The regular meeting of the Graduate
Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 in 110 AIME
Dr. Marsha Adams, Dr. Mary Elizabeth
Dr. Jason DeCaro, Dr. Susan Gaskins, Dr. John Giggie,
Dr. Yuebin Guo, Dr. Jonathon Halbesleben,
Dr. Allison Hetzel, Dr. Rick Houser,
Dr. Richard Houston, Dr. Burcu Keskin,
Dr. Linda Knol, Dr. Aaron Kuntz,
Dr. Margo Lamme, Dr. James Leeper,
Dr. Louis Marino, Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell,
Dr. Michael Picone, Dr. Steve Thoma,
Dr. Mark Weaver, Dr. Joseph Weber,
Dr. Frederick Whiting, Dr. Vivian Wright,
Dr. Stephen Woski
Dr. Kim Bissell, Dr. Robert Findlay,
Dr. Timothy Haskew, Dr. Jeffrey Parker
Dr. Kagendo Mutua
Prof. Steve Miller (absent)
Dr. Louis A. Pitshmann
GRADUATE SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVES PRESENT:
Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Dean
Dr. Natalie Adams, Assistant Dean
Beth Yarbrough, Registrar
Mr. Derrick Stokes (Absent)
Mr. Jonathan Handy
I. Reports from the Dean’s Office and Academic Affairs
Dean David Francko welcomed everyone, and
introductions were made. The meeting began with a PowerPoint
presentation, “State of the Graduate
School”. The same presentation was recently given at meeting of the
vice presidents and deans. In the presentation, Dean Francko outlined
goals and current status of the Graduate School, as listed below:
The Strategic Goals of the Graduate School
at The University of Alabama:
Partner with colleges and departments
to develop nationally-prominent graduate programs that
synergistically contribute to the University’s goal of a
35,000-student, first-tier, student-centered research university by
enhancing UA’s scholarly, teaching, and service missions.
Increase the size, quality, and
diversity of the graduate student body and maximize opportunities
for graduate student and graduate faculty development.
In short, be the best student-centered
graduate program in the Southeast!
There has been an increase in applications
and enrollments every year since 2006:
Calendar year applications have grown
Fall semester applications have
increased 50% since 2006 - new admissions are up 18% and new
enrollments are up 30%.
Overall enrollment is up over 31%
since 2005; doctoral enrollment is up 50%.
Historically, more than 60% of grad
students were Alabama residents – now 53% are Alabama residents, and
the incoming classes are approximately 60% out-of-state.
African-American/Black enrollment has
almost doubled since the mid-2000s.
Degrees awarded have increased more
than 30% since 2006-07.
Many initiatives have moved UA to the
upper ranks among the 50 U.S. flagship universities in creating an
inclusive graduate student community and improving
retention/time-to-degree. Several examples include:
CGS/Peterson’s Award in 2008 that
created Tide Together Mentoring Program (70 mentees to date, only 5%
attrition), and the Graduate Parent Support (GPS) program (over 400
McNair Graduate Fellowship Program
(over 50 McNair Fellows on campus).
New Southern Regional Education Board
(SREB) Student Chapter.
Annually rank in top 2-3 A.A. degree
producers among 50 flagship campuses.
By partnering with departments and
programs, support for student research and travel has grown 7-fold in 6
years to over $500,000 at present.
Graduate enrollment growth by division has
been uneven – a major demographic shift over the past several years, and
some large divisions actually declined this year.
Growth in Distance Learning graduate
students linear and now ca. 29% of total graduate enrollment.
Graduate School Alumni are important to
Historically, 60% of UA grad students
are AL residents, and a proportional share of our Master’s
recipients stay in Alabama after graduation.
A higher percentage of doctoral grads
stay in Alabama than expected based on enrollment/graduation
numbers, so we are becoming a net importer of doctoral talent.
Master’s and doctoral recipients earn
an average of 400,000 and $1.3 million more, respectively, over
their lifetimes than persons with a baccalaureate degree; $24.1
billion value-added to Alabama economy and tax base. 61% of all
masters/EdS graduates currently reside in Alabama, and 65% of all
doctoral graduates reside in Alabama.
Student funding has increased over the
past five years at the department and University level:
Graduate Assistantships have
increased an overall 32%.
Graduate Fellowships have
increased an overall 252%.
Combined Assistantships and
Fellowship have increased an overall 50%.
Continue enrollment growth in new,
high-demand dual-degree, certificate, and other professional
Hopefully, reinvigoration and
enrollment growth goal-setting in “core” Master’s and PhD programs,
especially in Arts and Sciences, Education, and other large UA
Closer coupling of growth in faculty
research and graduate recruiting in grants-active disciplines,
especially in STEM.
Fall 2013 is last year of “old” 5-year
strategic growth plan in Grad School – goal was/is 5,200 students.
To reach that goal and grow to 6,000 or larger (maintain 18-20%
grad/professional enrollment) will require:
Continued growth in funded
positions – BOTH internal and especially external growth in
stipend size and number. Currently, UA is still 15-25% below
aspirational competitors in stipends.
Continued growth in the applicant
pool AND a better yield from that pool – through Enrollment Rx
or similar software, GRE, McNair lists, etc.
MOST IMPORTANT: Campus-wide
recognition of central role of research and graduate education
in UA’s future institutional profile.
There was discussion regarding the
colleges/departments with static or declining graduate
enrollment—including some of the larger colleges. Hopefully, the new
president will work with the graduate school and colleges to reverse the
trend. One challenge is to increase the number of faculty to handle the
growing enrollment. Although UA has the capacity to grow, more faculty
and grant money are needed.
It was reported that the College of Arts &
Sciences now has a minimum enrollment requirement that has increased
from 10 to 15(UG) and 5 to 7(GR). Faculty are busy, and there is natural
push-pull between teaching and research duties. If the number of
sections is lowered, faculty will have more time to do research and be
able to apply for more grant money. It is the college’s/department's
prerogative to make those decisions through their dean’s office. Each
college/department must develop a model that works for them.
It was mentioned that the UA
infrastructure needs continual assessment as enrollment increases. UA
needs more classrooms and computer labs for students without
computers. UA is working to equip all of the new buildings on campus
while trying to revamp the old buildings. Improving and expanding
infrastructure can be a real draw for recruitment.
Dean Francko asked if there were any
corrections to the April 24, 2012 minutes. No corrections were made, and
the minutes were approved.
II. Reports from Graduate Council
Recruitment Committee – none
B. Fellowship and Scholarship Committee
C. Teaching, Research and Service Award
Committee – none
D. Program and Degree Committee and
Research and New Programs (combined) – none
E. Reports from the Dean’s Office and
Academic Affairs -
Dean David Francko asked about changing
the meeting in November from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the
Thursday before Thanksgiving. The motion to move the next Graduate
Council meeting to Thursday, November 15, 2012 passed with a majority
Natalie Adams will be moving to New College. The Graduate School will
begin interviewing three
candidates over the next several weeks for the Assistant Dean
Position. The Graduate School is asking for help from the Graduate
Council with the recruitment process and seeks input from members of the
Council. There is a special session from 10:00 to 10:45 on the day of
the interview for Graduate Council members only. Council members were
asked to contact Kathleen Nodine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
if they planned to attend.
Associate Dean John Schmitt reminded everyone that at the April 2012
Graduate Council meeting, the Council recommended approval of two new
certificate programs (qualitative research and quantitative research).
Both certificate programs now have been approved by the Board of
Trustees and ACHE.
Dr. Schmitt also thanked Dr. Bob Findlay, Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell, Dr.
Timothy Haskew and Dr. Marysia Galbraith for serving an important role
in representing the Council as members of program review committees.
Attendance at the 26th annual Workshop for New GTAs was 230+ new GTAs.
The workshop included speakers from all over campus, presenting on a
variety of topics related to college teaching. Additionally, the new
GTAs were videotaped while teaching, were able to see themselves on
tape, and received both verbal and written input on their teaching
strengths and areas for possible improvement. The students also engaged
in collaborative activities designed to help them solve classroom
problems following ethical and legal guidelines for faculty and GTAs.
Dr. Schmitt reported that nominations for
Outstanding Thesis and Outstanding Dissertation are due to the Graduate
School by November 9, 2012. Nominations for all other Outstanding
Graduate Student awards are due January 11, 2013. The other Outstanding
Graduate Student awards include Outstanding Teaching by a Master’s
Student, Outstanding Teaching by a Doctoral Student, Outstanding
Research by a Master’s Student, Outstanding Research by a Doctoral
student, and Outstanding Service by a Graduate Student. The awards
selection timeline and procedures already have gone out to the deans and
college-wide awards-selection coordinators. College winners will
compete with the other campus colleges for the UA awards. Please take
the time to nominate your top students. It is of great benefit to the
students, and winning an award is recognition of the quality of faculty
and student efforts in departments.
Assistant Dean Natalie Adams announced that the Financial Aid Committee
has a new name – the Fellowship and Scholarship Committee. For the
2012-2013 Academic year, the final numbers for fellowships are as
follows: 88 Graduate Council Fellowship, 30 National Alumni (License
Tag) Fellowships, and 13 McNair Scholarships.
Tide Together has 28 participants this year, and the Graduate
Ambassadors program has a total of 49.
Human Resources agreed to hire a person to handle the Graduate Parent
Support (sitters for service, etc.) group. This new position of
assisting both Graduate and Undergraduate students has been filled by
McNair Preview Day was well attended. Dr. Adams thanked those who
assisted in making Preview Day a success. Attendance was down, but this
was expected with the $10 million budget cut made by congress. There
were about 40 McNair students from all over the United State in
III. Reports from Standing University
There were no standing committee reports.
IV. Old Business
There was no old business.
V. New Business
was no new business.
There being no further business, Dean David Francko adjourned the
meeting at 4:15 p.m.