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30 January 2008

President’s Report

Board of Trustees

January 28, 2008

Capital Projects

State Building Commission - Campus Demolition


Taylor Corporation has completed the demolition of the steam plant, Abercrombie and Luttrell Hall but requested a substantial change order which was denied by the University. Taylor Corporation petitioned the State Building Commission to review the claim dispute.   A hearing date is scheduled for February 28, 2008, 9:00 a.m., in Montgomery to address and resolve this issue.


Little River Canyon Field School


The Building site has changed significantly and the building is in “the dry”.  The contractor, Eidson and Associates, is making good progress with dry weather, delivery of materials and sound project management practices.  Interior sheet rock and stone work on the exterior are being installed.  Hole boring for the geo-thermal system is also underway.

Currently, the project is slightly ahead of schedule.


Chimney Peak Observatory


Hale Building Company has completed the construction phase of this project. The delicate work of fine tuning the telescope’s operation with the contractor, staff from the Information Technology and faculty in the Department of Physical and Earth Sciences has begun to make the entire system remotely operational. This project will greatly enhance the University’s astronomical programs which can be shared with public schools.


The Gladys M. Carlisle Fine Arts Facility


The Bonding Company, Greater American Insurance Company, has taken over the project from CSS Duncan.   They are making a major effort to resolve and correct the outstanding issues with this facility.  The roof warranty appears to be the big item to be resolved to obtain a Substantial Completion Certificate for this project.


Governmental Affairs


I believe all of you are aware that the slowing economy has reduced the funds brought to the State of Alabama through state income tax and sales tax. In anticipation of the reduced growth of the Education Trust Fund, the Council of College and University Presidents and the Alabama Commission of Higher education, have developed a Unified Budget Recommendation that consists of the following:


·        That colleges and universities receive last year’s appropriation as a base.

·        That health insurance and retirement rate increases be fully funded.

·        That $30 million be split on the basis of the ACHE Standard Index.


Jacksonville State University’s portion of the Unified Budget Request is $50,277,217. This represents a budget increase of $1,247,086 with $437,234 for retirement increases, $197, 280 for health insurance increases and $612, 572 as an increase in the ACHE indices. The total represents an increase of approximately 2.54% for JSU. A copy of the budget request is in your Board manual under Tab 6.


University Activities




The University’s Spring Semester 2008 enrollment is 8,617 students. This exceeds last spring by 228 students. In addition to the individual headcount increase, credit hour production (the number of courses taken by students) was up 2,850 credit hours over last spring. This represents approximately 950 additional 3 hour course registrations this spring.


Under Tab 6 in your binder is the Credit Hours Report comparing the Spring 2008 and Spring 2007. This report provides a detailed breakdown of the credit information for spring semester and the headcount by college. Colleges of Business, Education and Nursing indicated increases in enrollment. Only the College of Arts and Sciences had a slight decrease of 47 students from last spring.


University Housing


University Housing has reported the Spring occupancy rate under Tab 6 of 97% for all available beds 1,609. Residence halls have an average occupancy of 97%, University apartments 96% and University houses at 100%.


I want to commend the Trustees for recognizing the need for additional university student housing. The current debt structure for the university’s residence halls will be reduced significantly within the next academic year. I appreciate the support which our Trustees have given to adding approximately 400 beds to campus housing in a suite-style arrangement. Our plans for 10,000 students will have to include additional housing to accommodate the suite-style which is the preference of today’s student.


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. Dr. Turner will mention some of the significant academic affairs announcements and introduce Dr. Tim King who will make a presentation about the University’s enrollment management plans and a report from a review by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).


Institutional Advancement


Mr. Joe Serviss, Vice President for Institutional Advancement has provided a copy the University’s Annual Report for 2006-2007 for your review and will provide a brief update of our capital campaign. Following that he will introduce Mr. Tim Garner JSU’s Marketing Consultant. You will recall at our Board meeting in October 2006 Mr. Tim Garner shared with us his ideas and strategies for developing an integrated marketing plan for the University. He comes today to share the progress he has made as well as his recommendations and strategies for communicating the good news about Jacksonville State University.




Athletic Director Jim Fuller will present his Athletic Report and a special recognition of our Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Steve Bailey.


Office of Institutional Research and Assessment


Dr. Alicia Simmons, Director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment has presented each of you with a copy of the Fact Book for 2007-2008. This is an invaluable tool for our faculty and staff as it presents the statistical facts about our university



William A. Meehan



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