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Minutes of Meeting

Faculty Association Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Location: Talon Room, Ospreys Commons, Building 16, 4th Floor

Meeting Details

Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 12:22 pm by Faculty Association President, Gordon Rakita.

Meeting Minutes


    The minutes of the meeting of February 6, 2014 were approved as posted on the web page.

    There is a display of portraits of some of the past Distinguished Professor in the hallway outside the Talon Room.   It is intended to add more portraits of past Distinguished Professors to the display during the next few years.


    Congratulations to the new 2014-2016 Faculty Association Officers:

    President Chip Klostermeyer,

    Vice-President Scott Hochwald, and

    Secretary Katrina Hall.

    Nominations for the election of people to fill vacancies on the 2014-2016 Standing Committees and University Committee will be taken from the floor, in addition to nominations already made.


    On Wednesday, March 5, Susan Perez e-mailed all faculty asking that they respond to the United Faculty of Florida survey about bargaining issues for upcoming contract negotiations.  Faculty are urged to complete the online survey.


    Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Sam Kimball – The Provost Search Committee has received the results of the public opinion survey, and are using the information from the survey to devise our protocol for on-campus interviews of candidates.  The committee has also drafted an advertisement, and will be forwarding that, with an explanation of the advertisement, to the university community soon.  The committee has also developed a web site for the search, and all candidates will be directed to this site for information about UNF.


    George Candler, President of the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Association – An online survey was done in January of members of the College of Arts and Sciences with regard to the issue of abolishing the COAS Faculty Association.  A majority of a bare quorum of members voted to terminate the organization.  It is requested that members of the faculty express their opinions or concerns in this forum about the issue.  Faculty members are asked to e-mail other concerns. 


    Matt Corrigan - University Press of Florida has called for a seminar during Spring Break in Gainesville.  The Managing Editor, Meredith Babb, will be here on March 27 for lunch.  An announcement will be made soon; faculty are urged to respond if they plan to attend.

    Academic Programs Committee - Cheryl Frohlich
    Cheryl Frohlich is still in the Academic Programs Committee meeting; the committee has a very large number of items to consider.  There will be a few legislative items from the APC today.


    Academic Standards Committee - Elinor Scheirer

    Elinor Scheirer reported.  The committee met last on February 14.  One issue considered by the committee was the definition of a credit hour; this item will be on the legislative agenda today.  The committee also approved a statement developed with various constituencies regarding student rights and responsibilities; the statement will be discussed at the next Executive Committee meeting.  On the April agenda, there will be a statement regarding the change of grade policy.  The next committee meeting will be on March 14; on the agenda for the meeting will be a continuing discussion of  posthumous/in memoriam degrees, and development of a new policy regarding student petitions for exceptions to policies.


    Adjunct Affairs Committee - Daniel Dinsmore

    Daniel Dinsmore reported.  The committee met last on Tuesday, March 4.  The committee has been working with Executive Assistant to the Provost and Director of Planning Marianne Jaffee on clickable pdf’s and web sites for providing information to adjunct faculty members.  The committee will meet next on March 15 at 4:00 pm in Building 57, Room 2302; Interim Provost Earle Traynham will be meeting with the committee.


    Budget Advisory Committee - Jeffrey Harrison

    Jeffrey Harrison reported.  The committee met last on February 11.  Interim Vice-President for Development and Alumni Affairs Ann McCullen met with committee to discuss the UNF Foundation.  In 2013, the Foundation raised $9.96 million.  During FY 2013, the return on the Foundation investment portfolio was 12.5%.  The spending allocation coming out of the endowed accounts remains at 4.35%, but the accounts are still able to build equity with this rate of return.  When the fund-raising campaign closed, 20 of the 34 employees on the UNF Foundation staff left for other jobs.  Welcome to Joshua Merchant as the new Vice-President for Development and Alumni Affairs.  The committee will meet next Tuesday, March 11, and hope to have Vice-President for Governmental Affairs Janet Owen at the meeting.


    Campus Technology Committee - Donna Mohr

    Donna Mohr reported.  The committee met last on February 14.  The next meeting will be on April 11.  The committee will be finalizing clicker choices before the next meeting.  Any faculty member who is using or planning to use clickers, the demonstrations by Turning Technologies and I-Clickers will be soon (schedule may be found on the CIRT web site).  The committee is wrapping up review of classroom technology and action items for improving classroom technology.

    Faculty Affairs Committee - David Fenner

    David Fenner reported.  At the last committee meeting, the committee discussed the new charge for the Academic Programs Committee, which will probably be an agenda item at the next Faculty Association meeting.  The committee also discussed a proposal that only members of a college should vote for that college’s representatives on Faculty Association committees; this may be an agenda item at the next Faculty Association meeting.  The committee meets next on March 13 at 12:15 pm in the OFE/FA conference room.  At that meeting the committee will discuss a recommendation for the enlargement of the Research Committee, and a proposed policy from the Distance Learning Committee.


    Faculty Enhancement Committee – Georgette Dumont/Alan Harris

    Georgette Dumont reported.  The committee met last on February 10.  The committee is still discussing refinement of the rubric for summer teaching grants.  The committee will meet next at noon on Monday, March 10 in the OFE/FA conference room.


    Nominations & Elections Committee – Albert Loh

    Ballots for voting to fill vacancies on Faculty Association Standing Committees and University Committees will be available on April 3 at 9:00 am; voting will close on April 9 at 5:00 pm.  Several nominations were made from the floor; these will be available on the web page.  Nominations were closed. 


    Research Committee – Tammie Johnson

    Tammie Johnson reported.  The committee met last on Tuesday, March 4.  They are continuing to work on improvements to the summer research grant applications and rubric.  Assistant Vice-President for Research John Kantner met with the committee to discuss ways that the committee can assist him in his new role.  The committee will meet next on April 1 at 9:00 am in Building 39, in the 4th floor conference room


    Strategic Planning Advisory Committee - Pali Sen

    The committee met on last Tuesday, March 4 at 12:15 in the OFE/FA conference room.  We had Graduate Dean Len Roberson as our guest.  Dr. Roberson shared information regarding the strategic plan for distance learning (DL) and involvement of Academic Partnerships International with UNF.  In 2008, The Distance learning Committee became a University Committee with elected faculty representation to develop policies, procedures, staffing, and infrastructure of DL.  The 2011 data from the Florida Board of Governors meeting showed UNF lagging behind other state universities in Distance Learning.  Dean Roberson shared some future plans for DL - UNF will offer strategic courses, programs and certifications via DL; UNF will have a minimum of 10 DL programs by 2016 (currently we have 4); UNF will increase the number of course sections offered via DL by 2016.  Currently faculty training and support is done by CIRT.  He also talked about the need of Academic Partnerships International involvement in DL. They help in marketing a program and increase the enrollment for the classes that UNF offers.  API does not have ownership of any course; UNF has the ownership if the course development is paid by the university.  A lot of information can be found at  Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 1 at

    12:15 pm in the OFE/FA conference room.


    Support Services Committee - Robert Schupp

    Robert Schupp reported.  The committee last met on Monday, March 4.  Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Cheryl Gonzalez; she shared some of the policies, plans, and initiatives of that office.  The committee will next meet on April 1 at 1:00 pm, in Building 42, Room 2004.  


    Executive Committee - Scott Hochwald

    Faculty Association Vice-President Scott Hochwald reported.  The committee met on Tuesday, February 18.  There is one legislative agenda item, the Faculty Association budget for the coming fiscal year.  The next committee meeting is on Tuesday, March 11 at 12:15 PM in the OFE/FA conference room, Building 16, Room 3108. 


    President John Delaney  

    “Scott, it’s worse than you know.  I’ll get to that in just a minute.  I first thought I’d take a minute or so and just talk about enrollment.  Occasionally, I’ve gotten … recently, I’ve gotten a number of e-mails from some faculty sort of wondering – what is the enrollment strategy and what’s going on.


    Nationally, there has apparently been a dip in the number of 18-year-old kids graduating from high school, and that’s expected to be low until about the year 2016.   And, the percentage drop is roughly what we were seeing here at UNF as well; maybe not quite as bad at UNF as it would be compared to nationally.   So freshmen are down a little bit. 


    Secondly, transfers are down a little bit.  There’s a reason for that; it’s that the issues over at FSCJ – they had about a 9% drop in their enrollment, and I think you just saw they’ve had another issue with financial aid that’s not fully out.  And, they probably…it’s going to probably impact their enrollment again this summer.  And so, the flow-through – that’s the prime transfer entity that we have – is down just a  little bit. 


    Third, as many of you know, the year before last, we – and we knew this would have some impact, potentially have some impact – we instituted a mandatory freshmen housing program.  And what we were seeing, and consistently are still seeing, is that students that live on campus graduate more quickly, they take more credits, they pass more credits, even when compared to students that have a higher high school GPA or a higher SAT score.  But, much like the Academic Partners experiment that we’re doing – this is an experiment – we’re going to continue to monitor it and see.  Because we knew some students would say, “Well, if I’ve got to pay for a dorm anyway, we’ll just go ahead and go to the University of Florida.”  Most of those kids, I suspect, were planning on  transferring to the University of Florida their junior year, anyway, so we were going to lose them in terms of our graduation rate. 


    So some question is, well, what could you do?  We could lower our admission standards and gain more freshmen.  We could work more aggressively on transfer students.  Many of you observe that a good number of the transfer students are really not prepared for  university-level work.  Interestingly, a pretty good percentage statistically do pretty well, but there’s a big group that I think really are a bit of an anchor in a number of the classes.  I particularly get that complaint out of Coggin.  I think it’s something that we’re going to need to take a look at. 


    So we could do things to goose the numbers.  Right now, we are funded for 10,000 FTE, and we’re a couple of hundred over that number.  Now, what does that mean?  That means that all that we get to teach that student is their tuition bill; we do not get any money from the state.  So roughly half of our budget comes from the state of Florida; the other half, from tuition.  Ten years ago, it was about 80% from the state and 20% from tuition.  Back then, it made no sense to bring a student on board if all you were getting was tuition, because it just didn’t cover the cost of educating the student.  So, we could goose, say, add 400 students; we’d pick up a million or a million-and-a-half bucks. And, I know some feel, well that’s the answer; let’s just go ahead and goose enrollment.  But what we would have to do would be to lower the admission standards, which means we wouldn’t be getting as bright a student.  And then, you’ve got 400 extra students, and we’ve got to deal with them.  So, they’re going to need more advising; we’re going to have to either cram them into classes, or we would roughly – with that many students – would roughly hire 20 or 25 more faculty members.  So in the end, we’re not ahead.  We really are digging ourselves into a deeper hole.  So it’s not really a question of doing more with less, the way the budgets have gone the last six or seven years.  We’d be doing more, but with a little bit more.  So all we’ve done is just shift the problem a little bit, and I don’t think really resolved it.  So my instinct has been that that’s not a great solution, to just goose enrollment.  I think the impacts are not particularly positive.  But again, it’s open for discussion; if others have other theories, we can certainly discuss it.  I think it has done well for us; in fact, as we were interviewing the new enrollment candidates, the admissions candidates, they’ve observed how much we’ve moved in the last year in terms of the entering SAT scores and GPA’s of our high school students.  And we frankly think, relative to the other schools, we may well have done even better; I’ll come back to that in just a minute – in the last thing I’ll close out.   


    Secondly, the anonymous questions at the end of the meetings; and, I probably didn’t handle a couple of them as well last time.  So what I’ve concluded to do is just, on all those questions, I’ll just handle them in writing.  When I read them, they read a little better than they sounded.  It had nothing to do with the way you were reading them, but… and so, I think it’s a very positive part of governance.  Gordon and I had a very long conversation on that –  a couple of long conversations on that in the last month.


    A final thing is to talk about Tallahassee; obviously, that’s where Janet is. I talked to her for about 45 minutes this morning.  And for those of you who were here at the last meeting, I pointed out that we’ve sort of seen this train coming; that the Board of Governors has locked down on funding universities based on scores on 10 metrics.  And they really are continuing to define what these metrics mean.  But they are, in my view, unconnected to quality or performance – unconnected to learning gains.  You know, we’re about teaching, research, and service.  There’s nothing about research; there’s nothing about teaching.  They’re metrics that are interesting, but to base funding decisions on them; I’ve obviously got some troubles with it.  In saying that, they’re sort of going to have impacts three different ways on schools.  You’re either going to be prey, which means money’s going to be taken from you; or you’re going to be a predator, which means you get somebody else’s money; or you’re going to be left unimpacted.  And we’re in that category; we’re in the non-impacted category.   Then it does look like, on top of that, there will be some new money that’s going to be appropriated to the universities; and I think it looks like we’ll have a little bit of money this year.  It’s hard to tell until we see what the leadership puts into the budgets, into the pot.  And then, it’s a question of, again, just getting our fair share out of it. 


    The metrics have a lot of warts on them.  I mentioned last time – the graduation rate, for example.  We’ve got about 75% of our FTIC’s graduate in six years; and another 7 or 8 percent are still going to school – they’re taking one class at night, usually, working during the day.  Which I think is a pretty good measure for us.  But there really isn’t any consideration here of mission differentiation, of the fact that we’re a regional institution.   We are about being relevant to the region, and that means that a good percentage of our students are going to work while they’re going to school, which does not happen in, say, Gainesville or Tallahassee. 


    So we’re continuing to press on those; we’ve got some substitute metrics that we think would make some sense.  And how they’re scored is pretty interesting; and we think we’ve kind of broken that code.  One of the metrics is the percentage of your students with Pell grants.  So they higher percentage you have, then you get more points, because you’re taking on a student with financial issues and whatever background is attributed to that.  Well, on that metric, I think that 8 of the 11 universities get the most points, which is 5 points.  They’ve dropped it that, usually a couple get five, a couple four, a couple  three, etc.  They spread them across kind of a bell curve.  Well, on that one, they slid it way over, and I think that they’ve dropped it to 28%; if you’re 28% or above, you get five points. I think the University of Florida is 28.5%; so I think that there’s a reason that that particular number was selected. 


    Tomorrow, as a matter of fact, we’re having a retreat to kind of break these things down.  Again, we’re still working to adjust them over in the legislature before they come out.  But, we bring in 1600 – 1800 freshmen a year; we’ve got about 15,000 undergraduates, roughly, by head count, so keep that in mind.  UCF, I think, has about 54,000 undergraduates, and they admit 3000 freshmen.  They should be admitting another 4000, 5000, or 6000 freshmen. Well, where are they?    Well, apparently, what they’re doing is co-admitting students to a community college, not counting those students in admissions in their reportable SAT scores and high school GPA’s.  And also, that group’s going to have a different graduation rate, and they’re not being counted in the graduation rates. 


    So there are some ways to game the system.  We have always been scrupulously honest in the way we report our data, perhaps to our detriment; but again, we’re not being particularly hurt by this formula right now.  And we do anticipate that we’re going to anticipate that we’re going to be able to adjust it.”      


    Legislative Liaison Report – Vice-President for Governmental Affairs Janet Owen 

    There was no report.  She is currently in Tallahassee.


    United Faculty of Florida – Janice Swenson

    “I want to piggyback off what Gordon said.  We put out – the bargaining team put out a survey to the faculty; and it actually went out over a week ago through a system that we were using, and about half of you didn’t get it.  And we were forwarding it to colleagues that hadn’t gotten it.  And Susan Perez did the lion’s share of the work and got it back out to you yesterday.  If you’ve already filled it out, don’t worry about what you got yesterday, but if you haven’t, it would really be helpful if you did indeed fill it out.  It takes, maybe, five minutes, unless you get really verbose in the ‘What else would you like to tell us?’ phase.  We’re getting some feedback; we’re already seeing some trends, and we’d like to see whether or not those trends are true to the faculty.  It’s already establishing some different priorities for our negotiations, so your input would be very, very helpful. 


    Also, there are three are three committees that UFF – University Committees that UFF has to do the election process for – the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Sabbatical Leave Committee, and the Professional Development Committee.  And the Professional Development Committee is for non-tenured faculty.  We have…we’re just working on the letter [to send] out to you for nominations. 


    The nominations are accepted through the 31st of March, according to the CBA, and then there is an election held the second consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of April, and the CBA states ‘at a place and time on campus.’  And, at the moment, we are discussing with the administration whether or not we can define ‘place’ as a virtual location, so that we could actually do this balloting electronically, rather than having you all have to come to a location to do that.  I’ve had several requests, and if you are happy with that or unhappy with that, just let me know right now, because, we’re trying to get this definition agreed to, so that we can actually do this electronically and give you a full 48 hours to place your vote for this, this year.  If not, we’ll work on getting it into the CBA for next year. 


    We have not had any word on the start of negotiations.  The team is working on prioritizing – using the survey –  we’re also prioritizing and beginning to put together our suggestions for changes to the contract.  Of course, the biggie right now is teaching and faculty evaluation, Article 18; probably 19 and 20, which is promotion and tenure.  And there’s some discussion about non-tenure track faculty, and seeing whether or not we can get some better job security for us, and things like that.”


    Constitutional Convention – Matthew Corrigan under Hotline page

    “We met in early March, we will meet again on March 28.  We considered seven items. The way this is going to work – once they’re approved in the convention, they’ll be published on the web site; just look under UNF Constitution in Google.  We will have a public forum the first week of April, to get input.  These aren’t finalized; they’re just proposals, and then we’ll meet again in April to finalize the constitutional recommendations. 


    Just a couple of examples – we had a proposal to have a Provost retention vote every four or five years, like deans have and chairs have.  The faculty group in the convention recommended against that, because other schools in SUS do not have that, and also Faculty Association felt that they had instruments at their disposal to express pleasure or displeasure with the administration in terms of resolutions. 


    Civility has been a big topic, and civility will be included in constitution if it’s approved.  We’re also balancing this anonymous question issue; clearly, they’re important, but there are some legal restrictions, in terms of evaluation files, and in terms of false statements.  For example, if someone gave Gordon a question that said, ‘Matt Corrigan kicks his dog.  Do you care to comment?’  Gordon doesn’t know if that’s true; the President doesn’t know if that’s true, and there are some legal limits to anonymous questions.  And so, we’re kind of, dealing with all that.  


    And then finally, the last big one is, we want to make a clear statement that adjuncts and other part-time employees of the university are important, but we can’t make too strong of a statement, because they’re not part of the governing process.  So, we’re dealing with that, and I welcome any suggestions on wording.  Because as of now, they’re really not included in the constitution, and they are a very important part of our university; we need to include them.”


    Campus Safety Advisory Report – Associate Vice-President and Compliance Officer Joann Campbell

    “I’ll be brief, because I know you have work to do.  I just want to thank the three  members of Faculty Association who are representatives on our Safety Council, and that’s Ellie Scheirer, Beyza Aslan, and Jennifer Wesely.  Two significant items – actually three - that we’ve dealt with this year.  First is bikes on campus, and I want to do special recognition to Daniel Dinsmore for his assistance with the Council this year.  We’re getting new signage for bikes sharing the road on campus.  You should see those signs being installed tomorrow, so that we will have those on campus.  So thank you, Daniel, for bringing that to our attention.  Lighting at shuttle stops – part of our Fall safety walk – the representatives felt that the lighting needed to be attended to.  So there are solar panels being installed on all the Osprey Shuttle stops.  We are also in discussions with JTA about solar panels that are on the JTA shuttle stops, so that will be coming; when is up to their schedule.  We’re looking at shuttle stops (sic) for our Osprey stops fairly quickly.  We’re also studying lighting at the Fountains crosswalk, because there have been issues expressed with respect to lighting in that area.  And then additional lighting between buildings 8 and 2.  So, if you do have issue with respect to safety, again, Ellie Scheirer, Beyza, Jennifer, or myself can take them before the committee.”  


    President Rakita:  I have received a number of questions…approximately 10.  I have edited and merged for brevity as well as to manage some overlapping of question topics.


    Question #1, for President Delaney :

    “UNF is accepting a lot of transfer students to fill in for low FTIC enrollments. Regardless of the grades they earn, a large number of these transfer students are, in the common experience of many UNF faculty, often very unprepared for the academic challenges of UNF classes.  Would the President speak to how the University can ameliorate the problem of upper division transfer students who are not prepared for the challenge of UNF classes.  How do such students fit in to his vision for UNF?”


    Question #2, for President Delaney :

    “In a recent explanation for a personnel decision, the Provost cited the principle of ‘fairness’ to the faculty member as one rational for that decision.  Will the administration initiate a review of faculty salaries with the purpose of addressing the terrible unfairness suffered by those colleagues whose salaries are compressed and inverted?”


    Questions #3 & #4

    I received two questions related to faculty and administrator diversity at UNF.


    For Cheryl Gonzalez:

    “What have the numbers and percentages of minority individuals in UNF’s upper administration (deans and above) year-by-year [been] over the last ten years?”


    For Edythe Abdullah:

    “With the recent discussions and comments in the last few months regarding faculty diversity, are there any changes being made? Is there a group/committee charged with the task of addressing these concerns?”


    Question #5, f or Shari Shuman :

    “This is a public records request, going back ten years, for a year-by-year comparison of the amount of the budget allocated to the different categories covering the maintenance and improvement of the campus flora.”


    Question #6, for President Delaney :

    “If we are doing the IDEA survey for the Interim Provost and [some] Dean[s], why wasn’t the Interim Associate Provost similarly evaluated?”


    Question #7, f or President Delaney :

    “I understand that the interim provost has initiated a search for a permanent associate provost. Shouldn't this search be left to the new permanent provost once that person takes office?”


    Question #8

    “President Delaney noted at the February meeting that he would answer the question about UNF being over-administered. He said that he would explain how the data from Florida Trend was faulty. I do not see his answer and am wondering if he provided it to the Budget Advisory Committee (we were told that the committee would make a decision to look at this issue after receiving President Delaney's response).”


    President Rakita:  “I’m going to answer this one.  I check our minutes from the February meeting. The president was asked about data in the June 2013 issue Florida Trend.  He indicated that he would respond in writing and the Association is awaiting that response.

    There was a separate question regarding administrator pay raise and should the Budget Advisor Committee be looking into the issue.  I indicated that when we receive the administration’s response I would ask the Budget Advisory committee to review the response and make a recommendation to me about how they feel we should proceed.  We are also awaiting the response for that question.”


    Question #9

    “I received one question that is requesting information about administrator compensation.  This information was requested last month and the Association is awaiting the President’s response.”

    There were no consent agenda items.

    Agenda Item# 1 - FA 14-03: Submitted by Faculty Association President

    FA President: 2014-2015 Faculty Association Budget Proposals
    Vice-President Scott Hochwald moved the item.  The item passed.


    Agenda Item# 2 - FA 14-04: Submitted by the Academic Programs Committee
    CCEC (Undergraduate)–(School of Computing, School of Engineering/Civil): New Courses, Course Changes, and Programs of Studies Changes (2 packages)

    The chair moved item.  The item passed.

    Agenda Item# 3 - FA 14-05: Submitted by the Academic Programs Committee

    BCH (Undergraduate)-(Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Nursing): New Course, Courses Changes, and Programs of Study Changes (4 packages)

    The chair moved item.  The item passed.


    Agenda Item# 4- FA 14-06: Submitted by the Academic Programs Committee

    BCH (Graduate)-(School of Nursing): New Course (1 package)

    The chair moved item.  The item passed.

    Agenda Item# 5- FA 14-07: Submitted by the Academic Standards Committee

    Definition of the Credit-Hour

    The chair moved item.  The item passed.

    1. Provost Search Faculty-Staff Survey Results
    2. UNF Constitution Request (2014)
    3. Clicker Selection Update 
    4. Faculty Association Standing and University Committee Nominations 
    5. Untaught Five Years Courses Deadline

    The meeting was adjourned at 1:27 pm.