University of North Florida
Board of Trustees

  • Meeting
February 21, 2002
University Center at 2:30 p.m.

Minutes

Trustees in Attendance 

 

Mr. T. O'Neal Douglas, Ms. Donna Harper Gibbs, Mr. Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, 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.

 

Trustees Unable to Attend 

 

Ms. Toni Crawford

 

Call to Order and Approval of Minutes 

 

Chair Thompson began by calling the meeting to order. Later in the meeting Chair Thompson asked for approval of the minutes for the January conference call meeting. Trustee Gibbs moved approval of the minutes and Trustee Douglas seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously.

 

Chair's Report 

 

Chair Thompson began her report by announcing that two weeks post-surgery President Hopkins was doing well.

 

Chair Thompson then spoke of the progress that the Board's committees were making on understanding their roles and in addressing the issues brought before them. She stated that while there were many similarities to our committee structure and those at other institutions, UNF appears to be making significant progress in this area.

 

In her report Chair Thompson also focused on the Board's mandate to develop a strategic plan. Considering the amount of work that would be needed to accomplish this mandate, she suggested that the Board would most likely need to schedule some additional work sessions focused on this task.

 

In discussions about the need for a strategic plan, Trustee Twomey suggested that it would be helpful to have work sessions with members of the UNF staff to identify issues on which the Board members might want to focus. Trustee Gibbs also suggested that an end of the year retreat would enable the members of the Board to work in subgroups on specific issues confronting the institution. Trustee Douglas suggested that times for meetings on strategic planning should be scheduled early in May, rather than waiting for June. Trustee Gonzalez suggested that the Florida Board of Education might be willing to underwrite the cost of a Board retreat.   However, because the travel costs for the earlier statewide meeting for all university boards of trustees had to be covered by each university, this seemed to be unlikely.

 

Chair Thompson discussed the fact that two statewide committees were being appointed. One of these committees would act much like the School Code Rewrite Committee, but would focus on looking at funding issues for higher education. The second committee was a search committee to select the next vice chancellor for higher education. Chair Thompson will serve on this committee.

 

Chair Thompson then asked Vice President Allaire to make an announcement to the Board. In his announcement Vice President Allaire told the Board members that as of Friday, February 15, UNF has collected in excess of $10 million in gifts for the year. This was the first time that UNF has reached this amount in any given year. Vice President Allaire thanked both Trustee Hicks and her husband for their efforts in helping the University reach this goal.

 

Acting President's Report 

 

Provost Kline, serving as Acting President, informed the Board of some of the activities that had been going on during the past month. Included among these was the fact that Professor Paul Mason and his students are developing a consumer price index, a leading economic indicator index, and a stock price index for the greater Jacksonville region. The project is being funded by the Times Union, the Heritage Capital Group, and the Community National Bank.

 

Provost Kline announced that Ms. Jessica Stebbins, a UNF student, had been selected as a recipient for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. This scholarship, funded by William and Melinda Gates and similar in nature to a Rhodes Scholarship, will enable Ms. Stebbins to complete doctoral studies in history at Cambridge University. In preparing her application and the associated materials, Ms. Stebbins was assisted by UNF professor, Dr. Mary Borg.

 

Provost Kline also told the members of the Board about the recognition ceremony held the day prior to the meeting for individuals who had donated to the new UNF Fine Arts Center. In speaking about the Center and its future in the community, Provost Kline stated that it would enable UNF to bring a number of creative programs to the Jacksonville area.

 

Provost Kline thanked the UNF staff who routinely aid in organizing the Board of Trustees meetings. These individuals include Mr. Cleshawn Cooks, Ms. Valerie Anthony, Mr. James Van Vleck, Ms. Karen Stone, and Dr. Tom Serwatka.

 

Public Comment Period 

 

There were no requests to make public comments on the Board's agenda items.

 

Finance and Audit Committee Report 

 

Trustee Halverson reported on the meeting of the Finance and Audit Committee. The committee met at 1:00 p.m. on February 21, prior to the full Board meeting.

 

The first item of business for the Finance and Audit Committee was a proposal to increase the rental rates and some of the fees associated with on campus housing for 2002/2003. The Committee reviewed the proposal and would recommend full Board adoption later in the agenda.

 

The second item on the Committee's agenda was a review by Ms. Karen Stone of the current fees charged by the University of North Florida. In her review, Ms. Stone talked about the current status of these fees and the legislative and regulatory authority for each of them.

 

As its final item, the Committee reviewed a proposed set of responsibilities for the Finance and Audit Committee and for its operations. This proposed set of responsibilities calls upon Committee members to understand the budgeting process and the auditing process currently required by law. The proposal also called upon the Committee to work in concert with and as a resource to the President and senior administrators in executing its financial and budgetary responsibilities. The committee will work with Chair Thompson and President Hopkins on reviewing this proposal.

 

After closing his report on the Finance and Audit Committee's meeting, Trustee Halverson asked Provost Kline to introduce the topic of on-campus housing and the proposed increases in rental rates. In his introduction of the topic, Provost Kline spoke about the importance of on-campus housing in making strategic decisions about the University's growth. In considering the enrollment growths it is critical to determine how many of the additional students attending UNF were likely to be on-campus residents and what this would mean to the campus climate and future needs for additional residence halls In this discussion Provost Kline spoke about the positive impact that on-campus life could have on the intellectual, social, and educational development of residential students.

 

As part of the Board's ongoing orientation to the University Provost Kline asked Mr. Paul Riel, Director of Housing Operations, to provide the members of the Board with a brief overview of UNF's current on-campus housing. In his overview Mr. Riel provided the members of the Board with a virtual tour of UNF's various residential housing units. He spoke about the accommodations that were included in each of the different residential complexes and how the staff worked to help students enrich their education through on-campus residential experiences.

 

Following Provost Kline and Mr. Riel's presentation, Trustee Halverson spoke about the proposal reviewed by his committee to increase housing rental rates by an average of 4.7%. In speaking about this proposal, Trustee Halverson commented about the quality of UNF's on-campus housing and about the success experienced during the Fall term with a 98% occupancy rate. He also spoke to the fact that the proposal to increase the rental rates allowed the University to meet its debt service coverage ratio. Trustee Halverson commented that Trustee Hodges had expressed concerns with the increase during the committee meeting. Following his discussion, Trustee Halverson moved acceptance of the proposal before the Board. Trustee Newton seconded the motion.

 

In discussing the motion Trustee Twomey asked about the history of rental rate increases. He and the other Board members were provided with information showing the variability in the increases that have occurred over the last several years. Trustee Twomey also asked what were the factors that led to needing this particular rate of increase for this upcoming year? In responding to this question, staff listed a number of different factors including enrollment growth, the additional staff needed to maintain the housing units, salary increases for staff, the increased costs associated with the utilities needed to operate the residence halls, the debt service coverage ratio, and the fact that a portion of the money generated would be used to pay down parts of the principal.

 

Trustee Hodges expressed her concern that the current budgeting cycle and the time frame for advertising rental rates needed to be adjusted. Chair Thompson acknowledged that the University would need to work on this issue. Trustee Hodges also expressed a concern that students wanted to know that they would be getting better services if the rates were increased.

 

Following the discussion Chair Thompson asked for a vote on the motion. The motion passed with one dissenting vote and no abstentions.

 

Educational Policy Committee Report 

 

Trustee Hicks presented the report on the Educational Policy Committee meeting and the action items that it was presenting for full Board approval. The Educational Policy Committee met on February 12.

 

During their meeting the Committee talked about the structure and the scope of their responsibilities, and how they would operate in carrying these out. They also discussed the need for further work and input in developing the mandated strategic plan.

 

The Committee was also briefed on the admission process at the University of North Florida. In providing this briefing, Ms. Deborah Kaye, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Services, talked about the criteria used in admitting students and the fact that the current average SAT scores for new students at UNF is 1130.

 

The Educational Policy Committee dealt with two items which they were bringing to the full Board with recommendations for approval: (a) the division of one department in the College of Health into two departments and (b) the criteria and format that would be used in bringing forward proposals for new academic programs. Trustee Hicks asked that Provost Kline introduce Dr. Pam Chally, Dean of the College of Health, to discuss the first action item.

 

Dean Chally began her remarks by presenting to the Board of Trustees a PowerPoint presentation that provided an overview of the College of Health. In this overview Dean Chally discussed the mission and administrative structure of the College. She also talked about the College's commitment to practice-based education and to building strong connections to the community through a number of different mechanisms, including the use of a wide variety of clinical sites and a strong and active Dean's Council with members from the community. In talking about the College's accomplishments, Dean Chally demonstrated how the University of North Florida's graduates exceeded state and national passing rates on licensure examinations in fields such as physical therapy, nursing, and nutrition. She also talked about the research grants that were being carried out by members of the College of Health faculty and the faculty's success in publications and national presentations. In discussing their challenges, Dean Chally spoke about the need for additional laboratory and office space; the need to balance clinical practice with teaching, research and service; the need to add depth to programs currently offered; and the challenge of meeting the current nursing shortage.

 

In her presentation on the administrative structure of the College, Dean Chally focused on the fact that currently the College has two departments: the Department of Nursing and the Department of Health Science. She pointed out that twelve different programs were offered through the Department of Health Science. Dean Chally stated that the faculty and administration in the College and in the University supported dividing this department into two new departments: the Department of Public Health and the Department of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy. Under this arrangement, the Department of Public Health would include undergraduate programs in community health, health administration, and nutrition. It would also include graduate programs in health administration, geriatric management, health promotion/health education, nutrition, rehabilitation counseling, and public health. The Department of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy would include an undergraduate program in sports medicine/athletic training and the graduate program in physical therapy.

 

After Dean Chally's presentation, there was a brief discussion on the presentation itself. In this discussion, Chair Thompson commented about the work that UNF was doing to help relieve the nursing shortage in the region and how they were collaborating with FCCJ toward this goal.

 

At the conclusion of the discussion on the College of Health's presentation Trustee Hicks moved that the Board approve the proposal to split the Department of Health Science into two departments: (a) Public Health and (b) Athletic Training and Physical Therapy. Trustee Halverson seconded the motion. The proposal was approved unanimously.

 

As the next item of business, Trustee Hicks presented the proposed criteria for new-program approval and the format that such programs would follow in coming to the Board. In his remarks on the proposal, Provost Kline stated that these criteria met the need to guarantee access to UNF's programs, ensure their quality, and require ongoing measures of accountability for these new programs. The criteria, minus the format, had been discussed at the Board's most recent conference call meeting. Trustee Hicks moved adoption of the criteria and format. Trustee Gonzalez seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

As part of the report from the Educational Policy Committee Dr. Katherine Kasten, Dean of the College of Education and Human Services, provided the members of the Board with an overview of the College of Education and its programs. In her overview Dean Kasten spoke of the mission and vision of the College. She also described the organizational structure of the programs offered through the College. In talking about student and student characteristics, Dean Kasten described the decline in enrollments that the College had experienced over the past few years and how this was similar to the experience of other colleges of education throughout the state. She also spoke about the fact that the College accounted for approximately 13% of the University's undergraduate headcount and upper division credit hours and 35% of its graduate headcount and 42% of UNF's graduate credit hours. In looking at the College's external relations, the Dean talked about the external accrediting and program approval bodies with which the college worked. She also talked about the College's various advisory and community boards.

 

In speaking to the accomplishments of the College, the Dean pointed to the College's use of technology to model best practices in teaching, its focus on preparing students to work in urban schools, the field-based work that students must complete during their programs of study, and the College's strong collaboration with area school districts. As an example of the College's close working relations with local school districts and its commitment to train teachers to work in urban schools Dean Kasten talked about two of the Colleges Professional Development Schools: West Jacksonville Elementary Professional Development School and the West Side Center for ESOL. Dean Kasten also discussed the College's success in offering international programs in Belize and Great Britain; and its over $2.3 million in grants, contracts, and gifts received during the 2000/2001 academic year.

 

When talking about challenges that the College of Education faced, Dean Kasten focused on the need to increase enrollments in teacher education programs. This was especially true in high need areas such as mathematics, science, and special education.

 

In a discussion on Dean Kasten's report Trustee Gibbs suggested that the need for more teachers was certainly an item the Board would want to consider in developing its strategic plan. Trustee Gonzalez suggested that, in looking into this problem, the College of Education might want to consider a program that would train returning Peace Corp volunteers to become teachers. Dean Kasten spoke about a similar effort that the College has worked with called Troops to Teachers.

 

Legislative Update 

 

Ms. Owen was unable to attend the Board of Trustees meeting because of committee commitments in Tallahassee. She did, however, provide a written update on what had been happening in the legislature over the past week. In talking about this report, Provost Kline pointed out that while the University of North Florida was given $3 million earlier this year to complete some road improvement projects, the University was unaware that this would result in a $3 million reduction in the money that was to be allocated to the UNF Library renovation. Without having this money restored to the Library renovation project it would be impossible for the University to proceed with the project. This would mean that the University would loose up to 12 classrooms it needs to handle projected growth in enrollments. Provost Kline urged Board members to consider lobbying for the restoration of these funds.

 

Adjournment 

 

Chair Thompson offered closing remarks which included a reminder that the Governor was working on selecting a thirteenth member to replace former Trustee Hall on the UNF Board. She then adjourned the meeting.