JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

President's Report to Trustees

OCTOBER 20, 2003


Ford Center 3rd Floor

This project is complete with only some minor punch list items remaining. Our partnership with Gadsden State Community College allows JSU to occupy the entire second floor of the Joe Ford Economic Development Center. Following your approval as Trustees, this project (JSU's portion-$125,000) was awarded to Barclay-Hayes in April 2003.

Chimney Peak

The initial phase of the roadway has been completed and the University has accepted the project. The City of Jacksonville is preparing formal action to incorporate the roadway into the city. The City and University are assessing funding options for completion of the roadway to Mountain Avenue.

Vandalism at the summit of Chimney Peak has been considerable. The University after meeting with Jacksonville City officials constructed a fence across the road, below the tower and has repaired it twice since installation. In an attempt to thwart this vandalism, cameras have been installed in hopes of identifying the perpetrators.

Chimney Peak Observatory

The site location for the Chimney Peak observatory has been selected adjacent to the new antenna location. The construction documents for the observatory are in the development phase but we will not begin construction until the vandalism issues have been resolved.

Ayers Hall Renovation

Chorba Contracting is making good progress on the renovation of Ayers Hall with 18% of the facility complete. The project is scheduled to be finished November 2004 and ready for classes Spring Semester.

Roof Replacement 2002

This project included roofing for five University buildings and is complete. However, one building, Stephenson Hall, is still having problems with roof leaks. The contractor, Standard Roofing, has been requested to resolve the leaking roofs immediately.

Roof Replacement 2003

Alabama Roofing and Sheet Metal Company is progressing very well and presently working on Daugette Hall and Bibb Graves Hall. The roofing project addresses the flat portions of these buildings as well as Crow, Dixon, Curtiss, and Fitzpatrick Halls.

McClellan Building 3181

The contract, which you as Trustees approved in July was awarded to Dawson Building Contractors, Inc., of Rainbow City, on August 8, 2003. Notice to proceed was issued September 8, 2003. This project is in partnership with Gadsden State Community College and is scheduled for completion fall 2004.

Multi-Purpose Building

The contract was awarded following Board approval to Tom Roberts Construction in April 2003. The project is approximately 20% complete. The project is scheduled to be completed by August 2004.

Field House Renovations

The Field House construction documents are being finalized for the bid process by the architect.

Library Elevator and Interior Improvements

The contract was awarded to Hudak and Dawson in June 2003. Notice to proceed was issued in July following Board approval. This project is making very noticeable improvements to Library's interior. New elevators are a much-needed improvement.


Contracts for paving were completed before the start of the fall semester. The resurfacing includes 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 as well as approximately 160 additional parking spaces, 74 at Daugette and 86 at Stone Center.

Boiler Installation

The contract awarded to Mid-South Controls in December 2002 is complete and final inspection was held October 12, 2003. All boilers have been fired and are operational for the heating system.

Coliseum Track

The Coliseum track project which began in May was completed in August. The project included repair and resurfacing of the track by Lower Brothers Construction.

Lighting Retrofit

This project awarded to Braswell Electric is 99% complete. Five buildings have been completed: Brewer, Wallace, Stone Center, Mason (Home Economics side) and Merrill Halls. Only a few light fixtures in Merrill Hall are awaiting materials in order to be finished.

Fitzpatrick Exterior Improvements

Hester Construction has completed the project which made significant contributions to repairing the decaying column work and the appearance of this residence hall.

Little River Canyon Field School

With your action as Trustees in accepting the purchase of Alabama Power Company property at Little River Canyon from the JSU Foundation, we can now finalize plans for construction of the Field School and the $1.8 million in federal funds JSU has been appropriated.


Fall Enrollment Report

I am very pleased to report that our Fall Semester 2003 enrollment has again reached an all time record of 9,031. This headcount enrollment represents 7,289 undergraduates and 1,742 graduates. Graduate enrollment grew by 7.6% over last fall and now accounts for 19% of the University's total enrollment. Over the last ten years, graduate enrollment has grown each year. Undergraduate new student enrollment decreased slightly with first time freshmen 16 less than last fall and first time transfers enrollment the same as last fall for a combined total of 1,828.

Our online enrollment has continued to increase and help reach our enrollment goals. This fall 66 sections of courses are using online instruction with an enrollment of 1,879 students. Another 3,769 students in 155 sections are using online instruction to supplement classroom instruction.

The demographic projections for Alabama 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, especially those working in admissions both undergraduate and graduate and our Enrollment Management Committee will reach this goal through attracting additional students both traditional and online while retaining our current students. I want them to know that their hard work is making a difference and that we appreciate their efforts.

Housing Report

In hall residences, the total number of beds available is 1,276. We currently have an 88% occupancy rate. In apartments, we have a total number of 203 beds available with an 83% occupancy rate. There are a total number of eleven houses available with a 92% occupancy rate.

Annual Report 2002-2003

This year Jacksonville State University demonstrated once again that it is shaping the talent of our students very well indeed. While there are many problems and challenges facing us, you, our trustees, the faculty and staff prove year after year, your resiliency and determination. Thanks to the energetic and dynamic interaction between trustees, faculty, staff, and students, our University is as vital and strong as ever.

I want to draw your attention to just a few of the milestones you accomplished last year. It is a story of success thanks to your hard work and a story in which we can all take pride.

Our Institutional Self-Study was completed and I am sure our reaffirmation of accreditation by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools will be confirmed at the annual meeting this December. For the first time, we received a commendation from a visiting team for our university's commitment to student services, specifically for student services at JSU-Gadsden.

The University achieved an all-time high enrollment, growing by the largest percentage increase of any four-year institution in Alabama--7.1% and Graduate Studies increased enrollment by 9.4%.

We hosted the Jimmy Carter Work Project and Habitat for Humanity by providing facilities, food, and support for the thousands of volunteers who visited our campus during the opening and closing ceremonies. And we provided housing for more than 800 habitat volunteers who lived on campus along with former President Carter while they constructed 36 new homes in one week. In addition, JSU employees contributed more than $7,000 for JCWP building material.

Eighty-one grant applications requesting $9.2 million were submitted, resulting in 69 grants and contracts totaling $7.6 million. A remarkable accomplishment for an institution that places such emphasis on teaching, not so much in volume of grants or dollars awarded but in a success rate of 83%.

Major campus improvements included paving, renovation projects, energy-saving upgrades to natural gas, the retrofitting of major buildings to energy efficient lighting, increased outdoor lighting, landscaping, and the costly replacement of chillers in five buildings.

The College of Commerce and Business Administration established a concentration in Real Estate Development.

The College of Arts and Sciences received approval from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education for a Master of Science in Emergency Management.

The College of Education and Professional Studies opened the new Child Development Center at McClellan.

The Department of Technology and Engineering laid groundwork for a Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Technology.

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences reported a 91 percent pass rate on the NCLEX exam for the period from October 2001 through September 2002. By comparison, the Alabama pass rate was 86.4% and the national pass rate was 86.3%. The college also experienced a 24 percent increase in entry-level enrollment.

Information Technology upgraded the JSU Internet connection increasing our speed of access.

Financial Aid distributed $8.2 million in Pell Grants, $26.9 million in Direct Loans, and $475,000 in Supplemental Grants.

Alumni Affairs reports that the "Online Community" now has over 10,000 members.

The News Bureau produced more than 260 public service radio programs, assisted with the production of a weekly newspaper column, and collected more than 6,000 column inches of JSU publicity clippings.

In athletics, JSU had one of the largest cumulative seasons of success since the move to Division I in 1995, with a long list of post-season appearances, championships, honors and awards. Ninety-six student athletes earned Academic All-Conference honors. JSU was recognized by USA Today as being in the Top Ten Percent of Division I Schools with the most improved athlete GPA's.

All of this speaks to the excellent manner in which we all work together and make a difference for our students. I hope you will share this information with others and if you would like additional copies please let us know.

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