College of Arts & Sciences Annual Report  

Significant Activities in the College during 2006-2007  

Recruiting new faculty and the College's future leaders

The College engaged in over 60 faculty searches during 2006-07, including external searches for a Dean, a Director of the Coastal Biology Flagship Program, and two department chairs. Roughly half of the searches were for tenure-track positions. In general, this was a very successful hiring year. Incoming Dean Barbara Hetrick comes to UNF from the University of Northern Iowa, where she was Chair of the Biology Department. The new Coastal Biology Program will be in the capable hands of Dr. Courtney Hackney, a nationally-known leader in the field with experience at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington that will be directly applicable to his position at UNF. Dr. David Goff, who has experience chairing Communication departments in Georgia and Mississippi, will take leadership of one of the largest departments in the College. Faculty hiring produced a diverse and intellectually exciting crop of teacher-scholars.

 Establishing an assessment cycle

This year the College completed its first full cycle of assessment activities under the leadership of Associate Dean Marnie Jones. Departments have participated in assessment at all three curricular levels. The work of the General Education Assessment Task Force, discussed below as part of Goal 1, was probably the most robust of the efforts. Using a model adapted from one used for William and Mary's successful efforts, the GEATF read and analyzed portfolios of information about and student work from all general education courses, and has arrived at a number of thoughtful initiatives for 2007-08. Undergraduate and graduate major programs have completed their first full cycle of assessment, from definition of outcomes through assessment and recommendations for improvement. Although this first cycle has produced at least as many suggestions for improving the assessment system as for curricular interventions, the simple fact of establishing a cycle is an important step toward creating a culture which focuses on learning. See section II and departmental annual reports for fuller discussion.  

Coastal Biology Flagship Program

In October 2006 Coastal Biology UNF made the public announcement of Coastal Biology as the newest flagship program. A successful search resulted in hiring Dr. Courtney Hackney to head the new program. Although he will not formally arrive at UNF until January 2008, he has already begun active communication with the faculty and with community and national contacts about the program. Under the able interim leadership of Dr. Dan Moon, the Coastal Biology program has sponsored campus speakers, developed a seminar series which will begin in fall 2007, and helped students present research in Coastal Biology at a number of professional meetings.

 Successful Program Reviews

The college conducted five program reviews during 2006-07: in Arts & Design, Biology, Psychology, Public Administration, and the Writing Program. The Public Administration review also included reaffirmation by NASPAA, the accrediting agency for this graduate program; although the final report has not yet arrived, the exit interview indicates that reaccreditation will be recommended. All program reviews were generally favorable, but with significant recommendations for the programs. Chairs and program leaders have commented on the recommendations in their annual reports. As might be expected, two common themes are curriculum and the lack of appropriate space.

 

Scholarly and Creative productivity

College faculty published ten books, 106 journal articles, 21 book chapters, 34 articles in conference proceedings, 9 encyclopedia articles, and 17 book reviews. They made 237 refereed or invited presentations at scholarly conferences. They were involved in 200 juried creative works or performances. ORSP reports grants totaling a little over $2 million.  

Development Goals exceeded

The College's development efforts resulted in gifts and pledges amounting to a little over $1.3 million, which was the annual target. Highlights include the establishment of the first endowment for World Languages, for a total of $150,000 to support Spanish scholarships and study abroad, and completion of the River Branch Endowment gifts to support the UNF Environmental Center with a total endowment of $525,000. Also significant was a $74,000 donation of musical instruments from Buffet Crampon, one of the premier makers of instruments.

 

Strategic Hiring Plans

For the first time, all departments have developed strategic hiring plans as part of the annual strategic planning and update process. The challenge will be to continue the process, particularly in a time of budget restrictions.