JACKSONVILLE -- January 23, 2001 --
The following report was delivered by President Bill Meehan to the Board of Trustees on Monday, January 22.
Houston Cole Library - Thanks to your action today--renovation and weatherproofing of the library's exterior will begin.
The removal of the deteriorating white marble panels, replacement of "radiant red" granite, and a design will provide a new
look for the tallest university library in Alabama. The red granite will blend with the brick on adjacent buildings, giving a more
uniform look to the campus. Internally, the old accordion style partitions have been removed for new folding panels. The new
partitions will fold into the alcoves and be more functional as well as soundproof for the many activities which take place
here on the 11th Floor.
- McGee Hall - Our new laboratory center is complete. Biology labs and chemistry labs are being set up for use this
Spring Semester. The building is as functional for contemporary science education inside as its outside is attractive and
aesthetically compatible with the campus. We will dedicate McGee Hall following our Board meeting, Monday, April 16,
Martin Hall - Renovation is steadily progressing and our expected date of occupancy is Fall 2001. Like all older buildings, we
have discovered more cracked plaster walls and deteriorating case work than hoped. However, we are excited about how well
the exterior of the building appears and how much better the classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices will be following
Chief Ladiga Trail - The trail plans have been submitted to the Highway Department and are awaiting final approval.
Joe Ford Economic Development Center - Our joint project with Gadsden
State Community College is approximately 15% complete. Steel and concrete forms for the first two floors are complete and
progress is being made on the third floor. Gadsden State has already requested that we expand the parking lot to
accommodate the new facility.
Enrollment and Housing - Final enrollment for Spring Semester 2001 was 7,524 for an increase over Spring 2000 of 193.
Occupancy for University residence halls for spring is just below last year with 1,152 students in ten
SACS - The University's Institutional Self-Study was kicked off November 16th by Dr. John Dwyer, SACS Representative for
JSU. Dr. Martha Lavender, Director, and Dr. Louise Clark, Associate Director, of our Institutional Self-Study have been busy
with the developing timelines, goals and objectives with the Committee. They have created an Internet site for our Self-Study
as a communications link for updates and progress toward reaffirmation of accreditation. The site is directly linked to the
JSU web page (www.jsu.edu) and is complete with an organizational chart and minutes of the meetings. Dr. Dwyer
complimented the Self-Study Committee on its progress, stating that it is well ahead of schedule in comparison to other
institutions and all facets of the study are in good shape. This is a direct result of the leadership of Dr. Lavender and Dr.
Ayers Lecture - The Department of Communication and The Anniston Star co-sponsored the Ayers Lecture on January 16th
with Mr. Kevin Klose, President and CEO of National Public Radio. In addition to public lectures at JSU and at The
Anniston Star's "Letters to the Editor Banquet," Mr. Klose gave interviews with JSU's communication students and Alabama
Special Recruitment Efforts
First Annual Emerging Leaders Day was held November 10, 2000; 114 leading high school juniors from approximately
40 high schools visited Jacksonville State University during their Veterans Day holiday. These juniors were selected by their
guidance counselors for having a genuine interest in JSU, high school involvement in clubs, extracurricular activities and their
Students attended classes in their interest areas, enjoyed lunch with JSU faculty and staff, and were given a walking tour of the
campus. At the closing ceremony, a leadership scholarship was awarded to one lucky student to use in 2002-2003. Kara
Roberts of Hokes Bluff High School was awarded that scholarship. All students left with an Emerging Leaders Day T-shirt
and a wealth of knowledge about JSU.
- Preview Days - February 10th and March 17th will be Spring Preview Days. Both Saturdays will give
prospective students and their families an opportunity to meet faculty and students in their chosen major, tour campus and
pre-register for summer and/or fall classes.
- University Police Department -
The University Police Department achieved reaccreditation on December 2nd. The formal award was presented to Chief
Nelson Coleman and Deputy Chief Terry Schneider at the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies
Conference in Burlington Vermont.
Bibb Graves Hall - The Offices of Financial Aid and University Housing will relocate to the first floor of Bibb Graves
Hall. This location will be more convenient for students and will enable the staff of Admissions, Financial Aid and Housing
to work more closely in serving students.
- The Jacksonville State University pep band "Hardcorp" was chosen by Sporting News as the "Best Pep Band" in their
recent Best of... edition.
- DoDEA Teacher of the Year - Jacksonville State University graduate and Calhoun County native Millie Bowers
Harris was recently named Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Teacher of the Year for 2001.
She has taught the talented and gifted program at Fort McClellan Elementary
School until it closed over a year ago. She took a job at Fort Benning, Georgia, where she now teaches a similar
enrichment/talented and gifted program at Stowers Elementary.
Mrs. Harris will be relieved of her teaching duties at Fort Benning for half a year to travel to various speaking engagements
at bases all over the world, including Europe, Japan, Puerto Rico and the U.S. She will speak on the importance of what
teachers do, teachers' mission and identifying gifted students.
Congratulations to Jayme Johnson--the new Miss Jacksonville State University. A junior in communications, Miss Johnson
was crowned January 13th and will represent the University at the Miss Alabama Pageant in June.
"On the Brink" Conference - The conference will be held February 3, 2001 on the 11th floor of the Houston Cole
Library. "On the Brink" is an annual conference sponsored by JSU's English Department. This conference showcases the
talent of emerging Southern writers who are working in a range of genres.
Proration - We are appreciative of the
Alabama Legislature's appropriation of $28,988,615 for this fiscal year. This represented a 5.22% increase in JSU's
appropriation over the previous year. Thanks to your approval of this year's budget, we increased salaries and have made
significant progress toward our plan to reduce turnover in our faculty and staff.
The Unified Budget Recommendation for 2001-2002, approved by the Council of Presidents and the Alabama Commission
on Higher Education, recommended a 4.25% increase for Jacksonville State University. This represents a requested
appropriation of $30,221,172--an increase of $1,232,557.
The unfortunate news is that it may be necessary for the Governor to declare proration of the Education Trust Fund
appropriation for this year. Sales tax revenue is below expected levels; and if December sales tax receipts which were due
the end of last week do not reach expected levels, proration may be declared at 3 to 5%. A 3% proration for the University
is approximately $870,000; and 5%, approximately $1.4 million.
We have not experienced proration since fiscal year ' 91 when two prorations in the same year reclaimed 6.5% of the
University's appropriation. Followed by the budget reductions of 7.5% in 1995-96, Alabama's higher education institutions
had not seen much of what had been a booming economy for the nation until the last two years.
If declared, proration may mean freezing personnel positions, reducing departmental operating budgets, and using selected
reserves. We will work diligently not to reduce our academic programs and student services. Maintaining our faculty and
staff as well as our physical plant must be an essential part of our plan. We must continue offering programs and services
attractive to students if JSU is to grow to 10,000 students.