The University of Alabama
February 26, 2002

The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 in the Forum Room of the Ferguson Center.

MEMBERS PRESENT:               

Dr. Carol Cassel, Dr. Susan C. Fleming,
Dr. Michael L. Freeman, Dr. Marsha L. Houston,
Dr. D. Jeff Jackson, Dr. Ida M. Johnson,
Dr. Michael D. Murphy, Dr. Martha J. Powell,
Dr. Nancy J. Rubin, Dr. Edward J. Schnee,
Dr. Marietta P. Stanton, Dr. Min Sun,
Dr. Cynthia S. Sunal, Dr. Stephen J. Thoma,
Dr. Joseph S. Thrasher, Dr. Carol L. Tieso,
Dr. Harold J. Weber, Dr. John M. Wiest

MEMBERS ABSENT:               

Dr. Martin G. Bakker, Dr. Bruce E. Barrett,
Dr. Michael T. Dugan, Dr. Barbara Fischer,
Dr. Laura G. Klinger, Dr. Richard G. Lomax,
Dr. Sharon O’Dair, Dr. Yorgo Pasadeous,
Dr. David R. Roskos-Ewoldsen, Dr. Paul H. Stuart,
Dr. S. Allen Wilcoxon


MEMBERS PRESENT:                

Dean Louis A. Pitschmann, Dean Ronald Rogers



Ms. Samantha Briggs, Mr. Frederick Mackey



Dr. John F. Schmitt, Associate Dean,
Ms. Louise Labosier, Admissions Officer


Dr. John R. Dew

Dean Rogers opened the meeting by asking if there were corrections to the November 27, 2001 Graduate Council minutes. 

No corrections were noted and the minutes were approved as written.

Dean Rogers called for the reports from various committees.

I. Reports from Graduate Council Committees

A. Admissions and Recruitment

 Dr. Edward Schnee introduced Dr. John Dew, Chairman of the Distance Education Task Force. Dr. Dew explained that the purpose of the task force was to identify means of improving services to distance education students. The task force recommended that for the purpose of streamlining admission and registration of distance education students, departments should be given the opportunity to grant the Graduate School authority to admit nondegree distance education students.

Dr. Schnee indicated that the members of the Admissions and Recruitment Committee expressed reservations about relinquishing departmental authority to make admission decisions. For more input, the committee conducted a survey of departments regarding the proposal. Results of the survey indicated that the majority of departments who responded were not in favor of the proposal and wished to continue departmental review of nondegree applications. Dr. John Schmitt reminded Council members that SACS requires institutions to adhere to the same admission standards and procedures for on-campus and off-campus students. Discussion revolved around quality service to students, qualifications of applicants, and future admission of nondegree students to degree programs. Dr. Rogers called for a vote and based on a show of hands, the motion failed. 

Dr. Schnee reminded members, on behalf of Dr. Pat Harrison, that the “analytical” section of the GRE will become “analytical writing” in October, and will be scored differently. Departments will need to begin to rethink how they might modify their evaluation processes. Wording changes will be made to Graduate School publications when the changes occur. For a number of years, the Graduate School and departments will operate with two valid scoring methods.

B. Financial Aid

Dr. Rogers reported that Graduate Council Fellowship stipends have increased to $14,000. Dr. Rogers also informed the Council of The National Alumni Heritage Scholarships, which will provide scholarships equal to ten percent of in-state tuition for Alabama residents whose parents or grandparents are University of Alabama alumni.

C. Teaching and Research Awards Committee

Chairman, Dr. Carol Cassel announced the following 2001-2002 awards:

Teaching-Master’s Geoffrey Trumbo English/Creative Writing

Teaching-Doctoral Clare Clifford English

Research-Master’s David Gamble Rehabilitation Counseling

Research-Doctoral Marcus Boccaccini Psychology

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

Dean Louis Pitschmann announced the University’s plans for construction of a library annex for storage purposes. He encouraged those with questions to contact him or their divisional librarian. Dr. Pitschmann requested suggestions for improving library services to graduate students. Discussion revolved around the fees for printing services and the need for extended library hours.

Dean Rogers announced that two non-academic units on campus wish to survey existing graduate students and requested volunteers to assist the groups. Dr. Joe Thrasher and Ms. Samantha Briggs volunteered their time and will assist the Program and Degree Requirements Committee in drafting a survey.

Dean Rogers reported that ACHE did not approve the University’s proposal for a Ph.D. program in Anthropology. He intends to have the proposal reintroduced at a later date.

Dr. John Schmitt announced the 2001-2002 Outstanding Thesis and Dissertation Award winners. They are:

Thesis Brent Boudreaux Chemistry

Dissertation Karen Boykin Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. Schmitt elaborated on the SACS requirements for Distance Education programs, noting that institutions are required to notify SACS six months in advance of new distance education programs or of an existing program’s delivering fifty percent or more of the degree requirements via distance education methods. While the notification process is not difficult, it is important that it be done in a timely manner.

Ms. Samantha Briggs reported that the Annual Graduate Student Research Conference would be held on March 13, 2002. Publication of the papers and presentations is planned. Dr. Rogers encouraged every department to have a graduate student participate in this important event.

III. Reports from Standing University Committees

There were no reports from standing university committees.

IV. Old Business

There was no old business discussed.

V. New Business

No new business was introduced.

Dr. Rogers requested members of the Program and Degree Requirements Committee meet with him following the regular Council meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 4:05 p.m.