The University of Alabama
 22, 2011

The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 in 110 AIME Building.


Dr. Marsha Adams, Dr. Rebecca Allen,
Dr. Kim Bissell, Dr. Mary Curtner-Smith,
Dr. F. Todd DeZoort, Dr. Lisa Dorr,
Dr. Marysia Galbraith, Dr. Susan Gaskins,
Dr. Timothy Haskew, Dr. Diane Johnson,
Dr. Margo Lamme, Dr. Steve Miller,
Dr. Gordon MacNeil for Debra Nelson-Gardell,
Dr. John Petrovic, Dr. Michael Picone,
Dr. Leslie Rissler, Dr. Jamie Satcher,
Dr. Edward Schnee, Dr. Wayne J. Urban,
Dr. Derek Williamson, Dr. Vivian Wright


Dr. Martin Bakker, Dr. Kim Caldwell,
Dr. Yuebin Guo, Dr. Stevan Marcus,
Dr. Wendy Rawlings, Dr. Kristy Reynolds,
Dr. Nancy J. Rubin, Dr. Steve Thoma,
Dr. Lori Turner

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS: Dr. Louis A. Pitschmann
ABSENT: Dr. Harold Stowell


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


Ms. Anita Mixon
Mr. Robert Harris


Dean Francko welcomed everyone and introductions were made. Dr. Francko asked if there were corrections to the November 16, 2010 minutes. A motion was made that the minutes be accepted as written. The motion was seconded and the minutes were accepted.

I. Reports from Graduate Council Committees

     A. Financial Aid Committee – Diane Johnson reported. To date, Round 1 offered 28 Graduate Council Fellowships in 21 departments – 5 had accepted. The Research/Creative Activity Round offered 22 Graduate Council Fellowships in 18 departments – 4 had accepted. Round 2 nominations are due March 3rd and Round 3 nominations are due March 31st.

The Graduate Council Fellowship nominations are spread out over several months to accommodate departments with different recruiting schedules. Even though there seems to be a perception from several departments that they never win, the Graduate Council Fellowships are spread out over most departments.

     B. Teaching, Research & Service Awards – Jamie Satcher reported on the committee’s selection of winners of the 5 UA-wide awards for outstanding teaching, research and service. All college level winners who did not win a University award received a certificate of merit and letter of recognition. The UA winners receive a framed certificate and check for $500 during the Honors Week ceremonies. (SEE ATTACHMENT #1 for a complete list of award winners).

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

Dean David Francko reported on the new GRE test scores. The Graduate School website has been updated to include the information about changes in the GRE scoring and testing. (SEE ATTACHEMENT #2).

Bill Merriman and Bill Wallace will be at the April meeting to answer any questions from Council members concerning the ELI and ITAP.

Our new Facebook page has over 600 friends, and that is ahead of Auburn University. The Graduate School is publishing events, deadlines, and so forth on Facebook.

Almost 300 applications for Research and Travel Funds have been received, with approximately 60 late applications. In late April will be the round for summer research and travel. It is projected that approximately 700 students will be funded this year. With support between $425,000 and $450,000, this is almost 6 times the amount awarded 5 years ago.
Funding for graduate students comes from several sources:

  • Fellowships - The Graduate Council Financial Aid Committee will offer approximately 80 Graduate Council Fellowships, and approximately 25 of those offers will be enhanced by the departments and Graduate School. The National Alumni License Tag Fellowships will offer approximately 35, and nominations are due around April 1st.

  • Grants

  • Graduate Assistantships

There will be an increase in Graduate Assistantships as long as the grants are increasing. As we continue to grow, approximately 1700 graduate students will be funded among all types of funding (Fellowships, Grants and Graduate Assistantships.) This number has grown by about 200 this year.

There are more than 900 candidates for graduation this May. For the year, it is projected that a total of 1700 degrees will be awarded according to the ACHE calendar. This number includes 225-250 doctoral degrees.

Dr. Natalie Adams announced that the McNair Fellowship applications will be due February 25, 2011, and the decisions will be made by Spring Break.

Dr. John Schmitt noted that the Workshop for New GTAs will be the 25th such two-day workshop. It will be held August 18-19, which is a change of date necessitated by the University’s changing the date that classes start in Fall 2011.

Dr. Schmitt also announced the winners of the awards for outstanding thesis and outstanding dissertation, whose names are included in ATTACHMENT #1. Two committees of emeritus faculty selected the thesis and dissertation winners.

III. Reports from Standing University Committees

There were no standing committee reports.

IV. Old Business

There was no old business.

V. New Business

The issue of cancelled classes due to weather was discussed. If a class is cancelled, and the course is taught one night a week, that represents ~7% of the semester’s class time. Most Council members said they have on their own determined how best to make up the missed class time and have adjusted their courses accordingly. Guidance from central administration would be useful, however, on the necessity to make up missed class time and possibly on suggested methods for doing so.

Dean Francko adjourned the meeting at 3:50 p.m.