University of North Florida
Board of Trustees

  • Meeting
May 15, 2003
University Center at 2:30 p.m.

Minutes

Trustees in Attendance 

Dr. Edythe Abdullah, Dr. Terry Bowen, Ms. Toni Crawford, Mr. O’Neal Douglas, Ms. Ann Hicks, Mr. Steve Halverson, Ms. Wanyonyi Kendrick, Dr. Bruce Taylor, Mr. Kevin Twomey, Mr. Jerry Watterson. Ms. Janet Owen participated by telephone.

 

Trustees Absent 

Mr. Luther Coggin, Mr. Wilfredo Gonzalez, Ms. Carol Thompson.

 

Call to Order/Approval of Minutes 

Vice Chair Halverson welcomed everyone to the meeting. He reported that as Chair Thompson had an unavoidable conflict, he would chair the meeting in her stead. He remarked upon Chair Thompson’s dedication and the time and effort she had put into her duties as Chair, stating that the Board and the University owed her a debt of gratitude. Mr. Halverson called for a motion to approve the minutes. It was so motioned and the minutes were unanimously approved.

 

Introduction of Trustee Watterson, Newly Elected President of Student Government 

President Kline introduced Mr. Jerry Watterson, the new student body president and UNF trustee. Mr. Watterson, a graduate of Orange Park High School, is a sophomore planning to major in business administration. He is vice president of the board for the Autism Association of Northeast Florida and former director of internet sales for Sunn Battery Company. Mr. Watterson received the 2002 Heart of Gold award from Volunteer Jacksonville awarded annually to the top collegiate volunteer. He became a student at the University of North Florida in 2000. Mr. Watterson thanked the UNF student body for the opportunity to serve as their representative and said he looked forward to working with the Board. Vice Chair Halverson remarked that Mr. Watterson was already working hard to familiarize himself with current Board issues.

 

Chair’s Report 

Vice Chair Halverson asked for a motion to suspend the bylaws in order to add a request to recognize AFSCME to the agenda. Board policy was five days notice prior to adding agenda items. Trustee Crawford motioned to waive the bylaws. The motion was seconded by Trustee Bowen and passed unanimously. The item was added to the agenda.

 

Open Comment Period 

Vice Chair Halverson said that although it was policy to limit open comments to agenda items, two requests for public comment related to the presidential search process, which was not an agenda item, had been made.  He said the comments would be allowed, but asked that the speakers limit their comments to three minutes. 

 

Mr. Jack Daniels, president of the Professional Association of City Employees (PACE), a union of approximately 3000 city employees, spoke regarding Mayor Delaney. He said that he felt Mayor Delaney’s relationship with the city employees would be pertinent to consideration of his candidacy for president of UNF as that relationship could be indicative of his potential relationship with UNF employees.

 

Mr. Daniels said that in August of 2002, PACE, in the course of negotiation with the city, rejected some of Mayor Delaney’s proposals, including a proposal to change some full-time positions into part-time, 40 hour, positions without health insurance. Mr. Daniels distributed some supportive materials. He stated that in response to PACE’s actions, Mayor Delaney held up employee pay raises and refused remittance of union dues to PACE in an attempt to financially strangle the union. The City of Jacksonville was ordered by the State of Florida Public Employees Relations Commission to release all of the money, pay interest and attorney’s fees, and to post a notice admitting that the law had been broken and would not be broken again. According to Mr. Daniels, Mayor Delaney then contacted PACE and said he would only return the union dues if PACE agreed not to sue for civil theft, to which the union would not agree.

 

Mr. Stephen Jensen, president of Jensen Civil Construction, also spoke regarding Mr. Delaney’s candidacy.  Mr. Jensen stated that his company was currently involved in litigation over the City’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program. He said that prior to filing suit, a consortium of contractors who regularly bid on City contracts had attempted to negotiate with Mayor Delaney to alter the program, as they did not feel the program policies were fair. According to Mr. Jensen, Mayor Delaney replied that they would be labeled as racist if they filed suit. Mr. Jensen stated that Mayor Delaney then publicly declared, after the consortium filed suit, that the litigation was motivated by race. Mr. Jensen also said that Mayor Delaney was currently trying to replace the existing ordinance with an emergency ordinance that would tie the hands of the incoming mayor, who agreed that the MBE program needed to be re-addressed. Mr. Jensen asserted that the group’s intent had only been to modify the existing policy and that Mayor Delaney had made accomplishment of that goal impossible and had divided the community along racial lines through his handling of their grievance.

 

Vice Chair Halverson gave a brief update on the presidential search proceedings, stating that the formal interviews would conclude today and the Board would meet again on May 20 for the final vote. He thanked the Presidential Search Committee and the trustees for their diligence and effort. 

 

President’s Report 

President Kline announced that the capital campaign celebration, held to commemorate reaching the $100 million mark, was a great success. Eddie Palmieri provided the evening’s entertainment.  Dr. Kline said that Mr. Crosby and Dr. Gonzalez were both at a meeting with the bond attorneys working on the financing of the student union and indicated that more information on the issue would be available soon.

 

President Kline said that Trustee Gonzalez had asked to include an agenda item concerning a committee to deal with University buildings and grounds, which would be discussed at a later meeting. Until then, trustees could take building and ground issues to the Finance and Audit Committee.

 

President Kline announced that the next Finance and Audit Committee meeting would be held on June 3 at 12:00 p.m. to discuss finalization of the University budget. An update on the arrangements for a student union would be given as well. The Educational Policy Committee has been cancelled to allow for greater participation at the FAC meeting.

 

President Kline spoke of an article in the paper about the purchase of land from First Coast Technology Park. Dr. Kline said that the University would present the issue to the Finance and Audit Committee on June 3. The University has issued a letter of intent to buy the property, contingent upon the appropriate appraisals and approval from the Board, for $1.1 million, as there was another buyer for the property. President Kline noted that alternate access to the eastern ridge of the campus would cost $6 million to build bridges over the wetlands in the event the property went to another buyer. 

 

President Kline reported that PERC had certified that the United Faculty of Florida would be the union representing UNF’s faculty.  Dr. Kline said the Board and the University would need to appoint a bargaining team and determine how involved the Board would become in the upcoming bargaining process.

 

Request to Recognize AFSCME 

Ms. Julie Sheppard spoke concerning the request to recognize the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees as the bargaining agent for UNF’s non-professional employees. The union has presented cards from over 50% of the University’s non-professional employees. PERC has verified the signatures. Ms. Sheppard said that as only 30% approval was required in an election, recognizing AFSCME would be an appropriate gesture, consistent with the Board’s action on the faculty bargaining initiatives. Ms. Sheppard added that the union and the University had always worked well together.

 

Vice Chair Halverson asked for a motion to voluntarily recognize the union; it was offered by Trustee Twomey and seconded by Trustee Taylor. The motion was unanimously approved.

 

Legislative Update 

As Ms. Janet Owen was participating in the meeting by phone from Tallahassee, Mr. Halverson said the legislative update would be addressed earlier than listed in the agenda. Ms. Owen reported that the first week of the two-week special legislative session was moving quickly and fairly positively for the University. The Senate Education Committee met and passed the Board of Governor’s bill, which would establish the Board of Governors and reconstitute the boards of trustees in a way that would be consistent with Amendment 11. Also included in the bill were school code rewrite technical "glitch" issues, a presidential salary cap, and authority for the university boards of trustees to establish and assess a nonrefundable admissions deposit of up to $200.  The bill was on the way to the Senate floor.

 

Ms. Owen hoped to have a printable version of the conference report on Friday, May 23. The issues would be voted on Tuesday, May 27. Ms. Owen also went over a chart of the bills that had passed or failed during the regular legislative session.  She reported that the original UF/FSU proposal for guaranteed funding with certain accountability results was still alive but now included USF.  At least two other universities were also trying to become involved in that effort.

 

Ms. Owen said that this legislative session was the first time in the history of the program that Courtelis had not been funded. The Senate and House did agree to a salary increase of 2% for state employees, including university employees although they were no longer considered state employees. Ms. Owen remarked that the increase would hopefully help to offset the coming increase in health insurance costs. The mandatory Bright Futures CLEP testing program was abolished. Authorization for employees to remain in the state’s pre-tax benefits plan was also given.

 

The K-20 accountability bill, which has passed, delays for one year the requirement contained in current law that 10% of the university's appropriated funds would be contingent upon performance of specific accountability measures.

 

Vice Chair Halverson thanked Ms. Owen for her report and said that the Board realized how difficult and challenging the legislative session had been and were comforted by her presence in Tallahassee.

 

Trustee Twomey said he would like to echo Mr. Halverson’s comments about the great work of the search committee. Mr. Twomey thanked Trustee Douglas for his work as chair of the committee, and remarked upon the dedication of Chair Thompson, who had to make numerous calls on Mother’s Day due to Mr. Poskanzer’s appointment to SUNY New Paltz.

 

Mr. Twomey said he would like to take a moment to reflect on another person who deserved great thanks for his role in the presidential search, Dr. David Kline. He noted that Dr. Kline had been president for two-thirds to three-quarters of the time since the Board was first appointed and had been acting president five times. He remarked upon Dr. Kline’s good humor, support, humility, grace, and aplomb during his time as president, and his continued diligence and enthusiasm as the search process drew to a close. Each candidate had volunteered how pleased and surprised they had been by President Kline’s helpfulness and positive attitude. Trustee Twomey spoke of the great successes the University had under Dr. Kline’s leadership, including the success of the capital campaign, stating that Dr. Kline had demonstrated enormous loyalty to the Board and the University. He said that upon his return home late the previous evening, he’d opened a flyer from the University with a picture of President Kline with Archbishop Tutu, “laughing and enjoying the world,” and was reminded of the deep debt of gratitude owed to Dr. Kline. “From God’s mind to your lips,” Vice Chair Halverson responded to Trustee Twomey in thanking him for his comments. Mr. Halverson added his thanks to those of Trustee Twomey for President Kline’s service to the University.   

 

Follow up on Inquiries from Prior Board Meetings 

Vice Chair Halverson said the next items discussed were in response to questions that had arisen at previous board meetings. He added that he was grateful to University staff for returning to the issues as promised.

Salary for Student Government President 

Associate Vice President Malcolm presented a spreadsheet of the salaries of student body presidents in Florida. He said that UNF’s student body president only earned $7.50 an hour, less than aerobics instructors or assistants for the athletics department who make $10-20 an hour. He referred to the $15,000 budget authorized amount of expenditure, which reflected a maximum salary amount based on $7.50 an hour for 40 hours a week. Traditionally, he said, the students do not work 40 hours a week. The $15,000 amount was only the upper limit, the maximum amount authorized, for the hourly wages of UNF’s student body president. Students cannot exceed the 40 hour limit, cannot be paid overtime, and cannot accrue annual or sick leave. 

 

Trustee Taylor thanked Mr. Malcolm for the information, remarking that the news report had made it seem that UNF’s student body president was paid more than similar positions at other universities, which was clearly not the case. Trustee Watterson added that Northeastern University student body presidents were compensated at $30-32,000 a year including benefits and that a number of extra benefits were included with the University of Georgia student body presidency. Vice Chair Halverson thanked Trustee Watterson and said he looked forward to working with him during his tenure on the Board. 

Vendor Selection 

Mr. Darrin Parker, Mr. Phil Turner, and Ms. Julie Sheppard presented on the issue of vendor selection. They distributed materials to the trustees. Ms. Sheppard said there were six issues related to vendor selection: price, quality, time to complete, women and minority business enterprise participation, local company participation, and financial stability. Ms. Sheppard stated that three vendors working on UNF projects had filed bankruptcy this year. One was the electrical subcontractor for the Science and Engineering Building. Fortunately, the General Contractor was able to find a qualified electrical subcontractor, to work weekends and overtime to get the Science and Engineering building up to speed so that it was almost on time for completion for fall occupancy. 

 

Ms. Sheppard told the trustees that the Supreme Court had ruled that use of race or gender in vendor selection must be very narrowly tailored and must occur in a program of limited scope and duration to remedy the effects of documented past discrimination. When Governor Bush initiated One Florida, he disallowed the use of a weighted preference system that included race and gender. However, the Florida Legislature failed to revise the existing statute. She said that universities have attempted to keep to goals as much as possible despite the inability to use MBE weighted preference.   Currently, the Governor, state agencies, and the universities are being sued in federal court by the Association of General Contractors for use of preferences, set-asides, credits, and goals in awarding construction contracts.   While the University does not use preferences, set-asides, and credits, UNF continues to state goals in construction requests for proposals. 

Mr. Phil Turner provided a handout summarizing PECO construction allocations over the last four years. He said the big issue had been UNF’s performance in relation to minority contracts in 2001-2002. It was during this year the University was no longer allowed to use the MBE weighted preference system, thus had no method for inducing MBE participation. The major bid project for that year was the science and engineering building; only three of the eight firms to bid the project had any MBE participation and consideration had to be given to the lower bids. 

Mr. Turner said the University made a number of efforts to encourage minority business participation, advertising with the Small Business Development Center, the Office of Supplier Diversity, the Department of Management Services Minority Group, and the Florida Black Business Board. He felt there would be better participation in the upcoming year (2003-2004). He said there should be greater numbers due to the contract awarded for construction on the Library. The firm handling this contract has promised 21% participation and has a strong track record. 

 

Mr. Darrin Parker reported that the purchasing department had already exceeded the goal for MBE representation, attaining 99.6% participation. He said that copies of each solicitation were forwarded to the Office of Supplier Diversity and that, as the minority coordinator, it was his job to review the purchasing department procedures which he did through the Office of Supplier Diversity and the Jacksonville EEO. He said the University had already received an award from the Office of Supplier Diversity for the most improved agency and was due to receive another one this year. 

 

Vice Chair Halverson asked Ms. Sheppard if the Board of Trustees could now create a program for affirmative action in support of diversity. She replied that the Board did have the authority to establish such a program, so long as it was in compliance with existing laws. Vice Chair Halverson thanked them for their thorough and professional reports. 

Research at the University of North Florida 

President Kline discussed research at UNF. He outlined four types of scholarship: scholarship of discovery, scholarship of integration, scholarship of teaching, and scholarship of application. He indicated that all of them were performed by faculty at UNF. As reasons for research, Dr. Kline said it was to provide intellectual, economic, cultural, and social benefit to society; to teach students to conduct research; to maintain currency in one’s field; and to motivate and stimulate faculty. Dr. Kline added that in many fields, universities were the only institutions supporting research. He pointed out that if people were not given the opportunity to contribute, they didn’t last long, as it was difficult to maintain enthusiasm for teaching with out the stimulation of continued learning. Research motivated faculty to be on campus during discretionary time and to work with students. While credit was given for research, President Kline pointed out that faculty were not well rewarded. Rather, they did research because they wanted to and because they were challenged by constructing new ideas.

 

Dr. Kline went over UNF’s ranking under the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education, stating that UNF was currently considered a Comprehensive Master’s College/University I, but could easily become an Intensive Doctoral Research institution through addition of doctoral degrees in two disciplines. He said that of Florida’s Master’s Colleges/Universities I, UNF was probably superior to most, if not all.

 

UNF faculty spend considerable amount of their time on research. It would be hard to be tenured otherwise. Dr. Kline said UNF spent relatively more time than many Master’s I institutions. UNF faculty were very productive in the number of courses taught as well. Faculty at UNF taught 5.7 courses, more than the other Masters I universities in the State system. President Kline said that faculty productivity in research went up at UNF every year as measured by publications and professional presentations. The University has also applied for or been awarded three patents over the last few years.

 

As Dr. Kline compared UNF’s receipt of contracts and grants with those of other universities, an audience member asked if the completion of the science and engineering building would increase the amount of contracts and grants received by UNF. Dr. Kline replied that it would.

 

Regarding economic development, President Kline said that scholarship was often touted on the grounds of economic development. However, he said, the best the University could do for economic development was to make sure that UNF’s undergraduates received the best education possible. He cautioned the Board not to back away from UNF’s current commitment to research, as this would impact UNF’s ability to keep faculty current and motivated and to keep students involved.

 

Dr. Kline also talked about what meaning was held in the words “Urban/ Metropolitan University.” He said that the title was promising but was really just rhetoric right now as there was no actual content to the phrase. He added that it would be a great achievement to give meaning to the title. He also said that applied knowledge was much less expensive and had greater chance to receive contracts and grants. He felt that UNF was in a very strong position due to the wonderful support offered by the community.

Adjournment 

Vice Chair Halverson thanked President Kline for his presentation and adjourned the meeting.