University of North Florida
Board of Trustees

  • Meeting
March 20, 2003
University Center at 1:15 p.m.

Minutes

Trustees in Attendance 

Dr. Edythe Abdullah, Dr. Terry Bowen, Mr. Luther Coggin, Ms. Toni Crawford, Mr. O’Neal Douglas, Mr. Wilfredo Gonzalez, Ms. Ann Hicks, Mr. Steve Halverson, MS. Wanyonyi Kendrick, Mr. Hank Rogers, Dr. Bruce Taylor, Ms. Carol Thompson. Mr. Windell Paige of the Florida Department of Management Services was also present.

 

Trustees Absent 

Mr. Kevin Twomey.

 

Chair Thompson opened the meeting with a moment of silence for reflection upon the world situation and to remember the men and women fighting for our country. She later remarked upon how fortunate the citizens of the United States were to live in a free and democratic nation.

 

Chair’s Report 

The Chair congratulated the women’s basketball team and the Athletic Department for an unprecedented win. The team will go on to the Elite 8 in Missouri. Chair Thompson announced the tentative date scheduled for the trustees’ workshop as April 23. The workshop would allow opportunity for discussion of strategic issues (particularly research), the new governance system, and the role, practices, and structure of the Board, including committee needs, in conjunction with the President’s Office. 

 

President’s Report 

President Kline, on behalf of the University, publicly expressed support for the nation’s soldiers, wishing them a swift and sure victory. He said that a number of students had been upset after September 11, and that he expected serious reaction to current events as well. University staff were prepared to lead discussion surrounding these issues. 

 

Searches for two upper level administrative positions were underway. Both searches had been narrowed down to the final five or six candidates, as had the candidate list for the Director of the Library. The number of minority faculty hired by UNF has increased every year, including the current hiring season. Dr. Kline announced that a number of minority faculty would be hired this year. 

 

Dr. Kline remarked upon the success of the capital campaign, stating that it was going very well. He asked trustees to mark their calendars for April 26 to celebrate the campaign’s success. He expected the announcement of several large gift donations at that event.

 

President Kline gave an update on the legislative session, stating that the senate’s proposed cuts had been received and were not as deep as expected. Although money had not been allotted for enrollment growth, approval for a 7½% increase in tuition was expected. Dr. Kline said he would be in Tallassee the following week for discussion on several issues, including Building 11.

 

Audits were conducted by the Inspector General’s office on the bookstore and food services contracts. That office was also in the process of auditing the capital expenditure of the food services contract. Audits of TSI and the internal contracts for requisition of goods and services were conducted by KPMG. No material weaknesses were found. These audits led to some direction for future management. Dr. Kline said he would be happy to share those recommendations with faculty. He noted that some reorganization had already been undertaken: Human Resources originally reported to Administration and Finance; this system had changed so that Human Resources now reported to the Provost’s office. The purpose of this change was to establish one personnel system and to take advantage of the opportunities provided by devolution.

 

President Kline reported that parking was in good shape. There would be enough parking for fall and for the next few years. The electrical contractor responsible for work on the Science and Engineering building declared bankruptcy. A new contractor has been found. The new contractor has indicated that sufficient personnel would be employed to get the building back on schedule.

 

Dr. Kline updated Trustees on the plan to purchase Melrose Apartments; discussion on the possibility has ended as it was decided that the property was too expensive. Planning was underway for the provision of a student union on campus. Dr. Kline said that the union was sorely needed and if that need could be fulfilled, a historic contribution to the university would have been made. He said that ground could be broken for the new union within a year.

 

One Florida Presentation 

Windell Paige of the Office of Supplier Diversity gave a presentation outlining the responsibilities of his office. He discussed the Governor’s commitment to providing “a competitive business climate to help small businesses prosper.” He indicated that under Governor Bush’s leadership, contracts with minority and women-owned businesses had increased over 200%. Mr. Paige said that his office would be happy to connect the university with minority or women-owned businesses for needed contractual services. He asked the Trustees to provide at least one contact who could track the University’s assignment of contracts to minority and women-owned businesses and assist in supplier development. He recommended instating an outreach program with measurable impact on supplier diversity, accountability at the senior management level, ongoing communications to all management levels, consistent reporting to Trustees, and active participation by the President in program activities. He also suggested that the University appoint a minority business coordinator to establish a webpage. He said the provision of such information assisted minorities and women in preparing themselves, letting them know what was expected so they could compete. Mr. Paige also pointed out that requiring proof of diversity hiring practices from vendors would ensure their participation in minority hiring practices as well. He suggested that the University seek strategic alliances between the University’s major contractors and minority businesses.

 

After Mr. Paige’s report, Trustee Abdullah requested a presentation on the University’s process for vendor selection and encouraged research into methods to enhance the process. Chair Thompson agreed with Trustee Abdullah, indicating that she and Dr. Kline had recently spoken of the need for information about the vendor selection process.

 

Report on DSOs 

Vice President Crosby was unable to attend the meeting so his presentation was postponed. Chair Thompson asked Karen Stone to talk about Direct Support Organizations.

 

Ms. Stone explained that DSOs were independent, not-for-profit corporations created by the University to receive, hold, invest, and administer property and to make expenditures to or for the benefit of the University. UNF currently had two DSOs. Some larger campuses had as many as eight to ten DSOs, although many only had two or three. She remarked that the University had a wonderful relationship with the two DSOs.

 

Ms. Stone asked the Trustees to consider what kind of role they would like to see the University President play in the DSOs. The Board had the authority to establish or abolish DSOs. The Board also had authority to assign someone to the DSO boards or to their executive committees. She asked the Trustees to consider what type of oversight they would like over the DSOs. She outlined the use of funds for DSOs. The University was careful not to use the funds for political purposes, but funds could be used for bonds for construction. Ms. Stone said that, by law, the records for DSOs were closed. However, a decision had been made to open the records eight years ago. Donor information was protected, but otherwise the records were open to the public. Chair Thompson remarked that discussion about appointing a Trustee to the DSOs would be an appropriate topic for the upcoming workshop. Ms. Stone agreed.

 

Vice President Allaire presented information about the UNF Foundation. He said that the Foundation did not support other charities, only UNF. Without the Foundation, gifts to the University would be considered general revenue and, as such, would have to be sent to Tallahassee. Due to establishment of the Foundation, it was possible to avoid commingling private support with state funds.

 

Dr. Allaire said there were forty-five members of the Foundation Board, including UNF faculty, administration, and students, representatives from TSI/Foundation Accounting and Institutional Advancement, donors, and volunteers. The Foundation had three main activities: management of assets, provision of financial support for UNF priorities, and purchase of bonds for residence halls and parking garages. The board handled 300 accounts and about 6000 gifts a year. This past year, seventy-five scholarships were awarded totaling approximately $120,000. The Foundation was responsible for the allocation of unrestricted funds each year. Dr. Allaire also announced that Brad Lovett had been elected president of the Foundation and would assume his role on July 1.

 

Trustee Douglas asked Dr. Allaire about the Foundation’s experience during the current economic downturn. Dr. Allaire replied that some money had been lost but that the Foundation had not lost as much as many of the University’s peers. Trustee Douglas asked if a change in allocation had been discussed. Dr. Allaire said that changes had been discussed, but the investment plan was a fifty-year plan. Dr. Kline spoke of rebalancing back to stocks, remarking that though it had been painful, it had been recommended. Dr. Allaire talked about current capital campaign which would end June 30. He also noted that fundraising projects were determined by the University, not by the Foundation. Trustee Gonzalez asked if the management of funds was outsourced, and if so, if it would be possible to have the funds managed internally. Dr. Allaire replied that the practice was to have an investment company decide on day-to-day stock selection. Dr. Kline mentioned that the Coggin College of Business currently had a program that allowed students to manage $750,000. Dr. Kline added that the program had a website so interested parties could watch the students’ progress; the students were doing a little better than the benchmark.

 

Chair Thompson asked if there were any more questions, then thanked the Foundation and DSO’s for their hard work, remarking that several of the Trustees currently had dual appointments to the Foundation Board and the Board of Trustees. 

 

Shortages in Teaching and Nursing 

President Kline introduced the next presentation, stating that the Trustees had requested information on shortages in teaching and nursing and what the University was doing in an attempt to meet those needs. He asked Dr. Kasten to begin with her presentation and congratulated her on the recent award from the Association of Teacher Educators for the 2003 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education. 

 

College of Education

 

Dr. Kasten indicated that there were two key points she wished to discuss. She stated that there was currently widespread support for placing high quality teachers in every classroom for every child. However, it was more difficult to determine what would be necessary in order to meet that goal and what constituted high quality. There was also widespread agreement that some Florida school districts (particularly urban and rural) would continue to have difficulty filling teaching positions over the next several years. Dean Kasten outlined the discrepancies between the number of teachers needed, including the number needed to meet the requirements of the class size amendment, and the number of new teachers graduating. There were 136,900 Pre K-12 teachers in Florida in 2001. Annually, approximately 10% must be replaced and 1000 more were needed to accommodate growth. An estimated 5000 additional teachers would be needed for 2003-2004 due to the Florida class size amendment. She said that of the approximately 6000 education graduates of Florida universities, about 70% elect to teach in Florida classrooms. About 90% of UNF graduates from the College of Education taught in the local five-county area.

 

Of retention rates, she said that nationally about 30% of teachers left within the first three years and about 50% within the first five years. Locally, about 20% left in the first five years so the retention rate was higher, but about 31% left within the first three years in Duval County, generally citing lack of administrative support, no rewards, and salary among the reasons for departure. Florida was currently ranked 30th in average teaching salary and the beginning salary was low when compared with other careers that required similar preparation. In order to retain and recruit, UNF has increased marketing efforts, worked closely with community leadership, and worked to promote outstanding alumni. Advisors from the College of Education were working with community colleges. Dean Kasten said that the College was currently discussing the possibility of launching a 1+1+2 program with FCCJ. She said that part of the recruitment effort relied on scholarships. State funds for undergraduate scholarships were less available, but more progress was being made in the area of graduate fellowships.

 

Dean Kasten said the first line of defense in teacher retention was to make sure teachers were well prepared for their careers. The College was adamant about teacher preparation, particularly in urban settings. Intern teachers were placed in challenged schools to ensure support and to help them to become more willing to take positions in such schools. She spoke of the College’s national accreditation, stating that she was proud of UNF’s record in this area. She said that of the thirty teacher education programs in Florida, less than half had the accreditation awarded UNF.

 

Dr. Kasten said there were very few incentives for teachers to return to master’s programs. The JCCI target for the percentage of teachers with master’s degrees was 45%. Some states required master’s degrees for permanent licensure. The national average of teachers with master’s degrees was 56%.

 

Dean Kasten spoke of grants, contracts and gifts used to fund special programs. She cited several, such as a program to develop school counselors, a program to support beginning teachers in urban schools, the early learning and literacy program, and the ESOL program.

 

Currently, it was not possible to affect salary and fringe benefit issues. However, these issues could be addressed through the development of school leaders who then helped to change current practices. Dean Kasten encouraged the Board to maintain the commitment previously expressed to Pre K through Grade 12. She also suggested the possibility of offering a summer camp for prospective students or addressing out-of-state rates for Georgia residents interested in coming to UNF. Other recommendations were merit scholarships for candidates who wanted to teach in Florida and paid internships for teaching candidates. She said one of the impediments to obtaining a degree in education was the requirement of one full semester of unpaid internship. Some private institutions offer tuition reduction for teachers. She suggested working closely with the school system to target specific instances of need.

 

Trustee Taylor asked Dean Kasten if the College had given thought to recruiting students from other majors into the teaching profession. She answered that they had considered a number of options. Teacher education was very closely regulated by state statute. However, the State had created a number of back door mechanisms for teacher certification to which universities did not have access. Course-by-course certification was offered, but was not an ideal way to learn to teach. The universities were constrained from offering a fast track by the tight standards. One option discussed for dealing with the constraints was to become charter schools of education. Dean Kasten thought that might help. She said that new teachers were quickly burnt out by placement in classrooms when they weren’t well prepared. Trustee Hicks asked about the ratio of men to women in the teaching profession. Dr. Kasten answered that currently about 89% of the education students were male.

 

Trustee Gonzalez asked if the University currently received money from Dewitt Wallace. He encouraged Dr. Kasten to meet with him to discuss the possibility. He also thought it might be possible to capture the returning Peace Corp volunteers. He has been contacted by a group in Washington interested in working with a Florida school for placement of the returning volunteers. He said he would like to speak with Dr. Kasten about that as well.

 

Trustee Coggin wondered how Florida’s hiring practices compared to those of Georgia and Alabama. Dr. Kasten said both states had mandated minimum salary requirements. Duval County came close to matching their entry salaries but the average salary in Florida was still lower than in the other two states. She added that if the State of Florida wanted to retain good teachers they would have to be competitively paid. She spoke of many anecdotes about people who had left Florida and gone to Georgia, increasing their salaries by $10-12,000. She also said that child care was an issue for teachers. One of the options under consideration was the possibility of sharing positions in order to keep experienced teachers in the classroom at least part time.

 

College of Health

 

Dr. Chally thanked the Board for the opportunity to speak with them about nursing. She spoke of the current situation in nursing, some solutions already implemented, special interest in nursing at UNF and future solutions. Studies showed that complications were more likely to develop in hospitals with insufficient nursing staff than in hospitals with adequate staffing. It was her belief that the current shortage was more severe, broader, and of longer duration than in the past. This was probably due to two or three things, particularly the aging of America and the greater career choices available to women. There was a 12.5% vacancy in positions currently.

 

Dean Chally said that Governor Bush had been very supportive of nurses and the issue was gaining a lot of attention. Dr. Chally is also chair of the Florida Board of Nursing and has been involved with work on new legislation in an attempt to recruit more nurses. Included in recent legislation was increased loan forgiveness and more scholarship and grant programs. Also, in a cooperative effort, eight area hospitals banned together and financially supported the college so that more nurses could be prepared. She also spoke of a program with FCCJ called Project Connect. Students were dually enrolled at FCCJ and UNF. A mentoring program was also developed. Baptist Health cooperated in that effort.

 

UNF faculty joined a consortium last year to offer a PhD in Nursing, as one of the issues in nurse preparation was the shortage of instructors available. Dean Chally indicated some materials in the packet, noting that the College had been unable to serve well over 100 qualified students. She discussed possible solutions such as eventually adding to faculty lines and exploring more placement options for interns. A fast track BSN program would be implemented this year as well.

 

Chair Thompson asked if the Connect program with FCCJ was full. Dr. Chally answered affirmatively. Trustee Halverson asked Dean Chally if she expected the increased number of applications to continue. She said that the UNF nursing program was unique in that the classes had always been filled. The amount of growth had not been anticipated, but she expected it to continue due to the amount of attention currently paid to the nursing profession. Trustee Halverson noted that the percentage of qualified applicants was only about 10%. Dean Chally replied that many students were not qualified because their GPAs were not high enough or because they had applied too early and had not obtained the necessary prerequisites.

 

Chair Thompson asked Dr. Chally about the possibility of further industry support for the nursing area. She said it appeared that there would be a need on the part of the local hospitals to make a greater investment in nursing education. She asked if the College of Health had considered requesting additional support for faculty and other areas necessary to increase the number of positions available for students. Dr. Chally said that after the generous gift from last year, the College had not asked again but had considered it. She said the hospitals were a wonderful resource and had been incredibly supportive. Chair Thompson asked if faculty could be found if the funding was available. Dr. Chally answered that with the PhD program and the clinical express track she hoped that might be possible. Chair Thompson said that hospitals not only needed nurses but also might need doctors as well. She remarked that she would like to see further examination of the issue.

 

Chair Thompson pointed out that the College of Education had the capacity to prepare more teachers but did not have enough qualified applicants, while the College of Health had more qualified students than resources to prepare them. She suggested examining the issue in relation to the strategic plan. Dr. Kasten said that the colleges and universities had been asked to submit the number of extra positions they have the capacity to teach that are not filled. Across the state there were about 9,000 seats, therefore the faculty-to-student ratio was fairly small. The University did have the capacity to serve more students than were currently enrolled. Dr. Chally remarked that it would be nice if some of the students who were trying to get into nursing became teachers instead. Chair Thompson commended Dr. Kasten and President Kline for their service to the Schultz Board and Dean Chally for her appointment as chair of the Florida Board of Nursing.

 

Presidential Search Committee Report 

Chair Thompson expressed her appreciation of Dr. Kline’s efforts in his capacity as President. She said that when he was asked to take the position, there had been discussion about whether it would be a placeholder position or whether he would actually act as President. She thanked him for accepting the duties of the post so seriously and ensuring that the office was well represented in the community during his time as President.

 

She also thanked Trustee Douglas for all of his work with the Presidential Search Committee. Trustee Douglas said that the information he’d received thus far from the consultant indicated that there would be a strong list of candidates presented at the March 26 and April 1 meetings. At the previous two meetings the committee had attempted to outline the process and planned to have selected a number of candidates to visit campus by mid-April. The committee had met with many people on campus to make certain that they understood the needs of the University. Trustee Douglas said that feedback had been very positive and he was pleased by the level of commitment and interest expressed by those he met.

 

Trustee Douglas anticipated bringing between three and six candidates to campus. The committee had not yet determined the number of candidates to be presented to the Board. He said they could present three candidates or could narrow the choice to two dependent upon the Board’s mandate. Trustee Gonzalez recommended bringing more than one candidate to the Board so as not to negate the input of those trustees who were not on the search committee. He added that he had made a recommendation to reach out to minority publications to announce the search and that Lina Monell had followed through with his suggestion. He thanked her for her attention to the matter.

 

Chair Thompson emphasized that the purpose of the Search Committee was to screen the candidates, leaving the final decision to the Board. She was pleased to hear of the number of strong candidates applying to the position. Both she and Trustee Douglas expressed their appreciation for the job done by the search consultant thus far.

 

Adjournment 

Trustee Bowen announced that this would be Trustee Rogers last official meeting as the Student Government elections would be held April 9. He said it had been wonderful to work with him and thanked him for his service. Chair Thompson said she had not realized that the elections were in April and asked if Trustee Rogers would come back for the next Board meeting in May for more formal recognition of his service. He agreed to do so.

 

Trustee Bowen asked to be on record for recommending the postponement of the April 23 workshop until after the selection of a new president. Chair Thompson said she appreciated his suggestion, but the purpose of the workshop was to discuss research and the role, structure, and functions of the Board and committees. She remarked that just as President Kline had not postponed decision-making, she did not feel the Board should do so either. Otherwise, she felt not much would be accomplished prior to the appointment of a new president.  Trustee Abdullah stated that she felt this would be a good time to hold the workshop. Trustee Gonzalez said he was looking forward to it as well.

 

Trustee Bowen asked that the minutes reflect his recommendation that at least one other committee be instituted to deal with student affairs and properties. Dr. Kline said he would like to see the goals revisited to see what had been accomplished and to determine what should be continued or set aside. Chair Thompson thought more than one workshop might be required. She spoke with a trustee at another university where an all-day session was held every month. Chair Thompson invited all of the trustees to attend a dinner at the Other Club with Dr. Mary Borg. She attended one of the discussions recently on the topic “Are We More Alike or Different” and found it fascinating. She also invited the trustees to participate in commencement activities, stating that commencement was held three times a year. She asked them to let Dr. Kline know if they were willing to take part in the ceremony this term.