University of North Florida
Board of Trustees
Educational Policy Committee

  • Meeting
December 10, 2009
University Center at 10:00 a.m.

Committee Members Present

Mr. Luther Coggin, Mrs. Ann Hicks, Mrs. Joy Korman, Dr. Katherine Robinson, Dr. Bruce Taylor

Committee Members Absent

Dr. Edythe Abdullah, Mrs. Toni Crawford; Mr. Wilfredo Gonzalez,

Item 1 Call to Order

With a quorum being present, Chair Hicks called the meeting to order.

Item 2 Minutes

Chair Hicks asked for a MOTION to approve the minutes from September 30. The MOTION was offered by Trustee Robinson and seconded by Trustee Coggin. The minutes were accepted as presented.

Item 3 Open Comments

Chair Hicks offered opportunity for comments from the public. Upon receiving none, she continued with the business at hand.

Item 4 Textbook Adoption Regulation

Chair Hicks asked Mr. Marc Snow, Associate General Counsel, to speak about this item.

Mr. Snow stated that the purpose of this regulation was for the university to establish textbook adoption procedures that were consistent with Board of Governors regulations. He noted that the intent of the regulation was to minimize the cost of textbooks for students. Mr. Snow clarified that this regulation was vetted through the university’s established promulgation process.

Chair Hicks asked for a MOTION for approval of the Textbook Adoption Regulation. The MOTION was offered by Trustee Robinson and seconded by Trustee Coggin. The MOTION was approved as presented.

Item 5 Graduation Rates

Chair Hicks asked Vice President Serwatka to speak about this item.


Vice President Serwatka stated that this item was brought forward from the November workshop and addressed questions regarding graduation and retention rates, in terms of the strategic plan.


Vice President Serwatka provided metrics for graduation rates across institutions and spoke about variables that affected these rates. He listed some of these variables as college selectivity, location and characteristics of the individual institutions.


Vice President Serwatka focused on UNF as compared to peer aspirants and the institutions in the State University System. He spoke about some of UNF’s advantages and disadvantages and concentrated on traditional/non-traditional student population, SAT/ACT scores, cost and financial aid. In his discussion, Vice President Serwatka spoke in detail about retention and why students leave UNF, when they leave and where they go.


This discussion continued with a conversation on how institutions could improve the odds. Trustees discussed what schools have in common who have better than predicted graduation rates. Six characteristics emerged from this conversation, which were: (1) a “living” mission and “lived” educational philosophy, (2) an unshakeable focus on student learning, (3) environments adapted for educational enrichment, (4) clearly marked pathways to student success, (5) an improvement oriented ethos, and (6) shared responsibility for educational quality and student success.


Trustees ended this dialogue speaking about where UNF might invest resources to increase retention and graduation rates. Suggestions that were considered included merit and need-based scholarships, higher admission standards, greater fulltime and on-campus residence enrollment, programs to promote social integration and student engagement, extensive and targeted academic support programs, and freshman programming.


Trustees asked the administration to return with a set of choices to strategically use finite funds.


This item was provided for information only. No further action was required.

Item 6 Adjournment

Chair Hicks adjourned the meeting.