The University of Alabama
April 23, 2013

The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 in 110 AIME Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT:             Dr. Marsha Adams, Dr. Kim Bissell (sub – Wilson Lowery),
Dr. Mary Curtner-Smith, Dr. Jason DeCaro,
Dr. Susan Gaskins, Dr. John Giggie,
Dr. Jonathon Halbesleben, Dr. Allison Hetzel,
Dr. Richard Houston, Dr. Burcu Keskin,
Dr. Linda Knol, Dr. Aaron Kuntz,
Dr. Margo Lamme (sub – Lance Kinney), Dr. Louis Marino,
Dr. Kagendo Mutua, Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell,
Dr. Steve Thoma, Dr. Mark Weaver,
Dr. Frederick Whiting
MEMBERS ABSENT:               Dr. Robert Findlay, Dr. Yuebin Guo,
                                                Dr. Timothy Haskew, Dr. Rick Houser,
                                                Dr. James Leeper, Dr. Jeffrey Parker,
                                                Dr. Michael Picone, Dr. Joseph Weber, Dr. Vivian Wright
EX-OFFICIO                             Prof. Steve Miller
MEMBERS:                              Dr. Louis A. Pitschmann
GRADUATE SCHOOL              Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Dean
REPRESENTATIVES                 Dr. Andrew Goodliffe, Assistant Dean
PRESENT:                                Ms. Beth Yarbrough, Registrar
REPRESENTATIVE(S):             Mr. Derrick Stokes
Mr. Jonathan Handy
GUEST(S):                                None
Dean David Francko welcomed everyone and introductions were made to the council. 
I.                    Approval of the Minutes – Dean Francko asked if there were any corrections to the minutes for the February 26, 2013 meeting.  A motion was made to approve the minutes as written.  Motion passed.
II.                  Reports from Graduate Council Committees –
A.     Admission and Recruitment Committee (Dr. Mary Elizabeth Curtner-Smith, Chair) –Dr. Curtner-Smith announced that the committee approved to continue the GRE waiver for admission the eMBA program.  Currently, the committee is evaluating a request for HES to renew its admission waiver. 
B.      Fellowship & Scholarship Committee (Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell, Chair) –
Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell thanked all members of the committee – Phillip Bishop, Jeffrey Parker, Jonathon Halbesleben, Kimberly Bissell, Stephen Woski and Timothy Haskew.  The Committee, along with the Graduate School, has worked hard this year to implement an online evaluation system for the evaluation of Graduate Council Fellowship applicants.  The online evaluation has greatly facilitated the evaluation process.
To date, the GCF committee has made 96 offers.  Of the 96, 70 accepted, 13 declined and 13 have not responded.  Any Graduate Council Fellowship not accepted will be given away by Dean Francko and Assistant Dean Goodliffe based on the earlier nominations from all rounds.  After the dust settles, the total value for all GCFs will be approximately $1.2 million.
C.      Teaching, Research and Service Award Committee (Dr. Susan Gaskins, Chair) – No report.  The winners of all seven awards received framed certificates and checks from the Graduate School during Honors Week ceremonies in their respective colleges.
D.     Program & Degree Requirements with Research & New Programs Committee (Dr. Steve Thoma, Chair) – Dr. Steve Thoma introduced a new Women’s Studies  certificate proposal submitted for approval by the Department of Gender & Race Studies.  A motion was made to accept the proposal and the motion passed unanimously. 
III.        Reports from the Dean’s Office and Academic Affairs
A.      Dean David Francko – As of today, 28 License Tag Fellowship offers have been sent out. 
For the Graduate Council Fellowships, six (6) departments participated in the Fellowship Enhancement Program.  We would like to see more participation in this program. 
Dean Francko mentioned that the number of applications to The University of Alabama Graduate School for Fall 2013 is down.  As of today, we are down about 500 applications from last year’s record; but this total would still rank #2 in the history of the Graduate School.  This number is still ahead of the number of applications we received at the same time last year.  There is still time before the fall semester begins to bring the application numbers up.  Almost every higher education institution throughout the SEC and the State of Alabama has had a significant drop in applications.  The Graduate School is working hard not to fall behind in Graduate recruitment when the undergraduate numbers are rising.  Our enrollment goal is still 5000 by this fall.
The Research/Travel Grant – Currently, only about one-third of the departments have requested a Summer Research/Travel Grant for their students.  It is alarming that more departments are not participating.  All departments were re-notified in case the deadline slipped their mind.  Current submissions are being awarded, and at the end of the month, any additional requests will be awarded at that time.  Please submit  any Research/Travel Grant applications to the Graduate School before the end of the month.
Mr. Derrick Stokes – Graduate Student Representative reported on this year’s AAGSA Research Symposium.  There were seven (7) student presenters representing a number of disciplines and colleges.  Mr. Stokes thanked the Graduate School for its support and stated that it was a very successful meeting.
Dr. Andy Goodliffe talked about cutting down recruitment trips, but cautioned that we must be careful not to let this affect the number of applicants.
The Graduate School receives approximately 8,000 total applications each year.  This number includes 1400 for spring and 1200 for summer.  The majority of the applications received are for fall admission and these students are usually placed in a track/cohort.  Currently, the Graduate School does not have a set time table for applications and would like to keep it that way.

B.      Associate Dean John Schmitt – Dr. Schmitt thanked Dr. Steve Thoma and committee members on the Program & Degree Requirements, Research & New Programs Committee.  The committee has worked hard and helped bring proposals to the Graduate Council quickly.
The summary of the results of the biennial Survey of Departmental GTA Training Activities soon will be put online at the Graduate School website.  In the past, departments have used this information when training their GTAs and to keep abreast of new methods of initially orienting their GTAs and then continuing to help them develop in their classrooms, labs, discussion sections, etc.  This survey has also facilitated the sharing of ideas between and among departments.  Everyone will be able to take advantage of the information for the upcoming fall semester.
Dates for the 2013-2014 Workshop for New Graduate Teaching Assistants are August 15-16, 2013 - all day Thursday and Friday before the first date of classes.  Please do not forget that this workshop is mandatory for all new GTAs and please do not schedule any departmental meetings for GTAs those two days.  This workshop includes using social media, faculty seminars, interaction with students, along with speakers from across campus.  As part of the workshop, each new GTA is video recorded and then evaluated/critiqued by their peers.  It has been very helpful to new GTAs to see themselves teach and receive both verbal and written feedback before they get in the classroom.

C.      Assistant Dean Andrew Goodliffe – Dr. Andy Goodliffe reported on the new admissions/recruitment software the Graduate School will be using, called Talisma.  Currently, this software is used by Undergraduate Admissions.  The Talisma program tracks incoming students and follows up on questions.  Phone calls/emails are recorded in the system and checked again for follow-up.  There has been a slight learning curve – but the training is coming along.  The program also helps to target mailings and can be set up to automatically email applicants regarding missing Statements of Purpose, test scores, etc.  This program will cut down on the amount of paper and have the application system completely online.  All departments will be receiving the Statement of Purposes through the AppDoc system this year.  Our next step will be to have all domestic transcripts scanned and placed in AppDocs also.
Currently, TOEFL scores are being revised.  The TOEFL Search Services now offers recruitment services similar to the GRE Search Service.  A university is able to submit standard questions and see prospective international students respond on video.
Dean Francko and Dr. Schmitt attended the Alabama Council of Graduate Deans conference in Orange Beach recently.  One trend on the horizon at the graduate level is to identify International students who have shown interest in different schools.  This service will cost The University of Alabama about 43 cents per student.  It will be very helpful, since we physically cannot go to all of these countries.  Once we receive a prospect’s information, the correct application will be filed based on questions and answers received from the potential applicant.  This will also allow putting limits on the number of applications for different departments for different semesters.  If you have any international applications, please send the completed application back to the Graduate School by the end of May.  Procedures are changing in conjunction with visa issues for International Students.
IV.        Reports from Standing University Committees
There were no standing committee reports.
V.         Old Business
There was no old business.
VI.        New Business
Dr. Steve Thoma brought up the issue of faculty teaching at the 500-600 level.  Maybe the Graduate Dean should think about the policies for tenure/non-tenure tracked professors and what courses to be taught.  Currently, all temporary graduate faculty members are approved through the Graduate School.  It was mentioned that an emphasis needs to be placed on research/ teaching positions, research only positions or teaching only positions.  The question was brought up for the Graduate School to ‘tweak’ some of the graduate faculty qualification criteria in order to assist departments.  Discussion for next year’s Graduate Council may include recommended percentages of tenure vs. tenure-track faculty and possible expansion of graduate faculty permitted to chair dissertations
There being no further business, Dean Francko adjourned the meeting at 4:40 p.m.