|T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F A L A B A M A · G R A D U A T E S C H O O L|
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Rose Administration Building, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0118,
Tel: (205) 348-5921
Fax: (205) 348-0400
ANNUAL REPORT 2005
|01. LIST OF TABLES|
|02. LIST OF FIGURES|
|03. THE GRADUATE COUNCIL|
Council is the body responsible for recommending new policies and
reviewing existing regulations governing advanced programs at the
University. It comprises 25 elected, 6 appointed, and 4 ex-officio
members. Each elected or appointed member serves on one of five committees:
Research and New Programs, Financial Aid, Admissions and Recruitment,
Program and Degree Requirements, or Teaching and Research Awards.
|04. STAFF DIRECTORY|
The Graduate School
|05. BURNUM DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AWARD|
Charles G. “Skip” Snead, director of the School
of Music and professor of horn in The University of Alabama’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Burnum Distinguished Faculty Award.
Snead was presented with the award during a ceremony on March 16, 2005 in the Recital Hall of the Moody Music Building. Dr. Ronald Rogers, assistant vice president for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school, opened the evening with remarks, and UA President Robert E. Witt presented the award. Snead provided a musical performance, and the evening concluded with a reception.
Snead has served as professor of horn since 1988 in the UA School of Music. He was appointed interim director on April 2004 and named director of the School of Music in January 2005.
“The College of Arts and Sciences is
blessed with a top-notch faculty,” said
Dr. Robert Olin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The prominence
of our faculty members is our greatest strength. Skip Snead exemplifies
this not only in his performance and scholarship but also his superior
administrative skills. He will represent the prestigious Burnum Award well.”
|06. BLACKMON-MOODY OUTSTANDING PROFESSOR|
Dr. John E. Lochman, professor and Saxon Chair in Clinical Psychology at The University of Alabama, is the recipient of the University’s Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor Award. He was honored in an October 23rd 2005 ceremony at the UA President’s Mansion.
The Blackmon-Moody Award is one of the highest honors bestowed on faculty at the University. Created by Frederick Moody Blackmon of Montgomery to honor the memory of his grandmother, Sarah McCorkle Moody of Tuscaloosa, the award is given annually to a UA faculty member who has made an extraordinary contribution to his or her profession and to The University of Alabama.
|07. GRADUATE STUDENT PROFILES|
|08. INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF THE YEAR|
|This Report is issued annually, is published for the purpose
of providing as much information as possible about the Graduate School
of The University of Alabama, and serves as a primary reference source
about and for the Graduate community.
The material is divided into two main sections; firstly, a narrative that covers the highlights from the key areas of our activities during the current and preceding years. In the second section there is a comprehensive set of data tables covering all aspects of our applications, enrollment, degrees awarded, and financial support. In most cases, the sources for the data are computerized databases, however some information is obtained from other University offices, for which the Graduate School is appreciative.
In collating the information presented here many judgments have been made as to inclusion, exclusion, and form of presentation. As always, suggestions, based on actual use of the material, for modifications or corrections are welcome and should be directed to the Graduate School Office. In addition, the data reported this year are compiled from two different records systems in use during this academic year. Consequently, some reports have been amended and some comparatives omitted where “like-for-like” comparisons cannot be made.
Our number of total applications received in the year increased to 6,219 (last year 6,181). Acceptance rates stayed in line with last year at 3,290 compared with 3,227 reversing the small decrease experienced last year.
Applications from international students declined last year due mainly to increased time taken to obtain visas however the level held steady throughout this year and looks set to increase in 2006.
Generally, enrollment levels were around the same level as last year. Total for fall 2005 was 3,693 (last year 3,756) which represented a very slight drop of around 1%. International student enrollment was 538 compared with 553 last year, again at approximately the same level.
A total of 1,165 new students were enrolled this fall (last year 830), an increase of around 40%. In addition, a further 255 students (last year 311) were enrolled who were either former students or who were returning graduates entering a new program. Within new enrollment the overwhelming majority - over 61% (709) - were women.
Our percentage of applicants who were accepted and enrolled for the fall stayed at the same level as in previous years, 65%.
The number of credit hours enrolled stayed broadly at the same level as last year. A total of 62,311 hours were registered against 61,979.
Total financial support for graduate students was $23,781,562 which represented an increase on last year’s $22,632,916 (increase of around 5%). Increased funding for additional fellowships was augmented by an increase in average stipend levels and tuition support for assistantships’ and fellowships.
|9. RECRUITMENT ACTIVITIES|
As part of an ongoing and continuous cycle of planning for recruitment
of graduate students, each year the Graduate School publishes a Recruitment
Plan for the coming academic year. As part of the development of the
next part of the cycle and the detailed plan for the next year, we
also report on the activities and results from the previous year. This
serves as both a measure of achievement of past plans and as a basis
for preparation of the next part of the cycle. Both each year’s
Recruitment Plan and the subsequent Recruitment Activities Report are
published on the Graduate School web site. We include here a brief
synopsis of the material published in the last Recruitment Activities
During 2004-05 the Recruitment Plan focused on the following areas:
In 2004-05 the Graduate School’s recruitment staff attended over 35 Graduate
and Professional School Day Programs, McNair conferences, and other recruitment
events across the Southeast. Our recruiters interacted with over 2,000 prospects
during these events. A total of 11 institutions in Texas, Georgia, and Florida
were represented. The Graduate School attended 10 McNair events.
In this past year the recruitment activities of the Graduate School have produced some significant successes, including the following:
|10. APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS|
The activities detailed in previous sections have ensured that the levels of applications received and processed are maintained sufficient to support increased enrollment plans. During this past year a total of 5,260 applications were received for degree programs (last year 5,237) despite the continuing problems experienced with processing international students. The percentage of applications received that were completed was broadly the same as last year at 77%.
The number of degree applications completed for admission was 4,050 which was approximately the same as last year. Acceptance rates for completed applications were maintained at 61% compared with 58.9% in 2004 and 60% in the prior year.
For a more detailed analysis of admissions and applications, please refer to Tables 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Enrollment in graduate degree programs
moved slightly lower this fall compared with last year – 3,693 against 3,756 – although
this continues to be achieved against a background of increasingly
tougher competition from other institutions, job markets, and increasingly
higher tuition rates.
|12. AFRICAN-AMERICAN ENROLLMENT|
Our numbers for African-American student
enrollment increased this fall from 390 to 414, an increase of 6.1%.
This result flowed directly from those elements of the Annual Recruitment
Plan which directly impacted our areas of contact with students from
historically black institutions, articles and advertisements in minority
publications and journals, as well as the use of targeted prospect databases.
Enrollment of African-American students has steadily increased each year from 81 students in 1987 (or just 3% of on-campus graduate enrollment) by over 5 times to our levels experienced this fall.
To increase minority graduate enrollment and graduation, the University of Alabama Graduate School makes substantial efforts to ensure that minority students receive needed financial assistance. Since 1988, when the earliest special funding programs commenced, the Graduate School has funded minority graduate students for almost $3.2 million in stipends and tuition scholarships. In 2004-05 (summer, fall, and spring terms), a total of 40 students were supported through stipends and/or tuition scholarships.
Several programs are in place to provide financial assistance for minority groups. For example, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Minority Doctoral Scholars program provides stipends for minority students at the University, while the Graduate School funds tuition scholarships. Similar forms of support include the Joint Faculty Development Program and the Future Faculty Fellows Program, through which the Graduate School provides stipends and tuition scholarships to African-American students who plan to become college or university professors. The Graduate School also funds participants in the Joint Faculty/Staff Development Program with Stillman College, a historically black institution in Tuscaloosa. The numerous Graduate School fellowship and scholarship programs are described in detail in following sections. In addition, prospective minority students are directed to external fellowships, assistantships, scholarships, and other sources of financial aid for which they may apply.
The Minority Graduate Student Assistance Office offers a variety of support services for students. The Graduate School provides funds and support for the UA African-American Graduate Student Association, which had been inactive for several years before becoming active again in fall 1998. The group sponsors panel discussions, information fairs, and receptions. The African-American Graduate Student Association remains a very active association on campus. The association’s president serves as a representative to the Graduate Council. The Graduate School provides travel funds for officers to attend the National Black Graduate Student Conferences each year.
FIGURE 3: AFRICAN-AMERICAN ENROLLMENT
|13. INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT|
The total number of international students
enrolled for fall 2005 was 538, comprising 117 new students, 15 students
who changed program, and 406 returning graduates. This was only slightly
down on last year’s figure of 553 (3% down). The largest contingent
of overseas students came from China (159) and India (118). The programs
that enrolled the most international students this fall were Chemistry
(44), Mechanical Engineering (38), and Physics (27). Please refer to
tables 12 and 13 for more information.
The press has reported recently that nationally institutions similar to UA have experienced decreases in the number of international applications of around 32%. This inevitably translates to fewer students enrolling and against this background our attrition has followed this trend.
The impact of administrative and federal changes from the Office of Homeland Security combined with visa restrictions in place in many overseas countries continues to be felt, however this university has countered this with increases in the admission of highly qualified domestic applicants.
Our international recruiting team has also noticed that Australia and Europe are attracting a large number of international applicants with lower costs, shorter programs, credit for previous work, and on-line visa application procedures.
FIGURE 4: INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
|14. CREDIT HOURS|
Overall credit hour production increased
again this year rising from 61,979 to 62,311. The average
number of hours per student enrolled was 17. The greatest
production in total hours was from Arts & Sciences (18,381), with
Education (10,278) and Commerce and Business Administration (10,156)
the next largest.
FIGURE 5: ON-CAMPUS CREDIT HOURS
|15. DEGREES CONFERRED|
The 2004-05 academic year saw a bumper
harvest in terms of the number of degrees conferred, although this was
partially due to the fact that the August 2005 commencement ceremony
was canceled and graduating students were offered the option of either
walking in the previous May or following December.
However, a greater increase was seen in the number of degrees conferred at the August 2004 ceremony – a total of 546 compared with 398 at the same ceremony in the previous year. Overall, the total number conferred for the academic year was 1,538 which was 209 more than the previous year.
FIGURE 6: DEGREES CONFERRED
|16. TECHNOLOGY AND THE GRADUATE SCHOOL|
The Graduate School provides up-to-date
information to faculty and students through our website (http://graduate.ua.edu).
Copies of all of our principal publications – including this report –
are included on the website. In addition, copies of administrative
updates, informative communiqués, and other important documents are
similarly maintained electronically. There are many links to graduate
departments, on-line forms and checklists for students, a graduate
school calendar with all the important deadlines, and numerous other
An electronic version of the Graduate School application is available on our website at http://graduate.ua.edu/application/ and this is used by more and more of our prospective students. The ability to pay the application fee online has also enhanced the functionality and effectiveness of our application procedures.
Work is also underway to develop and install two major improvements using technology to further assist our customers. Trials are due to start on using the latest imaging systems to record some of our documentation that we receive from external sources and to make the records available to the departments to assist with processing applications. In addition, we are developing an on-line workflow system for Graduate School and departments use that will compliment the electronic application, payment, and image scanning system.
Technology is used extensively in recruitment, application, and admissions activities; please see the section on recruiting for more information.
|17. GRADUATE FACULTY|
The purpose of the graduate faculty of The
University of Alabama is to set standards for graduate work and to
provide graduate instruction. It is the responsibility of the graduate
faculty in each division to elect its representative(s) to the Graduate
Council, which acts for the faculty in matters relating to graduate
work. There are three categories of members: full, associate, and
temporary. Only members of the graduate faculty may teach courses
numbered 500 or above, and only members of the graduate faculty may
chair thesis and examining committees. Only full members may chair
Terms of Appointment. Full and
associate members are appointed for six-year, renewable terms.
|18. GRADUATE STUDENT FINANCIAL SUPPORT|
The Graduate School provides a variety of
types and levels of support for graduate students. Departments are
invited to nominate students for fellowships, scholarships, tuition
awards, and travel and research grants. Federal programs specifically
for graduate students are monitored and publicized to students to ensure
that all possible financial assistance can be given.
In the academic year 2004-2005, a total of $23,781,562 was awarded to graduate students--an average of $9,164 for every qualifying graduate student enrolled on campus.
Perkins Loans and Work-Study Support. In the 2004-2005 academic year, no loans were made to students under this program. Under the work-study support program, 41 assignments were given to graduate students for a total value of $284,556.
Travel and Research Awards. Twice each year the Dean of the Graduate School invites nominations for awards to support graduate research and travel. For research awards, priority is given to thesis, pre-dissertation, and dissertation research. For travel awards, priority is given to (a) graduate students who have been accepted to present personally their own research at the national meeting of their discipline’s major academic/professional organization, and (b) those whose department or college indicates its own support of the student by agreeing to cost share the necessary funding. In 2004-2005, 133 students received awards. A total of $25,700 was awarded to these successful students, representing an average of $193 per student (last year $197 per student).
Graduate Council Fellowships. During the 2004-2005 academic year, 67 graduate students held Graduate Council Fellowships, awarded by the Graduate Council Committee on Financial Aid. Of this total, 12 students held thesis/dissertation fellowships, 7 held research fellowships, 2 held creative activity fellowships, and 44 held regular fellowships. For 2004-05 the level of stipend for each category was $14,000 with an additional full tuition scholarship.
License Tag Fellows. Under the provisions of the National Alumni Association Collegiate License Tag Program, 80% of the proceeds received by the university are endowed, and the income generated is used to support graduate fellowships. In 2004-05 sufficient funds were available to provide 34 fellowships with a stipends ranging from $10,000 to $14,000 each.
Graduate Fellowship Supplements. Each year additional amounts are awarded to graduate students from a special Presidential Graduate Fellowship Supplemental Fund. The fund is financed from logo and licensing fees received by the University’s Office of Auxiliary and Support Services. In 2004-2005 around $32,000 was awarded from this source.
Alumni Association Graduate Scholarship Program. The National Alumni Association also funds a varying number of graduate fellowships in each college or school that offers a post-baccalaureate degree.
Alabama Heritage Graduate Scholarship Program. This is a one year tuition scholarship for Alabama residents who are children or grandchildren of UA graduates. In 2004-05, 22 graduate students received this scholarship.
Minority Support. There are several programs aimed specifically at minority student groups and these are discussed in detail in a separate section of this Report.
Graduate Assistant Stipends. Departments are allocated a budget each year to appoint graduate teaching or research assistants and pay them stipends up to any level that they are able to fund. The Graduate School establishes minimum pay levels dependent upon the assigned work hours and gives guidance on the minimum and maximum number of enrolled hours that each student requires in order to maintain their full-time student status.
For 2004-2005 the minimum stipend levels were the same as the previous year:
0.25 FTE - $4,600
0.50 FTE - $9,200
0.75 FTE - $13,800
For the new academic year 2005-2006 these minimum levels have been increased as follows:
0.25 FTE - $4,900
0.50 FTE - $9,800
0.75 FTE - $14,700
In addition, the Graduate School awards grants equal to the full tuition charge for 0.50 FTE or higher appointments, and prorated amounts for FTE appointments below 0.50 FTE. For fall semester 2005, the total number of 0.50 full time equivalent assistantship awards was 1,181 (last year 1,128). There were 671 teaching assistants (last year 663) and 510 research, administrative, and other assistants (last year 465).
|19. MINORITY GRADUATE STUDENT FINANCIAL SUPPORT|
The Graduate School continues to maximize
the amount of financial support available for minority students, primarily
though four fellowship programs that support full-time and part-time
students. In fall 2005 UA enrolled and provided stipends, scholarships,
and assistantships for 40 graduate students on campus in the minority
fellowship programs. A large number of additional students received continuing
financial support through department assistantships or received tuition
scholarships. All fellowship programs place a special emphasis on encouraging
graduate students to become faculty members at colleges and universities
in Alabama or retaining those already holding college faculty positions
within the state.
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) - Alabama Commission on Higher Education Fellowships: The SREB Minority Doctoral Scholars Program encourages ethnic minority students to pursue doctoral degrees and become college professors. The UA Graduate School has held the #1 ranking for number of SREB doctoral scholars during the past few years. Since 1993, the Graduate School has enrolled 44 SREB Minority Doctoral Scholars, and 17 have received their degrees. SREB scholars receive $12,000-$15,000 annual stipends plus tuition scholarships for up to 5 years of graduate study through a combination of SREB, Graduate School, and departmental funding. A total of 19 SREB scholars in 2004-05 were supported with fellowships, scholarships, and department assistantships.
Future Faculty Fellows Program. This program is for African-American students who plan to become college or university professors. Each Future Faculty Fellow receives an annual stipend of $12,000, a departmental assistantship, and a full tuition scholarship for up to four years of full-time graduate study. A total of 33 doctoral students have received Future Faculty Fellowships since 1991, and 17 have received their degrees. In 2004-2005, the Graduate School supported eight Future Faculty Fellows with stipends and scholarships. Similarly, in 2005-06 the Graduate School is supporting six Future Faculty Fellows with stipends, scholarships, and department assistantships.
Joint Minority Faculty Development Program Fellowships. The Joint Faculty Development Program was implemented in Alabama Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for practicing college teachers who do not have a terminal degree. Faculty members participating in this program receive support from their home institution and an annual stipend of $14,000 and full tuition scholarship from The University of Alabama Graduate School. Institutions participating in this program include Alabama State University, Alabama A & M University, and Oakwood College. A total of 30 fellows have participated in the program since 1989, and 11 have received degrees. In 2004-2005, a total of seven Joint Faculty Development Fellowships supported faculty members of partner institutions. Six HBCU faculty members are participating in the Joint Faculty Development Program in 2005-06.
UA/Stillman College Joint Faculty Staff Development Program. The major objectives of the program are to provide support for Stillman College faculty and staff to complete degree requirements for a graduate degree and to provide in-service and staff development. In 2004-2005, the Graduate School provided tuition scholarships for eight faculty and staff members of Stillman College.
|20. GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS|
In the fall 2005 semester a total of 1,181 0.50 full time equivalent (FTE) graduate assistantships were awarded
compared with 1,128 last year. For this year, the number of assistantships
with formal teaching responsibilities was 289 (last year 267), and those
who are assisting instructors of record was 382 (last year 396).
Of the total number of students receiving assistantships 939 (948) were supported with university funds and 217 (last year 180) were supported on contracts, grants, or gifts from third parties. A further 25 assistantships were supported on cost-share arrangements.
For a more detailed analysis of assistantships please see tables 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
The total stipend paid to assistants during 2004-05 was $13,713,762 compared or $13,271,429 last year. Average stipends rose slightly from $10,082 last year to $10,561 for 2004-05, an increase of about one percent.
FIGURE 7: GRADUATE ASSISTANTS
|21. WORKSHOP FOR NEW GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTS|
The nineteenth annual workshop for new
Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) was held at the Bryant Conference
Center on August 18-19, 2005. The Workshop serves multiple purposes,
including familiarizing new students with the campus and University policies,
assisting in new GTAs’ preparation to conduct classes, providing
guidance about how to handle various classroom situations, and directing
GTA’s to campus resources for ongoing improvement of teaching skills.
During the Workshop, University faculty and staff members spoke on a
wide range of areas related to teaching. Topics included syllabus and
course preparation, conducting lab and discussion sessions, using technology
in the college classroom, active and collaborative learning techniques,
effective communication in college teaching, and important policies and
legal issues for GTAs and professors. Each new GTA received a copy of
2003-2005 Graduate Assistant Guide and numerous handouts on a variety
of topics related to teaching.
Graduate Teaching Fellows, who are experienced GTAs recognized for superior teaching in their respective colleges, led seven simultaneous breakout sessions for a full day at the Workshop. The Fellows videotaped the new GTAs who each had prepared a short teaching session. Each GTA received written and verbal analyses of teaching strengths and areas for improvement. The new GTAs also had the opportunity to analyze videos in order to “troubleshoot” some of the most frequently occurring problems in the classroom. The Fellows led the new GTAs in discussions of important issues such as services for students with disabilities, sexual harassment, academic misconduct, academic grievances, and the confidentiality of student records.
|22. GRADUATE STUDENT AWARDS|
On Honors Day the Dean of the Graduate
School presented the following University-wide awards; each student
received a plaque and a check for $500.
|23. ACADEMIC COMMON MARKET|
The Academic Common Market is an
interstate association of 16 Southern states that permits out-of-state
students to enroll in selected programs at participating institutions
while paying in-state tuition rates. This program is designed to both
help the student by reducing his tuition cost and also the institutions
from having to offer duplicate courses. The Graduate School is charged
within the University with supervising both the graduate and
undergraduate programs. Table 32 shows the current programs and
For the academic year 2004-2005 the data for ACM support were as shown in the table below. The total value of scholarships awarded under this program reached record levels; a total of $1,243,736 was awarded, up 19% on last year’s ($907,335).
The numbers of students from each state in the program (ranked by highest 5 states) taking advantage of these awards at this University were as follows: