University of North Florida
Board of Trustees
Educational Policy Committee

  • Meeting
May 24, 2005
University Center at 8:30 a.m.

Committee members present

Luther Coggin, Toni Crawford, Wilfredo Gonzalez, Ann Hicks, and Judith Solano

Committee members absent

Bruce Taylor

Other trustees present

Tom Foran.


Chair Hicks called the meeting to order. She asked for a motion to approve the minutes. The motion was offered and the minutes were approved unanimously.

Tenure and Promotion

Chair Hicks asked Provost Giordano to discuss the item on tenure and promotion. Dr. Giordano said that with regard to promotion and tenure, each member of the group had been reviewed by their department, the chair of the department, and the dean of the college. At each level, administration was advised about whether the person had met expectations for promotion, tenure or both.


In those cases where a person did not receive consistent votes of approval, the provost met with all participants and had dialogue with them about what had guided them when they made their decisions. He said that those who were up for tenure and promotion, those who were only up for tenure, and those that were only up for promotion were included in the committee members’ packets. For each of these cases, the university committee had agreed that the candidate met expectations for promotion and tenure, tenure or for promotion, with one exception. One person was not given vote of confidence by the department’s chair, dean, or the university committee. The provost agreed with the pattern of consistent votes in all cases.


Dr. Serwatka noted that the Educational Policy Committee vote was only for tenure; promotion decisions were for information only. Chair Hicks asked for questions or comments. Trustee Solano moved to accept the tenure nominations. The motion was seconded by Trustee Gonzalez and approved unanimously.

Legislative Budget Requests

Vice President Giordano noted a list of special legislative initiatives under attachment 4. He said the University was requesting funding for the initiatives from next year’s legislative session. The requests fell into three categories identified by the Governor, the Legislature, and the Board of Governors as the highest priorities for universities in terms of producing more undergraduate degrees due to these areas’ critical impact on sustaining services and contributing to the economic growth of the state: nursing, education, and information technology and engineering.


In nursing, the issue was the incapacity to accept more students due to lack of professors and facilities on campus, as well as the lack of internship placement opportunities. The University was asking the state to fund more professors and hoped to receive special budgeting to support a new program for nurse anesthetists. UNF was committed to the nurse anesthetist program with or without the funding from the state and had already been approached by Shands with an offer to loan hospital staff members as faculty.


Provost Giordano said the problem with both education and engineering and technology was more difficult. In those two areas, the issue was student attraction. Not enough students were interested in these two high need degree areas. In education, the University proposed supporting different ways of obtaining alternative licensure for those with four year degrees in areas other than education, allowing teachers to take the additional coursework necessary for certification while they were actually teaching. The University planned to undertake this initiative with or without the requested funding from the state.


Trustee Gonzalez brought up an idea he had mentioned at a previous meeting some time ago. He noted that the Peace Corp had approximately 7000 volunteers worldwide, many serving as teachers in some capacity. Often, though they had degrees, the degrees were not in education. Trustee Gonzalez suggested becoming one of the institutions involved in training these volunteers to become teachers with the idea of attempting to attract the volunteers back to Florida upon completion of their service in the Peace Corp. He also recommended trying to get the list of returning volunteers in an attempt to recruit from there. He said he had contact names in Washington, DC that he could provide. Provost Giordano said he would look into Trustee Gonzalez’s ideas.


Regarding information technology and business, Dr. Giordano said there had been a downturn of interest in degrees in those fields. UNF sought funding to add and change tracks in those areas to generate interest and better fulfill some of the state’s needs.


Trustee Coggin asked if university administration had quantified the cost of expanding the nursing programs. Provost Giordano said the College of Health was currently developing a strategic plan that would give those figures along with a timetable.


Trustee Crawford moved to approve the recommendation. The motion was seconded by Trustee Solano and approved unanimously. Chair Hicks noted that President Delaney was not able to attend the meeting as he was representing the University in Washington, DC with the other state university presidents.  

FEEA Report

Ms. Lina Monell, director of Equal Opportunity Programs, was asked to give a brief summary of the FEEA report. She said the University was required to submit the report annually to the Office of Equity and Access. The report was required in that office by June 30 after approval had been obtained from the Board of Trustees. She noted that parts 1 and 2 required no action; there were no new equity policies and procedures or incomplete items or actions.


Ms. Monell then provided a review of the remainder of the report beginning with graduate enrollment and completion rates. Total graduate enrollment had dropped by almost 3 percent but the University did see an increase in enrollments of Spanish, Asian, and American Indian graduate students, though there had been a decrease in the number of African Americans enrolling in graduate programs. She noted that this number tended to fluctuate, but when viewed over a five year period had been gradually increasing overall. With respect to graduate completion rates, the University had seen a drop in completion overall. The number of African Americans completing graduate programs had increased but there had been a decrease in the number of Hispanic graduates; she believed this may have been mostly due to the decline of a program in Belize.


The next section dealt with FTIC enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. Ms. Monell said there was good news with regard to enrollment rates as the University had seen a significant increase in the number of African American, Hispanic, and other minority enrollments. The University had remained rather stable over the previous six years, but several outreach initiatives from the Office of Admissions had resulted in the larger increases over the past year. The same was true for retention of minority students due to strategies being used by that office to benefit all students. Currently Black students were retained at a higher rate than White students while the retention rate of Hispanic students was slightly below that of White students. Ms. Monell said that, for students tracked over six years, Black students were lagging behind with respect to graduation, but other minority groups were exceeded White students’ graduation rate.


In response to a question from Chair Hicks, Ms. Monell said that retention was considered one year after enrollment while graduation was tracked over a six year period. Retention rates were currently better than graduation rates. Trustee Crawford verified that non-traditional students were not counted in these rates. Dr. Serwatka said a study might be needed to determine if minorities took longer to graduate, which might, in turn, affect the totals for graduation rates.


Ms. Monell moved to the section on athletics. She said enrollment rates for females had been growing steadily over the last few years, as had the percentage of females participating in athletic programs– at about 1 percent per year, which was consistent with the gender equity plan. She said a corrective action plan for two items where the University had not been in compliance, coaching and locker rooms, had been initiated last year. To address the lack of coaching support for the women’s teams, money had been budgeted to hire a coach. Candidate interviews had begun and Athletics expected to hire a coach by July 1.


Locker rooms would remain an issue until funds had been obtained to build appropriate facilities. However, modifications had been made in existing facilities in the meantime. The final issue in athletics was financial assistance through scholarships. Scholarship dollars for the women’s teams continued to increase, though still at less than the desired rate.


Part 6 dealt with employment. Three groups were tracked: senior level administrative positions, academic administrative positions, and faculty. In senior level administrative positions there was a deficiency in the number of Black administrators; in academic administrative positions more females and minorities were needed. With regard to faculty, the issue was somewhat harder to address and the University had to wait for faculty members to retire to try to meet those goals. UNF was able to meet seven of eleven goals. In some cases, offers were made to minorities and were declined, but the University was continuing to make attempts and was seeing positive results. In consultation with the deans and the provost, new goals had been set for 2004-2005.


In response to a question from Trustee Gonzalez, Ms. Monell said that all recruitment for faculty positions went through her office. She said the University did not have a problem in the recruitment area and had success in making offers to minorities. However, because of the very competitive nature of such hires, minorities had often accepted positions at other institutions offering better salaries.


Trustee Solano noted that section 5, part 6, related to the evaluation, promotion, and tenure section of the faculty handbook, was outdated and no longer correct. However, the handbook itself could not be updated until agreement had been reached in collective bargaining. Dr. Serwatka suggested including a preface that said that the policy was incorrect but could not be updated and explaining why this was the case.


Trustee Crawford asked if UNF would be penalized by the state for any of the report findings. Dr. Serwatka replied that the University had, in fact, received accolades because of the increase in minority representation for entering freshmen. Trustee Crawford complimented university administration for the efforts made to ensure minority representation.


Trustee Gonzalez moved to approve the report and Trustee Crawford seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously.

Academic Learning Compacts

Provost Giordano spoke of academic learning compacts (ALCs). He reminded the group of discussion at the last BOT workshop on defining what the University would do to meet the spirit of ALCs, as well as the procedures to be employed and a timetable for implementation. He noted that, though implementation had already begun in some departments, the schedule for the rest of the University would take place primarily over the coming academic year. He directed trustees to attachment 6 to see the proposed policy, which defined the objectives and had been drawn from the directives received from the state. The material also outlined the plan for meeting the initiatives on UNF’s campus. The specific ALCs for each program would eventually be posted on the web. He said university administration was asking the Board to support the proposed policy.


Trustee Crawford asked if the ALCs would basically be considered outcomes. Dr. Serwatka said that was correct. In response to a question from Trustee Gonzalez, Dr. Serwatka said that issues of whether the needs of the disabled and minorities could be addressed would be program specific. For instance, students graduating from education programs should be able to address the needs of minority students, whereas this might not be an issue for other programs. Trustee Crawford verified that each program would be submitted to the state. Dr. Serwatka acknowledged that was the case and said that the ALCs must be available to students. They would at least be available on the web, but would probably also be available in a catalogue of some sort, somewhat like a syllabus for the program, as Trustee Gonzalez had suggested.


Trustee Solano moved to approve the item, which was seconded by Trustee Crawford and passed unanimously.

Proposed Reorganization of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice

Provost Giordano discussed the proposed reorganization of the department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice. The faculty of the department had voted for a split into two departments. Sociology and Anthropology would remain together as one department and Criminal Justice would become a separate department. Nine faculty members would move to Criminal Justice and fifteen would remain with Sociology and Anthropology. He said the area of criminal justice had grown rapidly over the last several years and was expected to continue to do so.


Dr. Hallet discussed the history of the Criminal Justice Department and the emergence of criminal justice as an area of study at the turn of the twentieth century. He said Criminal Justice had become a separate department in many institutions across the country due to its size and distinct concentration and in order to better meet the needs of its students.


Provost Giordano requested the group’s support for the proposed split, noting that the department faculty, the dean, he, and the president all supported the reorganization. Trustee Coggin moved to recommend the split. Trustee Solano seconded the recommendation and it was approved unanimously.


Chair Hicks thanked everyone for participating and the meeting was adjourned.