“Janet is here today, and so I’ll leave the
Tallahassee stuff for her. I do want to say
this; I spent the last couple of days in Tallahassee, and Janet had set up a
meeting with the Chancellor and the Chair of the Board of Governors to meet
with the lobbyists of all of the universities.
I was meeting with a cabinet officer, and came a few minutes late. But, she really – and I think most of you
know this – chairs that group; all of the other lobbyists really defer to Janet’s
strategies and tactics. She usually puts
all of this stuff together, and the hours that she works during the legislative
session and the previous couple of months during the committee weeks are just
incredible. So, I’d kind of like to
thank Janet in front of you all and to ask you to help thank her as well. She hates this stuff, and so it’s nice to get
it out early.
But, in that context, you know, we entered the
recession essentially… really ’07 into early ’08 is when the state began
cutting out budgets back. And, we had,
really two concepts that we were adhering to as we were looking at the reduced
budget. The first was to preserve jobs –
that we did not want to go into lay-offs.
As you know, our sister institutions laid off hundreds, really thousands
of people, but hundreds of faculty, including tenured faculty. Many shut down academic programs as well;
that was the second thing that we did not want to do; we sort of started from
And it does look this year like we’re going to get a
little bit of money. We can’t really
figure it out because of the way the formulas… I don’t know if Janet’s got an
update yet. They had a meeting of the
Board of Governors staff late yesterday to kind of help give us a little
foreshadowing of how the numbers may look in terms of operational dollars.
And so, the highest priority that the Board has set
over the last two years is salaries, and salaries particularly for faculty. So it does look like we’re going to be able
to do a bump; and, of course, obviously we’ve got to negotiate these with the
unions. But, historically, we have not
had a fight over the dollar amounts as we go through the budget and show,
whatever we’ve got, we try to move into that.
Anyway, that part’s coming, and again, next month, hopefully, we’ll have
a much sharper picture of how that’s going to look, because the session should
It’ll be interesting to see – Janet can give you an
update on buildings – because I’m not really sure; there’s really very
different minds over there. You know,
the governor is not a fan of a lot of the space we have – our buildings on
campus. He doesn’t like dorms or
cafeterias or parking garages; he wants just offices and classrooms, and that’s
it. But, we’ll see where we end up on
that; that’s something that’s obviously a big push. We’ve had a huge catch-up in the last ten
years, in terms of the building space. You
know, almost half of the stuff is brand new, and we’ve been able to renovate a
pretty substantial proportion of the remaining buildings. And, we’re hoping to do that on Buildings 3
and 4, the Skinner-Jones Halls, and get those converted back into classrooms,
labs, and offices.
I thought I’d take just a minute on distance
learning. A couple of faculty members
have said that there’s a couple of questions sort of circulating, and some
issues, particularly as it relates to the company Academic Partners that we
partnered with. First, just a little bit
of a history. They first approached us
about six years ago; and they actually were referred by the former governor Jeb
Bush, who considers UNF an innovative university. He said, ‘I think the best university in the
state really is here. Why don’t you
contact the president and let’s see?’ And
it had a different name, the company, at that time, more of a
corporate-sounding name. And so, we sort
of looked at what they were doing; the deans looked at it. At that time, we took a pass; it didn’t look
like it was going to fit. It wasn’t a
model that we liked. Then they came back
a couple of years later again; they had retooled. They had a number… they had more universities
as partners across the country. They
were developing a better model. At that
point, we kicked it off again; we said we weren’t interested again. And then a little over a year ago, they once
again, kept asking us to the prom. And,
you know, we have moved into DL; we are rapidly increasing the percentage of
our courses that are being offered. And
I was telling the Board of Trustees this, I don’t know what the endgame is. You know, you usually like to say, ‘That’s
the destination; that’s where we want to get to. Let’s kind of budget and plan and develop to get
to that spot.’ And I think that’s sort
of uncertain. You know, nationally,
there’s now kind of a retreat from the idea that these MOOC’s are the solution
to all of higher Ed; and all you need is ten faculty members in the country,
and they can teach five million students, and you don’t need any more
buildings. There’s been a push-back on
And I’ve been telling the story that, about a year ago…. We raised a niece and a nephew along with our
kids. The niece’s two-year-old was at
our house, and she sat on a couch for forty-five minutes with an i-Pad. And, those of you that have kids know that
two-year-olds don’t sit forty-five minutes doing anything except sleeping. And it hit me that, when she’s hitting
college, if not sooner, that thing’s are really going to be different. And so, we came back and said, ‘Let’s look at
this – what Academic Partners – this company has to offer.
And so…. Just a
couple of quick points, and then I’ll close it out and give it back to Gordon. One is….
One of the things that were circulating was that I had some relationship
with that company, it’s a friend of mine, or something like that. I do not.
I met the owner one time; I wouldn’t recognize him if he walked into
this room right now. I don’t own stock
in it. I don’t have any relationship
with it whatsoever, other than the professional relationship that the
university has. Someone said, ‘Well,
should we have gone out and done a bid or an RFP process?’ There are similar kinds of companies out
there; none of them have repeatedly knocked at our door. And there is an exception in purchasing for
training and educational services; it’s an academic freedom component. And so, you didn’t have to go through that
process. And so…. And, in any event, it’s an experiment. And sort of a third thing is…. What is really their purpose? And it’s fairly simple; their purpose is to
market select UNF degree programs; sell them and get enrollment up. And the second part is to help support our
faculty in presenting these classes. So,
related to that, there are some questions.
Who owns the class? It’s very
clear in the contract that UNF and the faculty member own the class; they can’t
pick up the class and go sell it someplace else. Very, very clear - it’s a very fundamental
issue to us; and it’s been, frankly, for all of the other universities that
they’ve been partners with. Somebody
said, ‘Well, another college or degree program may be interested in partnering
with a company to help market; were they required to go to this company,
Academic Partners?’ No, it’s not a(n)
exclusive relationship; it’s just for these four degrees that we’re taking a look
at. And again, I view it as an
experiment; if it doesn’t work out, we tear the contract up and we go on with
our business. But I think the world is
so changing out there; the fear had been that every other… other universities would get a hold of this
market and we would be left behind. And
so, what we’re doing, really planning, is to kind of steal their model as we go
along; and, you know, CIRT has done a wonderful, wonderful job; but are there
other things that we can help bring to the table? And, really, their infrastructure has been to
support us, so we don’t have to do the investments that they’ve done in their
company. So, we’re just experimenting
with it. If you’re in another department
and want to go into it with another company, that’s fine, as well; we’ll go
ahead and kind of go with it. But, the
future’s going to be interesting.
And I’ll close like I usually do. If you have any questions on any topic, call
or e-mail or schedule an appointment; the door is always open. Thank you.”
Liaison Report – Vice-President for Governmental Affairs Janet Owen
“It’s a pleasure to be here, because I would have been
in Tallahassee except for being here with you all; so, thank you very much for
having me. Thank you, President Delaney
for the kind words.
Yesterday was day 30 of a 60-day session; so we are
officially at half-time. So think of
this report as half-time without the good commercials, because there’s nothing
good about this…. But, speaking of
commercials; if you’ve seen the Dodge RAM pick-up truck commercial, and it’s on
a construction site, and it looks like a dead dinosaur that died on its back,
and it’s just like a skeleton with a giant rib-cage. That’s Florida Poly – Polytechnic – going up;
anyway, we made national commercial news; I just wanted to let you know.
So, anyway, day 31….
Tax cuts; you know there wa a $1.2 billion surplus, but $500 million of
that is going to be spent on tax cuts. The
House and Senate have already agreed on $400 million of that; and that’s the
vehicle registration cut. So, if your
birthday is after September 1, then you will have cheaper car
But, what else is happening? Just so you know - to kind of to put it in
perspective - 1800 bills have been filed; and so far, day 31, they have passed
23. And six have already been signed by
the governor. And just this week, he
signed the GI bill, which, of course, gives in-state tuition to all military
veterans, no matter where they live….
Anyway, it’s very good; and the idea is that they figured out, I think,
that the military presence here in Florida is number three in terms of economic
driver here. And we don’t want any base
closings; we really want to be the most friendly state ever; and so, that has
So, Performance Funding, perhaps Pension Reform, Undocumented,
K-12 Vouchers are all hot topics that are going back and forth right now. Today, actually, as we speak, the Senate and
the House are in session, and they are passing their budgets out on the floor. I’ve read the amendments. There’s only one funny one; and that is – and
it’s not funny, because it’s going to start a war – but FSU wants to decouple
their relationship with FAMU for College of Engineering. So it gives them, all of a sudden, out of
another pot of money, $3 million to way-more $million in the future, to just
get out. Give them the building, give
them everything, and just move; and build their own. But that will start a war.
That’s what’s going on. So, that will set up (inaudible); they will
then take the Passover and Holy Week off….
So, I’ll be here.
And, just so you know, Undocumented –looks like it’s
going to pass; it looks like the Senate is going to embrace it. The reason is, they like the idea of giving
those students who’ve been here at least three years in high school a waiver;
they don’t like the idea of making them in-state residents officially. And, usually, we don’t like waivers, because
it means we have to eat it, and we don’t get the state support for the
FTE. But they’ve fixed that, so that we
would get the state support and get to count the FTE for those students. So it looks like that’s going to go.
Wrapped in Undocumented is the tuition policy, and so,
as you know, they want to take away the inflationary increase, and that’s going
to happen - they agree. And, right now,
what we’re waiting for is to see if differential gets reduced to six or if it
goes away at zero. But, zero is a
priority of the governor, and I think the House really wants to hold firm at
six, so it keeps it in law. And the idea
is that, at least, you would have that in law, and maybe be able to increase it
in the future. You’ll a whole lot of
political sound bites about this, because it’s all, you know, politically
charged for the re-election – that the governor and the legislature have gotten
rid of the tuition increase. And, as you
all know, it was only authority given to the Board of Governors so that we
could ask for it, and they could say no.
So it’s not an automatic 15 percent increase every year. That’s where we are.
The other thing to tell you is that there are no
raises in the budget for state employees.
The governor had requested, or recommended, at least some bonus
provisions; but, there currently is not.
I’m thinking that something may pop out of conference that’s a surprise,
at least a little bit. But right now,
there’s nothing; so want to let you know.
So the big news that the universities are following is
(the) Performance Funding pot. The
difference in the House and the Senate….
The House has $75 million, and it’s recurring; it’s based on the BOG Ten
Metrics that we’ve all been dealing with.
There is no bill, and in a way, that’s good, because what it says is
that, ‘We’re going to give the Board of Governors the opportunity to divide
this money. They can either do a good
job, or a bad job. Either way, there’s
nothing in law, and we can take it back and never do it again, or we can step
in and fix it if we don’t like it.’ So,
I kind of like that flexibility, since we really don’t know what the BOG is
going to do on this. But we…. It’s funny, because the university lobbyists
are greedy people; we like big money; we like the highest number possible. But, all of us agree, we’d take $75 million
recurring over $100 million non-recurring.
The Senate is at $100 million non-recurring. You can’t do anything with that; you can’t
hire anyone; you can’t move metrics….
And so, we’re really…. We are
supporting the House position on this.
And, the other thing to know about the Senate position is that they are
saying it’s a $200 million pot; they take $100 million out of the base budgets
of all the institutions, and then they put $100 million new. So it’s a $200 million pot of non-recurring
money that you can’t really do anything with.
Again, we’re supporting the House position.
(There’s a) lot more game left to be played, and I
have bills and things with me here. So,
I know.... If you want to talk about textbook
affordability or teacher prep or nursing or any specific thing, I will wait and
not take up any more time; but I’ll be here if you have a question. Thank you.”
Faculty of Florida – Janice Swenson
“The big thing that I need to talk to you about today
is the elections for the university committees that are written into the
Collective Bargaining Agreement. As you
know, we had the nominations – the nominations closed as of the 31st
of March, according to the CBA. And the
election has to occur on the second consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of
April, which means next week. And, we
have shifted to a(n) electronic election; so, on Wednesday at midnight, it will
be delivered to your e-mails, and you’ll have until… the 48 hours until
Thursday at 11:59 or Friday at midnight, depending on how you look at it, to
place your votes for that.
They will be coming out in separate…, because there
are actually three different groups of people who can vote for the committees –
the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Sabbatical Committee, and the
Professional Development Committee. All
have different people who can vote….
They will be coming out separately; you will only get the ones that you
can vote for. So those of you that can
vote in both Tenure and Promotion and in Sabbatical will actually receive two
e-mails, with a link to the particular vote that you’re… for that particular
vote. So, those of you that have that
status, that can do that, look for both and vote on both. Our hope is that, by moving to an electronic
form, we’re going to get better participation in the actual election
process. So, be looking for that; we’ll
probably send out something Monday to remind you that this is coming up, since
most people are not here.
Just to let you know, this is the first time that
we’ve been able to do this; we were able to do a memorandum of understanding
with the administration clarifying that a ‘place’ in the university could
indeed be a virtual location. And we’re
using the same thing that the Faculty Association uses, so we have anonymity
and all of those other constraints in there.
You can only vote from, as Gordon said, from the original e-mail. You can’t vote twice; it will only let you do
it once; and all of those constraints are in place.
Those of you who are members of the union know that
we’re in the process of taking the nominations for union positions, and that
election will be the following week.
That, by state law, is required to be in person, and so, we’ve actually
reserved a conference room in the new Biology building to run that. So, membership will have to go to there to
make that vote.
And, if anybody has any questions, I’ll be glad to
answer them. Thank you.”
Convention – Matthew Corrigan
think this will be the last report about the constitution. We’re moving along, and we going to have an
open forum on April 10, 3rd floor of the Student Union Building for
any of your comments. I’ll be sending
out an e-mail either today or Friday or Monday with, kind of, the final
recommendations and information about April 10.
So, please come join us. The
major changes involve a statement on civility, a statement on the importance of
adjuncts – that they are part of our community and need to be treated as part
of our community. And then, we’ve had
questions, you know, ‘What happens if somebody violates the constitution in
someone’s opinion; how does that process work? ‘ Well, it goes to the President, and the
President can then work with the University Council, can then call a committee
of faculty and get their opinion on this particular provision that you have a
question about, and then he makes the final decision. So, it’s good to be President.
the end of all this, the way the process will work is that we’ll have the forum
on April 10; we’ll meet the following week to finalize all of the
recommendations; and then it will go out to the associations for approval. Thank you.”