“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.”
Liaison Report – Vice-President for Governmental Affairs Janet Owen
There was no report.
She is currently in Tallahassee.
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.”
Convention – Matthew Corrigan
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Safety Advisory Report – Associate Vice-President and Compliance Officer Joann
“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.”