Yard Signs at Campus

Questioner: David Courtwright

Posted to: Dr. Thomas Serwatka, Vice President & Chief of Staff to the President

There are many yard signs around campus that are quite ugly (particularly near the Starbucks). With much effort and money having gone towards making the campus beautiful, would it be possible to have a reasonable zoning policy for these signs?

 

Written Response from Dr. Mauricio Gonzalez, Vice President for Student & International Affairs:

March 19, 2012

TO: Patrick Plumlee
President, UNF Faculty Association

FROM: Mauricio Gonzalez
Vice President for Student and International Affairs

SUBJECT: Signage Policy

Below you will find the answer to the question from David Courtwright regarding the signage policy.

 

Question: There are many yard signs around campus that are quite ugly (particularly near the Starbucks). With much effort and money having gone towards making the campus beautiful would it be possible to have a reasonable zoning policy for these signs?

 

Response: In response to the concerns that have been brought up regarding signage on campus, I’d like to let you know what Student Affairs is doing with the matter.

 

We are currently in the process of reviewing our signage policy and procedure, and hope that this will address many of the concerns. Among the changes we’re looking into are restrictions on how and where signs can be placed, and the establishment of enforcement procedures. Notably, we will keep signs (and other advertisements) from being placed in or near the boardwalks and wetlands areas. We also will be restricting the amount of time signs can be up before an event, and making the advertiser responsible for removing them in a timely fashion. We believe this policy will help mitigate concerns about the number and appearance of signs.

 

Still, from a campus life standpoint, we feel we cannot afford to do away with these signs altogether, or to be too restrictive over where they can be put. Our surveys for Student Affairs marketing show that the signs are an effective marketing tool (which is presumably why they’ve become so prolific). While other advertising avenues (including the bulletin boards) can also be effective, we feel that using them alone would not be able to make up for signs. Doing away with signs would almost certainly have a negative effect on our ability to advertise campus life programs in a time when that is a major focus for UNF.

WebPages Updates

Questioner: George Candler

Posted to: Marianne Jaffee, Executive Assistant to the Provost & Director of Planning

The faculty list of WebPages needs to be updated and current.  Is someone maintaining this and if so who should they talk to?

Archived:
Given the timeline for relevant responses and the availability of personnel, this question was archived without response.

Reading Days

Questioner: Doria Bowers

Posted to: Megan Kuehner, University Registrar Enrollment Services

There are two Reading Days at the end of this semester on a Thursday and Friday.  I was always under the impression that classes do not meet on Reading Days but it says on the web that classes can be held.  Can you clarify this?

 

Written Response Megan Kuehner, University Registrar, Enrollment Services:

As University Registrar, I recognize not only the complexity of the university’s academic calendar, but also the necessity of gathering input from a wide variety of campus sources whose operations will be greatly affected when decisions are made with regards to the calendar.  Because of the impact of these decisions UNF has chosen to establish a University Calendar Committee. The committee is tasked with setting the University’s Academic Calendar including all dates related to final exams, commencement, academic deadlines as well as dates relevant to housing and payment deadlines.  Moreover, the committee hears requests for changes to the current calendar format and also considers revisions based on need.  The committee works hard to balance all requests with the overall needs of the university and all requests are vetted and subject to a vote for approval.

This Committee also serves as a forum for members to share concerns regarding academic scheduling and the needs of individual offices/departments.  The University Calendar Committee’s membership, therefore, includes representatives from all College Advising offices, Housing, the Controller’s Office, Athletics, One-Stop, Financial Aid, Orientation, Admissions, Records Processing and Academic Affairs.  Faculty memberships are elected positions governed through the Faculty Association, and elected faculty members serve for two years.  I would encourage all concerned faculty to talk to their representatives on this committee so that their concerns can be discussed and addressed.

Please note, however, that the university’s academic calendar is ultimately governed by BOG regulation 8.001.  The regulation stipulates that “each university shall operate on a year around calendar which provides two hundred twenty days of classroom instruction including examinations, or two hundred ten days of instruction excluding examinations.”  Furthermore, the start of the terms are also set by the regulation to fall within three periods, the first three weekdays after August 22, the first three weekdays after January 4, and the first three weekdays after May 5.  These requirements set a basic calendar format for the university and allow for minor changes as necessitated by different units on campus.  Over the past several years our calendar has followed the guidelines with some variation only on the summer terms to accommodate Study Abroad and TLO opportunities.  In addition, a change to a Monday start date for the Summer B term was made in effort to accommodate incoming Freshmen Orientation which has become a two-day event.    The Calendar Committee voted overwhelmingly to support these efforts and UNF successfully filed for an exception (when required).

Spring start dates shifted to Wednesdays in Spring 2011 and Spring 2012 because of the holiday closure and the observance of New Year’s Day.  Again, the committee did consider the Monday following the return to campus, but a shift would have pushed the end of spring term into the time allotted for the aforementioned Study Abroad programs scheduled for the Spring intersession.

The committee agrees that certain holidays can be problematic when scheduling and there are few opportunities to make up for time lost.  There is continual debate on how to mitigate the impact to all departments and the group makes efforts to propose solutions.  One such solution are the Reading Days enacted in the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 calendars.  The intent of the days was to provide faculty with an opportunity for more contact with students and to allow for study and preparation for final exams.  As stated in an April 13, 2011 email to all faculty, adjuncts and Chairs, a faculty member should not be holding class sessions that require attendance or using them as a chance to offer early final exams.  Many faculty members chose to offer exam reviews and study sessions to the benefit of students and our office heard overwhelmingly positive reviews of the reading days from students.  Again, I do encourage concerned faculty members to contact their faculty representatives on the committee or my office directly with additional questions or concerns.

Length of Semesters

Questioner: Matt Gilg

Posted to: Megan Kuehner, University Registrar Enrollment Services

Why is it that the length of semesters can vary by as much as a full week (150 minutes of class time)?

 

Written Response Megan Kuehner, University Registrar, Enrollment Services:

As University Registrar, I recognize not only the complexity of the university’s academic calendar, but also the necessity of gathering input from a wide variety of campus sources whose operations will be greatly affected when decisions are made with regards to the calendar.  Because of the impact of these decisions UNF has chosen to establish a University Calendar Committee. The committee is tasked with setting the University’s Academic Calendar including all dates related to final exams, commencement, academic deadlines as well as dates relevant to housing and payment deadlines.  Moreover, the committee hears requests for changes to the current calendar format and also considers revisions based on need.  The committee works hard to balance all requests with the overall needs of the university and all requests are vetted and subject to a vote for approval.

This Committee also serves as a forum for members to share concerns regarding academic scheduling and the needs of individual offices/departments.  The University Calendar Committee’s membership, therefore, includes representatives from all College Advising offices, Housing, the Controller’s Office, Athletics, One-Stop, Financial Aid, Orientation, Admissions, Records Processing and Academic Affairs.  Faculty memberships are elected positions governed through the Faculty Association, and elected faculty members serve for two years.  I would encourage all concerned faculty to talk to their representatives on this committee so that their concerns can be discussed and addressed.

Please note, however, that the university’s academic calendar is ultimately governed by BOG regulation 8.001.  The regulation stipulates that “each university shall operate on a year around calendar which provides two hundred twenty days of classroom instruction including examinations, or two hundred ten days of instruction excluding examinations.”  Furthermore, the start of the terms are also set by the regulation to fall within three periods, the first three weekdays after August 22, the first three weekdays after January 4, and the first three weekdays after May 5.  These requirements set a basic calendar format for the university and allow for minor changes as necessitated by different units on campus.  Over the past several years our calendar has followed the guidelines with some variation only on the summer terms to accommodate Study Abroad and TLO opportunities.  In addition, a change to a Monday start date for the Summer B term was made in effort to accommodate incoming Freshmen Orientation which has become a two-day event.    The Calendar Committee voted overwhelmingly to support these efforts and UNF successfully filed for an exception (when required).

Spring start dates shifted to Wednesdays in Spring 2011 and Spring 2012 because of the holiday closure and the observance of New Year’s Day.  Again, the committee did consider the Monday following the return to campus, but a shift would have pushed the end of spring term into the time allotted for the aforementioned Study Abroad programs scheduled for the Spring intersession.

The committee agrees that certain holidays can be problematic when scheduling and there are few opportunities to make up for time lost.  There is continual debate on how to mitigate the impact to all departments and the group makes efforts to propose solutions.  One such solution are the Reading Days enacted in the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 calendars.  The intent of the days was to provide faculty with an opportunity for more contact with students and to allow for study and preparation for final exams.  As stated in an April 13, 2011 email to all faculty, adjuncts and Chairs, a faculty member should not be holding class sessions that require attendance or using them as a chance to offer early final exams.  Many faculty members chose to offer exam reviews and study sessions to the benefit of students and our office heard overwhelmingly positive reviews of the reading days from students.  Again, I do encourage concerned faculty members to contact their faculty representatives on the committee or my office directly with additional questions or concerns.

Water Sprinklers

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Shari Shuman, Vice President for Administration & Finance

Where does the water come from for the irrigation of our landscaping? Is it something that we pay for?  I notice sprinklers often running on days after a substantial rain and hope we are not wasting money on this.

 

Written Response from John Hale, Director, Physical Facilities Department:


From: 
Shuman, Shari

Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 2:04 PM

To: Bush, Melissa; Lai-Chin, Fong Chuen

Subject: FW: Question from FA meeting–Dec 1


Please find the response to the question regarding irrigation of landscaping.

Please let me know if you have further questions or need additional information.

 

Shari Shuman

VP, Administration and Finance

University of North Florida

1 UNF Drive

Jacksonville, Fl 32224

904-620-4727

 


Sent:
 Tuesday, December 06, 2011 11:30 AM

From: Hale, John

To: Shuman, Shari

Subject: RE: Question from FA meeting–Dec 1

 

We have four sources of water for irrigation: JEA reclaimed, JEA potable, wells, and surface ponds.

We pay for only the water provided by JEA. Most of the irrigation for the center core of campus including the Fountains dorm, University Center and Golf Learning Center is from reclaimed water. Water from surface ponds is used for athletics and the north part of campus. We have sensors that collect weather information including rainfall that determine if, and how long for, the irrigation system should run. There are times, even when it has rained, that it is necessary to run the sprinklers due to a shortage in the total cumulative amount.

Basketball Ticket Prices

Questioner: Caroline Guardino

Posted to: Dr. Jay Coleman, Faculty Athletic Representative Intercollegiate Athletic Committee

Why are the prices of UNF basketball ticket prices so high compared to the prices from three years ago?

 

Written Response from Lee Moon, Director of Athletics Department:


Sent: 
Monday, November 14, 2011 1:42 PM

From:  Moon, Lee

To: Bush, Melissa

Subject: RE: question from the November 3 Faculty Association meeting

 

Melissa,

 

The simple answer is we became a Division 1 basketball program in 2009-10 at the time we were asked to start to generate revenue for the athletic department to help support our programs. Increasing ticket revenue was one way to increase revenue. We used the ticket prices of other lower level Div.1 programs to set our prices. We went from $5.00 to$12 for midcourt reserve seat, general admission $10 adult, $8.00 for youth, senior citizen, and military. We also do a $5.00 group ticket for 20 or more. If you have further questions give me a call.

 

Lee Moon

Microwave at FA Kitchen

Questioner: Mei Zhao

Posted to: Patrick Plumlee, FA President Faculty Association

I noticed that the Microwave in the faculty center’s kitchen is almost broken and it could hurt our faculty members who use it to warm their food.

Would the Faculty Association please replace it to a new one?

 

RESPONSE:
Academic Affairs purchased a new microwave for the Faculty Association as a holiday gift.

 

Math Department Passing Rates Calculations

Questioner: Michelle DeDeo

Posted to: Jeffrey Coker, Undergraduate Dean Office of the Undergraduate Studies

Regarding the Response Posted Below:

The response from the Provost’s office dated October 18, 2011 seems to contradict calculation of Pass rates currently in use the Mathematics Department as well as in the ENLACE Florida (the state-wide network consisting of faculty from 8 Florida universities including UNF) policy brief regarding Pass Rates in GE Math courses dated October 2009.

There has been a great focus on improving Pass rates in General Education classes these past few years. One of the main “improvements” has been in implementing a computer component to the class requirements. For many classes, software has been useful, but it cannot cure all ills. Withdrawals and Pass rates need to be looked at in a larger context and clarified.

First, since a C or higher is required in at least two math classes at the level of College Algebra or higher for a student to graduate from a Florida university, a D has been regarded as a Fail. Thus only A/B/C are a Pass and D/F/FA/WF are a Fail in the department.

Second, the Withdrawal (W) has also been regarded as a Fail, despite the fact that the withdrawal can be not only from unpreparedness, but for medical, military or financial reasons.

The second distinction is extremely important. Between Spring 2005 and Spring 2010, the Withdrawal rate for College Algebra (MAC1105) at UNF has averaged 24% with little deviation from year to year. If we include Withdrawals in the Fail rate, we have a 53.5% Pass rate in MAC1105. If we simply exclude Withdrawals from the calculation, the Pass rate becomes 0.4%.
Personally, I would like to exclude Withdrawals from the calculation. Once a student is enrolled in a class, faculty cannot control a majority of the conditions that lead a student to drop. I believe we should focus on improving the Withdrawal rate – which could be done by better screening students before they take the course – in addition to improving the Pass rate for those students in the course.

My question is this: What method is UNF’s administration going to use to calculate Pass rates for general education courses?

Response from Jeffrey Coker, Undergraduate Dean on 10/18:
Normal withdrawals are not counted as part of the pass rate for a particular course. However, a withdrawal that has an impact on a student’s GPA–“WF” or “FA” (punitive F)-is included in calculation of course pass rate. The reasoning is that an instructor who records a grade of WF for a student has indicated, at the time of late withdrawal that the student indeed was failing the course.  As such, this should be counted as part of overall course performance. As grading policy is established by the university, departments may not opt out. Also, please note that pass rates are calculated as “D or above” rather than C or higher. 

Success Rate

Questioner: Pali Sen

Posted to: Jeffrey Coker, Undergraduate Dean Office of the Undergraduate Studies

Currently the success rate of a class is calculated as the number of students who passed it with C or higher after the add/drop date.  The calculation includes the students who withdrew from the class within the University approved withdrawal deadlines.  Why should students who withdraw from a class because they were unprepared for the class, they changed jobs, they changed majors, etc. be part of a calculation that measures student success?  Since students are permitted to withdraw from classes why should their decision to do so be viewed as a lack of success on their part?

 

Written Response from Dr. Jeffrey Coker, Undergraduate Dean, Office of the Undergraduate Studies:


Sent: 
Monday, February 27, 2012 8:30 PM

From: Coker, Jeffrey W

To: Faculty Association

Cc: Plumlee, Patrick

Subject: RE: Reminder: FA question from November 3rd

 

Cindy,

 

My apologies for the lag in responding to this question. I was waiting to find out some addition information with respect to the background of one part of the question. The response to the question is below. Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Thanks,

Jeff

 

UNF will continue to calculate pass rates for general education courses as they are calculated with all other courses: a grade of D or higher is considered passing. While a grade of C is required to satisfy particular core requirements, the university grants credit for grades of D or higher in all coursework. Therefore, a D is not considered a failing grade from the standpoint of the university, even though it indeed may not meet the general education requirement for graduation.

 

As for Withdrawals and the pass rate: The Faculty Association, in 1984, voted for the current WP/WF policy. The policy was reviewed in 2000, and the FA voted in affirmation of the policy and to count a WF as a failing grade. Certainly, interventions to improve the rate of withdrawals, both prior to enrollment and during a course, are worthy of consideration. The excellent work taking place in the Math Department in providing enhanced academic support for students in challenging gateway courses is to be applauded and indeed will contribute to improved performance.

Course Passing Rate

Questioner: Pali Sen

Posted to: Mark Workman, Provost & Vice President Academic Affairs

Currently the passing rate for a course is calculated based on the number of students who get a C or above out of the total number of students remaining in the class after the add/drop date.  The calculation includes the students who have withdrawn from the class within the University approved withdrawal deadlines.  Is this practice justified?  Students who withdraw appear to be unprepared and why should they be therefore counted at the end of the class?  Can a department opt out from the withdrawal option for its classes?

 

Written Response from Jeff Coker, Dean for the Office of Undergraduate Studies:


From: 
Coker, Jeffrey W

Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 8:48 AM

To: Bush, Melissa; Sen, Pali

Cc: Workman, Mark; Jaffee, Marianne; Kuehner, Megan

Subject: FA Question from Dr. Sen

Good morning,

I am writing on behalf of Provost Workman in response to Dr. Pali Sen’s question from the October 6 Faculty Association meeting.  Please include this response in your Q&A section of the Faculty Association website.

 

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.

 

Regards,

Jeff Coker

Dean, Undergraduate Studies

Response

Normal withdrawals are not counted as part of the pass rate for a particular course.  However, a withdrawal that has an impact on a student’s GPA–“WF” or “FA” (punitive F)-is included in calculation of course pass rate.  The reasoning is that an instructor who records a grade of WF for a student has indicated, at the time of late withdrawal that the student indeed was failing the course.
As such, this should be counted as part of overall course performance.  As grading policy is established by the university, departments may not opt out.  Also, please note that pass rates are calculated as “D” or above” rather than C or higher.