Responses to questions are posted on the Faculty Association website and included in a future agenda package.
Comment by FA President Radha Pyati:
I will begin the Question and Response period with a response to a question asked at the September 2016 meeting.
Regarding a vote of no confidence on the President, there is no procedure for such a vote. But there is a current opportunity for input, in the form of the Board of Trustees (BOT) Presidential evaluation process occurring this October. As FA President, I am your representative to the BOT, so please let me know your input via phone (X1918), face-to-face, or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Monday, October 24.
For this meeting 26 questions were received. They have been edited and consolidated, but every one of them is included in the subject matter of the questions. I believe the number of questions indicates that faculty are deeply concerned and frustrated by issues at the University.
Q1. To Provost Earle Traynham
From Pali Sen. My question on a student’s petition of a grade of a F to a W in the faculty association meeting on September 1, missed the intended mark. I know students can petition any grade, I am asking about the outcome of it. If a student uses a Waiver of University Policy form to change a final grade in a course to a W, and the faculty assigning the grade denies the request, then it can be granted by a chair or a dean or ultimately, the provost. I believe this violates the collective bargaining agreement. The process for assigning a W after a final grade has been assigned, needs a clarification so that faculty know the answer to an important issue.
Q2. To FA President or designee.
What is UNF’s plan to prevent and address Zika virus, including public health/safety issues and standing water/landscaping issues? UNF is a beautiful campus with ponds and swamps, and all water need not be removed, but we need a plan.
Dr. Pyati’s Response from floor:
I asked Dan Endicott of EH&S, Doreen Perez of UNF Student Health Services, and Chuck Hubbuch of Physical Facilities and have compiled their responses per below.
Student Health is following the Governor’s request to educate the Campus community and has insect repellent available. Doreen Perez gave a presentation to the campus community that will be posted on YouTube. More info is available on their main page: https://www.unf.edu/shs/ , and other informational items from the Florida Dept of Health will be posted on the Q&R site.
EH&S has met with grounds staff from Physical Facilities, Housing, Athletics and COJ Mosquito Control to discuss the preventative measures they are taking and what we can do on campus. Our grounds departments are monitoring for standing water and have plans in place to treat areas should the vector mosquitoes become an issue in our area.
Mosquito Control explained that two only mosquito species transmit Zika. These two species do not breed in running water or in bodies of water large enough to contain fish and other natural predators. So, draining swamps and ponds is not necessary. Instead, the larvae of these two mosquitoes are found in small, temporary bodies of water like untended water in bird baths, concrete storm water basins, bottle caps and other litter. Targeting the breeding places and young of these two species is more successful and less damaging to other living organisms (including us) than spraying large areas. That means that litter control provided by the Recycle crews may be our most important line of defense. Biological controls are effective and Grounds is prepared to treat storm water basins in the event that it becomes necessary.
Q3. To FA President or designee.
Last academic year, the Faculty Association and Faculty Affairs Committee rejected a proposal to create a committee of faculty to consult with the UNF Foundation concerning its investments. Even if the proposal to stop certain investments is rejected, does that also mean that the creation of a faculty consultative committee should be rejected as well?
Q4. To Rachelle Gottlieb.
Would you please provide to the Faculty Association a breakdown of the different benefits that different employees of UNF receive: USPS, A&P, non-tenure-line faculty, tenure-line faculty, administrators, staff, and anyone else. I have heard that there are “executive benefits.” What are those, and who receives them?
Q5. To Provost Earle Traynham
Is it true that cell phones of administrators are paid by the University?
Q6. To FA President or designee.
On 9/22 we received an email from the registrar informing us that a policy is under development regarding preferred name use. I already find it challenging to learn the names of 100+ students each semester. Is there much of a need for this new policy, or are we furthering students’ sense of entitlement?
Q7. To FA President or designee.
I have read with concern about other schools having problems with the Confucius Institute in terms of unethical funding and hiring practices and violations of freedom of speech and academic freedom. Some schools have ended their relationship with the Confucius institute and the American Association of University Professors has warned against partnering with them. Has the Confucius Institute been thoroughly vetted and regularly reviewed?
Q8. To President Delaney
In the e-mail you sent to faculty on 9/22, you noted the large number of Presidential scholarships awarded to UNF students. While this is certainly great, I am wondering if we can get (a) an accounting of how much is being spent on these scholarships and where the money comes from and (b) why the UNF endowment seems to not have increased substantially in many years.
Response from the Floor by Vice President Shari Shuman
There were three parts of the question. The first part was about the number of Presidential Scholarships. That information will need to come from Enrollment Services. The second part of the question relates to from where are the Presidential Scholarships are paid. Presidential Merit Scholarships are paid for through the regular E&G (Education and General Funds) budget. The UNF Foundation also provides many merit-based scholarships for students from the UNF Foundation budget. The third part of the question is about the Foundation and its endowment. In 2008, it was about $100 million dollars. After the economic crash in 2008, the endowment reduced to about $70 million. Currently, the endowment is up to about $90 million dollars. In 2003, the endowment was around $50 million. There have been some declines, but other than the dramatic drop in 2008, the endowment was on an increasing trend.
Q9. To President Delaney
The President recently put out a note that encourages us to brag about UNF; this is of course much easier done if those to whom we brag do not then remind us of our position vis a vis the state metrics. Can the President assure us that we will not continue to be in the bottom of the rankings next year or in subsequent years?
Q10. To President Delaney and Provost Traynham
What is the 10-step plan to lead UNF to a university ranked in the middle among the other universities?
Response from the Floor by Vice President Tom Serwatka
The answer to this question depends on what is meant by the middle of the metrics. If one looks at each of the 10 metrics and UNF’s score on each of the metrics, UNF scores either above the middle or at the middle of each metric. What UNF has not done is received growth scores according to the metrics. For example, when looking at graduation rates and employment rates, we are at or above the center score. The place where we are below center is cost per degree. There is no need for UNF to be ashamed of our performance on the metrics. Please see the attached addendum submitted by Dr. Serwatka regarding the metric scores.
Q11. To President Delaney
The President recently put out an email that cites the quality of the new freshmen. Could he please now share the same sort of data about the transfer students that UNF admitted this fall?
Q12. To Albert Colom, AVP Enrollment Services
President Delaney recently sent out a notice about the admission profile of our freshman student class. Would you kindly provide the Faculty Association with the admission profile of students admitted for Spring 2017 as well as for Summer 2016?
Q13. To Albert Colom
Have you examined the results and implications of the math and writing placement testing that was done this past summer? If so, have any patters emerged in who has scored what in relation to their overall admission profile?
Response from the Floor by Albert Colom
The data associated with the math and writing placement testing has not yet been analyzed, but it is in the process of being analyzed. The admissions office will provide this analysis once it is complete.
Q14. To Ricky Arjune, Budget Director
Would you please report to the Faculty Association the salary increase Professor Dan Moon received when he was appointed Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the salary increase he received when he was appointed Interim Dena of the College of Arts and Sciences?
Q15. To FA President or designee.
If it is true that the interim dean of the College of Arts and Science received raises over his last two promotions equal to or greater than $80,000, how can the administration possibly defend paying a great number of UNF staff members less than $25,000 a year? And how can it defend paying adjuncts $2250 per course? How is this just?
Q16. To President Delaney.
What is your position on the two raises, just 10 months apart, that the president and provost authorized for the current interim dean of COAS, in relation to the faculty (about 17 in number) who felt short changed on the recent raise?
Q17. To John White, President, UNF-UFF.
As you know, a number of faculty (I have heard 17) felt shortchanged last year when they did not receive the full raise amount they thought they should have gotten. I have heard that the annual cost of remedying this would have been approximately $75,000. Is this correct?
Q18. To John White, President UNF-UFF.
On October 3rd, you emailed all faculty claiming that "Among the 11 established State University System schools in Florida, UNF ranks last in average faculty salary." Shouldn't UNF's faculty take this as a sign that our union has done a poor job negotiating salary increases?
Q19. To FA President or designee.
Has there been any study done at the university to support what is being discussed among some faculty members about male patriarchy and faculty salaries? I would like to know if there is any truth to the rumor that female faculty members make less than their male counterparts.
Q20. To FA President or designee.
Could the Faculty Association request the salaries of every administrator as well as the history of raises for all of these individuals during the time in which John Delaney has been president? Could the Faculty Association then report on the trends and especially the comparison with faculty raises over this same period?
Q21. To FA President or designee.
Is this Provost Traynham's last year with UNF? If so, should we not be starting the search process for his successor now?
Q22. To FA President.
At last month’s FA meeting, a question was asked about President Delaney’s retirement. As the FA President and therefore a BOT member, are you aware of any preparation the BOT might be making in terms of a presidential transition, and if so, has it hired a search firm yet? Will the BOT communicate any information to the faculty? Should the FA, led by its president, not urgently take up the issue of a presidential transition? How can FA take a proactive approach to a Presidential transition?
Response from the Floor by FA President Radha Pyati
The Board of Trustees (BOT) have not made any preparations for a Presidential transition as of its September 2016 meeting, nor has it hired a search firm to assist in this process. The FA let by its President will take a role in any Presidential transition. This question could be rephrased is “how can the FA take a proactive approach to a Presidential transition.” The FA officers and committees will be addressing how the FA can take a proactive approach to any Presidential transition.
Q23. To FA President and John White.
Considering the graduate admissions problems in the Coggin College of Business, please provide the procedures for a “no confidence” vote for a college dean.
Response from the Floor by FA President Radha Pyati
The UNF Constitution, Article V Section 4, states that faculty within a college can conduct an anonymous retention vote of any Dean prior to the end of their term. The FA officers are glad to assist Coggin with such a vote. A group of Coggin representatives are invited to meet with FA officers to discuss this issue.
Q24. To President Delaney.
The graduate admissions situation in the Coggin College of Business is very serious and dangerous – it could jeopardize the college’ accreditation and its reputation for quality. It has been said that you have known about it for at least a month what leadership have you shown in addressing this crisis?
Q25. To Provost Traynham.
What is the real intention behind Jay Coleman’s transfer to data analytics?
Response from the Floor by Vice Provost Jay Coleman
The intention for the transfer to the new position was to help the university deal with the requirements for State-wide metrics.