Jacksonville State University

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Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville State University seal.png
Motto The friendliest campus in the South.
Established 1883
Type Public
Endowment $79.9 million[1]
President William A. Meehan
Academic staff 484
Students 8,659 (Fall 2014)[2]
Undergraduates 7,588 (Fall 2013)
Postgraduates 1,105 (Fall 2013)
Location Jacksonville, Alabama, United States
33°49′19″N 85°45′58″W / 33.822°N 85.766°W / 33.822; -85.766Coordinates: 33°49′19″N 85°45′58″W / 33.822°N 85.766°W / 33.822; -85.766
Campus Suburban (small city)
Former names Jacksonville State Normal School (1883–1930)
Jacksonville State Teachers College (1930–1957)
Jacksonville State College (1957–1967)
Newspaper The Chanticleer
Colors Red and White          
Mascot Jacksonville State Gamecocks
Website www.jsu.edu
Jsu logo2.png

Jacksonville State University (JSU) is a regional public coeducational university located in Jacksonville, Alabama, USA. Founded in 1883, Jacksonville State offers programs of study in five academic units leading to Bachelor's, Master's, Education Specialist, and Doctorate in addition to continuing and distance education programs. In the Fall semester of 2011, JSU began offering the school's first doctoral degree, Doctor of Science in Emergency Management.[3]

The university was founded as Jacksonville State Normal School, and in 1930 the name changed to Jacksonville State Teachers College, and again in 1957 to Jacksonville State College. The university began operating as Jacksonville State University in 1967. In 2008, the university celebrated its 125th anniversary.

JSU currently has an enrollment of nearly 9,000 students, with nearly 500 faculty members (more than 320 of whom are full-time). Jacksonville State's Business School was ranked within the nation's 90th percentile by the Princeton Review. The current University President is Dr. William A. Meehan.

Jacksonville State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In addition, 40 academic programs (79% of programs that can be accredited) earned specialized programmatic accreditations. These programs include business, education, engineering and technology, nursing, social work, drama, art, music, computer science, family and consumer science, and communication.

221 international students representing 73 countries were enrolled in the 2013-2014 academic year. The University has run its International House program, an international exchange program, for over 60 years.[4]

History[edit]

From its origins as a two-year state normal school established to train teachers, Jacksonville State University (JSU) has grown into a major educational center in northeast Alabama. JSU offers more than 150 courses of study, including 24 graduate master's degree programs, two graduate certificate programs, and an extensive distance-learning program. The university also offers pre-professional programs in medicine and law, criminal justice, social work, environmental management, and music. Located in Jacksonville, Calhoun County, the school's 459-acre campus is almost equidistant from Anniston to the south and Gadsden to the north. The school also is situated just north of Interstate 20 nearly mid-way between Birmingham, Jefferson County, and Atlanta, Georgia.[5]

The institution that would become JSU was established on February 22, 1883, when Gov. Edward O'Neal signed into law a bill creating the State Normal School (SNS) at Jacksonville. The new school acquired the facilities and equipment of Calhoun College, which consisted of 12 acres of land and a two-story brick building and which closed upon its acquisition by the SNS. The State Normal School at Jacksonville offered a comprehensive teacher preparatory curriculum with strong emphasis in mathematics and English to train primary and intermediate school teachers and a two-year collegiate department.[5]

The Board of Directors elected James C. Ryals Jr. as first president of the SNS at Jacksonville in 1883. Ryals, a native of Bartow County, Georgia, opened the new normal school with three instructors. His tenure, however, was short; on April 18, 1885, at the age of 30, he died after a nine-day bout of pneumonia. A few days later, the Board of Directors named J. Harris Chappell, a faculty member of the Columbus (Georgia) Female Academy, to complete Ryals's term. After presenting diplomas to the first class in 1886, Chappell left for another post, and faculty member Carleton Bartlett Gibson, a Mobile native, stepped into the vacancy. Gibson served as president until 1892, when J. B. Jarrett took over for a brief time.[5]

In 1893, Jacob Forney IV, a Jacksonville native and an alumnus of the school's very first graduating class, began a six-year term as president. In February 1897, the Alabama State Legislature established a separate public school district for Jacksonville and gave the SNS president the authority to serve as superintendent over all schools within the district. The act also provided that the public schools would serve as teacher training schools for the SNS. Forney's brother-in-law Clarence W. Daugette, a science teacher at the school, succeeded him as president in 1899. In 1920, the school established extension programs that enabled grade-school teachers to take classes at more convenient times and locations.[5]

In 1921, the Alabama State Legislature appropriated funds to construct a building that is now called Kilby Hall and the core of Jacksonville Elementary Laboratory School. (This partnership continues to the present day, as JSU education majors still conduct their student teaching in Jacksonville City Schools.) Forney Hall, the men's dormitory, was built on adjacent property in 1927. A significant change came in 1929 when the school became a four-year institution and was renamed the State Teachers College. A third year of curriculum was added in the fall quarter of that same year, and a fourth year was added the following fall. Also in 1930, Bibb Graves Hall was constructed to house classrooms and administrative offices; it now serves as JSU's main administration building. The first bachelor of science degree in the field of education was awarded in 1931, and five years later, the college earned regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Despite the Great Depression, the school thrived, adding many buildings to the campus during the 1930s, including Ramona Wood Library, Daugette Hall, Hammond Hall, J. W. Stephenson Gymnasium, and Abercrombie Hall.[5]

After Daugette's death in 1942, Houston Cole became the seventh president. During his tenure, more than 20 buildings were completed or begun, including the student center, football stadium, nursing school, and police academy. In addition, Cole oversaw the establishment of the Student Government Association, ROTC program, and the International House program, which pairs American students with foreign-born students to promote language instruction and cultural exchange.[5]

In 1957, the name changed to Jacksonville State College after the first graduate program, a master's degree in elementary education was created. In August 1966, the State Board of Education (BoE) elevated the college to university status. One year later, the legislature established an independent Board of Trustees for the university and divested jurisdiction from the BoE. Barbara Curry, who enrolled in the fall of 1965, is believed to be the first African American student at Jacksonville State College. She graduated in 1969 with a bachelor of science in education with a concentration in vocational home economics. By 1966, many more African American students and educators began entering classes at JSU.[5]

In 1971, former State Superintendent of Education Ernest Stone succeeded Cole as university president. During Stone's tenure, the school hired many more educators with doctoral degrees, and enrollments increased to more than 6,500. In 1972, the university established JSU Gadsden, a branch campus in Etowah County. Theron Montgomery, a former sociology instructor, became president of JSU in 1981. Under his administration, university departments began seeking individual accreditation for their specific programs, and the Department of Technology was established in 1984. Additionally, a seven-month-long celebration of JSU's centennial took place, culminating in the dedication of a new courtyard in front of Bibb Graves Hall on February 23, 1983. Also to commemorate the event, the original school bell from Hames Hall on the old campus was given a permanent home in the new courtyard.[5]

In 1986, education administrator Harold McGee began his 13-year JSU presidency, during which enrollments increased by 30 percent, $50 million in capital improvements were added, and every eligible professional program was accredited. In addition, the university developed its first master plan and capital campaign, and the JSU Foundation endowment increased to more than $19 million. Also during McGee's tenure, the school made many technological advances, adding class registration via telephone, individual e-mail accounts, Internet access, online courses, and the use of compressed video to transmit classes. Graduate enrollment exceeded 1,000 for the first time in 1990, and JSU student Heather Whitestone became the first deaf Miss America in 1995.[5]

William A. Meehan, JSU's eleventh president, began his tenure in 1999. He had received bachelor's and master's degrees in biology from JSU and began teaching in the biology department at JSU in 1977, later earning a doctorate of education from the University of Alabama and serving in several administrative positions. Major accomplishments under Meehan have included establishing the Office of Distance Education in December 2004, opening JSU McClellan, a branch campus in Anniston, Calhoun County, in 2003, renovating the Houston Cole Library, and completing the $7 million Little River Canyon Center, which houses the National Park Service's headquarters for Little River Canyon National Preserve, and JSU's Little River Canyon Field School. The institution underwent a major project to increase campus housing and an expansion project at Paul Snow Stadium, which was scheduled and opened for occupation in August 2010. Other accomplishments include the successful launch and completion of a $25 million capital campaign held in conjunction with the university's 125th anniversary, establishment of the English Language Institute in 2005, and partnerships with four Chinese universities that will open new avenues for the exchange of research, faculty, staff, and students through study abroad programs. Under Meehan, enrollment has increased by 16 percent.[5]

In 2014, JSU's international community was made up of 234 students representing 71 countries. Overall, students experience a low student to teacher ratio (22:1) and have the opportunity to choose from among more than 100 clubs and organizations while pursuing their degrees. JSU also has a rich tradition in sports. The school's colors are red and white and its mascot is the Gamecock. It is the only school in the nation to lay claim to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national titles in football (1992), men's basketball (1985), baseball (1990 and 1991), and women's gymnastics (1984 and 1985). In 2001, placekicker Ashley Martin became the first woman to score in an NCAA football game, kicking three extra points in the Gamecocks' 72-10 victory over Cumberland University. JSU's football team competes in the Division I Championship Subdivision of the NCAA. JSU's marching band and auxiliary unit, the Southerners and Marching Ballerinas, was created in 1956 and has marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Jacksonville State University has for many years been referred to as "The Friendliest Campus in the South."[5]

Administration and University organization[edit]

Jacksonville State is administered by the President of Jacksonville State and the Jacksonville State Board of Trustees. Members of the board are appointed to set the policies of the university, and appoint senior management personnel. Under the doctrine of collective responsibility, the entire board is liable for the financial and other consequences of the organization's activities. The President of Jacksonville State has authority Jacksonville State where the president sees over the administrative direction of Jacksonville State University. The president oversees the work of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, the Athletic Director, the Vice President of Administration and Business Affairs, the Vice President of University Advancement, the Vice President of Information and Technology, and the Executive Director of Planning and Research. The president also oversees each vice president and director's subordinates as well.

Academic organization[edit]

Through Jacksonville State's six academic colleges, Jacksonville State offers career-centered programs to prepare for certain workforces. Offices such as Academic Affairs, Graduate Studies, International House and Programs, Distance Education, Tutoring, Off-Campus Programs and Sites, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Academic Center for Excellence, the University Library, and others help students through the courses of the four academic colleges.

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Commerce and Business Administration
  • College of Education and Professional Studies
  • College of Nursing and Health Services
  • College of Graduate Studies
  • College of Library Studies

Main and satellite campuses[edit]

Main campus[edit]

The JSU main campus has a 459-acre (1.9 km2) campus with 59 buildings in the Appalachian foothills of northeast Alabama. With this campus being the flagship campus for Jacksonville State, it offers large educational facilities, university housing and residence, on-campus dining, student centers, Greek housing, athletic facilities, student health and wellness facilities, administration offices, study centers, an international housing program, and a on-campus bookstore. The majority of students who study at Jacksonville State attend courses here.

Little River Canyon Center campus[edit]

The Little River Canyon Center campus opened to the public in 2009, and is a Jacksonville State University building located in Fort Payne, Alabama that adjoins the Little River Canyon National Preserve. A portion is leased to the National Park Service and the staff of the Little River Canyon National Preserve with a facility that features a Grand Hall, HD movie theater, gift shop, natural history library, exhibits, classrooms, back deck, outdoor amphitheater and trails for both education and adventure.[6]

McClellan campus[edit]

The Jacksonville State University Higher Education Consortium was established in 2003, and it houses two state schools: Jacksonville State University–McClellan Center, and Gadsden State Community College–McClellan Campus. Since 2005, the McClellan Center Building 3181 has been home to the Institute of Emergency Preparedness, In-Service, and the Northeast Alabama Police Academy. GSCC houses the traditional college students. Their EMS and 911 programs, in addition to the core classes of English, math, etc., are also housed in the building.[7]

Enrollment[edit]

In the fall of 2010 enrollment peaked at 9,504 students throughout the system, but this number fell slightly because the number of incoming freshman could not keep up with the number of graduating seniors. As of the Fall semester of 2013, the total number of students within the Jacksonville State system is is 8,693. The total of undergraduates total to 7,588 students while the total of graduates amount to 1,105 students.

Campus events[edit]

In April 2014, members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity were charged with illegal misconduct against students during a fraternity event, which led to an investigation by the fraternity's national headquarters and Jacksonville State University. The investigation led to charges against members of the fraternity due to illegal misconduct against students, embezzlement of chapter funds, and hazing of new members during the previous academic year. Sigma Phi Epsilon has been placed on total suspension, and is still being investigated by Jacksonville State University due to other allegations.

On January 1, 2012, the school's marching band and dance team, The Southerners and the Marching Ballerinas,[8] led the New Year's Day Parade in London, England which also kicked off the year-long celebration of both Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 London Summer Olympics.[9] The invitation to lead the parade came in September 2010, just as the Southerners learned that they had been awarded the nationally recognized George Washington Honor Medal for their patriotic 2009 show, "Of Thee I Sing."

In spring 2008, the website GetEducated.com ranked the Master of Science in Computer Systems and Software Design as second on its list of "best buys" among 67 online master's programs in computer science and information technology offered by regionally accredited institutions in the United States.[10] In spring 2010, they followed this with a third-place ranking for JSU's online nursing master's program[11] and a sixth-place ranking for the online nursing bachelor's degree.[12]

In October 2007, the College of Commerce and Business Administration was named one of the 290 best business schools in the world by The Princeton Review and ranked second in providing the greatest opportunities for women.

In 2007, the school broke ground for the 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) Little River Canyon Center. The building houses National Park Service offices, an exhibit hall, meeting space, classrooms, and comfort stations and is the site of the JSU Little River Canyon Field School, which sponsors dozens of activities, seminars and programs each year. In 1992, the canyon was designated a national preserve. During the summer months, the staff includes 15 park rangers.

In February 2006, Jacksonville State University was named the "winner" of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) Speech Code of the Month.[13] At the time, FIRE called the University Code of Conduct “illegally overbroad.” They considered the code to be in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution which protects offensive speech. The policy has since been changed.

Athletics[edit]

Athletics logo

Jacksonville State's athletics teams are nicknamed the Gamecocks. The school is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference in Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) in football, formerly I-AA, of the NCAA. The university's football team gained national attention in 2001 when Junior placekicker Ashley Martin became the first female football player to score a point in a Division I game tallying 3 points against Cumberland University.

The school fields varsity teams in 14 sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, cross country, football, men's and women's golf, rifle, women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, women's track and field, and volleyball. The football team plays in 25,000-seat Burgess-Snow Field. The men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams play in Pete Mathews Coliseum. Prior to the 1993–94 academic year, Jacksonville State competed in NCAA Division II athletics, winning national championships in men's basketball (1985), baseball (1990 and 1991), football (1992) and gymnastics (1984 and 1985).

Teams[edit]

Jacksonville State University sponsors one co-ed, six men's, and nine women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports:[14]

Football[edit]

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks football program is the intercollegiate American football team for Jacksonville State University. The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Ohio Valley Conference. Jacksonville State's first football team was fielded in 1904. The team plays its home games at the 24,500 seat Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium in Jacksonville, Alabama. The Gamecocks are coached by John Grass. Under the direction of head coach Bill Clark in 2013, the Gamecocks went 11-4 overall and received an at-large bid in the NCAA FCS Playoffs, winning two games during the playoffs and making it towards the FCS Quarterfinals. In two national pre-season polls, the Gamecocks were sixth by Athlon Sports and fourth by The Sporting News polls, respectfully.

Baseball[edit]

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks baseball team is a varsity intercollegiate athletic team of Jacksonville State University. The team is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, which is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. The team plays its home games at Rudy Abbott Field in Jacksonville, Alabama. The Gamecocks are coached by Jim Case. During the 2013-2014 campaign, the Gamecocks won the OVC championship and received an automatic bid for the College World Series.

Basketball[edit]

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks men's basketball team is the men's basketball team that represents Jacksonville State University. The school's team currently competes in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Women's basketball[edit]

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks women's basketball team is the women's basketball team that represents Jacksonville State University. The team currently competes in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Gamecocks were coached by Annette Watts until her resignation on June 4, 2013.

Softball[edit]

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks softball team represents Jacksonville State University in NCAA Division I college softball. The team participates in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). The Gamecocks are currently led by head coach Jana McGinnis. The team plays its home games at University Field located on the university's campus.

The Marching Southerners[edit]

An internationally known entity of Jacksonville State University, the Marching Southerners have been defining the future of marching band for over fifty years. Composed of students from all over the country, the Southerners perform for thousands each season. With class and excellence, the Southerners extend "The friendliest campus in the South" wherever they go, both on the field and off.[8]

Under the direction of Dr. Kenneth G. Bodiford, the Marching Southerners feature a corps marching style, the Marching Ballerinas, and the famous 20J's. Many of the 450+ member marching band are also members of Drum Corps International during the summer.[8]

2012 London New Year's Day Parade

The Marching Southerners were given the honor of leading the 2012 London New Year's Day Parade, which also celebrated the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.[15]

Greek Life[edit]

With hundreds of students, comprising over ten percent of the undergraduate student body, JSU is home to 20 social and 24 total Greek-letter organizations. The Greek community at JSU donates over 10,000 hours and over $100,000 annually to the local community and national charities in philanthropy work. Greek students who hold executive positions within Greek Life also have a cumulative overall 3.0 GPA, ranking as one of the highest in the nation among Greek-supporting schools. The Office of Student Life advises and provides guidance to the fraternities and sororities associated with the three Greek Governing Councils: Interfraternity Council (IFC), the National Panhellenic Council (NPC), and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).[16]

Chapter name, their year founded, and other information are in parentheses

Sororities[edit]

Panhellenic Council (NPC) Sororities:

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Sororities:

Other Sororities:

Fraternities[edit]

Interfraternity Council (IFC) Fraternities:

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Fraternities:

Other Fraternities:

International House Program[edit]

The International House program is a unique part of JSU campus life. The program began in 1946 with five students from France. Initially, the program focused on languages. Today, there are forty members of the program, twenty American students and twenty international students.

Each international student is from a different country and is roomed with an American student. Though emphasis is still placed on languages, greater emphasis is now placed on the overall aspects of cultural understanding. Truly, the International House Program provides "A Window on the World" for students at Jacksonville State University and the surrounding community. The International House is a stepping stone in Jacksonville which allows the growing international community to be increasingly active in student affairs. The International Student Organization (ISO) is one of many organizations at JSU committed to international and American students alike.The current Director of the International House Program is Dr. John J. Ketterer.

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]