Dr. Edythe Abdullah, Mr. John Barnes, Mr. Luther Coggin, Mr. Wilfredo Gonzalez, Mr. Hugh Greene, Ms. Ann Hicks, Ms. Wanyonyi Kendrick, Ms. Joy Korman, Dr. Katherine Robinson, Dr. Bruce Taylor, Mr. Kevin Twomey
Ms. Toni Crawford, Ms. Joannie Newton
Chair Taylor called the workshop to order.
Chair Taylor recognized three distinguished guests: (1) Ms. Sheila McDevitt, Chair, Board of Governors, State University System; (2) Dr. Terry MacTaggart the university’s consultant; (3) Ms. Jennifer McDonough, the University’s consultant to the upcoming capital campaign.
President Delaney agreed to dispense with his remarks to allow additional time for other agenda items.
Chair Taylor asked for a MOTION for approval of the Minutes from the February 7, 2008 workshop. Trustee Gonzalez offered a MOTION and Trustee Hicks seconded. The MOTION was approved as presented.
Chair Taylor stated that Ms. McDonough would update trustees on the upcoming capital campaign and provide insights on what UNF could look forward to, in terms of philanthropy, over the next year or so.
Ms. McDonough shared that the capital campaign was currently at $52 million against the $125 million goal. She discussed what similar campaigns were experiencing with relationship to the economy and noted that philanthropic activity was historically resilient.
Ms. McDonough discussed strategies in regards to geographic considerations. She listed variables as: donors were asking for what was most important and looking for refocused agendas; and strength of relationship with donors and volunteers. She stated that her best advice was for the university to stay the course.
Chair Taylor stated that Ms. McDevitt was meeting with all local boards of trustees, providing her an opportunity to share her views on what the upcoming challenges and opportunities were for universities, and to listen to concerns from the trustees. He then turned the meeting over to Ms. McDevitt.
Ms. McDevitt stated that she would like to explain her priorities as the new chair of the Board of Governors. She spoke about rebuilding and/or building relationships with students, faculty, local boards and their chairs, SUS presidents and elected officials. She addressed budget shortfalls and the opportunities this might create for universities to work together to build a better system.
Ms. McDevitt announced that the BOG had created a legislative committee which she chaired. She clarified that the committee agreed on some priorities which were, the need to (1) stabilize base funding, and (2) seek flexibility with regards to tuition.
Ms. McDevitt indicated that the State of Florida needed to move closer to the national average for undergraduate tuition. She noted that that the BOG was working with the legislature, governor, student leadership and faculty to develop an acceptable tuition program.
The discussion continued with Ms. McDevitt recognizing the importance of medical schools. She discussed unfunded FTE for these schools and listed this as an ongoing issue.
Ms. McDevitt addressed the talent exodus within the SUS and discussed the need to retain and recruit high-quality faculty. She noted that this issue was reflected in the legislative budget request as a primary initiative.
Ms. McDevitt spoke about the need for tuition flexibility and the subsequent benefit to need-based financial aid. She listed this as another top priority included in the legislative budget request.
The budget was discussed and included an overview of projections for this fiscal year. Ms. McDevitt touched on the possibility of additional cuts and how these might be handled. She mentioned a continuing enrollment cap on incoming freshmen and the possibility of a new state college system that might improve access. She clarified that the BOG’s initiative was to be an advocate for universities within the State of Florida and to support existing programs.
Ms. McDevitt opened the floor to discussions/questions from trustees.
Trustees discussed the appropriateness of tuition increases and how best to sell these increases to citizens. It was noted that a key component would be financial aid. Other discussions included accessibility and alternative funding sources. Ms. McDevitt clarified that these issues were on the top of the BOG’s list. Trustees also discussed the SUS community college system and Ms. McDevitt noted that the BOG was addressing how best to equalize this system without causing undue competition.
Trustees elaborated on accessibility, specifically the need to recognize a connection between the lack of education and crime. The discussion acknowledged the lack of revenue and identified community colleges as an additional venue for access. This conversation left, to further discussion, possible sacrifices versus quality.
Chair Taylor offered appreciation to Ms. McDevitt for the conversation. Ms. McDevitt offered gratitude to the Board’s efforts, especially in the difficult economic times.
President Delaney prefaced this discussion by stating that because of budget shortfalls the university made a decision to roll back enrollment, with careful consideration to access versus quality.
Trustees discussed growth versus funding with regards to FTE. It was noted that this was the first year the university had not exceeded funded FTE. The administration clarified that this decision was based on the state’s former funding formula which might add to current budget shortfalls.
Trustees talked about the current budget situation and noted that, although recurring and reserve funds were reduced, academic programs remained intact. Trustees discussed the upcoming year and mentioned that there was less elasticity in the system.
Trustees discussed how minority enrollment might be affected by reduced FTE. The administration stated that minority enrollment was higher during the summer terms which offset the decreases in fall and spring.
Trustees discussed the recently changed policy governing the admission of transfer students and the effect this might have on lower income students. The administration agreed to provide further information about the 2+2 program.
The administration offered for discussion the goals included in the strategic plan which influenced admission. Trustees discussed the three goals that directly affected admission.
Chair Taylor asked trustees to remain mindful of the core values and the vision and mission statement of the institution. He made clear that every action much be consistent with these statements.
Provost Workman prefaced this discussion by noting that the administration was aware of the need to be purposeful and deliberate with regards to resources and to look for guidance from the strategic plan. He reminded trustees about the recent discussions to refine the university’s mission and vision statement and called attention to this component of the statement, The University of North Florida aspires to be a preeminent public institution of higher learning that will serve the North Florida region at a level of national quality.
Provost Workman mentioned the BOG’s initiative to develop compacts with each SUS institution and noted that this intensified efforts to hone UNF’s strategic plan. He talked about UNF’s position within the SUS and the emergence of a state college system and clarified that the north Florida region deserved a quality university.
Provost Workman presented details on the refinement of the strategic plan and included a discussion on access versus selectivity and the subsequent allocation of resources. He clarified that the university could be one of national quality whether the focus was on access quality.
Provost Workman invited comments from Dr. Terry MacTaggart.
Dr. MacTaggart provided a discussion on the national perspective of the university’s strategic plan. He addressed what the plan intended and how it compared. He clarified that a strategic plan should purposefully define how to provide students with an opportunity for a first-rate education.
Dr. MacTaggart discussed effects that set UNF apart including: convergence or alignment with accreditation and BOG; the strategic plan; and developments in fundraising. He included ideas for growth which included (a) promoting champions for UNF, (b) creating and maintaining a positive and progressive environment for change, (c) remaining vigilant regarding institutional goals, and (d) for trustees to continue to invest in the Board and the university.
Dr. MacTaggart stated that he would return in the spring to focus on institutional aspirations and Board selection.
Under this item Dr. MacTaggart and members of the Board discussed presidential compensation. Dr. MacTaggart provided the Board with an overview of his study on presidential compensation, noting that President Delaney was a high performing president but his compensation fell below that of other presidents in the state system as well s the salaries at private universities that would find him an attractive candidate. Dr. MacTaggart also talked about ways in which the university might restructure the president’s current compensation package, recognizing that the president had declined any increase in the total package in light of the current budget issues.
Chair Taylor was going to work with President Delaney on finalizing his compensation for the current year.
Chair Taylor encouraged the administration and trustees to stay true to the spirit that was articulated in the strategic plan. He then adjourned the workshop.
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