Faculty role and budget cuts

Questioner: Paul Parkison

Question asked from the floor

What will be the faculty role if larger cuts are required? Will it work through the Budget Advisory or another prioritization process?

Answered by Jason Haraldsen

We did not get into the faculty for budget cuts. However, as we advise the FA, not the administration, I believe that if they will request Faculty feedback, then that would be run through the FA not the budget Advisory Committee. With this in mind, this is something that we will ask the administration in our future meetings.

follow up to UNF Facebook question

Questioner: Anonymous

question asked from the floor

I do want to follow up about the “president and First Lady posts” anonymously… I can understand the president being an indicator of engagement, but the president’s wife is not a member of the university administration.


Dr. White will ask the President and Eric Bruder about this, noting that the President frequently visits campus with his wife.

UNF Calendar

Questioner: Deirdre Shoemaker

Question asked from the floor

Changes to the fall 2021 calendar have taken place in ways that seem not to have included faculty input. Do we have any more information about that?

Answered from the floor by Dr. John White FA President

Dr. White noted that FA is an advisory body as it relates to recommending calendar dates, and while FA voted on and forwarded a particular calendar, the university made its own choice here. He noted, too, that faculty should be sure to rely on the university’s calendar (www.unf.edu/calendar) for the most accurate, updated calendar of dates.

Building 1 Security

Question from the floor

I am still unclear about the threats to the administration is experiencing that justify the costs of a permanent security service in Building 1. Do you know if there are any plans to save student and taxpayer money by elimination this unnecessary service?

Answered by Dr. John White, FA President

Dr. White noted that this issue was contentious last year and remains contentious and he will bring it up with the President to provide a response at the December FA meeting.

COVID Testing and Notification

Questioner: Stephanie Race

Question asked from the floor

About COVID testing and notifications, discussion about notifications for negative test results has been ongoing and noted as improved, but she has herself experienced irregularities in hearing back about negatives, as well as lapses in secure/personal responses.


Dr. White noted he will follow up with Mr. Bob Greenlaw about this topic and answer back.

Analytics on COVID cases

Written Question

Due to the president’s focus on metrics, we now have a vice president for analytics. Even with this focus, we remain at the bottom of the metrics within the SUS. Further, I am concerned with how COVID-19 cases are being reported. We have significant data on various performance metrics but virtually no analytics on COVID cases—all we see are weekly counts. I would like the administration to provide a far better analysis of cases, especially as there is an obvious push by the

BOG for faculty and students to move toward more face-to-face classes.

I would like to remain anonymous, however I would appreciate if you could relay my concerns to appropriate offices on campus.


On the first point, I suggest reaching out to Bob Greenlaw, who is spearheading the UNF COVID response effort.  Also, trends in cases and who is being infected are regularly updated at https://www.unf.edu/emergency/Cases.aspx.

As for the impact of analytics, that one is easy.  Below are a few examples, all of which are directly attributable to the impact of analytics, particularly those outcomes involving enrollment, diversity, and retention growth.  Once we get the data from other institutions across the country, I believe you’ll find that the combination of growth in those three factors will be among the top 10 in the country, and perhaps even #1.  Also, had the analytics that generated the improvements below not been done, it is highly likely that we would have long since faced substantial layoffs, including the shuttering of programs.  Thus, analytics has had a direct hand in going from facing dire consequences to having one of the best success stories in the United States.

  • Freshman classes: 73% growthin last 5 years
  • Traditionally underrepresented freshmen: 163%growth in last 5 years (247% among Black / African-American)
  • Realized and forthcoming growth in tuition and fees due to 5-year growth in freshman classes: $76 million
  • First-year retention rate: 1 percentage pointgrowth in last 4 years, to a record UNF high
  • Graduation rates: 70% growthin last 5 years, to a record UNF high
  • Growth in metrics points: 47% growth in last 3 years (largest in the SUS), to a record UNF high
  • Performance funding received in the last two years: $25 million+

UNF Facebook

Written Question

After a quick scan, it appears that about 10% of the posts on the UNF Facebook page feature President Szymanski, often with his wife. What is the strategy behind featuring the president so heavily on this platform?

 Answered by Eric Bruder, VP of Marketing and Communication

I want to thank the faculty for this question. We do not have any set objectives on how often we highlight the President and First Lady through social media. Nor are these highlights part of a larger marketing strategy. However, we have featured them more often during the pandemic. We believe highlighting the face of the administration is extremely important and reassuring during these challenging times. We have also noticed that adding the First Lady to these posts increases engagement. The best way to truly judge these posts is to look at total engagement (likes, comments, shares). When looking back at the last 20 Facebook posts as of 11/1/2020, the two President/First Lady posts were among the highest in total engagement (#3 & #4 ranked of last 20).

needed resources allocation

Written question

When are we going to have a serious conversation about significantly under enrolled departments/programs and moving resources where they are needed?


Dr. Patterson will offer an answer in writing.

Dr. White added that the mission of the university is to serve a broad public, and that’s in education, social work, psychology—a broad spectrum—so focusing on specific departments on this way runs counter to that mission. He added that enrollments fluctuate across time, especially as tied to the economy.

candidate search through zoom

Written Question

Now that we have realized the cost savings of conducting searches with Zoom rather than having candidates on campus (involving costs of time and money), can we use Zoom as our future model for searches?

Answered by Dr. Karen Patterson, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affair

Dr. Patterson answered in advance that Zoom is a good resource but noted that face-to-face meetings are essential as part of such huge decisions and they allow faculty and prospective hires to make good choices. Costs should be considered, but the intangibles aren’t always accessible via Zoom.

Non Essential positions

Written Question

Why are we continuing to hire seemingly non-essential positions when facing such a budget shortfall?

Answered in writing by Dr. Karen Patterson, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Dr. Patterson answered in writing that no non-essential hiring is taking place. Every job posting and hire has been vetted by Academic Affairs as mission critical to ensure that everyone is able to complete their work. The deans have been told that if budgets worsen, searches can be impacted.