The University of Alabama
April 27, 2010

The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 in 110 AIME Building.


Dr. Martin Bakker, Dr. Lisa Dorr,
Dr. Yuebin Guo, Dr. Carol B. Mills,
Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell, Dr. John Petrovic,
Dr. Nancy J. Rubin, Dr. Jamie Satcher,
Dr. Edward Schnee, Dr. Lori Turner,
Dr. Roy Ann Sherrod, Dr. Wayne J. Urban,
Dr. Derek Williamson, Dr. Shuhua Zhou


Dr. Rebecca Allen, Dr. Kim Caldwell,
Dr. Catherine E. Davies, Dr. Todd DeZoort,
Dr. Nirmala Erevelles, Dr. Robert H. Findlay,
Dr. Marysia Galbraith, Dr. Diane Johnson,
Dr. Ida M. Johnson, Dr. Stevan Marcus,
Dr. Wendy M. Rawlings, Dr. Kristy E. Reynolds,
Dr. Samit Roy, Dr. Keith A. Woodbury,
Dr. Vivian H. Wright


Dr. Louis A. Pitschmann
Dr. Harold Stowall


Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Dean
Dr. Natalie Adams, Assistant Dean
Beth Yarbrough, Registrar


Ms. Aziza Jackson


Dr. Matthew Curtner-Smith, Kinesiology

Dean Francko welcomed everyone, made introductions and asked if there were corrections to the February 24, 2010 minutes. No corrections were mentioned and the minutes were accepted as is.

I. Reports from Graduate Council Committees

A. Committee on Financial Aid – Dr. Natalie Adams reported on the status of the Graduate Council Fellowships. Approximately 85 fellowships were awarded this year. To date, 66 have accepted, 10 declined and 9 are still pending a decision. 48 out of the 85 offered so far are in-state residents.

All students that were nominated for a Graduate Council Fellowship, but were not selected, have been ranked. Once a fellowship is declined, that fellowship will be offered the next nominee on the ranked list.

B. Committee on Program & Degree Requirements – Dr. Carol Mills, on behalf of both the Program & Degree Requirements Committee and the Research & New Programs Committee, presented an alternative residency proposal for Kinesiology. Dr. Matthew Curtner-Smith was present to answer any questions. Dr. Mills reported that one member of the committee opposed the proposal but the majority was in favor.

The reasoning behind the alternative residency proposal is that most PhDs students are full-time working professionals and completing 2 consecutive semesters of 9 hours on-campus coursework is difficult. The proposal includes the following: 6 hours of on campus coursework for two consecutive semesters along with work off-campus in one of the key areas listed in the proposal. (See Attachment #1) All doctoral students must complete all the requirement in each of the Key Areas listed.

It was suggested that a friendly amendment be added to page 1 in the proposal, changing the question “Why the Need for More Exercise Scientists and Sport Pedagogists?’ to “Why the Need for an Alternative Residency?”

Dr. Bakker made a motion to suspend normal quorum and Lori Turner seconded the motion. None opposed.

Dr. John Petrovic motioned the Graduate Council accept the proposal with the amendment and Wayne Urban seconded the motion. All in favor – none opposed.

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

Dean Francko reported on the number of applicants to date for this upcoming academic year. Applications are up 9% which is over 8000 applications. The Graduate School is processing the applications as fast as possible, but it is too early to determine the size of the fall 2010 class. Our target is 4,500 students. (See Attachment #2).

There are 1,400 applications that have been sent to departments with no action taken - this is approximately 41%. Each department needs to let the student know about the status of their application. For example, there are students that applied fall 2009 for the fall 2010 and no action has been taken by the department. Please keep in contact with the student and inform each of them the status of their application. Information from the Graduate School will be sent to the departments regarding the status of all applications.

Part of the hold up within the department deals with the type of information needed by the department versus the Graduate School for admission. Most of the time, an application is complete according to the Graduate School, but incomplete within the department. Most “no-decision” applications are waiting for letters of recommendation. Some students are denied because of the lack of letters of recommendation. If the department puts the exact reason on the status sheet for a student being denied, the Graduate School will include the reason in the denial letter sent to the student. Putting the letters of recommendation on the web is a project for next May.

Dr. Bakker stated that his department has most of their applications completed with a decision. Their department tries to admit without support and sometimes this works well, but they have approximately 150 application with no decision as of yet.

Communication with a prospective (and current) student is important. In today's society, students are not checking email, but using text and the Clientele has even changed on Facebook. All email is not obsolete so do not rule out email. Of course, there is always snail mail. The Graduate School’s goal is to leverage larger classes and be aggressive on Graduate Council Fellowships, National Alumni Fellowships, Assistantships, etc.


Dr. Natalie Adams reported on the changed in the GRE testing. Below is the list of changes:

1. New Scale – 130-170 vs. 200-800 in 10-point increments - 1 point increments. There will be more differentiation between 131 and 132.
2. First new test will be administered August 2011
3. Scores from the new test will not be available until November 2011
4. New test design (Subject Test are not changing):
• Quantitative Portion – can use on –screen calculators; revised paper tests will have calculators to use on site; may have more than one answer
• Verbal Portion – significant changes; no antonyms or synonyms; more reading passages; new question types; vocabulary embedded within passages; multiple answers; more text based and comprehension; vocabulary in context
• Analytical Portion – isn’t changing much; more focused response
5. Free sample test
6. Score report will include concordance information; a redesigned GRE report; concordance tables available on GRE website
7. Sign up :
8. Test - more test taker friendly; can navigate freely; can move around; more real life scenarios; test preparation
9. Time line
• July 2010 ; free test preparation will be available to test takers
• August 2011 – first day of testing using revised test
• Nov. 2011 – score reporting

***For test takers who take the revised GRE test between August and November 2011, score reports will be issued in November, rather than the 10-15 day reporting period now.
10. New test will be slightly longer
11. Same testing network right now

The Graduate School will bring someone in from GRE to train and updates will be sent via email. According to the GRE people, the old test was good, but the new test will be better and more race/gender friendly. A Score of 150 will be the median for both the Quantitative and Verbal areas. And the format is to help with the testing security due to overseas cheating.

Dr. John Schmitt reported on the Electronic Thesis/Dissertation submissions. To date, approximately 385 ETDs have been submitted since it became mandatory 8/15/2009.
More students are using the embargo which does not allow their paper to be released to the public for a specified period of time. Approximately 22% have selected Embargo (6% for 6 months, 6% for 1 year and 10% for 2 years). Some students are worried about plagiarism or maybe even a patent issue.

The workshop for Graduate Teaching Assistants will be held August 12-13, 2010 at the Bryant Conference Center. Last year, there were 256 attendees. Please don’t schedule required graduate students meeting on those days. Each attendee will receive a Certificate of Professional Development. Please note that all New Graduate Teaching Assistants need to attend. Even though it is not mandatory, most universities withhold pay until a new Teaching Assistant has attended the workshop.

III. Reports from Standing University Committees
There were no standing committee reports.

IV. Old Business
There was no old business.

V. New Business
There was no new business.

Dean Francko closed the meeting by adding that a lot of good things were accomplished this year and he appreciates each and every member for their hard work. Meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.