University of North Florida
Board of Trustees

  • Meeting
October 26, 2006
University Center at 2:30 p.m.

Minutes

Trustees in Attendance

Dr. Edythe Abdullah, Mr. Luther Coggin, Mrs. Toni Crawford , Mr. Justin Damiano, Mr. Wilfredo Gonzalez, Mrs. Ann Hicks, Mrs. Wanyonyi Kendrick, Dr. Chip Klostermeyer, Mrs. Joan Newton, Dr. Bruce Taylor, Mrs. Carol Thompson

Trustees Absent

Mr. Steve Halverson, Mr. Kevin Twomey

Item 1 Call to Order

Chair Taylor called the meeting to order.

Item 2 Chair’s Report

Chair Taylor stated that the Board would like to offer appreciation to two previous trustees – Mr. Tom Foran, Student Government President and trustee from April 2005 to April 2006; Dr. Judith Solano, Faculty Association President and trustee from September 2004 to September 2006. Each trustee received a plaque commemorating their service.

Item 3 President’s Report

President Delaney stated that earlier today, the University announced a $1 million gift from Dr. Bruce Taylor and Taylor Engineering, Inc., to establish the Taylor Engineering Research Institute, within the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. He also told the Board that the Coastal Biology Program had been selected as the University’s fourth and latest flagship program. This program would put UNF in the forefront of environmental research in our region.

 

President Delaney stated that Taylor Engineering’s gift was the largest donation given to the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction in its history and would be matched by the state, making the total gift $1.5 million. He said that this gift was a great example of linkage between the University and our community.

 

President Delaney spoke about the recent meeting between the Board of Governors, university presidents and their Board chairs. He said that up until now, the Board of Governors had looked favorably on devolution, but now that there were competing agendas in the Legislature this could change.

 

President Delaney stated that the essence of the discussion at this meeting was to define the role of the Board of Governors in representing the overall interests of the State University System. Provost Workman stated that the scenario moving forward within the Board of Governors would be a good fit for UNF.

 

President Delaney introduced the 2006-2007 LeadershipUNF class at the conclusion of his remarks, and welcomed them to the meeting.

Item 4 Open Comments

Chair Taylor offered opportunity for open comments and recognized three members of the University community, Dr. Robert Vergenz, Dr. Jason Mauro and Ms. Alissa Craddock.

 

Dr. Vergenz stated that he would like to have the words “sexual orientation” deleted from the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Regulation. He stated that he felt that the best science indicated that sexual orientation was a chosen behavior. He continued by stating that there was research associating the homosexual lifestyle with higher rates of promiscuity, instability, substance abuse, etc. He concluded by stating that supporting this regulation would encourage a dangerous lifestyle for our students.

 

Dr. Jason Mauro spoke about a previous event in fall 2004 when Student Government and PRIDE, UNF’s club for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, took opposing views on how funding for one PRIDE event had been processed. This event prompted public discussions on homosexuality and discrimination.

 

Dr. Mauro stated that, in response to this event, President Delaney asked Vice President Gonzalez to head a task force to look into the reported concerns, and this task force became the Committee on Equity and Civility. He stated that this committee surveyed the campus community and found that significant numbers of lesbian, gay and bisexual students and faculty described UNF’s campus as unaccepting of lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

 

Dr. Mauro spoke about what action the University could take to change these perceptions, stating that focus groups determined that adding “sexual orientation” to UNF’s nondiscrimination policy would make the most difference.

 

Dr. Mauro asked for a simple and public declaration supporting nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation, stating that the University values performance of students, staff member and faculty and would not permit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Dr. Mauro concluded by stating that this was not a radical proposal but intended to conserve all voices on the issue while securing the safety and integrity of all member of the UNF community.

 

Ms. Alissa Craddock spoke about her commitment to religion which led to her concerns about the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Regulation. She stated that she did not believe it was a good idea to encourage homosexual behavior. Ms. Craddock expressed concerns for parity, stating that she believed this regulation would lead to discrimination against people with conservative beliefs. She spoke about her concerns for this regulation and its power to legitimize homosexuality – this culture would dramatically reshape the society at the local level as well as at the macro level. She stated that the gay agenda had been very successful in making sexual orientation as an identity rather than a behavior. She concluded by stating that Christians and others were not opposing people but a lifestyle/behavior. Ms. Craddock offered her appreciation to the Board.

 

Chair Taylor thanked all who addressed the Board and asked for further comments. There were no further comments.

Item 5 Consent Agenda

Chair Taylor offered the opportunity for items to be pulled from the consent agenda – no requests were made.

 

Chair Taylor asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda: approval of the minutes (September 28, 2006); revised educational plant survey; audit plan for the 2006-2007 fiscal year; request to rename the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences; request to rename the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction’s Division of Engineering; and a Bachelor of Health Administration. The motion was offered, seconded and approved unanimously.

Item 6 Ratification of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) Re-opener Contract

Chair Taylor introduced Mr. Leonard Carson and asked him to discuss this item.

 

Mr. Carson stated that this contract had been ratified by the Union on October 25th. He referenced the meeting materials and spoke about the changes from last year’s contract, stating that the direction provided by the Board had served as a foundation for the negotiations.

 

Chair Taylor asked for a motion to approve the UFF re-opener contract. Trustee Klostermeyer advised the Board that this was a tricky situation for him because his contract as a faculty member was retroactive and would be impacted. He offered appreciation to the Union and the negotiating team, stating that faculty thought it was a much-improved salary article. This being said, a motion was offered, seconded and the contract was approved unanimously.

Item 7 Ratification of the Teamsters Union’s Re-opener Contract

Chair Taylor asked Mr. Carson to continue discussions for this item.

 

Mr. Carson stated that this contract had been ratified by the Union on October 4th. He referenced the meeting materials, stating that these materials included a summary of changes.

 

President Delaney thanked Mr. Carson and the negotiating team for their work on the contracts.

 

Chair Taylor asked for a motion to approve the Teamsters Union’s re-opener contract. The motion was offered, seconded and approved unanimously.

Item 8 Equal Opportunity and Diversity Regulation

Chair Taylor asked Vice President Stone to speak on this item.

 

Vice President Stone stated that this regulation had been approved by the Educational Policy Committee on October 12th. She asked the Board to recall that this regulation was pulled from the consent agenda during the April 2006 Board meeting with a request that specific concerns be addressed including the approval process, issues governing academic freedom and free speech, and procedures to include the University community and other groups in deliberations on the item.

 

Vice President Stone stated that the University believed these issues were addressed. She reviewed the change in the approval process, stating that this process now included constituent groups having 14 days, prior to the promulgation process, to review each regulation. The promulgation process now included an Open Forum which would allow the University community the opportunity to discuss concerns, solicit information and voice opinions as they relate to proposed University regulations and policies.

 

Vice President Stone spoke about issues governing academic freedom and free speech, stating that additional language had been added to address both of these concerns. The new language made it clear that affirmative action would not cover sexual orientation. She stated that the changes were intended to reflect the University as a unique learning environment, recognizing that individuals had different views – the University ensured that free speech and academic freedom were protected.

 

Vice President Stone stated that the regulation remained the same, excluding the mentioned changes. She spoke about the positive changes, stating that the regulation was now in line with current case law, resulting in a legally sound and much-improved document.

 

Chair Taylor offered appreciation to all who contributed to the regulation, stating that this item had been discussed at length within the committee structure, as well as by the full Board. He stated that this regulation dealt with very difficult and sensitive issues, and may not be perfect, but was much improved. He asked for further discussion.

 

Trustee Gonzalez asked if the University provided sensitivity training. He spoke about the need for sensitivity training for faculty and staff, stating that this should be mandatory and employees made accountable for attending. He said that this training would make a distinction between attitude and behavior. He also suggested that students be encouraged to attend.

 

Chair Taylor spoke about sensitivity training – what was the University doing to address this issue. Ms. Monell stated that the University did not have sensitivity training on an on-going basis but that training was provided to new employees during their orientation sessions. She stated that the University was in agreement that more needed to be done with respect to training.

 

Trustee Thompson commended staff on addressing the concerns of the Board, stating that this was a much-improved document and one that she could personally support. She asked for clarification regarding the interpretation of discrimination. Vice President Stone stated that this interpretation was the responsibility of the Director for the Equal Opportunity Program, Ms. Lina Monell. 

 

Vice President Stone asked Ms. Monell to address this issue. Ms. Monell stated that additional guidance would be provided to anyone requesting interpretation of discrimination. She stated that every situation was unique and her office would receive guidance from the General Counsel to make sure the law was interpreted appropriately. She also stated that the University had an appeals process. Vice President Serwatka stated that there was a set of procedures attached to this regulation which defined the process someone would follow in registering a complaint and the University would follow in receiving the complaint.

 

President Delaney stated that this regulation would not solve all discrimination issues and debate would not end with this discussion. He stated that implementation of this regulation would require judgment calls and the University had processes to deal with such issues.

 

Chair Taylor asked for a motion to approve the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Regulation. The motion was offered, seconded and approved unanimously.

Item 9 Sexual Harassment Regulation

Chair Taylor asked Vice President Stone to speak about this item.

 

Vice President Stone stated that this regulation was a companion to the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Regulation. She stated that this regulation was also referred back to the University at the April 2006 Board meeting, for similar reasons – the approval process, academic freedom and free speech.

 

Vice President Stone addressed changes that were made to this regulation, listing language added to ensure academic freedom and free speech. She stated that the wording chosen was consistent with the law and recent court cases, reflecting the University was a unique environment. She stated that the remainder of the regulation was left unchanged.

 

Chair Taylor asked for further discussion. Upon receiving none, he asked for a motion to approve the Sexual Harassment Regulation. A motion was offered seconded and approved unanimously.

Item 10 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Board of Trustees and the UNF Foundation Board

Chair Taylor asked Trustee Thompson to speak about this item.

 

Trustee Thompson stated that she served as a liaison between the UNF Foundation Board and the Board of Trustees. She spoke about this MOU, stating that Vice Presidents Allaire and Stone had been instrumental in crafting this document.

 

Trustee Thompson stated that this agreement would preserve the existing positive relationship between the Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board, and included a plan for fund disbursement should the University ever disband.

 

Trustee Thompson stated that this MOU was approved by the Executive Committee of the Foundation Board and ratified by the Foundation Board in December 2005. She asked if there was further discussion and/or questions. There was none.

 

Chair Taylor stated that he applauded Trustee Thompson and the Foundation Board for an excellent memo. He offered a small suggestion for a change in wording – on page 3-4, add “and strategic plan” to the end of the first sentence. Trustee Thompson concurred with his suggestion and felt that the Foundation Board would have no objections.

 

Chair Taylor asked for a motion to approve the MOU between the Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board. A motion was offered, seconded and approved unanimously.

Item 11 Capital Projects Update

Chair Taylor asked Vice President Shuman to speak about this item.

 

Vice President Shuman said that the University was in line with major capital projects. She stated that the social sciences building was open and ready for classes on time and completed well within budget. She stated that Starbucks would be coming to campus before January 2007.

 

This item was presented for information only. No further action was required.

Item 12 Action Items from the Educational Policy Committee

Committee Chair Hicks stated that the October 12th Educational Policy Committee meeting was a historical meeting, approving two new applied doctoral programs in the College of Health. Committee Chair Hicks asked Provost Workman to speak on these items.

Item 12A Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program

See below.

Item 12B Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program

Provost Workman stated that these programs were approved by the Faculty Association and the Educational Policy Committee. He stated that this really was a historic moment for the University and these new programs deserved full consideration from the Board rather than consent agenda consideration.

 

Provost Workman stated that although there was certainty that the University would grow, the future size remained undetermined. He spoke about the need to keep pace with the city and meet the full range of educational needs for citizens and professionals within the community. He stated that the new programs would offer students with advanced educational aspirations opportunities at UNF.

 

Provost Workman stated that he would like to emphasize that the new programs were consistent with the mission of the University – providing educational and professional resources to the region. These two new programs exemplified that commitment.

 

Provost Workman asked Dean Chally to continue this discussion. Dean Chally stated that she would like to focus on the rationale for offering these degrees and how the University intended to make sure these degrees were high quality. She stated that the Nursing Practice Program would supply an increased number of clinical nursing faculty, who would in turn, educate a number of nursing students who would then return to the community.

 

Trustee Thompson stated that she had a keen interest in these programs and supported a proactive approach to address a critical shortage in well-prepared nurses.

 

Dean Chally spoke about the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program, stating that this degree was needed because the industry was now requiring physical therapists to provide patient care that required the knowledge offered by this degree. She stated that it was also anticipated that the accrediting body would soon mandate that physical therapists have an earned doctorate.

 

Dean Chally concluded her discussion, stating that these two degrees were well placed within the University’s mission and focused on relevance and accountability, as well as on the healthcare needs of northeast Florida.

 

Chair Taylor asked for a motion to approve the Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program. A motion was offered, seconded and approved unanimously.

 

Chair Taylor asked for a motion to approve the Doctorate of Physical Therapy. A motion was offered, seconded and approved unanimously.

Item 13 Reports from the Finance and Audit Committee

Chair Taylor asked Vice President Shuman to discuss Items 13A-13G.

Item 13A Audit Follow-up Update

Vice President Shuman stated that the University had implemented all 15 items on the report, with work continuing on some items. She stated that the University was in good shape for next year’s operational audit.

 

This item was for information only. No further action was required.

Item 13B, 13C, 13D Training and Service Institute Audit, Foundation Audit, and Financing Corporation Audit

Vice President Shuman stated that there were no management comments from auditors for any of these audits. She stated that the Training and Service Institute had a great year, making contributions to the library and the social sciences building.

 

Vice President Shuman stated that the Foundation had increased assets, and the endowments were on the way up. She stated that the Financing Corporation was up and running and would be financing future housing and parking initiatives -- housing and parking would soon be removed from the Foundation.

 

These items were for information only. No further action was required.

Item 13E Accounts Receivable Write-offs

Vice President Shuman stated that the Board delegated the authority for accounts receivable write-offs under $10,000 to the President at their January 26th meeting – the meeting materials provided information about accounts being written off and these were all less than $10,000.

 

This item was for information only. No further action was required.

Item 13F Treasurer’s Report

Vice President Shuman stated that the meeting materials included reports regarding cash flows – how much the University invested and how much income was received. She stated that the University was in the process of diversifying investments and Sawgrass Asset Management Company was hired to manage these investments.

 

This item was for information only. No further action was required.

Item 13G Quarterly Budget Report

Vice President Shuman stated that, as of the end of the year, all units were within budget – some areas had large cash balances that were earmarked for large capital projects.

 

This item was for information only. No further action was required.

Item 14 Reports from the Educational Policy Committee

Committee Chair Hicks asked Provost Workman to present Items 14A-14C.

Item 14A New Faculty Hires

Provost Workman stated that the University had searched nationally and rigorously for new faculty hires. He stated that the University had provided competitive startup packages and professional development opportunities for new faculty hires. Provost Workman referenced UNF’s fall convocation program, stating that this publication included brief biographical information on the 49 new faculty hires.

Item 14B Fall 2006 Student Profile

Provost Workman asked Associate Vice President Deb Kaye to speak about this item.

 

Ms. Kaye stated that enrollment now exceeded 16,000 students, with freshman enrollment reaching 1836 (a small increase from last year). She stated that the University’s had accomplished their plan to shape the freshman class. The class had an average SAT score of 1166.

 

Ms. Kaye spoke about the summer term stating that a variety of students were admitted in the summer. She stated that there was an increase in minority enrollment for the summer term and a slight decrease for the fall term; however, the combined class included an increase. Ms. Kaye said that there was a strong attempt to recruit minority students during summer terms.

 

Ms. Kaye spoke about geographic diversity, stating that this increase mandated a need for more housing. She stated that statistical data proved that on-campus students were retained at a higher rate; thus, supporting the push for additional housing.

 

Ms. Kaye spoke about scholarships, stating that the Presidential Scholarship had been an unbelievable success, impacting the elevated profile of the freshman class. She stated that more than 95 percent of these students had been retained – 20 percent higher than the average freshman class.

 

Ms. Kaye stated that the Presidential Scholarship program for the upcoming fall term had been reshaped, with intent to include a missing segment of students – students with a 3.5 GPA and 1200 SAT. She said this group of students was not included in the previous program.

 

Ms. Kaye discussed enrollment, stating that the ratio of students who applied and those who enrolled had decreased – proving that the University was becoming more selective. She spoke about transfer students, stating that enrollment continued to fluctuate but efforts were being made to recruit these students as well. Ms. Kaye stated that the non-traditional population continued to fluctuate – there was a large increase of traditional students over the last decade.

 

Ms. Kaye spoke about gender, stating that there was still 20 percent more females enrolled than males, but the male figure was inching up.

 

Chair Taylor asked for information regarding the older student population (the 30 to 50 year-old student) – why was this figure decreasing? Ms. Kaye agreed to provide that information at a later meeting.

 

Trustee Thompson asked about scholarships, specifically merit scholars versus need-based scholars – what was the best use of resources. President Delaney stated that Bright Futures Scholarships were offered regardless of personal circumstances – the issue was how to recruit the student with a SAT score higher than 1200. Chair Taylor stated that this would be a good workshop topic and asked that it be added to the upcoming workshop.

 

This item was provided for information only. No further action was needed.

Item 14C U. S. News and World Report Rankings

Provost Workman asked Assistant Director Shawn Brayton to discuss this item.

 

Ms. Brayton stated that the University had improved significantly in these rankings over the last 7 years. She clarified that UNF fell into the Southern Region category which included 126 schools – 71 public and 55 private. She stated that this region was further ranked in tiers and UNF was included in the top tier, which included 63 schools – 27 public and 36 private. Within this top tier, UNF ranked 47th.

 

Ms. Brayton spoke about the rankings, stating that the best area to focus on was quality. She stated that UNF’s rankings in alumni giving, retention and class size remained the same but graduation rates and student/faculty ratio had improved. She stated that ACT and SAT averages improved, as well as the acceptance rate, indicating UNF’s focus on quality and selectivity.

 

Ms. Brayton stated that UNF had done very well in these rankings with a marked improvement over last year.

 

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

Item 15 Adjournment

Chair Taylor reminded the Board about the upcoming workshop and encouraged all trustees to attend.

 

The meeting was adjourned.