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Agenda Item FA 21-10

Submitted by the Executive Committee

UNFFA & ACFS Resolution

04/01/21: Passed

UNF FACULTY ASSOCIATION RESOLUTION

The UNF Faculty Association Supports the Free Exchange of Ideas on Campus and Therefore Opposes the Legislative Entitlement to Record Classes and Mandatory Survey Proposed in SB 264 and HB 233.

 

Whereas, the University of North Florida (UNF) Faculty Association is charged with faculty appointment, retention, promotion, and development; academic programs, organization, and standards; academic services and continuing education; and such other matters as may pertain directly to the University instruction, service, and research programs, as one of only three green-rated campuses for free speech in Florida designated by The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and as a member institution of the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates (ACFS) in the State University System (SUS) of Florida,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the UNF Faculty Association hereby concurs with the ACFS resolution of March 9, 2021, that strongly opposes a legislative entitlement to record classes and a legislatively mandated intellectual diversity survey as it will have an unintended effect on the free exchange of ideas among faculty and students and affect the reputation and competitiveness of all universities in the SUS including UNF.

ACFS RESOLUTION

ACFS Supports the Free Exchange of Ideas on Campus and Therefore opposes a Legislative Entitlement to Record Classes and Mandatory Survey

 

Whereas, the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates (ACFS) is charged with advising the Chancellor of the State University System (SUS), the Board of Governors, the State Board of Education, the Legislature, the Governor and other officials and organizations involved in the establishment of policies, administration, or funding of public higher education in Florida, and of the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates (ACFS) is charged with advising the Chancellor of the State University System (SUS), the Board of Governors, the State Board of Education, the Legislature, the Governor and other officials and organizations involved in the establishment of policies, administration, or funding of public higher education in Florida, and

 

Whereas, the members of the ACFS strongly support freedom of speech and the role that free expression plays in the education of our students and the creative endeavors of our faculty, and

 

Whereas, protecting intellectual freedom and ensuring space for competing ideas and

perspectives is vital to the integrity of our member institutions and the SUS as a whole, and

 

Whereas, the Board of Governors and Presidents of each of the State Universities have endorsed a clear statement on Free Expression to support and encourage full and open discourse and the robust exchange of ideas and perspectives on our respective campuses in 2019, and

 

Whereas, university campuses and classrooms are environments in which students and faculty openly share viewpoints and ideas alongside opposing viewpoints in a constructive way, and

 

Whereas, a recording entitlement will have the counterproductive effect of limiting the range of viewpoints expressed in class, because students and faculty will choose not to experiment with new ideas, discuss sensitive or controversial issues, or engage in what they fear will be disfavored speech, when they understand that their speech might be made permanently available without their consent, and potentially out of context, on the internet or in others' hands, and

 

Whereas, a right to record and potentially publish classroom activities without consent may violate the intellectual property rights of individual faculty, institutions, and even publishers who make copyrighted material available for instructional use, thus inviting litigation, and

 

Whereas, there are legitimate reasons to record classes, but it is a highly individualized decision that should be made between students, faculty, and universities in order to account for the pedagogical, privacy, intellectual property, and free speech interests of others in the space, and

 

Whereas, the ability to recruit and retain faculty in the SUS will be substantially harmed by a student entitlement to record class, reducing the competitiveness of our institutions and threatening the SUS's recent, hard-won gains in its national ranking, and

 

Whereas, a legislatively imposed intellectual diversity survey, even if administered well,

would create many of the same negative impacts as a recording entitlement—chilling speech, impeding faculty recruitment and retention, and threatening our national standing, therefore:

 

BE IT RESOLVED that ACFS supports the free exchange of ideas that is at the center of the

academic experience, and for that reason, strongly opposes a legislative entitlement to record classes and a legislatively mandated intellectual diversity survey. Both mandates will undermine learning, ideological diversity, faculty recruitment, and university rankings, and have the unintended effect of shielding students from viewpoints that make them uncomfortable. We recommit ourselves to hearing all voices on campus and hosting constitutionally protected speech even when it is uncomfortable. Ensuring open access to ideas on campus is the best way to protect the values of free expression and intellectual diversity that undergird higher education.

Special Committee: Bylaws Task Force

CHARGE

This Special Committee-empowered via Article 6, Section 12 of the UNF Faculty Association Bylaws and needed per Article 5, Section 2 of the UNF Constitution-and hereafter referred to as the "Bylaws Task Force" is hereby charged with

  1. providing feedback to academic units about important considerations in the creation of bylaws;
  2. reviewing the bylaws of academic units for consistency and providing feedback to academic units when there are inconsistencies;
  3. ensuring that bylaws have gone through the appropriate approval process within the academic unit;
  4. providing the Faculty Association leadership recommendations on moving bylaws to Academic Affairs.

TERM OF EXISTENCE

The Bylaws Task Force shall exist for six months from its inception (October 1, 2020) unless and until it formally seeks and is granted an extension by the Faculty Association Executive Committee for an additional six month term.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

The Bylaws Task Force is comprised of the following members: Stacy Boote, Aaron Creller, Joshua Gellers, and Jan Meires and may be extended to include representation from each college and the library following protocols outlined in the Faculty Association Bylaws. The Faculty Association President and Vice President shall be ex officio non-voting members. Any vacancy on the Task Force shall be filled promptly by appointment by the Faculty Association President, in consultation with the Nominations and Elections Committee.

METHOD OF MEETING

The Bylaws Task Force shall meet as often as is necessary to conduct its business. A quorum (>50%) shall be required in order for recommendations and decisions to be forwarded out of the committee. Committee business may be conducted in person or virtually.

 

John W. White, President

Faculty Association of the University of North Florida

Special Committee: Gen Ed Diversity Task Force

CHARGE

This Special Committee-empowered via Article 6, Section 12 of the UNF Faculty Association Bylaws-and hereafter referred to as the "Gen Ed Diversity Task Force" is hereby charged with

  1. clearly delineating the contents that should be covered in courses within the "Diversity and Difference" category at UNF (that itself falls in the Thinking Critically category within the university's General Education curriculum);
  2. creating a rubric by which to evaluate courses currently situated within the "Diversity and Difference" category to gauge their fit using the information above;
  3. examining courses for potential addition to the "Diversity and Difference" category using the rubric described above;
  4. make recommendations to the university's Gen Ed Committee about possible changes to the Gen Ed curriculum regarding courses within the "Diversity and Difference" category so that said courses better meet current contexts;
  5. providing faculty, chairs, university administrators, and members of the Academic Programs Committee a strong rationale for potential changes to programs of study.

TERM OF EXISTENCE

The Gen Ed Diversity Task Force shall exist for six months from its inception (September 21, 2020) unless and until it formally seeks and is granted an extension by the Faculty Association Executive Committee for an additional six month term.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

The Gen Ed Diversity Task Force is comprised of the following members: Parvez Ahmed, Laura Heffernan, Linda Howell, Dilek Kayaalp, Tru Levertte, Paul Parkison, Susan Perez, Ally Schneider (student representative), Jennifer Spaulding-Givens, and Richmond Wynn. The Faculty Association President and Vice President shall be ex officio members. Any vacancy on the Task Force shall be filled promptly by appointment by the Faculty Association President, in consultation with the Nominations and Elections Committee.

METHOD OF MEETING

The Gen Ed Diversity Task Force shall meet as often as is necessary to conduct its business. A quorum (>50%) shall be required in order for recommendations and decisions to be forwarded out of the committee. Committee business may be conducted in person or virtually.

 

John W. White, President

Faculty Association of the University of North Florida

Special Committee: Faculty Senate Task Force

CHARGE

This Special Committee-empowered via Article 6, Section 12 of the UNF Faculty Association Bylaws-and hereafter referred to as the "Faculty Senate Task Force" is hereby charged with

  1. providing a forum or forums (in addition to Faculty Association Meetings) in which faculty may discuss and debate the merits of moving to a faculty senate form of governance;
  2. determining appropriate means by which to gauge UNF faculty members' interest in moving to a faculty senate (i.e., determining if there is significant interest in moving toward a faculty senate so as to engage in the work described below);
  3. examining and presenting to the UNF faculty potential benefits of and models for a UNF faculty senate (based upon the models in other institutions in the State University System, the faculty senates at "comparable" or peer aspirant institutions, and/or developing hybrid models that might incorporate aspects of the current system while making the greater governing body representative in nature);
  4. providing recommendations to the Faculty Association Executive Committee on the wording and execution of a faculty-wide vote regarding changes to the Faculty Association Bylaws to incorporate a faculty senate;
  5. assisting the Faculty Association leadership (the President, the Vice President, the Secretary, and Committee Chairpersons) in implementing a chosen faculty senate model when or if faculty vote for such a change to the Faculty Association structure and mode of governance.

TERM OF EXISTENCE

The Faculty Senate Task Force shall exist for six months from its inception (September 14, 2020) unless and until it formally seeks and is granted an extension by the Faculty Association Executive Committee for an additional six month term.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

The Faculty Senate Task Force shall consist of at least one representative from each of the university's academic colleges (including the Library) as well as five at-large members. The Faculty Association President and Vice President shall be ex officio members. A vacancy shall be filled promptly by appointment by the Faculty Association President, in consultation with the Nominations and Elections Committee, who shall be charged with finding appropriate candidates for consideration for appointment to these vacancies.

METHOD OF MEETING

The Faculty Senate Task Force shall meet as often as is necessary to conduct its business. A quorum (>50%) shall be required in order for recommendations and decisions to be forwarded out of the committee. Committee business may be conducted in person or virtually.

 

John W. White, President

Faculty Association of the University of North Florida