The University of Alabama
September 26, 2006

The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 in the Forum Room of the Ferguson Center.


Dr. Natalie Adams, Dr. John Baker,
Prof. Robin K. Behn, Dr. Martyn R. Dixon,
Dr. Kari Frederickson, Dr. Janice Goldston,
Dr. Marsha L. Houston, Dr. Richard Houston,
Dr. Janis O’Donnell, Dr. Nancy J. Rubin,
Dr. Edward J. Schnee, Dr. Roy Ann Sherrod,
Dr. Silas C. Blackstock, Dr. Ken Wright, Dr. Vivian H. Wright


Dr. Elizabeth S. Aversa,
Dr. Todd DeZoort, Dr. Matthew Green,
Dr. Bruce Kim, Dr. Mark R. Klinger,
Dr. Elaine A. Martin, Dr. Michael Murphy,
Dr. David Roskos-Ewoldsen, Dr. Charles R. Sox,
Dr. Robert P. Taylor, Dr. John M. Wiest


ALTERNATE PRESENT: Dr. Cindy Roff (for Dr. Allan V. Kaufman)

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Dean David Francko, Dr. Viola Acoff



Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Dean
Beth Yarbrough, Registrar – Graduate School

Dean David Francko opened the meeting by asking all committee members to introduce themselves to the colleagues on the Graduate Council. He then asked if there were corrections to the April 25, 2006 minutes. The minutes were approved with one minor correction.

I. Dean’s Welcome to the Graduate Council
Dean Francko welcomed everyone and began the meeting by addressing the upcoming goals for this year. Most of the growth for The University of Alabama has been from undergraduate students, not graduate students. The current enrollment of the Graduate School is a little less than 3800 for the 2006 Fall semester. In order for The University of Alabama’s Graduate School to increase enrollment along with the undergraduates, 5000-5500 graduate students are needed. The Graduate School will need to continue to support a diversified student body, increase the quality of programs, and offer students more opportunity.

There are several ways to achieve this goal: 1) Partner with the departments to increase recruitment through funding and other methods, 2) Continue to increase the stipends of the Graduate Assistants, 3) Continue to increase the health insurance coverage, and 4) Increase the total number of Graduate Assistants. The overall goal is to have a Graduate School reflective of a first-tier, doctoral research university.

Increasing the research/travel funds available to graduate students is very important for increasing enrollment. The Graduate School spent almost two times as much on travel & research grants for graduate students in Fall 2006, and Dean Francko is willing to ask the Provost for more money.

A proposal to increase the application fee has been submitted to the Provost. The national average is $45.00, and the Graduate School has been charging $25.00 for years. If approved, this increase would not only increase the amount of money for the Graduate School, but also increase the amount of money for the departments to recruit. Dean Francko would like each department to submit a 1-page plan for recruitment, and he will continue to meet with departments regarding strategy, growth, and funding.

Dr. Harrison’s position has been submitted to Human Resources, and that position should be on the job line soon.

Dean Francko mentioned that we are currently working on the information to be submitted to the National Research Council for doctorates. Each department has been charged to identify areas of improvement and to submit suggestions for improvement and implementation of these ideas.

II. Reports from Graduate Council Committees
There were no reports from the Council’s committees.

III. Reports from the Dean’s Office

Dr. Schmitt reported on the new award for Outstanding Service by a Graduate Student. The committee took the proposal for the award to the Council last year, and it passed. A complete description of the award is on the website. This first year, the masters and doctoral students will be combined, and the winner will be selected by the Graduate Council’s Committee on Teaching, Research, and Service Awards. The deadline for nomination for Teaching, Research, and Service awards is January 8th.

Academic program review is underway, and in the past, the Graduate Council has always played an important role. Bob Taylor has agreed to serve on the Chemistry review committee as a current member of the Council, and J.W. Harrell will serve as a former member. Vivian Wright has agreed to serve on the Women Studies review committee, along with former Council member Bill Dressler.

The Twentieth Annual Workshop for New GTAs was successful, with over 200 new GTAs in attendance.

Work in Progress – GRADS – Graduate Records & Degree Systems. All forms that graduate students complete are currently on the website. Our next step is to make them web submittable. We will be testing this in the next few weeks and will need some help from departmental representatives.

IV. Reports from Standing University Committees
Dr. Dee Goldston, Faculty Senate Representative, announced that the Faculty Senate has endorsed several changes to the employee health insurance coverage.

V. Old Business
There was no old business.

VI. New Business
There was no new business.

Dean David A. Francko adjourned the meeting at 4:00 p.m.