University of North Florida
Board of Trustees

  • Meeting
September 18, 2003
University Center at 2:30 p.m.

Minutes

Trustees in Attendance

Dr. Abdullah, Mr. Coggin, Ms. Crawford, Mr. Halverson, Ms. Hicks, Ms. Kendrick, Dr. Solano, Dr. Taylor, Mr. Twomey, and Mr. Watterson.

Trustees Absent

Mr. Douglas, Mr. Gonzalez, and Ms. Thompson.

Call to Order/Approval of Minutes

Vice Chair Halverson called the meeting to order, noting that Chair Thompson would be unable to attend the meeting due to the death of her mother. He expressed the Board’s condolences and concern for Chair Thompson during this time. He announced that there would be a few changes to the agenda if there were no objections: the demonstration rule, Item 5C, had been removed from the agenda to allow for further discussion and to consider some recently received comments; Item 6G granting signature authority to President Delaney and Ms. Shari Shuman on university checks had been added; and Item 5E had also been added to provide discussion of the program review process. The Board offered no objections to the changes. Vice Chair Halverson requested a motion to approve the minutes. The motion was made and seconded by members of the Board and unanimously approved.

President’s Report

President Delaney offered his own good wishes for Chair Thompson and said his thoughts and prayers were with her and with Trustee Hicks who was facing a similar loss.

President Delaney said he hoped for a shift in perspective to address ways to make UNF not only better but great. He said he realized that resources would be an issue that would have to be addressed. He hoped to develop some indicators for use in measuring progress at the retreat such as demographics of staff and students, numbers and amounts of contracts and grants, minority contracting, factors considered in the U.S. News and World Report, faculty pay, retention, drop out and graduation rates, etc. President Delaney announced that the fall headcount exceeded 14 thousand students and average SAT scores again increased and were now 1151. The grade point average for first time in college students went from 3.5 to 3.6. The University hired 62 new faculty members: one fifth were minorities and 40% were female. President Delaney said that Dr. Kline had informed him there would be additional space for 700 students next year once the Science and Engineering building opened. The President hoped to replace Building 11 by fall of 2006, depending upon the availability of funding for the project. He said Dean Serwatka had given a presentation on the funding formula, which he believed offered some interesting ramifications for the University. He proposed the topic for discussion at the retreat.

In another matter, President Delaney said he asked the Research and Development Authority to halt the sale of approximately 200 acres located in the Research Park. He said he did not believe the University had met the original idea for the park. While he thought those who had already purchased land were good neighbors, he felt the rest of the land should be reserved for extraordinary opportunities or saved for sale at a later date as the land would be worth much more then anyway. He pointed out that the campus was landlocked and that there was an opportunity to reexamine the University’s master plan in considering the issue.

Educational Policy Committee Report

Trustee Hicks announced that the Educational Policy Committee had reviewed three rules, one of which had been tabled for further study. She asked Judy Clausen to address the rules. Ms. Clausen said the first rule had to do with commercial activity on campus. University groups or organizations could obtain permits directly but other groups or individuals would require sponsorship from a university organization. The rule was limited to permitted activity, the University often contracted directly with contractors or the community and such activity was not affected by the rule. Also, activities invited by one specific person or group on a one-on-one basis were not regulated by the rule. Procedures for campus food providers were designated by the rule now as well. Trustee Hicks noted that the rules were primarily borrowed from the University of Florida and from Texas. Ms. Clausen confirmed this and stated that UNF was open to vendors but wanted to know who was on campus and to ensure that such activities were of benefit to the campus or a charitable organization in some way. Trustee Hicks offered a motion from the committee to accept the rule. The trustees voted unanimously in favor.

Ms. Clausen spoke regarding the distribution of printed material. She said the University did not want to look at the flyers but did want to address specific complaints such as flyers on windshields, littering, and disruption of traffic or classes. The rule also addressed the procedure for leaving materials unattended. Trustee Hicks stated that the committee moved to pass the printed material rule. The Board unanimously approved the rule.

Trustee Hicks stated that two old rules had to be rescinded in order not to conflict with the new rules but Ms. Stone asked that the motion be tabled to coincide with the presentation of the demonstration rule as that was the rule to which they primarily applied.

Trustee Hicks said last item of committee business was that of academic program review, which she said was an assessment of program strengths and weaknesses. She asked Vice President Wilson to talk about the review process. Dr. Wilson stated that the University was required by state statute to review programs every five to seven years. This process had been applied to university planning as well. There were three types of review: generic program review when a department brought in an outside consultant, accrediting body review, and midterm assessment for those programs with a longer review period than seven years. A committee then examined the reviews and provided feedback. Departments were also required to submit an annual report that then became part of the budgeting process.

Trustee Hicks thanked Dr. Wilson and Ms. Clausen for their assistance and ended her report. Vice Chair Halverson expressed his appreciation for Trustee Hicks attendance at the meeting and offered the Board’s sympathies and concern for her during her mother’s illness.

Finance and Audit Committee

Trustee Twomey said five actions were recommended with respect to fees. The actions were not establishing or changing fees, only setting up the process for future changes. The first policy addressed was the activity and service, health, and athletics fees policy. The Board would set fees each year after recommendation from the President. The committee moved to approve the policy and the trustees voted unanimously to approve. The next set of fees were the parking and child development fees which would undergo the same process. The Board would set fees and approve changes each year based on recommendation from the President. Trustee Twomey moved that this policy be adopted as well. The Board unanimously approved the policy. The recommendation from the Finance and Audit Committee was that the housing fees policy be approved as well. The motion was unanimously approved. Trustee Twomey stated that the setting of tuition policy was consistent with past practices in which trustees set forth tuition levels in accordance with guidance from law and the President’s recommendation. He moved to accept the policy and the Board unanimously approved it. Trustee Twomey said the final fee policy was slightly different. The committee recommended that the Board delegate authority to the President to establish and approve changes for the miscellaneous university fees outlined in the policy. All of the trustees voted to approve the policy. In a housekeeping measure, Trustee Twomey requested that the Board grant signature authority for university checks to President Delaney and Shari Shuman. After brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously to grant the authority.

Trustee Twomey spoke of the final item from the committee, the audit report. He said the committee had great discussion on the item and that the University had done an excellent job of assessing appropriate responses and humbly accepting criticism. He found the report to be affirming, significant, and thorough and had found nothing troubling in the report. He noted that the University took strong exception to one audit complaint regarding appropriate controls and said he agreed with and appreciated the University’s position on the issue. He asked if Ms. Shuman would comment on the report.

Ms. Shuman stated that the Auditor General’s office conducted an operational audit of UNF every two years. Over 100 different areas were examined in the current audit resulting in sixteen recommendations. UNF disagreed with some of the recommendations, and examined and suggested solutions to others. Many of the issues had already been discovered and addressed by university personnel, which, Ms. Shuman said, was one way of determining that the proper controls were in place. President Delaney added that all recommendations from previous audits had been addressed.

Vice Chair Halverson commended Ms. Shuman and university staff for their responses to the audit. He said he felt the responses were thoughtful and well done and believed the audit had been very thorough. He asked if she could report back to the Board in a few months regarding actions taken by the University to address the Auditor General’s recommendations. Trustee Kendrick asked Ms. Shuman to report to the FAC as well. Ms. Shuman agreed to provide reports to both entities.

Annual Goals

Vice Chair Halverson asked Provost Kline to address some highlights of UNF’s progress in meeting the institution’s annual goals. Provost Kline said he would begin with the deficiencies. He noted that while the College of Computing Sciences and Engineering had done an excellent job with accreditation, music had not done as well in preparing their own self study. Deans Kasten and Workman had agreed to assist them this year. In another item, the University had requested $21 million in PECO funds but only received $4 million. Dr. Kline said that all of the universities had received less than they had hoped. Regarding special learning opportunities, Provost Kline said that though the percentage of increase was dramatic, the actual numbers were not. He felt that number should be increased ten-fold and said the University was working on bringing the numbers up.

Dr. Kline drew attention to the goal related to the ERP system. He said that although many had disagreed with the community based decision to go with SCT Banner, each day he became more convinced that UNF had made the right decision. He pointed out that contracts and grants were doing better every year and suggested the Board consider them in relation to research in their planning, noting that universities at the bottom of the research category brought in about $25 million in contracts and grants. Dr. Kline stated that the capital campaign had been a huge success; other universities had been overwhelmed by UNF’s success. He indicated that UNF was having success in hiring more full-time faculty, leading to fewer courses taught by part-time faculty. He said this was one of the items reflected in U.S. News and World Report rankings and was pertinent to future planning for the institution.

Dr. Kline said he had read an article in the New York Times the previous Sunday about diversity, illustrating that the issue was more complex than just recruiting more students from lower income schools. Vice Chair Halverson said that a cohort of aspirational peer school had been identified at the last retreat. He asked if future editions would show not only gains but how the University benchmarked against those institutions. Dr. Kline replied that they would. Vice Chair Halverson thanked Provost Kline for his report.

2004 Legislative Priorities and Update

Ms. Janet Owen reported that net general revenue collections were up for the year, and said she continued to hear rumors of available non-recurring revenue for allocation in the 2004 legislative session.

The Florida Board of Governors (FBOG) met in August and approved the legislative budget request for the State University System. Later in August, the State Board of Education (SBE) approved the K-20 Legislative Budget Request for 2004-05, which incorporated the budget request for the universities as approved by the FBOG. She said the FBOG budget request was an advocacy budget, requesting an increase of 9.16% over the 2003-04 adjusted appropriation. The request called for funding the unfunded enrollment for 2003-04 and new enrollment growth for 2004-05. It also called for funding university projects meeting "state critical needs," which included $753,000 for UNF to enhance enrollment in nursing and teaching education. The budget request approved by the FBOG also included the request for $60 million to be applied toward the $124 million in unmatched major gifts. The FBOG's recommendations for funding construction projects at the universities was not yet included in the budget request because the FBOG would be approving the list at their upcoming meeting (September 24, 2003).

Ms. Owen speculated that with the current concern in Washington D.C. about the rising cost of education and increases in tuition, the Legislators may not authorize the usual level of across-the-board tuition increases as in recent years. She advised that the university might be better served to ask for different types of tuition flexibility such as block fees, differential tuition by program, and tuition incentives for night and weekend courses. She said the major issue was the need for relief of the 40% fee cap.

Trustee Coggin returned to the subject of the matching funds for major gifts. He asked Ms. Owen if she knew if the legislature planned to match funds in a more timely manner. Ms. Owen replied that she knew the legislature was considering substantial changes to the program in order to avoid backlogs in the future. She said one donor had actually taken back a donation because of the delay. President Delaney said the Speaker of the House would like to get the whole sum taken care of this year but would probably only be able to match half. He thought the State would probably lower the amount matched in order to avoid future backlogs. He added that this was the most receptive the legislature had been to clearing up the backlogs.

Ms. Owen said the Executive Committee of the FBOG met to begin developing a strategic plan for the system and to define the distinctive mission of each university. One of the points of discussion was how to align the university board committees with the FBOG committees for more meaningful interaction. The FBOG will be asking the university boards to identify which of their committees should be designated as the "contact" for each of the FBOG committees currently established.

Handouts accompanying Ms. Owen's report included the State University System 2004-05 Legislative Budget Request Major Issues Summary (September 15, 2003), the Executive Summary of the 2004-05 Legislative Budget Request, UNF's 2004 State Legislative Priorities, the FBOG Committees List, and a report entitled, The College Cost Crisis, by Rep. John Boehner, Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness.

Discussion on Retreat

President Delaney said he would like to know what topics the Board would like to discuss at the retreat and what they would like to discuss in relation to the strategic plan. He asked Dean Serwatka to talk about the retreat.

Dr. Serwatka thought the topic of the retreat could be related to setting the agenda for the Board for the next year and for the University for the next several years. He thought the Board would look at what they would like to accomplish over the next year and perhaps at their role in terms of advocacy and governance. He also suggested consideration of the master plan for the University. The previous strategic plan had not been very comprehensive originally as it was drafted when the Board was first instituted. Dr. Serwatka asked what indicators the trustees would like to track over time to determine if the institution was on target with goals. He said President Delaney had been asked about his vision for UNF a number of times but hoped for guidance from the Board in answering this question. Dean Serwatka requested comments or suggestions for the agenda prior to the retreat.

Trustee Abdullah said she thought it might be appropriate to look at UNF’s agenda as the retreat centerpiece and revolve the BOT agenda around it. She thought governance should be the underpinning of the agenda. Vice Chair Halverson remarked that the Board was somewhat disabled in the conversation about the retreat agenda by Chair Thompson’s absence. He agreed with Dean Serwatka’s synopsis of the need for further planning. He said that the Board’s passive relationship with the legislature concerned him and that he would like to see the universities become a bit more independent. Trustee Taylor agreed. He said there had been much discussion about the changing dynamic in the public sector. He felt the three driving forces: public dollars (which were on the decline), research dollars, and tuition and fees should be examined at the retreat. He emphasized the need to be consistent with the vision for the University. With consistency, he then felt the Board could establish the principles for developing a plan. While he knew it wouldn’t be possible to finalize anything in the retreat, he thought an approach and at least a partial list of goals could be generated. Trustee Watterson said he would like to address the concept of allocating space for Greek housing at the retreat if time and format allowed it.

President Delaney assured trustees materials would be sent out for the retreat. He asked if the master plan was something the Board wanted to look at in part. Vice Chair Halverson replied that he wasn’t sure and asked about considering the degree research was to play, etc. and setting a direction first, then examining implications to the master plan at another time as the topic was so complex. Trustee Twomey said a 20 year master plan was needed as the University was landlocked and strategies for dealing with density were not adequate. He said he would like university staff to propose a plan to the trustees for consideration.

Trustee Solano asked what outcome the Board hoped for from the retreat. She assumed the retreat would be a brainstorming session concerning the group’s feelings about the direction of the university over the next five or ten years. She asked if there would be an opportunity for members of the university community to review any recommendations that resulted from the retreat and provide feedback. Vice Chair Halverson replied that he believed so as that was the Board’s history in dealing with that type of action. Dr. Solano said that the faculty had a strategic planning committee and asked if it would be appropriate to invite the chair of that committee to the retreat. Vice Chair Halverson said he would defer that question to Chair Thompson. Dean Serwatka assured Trustee Solano that the purpose of the retreat was not to set the agenda for the University but only to establish the process for setting the agenda. Vice Chair Halverson agreed. Trustee Coggin asked if a conduit existed between the Board, faculty, and students to facilitate the flow of information prior to and after the retreat. He said that the capital plans would certainly depend upon the vision for UNF. Trustee Coggin complimented President Delaney, stating that he saw great similarities between the vision of Greater Jacksonville and what had been accomplished under Mr. Delaney’s leadership and what he thought President Delaney could do for UNF.

Vice Chair Halverson said that trustees were, of course, concerned by faculty and students. The notion of holding the retreat had arisen some time ago with the idea that it was useful for the Board to meet and discuss where trustees thought the institution was going. This meeting, however, did not constitute a strategic plan, only an effort to develop a viewpoint for the Board. The Board would then solicit input from all of its constituents and from that process a plan would emerge. He said he looked forward to the retreat and that it was an interesting time to be involved with university governance, as so much was now available to higher education. After making sure there were no further questions or comments, he adjourned the meeting.