Mr. Coggin, Mr. Douglas, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Halverson, Ms. Hicks, Ms. Kendrick, Dr. Solano, Dr. Taylor, Ms. Thompson, Mr. Twomey
Dr. Abdullah, Ms. Crawford, Mr. Watterson
Chair Thompson convened the workshop.
The workshop began with a discussion of a proposed settlement in the Association of General Contractors lawsuit with various state agencies and the University of Florida and Florida A&M University over issues related to procurement and purchasing with minorities. In particular, the AGC lawsuit argued that One Florida did not go far enough in eliminating race, ethnicity, or gender from consideration in making contract awards. The proposed settlement called for all of Florida’s universities to sign on to the terms of the agreement, which would last for ninety-nine years.
During the discussion on the proposed settlement, trustees raised issues about the wisdom of signing an agreement for a lawsuit in which the University was not named as a defendant. Other trustees questioned the length of the agreement, as this area of law has had major shifts over the last several years. The discussion ended with the consensus that more information was needed before considering any decision on this agreement.
The next topic covered in the workshop was the framework for a strategic plan. The first element of the framework discussed was the four commitments proposed earlier by Trustee Halverson: A commitment to excellence, a commitment to focus, a commitment to relevance, and a commitment to accountability. The group felt that these would serve well as foundational or guiding principles in structuring a vision and a plan for the University of North Florida.
Upon reaching agreement on the four guiding principles, the trustees considered a set of mission statements, including one proposed by the faculty’s strategic planning committee, two redrafts of this proposed mission statement, and the current and past statements. Based on this review, the Board felt most comfortable with the redraft which read: The University of North Florida’s primary commitment is to instruction, with scholarship and community involvement playing vital roles. The University provides a comprehensive array of degree programs, with a targeted focus on select programs where the University is a national leader.
Generally, trustees felt that the direct simplicity of the statement was a virtue. Some suggested that it might need minor changes to make it more exciting. The trustees recommended that the shorter mission statement be given to the faculty committee for review and comment.
Upon concluding the discussion of the mission statement, the trustees talked about President Delaney’s nine key elements, around which he felt the University might structure its strategic plan.
The discussion around these was robust, with most of it focused on the concepts of continuous improvement, accountability, and flagship programs. Provost Kline, Trustee Solano, and Dean Serwatka presented the faculty viewpoint, outlining the reservations that faculty have when discussing accountability. President Delaney talked about how existing accountability measures used by universities were most often pass-fail tests, as opposed to measures of level of quality.
The Board’s final topic of discussion was in regard to its own operation: Does the Board have the correct committee structure? How often should the Board meet? During this discussion, trustees recommended continuing the existing committee structure, but with the addition of vice chairs to the committees. Trustees also recommended developing a meeting schedule with fewer business meetings and more workshops where Board members would be able to discuss broad issues.
The workshop adjourned at 12:00.
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