Graduate Council Advisory Committee
HUC Board Room
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Members present: John Johnstone, Gregg Janowski, Jim Collawn, Bryan Noe, Susan Rich, Jeff Engler, David Macrina, Erica Pryor, Mary MacDougall

Staff: Thomas Harris, Cyndi Ballinger, Susan Banks

Informational Items:

    1. Dr. Noe opened meeting by introducing the two new ADCOM committee members, John Johnstone representing Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Gregg Janowski who will serve as the Engineering representative.  Cyndi Ballinger, representing the Graduate School, was also introduced as an ex-officio member.
    2. The first information item was the 2010 Budget. Dr. Noe informed ADCOM that stipend budget will remain flat; there will be no reductions despite the recent pre-ration.  A cap will be placed on the tuition dollars programs can commit and the Graduate School operating budget has been decreased.  Money for ESL matching will end, the Ireland Award funding will be cut (these reductions were later reversed), and availability of bridging resources for student support will also be eliminated.

    3. The second information item touched briefly on the reporting requirements for training grants and the reporting period. As of Oct. 1, the percentage of students who receive degrees will be a required item.

    4. The third information item centered on the proposed release of the NRC report during the Fall Semester.  The rankings provided as ranges. Each program will be need to compare itself to programs that fall into a similar ranking range.

    5. The fifth information focused on changes to the scorecard goals. The current scorecard will be expiring for 2005 – 2010. There will be some modifications to the  scorecard parameters for 2010 - 2015.  Enrollment in Nursing programs increased 38% between fall 2008 and fall 2009, SBS, 10%; ENG, 7%; NS&M, 7%. Goal for enrollment is 5,600 (1.5% increases annually) by 2015.   To potentially increase minority enrollment, a proposal to develop a Graduate Diversity Fellowship has been submitted to the Provost. The awards will be administered through the Graduate School.  If funds are made available from the anonymous donor gift earnings, matching funds will be provided from the current stipend budget to expand the number of fellowships which can be awarded.

    6. The sixth information item was a short discussion of mentorship. The GBS office has invested in newly published CGS booklets for program directors and new faculty. The content provides guidelines for graduate student - mentor interactions.

    7. The seventh informational item was Fiscal 2011 Stipend Allocation review. Pre-populated forms will go out Oct. 15. Deadline for receipt of completed applications will be Nov. 15. Review by December 15.

    8. The eighth information item covered the GBS and the reorganization of the JHS programs into interdisciplinary themes.   There will be eight new thematic programs with faculty participation and a central support office. GBS faculty have developed a core curriculum, admissions process, faculty support, and a system to assist with training grant application preparation. The paradigm for the new theme based programs has been sent to the Board of Trustees as an information item.
    9. The ninth information item briefly discussed the Survey for Scholarly integrity. The survey covers ethics education for students and explores range of knowledge and attitude toward SI of students and faculty.

Action Items:

    1. First agenda item was a proposal presented by Occupational Therapy to eliminate the GRE requirement. OT’s proposal stated that the GRE was not a critical factor in determining success in the graduate program. Less than half of competitor programs require GRE scores.  ADCOM members approved the proposal.
    2. The second item on the agenda was the recommendation for standard requirements for granting the MSBMS degree. UAB, in the past, has been granting the MSBMS with no thesis project as a requirement. The MSBMS degree should contain a research component. There is no consistency in the way the degree is awarded within the JHS programs. Some departments have used the degree as an exit strategy to allow students who wish to leave prior to completing the PhD requirements to earn a degree. The MSBMS requirements will be set based on policy already implemented in the Cell Biology program.  ADCOM voted unanimously to require program consistency with awarding the MSBMS degree
    3. The last agenda item was the suggested requirement for assigning a Co-Advisor when a student’s mentor moves to another institution. Recommendations by ADCOM were that a Co-mentor must be at UAB, the Co-mentor will act as an advocate for the student in the absence of their primary mentor. ADCOM voted unanimously to approve the recommendation.

 (ADCOM web site is

The meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.