Annual Faculty and Staff Address
by President William A. Meehan
August 30, 2004
for all you accomplished in 2003-04.†
Because of you, Jacksonville
University met the
challenges of its 121 year and succeeded in its mission. Iím especially proud of
the way you, our faculty and staff preformed.
(1) Our faculty helped fill the budget gap with a 59 percent increase in
funded contracts and grants; an increase over last year for a total of $7
million which enabled department heads to pay for day-to-day needs while
simultaneously carrying out grant missions.
(2) All our employees worked harder to meet added pressures of a growing
campus, with faculty accepting teaching overloads and support staff finding
innovative ways to serve a growing customer base at the present level of
(3) Our physical plant staff, groundskeepers, housekeepers and
technicians have worked extraordinarily hard to make our campus its grounds and
buildings a show place and it truly impresses all our
(4) Our faculty and staff ensured that the institutionís planning and
performance resulted in reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools. I want to commend members of the Self-Study
Steering Committee for their work in completing the follow-up report that will
go to the Southern Association later this September.
Your annual reports show many other examples of your dedication and
support, more than I can possibly talk about this morning.† Again, thank
all the extra work, you found time for outreach. I want to ask Professor Safaa
Al-Hamdani, founder of the Books for Baghdad project,
and members of the Faculty Senateís ad hoc committee that supports that project,
to stand.† Professor Al-Hamdaniís Books
for Baghdad project won
the attention of CNN International, ABC News, National Public Radio (NPR), the
Associated Press, major newspapers and Web sites around the country, and media
around the world. The project captured the hearts of ordinary people as well as
faculty at other universities who wanted to do something tangible to show the
people of Iraq that they
cared. A project that literally began with a few books stored beneath Safaaís
worktable has mushroomed into a national effort that, as a spin-off, has brought
much attention to JSU. Letís give Safaa a round of applause.
The annual reports contain many other examples of outreach and service.
Just a few of the significant accomplishments reported in
The U. S. Patent Office awarded Dr. Benjamin Blair and Dr. Mark Meade a
patent for their newly discovered cure for Ichthyophthirius, or ich, a common but
fatal disease in fish. The research was conducted at
department performed for more than 8,000 people with nine main stage
productions, an opera, and 21 one-act productions. In addition, the department
hosted the American College Theatre Festival, which featured six productions
from participating Alabama
The annual Visual Arts Societyís gala and art auction raised more than
$14,000 for scholarships and art equipment.
The Department of English hosted the JSU Writing Project, the Writers
Bowl, the Holocaust Commemoration, the Language Arts Olympiad, and advised the
National Endowment for the Humanities on the distribution of several million
dollars for scholarly publications.
the Environmental Policy and Information
presented programs and seminars that reached more than 15,500 students, teachers
and members of the general public. In recognition of this success, EPIC and its
field school program won the 2003 National Nature Watch Award as the ďbest
district presentation in the nation for collaborative programming with the US
Little River Canyon Field School (LRCFS) drew 400 students for specialty classes
while more than 800 other field school enthusiasts participated in 27 different
programs. One hundred public school teachers attended five top-rated workshops
And Congress appropriated $2.8 million for the field schoolís construction
The Alabama Commission on Higher Education approved JSUís Master of
Science in Emergency Management, the first degree of its kind in the
Department of Music was renamed
the David L. Walters Department of Music.
Dr. Nouredine Zettili delivered the JSU Faculty Scholar Lecture and
conducted workshops and other instructional work in connection with a grant
program called IMPACTSEED (Improving Physics And Chemistry Teaching in Secondary
Education), which delivers physics and chemistry training to public school
science teachers in northeast Alabama.
The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program received reaffirmation of
accreditation by the National Council on Social Work
and Business Administration provided a wealth of analyses during special
investigations designed to gain economic insight about the region in 2003-04.
Dean William Fielding produced the following reports: ďEconomic Impact on the
State Economy from Out-of-State and International Students,Ē ďEconomic Impact of
the I-20 Automotive Corridor on Alabama,Ē
and ďEconomic Impact of Anniston Army Depot on Calhoun and
The college also saved more than $28,000 in postage by installing a computer
server to handle surveys.
36 seminars and workshops with a combined attendance of 1,326.† Business counseling was provided to 540
prospective and existing business owners. SBDC clients were awarded $15 million
Professional Education Personnel Evaluation program (PEPE) awarded the
Professional Studies an A for all education programs upon which the universityís
teacher education graduates were evaluated.
Center opened at
McClellan on 4 August
2003 and has now
enrolled more than 110 children ranging from six weeks to six years of age in
nine classrooms, with each classroom having a certified lead teacher and two
teacher assistants. Parents are able to go online and watch their children via
the Internet. These same cameras provide additional safety and help perfect
The Department of Communication held its first Summer Journalism
Institute for area students.
Continuing Education increased enrollment to 19 percent of the universityís
total enrollment, which is the largest percentage in the Collegeís
Center for Disease Control and Preventionís Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry funded the College
University-Community Consortium for Anniston Environmental Health Research.† This program studies the impact of exposure
to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) among citizens in
Anniston.† Funding of $3,200,000 was awarded for three
4,000 students enrolled in distance education courses of some type during
academic year 2003-04. The distance education program added 18 new
courses to the electronic campus.
Library and the university's anthropology program began participating in the
statewide Cornerstone Project to digitize unique collections and make them
accessible on the Internet. The Network of Alabama Academic Libraries (NAAL)
administers the Cornerstone Project, which is supported by a $493,480 federal
grant from the Institute of
Museum and Library
Services, which is a federal agency.
Economic Development, which houses the JSU-Gadsden program and the community
collegeís administrative offices. The center is a partnership between GSCC,
University, and state
The US Armyís Western Region Headquarters conducted a command inspection
of JSUís Military Science Department. The department received commendable
ratings in five of six areas, which is the highest rating the headquarters
inspection team has given.
its first graduation ceremony by Internet streaming on July 30th.
Internet viewers from as far away as Iraq and the
Islands in the
North Pacific were noted.
In May 2004 undergraduate admissions applications rose to the highest
level since 2002. The largest number of students ever to register at a Preview
Day was 299 in February 2004. The 2004 spring semesterís two Preview Daysí
combined registration total was the largest ever with 515 students registering
for fall classes.
The University Police Department received reaffirmation of accreditation
and reduced campus crime rate by 30 percent.
The Physical Plant Department eliminated the central steam heat system on
the main section of campus west of Highway 21 in a switchover to more efficient
boilers in each building in that section. This means we are no longer dependent
on coal fired energy and we will soon be able to the smoke stack from behind
Office formed new chapters, including the Greater Washington D.C. Area Chapter,
which is composed of members from the District of
Maryland.† Alumni raised more than $10,000 in
scholarship funds, all of which was matched by the Alumni
Bureau began offering Spanish language news releases and Web services in an
effort to reach northeast Alabamaís large
Hispanic population. Although the parents primarily speak Spanish, their
college-age children are generally fluent in English. Weíre encouraging the
parents to refer their children to JSUís Web site. According to the US Census
Bureau and the Birmingham Business
Journal, much of Alabamaís Hispanic
growth is in central and northeast Alabama and
represents a significant new market for higher education (The Wall Street Journal, 8 July
The publications office produced more than $90,000 in university
advertising and more than $100,000 in printed material, including brochures and
other publications for campus offices and recruiting
athletics program experienced its most successful year since moving to Division
I in 1995 with a long list of post-season appearances, championships, honors,
and awards. In our first year in the Ohio Valley Conference JSU won conference
championships in football, baseball and golf, three of our head coaches were
honored as coaches of the year, James Hobbs in golf, Steve Bailey in tennis and
Gary Deboy in rifle.†† One hundred
sixteen student-athletes earned academic honors and JSU received the OVC
Academic Banner as our student athletes had a higher graduation rate and GPA
than our student body. Our athletes achieved the highest GPA and graduation rate
of any public college or university in Alabama, and
achieved graduation rates one full percentage point higher than the national
The University, with your help, continued to shore up its challenges
while working for solutions to improve state support. JSUís reputation for
delivering outstanding education at an affordable price is the envy of other
institutions. You are JSUís greatest asset: faculty and staff who believe so
strongly in the purposes that underscore the university mission that you have
been willing to sacrifice to ensure the institutionís
your commitment, it is no surprise that JSUís enrollment has remained strong at
a time when universities across the nation are losing ground. Statistics show
that universities are seeing a reduction in enrollment by three or four
percentage points for each $1,000 increase in tuition (Wall Street Journal, 29 July
to experience an upward trend because more people in northeast
Alabama go to
college when the economy turns bad, and because the University maintains
excellent quality in its academic programs.
On a more
somber note: the University budget.†
appropriation for operations and maintenance, declined as a percentage of the
total budget from 34.4 percent in 2003-04 to 32.8 percent in the budget proposed
for 2004-05. Just like other higher education institutions, JSUís funding
problems resulted in challenges: higher tuition and fees,(a 33.66 percent
increase over the past three years, just under the 35 percent national rate of
increase), a crisis in faculty retention and recruitment, the threat of losing
some existing professional accreditations, and a desperate need for additional
departmental funds to buy essential items, including scientific equipment that
is absolutely essential for training students and conducting college-level
research and instruction.
However, the University can outlive temporary economic setbacks as long
as we are blessed with such outstanding people who work so hard to support the
institution.† We are fortunate that we
continue to attract such outstanding people as the new faculty and staff who
were introduced to you this morning.†
Salaries in the local market make that difficult. But, because of JSUís
academic reputation and the outstanding quality of our programs, we continue to
find highly-qualified candidates who have a passion for higher education and
public service. JSU is a special place with a strong vision, and we are blessed
to have such dedicated people who believe in our cause and are ready to back up
I assure you
that JSU continues to look for funding solutions.† The best answers include convincing voters
and lawmakers that (1) universities are potent economic generators that provide
an educated workforce that, in turn, can attract new or expanded business and
industry; (2) and that universities boost the economy in the geographic regions
where they are based. These are compelling reasons for lawmakers and voters to
improve state support. And JSU continues to work as a partner with all segments
of Alabama education
and with other colleges and universities to strengthen state funding.
Because of your sacrifices and achievements last year, I will recommend
to the Board of Trustees that they approve a budget that will increase all
classified and non-classified positions by 4% for individuals and positions in
place as of July 1 of this year. In addition, I will request funds for step
raises for classified staff; and funds for promotion of faculty in rank in
accordance with criteria in the Faculty Handbook.
In order to continue our long range plan that addresses salary and
compensation issues across the University, we will set aside a pool of funds to
be used after the end of the Spring Semester that will help move JSU to the
regional average for faculty and staff salaries.
University met its
mission with excellence in 2003-04 despite another year of financial hardship.
The institutionís many accomplishments reflect the outstanding cooperation and
support of faculty and staff. I look forward to working with you as we meet the
challenges of 2004-2005, the 122 year of excellence for
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