- Dean David Francko
welcomed everyone and introductions were made to the council.
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.
Reports from Graduate Council Committees –
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.
Fellowship & Scholarship Committee (Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell,
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.