University of North Florida
Board of Trustees

  • Conference Call
April 17, 2003
at 2:30 p.m.

Minutes

Trustees in Attendance 

Chair Thompson and Dr. Terry Bowen attended the meeting in person. Dr. Edythe Abdullah, Mr. Luther Coggin, Ms. Toni Crawford, Mr. O’Neal Douglas, Mr. Wilfredo Gonzalez, Ms. Ann Hicks, Ms. Wanyonyi Kendrick, Dr. Bruce Taylor, and Mr. Kevin Twomey participated by phone.

 

Trustees Absent 

Mr. Steve Halverson and Mr. Hank Rogers.

 

Call to Order/Approval of Minutes 

Chair Thompson called the meeting to order at 2:32 and thanked everyone for participating in the conference call as there were several important items on the agenda. She asked the Trustees to review and approve the minutes. Trustee Gonzalez moved to accept the minutes but noted that page numbers had not been included on the document. Trustee Twomey seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.

 

Chair’s Report 

The Board of Trustee retreat scheduled for April 23 was  postponed due to the schedule for the presidential search candidates. Chair Thompson said that while she wished to make sure that issues were addressed and realized the importance of rescheduling the workshop, she thought it would be best to reschedule after dates for interviewing the finalists had been set. She recommended that trustees notify Dr. Kline or Dr. Serwatka with any possible agenda items for the retreat.

 

Chair Thompson said that agendas for the Board meetings were set by the President in consultation with the Board Chair, generally consisting of a compilation of items recommended for approval by the committees. However, if trustees had items they felt should be included on a meeting agenda, Chair Thompson encouraged them to relay the information to Dr. Kline or Dr. Serwatka, who would then discuss the items with her in accordance with the Sunshine laws. 

 

President’s Report 

Dr. Kline announced that the Student Government elections had been completed and a new Student Body President, Mr. Jerry Watterson, had been selected. He said there had been some mild controversy about some remarks but he expected the issue to be resolved by the end of the day. Mr. Watterson would assume his post in May.

 

President Kline gave an update on the search status for the Dean of the Coggin College of Business and the Director of the Library. He announced that the search for the Library Director should be concluded in about a week. He said that none of the candidates for the Coggin College of Business had been the right fit so a decision was made to appoint an interim dean for next year and to repeat the search in the fall.

 

In an update on campus construction, Dr. Kline stated that three of the subcontractors for the Science and Engineering building had declared bankruptcy, including the electrical contractor. A new electrical contractor had been selected and was working double shifts to ensure that the building was opened on schedule. Dr. Kline said that planning for the Student Union, an interest he held close to his heart, was moving ahead, and he would provide further information in a couple of months.

 

President Kline had been notified that FCCJ would not continue participation in Project Connect, the nursing program established between UNF and FCCJ with funding from eight area hospitals. FCCJ had not made it clear why a decision had been made to withdraw from the program. Trustee Abdullah asked for more information, as she had not been made aware of the change. Dean Chally stated that she appreciated the opportunity to talk about the issue. She said she’d received a fax from Dr. Barbara Darby indicating that FCCJ no longer wished to participate in the partnership, effective immediately. Dean Chally believed the rationale behind the decision may have been that prior to the partnership the nursing classes at FCCJ were not full. However, now that the classes had reached capacity, FCCJ no longer wished to participate.

 

Trustee Abdullah asked what effect the decision would have on UNF. Dean Chally answered that while there was now some concern about what to do with the monies received from the hospital, the primary concern was the students already admitted to the program. The students had been notified that the beginning of the program would be delayed, they would now begin at UNF in August. Dr. Chally also drafted a letter to the hospitals and planned to call them to see where to go from there. She said she had some ideas on how to meet the obligation to the hospitals. The College of Health had attempted contact with FCCJ but had not yet been able to speak with anyone. A meeting was planned for April 30. Dean Chally said she hoped FCCJ would continue with the students already enrolled.

 

Trustee Abdullah stated that while she worked for FCCJ, she also now worked for UNF. She asked if it would be acceptable to the Board if she pursued information about the FCCJ decision. Chair Thompson thanked her for the offer and said the Board would be very happy for her assistance. Dr. Kline agreed. Trustee Gonzalez asked Dr. Chally if Project Connect was for students who’s GPAs were not high enough to gain acceptance into UNF. Dean Chally answered that the students were qualified; the issue was that there were not enough faculty positions to teach them.

 

Dr. Kline announced that the campaign celebration would be held on Saturday, April 26 and that he hoped all of the Trustees could attend.

 

Trustee Taylor asked Dr. Kline about an article indicating that the Student Government President was compensated $15,000 annually, at a considerably higher amount than other universities. Dr. Kline said he had noticed the article as well and planned to investigate further. He said he would let the Board know what he discovered. Trustee Taylor thanked him, as did Chair Thompson.

 

Educational Policy Committee Report 

Trustee Hicks said she would have to excuse herself immediately after the report but wanted to make sure that quorum would still be established. Chair Thompson said that it would.

 

The Educational Policy Committee received a surprise visit from the girls’ basketball team at the last meeting. The team had placed eleventh in NCAA Division II and Trustee Hicks remarked that the team was comprised of extraordinary academics as well as athletes, who could strongly represent UNF in any arena.  

  • Approval of Master’s Degrees in Biology

    Trustee Hicks asked Dr. Camp to discuss the proposal to approve two new graduate degrees in biology.  Dr. Camp outlined the rigorous process required for approval of the proposal. Two degrees were proposed – an M.S. with thesis and an M.A. without. Dr. Camp said the program was intended to meet the needs of teachers and healthcare professionals. There would be two tracks in each degree program: ecology/environmental biology and micro/molecular biology.  There were significant numbers of positions open in northeast Florida, which was a condition for putting forth a proposal for a new program. Dr. Ahearn, Chair of Biology, had been invaluable to the process. Dr. Camp said the department and the University were very pleased he had joined UNF faculty as he was an outstanding scholar and had provided a great deal of leadership in planning these graduate programs. 

Trustee Hicks asked if there were any questions. Trustee Douglas asked if the proposal came as a recommendation from the Educational Policy Committee. Trustee Hicks answered that the committee was recommending the policy. Chair Thompson called the motion to a vote and it was unanimously approved. 

  • Tenure Nominations 

    Trustee Hicks said the issue of tenure nominations also had been through the hierarchy of the University and through the President and asked Dr. Camp to speak on the recommendation. 

Dr. Camp thanked the Trustees for their approval of the graduate programs, stating that he was very excited as it was an important next step for the University. A number of faculty were recommended for tenure through the normal processes: Mark Dickman, Gordon Brock and J. B. Scott (Department of Music), J. Michael Francis (History), Mei-Quin Zhan (Mathematics and Statistics), Chery Van Deusen (Marketing, Management, and Logistics), Ajayi Adewale (Computer and Information Systems), Michael Hallett, and Adam Shapiro (Sociology and Criminal Justice), and Michael Lentz (Biology).

There were two categories for tenure approval. The normal tenure process began at the department level and was reviewed by the department chair, the dean of the college, the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Provost, and the President prior to presentation to the Board of Trustees. The process took from September to March. The second category had to do with hiring faculty who already had tenure from another institution. One faculty member, Mike Hurvac, a tenured professor for the University of Florida Medical School, was seeking tenure through this category and would join UNF in the fall. For this process, there was a similar procedure for review, although it was somewhat abbreviated.

All of the faculty received positive recommendations from the Educational Policy Committee. Chair Thompson called the motion to a vote and it was unanimously approved. Dr. Camp thanked the Board for the decision, stating that he was delighted and that the issue was very important to the University faculty. 

  •  Increase in Hours for Education Programs  

     

Dean Serwatka spoke regarding a request from the College of Education to increase credit hours for a set of undergraduate programs.  Undergraduate programs were limited to a maximum of 120 credit hours. An exception could be made when additional courses were needed to meet certification or state requirements. The request from the College of Education would enable students to take State mandated courses and in come cases add on ESOL endorsement to their certificate. Dr. Serwatka added that one of the annual goals was to ensure that UNF’s courses were in line with district needs in literacy and ESOL.

 Chair Thompson asked if an increase over the 120 hour maximum would increase the length of time required to graduate. Dean Kasten said it would not, but students would have to take coursework in the summer. Chair Thompson remarked that it appeared the requirements for the music education degree were more than for other degrees. Dean Kasten replied that it was due to the need to meet national accreditation requirements for both music and education.

 The Educational Policy Committee recommended approval of the motion. Chair Thompson called the motion to a vote. All Trustees were in favor of the motion. 

  •  Equity Study in Athletics   

     

Trustee Hicks announced that the University was close to achieving perfect equity between genders. She asked Dr. Serwatka to discuss the study results further. Dean Serwatka reported that each year a study was filed with the State. The University had to demonstrate that it was meeting the goals of equal participation opportunities in intercollegiate athletics for both males and females on campus, or the University could show that opportunities for the underrepresented gender have been increasing. Additionally, it must be demonstrated that there was no bias, such as in school monies or travel monies, between male and female programs. 

Forty-two percent of the students at UNF are male. Therefore, true equity of female-to-male athletes would be accomplished if 58% of the athletes were female. Currently 52% of UNF’s athletes are female. However, that number has increased from 44% over the last two years. In an examination of coaches’ salaries, the salaries of female coaches had increased more than those of male coaches this year. Previously, women’s teams received 52% of school monies. They now receive 56%. Dean Serwatka also said that Kathy Klein had been appointed as the gender equity compliance officer for UNF.  

Chair Thompson thanked him for the information, stating that the Board was very interested in the subject. President Kline said that the University was very proud of the accomplishments. Trustee Gonzalez asked where the report was sent. Dr. Serwatka answered that it went to the Florida Department of Education and the NCAA.  

The Educational Policy Committee moved approval of the report and it was unanimously approved. Chair Thompson congratulated the University on the good work. 

  • UNF Equity Plan   

     

Dean Serwatka said that each year the University was required to file an equity accountability plan with the State.  The University had to develop plans to increase representation of minorities and women in faculty and administrative positions. A budget was also dedicated to fulfilling the goals set by the University. Ms. Monell added that more progress was made in respect to the number of women in faculty and administrative positions than with minorities on campus, but that progress was being made. She said that due to the hiring freeze, there had not been a report on progress as the University had been unable to establish goals, therefore the study examined the current status of the University rather than specific goals.  

Trustee Hicks said the plan was recommended for approval by the Educational Policy Committee. Chair Thompson thanked everyone for their work on the plan and called the motion to a vote. It was approved unanimously. Trustee Hicks remarked upon the extensive amount of work required to produce the plan and thanked the faculty, staff, and administration for their efforts. Trustee Hicks then excused herself from the remainder of the call.   

Finance and Audit Committee Report 

Trustee Twomey stated that a number of interesting items had been discussed at the previous Finance and Audit Committee meeting. Mr. David Wesse provided an overview of auxiliaries such as campus housing, the bookstore and food services. Revenues from auxiliaries have increased from $16 to 17 million over the last year. A discussion ensued on progress in providing more complete financial statements and trends. The Inspector General’s office, along with the State of Florida Auditor General’s office also addressed the committee, providing an overview of required audits. The Auditor General’s office reported that the University had been very responsive to audits. Trustee Twomey said that the Finance and Audit Committee planned to become much more involved in review and discussion of the audit work plan.

 

Trustee Twomey stated that he had been working extensively with Dean Serwatka and Mr. Arjune to gain better understanding of the budgets in preparation for the upcoming budget development. Two items from the Finance and Audit committee had been postponed due to time constraints, so Trustee Twomey said he would provide more information on those items at a later time.

 

Update on Presidential Search 

Chair Thompson expressed her appreciation for Trustee Douglas, remarking on the amount of effort involved in the presidential search process. Trustee Douglas reviewed the progress made at the previous search committee meetings. The search consultant presented twenty-two candidates, which the committee narrowed to twelve or thirteen, then to seven. Trustee Douglas said he was very impressed with the committee’s unanimity in successfully decreasing the number with one vote after discussion. The committee had reviewed fifteen curriculum vitaes one weekend and seven the next and had been well prepared to discuss the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.

 

One candidate later withdrew his application after obtaining a position with another University. On campus interviews with the remaining six candidates would begin on Monday, April 21 at 7:45 a.m. in the President’s Conference Room and would last throughout the day. Trustee Douglas said that President Kline had agreed to have lunch with the candidates as had Chair Thompson. Evaluation forms distributed during the on campus interviews would be recorded to aid in the decision making process. Links to the candidates vitaes were available on the Web from the Board of Trustees page. Mr. Douglas thanked Ms. Lina Monell and Ms. Karen Stone for their efforts on behalf of the search committee.

 

Trustee Crawford asked if the Board members could attend the interviews. Trustee Douglas answered affirmatively, stating that the meetings were open to anyone. The Presidential Search Committee would meet again April 30 and attempt to reduce the number of candidates again based on information garnered from the interviews. The names of the final two or three candidates selected would then be turned over to the Board for consideration, at which point the charge to the Presidential Search Committee would have been fulfilled. The Board of Trustees would set future dates for the candidates to return to campus with their spouses to be interviewed by the Trustees.

 

Trustee Douglas indicated that he felt the candidates currently selected were all excellent candidates and he felt the Board would do well to choose any one of them. Two of the candidates were involved in other searches but he believed they would lean toward UNF if selected. 

 

Trustee Coggin remarked that Trustee Douglas had been very generous with this compliments to everyone and that the Board would be remiss not to express appreciation for all of his efforts and the time he had devoted to the commitment. He thanked Mr. Douglas for giving so freely of his time.

 

Chair Thompson said she would not vote at the search committee meeting on April 30. She thanked Trustee Douglas, the committee and the staff for all of their hard work. She said discussion would be needed regarding compensation for the next president and for Dr. Kline’s transition. Chair Thompson spoke of Dr. Kline’s willingness to assist the new president in whatever capacity was necessary. She indicated that it would be necessary to determine whether that assistance would be offered as Provost or as faculty. She stated that she could not imagine that anyone could have been more cooperative in the search process than President Kline had been. Trustee Douglas said that President Kline’s willingness to meet with the candidates and assist the new president had made discussion with the candidates much smoother as they were assured of his cooperation in the transition. Trustee Coggin expressed his appreciation of President Kline as well. Trustee Douglas moved to authorize Chair Thompson to negotiate the terms of transition for the new president and Dr. Kline. The motion was approved unanimously. Dr. Kline thanked them for their comments and support.

 

Legislative Update 

Ms. Janet Owen stated that the House and the Senate currently had quite different versions of the budget. The Senate’s version of the budget contained approximately $1.4 billion in additional revenue, which would eliminate the $36 million in cuts for the universities, provide for $34 million in new enrollment funding and allocate $51 million for the major gifts program. The Senate had included $174 million in PECO funds for the universities including $4 million for UNF, while the House provided only $90 million, with no PECO funds for UNF. The House budget contained a $118 million cut for the universities, approximately $5 million for UNF, with no funding for enrollment growth or for matching major gifts.

 

Two weeks remain in the session. Ms. Owen was not sure if the budget would be completed in time. However, the UF/FSU funding plan would not go through this year as it had been presented too late in the process. She imagined that the issue would come up again next year. The House has proposed changes to the Bright Futures Scholarship Program, while the Senate does not intend to do so. Ms. Own reported that Phil Handy, Chair of the State Board of Education, had been confirmed by the Senate.

 

With respect to proposed tuition increases, the Senate was proposing a 7 ½% tuition increase, with flexibility to raise or lower it further by 10% for all except in-state undergraduates. The House was proposing an increase of up to 12 1/5%, which would be up to the discretion of the university boards. There has also been discussion of granting the university boards authority to assess an admissions deposit of up to $200, which would be applied to tuition once a student enrolled, but would not be refunded if a student chose not to attend UNF.

 

The bills to cap the salaries of university presidents payable with state funds at $225,000 are progressing through both House and Senate. The bills do not limit the compensation payable from private sources.

 

Ms. Owen reiterated that it was still too early to determine the likelihood that either the Senate or the House budget, or some version in between, would be accepted. Chair Thompson thanked Ms. Owen for her presentation.

 

Adjournment 

Chair Thompson notified the Board that the date for the next meeting could change, or a separate meeting could be called, in accordance with the presidential search process.