University of North Florida
Board of Trustees
Educational Policy Committee

  • Meeting
September 20, 2007
University Center at 10:30 a.m.

Committee Members Present

Mr. Luther Coggin, Mrs. Ann Hicks, Dr. William Klostermeyer, Dr. Bruce Taylor

Committee Members Absent

Ms. Toni Crawford, Mr. Wilfredo Gonzalez, Ms. Joan Newton

Item 1 Call to Order

With a quorum being present, Chair Hicks called the meeting to order.

Item 2 Approval of the Minutes

Committee Chair Hicks asked for a MOTION to approve the minutes for May 17, 2007.  The MOTION was offered, seconded and passed.

Item 3 Open Comments

There were no comments from the public. 

Item 4 Approval for a New Academic Program, Bachelor of Arts, French Studies, Department of World Languages, College of Arts and Sciences

Chair Hicks asked Provost Mark Workman to speak about this item.


Provost Workman stated that this program was comparable to UNF’s existing Spanish program and would join seven other French Studies programs within the State University System (SUS). This program would be solidly based within the liberal arts and significantly enhance the offerings within the College of Arts and Sciences. Provost Workman introduced Professor Shira Schwam-Baird and Professor Jorge Febles and asked them to speak about this program.


Professor Febles stated that all viable, strong language programs were grounded on French and Spanish – Spanish because it was so widely used and French because it was the international language of the European Union. He stated that, in order for UNF to create a true World Languages department, the French Studies program was necessary. This new program would intensify the interdisciplinary component. He also stated that UNF deserved a place among the other seven SUS institutions.


Trustee Coggin asked for clarification on how many additional classes might be added to support this program. Provost Workman stated that there would be no radical changes. Other disciplines would complement the existing French courses and as enrollment grew, additional classes would be added.


Professor Schwam-Baird stated that it was important for students to study abroad when studying foreign languages and resources from the transformational learning opportunities would provide scholarships for study-abroad opportunities for this new program.


Provost Workman stated that this would be a wonderful addition to the curriculum and would compliment a range of offerings within the University.


Chair Hicks asked for a MOTION to approve the Bachelor of Arts, French Studies program. The MOTION was offered, seconded and approved unanimously.

Item 5 Approval of Tenure by Reason of Appointment (Dr. Courtney Hackney, Department of Biology, college of Arts and Sciences)

Chair Hicks stated that the University had the good fortune, as a result of the flagship program within the Biology Department, to recruit a very distinguished senior scientist to lead the new Coastal Biology program.


Chair Taylor stated that Dr. Hackney was a distinguished biologist and a great person to work with. He stated that Dr. Hackney would be arriving at UNF in January.


Chair Hicks asked for a MOTION for approval for tenure by reason of appointment for Dr. Courtney Hackney. The MOTION was offered, seconded and approved unanimously.

Item 6 Report on Animal Research

Chair Hicks stated that this report was driven by a request from Trustee Kendrick regarding the oversight and treatment of animals involved in teaching and research on campus. She asked Provost Workman to introduce the speakers for this item.


Provost Workman introduced Professors Joe Butler and Kerry Clark, stating that Professor Butler was chair of the Department of Biology.


Professor Butler stated that the University used vertebrae animals in research and teaching and this was common in most of the SUS institutions. He stressed the importance of student involvement, stating that it provided an opportunity to train future scientists in the ethical use of animals and teach the responsibility that went along with the use of these animals.


Professor Butler stated that the overall goal of the program was to comply with all federal regulations and to comply with the proper treatment and care of animals. He stated that the animal care program was governed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).


Professor Butler stated that the purpose of animal use in research and teaching was to advance human health and science when there were no non-animal alternatives, and when done in an ethical and human way. He stated that animal usage at UNF was very short term and, up until this date, only included fish, frogs, rats or mice and some reptiles. All animal usage (either on campus or off campus) required approval.


Professor Butler stated that, in order for federal grants to be approved for research and teaching with the use of vertebrae animals, the University must be in compliance with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) (U.S. Department of Agriculture). UNF had never applied for or received this type of federal grant until recently. This grant would be used with mice in mosquito research.


Professor Butler stated that the University limited use of live vertebrae animals. All protocol established by the IACUC and APHIS was followed regarding the use of these animals and all attempts were made to avoid any possible discomfort or pain. He stated that there were great benefits to using these animals and there was an obligation to train the next generation of scientists on the ethical use of these animals. He also stated that when possible computer simulations were used in lieu of working on live animals.


This report was for discussion only. No further action was required.

Item 7 New Degree/Major Programs Policy

Chair Hicks asked Ms. Shawn Brayton, Director, Academic Affairs to speak about this item.


Ms. Brayton stated that the Board of Governors (BOG) approved a new rule governing new degree development in March of this year. She stated that the BOG felt that it would be beneficial if all new degree programs were approved by a similar process; therefore, the BOG asked each institution to revise current policies to ensure that they were following the same approval process.


She stated that the BOG did not approve bachelor or masters degree programs, but this new rule would require that all institutions use the same format that is currently in use by the BOG for approval of doctorial programs.


Vice President Serwatka said that this process had previously been governed by an internal policy and all programs match with the University’s mission, as well as the BOT’s mission. He stated that the policy being proposed reflected all changes requested by the BOG.


Chair Hicks asked for further discussion and/or a MOTION for approval. A MOTION was offered seconded and approved.

Item 8 New Administrative and Faculty Hires

Chair Hicks asked Provost Workman to speak about this item.


Provost Workman stated that the University hired 57 new full-time, non-visiting faculty members last year. Of these 57 hires, 29 were female and 13 were minority. He stated that the University was making a concerted effort through the Diversity Task Force to recruit and hire minority faculty.


Trustees asked for clarification on how many of these hires were new positions. Provost Workman stated that of the 57 new hires, 22 were for new faculty positions.


This item was for discussion purpose only. No further action was required.

Item 9 Fall 2007 Student Profile

Chair Hicks asked Associate Vice President Kaye to speak about this item.


Associate Vice President Kaye provided and enrollment update and the composition of this year’s First-Time-In-College (FTIC) student profile, stating that the numbers being presented were preliminary but would be final before the October Board of Trustees meeting.


Ms. Kaye stated that total enrollment for the fall 2007 term was 16,418 students. Of these, 1606 were FTIC freshmen which represented a 2.03% growth in total enrollment over the last year. Geographic diversity continued to remain strong with the crown region accounting for 55% of FTIC enrolled students, including 33% of FTIC enrolled students from Duval County.


Ms. Kaye stated that, with regard to enrollment, the University had turned a corner, particularly with the freshman class which had decreased as a result of the budgetary issues. Concerted efforts were being made not only to restrict enrollment with the freshmen class but to keep this enrollment flat.


Ms. Kaye stated that in fall 2007 minority enrollment increased slightly, including a slight increase in FTIC over last year.


Ms. Kaye spoke about the academic profile, stating that the average newly enrolled FTIC GPA for the fall 2007 semester was 3.60, slightly higher than last year’s average of 3.58. The average SAT score for this same group was 1177.12 which was a significant increase over last year’s score of 1166.


Ms. Kaye presented the data for scholarships, stating that 82.6% of FTIC students enrolled in the fall 2007 term received state scholarships with in-state scholarships amounting to $6.88 million.


Ms. Kaye spoke about the Presidential Scholarship Program, stating that this program was revised for the 2007 recruiting year with the requirements being higher. This year the program included a $2,000 award that went to students the University felt were missing scholarship opportunity. There were 179 Presidential Scholars for a total of $505,000 in scholarships awarded. These students were retained at 95% from the freshman to sophomore year, compared to 75% for general retention.


Ms. Kaye discussed fall 2007 enrollment stating that some numbers went down, which was intentional. Severe deadlines had been imposed with intentions to limit certain populations of students who did not meet the core of the University’s mission. This trend would continue for the next several years. Also, fewer transfer student applications were received because of strict adherence to deadlines.


Ms. Kaye stated that there were significant differences in full-time versus part-time students – over the past years there were increases in full-time students. Transfer and graduate students were increasingly becoming full-time.


Ms. Kaye stated that there were changes in the gender mix with male enrollment edging up slightly and ethnic diversity also increasing a bit. The number of degrees awarded had increased significantly which would make an impact on the education level within the community.


This report was provided for information only. There was no further action required.

Item 10 U. S. News and World Report Rankings

Chair Hicks asked Ms. Shawn Brayton, Director, Academic Affairs, to speak about this item.


Ms. Brayton stated that UNF was currently ranked 43rd in the U.S. News and World Report College Ranking, which was up 11 positions as compared to the two years ago. She stated that UNF was listed in the Southern Universities – Master’s Top Schools, according to the Carnage classifications. This ranking included universities offering primarily bachelor’s and master’s programs.


Ms. Brayton provided an overview of the categories used for measurement, including peer assessment, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and annual giving.

  • Peer Assessment – this indicator is derived from surveys completed by presidents, provosts and deans. Last year’s response rate was 58% and this year’s response rate was 51%. This was indicative of a perception that this category did not identify quality. UNF‘s ranking in this category for 2007 was 2.9, which was slightly less than the ranking of 3.0 for 2006.
  • Retention – This indicator was derived from a six-year graduation rate (80%) and the freshman retention rate (20%). UNF’s ranking remained unchanged in this category; however, cohorts were up 3 percentage points over last year. (This was based on a four year rolling average.) Graduation rates increased to 48%, up 1 percentage point.
  • Faculty Resources – This indicator measures the institution’s commitment to instruction. Faculty with terminal degrees increased 1 percentage point to 94%. The proportion of full-time faculty increased 2 percentage points to 86%. The student/faculty ratio increased from 22/1 in fall 2005 to 23/1 in fall 2006. Class size decreased 1 percentage point. (The student/faculty ratio and class size indicators for UNF are indicative of an institution on the rise.)
  • Student Selectivity – This indicator measures student selectivity and reflects data for freshmen entering fall 2006. UNF dropped in its acceptance rate, although the percentage rate increased – this is indicative of increased selectivity. The yield rate remained consistent while high school class standing decreased. (UNF is researching this ranking.) SAT and ACT scores increased.
  • Financial Resources – This indicator measures the average spending per full-time student during the 2005 and 2006 fiscal years. This measure was not well defined and the report did not disclose where it obtained the source data for measurement. UNF continues to allocate a significant proportion of E&G spending on full-time students.
  • Alumni Giving – This indicator measures the average percent of undergraduate alumni who donated money to the institution. UNF moved up 1% in this category, from 7% in 2006 to 8% in 2007.

Trustees asked if there was an opinion about the future for the U. S. News and World Report rankings. Ms. Brayton stated that consumers did regularly utilize this report and other similar publications.


Chair Taylor stated that this report was a marker for the University and it might be wise to review rankings in two or three similar reports. The University did not need to pay particular attention to individual indices but might benefit from tracking the big picture.


This report was provided as information only. No further action was required.

Item 11 Report from the University’s Graduate School

Chair Hicks asked Dr. David Fenner, Dean of the Graduate School, to speak about this item.


Dean Fenner stated that this report provided a snapshot of UNF’s Graduate School. Headcount and FTE were both down from fall 2005 to fall 2006; however, there were five reasons for guarded optimism: the University had increased funding for marketing, application numbers had risen, the FTE target had recently increased, and two new doctoral programs and three new engineering degrees were recently added.

Chair Taylor asked for clarification on the impact of the tuition policy set by the Legislature, restricting UNF’s ability to lower out-of-state graduate tuition. Dean Fenner stated that this tuition was extremely high and did restrict out-of-state applications for graduate programs. Chair Taylor stated that out-of-state students would enrich the program and that this was a problem.


This report was provided for information only. No further action was required.

Item 12 Adjournment

Chair Hicks adjourned the meeting.