Date: Thu, 05 May 2005 12:10:01 -0500 (CDT)
From: President's Office <>
Subject: End of the Year Report
Sender: fslist-request@lists.usouthal.eduMay 5, 2005TO: Faculty and Staff

FROM: V. Gordon Moulton

As another academic year draws to a close, it is an appropriate time to review the year's events and accomplishments toward the University's missions of teaching, research and service.

USA's ever-strengthening academic reputation again resulted in a record number of students, with average ACT scores also continuing to rise well above the state and national norms. Fall enrollment of 13,538 included record graduate enrollment of 2,734 and maintained USA's status as one of Alabama's fastest-growing universities. Graduate program popularity further illustrated the academic maturing of the institution.

USA this year made progress in several areas to enhance our academic programs and campus atmosphere.
* We successfully recruited 74 new full-time faculty and filled several key department head positions.
* We completed the campus transit system, Stanky Field, and began work on the Student Services building.
* Plans moved forward and a site was selected for the Nursing/Allied Health Professions building, as progress was also made toward securing funds for the Science and Engineering complex. Work continued on the Archaeology building.
* The institutional effort toward improving student retention through graduation was strengthened.
* The Campus Diversity Committee successfully created an action plan to enhance diversity among our faculty and staff.

USA's research mission this year also saw significant achievement.
* Construction began on the second building in USA's Technology and Research Park, with the first building fully utilized through University/industry partnerships.
* Awards for competitive research and sponsored programs continued to grow, with total external funding expected to be a record $50 million when the fiscal year endsin September. Federal direct appropriations reached a record $26 million, totaling more than $101 million over the past seven years. These projects touch a wide range of academic interests including medicine, the environment, protection of the coastline and its animal life, energy, music, archaeology and youth violence prevention.

The University made numerous strides in its service mission.
* The USA Cancer Research Institute made several key hires, and the University broke ground on the CRI building adjacent to USA Knollwood Hospital. The event attracted a comprehensive list of political leaders, including the Governor, Alabama's Congressional delegation, and city, county and state leaders.
* The University continued to meet the community's health care needs by serving more than a quarter million patients, as well as providing the vast majority of care for uninsured people within our community.
* USA produced 2,417 graduates, bringing total degrees awarded to 55,417.

A dramatic increase in private giving again signaled USA's rising stock among its constituents. After setting a record for private gifts in 2004, the development program continued its momentum with similar success expected when final numbers are tabulated for this year. USA's employees gave at record levels through the recent Faculty and Staff Annual Fund, setting new marks for number participating and amount given.

USA's growing reputation as a productive and effective educational and economic engine for the region is reaping rewards in the legislative arena as well. In the coming year, USA is expected to receive a respectable increase in state funds to help make up for dramatic cuts during the post-September 11 economic recession. Maintaining competitive faculty and staff salaries will remain the top priority for new dollars.

While the University certainly has had a successful year by all measures, we must also remain vigilant in addressing the challenges before us. We must continue working together to make the case that adequate state funding is vital for our universities to make the maximum positive impact on the quality of life in our state. We must insure that higher education remains affordable for those whom we serve. We must strengthen our efforts to support every student's academic success through graduation, as well as continue to work to diversify our faculty and staff. Our greatest creativity and resourcefulness will be required as our hospitals continue to grapple with financial challenges brought on by inadequate public policy that forces us to pay the health care costs for many of society's most vulnerable people. Like we have always done, we must continue to work with unity to find the best solutions for these complex issues.

As a member of the University of South Alabama family, you are vital to the institution's success in our many important missions. As we prepare to celebrate commencement, I congratulate you on a successful year, and wish you a safe and productive summer.