The University of Alabama

September 26, 2000


          The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26, 2000

in the Forum Room of Ferguson Center.



MEMBERS PRESENT:      Bakker, Martin G., Ph.D.                      Cassell, Carol, Ph.D

Fleming, Susan C., D.M.A. Freeman, L. Michael, Ph.D

Klinger, Laura G., Ph.D                        Lomax, Richard G., Ph.D.

McGee, Lea, Ed.D.                               O’Dair, Sharon, Ph.D.

Powell, Martha, Ph.D                           Roskos-Ewoldsen, David R., Ph.D

Rubin, Nancy, Psy.D                           Schnee, Edward J., Ph.D,

Sun, Min, Ph.D.                                    Sunal, Cynthia S., Ph.D.

Thoma, Stephen J., Ph.D



PRESENT:                            Knox-Pryce, Jo, Ph.D. (for Stuart, Paul H., Ph.D)



MEMBERS ABSENT:        Barrett, Bruce E., Ph.D.                        Copeland, Gary A., Ph.D.

Dugan, Michael T., D.B.A                  Dunkin, Jeri W., Ph.D., R.N.

Johnson, Ida M., Ph.D.                       Price, Barrie Jo, Ed.D.

Price, Harry E., Ed.D.                           Schreiber, Will C., Ph.D.

Sulentic, Jack W., Ph.D.                      Thrasher, Joseph S., Ph.D.

Wilson, Elizabeth K., Ph.D.



MEMBER PRESENT:         Dean Ronald Rogers

                                                Provost Nancy Barrett




PRESENT:                            Melanie Eddins

Gopa Venugopalan





PRESENT:                            Dr. Pat Harrison, Assistant Dean

                                                Dr. John F. Schmitt, Associate Dean



                The meeting opened with introductions and approval of the April 25, 2000 Graduate Council minutes.  Dean Rogers described the typical agenda for a Graduate Council meeting.


                Dean Rogers called for the reports from various committees.


I.                     Reports from Graduate Council Committees


A.       Admissions and Recruitment


                Melanie Eddins, committee member, presented a proposal for a modification in the admissions test score requirements for graduate applicants to the Department of Physics and Astronomy.  The department proposed that their graduate applicants should be required to submit either the GRE General Test or the GRE subject test in Physics, with a score at the 50th percentile required for regular admission.  The Admissions and Recruitment Committee recommended that the proposal should be approved.  The Graduate Council approved the proposal unanimously.

                Ms. Eddins described other topics that the committee would be considering this academic year.  The committee is reviewing proposals from the College of Human Environmental Sciences to modify the admissions test score requirements for graduate applicants.  The committee will consider a proposal to recommend the provision of health insurance benefits for UA graduate assistants.  Members of the Graduate Council discussed the proposal briefly, and several members stated that health insurance benefits would be a good recruitment tool for new graduate students.

                The committee will consisder a proposal for a change in policy that would allow students who hold conditional admission also to hold a graduate assistantship.  Graduate Council members discussed that this policy change might be useful for student recruitment but that the qualification of conditionally admitted students might be an issue.  Dean Rogers noted that the policy requiring regular admission for awarding of a graduate assistantship was approved by the Graduate Council many years ago to protect students and provide them with ample opportunity to meet the conditions of their admission.


B.      Financial Aid


                Pat Harrison referred the Graduate Council to the summary of Graduated Council Fellowship awards for 2000-2001 contained in the agenda packet and noted that almost $680,000 in stipends were awarded to 56 Graduate Council Fellows.  The special $5000 supplements for selected fellows, a feature added to awards for 2000-2001 fellowships, were discussed.  Pat Harrison summarized the schedule for the fellowship competition during the coming academic year and requested that Graduate Council members encourage their departments to participate.


C.      Program and Degree Requirements


Dean Rogers reviewed topics that the Program and Degree Requirements Committee would be considering during this academic year.  Topics include a proposal for a plus-minus grading system for graduate classes and a proposal for students placed on academic probation to hold graduate assistantships.


D.      Research and New Programs


Topics include a proposal for a graduate certificate program in Geographic Information Systems, and a proposal for a Ph.D. program in Anthropology.


E.       Teaching and Research Awards


John Schmitt summarized the schedule for selection of the University-wide award winners for outstanding teaching by a master’s student, outstanding teaching by a doctoral student, outstanding research by a master’s student, and outstanding research by a doctoral student .  Each college and school will select its winners this fall, and nominations for the University-wide awards are due to the Graduate School by January 12, 2001.  The awards for outstanding thesis and outstanding dissertation are not determined by the Graduate Council; two committees composed of emeritus faculty determine those winners, following nominations from UA’s colleges and schools.


II.                   Reports from the Dean’s Office and Academic Affairs


John Schmitt described the process for program review and thanked the following Graduate Council members who had agreed to participate on program review committees during 2000-2001:  Sharon O’Dair, Martha Powell, Richard Lomax, and Min Sun.  Pat Harrison noted that Graduate School Recruitment Plan and Report were included in the agenda packet, that the annual Graduate School Preview Day is scheduled for October 5, 2000, and that a new Graduate School Prospectus will be available in October 2000.

Dean Rogers reported that graduate student enrollment for Fall 2000 was about 37 students lower than Fall 1999, or a decrease of about 1%.  He described goals to increase graduate enrollment to be about 20% of total UA enrollment, or an increase from the current 3,600 graduate students to 4,000 graduate students, and asked members to consider the need for enrollment management techniques.  Graduate Council members responded that graduate recruitment could be enhanced with larger numbers of graduate assistantships, increased stipends for graduate assistants, and reduced teaching loads for graduate teaching assistants.  Some members noted that their graduate enrollment is down due to the positive job market for individuals with undergraduate degress.


III.                 Reports from Standing University Committees


The Faculty Participation in the Selection of Deans and Department Chairpersons and in the Evaluation of Academic Programs Committee will be exploring possible modifications in the procedures for leadership evaluation.



IV.                Old Business




V.                  New Business


                Dean Rogers announced that he would be presenting a “State of the Graduate School” address during 2000-2001.


                Dean Rogers announced that the Mass Communication doctoral program was awarded a $250,000 enhancement grant as a result of the 2000 competition.  A second $250,000 grant will be shared by the Department of Management and Marketing and the Department of Information Science, Statistics, and Management.


                Graduate Council members discussed the problems with inadequate number of lines for BAMA dial-up accounts and requested that separate lines be provided for faculty and graduate students.


VI.                Five-year Leadership Review of Dean Rogers


Dean Rogers left the meeting.  Provost Barrett presided to discuss the procedures for Dean Rogers’ five-year leadership evaluation, as detailed in Appendix A of the Faculty Handbook.  Materials explaining the review process will be mailed with a ballot to each member of the graduate faculty.  Steve Thoma and David Roskos-Ewoldsen agreed to work with Dean Rogers to develop the mail-out materials.  Provost Barrett then will call a meeting of the Graduate Council to announce the results of the ballot asking graduate faculty whether or not it is desirable to conduct an evaluation of the Graduate School’s leadership.


                A leadership evaluation will be necessary if at least 25% of the total graduate faculty (not 25% of the number of graduate faculty who voted) indicated on the mail ballot that a leadership evaluation is desirable or if a resolution requesting a leadership evaluation receives the support of at least 33% of the total graduate faculty during a meeting of the graduate faculty and the Provost.


                If it is determined that an evaluation will be conducted, Provost Barrett would like the evaluation committee to be established and begin its work before the break for Christmas holidays.  The committee would develop an evaluation instrument and determine the most efficient methods for obtaining the broadest-possible input from the graduate faculty.  The Provost indicated that Dean Rogers’ state of the college address would be given after the committee is established.


                The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.