President John Delaney
President Delany is out of town today.
Academic Affairs Provost & Vice President – Pam Chally
I am honored, humbled, and excited to join the university again as Interim Provost. I am looking forward to learning much and getting to work quickly. There are several initiatives that are of interest.
First, we have a Strategic Plan. We need to make the plan alive and real to our departments. The way to make that happen is to tie strategic goals and objectives to resources. This strategic plan will be especially important as we prepare for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges reaccreditation.
I would like to express my thanks to Shawn Brayton for the work she has been doing to prepare us for the SACS reaccreditation effort. I also would like to express thanks to Linda Howell for agreeing to lead the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) effort on “Writing Around the Curriculum.” The certification report will be completed a year from now, October 2018. The QEP will be submitted in February 2019.
Carnegie Community Engagement Reaffirmation is coming up. The Director of the Center for Community-Based Learning, Dr. Marnie Jones is leading the effort to submit the reaffirmation materials. We need to strengthen our community partnerships and find ways to make the partnerships sustainable.
Many of you have served in various roles in support of the Presidential Search, especially in crafting the position statement. My role will be to serve as a bridge from the current president to the new President. I hope my long-term experience with UNF will be a positive force in building that bridge.
The new contract is important to faculty, for raises, working conditions, evaluation, for promotion and tenure. It is an opportunity to come together and create a stronger organization. We are committed to making that happen.
With the help of the Presidents and Vice Presidents and those who have been attending to the metrics, I am hopeful that we will see an upswing in funding to UNF. We have done important groundwork in improving our standing in the metrics. We need to set as a priority to look for ways to improve funding here at UNF.
There is much to do. I welcome your comments and your advice. It is only together that we can achieve our goals.
Legislative Liaison Report - Janet Owen
Displayed are the performance funding metrics potentially
subject to modifications by Florida
Board of Governors (BOG). The BOG’s Budget and Finance Committee met in a workshop
in October to present on and discuss the potential changes. They will vote on
specific changes at their regular meeting in November. There is some discussion
regarding which of the changes are effective for the FY 2018-19 distribution of
performance funds, and which changes are for FY 2019-20 and beyond. Discussions
have focused on the student graduation rate and student affordability metrics.
Student access rates (Pell students) continue to be a topic of discussion. The
BOG will likely move to a 4-year graduation rate, to be applied in the FY
2018-19 allocation of performance funds.
The Board discussed alternative allocation methodologies such
that institutions scoring 50 points or less would need to submit an improvement
plan and risk losing a portion of their base budget.
Institutions scoring above 50 points would not lose their
base budget funds (known as the “institutional investment”), but institutions
would need to score at least a 66 to participate in the state funds. The
proportional share of the state funding would increase with the score. This
scenario eliminates the “bottom three” scheme, but keeps open the practice of
being above 50 points and not participating in the performance funds. Under
this scenario, any number of institutions could fall into that gap.
At the October workshop, a few BOG members raised the issue
of whether universities should be compared to themselves by year-over-year
gains rather than compared to the state university system’s top performer (UF).
There is also a recognition that this funding is not a “bonus pool” if it is
the only new funding available to the institution, and it makes up a
significant part of the operating budget.
For the BOG choice metric, currently eight institutions are
subject to the same metric measuring the percentage of students graduating with
excess hours. UF and FSU alternatively are subject to a metric dealing with
faculty awards. FSU representatives made the argument that these awards are
controlled by external entities and are unlikely to be affected by changes at
the university level. FSU is now arguing to be placed with the eight
universities subject to the excess hours metric.
Regarding the university board of trustee choice metric, the
BOG approved UNF’s first choice to be measured on the percentage of students in
online courses. This is a metric for which we have done well, and we likely
will increase those numbers.
As an update, renovations in for the Honors College Hall and
Coggin College of Business as well as renovations for Lassiter Hall (Building
8) are construction funding priorities for the upcoming session. Next week is
legislative committee week. Senate Bill 4 will be up in this next week. A part
of this bill makes mandatory a Programs of Excellence portion, which will
identify flagship programs for funding to be enhanced or promoted.
United Faculty of Florida – Rebecca Marcon
On behalf of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF), we warmly welcome out new Interim Provost, and look forward to working together to support faculty needs.
The UFF Bargaining Team plan to bring up as a proposal a Family Leave policy. Last Monday, the President and Vice President of the Faculty Association met with UFF to discuss this policy. The new Chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee also met with the UFF Bargaining Team to discuss this issue. In
a recent UFF survey of in-unit faculty, over 2/3 of the respondents said that the
faculty leave policy was important.
No additional bargaining sessions yet have been scheduled. The UFF provided five dates where the UFF Bargaining Team would be available (from 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m.) to meet. UFF has not yet received a response to that request.
UFF submitted on August 30th a Records Request for faculty salaries and administrator salaries. We have not received this information. We received an estimate for the Administration to prepare this information. It would cost over $3000 for staff resources as well as additional funds for the prepared list to be reviewed by General Counsel. The UFF requested why the amount was approximately $3000. The UFF received a response from General Counsel that they are willing to work on the cost, but the UFF has not received additional information toward this end. The UFF did not feel it was prudent to spend over $3000 to obtain this information at this time. The Board of Trustees Bargaining Team already has access to this information.
The UFF Bargaining Team is ready for bargaining. As of now, no further bargaining sessions have been scheduled.
The UFF is in every state university system in Florida. The UFF Senate meeting was postponed because of the hurricane, but the meeting has been scheduled, and the new delegates are eager to discuss initiatives with other representatives from around the state.
The UFF now has a mini grants program, coordinated by Bess Wilson, to support scholarship, creative work, or speakers in the area of social justice.
I look forward to providing a great update in November. The UFF will continue to support faculty and their families.