Questions Forwarded Pending Responses

June 6, 2013, Special Meeting

 

Question (Michael Hallett, Criminal Justice & Criminology Department): “Len, or Larry, can you tell us how this affects the faculty contract; for the faculty involved, what it means, how it works, that kind of stuff.”

 

Response (Dean Roberson):Sure; sure. So the model is that we’re looking - it will either be - these programs will either be delivered through continuing education; so probably three years ago, the Board of Governors gave authorization to universities to deliver academic programs, entire degree programs, through continuing ed. Or also, for the graduate programs, we can do so through an auxiliary. So, either way - one of those two ways; we’re still - some of the details - we’re still trying to figure out which would be best for us as a university. Either way, though, it would be supplemental pay for faculty. So the model is built around a faculty member being paid a supplemental amount for this additional work; not part of their contract. And so, that’s what we’re looking at doing.”

 

Question (Michael Hallett, Criminal Justice & Criminology Department): “What is the supplemental amount?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “We’ve not set the supplemental amount yet. The number we’ve been looking at is the $6000, the equivalent of what currently faculty are able to obtain as an overload.”

 
Question (Faiz Al-Rubaee, Department of Mathematics and Statistics): “How come it is not used as part of the faculty regular assignment?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “So, again, the model that most of the institutions, if not all the institutions use, is that it’s above and beyond what we’re doing in our degree programs. So what we’ve looked at is that it would be delivered in that way; so through continuing ed, and as such it would not be part of the FTE that you have as a faculty member.”

 

Question (Faiz Al-Rubaee, Department of Mathematics and Statistics): “Why?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “I don’t have an answer for why, other than that’s what we’ve looked at from the beginning; and the partners we’ve spoken to, the other institutions - it’s been a much better management of this process, when, again, because many faculty are not interested in doing this. Some faculty are not willing or interested in teaching in the program, and they won’t have to; it will not be something that’s mandated. So, for us, delivery through continuing ed or an auxiliary are the two options.”

 
Question (David Courtwright, History Department): “How does this work with non-major courses - the General Education and other courses, and what happens if the people in the other departments that teach those courses don’t volunteer to teach them?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “So three of the four programs are graduate, and, the people admitted to these degree programs will only be - those programs are only those courses. So for three of the four, there is no General Education involved. And so the program is the one that specifically needs to look at their curriculum and how it impacts, if at all, other departments. So those three do not; they have current degree programs; their courses are required. The RN-to-BSN is one that we are continuing to look at now, the General Ed requirement, and that’s a conversation we’re having, of whether we’re only going to allow them to be admitted if they have all of that done, so there’s not a need for external-to-the-program courses.”

 
Question (Georgette Dumont, Political Science & Public Administration): “Will curricular changes still go through APC?”

Response (Dean Roberson): “So, great question. Yes. Currently, as you look at the programming, there’s no anticipated curriculum changes, so there’s no new degree courses necessary. But anything that would change along the parameters of APC would absolutely go through the same process from the department up; so if a department is going to change course titles and objectives and whatever, yes, it would go through the APC process.”

 

Question (Georgette Dumont, Political Science & Public Administration): “So how much control would Academic Partners have over the construction of the courses, the content of the courses, (inaudible).”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “Great question. So Academic Partnerships really brings to the table a huge marketing and recruitment aspect. They provide significant enrollment and retention services; meaning they take prospects and literally walk them through this entire admission process. They check in with each term; if they’re not logged in and doing things well, they’re going to reach out to them. They do nothing with the curriculum. So, they don’t own the curriculum; they exhaust no rights to the curriculum; they don’t dictate what the curriculum contains; none of that. All of that remains the property of the university, as well as the instructor, of course - the current normal ownership idea.”

 

Question (Gaylord Candler, Department of Political Science and Public Administration): “Two questions: One, if somebody opts into this and teaches as an overload, are their research requirements going to be lowered? Second question - you mentioned that the model might be to have very, very large classes; so MOOCS. If that is the case, there’s no way that I can take the classes that I teach now where I have 30 students and I grade written work extensively, and take that into a class of 300. So how is that going to work with the way that we traditionally do stuff?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “So certainly, I think that as anything with supplemental pay, it’s supplemental. So nothing changes about your primary workload, is my understanding; you’d have to talk to some others. But there is nothing that would change about a faculty member’s primary workload; just like if a faculty chooses to do outside employment in any other number of ways. The second question - when we say large scale, we’re not talking MOOCS; so we’re not looking at 20-; 30,000; 5,000 courses. The other part of the model is that, there’s a faculty member in charge of the course, but, for every 25-30 students, there is a teaching assistant, a learning coach, that’s provided, that is credentialed in the field. We had a meeting this morning, conversing with those people that; you know, if Lillia and her faculty are looking for somebody who’s an RN with 10 years experience with an M.S.N. or a Ph.D. in nursing, that is who will come along and work as learning coaches. So every 30 students has a person in that role; so a teaching assistant; really look at grading, discussion board facilitation, interactions with students, all under the direction of the faculty. No different than we currently have for those large classes with a teaching assistant. But we’re not looking at MOOCS.”

 

Question (Gaylord Candler, Department of Political Science and Public Administration): “Are these TA’s local?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “They could be, but they’re all distance; so remember, these are all fully online degree programs. So that would be something that we work with a company that provides this service for us, to locate them. But faculty, and we had several of the - two of the department chairs were in our conversation this morning, as was Dean Daniel and some faculty - they provide the credentials they’re looking for. They screen, Lillia and whoever she selects would select those people that they would provide - or whomever, Karen, or any other program. Kathy?”

 

Question (Kathy Robinson, School of Nursing): “ I forgot. Who is paying the teaching associates - the people you just described - out of their half or our half?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “So, that comes out of our part. So again, the tuition model is that half the tuition as it comes in goes to Academic Partnerships, the other half we retain. This is tuition - again, we’re talking potential scale - that is a significant revenue flow. From our part of it, we then pay the learning coaches, and depending if it’s graduate or undergraduate, it’s $40 per head. So per student, it’s $40, and so it’s $1200 if there’s 30; that comes out of our part. When they originally partner with institutions; some of you may remember, again, I think it was about 3 years ago we initially looked at this. They were - the split was 70-30 - so the university kept 30%. But then, they paid for the coaches out of their part of it. So that’s changed over the last couple of years, due to what other programs are wanting to see happen”

 

Question (Wanda Hedrick, Department of Childhood Education, Literacy, and TESOL): “Wow! This is the kind of the first I’ve heard of this. And I’m looking around the room, and, is this sort of the first that you’ve heard of this? And it seems like a super big deal, and yet this is the first that you’ve brought it to this body to even have discussion about. I’m troubled by that; just bottom line. And I know when the mike goes back to you, Len, you’re going to sound very professional, and you’ve got all the answers figured out, because you’ve had your head in this for a year. But you’ve got to understand that many of us are just sort of hearing about this. And while it doesn’t affect me personally, there’s many things in the campus that don’t affect me personally that actually, because they are part of the bigger picture of UNF, actually do affect us. So, this is a whole new way of getting money; it’s a whole new way of giving out money. It’s hiring people to help with classes that you’re paying for, but you may not have any control over, so to speak, because it’s distance learning. There’s a lot of, I don’t know, a lot of “What if’s” out there, and yet, you seem like you’ve got this all figured out. But yet, if you haven’t really brought it before this body, before it’s gotten this far down the road, maybe there’s things that somebody’s going to walk out of here and think of that they didn’t think of right now. So, it’s almost like, I’m guessing that this is a train that’s left the station, and you’re just informing us about it. Or, are we supposed to be thinking of angles and this and that or the other. Or are we just supposed to listen to this and know that it’s going to happen. That’s my question.”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “So, my only response is that; and I’ll see if I can maintain that professional - whatever you shared I would have - but, I’ll try. Really, I think the response is: we’ve been engaged with the departments and programs that were identified as potential degree programs for the entire year. And so, we’ve been engaged with those programs who selected to proceed from the beginning. So, other than that, I really don’t .... So those programs - the deans, the chairs, the faculty - we’ve had numerous conversations and meetings throughout the year. So I’m not sure beyond that how a given degree program would need to come - program who chooses a delivery model would need to here early on. It’s typically not the case. But I would certainly defer to anybody else who could, perhaps, answer your question better than I could.”

 

Question (Dominik Güss, Department of Psychology): “Hello. Why did some programs opt out of this? I would be curious; they might have some reasons. And, who has the copyright of these online classes?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “So, the second question is - again, as we shared earlier, that the current ownership of courses and instructional material remains the same that we have at UNF now. So, the university and the faculty member certainly has the rights to what they have developed within the current parameters of our collective bargaining agreement and policies. I don’t have an answer necessarily for why - again, the Masters in Public Health was engaged from the beginning, and when those faculty took a vote and on their own decided that this was not the time. I’d have to defer to that program or the program director to answer specifics. I wouldn’t know those.”

 

Question (President Rakita): “I have a question. If I’m a faculty member in a program offering these, and I’m getting supplemental pay to teach these courses, how does that course figure in my annual evaluation? Is it included, or not?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “I wouldn’t have a response to that; I don’t know the answer.”

 

Response (Dean Daniel): “I’ll try to answer it, because it’s all very much in development. We have to answer a lot of those questions as we go. My feeling would be, looking at it as an administrator who would be looking at faculty performance, essentially, since it is a supplemental assignment, it would typically not be part of what would be looked at in the faculty member’s regular instructional load for evaluation. However, as with many supplemental things that faculty do, the faculty member could well bring this into a full description of his or her activities for the year; and it could possibly be looked at as instruction; it could be looked at as service. You could probably argue a couple of different ways that this could fit into an overall schema of a faculty member’s typical categories of performance. But, since it is supplemental, I think that we’d have to first of all look at it that way; and then secondly, if the faculty member wanted to make a case for how it fit in, I think we’d want to entertain that faculty member’s writing and creativity in describing their work, as we would with any effort.”

 

 

Question (President Rakita): “Just to follow up on that, if I am a faculty member doing this, and I’m getting the overload pay; but my annual evaluation on my regular assignment – my performance evaluations slip – how will that impact my ability to continue to teach for Academic Partners?”

 

Response (Dean Daniel): “My answer to that, Gordon, would be that that is ultimately a chair’s call. If we’re giving or we’re allowing any faculty member to do extra work, and his or her normal work is not up to par, generally speaking, I think most chairs would be unlikely to want to continue to want to approve of supplemental work above and beyond. But, ultimately, it would be the chair’s call and make that determination.”

 

Question (Dan Richard, Office of Faculty Enhancement): “Actually, as a follow-up to that…. Does that put the chair in a conflict of interest, that they’re wanting to support the work of full-time faculty within programs that are not offered through Academic Partnerships, and yet also wanting to maintain a perhaps lucrative partnership for online courses? And now, they’re making decisions about faculty work and faculty workload for, sort of, two masters.”

 

Response (Dean Daniel): “Dan, again my best response to that would be that, I think ultimately, it will be faculty in the department who themselves are interested and who the chair would feel would be the most appropriate faculty to do the particular courses, the expertise needed. If that conflict existed, I mean, many programs in the university use adjunct faculty assistants; you know there would be nothing to prevent this work being assigned to adjunct faculty as appropriately as we would do in any academic program. So, again, I think - I would be willing to trust the chair to make some good decisions in that way, and certainly support the chair, work with the chair, if there’s any difficult situations that would arise.”

Question (Kathy Brown, School of Computing): “I’m wondering about the impact to other units, in terms of supporting the infrastructure for these additional courses that are going online. Will they be hosted elsewhere, or will they be hosted here, and how has that infrastructure been fleshed out to provide for that additional overload?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “So, the courses, everything about the courses remains ours, and here. So, although this Academic Partnerships offers a L.M.S. - they use Canvas, universities can opt to use theirs - so we would opt to use ours, Blackboard. They’re existing courses, so we’ve checked into, as far as the scale, and can courses handle 150 students v. 40 - yes, they can. And, so, again, we’ve been in conversations with CIRT, with ITS from the beginning; so there’s no flags that have been raised about ability to provide those services or not.”

 

Question (Karthikeyan Umapathy, School of Computing): “Follow-up question to that: so how many number of students we expect to enroll in a given semester?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “So, great question. I don’t have them in my head. We’ve been given just initial projections for years one, two, and three. I’ve checked with other institutions, and it is a slow growth. So we may start with only ten new students the first start of a course. And I can provide those, but really, the programs – I keep using Lillia, but I’ll use another program – Karen and her faculty will select parameters. So they may say, ‘Really, I appreciate the fact that you might think we could have 1000 special ed majors in two years; we don’t want any more than 400 in two years. And we don’t want any more than 60 per course.’ So those parameters are also worked with the faculty in the program.”

 

Question (Pali Sen, Department of Mathematics and Statistics): “If I continue teaching this extra class, should not that be a platform for argument that the faculty do not teach enough?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “I’m not sure if I understand the question.”

 

Question (President Rakita): “Well, I think what she’s asking is, if we have faculty who are teaching, say regularly, these overloads; and so let’s say I’m, again, one of these faculty and every semester I have essentially a 4-4 load, could that be used as an argument by someone: ‘Well, the UNF faculty clearly aren’t teaching enough on their 3-3 load; they should really be teaching a 4-4 load, because it’s doable’? And I think that’s the question.”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “Okay, thank you. I’m sorry; I think misunderstood the question. Again, the only answer I really have is that faculty - what they do supplementally, I think faculty currently do things as an overload or supplemental that doesn’t necessarily speak to that. I don’t know if Dean Daniel has a different response. The other thing I will offer is that, in a given program, if the program is 12 courses long, a course that I may be qualified to teach will only come up once. I may only even have the opportunity to teach once every two years in this particular program, because, much like here, I may only teach certain courses in that degree program. It’s not like I’m going to be able to have seven courses a year as an overload.”

 

Question (Wanda Hedrick, Department of Childhood Education, Literacy, and TESOL): “I’m still confused. I’m not much less confused than I was when I sat down. So, I’m unclear; is this a degree that the students are getting?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “Yes.”

 

Question (Wanda Hedrick, Department of Childhood Education, Literacy, and TESOL): “Offered through Continuing Ed?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “Possibly.”

 

Question (Wanda Hedrick, Department of Childhood Education, Literacy, and TESOL): “Or offered through, like the College of Ed, an academic program? I’m asking, which is it?”

Response (Dean Roberson): “I understand, Wanda; I need a microphone to respond. So, these are full degree programs. So, it’s a Masters of Education; it’s three degrees we’ve already been authorized to do. We are one of the few institutions in Florida that does not offer academic degree programs in their entirety through a continuing ed unit. We may be the last to not do so. So that is fully authorized by the Board of Governors. And, it will be the degree, because degrees, of course, are issued by an institution, not by a college. And so, the degree will be a UNF degree - transcripts, courses, registration for courses through Banner, same prefix, same number, same curriculum that the faculty choose to develop, and so forth.”

 

Question (Georgette Dumont, Political Science & Public Administration): “Will they do ISQ’s?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “Yes, they will do... The question was, ‘Will they do ISQ’s.’ And, yes, they’ll follow all normal procedures for courses delivered at UNF.”

 

Question (Wanda Hetrick, Childhood Education, Literacy, & TESOL): “So if that’s not part of your teaching load, then what happens to the ISQ results?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “I don’t know what happens now. Do ... faculty do overloads that are not part of their teaching load, they do ISQ’s for them, as well? But I don’t know exactly where that goes.”

 

Comment (Judy Rodriguez, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics): “I just want to tell you that, yes, I am one of the persons who said I’d like to look at this particular model. And so, what was the rationale for it? Because, we did implement a D.L. Masters. We do have one. We also have a cohort of 15 students, that are part of our Master’s internship, but we’ve been trying to build our thesis Master’s. I can tell you that, quite frankly, I don’t have time to (inaudible). And I want a D.L. program that will bring me students from around the country. So, unless you’re willing to give me money to prowl around the country to do marketing, I can’t do it. And so, that’s why I decided that I (inaudible). The other piece to it is the rigor and quality. We can only accept registered dieticians, credentialed practitioners with certain numbers of years of experience into our Master’s, so that we can have a quality program. And, I also... It’s a select group of (inaudible), and again, I really need strategic marketing for that. I have two students in that program; I’m not going to throw that out. So that’s really why I thought this would be a good one. And looking at what they’re offering, basically, our criterion is - it’s our degree, it’s our courses; it’s our standards for admissions; and it’s our standards for practice, thesis, and regulations. And if they can meet that and help me market it, quite frankly, I’m going to go with it. That’s really all I can tell you. I know the issues about the ISQ’s, the supplemental.... Part of what I looked at in looking at the model for the money is - I said I want to start with ten; that’s it. And maybe, if I think that’s too many, we might go with five; if we don’t see a good select pool of candidates that they have for us. And then see how we grow; that’s the other piece. The other thing with it is, looking at the figures, if, in fact, they can generate enough funds that I can hire a Ph.D. in Oregon to teach my nutritional epi, I’m happy with that. But, those are my criteria; those are our department’s criteria, in terms of the standards. And, I agree with you, (inaudible).”

 

Question (Sherif Elfayoumy, College of Computing, Engineering, and Construction): “Despite all the reservations that many of you had, I think it is very important that we, that UNF, moves in that direction. I think it is late, but definitely late is better than never. I was wondering, since that company, or that partner, has certain degrees of interest that, unfortunately, the college - my college - doesn’t fall within their degrees of interest; so how would you go about, maybe, supporting another partner for the other programs that are interested but are not covered by that company’s scope?”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “So, great question. I’ll use Nutrition as an example, that initially, Academic Partnerships was not; wasn’t on their radar, I guess, initially. And then, after conversations with our faculty and sharing some information, they went back and did some research, and came back and said, ‘You know, we actually would be interested.’ I would suggest to you, speak to your dean; I think there may have been some interest in engineering. I’m not remembering what was actually identified as moving forward, but we certainly could look at others.”

 

Comment (Lillia Loriz, School of Nursing): “I just wanted to add that, the School of Nursing - we have been behind the curve-ball on having distance education for the RN-to-BSN. When I took over as director ten years ago, UCF was already doing this; University of Florida was already doing this. UCF enrolls probably 2000 students a year in their RN-to-BSN program, that’s online. We have been enrolling between 30 to 80 students per year; that’s a big difference. In going.... I support what you said, that we are behind the eight-ball. In going to a lot of my educational conferences with other deans and directors across the nation; this is something that academia is.... We’re being forced to move in that direction. I don’t think it will be totally online, but we are needing to look at how we are educating our students. I am still.... I have agreed to continue and look at this further; and he can tell you that I am not an easy person to work with, because I have 50 questions every day. And I am still very hesitant; and I’d like to see it.... Instead of a train that has already left, I’d like to see it as - we’re loading the train; so it hasn’t left yet; my train has not left; we’re loading it, okay, so.... And this hesitancy.... My faculty had hesitancy; we still have hesitancy. But, we’re still gaining information on how we can do this. We did an online program a year ago that was not successful. That same cohort of faculty, for the same program, went through the teaching online program, and we just sent that out. So, we’re hoping to learn from all of those experiences, so we can really improve on how we’re delivering the courses - so we can do a really good job. We really want to keep the curriculum ours, and we will. We will not give it up. If anybody knows me, you know that I am stubborn. You know that I won’t give up easily; so that will stay ours. So, I just want you to know.... And I feel badly for individuals that have not been aware of this; but this has been.... We talked about it.... Back in the Fall, I told my faculty, ‘We might be looking into this. Oh, we’re having some more conversations.’ So it’s been slow-moving; it hasn’t been like, all-of-a-sudden we’ve decided to do this. So I just wanted to let you know”

 

Question (Michael Hallett, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice): “I’m just curious. Back to this question about the department chair; because I’ve been a department chair for nine years; and I assume it’s the department chairs who do all of the scheduling for both programs. Is that correct? It will be the department chair scheduling the online program, as well as the regular program?”

 
Response (Dean Roberson): “Yes, but this is a lock-step process. So, once the faculty, in cooperation with Academic Partnerships, determine here’s the order of the twelve courses, it’s done. And so, we’re looking at automatic scheduling, or even centralized scheduling for just these particular courses. So it’s not as if you’re going to have to....”

 
Question (Michael Hallett, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice): “Okay, so it won’t be just UNF faculty who are teaching in the online program. What if you have someone leave, and/or, what if you have two people who want to teach the same course for the overload? How do you decide, and who decides? And then, how much coordination is there through the dean’s office? Who.... The dean, herself, may or may not have expertise in that program area. So, does that make the chair a de-facto dean-like person? Or what.... The potential for a conflict of interest is real here, because department chairs are constantly making decisions about: who should teach what course; and who’s most appropriate in a course, per se; who’s on track with research, who isn’t. And it puts the chair in particularly awkward position, potentially, but also a uniquely powerful position, relative to the other chairs, and relative to the dean. That’s my two cents.”

 

Response (Dean Roberson): “I don’t know if one of the chairs who’ve been involved, or Larry, would have a response, but....”

Response (Karen Patterson, Department of Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education): “I’m not sure I have a response for that, but understand completely, Michael. I think we make those decisions every day, regarding who teaches these courses. But, fortunately for us, the people who will teach the courses are probably the only ones who can teach them. I would love to be teaching an ASL class, but I can’t sign, so that wouldn’t be.... You know, so they.... We have a very small program, and so, as much as somebody would like to teach, they wouldn’t be able to teach it because it’s not their area of specialization. So that might be a good problem to have in that sense.”

 

Question (Michael Hallett, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice): “What if you have two people who could teach it and want to teach it, but you only have one section, what do you do? How do you decide?”

 

Response (Karen Patterson, Department of Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education): “I dont’ know that yet. But what I do want to say is that, from our perspective, our reasoning for going into this partnership is just like the other two. We have the autism program right now that is low-enrolled. In fact, the courses are making because we can cross-list them with others. And so, we’re looking.... We will retain, you know, finality in terms of responsibility for what it is that we’re offering students. We do want to continue to offer a quality program. So nothing in that regard will change, and we’re willing to walk away any minute if it’s not working. There was nothing, Wanda, to bring to anybody because it’s a program issue right now. And so, what we have to, kind of, deal with our own issues in house before we have enough to bring to somebody else. And maybe, that’s why you weren’t aware of it in your own program. Thanks.”

Response (Dean Daniel): “If I can echo what Karen has said. I don’t know that the issues the chair would deal with here are any different than what a chair deals with in any situation where there have to be choices about specifically what faculty member will have certain assignments and that sort of thing. I think that’s part of being a chair. You have to make those tough decisions, and sometimes you get in a little bit of a pickle with them. Sometimes you have to talk to other colleagues or the dean, or whomever. But, you know, in the case of Karen’s department, I think they had some conversations. They’ve agreed that this is an important thing to do, and they’re willing to work through those awkward issues, should they come up, in making this happen.”

 

Question (President Rakita): “I want to make a point and then ask a question. The first is, Len, on his way out, said he’d be happy to answer any questions the faculty have if they want to e-mail him. So, he’s making himself available to continue the conversation. The second question, and this is, sort of, bridging on some of the things that were already spoken by some of the people that are in the affected programs: what is the ability to opt out? There’s going to be a contract signed, and so, my question is: how easy will it be for UNF, if a program says that this is not working for us, to opt out? Can someone answer that?”

 

Response (Dean Daniel): “It’s a very open-ended contract. I haven’t seen the most recent wording, but I’ve been in meetings where it’s been talked about. It basically allows either party to pretty much leave with some reasonable advance notice. My feeling, kind of, as Karen said: we’re willing to give it one round, and if we get one cohort through, and it’s working great, it may be something we want to continue to do for an awful long time. If that first experience is shaky, and doesn’t quite meet our needs, and we feel there’s too many issues to continue it, we’ll probably, after that first round, say, ‘You know, good idea; but, you know, we’ll try something else instead.’ You know, I think, Lillia pointed out very well a few minutes ago, this is an area where, I think, we have to do some trial-and-error. You know, online education, distance learning, is becoming part of, especially in professional programs, what we have to be thinking about. And, you know, giving it a try is certainly a wise thing to do, in my opinion, at this point. But, we’re ready to try it and to walk away, if that opportunity presents itself.”

  

Question (Kathy Robinson, School of Nursing): “I have both a comment and a question. Larry, I thought it was a ten-year contract - that they told us, in our meeting.“

 

Response (Dean Daniel): “I don’t know that to be exact, Kathy. I haven’t seen a recent version of it.”

 

Question (Kathy Robinson, School of Nursing): “Okay. Well, what my only comment is.... And I agree with almost everything that’s been said. I don’t want to be a Luddite. Clearly, we’re going to have to join this online world, in professional programs, especially. It’s going to happen. This is a very attractive, seductive marital partner. And once we get married, and we get used to all of that money, then even if we’re not happy, leaving will be very difficult. And I just think we need to be honest about it. It’s outsourcing; there’s no other name for it. And a lot of times, companies that have outsourced go back later and say, ‘Gee, I wish we hadn’t, but now we cannot afford to go back. We don’t have the chance; we don’t have the people; we don’t have the other.’ I mean, actually, the other option is to be willing to pour the dollars into marketing people, and into instructional design folks, you know, things like that. I voted a cautious ‘Yes.’ I’m not blocking, but I am very concerned. It’s so sexy, you know, when you listen to them - ‘Oh, my God, you’re going to make a jillion dollars; and it’s going to be outside the Board of Governors’ and Governor Scott’s money issues, and it’s going to just flow and flow, and it’s going to be wonderful.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, we may be locked into something we don’t like, but we’re sort of stuck.’ And I just need to say that.”

 

 

Comment (Judy Rodriguez, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics): “I agree. I think, you know, that, you’re right. We need to look at the fine print very carefully, and that’s why we haven’t decided; because we want to see the details before the ink is on the paper. So, that is definitely something that, I think, you know, that’s right. And part of the dialogue here is good for us, because it helps us to go back and rethink of some of the things we want to look at as we look at that fine print. So that is definitely.... But, you know, I also (inaudible). I don’t like being micromanaged. So the decision about how I make a decision about who selects, as long as I’m doing it with the faculty, they’re happy, we have consensus, and there’s integrity and fairness in the process, I don’t want you guys telling me how I should (inaudible). I’m sorry. But, you know, but, at the same time, I do believe there has to be oversight. We have to be fair and all of these things, and we have to be inclusive in the decision-making. That’s one thing. The other thing is, I implore you to have some trust in your colleagues who are wanting to try something new. And you’re right, I think that a marriage can be sticky. But, you know what, at least for Lillia and me, money has never been a driver. I mean, if it were a driver, I’m sorry; we wouldn’t be here now; we could make a lot more money somewhere else. It’s really about our faith and our love in our discipline, in our department, and in our profession and the students we have. But we also know that the world is leaving us behind. By God, there are some incredibly good nutrition programs online. You know, there are some in the Midwest that have fantastic D.L. high-quality programs. If I don’t get on board, we’re going to be dead; and I don’t want that to be my legacy. Sorry. So, you know, if it doesn’t work, I’m going to say, ‘It’s out.’ But I’ve got to at least try something new, ”

 


President Rakita: “I’m going to ask that.... I know we’ve got at least one more question. But, in fairness to the other people who have special reports - the union and the legislative liaison - I’m going to try and keep this to a minimum. I saw David’s hand, and I’m going to pass the mike to him, but I’m probably going to curtail discussion in a moment.”

 

Question (David Courtwright, Department of History): “I have a question about markets. If there are all of these high-quality programs in the Midwest in nutrition, and if I live in eastern Kansas or southern Illinois, why am I going to sign up for a new program offered by the University of North Florida? Are we going to end up taking local students who would otherwise have come to campus, and that’s going to be our main market? Or is this really going to be a national market, and if so, how’s that going to work, given all of the competition that’s out there?”


Response (Dean Daniel): “I’ll attempt to answer it, and then Judy may want to take a shot at it, too. In our case, we’ve had a very difficult time attracting an adequate-size student body for this program. By doing courses locally, right here in Jacksonville, we’ve had very small enrollment in the program. So, we’re seeing it as a chance to significantly increase market. I don’t think we’re turning away anyone locally. Those folks can certainly continue to participate in the program at the same level they are now; it would just be delivered differently. I do think there’s a need for high-quality programming in the two areas we’ve selected, and, so I think we will possibly have a draw. There’s some study somebody cited on distance learning that says, typically you will draw more from within a couple-hundred-mile radius of your institution, because people have name recognition more. But, the big push is, can you eventually draw that wider market. From what we know about Academic Partnerships, they have very good strategies for marketing. They are guaranteeing - I say guaranteeing - they are promising us pretty convincingly that they can help us extend that market out beyond the immediate north Florida area.”

 
Response (Judy Rodriguez, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics): “And that’s actually a great question, and it’s one we had asked ourselves. One of them is - we looked at Bureau of Labor.... You know, we’re kind of an evidence-based science. So, we looked at.... Before they had actually approached us, we had been looking at Bureau of Labor Statistics data, registered dietician data, as it relates to.... I know, in our profession, some of the research is showing that we’re going to be moving toward the Master’s as a requirement for the profession, at the minimum entry level. So I know, for example, that there’s a pool of approximately 90,000 right now who are going to have to move into that. So, you know, we’ve been looking at the evidence separately, and before they were.... And that’s why, actually, we talked to Len and said we want to be a part of this, because when we look at the evidence as it relates to the data trends for our profession, we see that there is a market there. And quite frankly, I’m not afraid to compete with others that are high quality, because I think ours is, too. And so, it’s a question of: how do we position that marketing in a way that’s appropriate, that sells it? There is... Florida is a great... The southeast is a great area for seeking out registered dieticians for the Master’s. There’s a good pool; there’s a pool of about, at least three- to four thousand right here in this state. So, I mean, we’ve done our own research. I don’t like to rely on other people to tell me that (inaudible). So that’s been part of it, but I think that’s an important piece, and we should do that. We should be doing that as we look at trying to reach out to (inaudible). But, there is.... The other thing is, you know, we didn’t want to stay only local, as we sought to grow our program, because that is a much more limited pool. So by starting to create a more international name, you stand a better chance of sustainability.”

 
President Rakita: “Okay, I’m going to ask us to wrap this up; and, if you have further questions, I would encourage you, if you know the particular program that you want to ask that question to, please direct it to that individual in an e-mail. If it’s a general question, I would recommend e-mailing Len. He seems to be, sort of, overseeing this process, so I think he’s the right person to ask.”