Book store

Anonymous

Question asked from the floor

If the bookstore is a 3rd party vendor, how does a student resolve problems with bookstore?  Who would be UNF’s administrator contact over Bookstore?

Answer by Sheri Shuman, VP of  Administration & Finance

Tully Burnett, Director of Business Services, administers and oversees the bookstore contract.  If a student or faculty has an issue that they cannot resolve with the bookstore, the individual should contact Tully for him to address the concerns.

ISQ emphasis

Questioner: Anonymous

Question Posed to Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

The recent emphasis on ISQ bothers me as an educator. Is it my role to educate the students or make them happy?  Please do not respond saying these are the same. If you want references and recent research, ISQ does not determine that. Many universities are on the path to make the ISQ result confidential and available to only the faculty while UNF posts them online by faculty and course number. Questions.

1. To what extent have you made sure that the improvement of ISQ is not coming at the cost of course quality? Many faculty are putting excessive weight on attendance, take home exams, open book exams, and grade curves so that students like them [the faculty]. How are colleges controlling that? Or is it a college’s policy to do only what is necessary to improve the metrics

and get state money? If so, can we change the mission statement to low quality instead of high quality education?

2. It has been proven that ISQ scores are discriminating against immigrants (especially with an accent) and women. Is it in UNF’s new mission to use a statistic that has been proven to be discriminating? If the administration thinks that is not true in the case of UNF, have they done a study to make certain?

3. If the administration is so concerned for students, why don’t we drop the full time student requirement from 15 to 12 credits? Most students at UNF are employed, often even more than 40 hours. So forcing them to enroll for 15 credits and then blaming the faculty for their poor performance is outrageous.

 

UNANSWERED

UNF FA and President’s attendance to meetings

Questioner: Anonymous

Question Posed to David Fenner, FA president

Under the UNF Constitution and as stated on the FA’s website, the UNF Faculty Association is the core of UNF’s shared governance structure. Thus, it was extraordinary to hear on from the FA president on May 9, 2019, that the UNF President will no longer be presenting a President’s Report to the Faculty Association and that in general terms neither will the UNF Vice Presidents. In both instances the UNF President and VPs will not attend meetings of the FA and only the Provost will attend and answer questions. Given this extraordinary change, can the Faculty Association President comment on his agreement with this change and describe the impact that this change will have on the Faculty Association as the core of UNF’s shared governance structure. Can the FA president also share his view on whether he believes the President hosting so-called “jam sessions” in colleges is a comparable substitute for the President’s attendance, Report, and responses to questions brought forth by the Faculty Association.

Answer from the floor by David Fenner, FA President

I want to say two things. The first thing I want to say is about the lunches:  I’ve always taken the lunches—as I think most of you have, too—as a gift. John Delaney started this six years ago. It’s been a blessing not only because we’ve had the opportunity for camaraderie and the opportunity to be fed, but also it allowed us to make certain we had a quorum to get faculty association business done. We had five years of lunches under John, and we have had a year’s worth of lunches under President Szymanski. I take those to have been a gift. What money Shari is going to continue to give us for lunches, I also take that to be a gift. The only concern I have is to make certain we have enough faculty who are participating on a regular basis to make sure that we can do the shared governance part of our work, that we can handle the curriculum and the legislative calendar and ensure that faculty voice is heard.

The second thing to say is that when I was in the graduate school, I had an opportunity to interact with Coggin in a serious way for the first time. I realized then that Coggin has a different kind of administrative structure that many of the other colleges. For a number of years under at least two deans, there was a relationship where the dean was very outward facing; the dean was interested in connecting with the community, was interested in fundraising, was really looking outside, was looking at the horizon—if we could use the captain of a ship metaphor. And the Associate Dean was responsible for running the day-to-day matters of the college.  That was certainly the case with Bobby Waldrup. I think it might’ve been the case with Jay Coleman and Jeff Steagall when they were there. That was a model that I was not used to. You know that our president comes out of a business school background and so I believe he is giving us a new model and that new model is more like a business school model where he is going to be outward facing. He’s going to be looking at the legislature, he’s going to be looking at fundraising and it’s really going to be the provost who takes on the duties of being sort of master of the ship, to extend the metaphor, who is really going to be responsible for the day-to-day operations. So an awful lot of what I’m saying is resting on the hope and expectation that Simon Rhodes will be brilliant and will connect with us in very close, intimate ways.

Increasing Student Success

Questioner : Anonymous

Question posed to Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Questions are surfacing regarding the choices made by the new administration in their effort to increase student success. Data shows that over the last few years the number of students placed in online classes by the administration has been increasing and, in some cases, have doubled. Classes that in the past had 20-25 students are now being reported to have 50, 60 and 70 students. Please explain how doubling the size of a class, and especially an online class, contributes to increasing student success?

Answer by Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

The data show that the average class size for undergraduate DL really hasn’t changed much over the last five years. It was 35.47% in AY13, and in AY18 it was 36.01%, so the size hasn’t really changed. There are a few classes that have deliberately been increased; there’s one in CCEC, there may be a few in Coggin. The one in CCEC specifically has a lead instructor and has a lot of students in it, but it’s a very, very good lead instructor who has support from many distance learning coaches. One last thing I’d say is there isn’t an exact number of how many should be in a class to decide if it’s well done or not well done, but support is very important for that faculty member.

Accommodation for disabled students

Questioner: Anonymous

Question posed to Sheri Shuman, VP of Administration and Finance

I’m not sure if you’re aware of a recent letter published in the Spinnaker regarding the university’s failure to provide effective accommodations for disabled students, including veterans.  In one of my classes, a desk that was set up for a disabled student was repeatedly moved from its place at the back of the lecture hall to a different location, despite signs posted stating that it should not be moved.   On numerous occasions I’ve had to ask other students in the class to carry it to the back of the room so that the student in question had a space to work in. In another class, the promised desk did not arrive from the DRC until several weeks into the semester, and then mysteriously disappeared from the room over spring break. It still has not reappeared. Though the DRC does the best it can it seems that there continue to be issues in this area, and perhaps there needs to be some discussion about making additional resources available to address the problem.

Answered by Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Dr. Chally responded: Ms. Shuman prefers to answer this question in writing.

ISQ results and Promotion of Faculty

Questioner : Anonymous

Question posed to Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs and Kally Malcom – Bjorklund, UFF President

This question is for the UFF union president and the UNF administration interim Provost. Can each of you weigh in on the appropriateness — contractually and scientifically — of a Promotion and  Tenure Committee or an administrator to focus narrowly on ISQ results (student evaluations) and impose a threshold score for a particular item when making judgements of teaching?

Question answered by Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Kally and I thought we would answer that together. I really appreciate that, because it comes directly form the contract.

The Collective Bargaining agreement addresses criteria for demonstrating teaching effectiveness, and the process of applying for tenure and promotion. Article 20 addresses tenure:
“Judgments of academic excellence are complex. They cannot easily be reduced to a quantitative formula, nor can the considerations that must be applied in each individual case be completely described in general terms or by numbers alone, separate from necessary qualitative assessments.”

 

Article 20.5 is the section titled Criteria for Tenure and Basis for Tenure Decision.

This section includes the paragraph I just mentioned, and section D states that the tenure decision shall take into account annual assignments and annual performance evaluations, among other things.

 

Performance Evaluations are addressed in Article 18, and on teaching effectiveness. This article offers the most specific language about how faculty can demonstrate teaching effectiveness. And it is in Article 18 where ISQs are addressed specifically.

 

Article 18.2(d) University Required Student Evaluations.

“(1) The University required student Instructional Satisfaction Questionnaire (or ISQ) is one tool for evaluating teaching performance, and all the required ISQs must be included in the annual evaluation portfolio. However, the evaluation of a faculty member shall not be based solely or primarily on student evaluations if the faculty member has provided other information or evidence in support of his/her teaching performance.”

 

Article 18.4(a)1

“There are many approaches to and dimensions of pedagogical work. Thus, the evaluation of teaching performance shall consider the range of pedagogical activities engaged in by the faculty member.”

 

Another section in Article 18 offers 15 examples of pedagogical activities that can be used to evaluate teaching effectiveness, and ISQs are but one of the measures listed.

 

The Collective Bargaining agreement has language in Articles 18 and 20, as well as several promotion articles that outline the appropriate way to evaluate teaching effectiveness. The person asking the question also seeks scientific data supporting or challenging the use of student evaluations as the singular method of assessing teaching effectiveness. In the interest of brevity, I will not use this time to point to the several studies that are out there related to the usefulness of student evaluations. The best practices for evaluating faculty teaching are already addressed clearly within the collective bargaining agreement. And that is an agreement that is negotiated not just by UFF but also by the administration, and I was so happy that Provost Chally told us this morning that they are committed to following the contract, which we all must do, so we are happy to stand together in support of Articles 18, 20, and so many more.

 

Dr. Chally: It’s a multifaceted decision, and it’s really important that the individual make their case as to why they should be supported

UNF hiring and retention of Faculty

Questioner: Anonymous

Question posed to Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Student success requires that UNF hire and retain the best faculty. Yet, according to studies conducted by the National Education Association, over the past decade, faculty salaries at UNF have been at, or near, the bottom of all 11 schools within the state university system. In 2018, the average salaries of faculty at all ranks were at, or near, the bottom of the state university system. In order for UNF to hire and retain the best faculty, what plans does the administration have to increase faculty salaries in 2019-20?

Question Answered by Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Obviously, David already answered that question from the Faculty Association perspective. A couple things I’d like to say: I wish all of you had higher salaries. I know you wish that also. We really have not received any new sources of money for the last 10 years, and that’s difficult. It’s really, really been difficult. But despite that, last year and the year before, small raises, 2%, were available and that was the same average of raises across the United States. I want to say one other thing about this. It’s a two- way street in terms of being able to negotiate raises, and I really look forward to working with Kally and Bess at UFF in a new, hopefully very, very collaborative relationship, so we can make increasing progress in that area. I know it’s a need.

 

Faculty Salary Compression task force

Questioner Anonymous

Question Posed to President Szymanski

Would the president please share why [he] has not honored his commitment to convene a Task Force to study and recommend solutions to address faculty salary compression and inversion (known as C&I). The president promised to do so. UNF salaries are already the lowest in the state and C&I affects hiring and retention.

Answer from the floor by Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs, on behalf of the Presidents office

The President has told me this morning that he is not sure where that group currently is; as far as he is concerned, it’s still on the table, and he anticipates that it will move forward.

ISQs and Promotion

Questioner: Anonymous

Question posed to David Fenner, FA President

Word is out there that UNF has denied tenure to faculty members who have only a little less than perfect scores on the ISQs even though the university committee’s evaluations were positive as were those that came earlier in the process. Can the FA Executive Committee bring a resolution to notify the BOT that this administration is destroying people’s lives at the university?

 

Answer from the floor by David Fenner, FA President

I will pass this on to Dr. Rakita, FA vice president and chair of Executive Committee, to pick up this question at the Executive Committee. Because this is a matter of terms of employment, the Union needs to take center stage on this rather than the Faculty Association. But having said that, we’ll certainly be involved with that. I’d also like to say that in the past, Faculty Association presidents have been strong voices of advocacy with regard to both faculty salaries and with promotion and tenure, where they sit as members of the BOT. I believe that all of that is going to come up at the June BOT meeting, and I will be there represented as appropriate.

1.7 Million Dollars

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

 

Is it true that Dean Rainbolt “found” 1.7 million dollars that had gone unaccounted for in his college?

Where were these funds found and how is it possible they were not known of all along?

Could these funds have been put to use in hiring faculty and adjuncts rather than having departments going directly to Academic Affairs to ask for funds to put on courses?

Could the use of these funds for instructional purposes have facilitated an increase in graduation rates and perhaps retention as well?

Is it true that Dean Rainbolt discussed with the COAS chairs the possibility of using these funds for faculty and staff raises?

Would such plans not involve circumventing the contract, the union, and human resources?

Would such plans not exacerbate pay inequities across the university as a whole?

What is the responsibility of Academic Affairs for oversight over the budgetary workings of COAS?

Will Provost Chally continue to allow Dean Rainbolt to hold classes teaching members of his college about budgets? 

Does Provost Chally accept these developments as evidence of budgetary incompetence and will this evidence be used in her decision concerning the strong vote of no-confidence in Dean Rainbolt?

Response in writing by Provost Chally:

The dollars are being reviewed.   Most were known about and regularly used to pay for summer school.   Dr. Rainbolt is aware that faculty raises are not possible without Union negotiation and there was no intent, whatsoever, to circumvent UFF.  All College budgets are overseen through Dan Moon and Anne Hoover, including the COAS budget. The budget classes Dean Rainbolt is teaching do not specifically discuss how to “find” money or what to do once “found.”