Annual Report 

(2014-2015) 

Submitted by Co-Chairs 

Dr. David Fenner and Dr. Steven Williamson 

 

Members:   Stacy Boote, Lisandra Carmichael, David Fenner (co-chair), Scott Hochwald (FA vice-president), Gordon Rakita, Dan Richard, Jenny Stuber, Diane Tanner, Steven Williamson (co-chair)

 

Ex-officio Members:  Chip Klostermeyer (FA President); Kathy Robinson (FA Past President)

 

Meetings:   September 11, 2014; October 9, 2014; November 13, 2014; December 11, 2014; January 15, 2015; February 12, 2015; March 12, 2015; April 9, 2015

 

Intellectual Property Rights

The committee discussed issues that have become relevant as faculty develop online courses. Questions arose about the control and rights of faculty who develop an online course and whether the course could be offered by other faculty without the consent of the faculty who initially designed and created the online course.  The issue was pursued by UFF as part of the CBA negotiations.

 

Digital Dossiers

The review of Promotion and Tenure (P&T) dossiers has become cumbersome as faculty submit volumes of artifacts for review during the P&T process. The FAC is supportive of the move to digital versions of dossiers.   The system implemented should make this process easier for faculty, not more cumbersome; the Committee recommended that the UFF, Academic Affairs, and the Office of Academic Technology investigate viable solutions.  

 

Bookstore

The FAC reviewed a question about restricting faculty comments that would recommend to students that they should purchase textbooks from sources other than the University Bookstore.  The Committee reviewed the contract between the University Bookstore and UNF; it was the consensus of the committee that faculty would like to maintain their autonomy around making recommendations to students about textbooks.

 

Online Instructional Satisfaction Questionnaire (ISQ)

The Provost sent an email indicating to faculty that those who wish not to use their ISQs are allowed to exclude them from annual evaluations. The purpose of the potential exclusion was based on lower response rates resulting from a shift to an online administration of the ISQ.   In order to ensure a fair and consistent process of faculty evaluation, the FAC recommends that ISQs administered, either online or face-to-face, in the 2014-2015 Academic Year be used in evaluating faculty in annual evaluations.

 

Textbook Affordability

To enhance textbook affordability the FAC recommended the following:

 

  • Website on textbook affordability
  • Pursue some debit card option for students
  • Pursue options of communicating the information about textbook price and options when ordering
  • Improve the textbook ordering system
  • Pursue efficiencies in financial aid to students
  • The institution should make available textbook reserves at the library

 

Distinguished Professor Runner-up

The runner-up for Distinguished Professor will still be recognized and honored but will receive the monetary award only once within 5 years. The motion was put to a vote and approved.

 

Summer Research Grants

A number of faculty members have won the Summer Research Award multiple times. The FAC indicated that one of the intentions of winning a Summer Research Grant is to provide opportunities for research development and to support external grant funding.  The FAC recommended that the availability of the Summer Research Awards should be limited for faculty members who already have received a previous award. The FAC recommends that Assistant Professors be allowed to receive a Summer Research Award once every 2 years, Associate Professors, once every 3 years, and Full Professors, once every 4 years. The timeframe restriction should be determined by the rank of the faculty member at the time of application. This restriction might not be appropriate for the Summer Teaching Awards and Summer Grant Development Awards.

 

Definitions of “Service Learning” and “Community Engagement”

Mark Falbo, Director of the Center for Community-Based Learning, asked that faculty be provided an opportunity for input on the definitions of community-based learning and service-learning at UNF. The FAC submitted the current definitions to the Faculty Association, and feedback was solicited from all faculty. Chip Klostermeyer received feedback from several faculty members. The revised definitions reflect the received feedback and discussion by the FAC.

  • Service-Learning is an experiential teaching method that combines community service with course instruction using critical, reflective thinking to enhance academic rigor and learning outcomes. Service-Learning focuses on giving students credit for learning that is demonstrated through critical analysis on service, not credit for service hours performed. Service-Learning initiatives at UNF engage students in a reciprocal relationship with the community. In this relationship, organized service addresses community identified or recognized needs while each student develops his or her academic skills as well as his or her interest in and sense of responsibility towards the community.  Participating students develop academic and professional skills as well as gain real-world experience and a broader perspective of the outside community. Community based Service-Learning is not only student-centered, but community-centered in that the needs of the community are seen as central and as a key source of learning for the student. The “S” and the “L” are capitalized to recognize their shared and equal weight while the hyphen signifies that serving and learning are connected and reciprocal. That is, through community based Service-Learning, students are given the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in the community and apply them to classroom and other settings as well as help the community through their service.
  • Community Engagement:  As a public urban university, the University of North Florida is committed to the principle of community and civic engagement. Our mission includes fostering the intellectual and cultural growth and civic awareness of our students, preparing them to make significant contributions to their communities in the region and beyond. At UNF, students and faculty engage collaboratively in the discovery and application of knowledge through mutually beneficial community-based research and learning. The University of North Florida contributes to the community and region through outreach, educational, research, volunteer, and civic activities. Many of these contributions are recorded in our Community Impact Study. Equally important, the university derives benefits from the diverse range of resources, perspectives, and opportunities that exist in our community and region. The university hopes to further deepen and institutionalize its commitment to community engagement through its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) titled “Community-Based Transformational Learning”. The Community-Based Transformational Learning document submitted to SACS in July 2009 can be accessed by clicking here. The QEP is a significant component of the accreditation process of the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS). The QEP outlines a systematic course of action designed to enhance student learning. UNF’s “Community-Based Transformational Learning” will develop opportunities for students in all academic programs to deepen and enhance student learning by providing students with opportunities to apply their academic skills and knowledge in authentic settings within the local community and beyond.  Students will benefit from experience working with diverse populations and having the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they are taught in their coursework in real-world situations.  The form and design of these community-based learning experiences will vary by discipline and academic program. Community-based transformational learning can take the form of service learning, fieldwork, internships, co-ops, or community-based research. This QEP is a further extension of UNF’s commitment to community engagement. The plan includes the creation of the Center for Community-Based Learning that will support the initiative and provide resources for faculty, students and community partners.

 

Campus Climate Survey

The FAC is responsible for launching the Campus Climate Survey. The FA Committee reviewed the 2011 Campus Climate Survey results. The FA Committee felt that there had been sufficient changes in the university climate to administer the survey this year.  The survey was revised and administered.

 

Student Incivility and the Class Disruption Policy

Incidents of incivility have occurred in the classroom. Other incidents of incivility have occurred through email or other forms of digital media. The FA Committee recommended that the issue of student incivility should be addressed with students during student orientation. The FA Committee endorsed the principle that faculty should continue to socialize students about civility through clear expectations in their syllabi. The FAC reviewed the revised proposed policy for removal of a student from a class setting because of classroom disruption, titled the Class Disruption Policy, revised and distributed by Student Affairs. There were no recommended changes to the policy.

 

IRB Review

John Kantner, Assistant Vice President of Research, Dawn O’Connor, Assistant Director of Research Integrity, and Jennifer Wesley, Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) were special guests during this meeting of the FAC.   Dr. Kantner provided an update on the changes that have been implemented following an external review of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Dr. Kantner mentioned that the volume of proposals to be reviewed by the IRB has increased and that the overall median time to IRB approval for submitted project summaries has reduced from Jan 2014 to Jan 2015. The current timeframe is about 10 days for an exempt project to complete the process from time of submission to time of decision.  Some of the previous delay in the review of submitted proposals could be attributed to the influence of student proposals (which tend to need more revision to move through the process) and to class projects (which often could be exempt from review). A new, streamlined process has been implemented for class projects, and additional training addressing the IRB process has been developed.

 

Automatic Blackboard Creation for All Courses

Student Government requested that online Blackboard courses (within UNF’s Learning Management System) be automatically created for all courses, whether or not the instructor plans on using the online system for the course. Students suggested that this approach might facilitate student communication and cooperation within courses. There was some concern about creating a backlog of courses for faculty who are not using the system and some concern for confusion for students who will be uncertain as to whether the instructor intends to use the Blackboard course or not. Some faculty members use other learning management systems, and in such cases, students might mistakenly look for course materials on the Blackboard site. The FAC did not recommend this policy.

 

ISQ Information for Teaching Award

The FAC discussed whether the results from Instructional Satisfaction Questionnaires (ISQs) should be required for inclusion in applications for the Undergraduate Teaching Award. The policy indicates that ISQ raw data is not acceptable. There was a proposal that the policy be revised to say that summary information from ISQ is acceptable but that raw data should not be included. The FAC voted that ISQ information should not be required.

 

ISQ Review

The Provost asked that the FAC review, revise, and make recommendations for changes to the ISQ. The goal is to reduce the number of items and revise ambiguous items.  The committee reviewed the previous items as well as suggested items by the committee. The committee retained 10 rating items (from 23) and 2 discursive items. Some of the items were revised from the previous version of the ISQ. Below is the final list of items recommended for the ISQ.

 

  1. My instructor communicated ideas and information effectively.
  2. My instructor was knowledgeable about the subject matter.
  3. My instructor was able to explain complex concepts and ideas clearly.
  4. My instructor was well-organized and provided a framework conducive to learning.
  5. My instructor taught the course in a way that stimulated critical and creative thinking.
  6. My instructor assisted students outside of class.
  7. My instructor set high standards that challenged me in the course.
  8. My instructor showed respect for students.
  9. My instructor provided useful feedback on assignments/tests. 
  10. My overall rating of instructor

 

What did you like best about the course and/or how the instructor taught it?

What suggestions do you have for improving the course and/or how the instructor taught it?