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17 April 2007
President's Quarterly Report to Board of Trustees

President’s Report

Board of Trustees

April 16, 2007


Capital Projects

Demolition of Steam Plant, Abercrombie and Luttrell Halls


This project was completed by Taylor Corporation. A change order was submitted by the contractor which was denied by the University.  Taylor Corporation has appealed to the State of Alabama Building Commission to review the claim dispute. A tentative hearing date was scheduled for June 7, 2007 but is now rescheduled for October 25, 2007 due to a conflict for Taylor Corporation.


Little River Canyon Field School


Bids were received and opened on April 5, 2007 and the apparent low bidder is Eidson and Associates from Cullman, AL with a base bid of $4,700,000.   Various alternates are being reviewed and evaluated for acceptance depending on available funds.


Chimney Peak Observatory


The building structure is complete.   Installation of the telescope mount and controlling mechanism for the dome and telescope to function in unison has been a technological problem for the contractor.  Specialty vendors have been located and will be employed to get the system functioning within the next 90 days.   This project will greatly enhance the University’s astronomical programs which can be shared with public schools.


Art Department Annex Building


CCS-Duncan of Madison, AL is the General Contractor on this project.   The contractor is making progress. However, the roof system is not complete at this time.   The incomplete roof prevents permanent materials i.e., insulation, drywall, from being installed.   This roof issue could create a schedule slippage in completion time if not addressed expeditiously by the contractor.  The architect has been directed to issue a “Notice to Cure” to the contractor to highlight this delaying issue.

Stadium Scoreboard and Other Electronic Campus Signage


Daktronics, Inc., Canton, GA was the low bidder for this project which included a new scoreboard for Paul Snow Stadium, a second scoreboard mounted to the Field House facing the field and alternates for electronic message boards at Montgomery Building, and Pete Mathews Coliseum.   Steel columns arrived and were erected on March 12 and 13.   Metal framing and sign panels were installed at the end of March.   Electricians are very busy with underground conduits and pulling wire to the system.   The display board is scheduled to be operational for April graduation. The Montgomery Building sign is operational. The new message board at the Coliseum is up but needs the conduit run underneath the parking lot before it, too, can be operational.


Hopper Cafeteria Dishwashing Machine Replacement


Hale Building Company, Inc., of Anniston, AL was the low bidder with a base bid of $286,900.  Materials have been ordered with demolition and installation scheduled for early May depending on material availability.


University Activities




The Office of Admissions is pleased to announce that Spring Preview Days 2007 were a great success.  309 students registered in February and 284 registered in March for a total of 593 new students registered for Fall Semester 2007. This is the highest total since the beginning of registration at preview days in 1995.


The Fall Semester 2007 application and acceptance numbers are the highest ever recorded. The total in your Board manual reflects applications as of March 28th. The Office of Admissions is pleased to inform you that the application count as of last Wednesday April 11th was 2,753 for newly accepted first time freshman and transfer students. This is an increase of 264 or 11% above last year at this time. Our number of new applications for first time freshman and transfer students from Georgia are also the highest ever recorded. 548 new applications from Georgia have been accepted for an increase of 82 applications or 17.6%. In view of Georgia’s excellent Hope Scholarship Program, this is significant and speaks to the value that is Jacksonville State University in quality and cost.


University Housing


University Housing occupancy for the last month of spring semester is 95% ; representing only a 2% decrease from the beginning of Spring Semester 2007. The report indicates that university housing: apartments, houses and residence halls accommodate 1,549 students.


At the last two Board meetings: October and January you learned that the JSU Foundation is considering a proposal to the Board that would build apartment like dormitories and provide 300 to 500 additional living spaces on campus. In January the Housing Project Committee of the Foundation chose University Housing Services (UHS) to assist them in studying the feasibility of this project. The University agreed to retain Anderson  Strickler, LLC to conduct a study that would assist in identifying the type of facility best suited to JSU’s student needs. A draft of the executive summary of that study is provided for your review under Tab 6. The final report will be mailed to each of you for your review. The study indicates support among JSU students for additional University housing to be built in the apartment style of 2 private bedrooms and/or 4 private bedrooms in suite arrangements that share a common living area and kitchenette (microwave, refrigerator & sink). The study recommends construction of approximately 400 beds. The Foundation has not completed its plans at this point but should be able to do so by the July Board meeting. New housing initiatives need to be pursued at the end of the current housing bond obligation which ends in 2008. The University will need additional campus housing in order to maintain a viable residential student life program for campus, whether the Foundation plans to pursue the project or not.


Governmental Affairs


The two issues before the Alabama Legislature this session that have the most significance for Jacksonville State University are the annual appropriation and the bond issue. The appropriation for Jacksonville State University as proposed by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education is $47,719,889 or an 11.7% increase. Unfortunately Governor Riley was not as generous and proposed $45,743,061 or a 7.09% increase. Considering the mandatory increases in Teacher Retirement Rate of $679,924 and the increased cost of health insurance, Public Education Employees Health Insurance Plan (PEEHIP) of $606,967 for a total of $1,286,891; the balance of new money (increase above last year's budget) left under the Governor's proposal would be $1,741,767. Although the Governor proposed a 7% salary increase for education employees, this would not be enough for the University to offer any raise and meet the cost increase for utilities and additional expenditures for a campus with growing enrollments. A 1% raise for JSU employees is approximately $500,000. Therefore a 7% increase would be approximately $3.5 million. Jacksonville State University faculty and staff deserve a 7% increase in salary as do our partners in elementary and secondary education. This is the position of Jacksonville State University and that of the Partnership for Higher Education.


The State Bond Issue, as supported by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, called for a $1 billion issue split between elementary/secondary education at 60% and higher education 40%. The Governor’s proposal is for $850 million to be split between elementary/secondary education 71% and higher education 29%. In your Board manual under Tab 6 is a summary of bond issues for education through the Alabama Public School and College Authority for the last 11 issues dating back to 1959. The historical split has been elementary/secondary education 63.9% and higher education 36.10%. The position of Jacksonville State University will be to support that of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.


Academic Affairs  


Dr. Rebecca Turner, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, has prepared her report in your binder under “Tab 6” which you may read at your leisure. The Board is aware that Chairman Bennett requested that a report on the University’s Comprehensive Plan to reach an enrollment of 10,000 students be prepared for this meeting. Dr. Turner, her staff, as well as other vice presidents and staff have prepared a presentation and handouts to answer all the questions in Mr. Bennett’s letter and familiarize our Trustees with the University’s ongoing plan that has brought us to 9,000 students and our plan to achieve the 10,000 enrollment goal. Dr. Turner will present the academic portion and Mr. Garner will present our marketing objectives.




Athletic Director Jim Fuller will present his Athletic Report


Business Affairs Report


Mr. Carlson will present the University’s Cash Management and Investment Report later on the agenda. But if there are any questions of Business Affairs he will be glad to respond.


Institutional Advancement


Mr. Joe Serviss, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, will provide a brief update of our capital campaign and present the Spring 2007 Gem of the Hills alumni magazine.




William A. Meehan


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