December 1, 2016
Posed to: John Delaney, President, University of North Florida
The university seems to be in a spiral of waning faculty confidence in its administration. Does President Delaney have a plan for restoring faith and morale?
Yes, I do. This format is not the best vehicle to communicate that. My door is always open, and if the questioner has some suggestions to add to my intentions, he or she should feel free to communicate those to me in a format with which the questioner is most comfortable. In saying that, I do not believe that the vast majority of the faculty are dissatisfied with the efforts to advance the University of North Florida in the tough climate for Higher Education in Florida. We have nearly doubled the square footage of building space and changed the entire aesthetic of campus. Our endowment has increased two and a half fold. We gave out a raise package that averaged nearly 8% for faculty two years ago. We could have of course spread that out over a three year time frame. This would have meant less money in the pockets of faculty over that three year time frame, but perhaps would have helped us all psychologically. State workers haven’t received a raise in 10 years; we have given several over that time frame. In cooperation with the Union and Faculty Association, we did not entertain lay-offs of faculty, something our sister institutions did to free up resources. At the end of the day, I believe this university is a better place than it was than when I arrived, or even since last year. In saying that, I will continue to work long days and weeks to make our faculty experience a positive one.
Finally, a university President is only as happy as the unhappiest faculty member, and I know we have some soundly unhappy faculty. I will continue to do my best to make the family happier.