Recent Salary Increase

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: John Delaney, UNF President

How do you justify the recent $60K salary increase for Tom Serwatka?


Written response from UNF President, John Delaney:

January 24, 2014



Dear President Rakita,


Let me take this opportunity to answer the questions submitted at the January 9, Faculty Association Meeting.


Question #1

Faculty Association meetings are held on the same first Thursday of every month at the same time and in the same location. Should the faculty interpret this lack of attendance and participation as a signal that you don’t believe these meetings to be of importance? You have been missed 19 of the past 24 meetings and have not attended one this year. If you continue this attendance record, it might be helpful to establish another way to communicate with your faculty about initiatives and plans so we know where we are headed.

First I want to state that I think Faculty Association meetings are important for a host of reasons. I hope this is tangibly demonstrated by the actions we took to encourage greater attendance and participation between colleagues – the creation of the new venue and the funding of the luncheons.  I couldn’t be happier than to see the change in attendance and the increased cross-disciplinary communication-channels.


But historically, I have not viewed these meetings as optimal to present initiatives or plans. I have only a few minutes to talk, and I always viewed the meetings as the faculty’s and not mine. The questioner may have another view.
Secondly, I constantly look for ways to interact with faculty. The faculty union hosts a “Coffee with the President” twice per semester. That is an open meeting. That format is particularly good for having conversations. Last year, I also began inviting somewhat random groups of faculty for lunch every month or so. Every few years, I also cycle through meetings with departments and/or colleges and plan on starting that again next year.

Additionally, the fall convocation is specifically designed to discuss initiatives and plans.
All that being said I will certainly focus on attending Faculty Association meetings as my calendar permits. Regrettably, this past fall I had an unusual amount of travel on the schedule. I was out of town almost weekly, nearly all UNF related. Additionally, I took ill several times and was hospitalized twice for fluky reasons. (All is well now.) And as most, if not all, of you know, the Board of Governors has been working on a funding formula that favors the larger schools, and we have spent a great deal of time confronting that.
Of course, January through May is always difficult with the Legislature in session. Nonetheless, I only miss the Faculty Association meeting if there is a scheduling conflict.
I will close by saying that I also meet with any group of or individual faculty member on request. I meet regularly with the President of the Faculty Association and the leadership of the faculty union.
I also meet with the deans and with the chairs every 6 weeks or so, a rare occurrence for most college presidents. Unless I have an unmovable conflict, I never turn down a faculty request to visit a classroom.

In most public settings, I stress that I have an open door policy, and historically I have been able to meet within 48 hours of a faculty request. Finally, I respond to emails typically the same day.
If anyone has any other suggestions, feel free to let me know.


Question #2 for President Delaney:

How do you justify the recent $60K salary increase for Tom Serwatka?

First, we do not publicly discuss personnel decisions, including compensation. Secondly, the dollar figure contained in the question is extremely inaccurate.





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