On January 25, Jacksonville State University’s Board of Trustees held its first meeting of the new year at the Houston Cole Library.

Following an invocation from President Beehler, each committee spoke of its current affairs and plans for the year.

A new committee dedicated to the advancement of the university was introduced. The advancement committee will work with fundraising, marketing and alumni associations to recruit new students and help increase enrollment.

President Beehler reported that the university has seen a 125 percent increase in freshmen applications for fall 2016, with over 4,400 admission applications. Transfer enrollment has also seen a 79 percent increase. Beehler credited the recent football playoffs for helping with the increase in interest in Jacksonville State.

The previous football season generated $58.7 million in earned media coverage due to the coverage of the football team during the race for the national championship.

Beehler and Trustee Thomas Dedrick, Sr. spoke on the academic performance of JSU’s athletes. The average GPA of all athletes at Jacksonville is 3.1, with 14 of 16 campus sports reporting GPAs above 3.0 among all of their students.

During the meeting, SGA president Tyler Brown announced the plastic and mixed paper recycling program that will begin on campus, with drop-off locations at six university buildings.

The board recognized the Nursing lab, which features a complete operating room to allow more hands on learning to students.

Chandni Khadka was also introduced at the meeting as the new director of the International House.

A graduate studies roundtable was announced, which will meet to discuss ways to re-energize and grow the graduate programs offered at JSU.

With the creation of the new advancement committee,  increase in enrollment and other changes and programs on campus, Beehler was optimistic about the growth of the university, saying that “although JSU may be a hidden gem, we are working to be noticed more and more every day.”

Dustin Fox
Staff Reporter

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