University of North Florida
Board of Trustees

  • Conference Call
June 25, 2002
Conference Call at 11:00 a.m.

Call to Order and Roll Call

Chair Thompson called the meeting to order at 11:07 a.m.  It was agreed that the roll call by the Suncom operator would be accepted.  All members were present along with Ms. Karen Stone, Assistant Corporate Secretary.


Ms. Stone explained that each member of the Board of Trustees received notice of the meeting by e-mail on Friday, June 21st and had further received follow-up notice of the meeting by e-mail, including a copy of the meeting agenda on Monday morning, June 24th. Ms. Stone further confirmed that consistent with requirements of the Board bylaws, notice of the emergency meeting, including the time, date, place and purpose of the meeting had been posted at the UNF Library and on the UNF website at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.  Finally, Ms. Stone informed that Board that the University community had been notified of the meeting through the University's Campus Update and that press outlets requesting notification of Board meetings had been notified by UNF's Office of Media Relations."              


Presidential Transition Issues

Chair Thompson indicated that at last week’s Board meeting, President Hopkins announced her resignation as president effective August 2, after summer commencement, because of health reasons.  President Hopkins further stated that she would return after a year’s sabbatical to teach in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.  Chair Thompson said the Board accepted Dr. Hopkins’ resignation with regret and was delighted she would be returning to teach. 


Chair Thompson indicated that as Chair, she is authorized to present to the Board a transition plan.  She said the Board needed to move quickly, but cautiously to consider three things:  1) the transition of Dr. Hopkins from President to professor of political science, 2) the process to use in naming an interim president, and 3) the process for searching for a permanent president.  She asked the Board to authorize: 

  • a one-year sabbatical at Dr. Hopkins’ current salary of $174,100.  The sabbatical is requested so that Dr. Hopkins can have time to address her health issues, do research and retool;
  • at the end of the sabbatical, Dr. Hopkins’ reassignment to a 9-month contract as a professor of political science with a salary reduction to $150,000 per year; and 
  • a $4,000 annual professional development allowance for travel and other expenses related to her research duties. 

Trustee Gonzalez asked if Dr. Hopkins’ sabbatical would extend from August 2, 2002 to August 3, 2003.   Ms. Stone explained the contract period would probably extend a few days past August 3, perhaps to August 7, in order to align it with the regular contracts for 9-month faculty.  It was further clarified that Dr. Hopkins would be assigned a full teaching load and she would receive all benefits normally afforded 9-month faculty during the summer when they are not teaching.


Trustee Douglas moved and Trustee Gonzalez seconded that the recommended compensation package be approved.  The motion was approved unanimously.


Due to technical problems, a second roll call was taken.  All members were still connected except for Trustee Stallings who was later reconnected. 


Chair Thompson said she encouraged Dr. Hopkins to take her vacation, which was planned prior to her resignation.  Chair Thompson said that Provost Kline would be in charge during the President’s absence up to her resignation date.  She said she met personally with Provost Kline and he indicated his willingness to serve.  Chair Thompson further stated that the Board had every confidence in the staff to continue performing their duties during the transition period.  


Chair Thompson then proposed the appointment of a subcommittee with student and faculty representatives to develop the processes for appointing an interim president and searching for a permanent president.   A July conference call would be held to make a recommendation and final decision.  The Trustees agreed to move expeditiously, but carefully, to select someone who could appropriately continue in Dr. Hopkins’ absence.


Chair Thompson recommended that the subcommittee consist of the Board Chair, Vice Chair, and Chairs of the Finance, Education, and Finance and Audit Committees along with Trustee Rogers to serve as the student representative and Ms. Kathy Cohen, the faculty representative.  Chair Thompson indicated that she had not spoken with anyone about serving, but would very shortly.  If any of the persons could not serve, another member would be selected.  Trustee Coggin asked if all trustees would be notified of the subcommittee members’ confirmation.  Chair Thompson answered that all trustees would be copied on all correspondence.  She also indicated that all meetings will be open and all trustees will be invited to attend. 


Trustee Gonzalez mentioned that FAMU and FAU had recently gone through the presidential selection process and it might be helpful to contact them for input.  Chair Thompson said she had already begun talking with trustees at these institutions and she would also contact the FBOE.  Ms. Stone informed the Board that the FBOE would need to ratify the person selected as interim president so this process must be handled in a timely manner.


Trustee Halverson asked for clarification that the subcommittee would be an advisory committee and not the selection committee.  Chair Thompson confirmed that the subcommittee will work in an advisory capacity to develop the process for selecting an interim and permanent president.


Trustee Twomey moved and Trustee Willis seconded the proposal.   The motion was approved unanimously. 


Chair Thompson said she would work with Ms. Stone and others to schedule, notify, and post notices of the meeting, and that she would collect as much information as possible prior to the meeting.  Ms. Stone mentioned that similar notice must be given for the subcommittee meeting as is done for the regular Board meetings.



Chair Thompson apologized for the technical difficulties experienced during the meeting.  She asked the trustees if they thought of any ideas and comments later, to submit them to Ms. Stone.  She then thanked everyone for his/her participation and adjourned the conference call at 11:45 a.m.