The University of Alabama
November 15, 2012

The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, 2012 in 110 AIME Building.


Dr. Marsha Adams (substituted by Dr. Susan Appel),
Dr. Kim Bissell, Dr. Robert Findlay,
Dr. Susan Gaskins (substituted by Dr. Cindy Kelley),
Dr. Yuebin Guo, Dr. Jonathon Halbesleben,
Dr. Allison Hetzel, Dr. Rick Houser,
Dr. Richard Houston, Dr. Burcu Keskin,
Dr. Aaron Kuntz, Dr. Margo Lamme,
Dr. James Leeper, Dr. Louis Marino,
Dr. Jeffrey Parker, Dr. Michael Picone,
Dr. Steve Thoma, Dr. Mark Weaver,
Dr. Joseph Weber, Dr. Frederick Whiting
Dr. Stephen Woski.


Dr. Mary Elizabeth Curtner-Smith, Dr. Jason DeCaro,
Dr. John Giggie, Dr. Timothy Haskew,
Dr. Linda Knol, Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell,
Dr. Vivian Wright.


Prof. Steve Miller

Dr. Louis A. Pitshmann


Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Dean
Dr. Andrew Goodliffe, Assistant Dean
Ms. Beth Yarbrough, Registrar


Mr. Derrick Stokes (Absent)

Mr. Jonathan Handy


GUEST(S): None



I. Approval of the Minutes of the September 25, 2012 meeting

Dean David Francko welcomed everyone and asked if there were corrections to the September 25, 2012 minutes. A motion was made to approve the minutes as written and seconded – motion passed.

Dean Francko introduced Dr. Andrew Goodliffe as the new Assistant Dean for Admissions & Recruitment in the Graduate School.

II. Reports from Graduate Council Committees

A. Admission and Recruitment Committee – No report

B. Fellowship & Scholarship Committee –
No report

C. Teaching, Research and Service Award Committee –
No report

D. Program and Degree Committee and Research and New Programs (combined) –
No report

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

      A. Dean David Francko

McNair Scholars Program - Funding for the McNair Scholars Program has been cut by the Federal Government at the end of September 2012. Although The University of Alabama appealed the scoring, UA came up one point short of the funding threshold. The UA President has approved continuation funding for our current students through the Spring 2013 semester, so that the current McNair cohort will remain funded. After the Spring 2013 semester, the McNairs program will not exist for undergraduate students at UA, but the Graduate School will continue to sponsor the McNair graduate fellowship program for former McNair students into the future. An updated McNair graduate database will soon be available and will be sent out to all who request it.

Graduate School Goals - With The University of Alabama Presidential change, the Graduate School’s current goals will be moving forward with President Bonner. We will continue to work on increasing funding for graduate students, increasing enrollment, along with changes needed with graduate education and research.

WISE – Women In the Stem Experience - The new WISE program recently held a symposium that approximately 70 students and faculty members attended. The symposium was such a success that the Graduate School will be holding symposiums in the future on a regular basis. Women in STEM programs are under-represented at The University of Alabama. Although The University of Alabama’s numbers are in line with the national average, increased enrollment in these programs will place us above the national average.

50 Year Anniversary – There will be a year-long, across-the-university program in 2013 celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the “Stand on the School House Door” and how far The University of Alabama has progressed over the past 50 years. We hope our planned Graduate School event will coincide with the recruitment for 2013 fall so we have a large group of faculty, staff and students on campus at the same time.

There was much publicity for the 40th anniversary in 2003, and hopefully that will be true in 2013. Dr. Jeff Parker stated that departments have been asked to create some type of program in celebration of the 50 year anniversary and list the changes over the past 50 years. This event is very important to involve the students to participate in this event – not just the faculty and staff. We should hear more sometime after the first of the year.

Undergraduate Scholars - Guest lectures will be held in all Freshman Scholar classes. The Freshman Scholar students begin research in their first year which includes funding for the freshman year only. The presentations will inform students about graduate education at The University of Alabama so these students may start thinking about graduate school early in their higher education career.

University Scholars is a great way to transition from undergraduate to graduate school. Hopefully soon, undergraduate students will come asking for information on the University Scholars program. If your department does not have a University Scholars program, you may want to bring this to your faculty and present a proposal for a new University Scholars program.

      B. Associate Dean John Schmitt

Awards - The nominations for Outstanding Thesis and Outstanding Dissertation were due November 9, 2012. Currently, the awards selection committees are reviewing the nominations through the Graduate School online review system.

The awards to be submitted by January 11, 2013 are:

1. Outstanding Teaching by a Master’s Student

2. Outstanding Teaching by a Doctoral Student

3. Outstanding Research by a Master’s Student

4. Outstanding Research by a Doctoral Student

5. Outstanding Service by a Graduate Student

The Teaching, Research and Service Award committee will review the nominations select the winners by February 2, 2013. Awards will be presented during Honors Week (April 1-5, 2013).

Program Reviews - Several are occurring in colleges and departments this academic year. This is part of UA’s regular review of all 190 degree programs, whether they have external accreditation or not.

Commencement - The Graduate School is evaluating 100+ theses and dissertations for the December 2012 graduation. Currently the prospective graduate degree recipients for the December graduation number approximately 450 students.

      C. Assistant Dean Andrew Goodliffe

Dr. Goodliffe stated he is glad to be here and that his new position is going to be an exciting challenge. He discussed several goals on which to focus in the upcoming:

The WISE event emphasized one direction on which the Graduate School needs to focus in recruitment.

Dialogue will be increased between all graduate program directors and the Graduate School.

The Graduate Parent Student Program (GPS) - This program has grown significantly over the past few years. Cori Perdue heads up the GPS program, and Monday, November 19, 2012, “Dialog” will have an article about the program. Please email Human Resources on campus about the importance of this program – Charlotte Harris or Linda Gilbert. If any of your colleagues has the time, please ask them to email Human Resources also. It would be great if you would please email Cori how important this program has been to students across campus.

Tide Together – Becky Odom-Bartel heads up the Tide Together program. Tide Together needs help with faculty mentors from all over campus, so please volunteer. Currently, the Tide Together program needs more mentors from the colleges, CBA in particular. Graduate students (mostly PhD/some MS) have a faculty mentor through Tide Together to guide them through the Graduate School and their degree program. The faculty mentor is not the advisor. This is the fourth year of Tide Together, and out of the 98 students that have utilized the program, only four students here have not received their degree or left the UA Graduate School. Two left for a dream job, and the other two transferred to another college. This totals less than 5% attrition.

Veterans – Currently we are looking at a new program for assisting veterans.

Last Lecture Series – The Last Lecture Series will be held sometime in late April. Nomination information will be forthcoming after the first of the year.

IV. Reports from Standing University Committees

There were no standing committee reports.

V. Old Business

There was no old business.

VI. New Business

There was no new business.
There being no further business, Dean Francko adjourned the meeting at 3:40 p.m.