President's Quarterly Report
Ford Center 3rd Floor
The Joe M. Ford Economic Development Center on Gadsden State Community College (GSCC) campus is a three-story building owned jointly by JSU and GSCC. Gadsden State would like to complete the third floor for administrative offices and has offered to sell JSU their half of the second floor. JSU would be able to use the entire second floor for classrooms and move its compressed video classroom from the Bevill Center which is across the street from the Ford Center. GSCC has offered to sell JSU their finished portion of the second floor for $125,000 and JSU's portion of the unfinished third floor. GSCC opened bids February 13, 2003 with Barclay-Hayes as the low bidder. Because the bid was higher than expected, negotiations are required with the contractor and Gadsden State Community College.
The original phase of Chimney Peak is complete and waiting on final inspection from the State. The transfer of the remaining funds for the Phase II paving to join Mountain Avenue was rejected by Alabama Department of Transportation on March 25. We will continue to work with the City of Jacksonville and the Alabama Department of Transportation to restore this paving.
Chimney Peak Observatory
The consultant verified the site location for the Chimney Peak observatory adjacent to the new antenna location. The construction documents for the observatory are in the preparation and development phase.
Ayers Hall Renovation
The Ayers Hall Renovation bids were opened February 27 with Chorba Contracting as low bidder. The contract documents are waiting on approval and signature.
Roof Replacement 2002
The roof replacements project 2002 is 99% completed. The final inspection was held March 12 and we are waiting for the contractor to perform the punch list items.
The Soccer Field project is approximately 97% completed. The sod has been laid and the fence installed around the designated area. The dry weather has helped tremendously in the completion of this project.
McClellan Child Development Center Renovations
The work at the Child Development Center is about 99% completed. Alternate surface materials are being evaluated and a cost estimate is being prepared for the playgrounds. Effective April 14, Ms. Kristi Triplett has been hired as the Director of the Child Development Center.
McClellan Building 3181
The construction documents for Building 3181 which JSU is to share with GSCC have been sent to the State Building Commission for review and comment. The bid is scheduled for opening June 17 with a Pre-Bid Conference scheduled for June 3.
Chillers for air conditioning systems in Cole Auditorium/Hopper Cafeteria, Stone Center, Curtiss Hall are installed and are operational.
The bids were opened March 13 on the Multi-purpose building. The low bidder, Jim Wilson Construction, withdrew his bid due to major errors and/or omissions. The second low bidder, Tom Roberts Construction, is the apparent successful contractor. The contracts have been prepared and are waiting signatures.
Field House Renovations
The Field House construction documents are being finalized with the Athletic Department's input and consideration. Construction plans and bids will be approved by the Board at the October meeting and construction is to begin at the end of the '03 football session.
Library Elevator Improvements
The Library Elevator improvement project was rebid with a redeveloped scope of work and opened on April 1 with Hudak and Dawson as low bidder. The project should be completed within 365 days after Notice to Proceed is issued.
Bibb Graves Lightning Protection System
The Bibb Graves lightning protection system has been installed and the project is complete.
Ramona Wood Heat Pump Replacement
The new cooling tower at Ramona Wood has been installed and is operational. The major piping has been replaced and installation of units is occurring.
The paving 2002 project awarded to APAC - Alabama, Inc. of Anniston, and work will begin on April 28 after the Commencement. The resurfacing will include the parking lots at the Library, Martin/McGee Hall, the Coliseum, Brewer Hall, and Building Services. Also, included are the driveway around the RV lot near the stadium and Trustee Circle
Paving 2003 - Daugette/Stone Center Parking Lots
The Daugette/Stone Center parking lot paving contractor Logan Construction began work on March 11 on the south of Stone Center. The Daugette parking lot is scheduled to begin on April 28 after Commencement. This will provide 159 additional parking spaces at two critical points of need on campus--73 additional parking spaces will be added at Daugette Hall and 86 additional spaces at Stone Center.
The boiler installation project is progressing very well. The heating boilers have been set in place and a changeover is occurring since cold weather is over. The contractor Mid-South Controls is installing separate heating boilers at eight buildings on campus in conjunction with the Southern Company Energy Solutions, LLC (Alabama Power) master contract. This installation is part of our campus plan to eliminate the existing coal fired steam system that currently heats these buildings.
The lighting retrofit of four of the five buildings has been completed. The work is progressing at Merrill Hall especially in the dome area and front lobby. The project includes retrofitting with energy efficient bulbs, electronic ballast and fixtures as required in the contract with Southern Company Energy Solutions, LLC.
The Coliseum Track work is scheduled to begin in early May when track events have been completed. The project includes repair and resurfacing of the track.
Fitzpatrick Exterior Improvements
The Fitzpatrick exterior improvement bids were opened on April 1 with Hester Construction as low bidder. The material is being ordered.
Roof Replacement 2003
The roof replacement 2003 construction documents have been prepared. The pre-qualification and advertisement are in process with an anticipated late May contract award.
The baseball/soccer seating construction documents are being developed to relocate the existing baseball field seating to the new soccer field. The baseball field will have a new miter chair backed seating system installed.
Fall Application Count
Thanks to the hard work of our Admissions Office, our faculty and staff, JSU had one of its most successful Spring Preview days. More students registered for our March Preview Day than any previous March--275 students registered in March preceded by 139 in February for a total 414. Although this is above the ten-year average it is only the fourth best preview day. The accepted application count for Fall Semester 2003 is 2,178 as of April 16th. This is the 2nd highest count for the new student applications for the last eleven years; only last Fall 2002 was higher as of this time last year. The demographics for Alabama still indicate only a 1% increase in the 18-year-old population for the next 10 years. It will be a challenge to reach our goal of a 10,000 student headcount. But I am confident that our faculty, staff and students will reach this goal as I know they are working hard.
JSU's eighth annual Kaleidoscope, a festival of the arts, was held February 6 through March 21. A variety of plays, musical performances, art exhibits, and lectures were held that attracted hundreds to Jacksonville State University to celebrate the arts and talents of our community.
Kaci S. Beatty Named Alumni Director
Kaci S. Beatty, a Jacksonville State University graduate and former alumni field representative, is JSU's new director of Alumni Affairs. Ms. Beatty will oversee all services and operations in support of the university's more than 35,000 alumni. She will provide strategic direction and management for both the University's alumni boards and chapters and their constituents. Her job will include organizing and revitalizing alumni chapters throughout the nation.
Dean Carr Receives Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education
Dr. William D. Carr, dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education at Jacksonville State University, received the 2003 award for outstanding contributions to graduate education in the southern region. This award was presented on February 23 to Dr. Carr by the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools at its thirty-second annual meeting in Tampa, Florida. The membership of this association includes more than 200 universities offering graduate degrees in fourteen southern states and Washington, D.C. The Conference established this award in 1980 to acknowledge, thank, and honor a person whose contributions have significantly benefited graduate education in the southern region of the United States.
Little River Canyon Field School Funding Approved to Jacksonville State University
Funding for construction of the Little River Canyon Field School has been approved by a vote from the US House of Representatives. Included in the omnibus-spending bill that passed February 14th was $1.8 million dollars for this Jacksonville State University project to be located on the DeKalb and Cherokee County line, adjacent to the Little River National Preserve. Operating without a facility near the canyon, the Little River Canyon Field School has been in operation for twelve years. This funding support will allow JSU to establish a base of operation near the canyon and provide important information to both residents and visitors who want to learn more about the Little River Canyon National Preserve, a unit of the National Park Service.
I want to express appreciation to Mr. Pete Conroy, Director of the JSU Field Schools, who has championed this project, also to Mr. and Mrs. Randy Owen and Mr. And Mrs. Red Etheredge who made trips to Washington, D.C. lobbying for these funds. I also want to thank Senators Shelby and Sessions along with Congressmen Aderholt, and Cramer who worked together with groups like the National Park Service, Alabama State Parks; businesses like the Alabama Power Company and so many others to make this funding happen.
Dobyns Inducted into Virginia Communications Hall of Fame
Lloyd Dobyns, a former network broadcaster and Jacksonville State University's Ayers Chair in the Department of Communication, was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame on April 10 at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. Mr. Dobyns was among eight mass communications professionals with ties to Virginia who were recognized at the 16th induction ceremony, hosted by the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University.
After reporting at two Virginia television stations, Dobyns joined NBC News in 1969 and worked in various positions as an editor, director, bureau chief, anchor-writer, international correspondent and co-anchor until 1986. People Magazine called Dobyns "one of TV's best reporters," and the Washington Post said he was "one of the best clarifiers, as well as one of the best communicators in broadcast journalism."
Mr. Dobyns has won 28 national awards including a George Foster Peabody medal, a Depont-Columbia baton, a Humanitas prize and two Christophers. Mr. Dobyns has worked in 48 states and 47 foreign countries.
At JSU, Dobyns teaches writing and Internet research. As part of his Ayers' responsibilities he also writes for The Anniston Star, Blue Ridge Press and other publications. Unfortunately, Mr. Dobyns will be leaving JSU after the May Term to return to freelance writing and his native Virginia. We will miss him and his outstanding contributions to the Communications Department. He has agreed to give one last public lecture in May, and I can guarantee it will be worth attending.
Although the Alabama Legislature has been in session since March 4th, we have yet to see any actions toward a budget for next fiscal year. Governor Riley has clearly articulated the $500 million shortfall in the Education Trust Fund and has submitted a recommended budget that would reduce Jacksonville State University's budget by $1,129,843.
We have followed the Governor's directive to State agencies by calling for a reduction in out-of state travel unless it is of vital interest to the State, or in our case, the University. We have implemented the reduction of in-state travel reimbursement as directed. At my request all vice presidents and directors have been asked to reduce expenditures in anticipation of the budget reductions for next year.
There is discussion of a bill that would eliminate the waiver of out-of-state fees for students attending Alabama institutions of higher education when the student's home is within a 50 mile radius of campus. This primarily affects the regional universities, University of North Alabama, University of West Alabama, Troy State University, and Jacksonville State University; however, the University of South Alabama is also impacted. JSU had 716 of these students last Fall Semester 2002 for a total full-time equivalency of 603 students. If these students lost their status as paying at the in-state tuition rate and chose to return to their home state of Georgia, JSU would lose $2,488,620 in tuition revenue. This is a bill that all of the regional universities will fight as these out-of-state students bring not only tuition revenue but also each out-of-state student spends more than $300 per month on expenditures of food, clothing, gas and items other than tuition. I urge you to speak against the elimination of this 50-mile exemption which has been in place by the Alabama Legislature since 1995.
Mr. Chairman, I would now ask Dr. Turner to provide the Academic Report.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my report.
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