University of North Florida
Board of Trustees

  • Meeting
October 14, 2004
University Center at 2:30 p.m.

Minutes

Trustees in Attendance

Edythe Abdullah, Luther Coggin, Toni Crawford, Wilfredo Gonzalez, Steve Halverson, Ann Hicks, Wanyonyi Kendrick, Judith Solano, Bruce Taylor, Carol Thompson, Kevin Twomey, and Jerry Watterson.

 Trustees Absent

O’Neal Douglas.

 

Chair Thompson spoke of the recent hurricanes and the damages to some of the other universities within the state university system, such as the University of West Florida in Pensacola, most recently, and Florida Atlantic. She said she was grateful that little damage had occurred on campus or in the city of Jacksonville and expressed her appreciation for the efforts of city and university employees to prepare citizens of the community and those on UNF’s campus for the storms and for their work to repair damages, both locally and statewide, afterwards. She noted that no public comments had been submitted and requested a motion to approve the minutes. Trustee Twomey offered the motion and it was seconded by Trustee Gonzalez. Trustees approved the minutes unanimously.

Chair’s Report

Chair Thompson noted that UNF had received some good publicity due to the presidential debates, with a great deal of discussion and participation from students during events scheduled on campus to watch the debates. She said the events and discussions had been very helpful and good for the University community and she applauded the campus community and the community relations department for their efforts.

 

The next BOT workshop was announced as November 19. Chair Thompson said the Board would continue its efforts in refining UNF’s mission and strategic goals. She asked President Delaney to discuss university metric tracking measures. President Delaney referred trustees to a loose sheet at the back of the meeting booklet which listed possible dashboard indicators for tracking purposes. He said one possibility for the workshop would be discussion of specific goals for the president and his staff. Another possibility was comparison with other SUS institutions and UNF’s peers. Chair Thompson added that the purpose of the discussion was to begin dialogue about what the Board would like to see as the University moved toward establishing more measurable goals. She asked trustees to contact the president if they had thoughts about the direction of the next workshop. Another item she proposed for discussion at the workshop was that of phone participation during regularly scheduled board meetings. The Board had previously established a policy of not allowing phone participation during regularly scheduled meetings, though some exceptions had been made, particularly during the summer. She said she was certainly open to discussion of the policy during the workshop.

 

Chair Thompson said the Governor periodically convened with the BOT chairs to get their input and share his thoughts. A meeting was called for October 4; Chair Thompson was unable to attend and asked Vice Chair Halverson to go in her stead. She thanked him for attending on the Board’s behalf and asked him to talk about the meeting topics.

 

Trustee Halverson said the meeting began with discussion of hurricane damages at each institution. The Governor suggested that the universities share best practices and treat the experiences as a learning laboratory. Tuition policy was also discussed. Mr. Halverson said he was struck by a couple of things during the meeting: the thoughtfulness of the Governor and the Board of Governors when changing tuition policy and the level of respect accorded UNF by the other universities, the Board of Governors, and Governor Bush.

 

As a follow up to Vice Chair Halverson’s comments, Trustee Gonzalez said he would like to encourage a procedure for commending the Governor on activities supported by the Board. Chair Thompson said Governor Bush and the Board of Governors were looking for input and she thought they would appreciate commendations or recommendations when applicable.

 

President Delaney added that the Governor had met with the university presidents on October 11. He said the University of West Florida had to write a check for $3 million just to cut up the downed trees. He expected a fairly aggressive legislative package this year. Referring trustees to a loose sheet in the back of their packets, he stated that it was the first draft of the measurable numeric dashboard indicators trustees had requested.

 

Chair Thompson announced a joint meeting between the UNF Board of Trustees and the FCCJ Board of Directors. The purpose of the meeting was to encourage dialogue about higher education in the community from a workforce standpoint. She hoped to discuss the number of ways the two institutions were already collaborating, as well as future ideas for collaborative efforts. From a governance perspective, she said it would be a strategic dialogue, possibly resulting in recommendations for ways of more appropriately serving the community.

 

Trustee Abdullah added that only 18 percent of adults in Florida hold baccalaureate degrees. The state ranked approximately 47th in the U.S. for the number of adults with degrees, which meant that adults were not able to read, write, and communicate effectively in the global economy. She said she would like to talk about how the institutions could collaborate on resources to provide more educated people for the workforce. She believed that, as all religions had sort of a central core, so also did institutions of higher education. She felt it was a great opportunity to pull together her passion for UNF and her passion for FCCJ.

 

Chair Thompson said she didn’t wish to make a unilateral decision about the meeting and asked if trustees approved of such an endeavor. Hearing no dissent, she said the meeting would take place on November 2, from 11:30-1:30 at FCCJ. Further information would be sent out by email. Chair Thompson expressed the Board’s appreciation for Trustee Abdullah’s contributions. She suggested trustees read the JCCI Town and Gown study if they had not already done so, as she thought the two boards might wish to consider some of the report’s recommendations.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Committee Chair Twomey said the Finance and Audit Committee had a good meeting. Three items were discussed. Regarding end of the year financial reports, Trustee Twomey said the University spent just under 95 percent of the budget, ending the year with a bit more financial flexibility than expected. The University had two audits of the direct service organizations: the UNF Foundation and the Training and Service Institute. Both audits were clean. Trustee Twomey said the audits had also been discussed at length at a meeting he attended at Epping Forest prior to the Finance and Audit Committee meeting. He said the status of the update on the Auditor General’s report was also talked about and indicated the pertinent attachment in the meeting materials. He announced that the committee had nominated, endorsed, and approved Trustee Kendrick as vice chair of the FAC. The committee had also deliberated the possibility of a move to Division I, but Trustee Twomey said he would wait until that agenda item came up before making any comments.

Educational Policy Committee Report

Committee Chair Hicks said she had two items to be discussed: the Y-Axis for the Board of Governors strategic plan and the update on fall enrollments. She asked Dean Serwatka to give a summary of the Y-Axis agenda item, noting that the plan had both qualitative and quantitative aspects and that the qualitative aspects fit well with issues verbalized in President Delaney’s inaugural address. Dr. Serwatka indicated that there were two parts of the report. The first two pages set out the goals that the Board of Governors had for the state university system. He pointed out sections with missing information, explaining that this was because the BOG had not yet received the information from the universities. The BOG asked questions about accessibility and the production of degrees, as well as about qualitative measures. The second two pages represented the contributions UNF would be willing to make toward the state’s commitment. He pointed out the University’s projections for degrees over the next several years, including the number of degrees in high need areas. Indicating sections that showed a decline, he said trustees would notice a note that showed the decline could be overcome with additional resources. He said the University was on target with research; he expected to exceed the targets but thought UNF would at least keep up with the state minimum.

 

The next section revolved around more qualitative questions, asking if the universities were interested in having centers of excellence. Dean Serwatka said UNF had targeted four areas that currently had active research going on in advanced weather information systems, rapid response and remote sensor networking, vector-borne diseases, and manufactured structure performance. The plan also asked about academic and research programs, such as the flagship programs spoken of by President Delaney. Another question asked by the BOG had to do with the universities’ ability to mesh with the needs of their regions. UNF had replied in terms of both the First Coast Targeting Plan and the JCCI Town and Gown study, outlining intentions to strengthen undergraduate programs and expand research, as well as the need for additional resources.

 

Trustee Solano said she had been asked by her constituents how the list of potential centers of excellence had been decided. Dr. Serwatka replied that deans had been contacted and that the University was not committing to the proposed centers, but only to apply for centers of excellence of some type if given the opportunity. Trustee Solano said that if the University should get to the point of moving forward, she would like to see more faculty input in the decision. Dean Serwatka said that her request was easily accommodated.

 

Trustee Kendrick said she was interested in talking about the Board’s desires in terms of the institution’s ultimate targets. Chair Thompson asked trustees to keep the topic on the forefront during the workshops, using the time to consider how to more clearly define the University’s targets. Trustee Hicks motioned for approval of submission of the University’s response to the BOG’s Y-Axis plan. The motion was approved unanimously.

 

Committee Chair Hicks spoke of Ms. Kaye’s presentation on fall enrollments at the committee meetings, stating that it was the most exciting part of her service on the EPC. She pointed out the photography in the publications from the Enrollment Services Office, stating that the pictures were fantastic and noting that the photographer was a graduate of UNF. She asked Ms. Kaye to discuss this year’s fall enrollments.

 

Ms. Kaye indicated the smaller pamphlet, which she said was intended for recruitment of high profile students for next year. She thanked John Yancy of Admissions for his hard work on the brochures and the report she was about to give. The total enrollments came to 14,660 students, an increase of over 4 percent from the previous year. She said the final figures were included in Attachment 6B. She was most pleased about the increase in student diversity. President Delaney pointed out that diversity had increased from 16 to 21 percent, or approximately a third more minority students. Ms. Kaye attributed the increase to the commitment of the Board and the President. She said many strategies had been implemented to bring about the added enrollments. Continuing with her report, she noted that approximately 77 percent of UNF’s new students came in with Bright Futures scholarships. The average age of UNF’s students had decreased, correlated with the increase in full time students. The gender split had remained much the same. She said that admissions had set lofty goals for next year as well, hoping to increase enrollments, diversity, and entering SATs and GPAs.

 

Complimenting Ms. Kaye, Trustee Kendrick said her passion came through in everything she did and that her results were great. Trustee Kendrick thanked Ms. Kaye and said she was delighted with the report and with Ms. Kaye’s efforts.

 

Chair Thompson asked Provost Giordano to introduce his guest. Dr. Giordano said Mr. Montiel, a recent UNF graduate in political science and a former leader in Student Government was working with him as part of a pilot project devised by President Delaney. He said Mr. Montiel would be attending all of the BOT meetings this year. Mr. Montiel thanked the Board for the privilege and said he looked forward to working with trustees in this new capacity. Chair Thompson said the trustees were pleased to have him with them for the year.

Naming Policy

Dr. Allaire said the Finance and Audit Committee had discussed a proposed naming opportunity at a meeting several months before and had asked staff to revise the naming policy to reflect non gift consideration. A new policy was drafted and brought to Committee Chair Twomey for input. Trustee Twomey offered several suggestions, stating that the determinants for having a building named after an individual for a gift of service should be due to an extraordinary and unprecedented contribution to the success of the University. Noting that the process for naming when a gift was involved was well thought out and clearly written, he recommended changing the terminology to indicate that an individual should be nominated for recognition rather than for naming. Such nominations for recognition would go through Dr. Allaire’s office to the president and the Board, allowing those entities to come to a decision about the type of recognition to be bestowed. Dr. Serwatka said another suggested addition was that the individual must have been away from the University for some period, ensuring that the contribution stood the test of time.

 

The group agreed that the policy should be tabled and brought back to the Board after the changes had been made and the revised policy had been vetted through the constituent groups.

 

Trustee Taylor recommended that the agenda item be discussed further by trustees at the next workshop as well. At Trustee Watterson’s suggestion, the Board agreed that the policy would be sent to the constituent groups both before and after the workshop.

Legislative Update

Ms. Owen announced that the Governor was expected to call a special session after November 2 and probably during the week of December 13, to deal with hurricane relief as well as universal pre-kindergarten. The next revenue estimating conference would be held November 12. She said the conference would impact the special session and the Governor’s budget in January. She added that though November’s revenue estimates might not be very high, revenue was expected to pick up early in the year, offering a brighter outlook going into the regular session in March. Referring trustees to Agenda Item 8 in their packets, she indicated the specifics on funding requested for the universities by the BOG for the 2005-06 fiscal year. She went over the highlights, stating that the BOG had requested $32 million in major gifts for the universities and enrollment growth of $78.2 million for an additional 7,292 FTEs. Of those, UNF had requested 607 new FTEs, which, if funded at the new funding formula, would mean an additional $5.3 million for UNF. A total of $24.6 million was requested for statewide critical needs, initiatives submitted by each university designed to meet one or more of the BOG’s four articulated goals:

 

1. Increasing access,
2. Meeting statewide professional and workforce needs,
3. Building world-class academic programs and research capacity, and
4. Meeting community needs and fulfilling unique institutional missions.

 

Of that amount, UNF would receive $3,245,750 to fund initiatives a) increasing the number of nurses graduated each year through expansion of the current undergraduate program and the initiation of a new Master’s level program; b) expanding teacher preparation programs specifically for special education, math, and science majors and improving secondary level teachers; and c) increasing and improving preparation of engineering and networking professionals. The amount recommended for UNF was the second highest recommendation for all eleven universities. Additionally, $87 million had been requested for academic enhancements, which, if funded, would allow university boards flexibility to expend the funds in addressing issues such as faculty and staff salary increases, research and economic development initiatives, and or community and institutional needs in conformance with the BOG’s strategic plan.

 

During the BOG meeting planned for the following week, three items were to be discussed: tuition and fee policy, possibly decreasing the amount matched in the major gifts program, and governance, as statutes had not been changed since Amendment 11 passed. The recommended PECO list would also be approved. Though the list initially seemed somewhat lean, as new money became available along with non-recurring funds, the universities were likely to end up with more than was recommended.

 

President Delaney added that the budget was one of the topics discussed in his recent meeting with the Governor. Governor Bush indicated that the state’s budget was in pretty good shape and was not likely to be hit overly hard by the storms due to the influx of federal monies. The Governor indicated that his concern about the budget had been greatly ameliorated during the last couple of weeks.

 

Trustee Taylor asked about the University’s position on the Lambda Rail project. President Delaney asked Provost Giordano to comment. Dr. Giordano said university administration had been examining the project carefully. An ad hoc committee appointed to look into the issue recommended serious investigation of the multiple opportunities presented by the initiative. The committee recommended becoming a member of the association, possibly as soon as December. The UNF Technologies Committee endorsed the initiative unanimously and it had been introduced as a topic in Dean’s Council. The project would also be deliberated by the president’s staff soon. Trustee Taylor said he was pleased as the initiative was an extremely significant technology investment and, as he understood it, would bring a significant amount in grants in addition to opening access to that band of the information highway. Provost Giordano said the lead professor on the weather project also enthusiastically endorsed the initiative. Trustee Solano added that any programs identified as programs of excellence would need this access.

 

President Delaney said the only reason he had not yet moved to approve the initiative was the expense. He was concerned that a new level could come out after paying for access to this one. Should grants materialize, he said, he would be happy to move toward membership.

Division I Application

President Delaney said application to Division I had been discussed in both committees. In response to some questions from Trustee Halverson during the FAC meeting, he said it was very clear that the academic mission of the University was paramount to the Board. He felt the real issue was whether a move to Division I could coexist with the mission of the University. UNF’s students believed the move would be an asset to campus life. President Delaney had insisted on five fundamentals in examining the possibility of a move: the move could not include football, Education and General funds not be used in the move, there could be no impact on the institution’s academic standards, and UNF must be able to compete with its current facilities and must be able to afford the change. He said he had gone over the budget in both committees after looking at dozens and dozens of permutations to be sure there was no cost to the University.

 

After the committee meetings, at the suggestion of Trustee Halverson, surveys were sent out to similar universities who had made a move to Division I without football to ensure that there were no unexpected costs. All had confirmed that there were no surprises. President Delaney said he did not have financial concerns about moving into Division I. He believed it would be an asset to student life and that it could coexist with the academic mission of the institution. He added, in response to a question from Trustee Solano, that the move could be approved at this meeting or a decision could be postponed until a later meeting at the trustees’ discretion.

 

Trustee Gonzalez moved to authorize the president to begin the process for application to Division I. Trustee Solano seconded the motion, stating that in a faculty survey the previous year, one group had been very much in favor of the move and another had opposed athletics in any form. Many faculty members just weren’t sure. Athletics had made an effort to provide information on athletics on campus and had successfully revitalized the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, comprised primarily of faculty and chaired by a faculty member. She said she believed most of their questions had been answered so had no problem voting on behalf of faculty.

 

Trustee Twomey said he felt President Delaney had done a wonderful job leading the Board through the decision and he, personally, was satisfied. He thought the University was ready and supported the move. Trustee Watterson noted that the majority of the student body strongly supported the move. Chair Thompson added that previous decisions not to apply had not been due to lack of interest on behalf of the Board, but rather because of finances at the time and because the University had not yet selected a president at the time. UNF had since hired a permanent president, vice president of Administration and Finance, and provost. The student and faculty constituents, as well as the Boosters and Athletics were all in favor.

 

Dr. Serwatka reminded the Board that the move was based on the $2 increase in student fees that had been passed by the Legislature in the event of a move to Division I. President Delaney said the Fee Committee was unanimously in support of the increase. Vice President Shuman mentioned the Boosters, stating that the director of Athletics and Vice President Gonzalez had met with them and they were willing to help increase the amount of money available for scholarships in support of the move. Chair Thompson asked that acceptance of the $2 increase also be incorporated into the motion on the floor. Trustee Watterson noted that he had been assured by the Board that there would not be another fee increase for Athletics for four years with the approval of the $2 increase.

 

Vice Chair Halverson said, as the resident skeptic on the issue, he remained intuitively skeptical, more philosophically than factually. He did not believe the area suffered from a deficit of athletic opportunities but knew that the area suffered from a deficit of intellectual capital. He said there was no positive correlation between academic and athletic excellence so he did not accept that there was credible evidence that the move to Division I would have a positive effect on UNF’s academic standing. However, he said he was influenced by the students’ willingness to take on the fee increase, faculty’s general support, and most of all by President Delaney’s thoughtful and thorough examination of the issue. He felt the president had made the analysis as objective as possible and insisted that the University hold to the principles outlined by the president, holding to the academic primacy of the institution and allowing no derogation of its academic mission. He said there would be pressures and he felt it important to acknowledge them, acting always to protect academic primacy. Thus he spoke in support of the move with much reluctance.

 

Trustee Kendrick said she supported the proposal primarily because of the Board’s desire to preserve academic standards. She felt it was important to present a well rounded individual to society and believed a sporting component to education would assist in this effort. Trustee Coggin said he felt the possible problems with a move to Division I had been clearly defined by the president and that his five points were all valid. As those points had been well answered, he was delighted to be in attendance at today’s meeting. He called for a vote on the motion. The motion to begin the process to move to Division I passed unanimously.

 

Chair Thompson spoke of the hard work that had gone into the president’s analysis of the issue. She thanked President Delaney and his staff, the trustees for asking hard questions about the subject, the students, Boosters, and faculty. She said the Board was committed to moving to Division I and equally committed to academic excellence.