UNF opening committee

Question posed to Dr. Szymanski, UNF President or Dr. Rhodes, UNF Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

I know several faculty members who were on committees regarding UNF opening during the coronavirus pandemic. They reported that their committees seemingly accomplished numerous tasks (and were even congratulated on their great work). However, the actual committees barely met and did not produce the results. Who produced the results of the committees? Were the committees formed to create the perception that the decisions were a campus-wide collaborative effort?

Answer from the floor by Dr. Simon Rhodes, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

I counted the number of faculty that are in the COVID planning and working groups, the health teams, the behavioral team, and so on. I tried not to count them twice if they were on multiple teams. I counted 21 faculty. That does include a few faculty that are also chairs – chairs that teach, know pedagogy, know public health, etc. I have also talked to the group leaders and I know how grateful they are for the hard and creative work that these faculty have done. And the faculty members have made critical contributions to helping us evolve these plans. And evolve is the right word – we continue to have to respond to a changing situation and the planning continues to evolve – in terms of facilities and getting supplies, academic preparation, formal and informal ways to improve safety – policies, training, mask wearing, signage, behavior, apps, testing preparation, etc.,

I would also note that we have had three Town halls [with more scheduled]. Feedback from that and other processes such as the website have been very important in generating our plans and learning what faculty need and want.

Bottom line – I thank the UNF faculty who served on these committees and groups – they made substantial and pivotal contributions

Dr. Coleman added that there was a number of different groups meeting frequently, and many people in administration and finance participated particularly early on in trying to scramble to figure out how the university was going to get through the spring term, with housing and dining and everything else. There were a lot of deadlines that were placed upon the university by the powers that be above it.

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