Ms. Toni Crawford, Mr. T. O’Neal Douglas, Ms. Donna Harper Gibbs, Mr. Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, Ms. Virginia Hall, Mr. Steven T. Halverson, Ms. Ann Hicks, Ms. Lindsay Hodges, Ms. Joan Wellhouse Newton, Mr. James Stallings, Mr. Kevin Twomey, Ms. Carol Thompson, Dr. Floyd Willis
President Anne Hopkins call the inaugural meeting or the UNF Board of Trustees to order.
The University of North Florida’s Board of Trustees inaugural meeting began at 1:00 p.m. with opening remarks from President Anne Hopkins. In her remarks President Hopkins spoke of the history of the University, introducing one of its founding faculty members, Mr. Andrew Farkas, Director of the University Library. She also spoke of the opportunities that lay ahead for the institution and for its new Board of Trustees. President Hopkins concluded her remarks with an overview of the meeting’s agenda.
Following her opening remarks, President Hopkins asked Trustee Stallings to serve as the acting chair of the Board during the election of the Board’s chair. With no objection, Trustee Stallings assumed the role of acting chair.
Trustee Stallings opened nominations for chair of the Board. Trustee Douglas nominated Trustee Thompson for the position. Trustee Hall seconded the nomination. With no other nominations forthcoming, Trustee Willis moved that the nominations be closed. Trustee Gibbs seconded the motion. The Board passed this motion.
The Board then voted unanimously to elect Trustee Thompson as its chair. Upon her election, Trustee Thompson assumed the seat of the chair and offered remarks thanking her fellow trustees for the honor.
Chair Thompson then opened nominations for vice chair. Trustee Hicks nominated Trustee Douglas. Trustee Twomey seconded the nomination. With no other nominations forthcoming and following a motion by Trustee Gonzalez and a second by Trustee Halverson, the Board voted unanimously to close the nominations. The Board then unanimously elected Trustee Douglas as its vice chair. After his election, Vice Chair Douglas expressed how much he was looking forward to serving as vice chair with Chair Thompson and the other members of the Board.
After the election of the vice chair, Chair Thompson requested that, if there were no objections from members of the Board, she would like Ms. Kathleen Cohen, President of the UNF Faculty Association, to join the Trustees, President Hopkins, and the University’s Vice Presidents at the table. With no objections Chair Thompson invited Ms. Cohen to take a seat at the table.
The next items on the agenda dealt with basic organizational operations of the Board. Chair Thompson announced the dates of the other fall term meetings that had been scheduled for the Board.
Recognizing that the Board would need to establish a set of bylaws for its operations, Chair Thompson stated that she would appoint an ad hoc committee to propose Trustee bylaws for action at the next Board meeting, if possible. She asked that trustees who would like to serve on this committee let her know of their interest. There was a request to have University staff solicit models of bylaws from other public universities to aid UNF’s trustees in developing their own. The ad hoc committee will meet before the next full Board meeting and will report back to the full Board on September 26.
The next item on the Board’s agenda was consideration of the tenure nomination for Dr. Charles Paulson. Provost A. David Kline briefed the Board on the ways a faculty member might receive tenure. Responding to questions, Provost Kline stated that the decision to offer tenure to Dr. Paulson was consistent with past practice at the University. He also told the Board that tenure did equate to receiving a permanent appointment, but that this appointment did not guarantee life-time employment. Tenure could be revoked for cause, as a result of budget cuts, or if a specific program was eliminated from the University’s curriculum. Following their discussion, Vice Chair Douglas moved that the Board support the nomination. Trustee Gibbs seconded the motion. The trustees voted unanimously to support the tenure nomination, forwarding it to the Florida Board of Education.
Chair Thompson requested that President Hopkins introduce the speakers and the topics for the orientation portion of the meeting. Ms. Karen Stone, the University’s General Counsel, made a presentation on three of Florida’s laws that will be critical to members of the Board: the Open Meeting Law, the Public Records Law, and the Code of Ethics.
During the next section of the orientation provided to the Board, President Hopkins addressed the mission of the University in terms of the nature and role of public, urban comprehensive universities. Ms. Linda Anderson, Associate Vice President for Administration and Finance, provided an overview of the University’s financial accounting systems and its current allocations. Dr. Thomas Serwatka, Assistant to the President and Dean of Graduate Studies, made a presentation on the University’s academic programs, student enrollments, the composition of the student body, and the University’s graduation rates. Trustees asked questions during the presentations and expressed a desire for further information on budget information.
After the orientation, President Hopkins restated the times and dates for the next three meetings: Wednesday, September 26; Tuesday, October 23; and Wednesday, November 28. Each of these meetings will held in the Board of Trustees room at the University Center, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Chair Thompson offered closing remarks and adjourned the meeting.
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