He has received numerous prestigious recognitions for his academic and leadership achievements. A native of Gulf Breeze, Fla., Dr. Karr and his wife, Jodie, live in Huntsville and have two adult children, Nathan and Noah.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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