University of North Florida
Board of Trustees
Educational Policy Committee

  • Meeting
April 4, 2002
University Center at 11:00 a.m.


Trustees Ann Hicks (Chair), Kevin Twomey, Lindsay Hodges, Floyd Willis, Steve Shapiro (For Kathy Cohen), Carol Thompson, and Toni Crawford


Chair Hicks called the meeting to order at 11:05 a.m.  After introductions, Chair Hicks asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, which were circulated prior to the meeting.   The minutes were approved unanimously.


Chair Hicks announced that three students had recently been selected as recipients for prestigious scholarships:  Jessica Stebbins received the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, Bree Frank, the Truman Scholarship, and Rebecca Hayman, the Goldwater Scholarship.  Chair Hicks also voiced her appreciation to Dr. Mary Borg, as director of the undergraduate academic enrichment program, who assisted the students in the application process.  The President will host a reception for these students Friday, April 12, 4:00 p.m., in the President’s Conference Room. 


Chair Hicks took a moment to welcome back President Hopkins who had been on leave recovering from surgery.  President Hopkins offered her thanks and appreciation to all, especially Provost Kline for carrying on in her absence.


President Hopkins remarked on the necessity and importance for having tenure and the concern for academic freedom.  She indicated the main reason for tenure is to protect the faculty’s rights to think and express their ideas in the classroom or elsewhere on their field of expertise.  Trustee Twomey inquired about some universities not having tenure.  President Hopkins said that this is very rare.  In order to be competitive and for other economic reasons, it is essential to have tenure.


During the overview prepared for the meeting, Provost Kline mentioned that tenure is not a lifetime employment guarantee.  He further stated that it is not as difficult as some might assume to terminate a tenured faculty member.  In fact, UNF has terminated four tenured faculty members for just cause since 1996.  Eligible faculty (those in tenure-earning positions) are required to come up for tenure by their sixth year of employment including any prior service credit granted at the time of initial employment.  If tenure is not awarded by the end of the sixth year, faculty are sent a notice that further employment will not be offered. 


For the academic year 2001/2002, as Acting President, Provost Kline approved nine of the 12 candidates reviewed by the University Promotion and Tenure Committee (three candidates withdrew their application from the tenure process).  Provost Kline’s decision was in agreement with the University P&T Committee. 


After several clarifying questions and answers were provided, Chair Hicks thanked Provost Kline for the presentation.  Chair Hicks then asked for a motion on the tenure nomination recommended by Provost Kline.  Trustee Twomey moved and several seconded the motion to approve the list to be forwarded to the full Board of Trustees.  The motion was approved unanimously.


Trustee Thompson stated that she and President Hopkins have been in discussion about an agenda for the Board retreat.  Suggestions include legislative changes, the evolving role of the Board, and the strategic plan.  President Hopkins said she planned to talk with each member to gather information for the agenda.  She further stated that during the retreat, their purpose would not be to make decisions, but to determine how to proceed with issues.


The Retreat is planned for all day on May 17.


Dean Chally was asked to comment on the reasons behind proposed change in the Department of Nursing’s designation to that of School of Nursing.   Dean Chally stated this would bring the department in line with the way most nursing programs are organized in the city and state.   She further stated that now is the time to change the name because of the interest in nursing programs.  The change does not involve any additional personnel or funds or change in program or admissions criteria.  The School would still be in the College of Health and the Chair of the Nursing Department would become Director of the School. 


President Hopkins reiterated that this is a common designation and more of a symbolic change.  Provost Kline mentioned that the faculty approved the change and while other departments might want to change accordingly, it might not be appropriate.


Chair Hicks called for the motion.  Trustee Willis moved and Trustee Hodges seconded to approve the change to be forwarded to the full Board for final approval.  The motion was approved unanimously.


The Discussion Paper was reviewed.  Chair Hicks stated that no action would be taken on approving it at the present time.   Provost Kline, Dr. Tom Serwatka, Ms. Karen Stone, Mr. Jim Van Vleck, and others were thanked for the work they did in drafting the Paper.


The meeting adjourned at 12:00 noon.  Submitted by Connie Corker.