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University of North Florida
Board of Trustees
Educational Policy Committee

  • Meeting
September 18, 2008
University Center at 11:00 a.m.

Committee Members Present

Dr. Edythe Abdullah, Mr. Luther Coggin, Mr. Wilfredo Gonzalez, Mrs. Joan Newton,
Dr. Katherine Robinson, Dr. Bruce Taylor

Committee Members Absent

Mrs. Toni Crawford, Mrs. Ann Hicks

Item 1a Introduction of Mr. Ramon Colon, IBM LA Grid Scholar and UNF Research Assistant

Chair Taylor stated that the Committee was taking an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of one of UNF’s outstanding students. He asked Dr. Neal Coulter, dean of the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction (CCEC), to introduce Mr. Colon.


Dean Coulter stated that Mr. Colon was a recent graduate from the Electrical Engineering program. He spoke about Mr. Colon’s unique qualities and his contribution as a research assistant to the CCEC’s advanced weather models for a hurricane mitigation project. Dean Coulter noted that Mr. Colon was being celebrated because he had recently accepted an employment offer from IBM Research in Yorktown, New York. He elaborated that this accomplishment was unique in that IBM Research rarely hired someone without a graduate degree. He asked Mr. Colon to say a few words to the Committee.


Mr. Colon thanked the Committee for the invitation to speak. He shared a few of his experiences at UNF and provided details about the UNF ocean buoy. He offered appreciation to the University for bringing research to the institution, noting that this opportunity prepared him to compete for the position with IBM.


On behalf of the Committee, Chair Taylor congratulated Mr. Colon on his accomplishments as a student and on is recent employment with IBM Research.

Item 1 Call to Order

With a quorum being present, Chair Taylor called the meeting to order.

Item 2 Approval of the Minutes

Chair Taylor asked for a MOTION to approve the minutes for May 15, 2008.  The MOTION was offered by Trustee Gonzalez and seconded by Trustee Korman. The minutes were accepted as presented.

Item 3 Open Comments

There were no comments from the public.

Item 4 Policy on Establishing, Operating, Evaluating, Reviewing, and Disbanding University Institutes and Centers

Chair Taylor asked Vice President Serwatka to speak about this item.


Vice President Serwatka stated that the Board of Governors (BOG) asked each institution to publish clearly defined guidelines on university centers and institutes. He clarified that the proposed new policy was in compliance with this request.


Vice President Serwatka stated that, although the institutes and centers did not award degrees, they were faculty driven. He talked about funding and listed sources as both internal and external, including the State and some general revenue dollars; however, most were funded by grants and/or contracts.


Vice President Serwatka confirmed that this proposed new policy did conform to what the BOG had requested regarding establishing, operating, evaluating, reviewing, and disbanding institutes and centers. He noted that the proposed new policy addressed periodic evaluations for institutes and centers, including a self-report and an external review process. Vice President Serwatka clarified that the University had been operating with procedures much the same as this proposed new policy.


Trustees asked if institutes and centers were required to report to the BOG. The administration stated that all institutes and centers did submit a report to the BOG annually, but the University required a more comprehensive evaluation every seven years.


Trustees asked about the significance of placing academic restrictions on the external reviewer(s). The administration clarified that current language in the proposed policy stated that the external reviewer(s) was/were required to hold the rank of Associate Professor or higher.  Trustees engaged in conversation on the benefits of an interdisciplinary review panel, not limited with educational credentials.


There was consensus from trustees that language should be added to include: (1) if the Provost wishes to appoint up to two additional reviewers and (2) hold the rank of Associate Professor or higher, or hold a comparable professional position. It was noted that the previous language allowed for the Provost to appoint up to one additional reviewer.


Chair Taylor asked for a MOTION to approve the Policy on Establishing, Operating, Evaluating, Reviewing, and Disbanding University Institutes and Centers. The MOTION was offered by Trustee Robinson and seconded by Trustee Coggin. The policy was approved based on a friendly amendment to add language to include, (1) if the Provost wishes to appoint up to two additional reviewers and (2) hold the rank of Associate Professor or higher, or hold a comparable professional position.

Item 5 Approval of Tenure by Reason of Appointment (Dr. Michael Philip Toglia, Chair and Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences)

Chair Taylor asked Provost Workman to speak on this item.


Provost Workman stated that the University’s internal search for a chair for the Department of Psychology was unsuccessful, and upon reopening the search, the University found Dr. Toglia. He stated that Dr. Toglia had impressive credentials and had quickly become effective in his capacity as leader of the department.


Chair Taylor asked for a MOTION to approve tenure by reason of appointment for Dr. Michael Toglia.  The MOTION was offered by Trustee Korman and seconded by Trustee Abdullah. The MOTION was accepted as presented.

Item 6 New Administrative and Faculty Hires

Chair Taylor asked Provost Workman to speak about this item.


Provost Workman stated that the total number of new full time faculty for fall 2008 was 56. He clarified that of these 56 new hires, 53 were filling positions vacated through attrition. He noted that attrition was especially high because of the recent retirement of founding faculty.


Provost Workman listed particulars for the distribution of the new faculty across the colleges, stating that the majority were employed by the College of Arts and Sciences. He then provided details on diversity, including minority figures and degree-granting institutions. Provost Workman noted that the University was becoming more cosmopolitan with each faculty hiring cycle.


This item was informational only.

Item 7 Fall 2008 Student Profile

Chair Taylor asked Ms. Deb Kaye, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, to speak about this item.


Ms. Kaye started her discussion by noting that the University had decreased FTIC freshman enrollment by 400; with 1100 fewer students overall. She clarified that the decrease in enrollment was intentional in response to State budget cuts.


Ms. Kaye stated that official enrollment data would be available October 15th. She listed total enrollment for fall 2008 as 15,544 students, including 1,189 FTIC. She noted that there was an intentional 6.55 percent overall decrease in enrollment, including FTIC and transfer students.


Ms. Kaye stated that the intentional decrease in enrollment had positively affected the academic profile. She listed the average newly enrolled FTIC GPA for the fall 2008 semester as 3.63 and the SAT score for the same group as 1190.77. She noted that the SAT score was about 13 points higher than last year, which was significant.


The discussion continued addressing the conversion rate for the fall 2008 freshman class. Ms. Kaye stated that this rate was gathered from data that included the number of students who applied, who were admitted and who ultimately enrolled. She clarified that the conversion rate had gone down because the institution was becoming more selective.


Ms. Kaye discussed the Presidential Scholarship Awards, including the influence from decreased FTIC. She noted that, although overall matriculation was down, the rate of students achieving the award was up. She attributed this to the University’s ability to recruit higher achieving students.


Ms. Kaye mentioned that data from fall 2008 showed a slight decline in geographic diversity. She clarified that this decline was an indicator of the weak economy’s affect on student moving outside the Crown Region (Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns).


Ms. Kaye stated that there was a slight increase in minority enrollment. She listed the fall 2008 minority enrollment as 22.27 percent and spoke about the positive influence of the Jacksonville Commitment.

Ms. Kaye stated that the University was excited to have enrolled 40 new students through the Jacksonville Commitment program. She noted that in-school counselors were not in place yet but the University had employed an extremely competent director.


Ms. Kaye discussed the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship program, noting that 80.3 percent of FTIC students enrolled in fall 2008 were recipients.


The Presidential Scholarship awards were discussed noting that, in order to accommodate budget shortfalls, this program was revised for the 2008 recruiting year and the results were significant. She explained that a total of 155 scholars were matriculated for the 2008-2009 academic year – with a total of $387,500 scholarships being awarded. Ms. Kaye stated that 95 percent of these scholarship recipients were retained from the sophomore year, as compared to 75 percent of the general population.


Ms. Kaye presented details on how the University worked with historical trends to meet enrollment targets. She commented that there was a change last year, in that once students were matriculated, they were remaining at UNF. She noted that the Presidential Scholarships were a means to retain students and the new Roadmaps initiative would also contribute to retention.


Ms. Kaye talked about the decline in transfer applications and matriculation of these students. President Delaney stated that this would be a topic for the upcoming workshop.


The administration stated that the institution’s vision for UNF was to increase enrollment to 25,000 students. It was mentioned that the time to address this was now, with full consideration being given to financial mandates. Trustees stated that the Board and the University leadership should come to consensus on where UNF was headed and how to get there, while remaining cognizant that the University could not be all things to all people.


Provost Workman stated that the University should not assume that the student profile would be sustained with growth. And if/when enrollment was increased, the University needed to anticipate that selectivity would decline – at least for a while. Chair Taylor stated that access versus enrollment would be a topic at an upcoming workshop.


Ms. Kaye spoke about a decade of change and noted that all statistics represented growth. She stated that the goals for the upcoming year, pending funding, would be to enroll 1400 FTIC for fall 2009, with goals for a 3.7 GPA and 1200 SAT.


Ms. Kaye talked about scholarship programs and noted most students were on some kind of financial aid. She clarified that the condition of the economy made it critical that this trend continue.


Ms. Kaye stated that student loan amounts were increasing at an alarming rate. She reported that students were required to go through entrance and exit interviews where they were provided information about securing student loans and repayment of these loans. She clarified that counselors were encouraging students to access as much free money as possible.


Ms. Kaye provided an update on the Jacksonville Commitment program and mentioned that the first 6 scholarships were awarded for summer 2008, with these recipients returning for fall 2008 to form a class of 37 scholars.  She stated that these students had an assigned academic advisor and a financial aid coordinator to mentor, assist, and advise them throughout their years at UNF.


This item was for information/discussion only. No further action was required.

Item 8 Adjournment

President Delaney stated that the University was progressing toward the February 2009 deadline for SACS with no evident difficulties.

Chair Taylor adjourned the meeting.