Faculty Affairs Committee
Annual Report 
(2016-2017) 
Submitted by Dr. Gordon Rakita, Chair 


Members:
Mina Baliamoune, Cynthia Cummings, David Fenner (FA Vice President), Scott Hochwald, Julie Ingersoll, Alireza Jahan-Mihan, Chip Klostermeyer, Sherry Pinkstaff, and Gordon Rakita (Chair)

Ex-officio Members:

Radha Pyati (FA President)

Meetings:

September 8th, October 20th, November 10th, December 8th, January 19th, February 9th, March 9th, April 13th,
May 18th (canceled)

  • The committee discussed and approved a name change of the “Coastal Biology Flagship Program” to the “Coastal and Marine Biology Flagship Program”. 
  • The committee reviewed and approved a proposal to split the Department of Public Health into two departments: Department of Public Health and Department of Health Administration
  • The committee reviewed two Honorary Doctorates proposed by Danny Gottlieb of the School of Music. The committee positively endorsed an honorary degree proposal for Jack Kleinsinger and moved the proposal forward to the Executive Committee. The committee reviewed a proposal from Mark Tumeo concerning the nomination of Mr. John Campion for an Honorary BS in Mechanical Engineering. The committee positively endorsed an honorary degree for Campion.
  • In conjunction with the Association’s Vice President and the Research Council, the committee conducted a survey of the faculty designed to assess faculty perspectives on the role of research at UNF. Vice President Fenner is working with the Research Council and the FAC on a formal Research Statement from the faculty.
  • In response to a faculty query and noting the absence of such a process in our bylaws, the committee drafted a process for conducting a Vote of No Confidence in the President or the Vice Presidents of the University. The draft was forwarded on to the Executive Committee. It was edited by the EC and then was moved to the full Association meeting. A process (new Bylaws Article IX) was accepted by the Association on March 2, 2017.
  • The committee clarified language to many of the Association’s faculty awards including; the three Teaching awards, the Outstanding Community Engaged Scholarship award, the Outstanding Faculty Scholarship award, and the Distinguished Professor award.  
  • The committee modified the “Statement of Unity” crafted by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and forwarded it to President Delaney for consideration. The President offered friendly amendments that were accepted by the committee. The statement was moved forward to the Executive Committee and to a full vote by the faculty (passing on March 2nd). The statement now appears on the University’s website (https://www.unf.edu/president/mission_vision.aspx) and reads as follows:
“UNF stands in unity and solidarity with all members of our community, regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, disability, or country of origin.
We are proud of the diversity in our students, faculty and staff.
We strongly condemn acts of hate and bigotry as antithetical to the university’s core values of mutual respect and civility. Actions and words that seek to deny human beings full membership in the broader moral community on the basis of arbitrary characteristics are intolerable. We stand opposed to violence in language or in action, and we see these as a threat to the mission of UNF as a public university that is committed to intellectual and cultural growth and civic awareness.
We pledge to stand with and for those who are the most vulnerable members of our community and to take actions that help our students and fellow employees feel safe and know that they are safe. We affirm UNF’s unreserved commitment to student success within a diverse, supportive campus culture. We seek to embody the ideals of a free and democratic society, and we fully support and value each member of our community.”
  • The Committee discussed an inquiry about the current Faculty Association Quorum requirement and decided to study attendance at FA meetings during the spring semester to assess whether that number should be increased. In the end it was determined that no change to the quorum amount was justified.
  • The committee considered a proposal by the Student Government to establish an online repository or “bank” of syllabi that students could consult when selecting courses. Rakita and Pyati met on several occasions with SG representatives to discuss their “Syllabi Bank” project and express faculty concerns and reservations. The FAC recommended an opt-in system rather than the mandatory compliance that SG preferred. Rachel Bryant, Chief of Staff, of the SG, presented the SG proposed syllabus bank to the FAC and a discussion followed. Unfortunately, the SG and FAC did not arrive at a mutually agreeable proposal. The committee then passed a resolution summing up their view of the SGA’s actions. That resolution was later passed by a vote of the Association (FA 17-27) on April 6th.
  • The committee reviewed our last Campus Climate survey and Klostermeyer and Ingersoll (consulting with Michael Binder of the COAS Polling Center) made edits to the questions and survey format. The survey was launched on May 1st and will run till May 31st.
  • The committee heard presentations from the Environmental Center and concerned faculty regarding a proposal to expand the Sawmill Slough preserve on campus. The committee also heard from John Hale regarding the proposal and the Campus Master Plan that was formulated in 2010 and reexamined in 2015 as required by law. There committee voted unanimously to support the proposed expansion.
  • The committee updated the Associations resolution opposing allowing Guns on college and university campuses. 
  • The committee discussed, crafted, and sent forward a resolution in opposition to Florida Senate bill 104 pertaining to computer coding as a substitute for foreign language courses that was subsequently passed by the full faculty.