The University of Alabama
February 27, 2007

The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 in Room 250 of Shelby Hall.


Dr. Elizabeth S. Aversa, Dr. John Baker,
Dr. Martyn R. Dixon, Dr. Kari Frederickson,
Dr. Janice “Dee” Goldston, Dr. Marsha L. Houston,
Dr. Allan V. Kaufman, Dr. Michael Murphy,
Dr. Janis O’Donnell, Dr. Nancy J. Rubin,
Dr. Edward J. Schnee, Dr. Roy Ann Sherrod,
Dr. Robert P. Taylor, Dr. Elizabeth Wilson,
Dr. Ken Wright, Dr. Vivian H. Wright


Prof. Robin K. Behn, Dr. Silas C. Blackstock,
Dr. Todd DeZoort, Dr. Matthew Green,
Dr. Richard Houston, Dr. Bruce Kim,
Dr. Mark R. Klinger, Dr. Elaine A. Martin,
Dr. David Roskos-Ewoldsen, Dr. Charles R. Sox,
Dr. John M. Wiest, Dr. Shuhua Zhou,



GUEST: Dr. Donna Packa


Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Dean
Dr. Natalie Adams, Assistant Dean
Louise Labosier – Graduate Admissions Officer, Graduate School

Dean David Francko welcomed everyone and asked all members to introduce themselves.  The November 28, 2006 minutes were read and then approved with no corrections. Dean Francko welcomed everyone to the meeting.

I. Reports from Graduate Council Committees
A. Dean Francko began the meeting with the Program and Degree Requirements Committee. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing mandated the first professional nursing degree be the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) by 2015. The plan is for the MSN to be transitioned into DNP. The UA System expects all three campuses to move forward with DNP proposals to ACHE simultaneously. This is not a new program, but a reformulation of the existing programs to meet the national guidelines. Dr. Elizabeth Aversa met with the committee, which recommended approval of the DNP proposal with the following amendments:

  • Limit of 35 transfer hours from the UA system/30 hours from non-system schools,
  • Time limit for completion – 7 years (to be in line with the other UA doctoral programs.)
This proposal was approved unanimously.

B. Dr. Kari Frederickson reported from the Financial Aid Committee. Research and Creative Activity Awards were completed with 51 nominations and 19 awards. Round Two of the Graduate Fellowship Awards is under way. Dr. Frederickson expressed how important the nomination letters are to the committee.

C. Dr. Marsha Houston from the Admissions and Recruitment Committee reported next. The University Scholars Program is under review. The committee addressed a question regarding the University Scholars Program.
  • What should the maximum number of hours be that can count toward both the undergraduate and graduate degree program (double count)? The recommendation was that the Council adopt a limit of 15 hours that can “double count” for both the undergraduate and graduate degree program. (6 hours of 400-level courses and 9 hours of 500-level courses).
  • Further recommendations were as follows: 1) Until the Council decides on the above mentioned matter, no further US Programs be approved, 2) All new US Programs be reviewed by the Committee on Admissions & Recruitment before being recommended for approval by the Dean. This is to ensure consistency.
  • If the 15-hour limit is approved, the Graduate School will assist departments whose programs were approved prior to the limit in revising their requirements.
  • It was recommended that an expeditious process for the periodic review of the US Programs be established and should be handled by the Admissions & Requirements committee.
D. Dr. John Baker and Dr. John Schmitt reported on the Committee on Teaching, Research, and Service Awards:
  • Elizabeth C. Western - Dissertation Award
  • Thomas Shelby – Thesis Award
  • Jennifer Ridgeway – Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Master’s Student
  • Laura Phillips – Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Doctoral Student
  • Daniel Sequera – Award for Excellence in Research by a Master’s Student
  • Keith Gutowski – Award for Excellence in Research by a Doctoral Student
  • Avani Shah – Award for Outstanding Service by a Graduate Student
All of these awards will be presented during Honors Week in April.

II. Reports from the Dean’s Office

A. Travel and Support Funds - The plan is to increase spending with the increased funding from the application fees.

B. The final numbers are not yet available, but the spring enrollment appears to be up approximately 9%.

C. Graduate School is not ready to bring the issue of not requiring transcripts from the UA student to Graduate Council.

D. Work is under way to provide funding for health insurance for fellowship recipients as well as assistantship recipients.

E. The New Graduate Recruiting Enhancement (GRE) Program is a partnership among departments, divisions, and the Graduate School. The goals are:

  1. A departmental graduate recruiting plan emphasizing active, “hands-on” recruitment strategies to enhance the application pool and matriculate the top candidates,
  2. Resources to implement the plan, and
  3. Metrics to evaluate whether the plan is working and/or needs to be modified.
The program description is of a competition for up to 15 awards for the 2007-2008 academic year. The maximum Graduate School funding will be $1500 (matched at least 1:1 with departmental or college money), and is renewable for up to 3 years upon annual receipt of a brief outcome report (mid-May each year) and adequate progress toward goals.

Proposals need to include (no more than 2 pages) the following: 1) A description of the current situation in the department/program (i.e., 2005-6 or 2006-7 data, # of current students, # of applicants and characteristics of application pool, # of offers made, and # accepting/matriculating to UA), and 2) A brief description of current recruitment activities, recruiting goals: specific and targeted to out-of state, international, and/or underrepresented students, innovative, new recruiting strategy for meeting these goals and metrics used to measure success, and budget showing total costs and department/divisional cost sharing (at least 1:1 matching required). All proposals are due April 30th, 2007.

F. Dr. Francko will be working with a faculty group to reactivate the professional science honor organization Sigma Xi.

Dr. Aversa inquired about the status of the Academic Common Market. John Schmitt stated that we are back in the ACM as of fall 2007 with some restrictions and additional scholarship requirements. C&BA and HES are not participating. Additional information is available at

John Schmitt gave us a SACS update. The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for the increase in active and collaborative learning activities by faculty teaching first-year courses, though approved by the Visiting Committee, requires a Second-Year Monitoring Report. More direct measures of student learning outcomes are required, and a QEP Executive Committee is directing the Second-Year Report.

The Graduate School is considering providing business cards for doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy. Dr. Kaufman suggested listing the information on the website. The Council overwhelmingly approved the idea and asked the Graduate School to implement it.

Dr. Natalie Adams spoke regarding the GRE scores. The last test will be July 31, 2007, and there will not be a test in August 2007. The new internet-based test will begin in September 2007 with the results not available until November 2007. Continuous testing will no longer be available. Significant changes are being made to the verbal portion, few changes are being made to the quantitative (but use of a calculator will be permitted), and analytical writing will now be considered “critical thinking.” A major scoring change is that the range now will be 130-170, in 1-point increments, using 150 as the mean. Enrollments have already closed in China and India for June testing. If departments have someone who needs to take the test, Dr. Adams can petition ETS in writing.

Nominations for faculty members for the Last Lecture Series are currently being received. All nominations are due by March 23, 2007, and the winner will be selected by a student committee. The winner will be honored with a cash award and have the opportunity to present a lecture as if it were his/her last ever. The Last Lecture will take place April 30, 2007 in 205 Gorgas Library at 6:00 p.m.

All nominations for Future Faculty Fellows are due by March 6, 2007.

III. Reports from Standing University Committees
No other reports from the standing University Committees.

IV. Old Business
There was no old business.

V. New Business
Dr. Kaufman noted that the NIH has cut grants to last years’ level, and this has negatively affected research. Dr. Francko will investigate.

Dr. David A. Francko adjourned the meeting at 4:30 p.m.