Mr. Luther Coggin, Ms. Toni Crawford, Mr. T. O’Neal Douglas, Ms. Donna Harper Gibbs, Mr. Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, Mr. Steven T. Halverson, Ms. Lindsay Hodges, Ms. Joan Wellhouse Newton, Ms. Carol Thompson, Dr. Floyd Willis.
Ms. Ann Hicks, Mr. James Stallings, Mr. Kevin Twomey
Chair Thompson began by calling the meeting to order. In her call to order Chair Thompson introduced Mr. Luther Coggin, the newest member of the University of North Florida Board of Trustees. Trustee Coggin was welcomed by the members of the Board.
Chair Thompson also announced that this would be Trustee Hodges last meeting. Chair Thompson thanked Trustee Hodges for her hard work and effort on behalf of the University and the Board as its charter student member. Chair Thompson asked President Hopkins to say a few words. In her remarks President Hopkins talked about the leadership that Trustee Hodges provided over the past year as President of Student Government and about the friendship that had developed between them. On behalf of the Board Chair Thompson presented Trustee Hodges with a plaque commemorating her service to the Board and the University.
Chair Thompson also welcomed President Hopkins back from her leave. She then entertained a motion to accept the minutes as distributed. Trustee Gibbs moved the minutes be accepted and Trustee Douglas seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously.
Chair Thompson suggested that with the length of the agenda she would withhold giving a formal report at this meeting, but would rather add remarks during the meeting.
In her report President Hopkins told the members of the Board about three students who were honored the Friday before the meeting for winning national academic awards: Ms. Jessica Stebbens, winner of a Gates-Cambridge Scholarship; Ms. Bree Frank, named as a Truman Scholar; and Ms. Rebecca Hayman, named as a Goldwater Scholar. With these awards these students bring honor to both themselves and to the University of North Florida. President Hopkins also acknowledged Dr. Mary Borg’s efforts on behalf of these students.
The President then reported that in the latest issue of Florida Leader magazine UNF was recognized as the runner up for having the best student government. Last year UNF was selected as the best in this category. This year, UNF also won best-looking campus among public universities.
President Hopkins remarked at how happy she was to be back on campus. She thanked all of those individuals who helped her during her leave.
Over the past few weeks President Hopkins has been meeting with almost all of the Board members individually discussing their sense of the Board’s current operations and how a retreat would be most effectively organized. She still has two such meetings to hold before all of the Trustees will have had an opportunity to share their views with the President.
In one of these meetings, Trustee Douglas suggested that individual Board members might be called upon to participate in activities that involve the University as representatives of the Board. Based on this recommendation, President Hopkins stated that she or members of her staff would begin calling and inviting Board members to attend activities that would enable them to get a better sense of the life of the institution. Recognizing that not all Board members would have the time to attend all of the events that occur, she will ask her staff to use a rotation system in contacting members of the Board.
There were no requests to make public comments on the items included in the Board’s agenda.
Trustee Halverson, as Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, gave the report for this committee. The Committee met just prior to the full board meeting. In their meeting they reviewed two items: the revised budget for 2001-2002 and the upcoming migration to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
In discussing the revised budget Trustee Halverson reminded the members of the Board that they had adopted a set of guidelines for the University to follow in making the necessary $4.1 million reductions. These guidelines called for the University to protect instruction, the core mission of the institution. In reviewing the revised budget the committee found that the President had remained faithful to the guidelines approved by the Board.
There were no reductions to the instructional budget. Additionally, the University was able to make these cuts without any layoffs, which helped to maintain morale among employees. This was made possible, in part, by transferring some positions to campus auxiliaries. Non-instructional budgets were cut by 8% to 9% enabling the University to protect the funds required to maintain the instructional program. No action was required on the revised budget.
Trustee Halverson then reported that as a part of the devolution of power UNF will have to migrate off of many of the State’s database management systems that it currently uses, including finance and accounting systems, human resources systems, and its student systems. In planning for this, UNF is working with a consortium of higher educational institutions that include the University of Florida, Florida State University, and the University of West Florida.
In discussing this migration Trustee Halverson stated that this would be a multi-year task and would prove to be very expensive. He also stated that while UNF was working with the current consortium there was no guarantee that in the end UNF would stay with this group. It was still too early to make any such decisions or take any formal action on this process. He did emphasize that the Board would be kept informed as more was learned.
During the discussion about the ERP system, Trustee Willis asked if it would make sense to involve more institutions in the consortium? Would there be cost savings by enlarging the group?
In response Trustee Douglas stated that the committee had talked about that and discussed the strengths and weakness of the consortium. He also stated that it was possible that, in the end, the University of North Florida might find that it was better off working independently in this endeavor.
At the end of the discussion Chair Thompson also pointed out that Trustee Gibbs had a strong background in this area and would serve as a good resource to the University and the Board as UNF continued to plan for this migration to new computer systems.
With Trustee Hicks, Chair of the Educational Policy Committee, being unable to attend the meeting at the last minute, Chair Thompson asked President Hopkins and Provost Kline to present the items considered by the Educational Policy Committee at its April 4 meeting. President Hopkins asked Provost Kline if he would present on the issue of tenure at UNF.
In introducing the discussion on tenure, Provost Kline stated that he wanted to demonstrate the fairness, the appropriateness, and the rigor of the process followed by the University in awarding tenure. He began by discussing what tenure is and what it isn’t. Tenure provides for the annual reappointment of a faculty member, but it does not guarantee lifetime employment. An individual could be removed for cause. Likewise, an administrator may be a tenured faculty member, but they do not have tenure in their administrative role.
The Provost then discussed who is and is not eligible for tenure and details on the process required to gain tenure, including the criteria for awarding tenure: excellence in teaching, excellence in scholarship, and continuing meaningful contributions to service. In the process of seeking tenure a candidate prepares a dossier which is reviewed at a number of different levels within the University, beginning with a departmental committee, and ending with a review by the Provost and the President. The President then brings her recommendations to the Board for their consideration. Presidential recommendation means that the President is confident that the faculty member will continue to make significant and meaningful contributions to the institution and the profession.
The Provost presented data on tenure rates at UNF. In 2002 the University Committee recommended 7 of 10 candidates for tenure. The Provost, as Acting President, concurred with these decisions. In 2001 the Committee recommended 9 of 9 candidates and in 2000 the Committee recommended 2 of 5 candidates. The Provost and President concurred with the Committee’s recommendations in both of these years. Of new faculty hired only 48% will stay at the University long enough to apply for tenure. Some of those who do not stay leave for better or different types of positions, but some leave because they are aware that it is unlikely that they will be granted tenure at the University.
During the discussion on tenure, Trustee Halverson asked what faculty members had after receiving tenure that they didn’t have had prior to being tenured? Provost Kline responded that they had more confidence in the protections granted under academic freedom, although those protections were given to all faculty members. They also had a sense of being able to take on more challenging and longer-term research projects, which might or might not produce the results that they were looking for and which might or might not be published.
After the discussion Trustee Hodges moved that the Board approve the tenure recommendations brought forward by the committee. Trustee Willis seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The next item of business was a recommendation to change the designation of the Department of Nursing to a School of Nursing. The item was moved by Trustee Willis and seconded by Trustee Douglas. It passed unanimously.
Chair Thomson asked President Hopkins if she would introduce the deans who would be making presentations on their colleges. The President began by introducing Dean Earle Traynham from the College of Business Administration.
Dean Traynham began his presentation by talking about the organizational structure of the College of Business Administration (COBA), which includes three departments (Accounting and Finance, Economics and Geography, and Management, Marketing, and Logistics); a Center on International Business; and the Small Business Development Center. He then discussed the eight undergraduate and four graduate programs that were housed in the college, showing the enrollments in each of these programs.
COBA’s mission is to develop a national reputation as one of the best business schools in the country. To accomplish this COBA is placing emphasis on its academic programs and incorporating components that focus on international business and logistics into these programs. This can be seen through COBA’s Global MBA program and their international partnerships with institutions like the University of Provence. It can also be seen in the opportunities COBA provides its students and faculty for international study and teaching, and by the twenty-nine international visiting faculty that COBA has employed over the past several years. In the area of logistics COBA has been able to hire national leaders in logistics as part of its faculty. It has also been able to establish links with major corporations such as International Paper, Hewlett-Packard, the National Paper Trade Association, and Wendy’s. These links have provided opportunities for logistic and supply chain research.
In addition to the above activities, COBA operates UNF’s Small Business Development Center that serves seventeen counties. This Center was ranked a the number one center in the state of Florida by Florida Trend Magazine, and is considered by some to be one of the strongest such centers in the country.
In order to assess its effectiveness, COBA participates in an annual educational benchmarking survey. When compared to top tier institutions like Cornell, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Texas-Austin, New York University, Penn State University, and University of Maryland-College Park, UNF ranked 1st in faculty and instruction for required courses, and 2nd or 3rd in eight of the fourteen categories. The one area where the rankings demonstrated a challenge for improvement was in placement and career services. Dean Traynham felt that COBA, along with the entire University, should look at ways to strengthen this area of UNF’s student services.
Following the presentation by Dean Traynham, President Hopkins introduced Dean Neal Coulter. Dr. Coulter serves as Dean of the College of Computing Sciences and Engineering.
In his presentation Dean Coulter described the organizational structure of the College of Computing Sciences and Engineering (COCSE). The academic units in the College include the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, the Department of Building Construction, and the Division of Engineering, which includes programs in electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering. Of the academic programs offered through these units, computing science, information systems, building construction, and electrical engineering are all nationally accredited. Mechanical and civil engineering will go through accreditation site visits in 2003 and 2002, respectively. The College also has a unit that provides technical support for the technology utilized throughout the college and a development officer.
Dean Coulter provided data on the composition of the faculty and support staff. He also presented data on the numbers of student majors enrolled in the College over the past six years. The data showed a general growth in undergraduate enrollments with some declines in undergraduate computer and information science majors over the past two years. Dean Coulter proposed that this was due to changes in the current economy. In contrast there has been an increase in the graduate enrollments in computer and information sciences, a result of the down turn in the economy. Overall, however, the College has shown growth in Full-Time Equivalent (Student FTE) enrollments and in graduation rates.
In pointing to current and anticipated accomplishments, Dean Coulter spoke about student accomplishments, including the fact that Ms. Hayman, UNF’s Goldwater Scholar, was an electrical engineering student in COCSE and that a large number of students are actively involved in cooperative education programs with firms throughout Northeast Florida. He also spoke about the new Science and Engineering Building currently under construction, which will be completed in Summer 2003.
In his list of COCSE accomplishments Dean Coulter documented the increase in funds raised through sponsored research projects that had occurred in the College over the past four years. While talking about the College’s research agenda the Dean used specific projects in wireless communication and the design of pool cues as examples of the areas in which college faculty were working. He also pointed to student involvement in ongoing research programs within COCSE.
As he spoke of challenges facing the College, Dean Coulter discussed the need for additional faculty and technical staff. He also reemphasized the need to secure accreditation in mechanical and civil engineering and to continue to expand the College’s research program.
The last dean introduced by President Hopkins was Dr. Mark Workman. Dr. Workman is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS), the largest of UNF’s five colleges.
Dean Workman began by providing the members of the Board with a statement of the mission of the College. He then spoke of the importance of a liberal arts curriculum and the role it played in the academic life of a UNF student.
To demonstrate the diversity and the size of the COAS, Dean Workman showed the Trustees a map that indicated all of the buildings that housed COAS programs. Over one-half of the academic buildings on campus have a least one COAS department in them. The College is composed of eleven departments: Biology; Chemistry and Physics; Communication and Visual Arts; English and Foreign Languages; History; Mathematics and Statistics; Music; Philosophy; Political Science and Public Administration; Psychology; and Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice. These departments offer twenty-four undergraduate degree programs and seven graduate degree programs. They also offer most of the coursework required for general education required of lower division students. In addition to its departments, COAS faculty also operate centers and specialized programs including pre-law and pre-medical profession programs and the Center for Community Initiatives, the Ethics Center, and the Institute of Government.
In looking at comparisons between COAS and the University’s other colleges, Dean Workman pointed out that the College employed more faculty and awarded more degrees than any of the other colleges and that its enrollments exceeded those of other colleges.
In pointing to COAS’s accomplishments Dean Workman spoke of the accomplishments of the College’s programs, students, and faculty. The UNF Jazz Ensemble is nationally recognized as one of the best in the country. COAS study abroad programs afford students the opportunity to study in ten different countries. And COAS Freshmen Interest Groups (FIGS) provide an opportunity for incoming freshmen to study topics across disciplinary lines in small learning communities. Through these FIGS faculty have collaborated to enrich the general studies curriculum. The College’s students have won several national scholarships over the past years, including this year’s UNF Gates-Cambridge Scholar and this year’s UNF Truman Scholar. COAS alumni have also gone on to be accepted into some of the country’s most prestigious law and medical schools. The College’s faculty includes a number of members who have distinguished themselves as outstanding teachers and scholars, including faculty who have published with the Harvard University Press, have developed the University’s first patent, and have joined UNF with a record of publishing over 250 publications in biology and held grants worth over $3 million.
In looking at the challenges that face the College, Dean Workman pointed to the need for resources to accommodate student growth, including the need for additional faculty and classroom space. He also pointed to the need to generate additional private support and to increase COAS’s efforts to seek research funds.
Because of the various ideas proposed by Board members on what should be accomplished during the Board’s May 17 retreat, Chair Thompson and President Hopkins will need to sit together to further define the organization for the retreat.
Ms. Owen passed out a copy of the UNF’s Tallahassee Report, which provided detail on various issues being discussed by the Florida Board of Education. The report also provided information on the Higher Education Funding Advisory Council, the School Code Rewrite, and the State universities lobbying efforts in Washington D.C.
In her oral report Ms. Owen suggested that the Legislature might be called back into Special Session on April 29. During this Special Session they might take up the School Code Rewrite issues and the Cabinet Reorganization issues along with the budget.
At the latest Florida Board of Education meeting, the FBOE discussed seven strategic imperatives, none of which included issues directly related to universities. These will be reexamined in light of the need to address issues facing the universities.
Ms. Owen also discussed the fact that 10% of UNF’s 2003/2004 budget will be tied to performance-based initiatives. Work still needs to done at both the campus and state level to determine the particulars of these initiatives for each of the State universities.
The Council for Education Policy Research and Improvement (CEPRI) has received three requests from community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees. CEPRI didn’t support any of these requests. The FBOE will consider the issue at its next meeting.
During lobbying efforts with Florida’s delegation in Washington D.C. on behalf of Florida’s public universities, four multi-university initiatives were proposed as state-supported proposals for federal funding. One of these four proposals comes out of UNF’s Florida Institute for Education. The UNF/FIE proposal would continue to support HUBS (a set of collaborative groups that include universities, community colleges, and agencies that work with pre-k children) throughout Florida, which focus on developing school readiness skills for children.
Ms. Owen closed her remarks by thanking Chair Thompson and Trustee Crawford for representing UNF at Governor Bush’s press conference on early literacy.
In her closing remarks Chair Thompson stated that it was possible that by the May 17 retreat the School Code Rewrite might have passed through the legislature. This would give the Board a clearer sense of its future powers and duties. Chair Thompson also acknowledged that this would be the last meeting of the Board that would be covered by Mr. Joe Humphries, a reporter from the Florida Times Union. Mr. Humphries is accepting another position with the paper.
The meeting was adjourned.
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