Provost's Newsletter

November, 2010


I would like to inform you about some committee work that either has begun or is about to commence in the month of November.

One committee that already has convened for its first meeting is the newly constituted Flagship Program Committee. The members of this committee are listed below. These colleagues have taken on the responsibility of reviewing flagship program applications based upon criteria that the committee currently is reviewing and revising. According to the committee’s timeline, it will issue its call for proposals within the next month and then allow programs ample time to prepare proposals preparatory to the committee’s review in late February. The committee will make its recommendation to me and the president by mid-spring. I am delighted that, in spite of the fiscal austerities of the past few years, we have an opportunity to name at least one new flagship program this year. It will join the four existing flagship programs that, each in its own way, has achieved a level of noteworthy distinction.

The Academic Affairs Insight and Inquiry Committee will resume meeting with a mixture of ongoing and new members, also listed below. In addition to identifying two external speakers for the 2011-12 academic year, the I & I Committee also will have the exciting opportunity to review proposals for a revived faculty colloquy series (that will bring prominent academics to campus to engage in dialogue with UNF faculty centered on work written by the distinguished visitors). I also will ask this committee to create a process for identifying talented UNF faculty who, in return for an appropriate honorarium, will be invited to present talks on their work in a new series in partnership with the Library that we are calling Faculty Inquiry/Faculty Insight.

What pleases me most about these two committees is that the initiatives they are advancing are directly devoted to expanding and enhancing the quality of intellectual discourse on campus. I encourage everyone to look for ways of participating in these opportunities.

Another committee that I have personally convened is the Provost’s Task Force on Institutional Redesign (whose members are also listed below) that will join me in considering some of the challenges and opportunities that are emerging within the SUS as a function of the BOG’s emergent interest in intra-system academic collaboration and coordination. As I remarked upon in my convocation address, the potential for collaboration—and of course, for virtual regional intrusion and thus competition—has been markedly increased by the rapid growth of distance learning. If nothing else is clear, it is at least certain that the contours of higher education will change, perhaps even radically so, in the years ahead. The conversation that the Task Force will be having, therefore, could not be more urgent. As this conversation evolves we will find ways of sharing it with and extending opportunities for engagement to the community at-large.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that, pending final BOG approval, UNF will receive New Florida funding to support the marketing of a patent developed by Dr. Gerry Merkel of CCEC; a collaborative project on the development of more effective prosthetics involving Dr. Alex Schonning of CCEC and colleagues at FSU; and the recruitment of Dr. Don Resio, a nationally prominent coastal engineer, to direct the Taylor Engineering Research Institute. These awards confirm UNF’s ability to contribute to the New Florida initiative which calls for the development of a knowledge-based economy.

I hope you are in the midst of what is proving to be a rewarding semester.

Mark E. Workman
Provost and VPAA

Flagship Committee
Jeffrey Cornett, COEHS 
Sam Kimball, COAS
Lillia Loriz, BCH
Ken Martin, CCEC
Sarah Philips, Carpenter Library

Jeffrey Steagall, CCB

Inquiry and Insight Committee
Jeffrey T. Bowen, Library
Emily Douglass, Art and Design
Melissa Hargrove, Sociology and Anthropology
Don Hutton, Public Health
Mike Jackson, Engineering
Don Moores, Exceptional Student and Deaf Education
Tom Pekarek, Physics
Oliver Schnusenberg, Accounting and Finance
Harriet Stranahan, Economics and Geography
Chris Weber, Childhood Education

Mike Wiley, English

Provost’s Task Force on Institutional Redesign
Chris Brown, CCEC
Candice Carter, COEHS
Mick Hallett, COAS
Marianne Jaffee, AA
Michael Kucsak, Library
Erin Largo-Wight, BCH
Jeff Michelman , CCB
Krista Paulsen, COAS
Rick Powell, Director of OIR
Stephynie Perkins, COAS (will be joining later in year)
Len Roberson, Graduate Dean