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16 July 2007

President's Quarterly Report to Board of Trustees

President’s Report

Board of Trustees

July 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


Groundbreaking ceremony occurred on June 11 and project signage was installed.   Eidson and Associates from Cullman, Alabama are proceeding with the project in an expeditious manner.  Site grading, foundation excavation and rebar preparations have occurred.  The concrete building pad will be poured in late July or early August.


Chimney Peak Observatory


The contractor, Hale Building Company, received the telescope mount and control mechanism for the dome and telescope to function in unison.  The mount and controller will be installed the week of July 16.   The contractor,  along with JSU faculty, will have to adjust and fine-tune the telescope’s operation.  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 State Building Commission Inspector conducted an “Above Ceiling Inspection” on July 11.   Historically, a project will take 6 to 8 weeks to fully complete after the “Above Ceiling Inspection” process.   Based on previous experience and the current status of the building’s interior and exterior work remaining, mid- to late September would be a realistic completion schedule for this project.


Stadium Scoreboard and Other Electronic Campus Signage


In early June, Daktronics conducted on-site training for various JSU personnel on the operation of the two scoreboards in Paul Snow Stadium and the video display boards at Theron E. Montgomery Building and Pete Mathews Coliseum.   A deductive change order is being processed to recoup some dollar savings realized on the voluntary alternate to the steel support structure and several minor items associated with this project.  The messages boards are fully operational and the display board at Paul Snow Stadium was used for graduation April 27 and will be used again August 3rd for Summer Commencement. After summer graduation the next use will be for our 2007 JSU Football Season opener at home with the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga September 8th at 2:30 p.m.


University Activities




The Office of Admissions reports that the Fall Semester 2007 application and acceptance numbers are the highest ever recorded. The total in your Board manual under “Tab 6” reflects applications as of July 11th which are 3,710 for newly accepted first time freshman and transfer students. This is an increase of 490 or 15.2% above last year. Our number of new applications for first time freshman and transfer students from Georgia are also the highest ever recorded; 753 new applications from Georgia have been accepted for an increase of 160 applications or 26.9%. In view of Georgia’s excellent Hope Scholarship Program, this is significant and speaks to the value of  Jacksonville State University in quality and cost.


University Housing


University Housing has reservations for the Fall Semester at the occupancy rate of 92%. Housing has been extremely busy accommodating the University’s summer camps which are up in attendance, thanks to the efforts of our Department of Continuing Education and our Athletics programs. Mr. Fuller will have a report on the summer sports camp later.


 Governmental Affairs


The Alabama Legislature passed and Governor Riley approved an appropriation for Jacksonville State University of $49, 030,131 or a 14.78 % increase. The increase of $6,315,728 includes an appropriation of $1,700,000 for the Alabama Small Business Administration Institute of Commerce, $60,000 for the Alabama Writing Project, and $500,000 for the JSU Wellness Initiative, and other items totaling approximately $3.75 million. Considering the mandatory increases in Teacher Retirement Rate of $679,924 and the increased cost in 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) will be $1,273,837.


In your notebook under Tab 6 is the Annual Undergraduate and Graduate Tuition and Required Fees Combined list for all four-year public institutions of higher education. The list indicates that JSU is the only four-year institution not raising tuition. The annual cost for 15 semester hours at JSU is 5,070. The median undergraduate cost for tuition and mandatory fees for 15 semester hours in Alabama is $5040. JSU is within $30 of this median.


The State Bond Issue passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor awarded JSU $4,575,928 from the Alabama Public School and College Authority Bond Issue of 2007. Within the Bond Issue legislation is a fund for the Alabama School and College Education Incentive Fund of $55,000,000. Jacksonville State University intends to vigorously pursue these funds for its  additional capital projects approved by the Board within the University’s Master Plan for the year 2025.


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. In May of this year, the Board’s Executive Committee met with Governor Riley to discuss the Capital Campaign and Master Plan for the University. During that meeting Governor Riley challenged the University to develop a program that would provide graduates from the College of Education and Professional Studies with the skills and methodology taught through the Alabama Reading Initiative, thereby saving the State of Alabama the cost of providing additional training to these teachers. Dr. Turner and Dr. Cynthia Harper, Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies,  have prepared a program for Board approval that can be presented to Governor Riley after review by the State Department of Education and the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.


Dr. Turner will introduce JSU’s new Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Dr. Tim King.




Athletics Director Jim Fuller will present his Athletics Report  and JSU’s  new Associate Athletics Director  for External Affairs, Mr. Roger Schultz.


Business Affairs Report


Mr. Clint Carlson will present the Business Affairs report.


Institutional Advancement


Mr. Joe Serviss, Vice President for Institutional Advancement will provide a brief update of our capital campaign.


Program Review


Dr. Alicia Simmons, Director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, presented earlier this year the University’s process of Program Review, a rigorous system of internal assessment and quality control through which all programs and units within the University undergo a study of effectiveness. This year a number of our programs have completed this process and are ready to be recognized. I ask Dr. Simmons  to briefly review this process with you and then recognize the units completing Program Review.



William A. Meehan



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