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QUESTIONS FORWARDED PENDING RESPONSES

February 8, 2018 

 

 QUESTIONER I: DATE ASKED: FORWARDED TO:
Anonymous September 7, 2017 John Delaney, President
University of North Florida
QUESTION SYNOPSIS I:
In your e-mail of June 22, you stated: "Moreover, we have evidence from third parties that our grading standards are simply tougher than various peer institutions. In other words, our faculty grade harder than other schools." Can you please share this evidence with the faculty? Thank you.
 
 QUESTIONER II: DATE ASKED: FORWARDED TO:
Anonymous November 2, 2017 Radha Pyati, FA President
UNF Faculty Association
QUESTION SYNOPSIS II:
Regarding course/faculty evaluations - Is there a group working on improving the questions so they move beyond a happiness index for students?
 
 QUESTIONER III: DATE ASKED: FORWARDED TO:
Anonymous November 2, 2017 Radha Pyati, FA President
UNF Faculty Association
QUESTION SYNOPSIS III:
A UNF student has served in a public role as a Grand Dragon of the KKK, a known hate organization that devalues and actively threatens the lives of non-white non-Christian students on campus.
  1. Given free speech rights, what is the threshold at which his speech, writing, or behavior would trigger a student conduct code violation? What actions trigger expulsion?
  2. If the student code of conduct as written allows faculty and administrators no ability to refuse to teach this student, can the code of conduct be updated to deal with this problem?
  3. If the student behaves calmly in class, but serves in this position very publicly off campus, what recourse do faculty have to protect themselves and their students from him? How might the university ensure that faculty’s home addresses are not provided to these hate groups via a FOIA request?
  4. Among our diverse student body, we may have KKK members as well as known affiliates of ISIS. How would UNF treat a student who was a known affiliate of ISIS, in a practical sense? Are these same practical measures applied to members of the KKK and other such domestic hate groups?
 
 QUESTIONER IV: DATE ASKED: FORWARDED TO:
Anonymous December 7, 2017 Radha Pyati, FA President
UNF Faculty Association
QUESTION SYNOPSIS IV:
The UNF Faculty Association considers itself “a vital part of UNF’s shared governance structure (UNF-FA webpage). Principles of shared governance are found in the UNF Constitution (Article III, Section 1) and shared governance is part of UNF’s new Strategic Plan (Goal III, Strategy 3). Thus it was shocking to hear an administration lawyer call it “objectionable” and a “foolish thing” that UNF-UFF proposed to include shared governance in the new collective bargaining agreement. See video. At 11:00. Shared governance is included in the collective bargaining agreements of other universities in Florida and at universities around the country. Questions: Why are the President and administration not supporting the inclusion of shared governance in the new collective bargaining agreement? What can be done through the UNF-FA to insure shared governance at UNF? 

 

 QUESTIONER V: DATE ASKED: FORWARDED TO:
Anonymous December 7, 2017 Radha Pyati, FA President
UNF Faculty Association
QUESTION SYNOPSIS V:
Many UNF employees have much of the retirement savings in TIAA (which now owns the Jacksonville-based bank EverBank). Several recent news stories, especially in the New York Times, have shown that TIAA's operations may not be as stellar as their reputation (e.g., https://proxy.qualtrics.com/proxy/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F11%2F13%2Fyour-money%2Ftiaa-403b.html&token=Z65%2BIaft2scoa4I%2FoZROzKaAhGCwociwBzoTf9%2BgFOk%3D). Has UNF or the SUS been keeping track of the performance of the TIAA accounts commonly held by employees and comparing their past performance and predicted performance to other possible retirement investments? If there are concerns, would UNF consider more options for employee flexibility in how our retirement savings are invested?

 

 
 QUESTIONER VI: DATE ASKED: FORWARDED TO:
Curtis Phills January 11, 2018 Radha Pyati, FA President
UNF Faculty Association
QUESTION SYNOPSIS VI:

As a faculty member at UNF, one of my great passions is working with and supporting our students. As we all know, it is exam week and our students are hard at work studying and completing our exams. Last week was world aids day and our LGBT center was handing out condoms. Someone not part of our community came on campus and started targeting and intimidating our students during this stressful period.
He was specifically targeting individual students and saying hateful things based on gender and sexual orientation. For instance, he targeted individual female students who were wearing yoga pants and told then that they would be going to hell. He also targeted individual LGBTQ students and also told them that they were going to hell. Members of the University Police Department (UPD) were present while our students were harassed and intimidated, and they did not intervene.
I have been told by General Counsel that targeting individual students, as this individual did, is a violation of UNF policy for outside groups exercising free speech on campus. Students who were targeted reported not being able to concentrate and take their exams to the best of their abilities. Some even reported skipping class or going home. Their ability to participate in educational activities is restricted by being individually targeted by this individual.
What advice does the FA President have for faculty to support students targeted by an individual in this way? What can we do when these students come to our offices or classrooms, upset and looking for support? What should we expect UPD to do in support of our students?

Partial answer from the Floor by FA President Radha Pyati
My advice for faculty would be to provide the most supportive environment for students so that they feel that they are in a safe space. I can discuss this issue with Tom VanShoor, Dean of Students, and representatives of the UPD to determine what can be expected of the UPD and student conduct code in such circumstances. The Faculty Association can provide a short version for faculty regarding the limitations of the conduct code so that we can express to students what is expected in this situation. The provision of a supportive environment is an expectation that we need to fill for our students. I will follow-up a more complete answer and provide a summary regarding these policies to which faculty can refer.

Partial answer from the Floor by Interim Provost, Pam Chally
In situations like this, we should lean on our Counseling Center. They are open every day and can provide support for our students in these situations.

 

 QUESTIONER VII: DATE ASKED: FORWARDED TO:
Anonymous January 11, 2018 Radha Pyati, FA President
UNF Faculty Association
QUESTION SYNOPSIS VII:
This past year the Coggin College of Business dropped existing requirements that students submit GMAT or GRE test scores for admission to the MBA program. This direction began after the new Dean’s arrival. Faculty were then asked to vote to keep the lower standards based on the promise of growing enrollments leading to more resources. Test requirements were also dropped from the MAcc program. Are the other Deans going to follow the path taken by the business school? If so, what implications do they foresee for their programs, their colleges, and the university?
 
 QUESTIONER VIII: DATE ASKED: FORWARDED TO:
Anonymous January 11, 2018 Radha Pyati, FA President
UNF Faculty Association
QUESTION SYNOPSIS VIII:
The UNF Faculty Association recently published a “Scholarship Statement” describing that research was a “necessary and integral component of our academic lives and identities.” However UNF financial statements report that revenues from “Grants and Contracts” have dropped more than 50% in the last 10 years and are now lower than any time since 2002, despite warnings by the Society of Research Administrators in 2012 that support for research at UNF contrasted markedly with UNF’s “sister institutions”. Revenues from grants and contracts at almost all of the other SUS institutions exceed UNFs. What steps are being taken by the administration to reverse UNF’s decline? What plans do the deans have to support research? What more can the UNF Faculty Association do to insure that research remains an “integral component of our academic lives and identities”?
 


Written Responses to Questions 

(There is no written response for February FA meeting.)

 
 

 View all written responses in "Questions & Responses."  

&

Please check the Faculty Association minutes website
 for Questions answered during the meeting:
http://www.unf.edu/unffa/minutes/Faculty_Association/Faculty_Association_Minutes_Index.aspx.