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20 July 2007
New Art Building on JSU Campus to be Named Gladys M. Carlisle Applied Arts Building

By Jennifer Bacchus
News Staff Writer

Reprinted here in its entirety.

Mrs. Gladys Carlisle is presented a resolution in recognition of her many years of service to the university. Making the presentation are, from left, Jim Bennett, JSU Board of Trustees Chairman, and JSU President, Dr. William A. Meehan. Photo: Steve Latham/JSU Photography

The October meeting of Jacksonville State University’s Board of Trustees will be the last for Gladys Carlisle, who has served as a member of the board for 22 years. In honor of her service, the new art building on campus will be named the Gladys M. Carlisle Applied Arts Building.

“This has truly, truly caught me by surprise,” Carlisle said as she accepted the proclamation from JSU President Dr. William Meehan and Board Chairman Jim Bennett at Monday’s board meeting. “I truly, truly have enjoyed my 22 years of service. I have seen growth, growth, growth, growth and I truly have enjoyed my service here.”

The building, which will cost approximately $2.1 million, is being constructed by CCS-Duncan of Madison and is scheduled for completion in September.

“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,” said JSU President Dr. William Meehan at the board meeting.

Another project is also nearing completion. The Chimney Peak Observatory is in its final stages.

“The contractor, Hale Building Company, received the telescope mount and control mechanism for the dome and telescope to function in unison,” said Meehan, adding that the mount and controller will be installed this week.

The observatory has been in the works for several years and is expected to have a final cost of about $170,000.

During the July 16 meeting, the board approved a proposal by the athletic committee to research proposals for the expansion of Paul Snow Stadium. As part of the research, the committee plans to appoint a subcommittee to look at feasibility of selecting an architect and another subcommittee to research various ways of financing the project. They expect to have a report for the board at the October meeting.

Dr. Cynthia Harper, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies, showed a presentation to the board detailing how the department of education prepares its prospective teachers for teaching under the Alabama Reading Initiative.

“We are in line with what the state is promoting as effective teaching of reading,” said Harper, adding these standards came from the National Reading Panel.

The textbook used to instruct the future teachers has five components to teaching reading.

“Those are all scientific research-based techniques and strategies that will promote a significant increase in reading awareness and reading performance in children,” she said.

According to Harper, for most people, the reading instruction they received in kindergarten or first grade was the most important course of instruction they ever received.”

JSU’s education majors are instructed in several classes how to teach reading according to guidelines established by the ARI as well as how to evaluate students who may have difficulty reading.

“Our candidates not only take those two courses for skill development, they also take a theory and practicum course which is called EED 339,” said Harper, adding that during the practicum the future teachers teach reading to children.

Even during their internships, the students are paired with teachers who are ARI-trained where they teach 20 consecutive days.

Harper’s speech was given at the meeting in order to garner the board’s approval to make the same presentation for Governor Bob Riley. Her hope is to be allowed to give graduates of the education program an additional certification, illustrating their complete knowledge of the ARI program.

Of course, JSU education graduates will still have to attend the required Alabama Reading Initiative Academy once they are hired in a teaching position, but the additional certification will show their employers they already have a full knowledge of the program and the academy will serve to reinforce their existing knowledge.

In other action, the board:

• Heard from Dr. Alicia Simmons, head of Institutional Research and Assessment. Simmons outlined the program review process in place throughout the university. This program ensures continuous improvement of all university departments. Several areas begin the 18-month process each year. The first began in 2005 and have recently completed it. They were recognized at the meeting.

• Approved a new life insurance plan for JSU employees. The new plan from Fort Dearborn Life will be for twice each employee’s annual salary up to $300,000.

• Heard an enrollment update from Dr. Meehan for the fall 2007 semester. “The Office of Admissions reports that the fall semester 2007 application and acceptance numbers are the highest ever recorded,” said Meehan, adding that, as of July 11, 3,710 new freshmen and transfer students have applied, 490 more than last year and 753 new applications from Georgia have been accepted.

About Jennifer Bachus

Jennifer Bacchus is a staff writer at The Jacksonville News. She can be reached at 256-435-5021 or via e-mail at

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