Alabama Southern suffers degree setback

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Alabama Southern Community College released a notice several days ago, announcing the upcoming press conference for Monday, June 19, to officially declare the establishment of a partnership between Alabama Southern in Monroeville and Athens State University.

The established association between the two schools was created to offer those in southwest Alabama an opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree in education or business, which would be received through Athens State University, and would be earned through attending classes on the Alabama Southern campus in Monroeville.

The press conference scheduled for Monday at the Alabama Southern Monroeville campus was cancelled, according to the notice issued on Friday for immediate release.

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The latest release, entitled “University Center Delayed,” announced that the new partnership, which had been scheduled to begin in the fall of this year, had been terminated. On Friday in Montgomery, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education voted to “Indefinitely Delay,” the decision to offer baccalaureate degrees from the Alabama Southern Monroeville campus.

“It was going to offer two different four year degrees from our campus. We were going to get two more faculty members here,” Stephanie Etheridge, Alabama Southern director of public information, said. “They could earn a four year degree in business or education from Athens State University.”

“They voted to further study Monroeville. All of the parties involved are accredited,” Etheridge said. “It was going to be the Alabama Southern University Center.”

Wallace State Community College offers university credit courses at their campus located in Cullman County through Athens State University Hanceville Center, according to the.

According to information accessed through the Cullman County Commission website, the established affiliation for the community college with a university, is attributed in part from the effort contributed from the Cullman County Commission.

“We do emphasize effective communication and cost efficiency,” Margaret Gunter, director of communications for the Alabama Commission of Higher Education, said.

“The commission tabled it indefinitely,” Gunter said. “It was not disapproved.”

The differing outcomes of the motion to “postpone to a certain time,” and the motion to “indefinitely delay,” both originate from the Robert’s Rules of Order. According to the Robert’s Rule of Order Newly Revised, 10th edition, page 209, and page 129 in the brief version of the same edition.

“If debate on the motion has begun and you want to get rid of that motion without a direct vote on it, use the motion to Postpone Indefinitely. If adopted by a two-thirds vote, this motion will cause an immediate vote on the motion to Postpone Indefinitely.”

Robert’s Rule of Order are applicable and can be used as “default rules,” when no federal or state laws prohibit or contradict their use in the concerning circumstances, according to the information retrieved on the website of official interpretations of Robert’s Rule.

Rick Mould, the vice president of public affairs at Athens State University was unavailable to comment.