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

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.

Metrics to Shorten Students’ Time to Graduation

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Mark Dawkins, Dean, Coggin College of Business 

In the wake of UNF’s poor showing on the BOG Performance Based Funding Metrics, some colleges are taking steps to increase student retention and shorten student’s time to graduation – the two metrics UNF has consistently scored the lowest on. However, at least one college has taken steps over time that education research shows do just the opposite. In the last few years, the Coggin College of Business has taken steps to materially lower their admission standards, significantly increase the number of part-time faculty teaching their courses, dramatically increase the number of their courses being taught online, and increase the number of faculty teaching overload assignments. Although they have increased their enrollments, education research demonstrates that less qualified students, those taught by part-time faculty, those taking online courses, and those being taught by faculty teaching overloads are more likely to drop out of their classes and take a longer time to graduate. If the administration is serious about increasing student retention rates and shortening student’s time to graduation, should not these decisions be reevaluated? Are the benefits in enrollments worth the costs to UNF in terms of lost funding and reputation due to lower student retention and higher times to graduation?

Answered by: Mark Dawkins, Dean, Coggin College of Business

The Coggin College of Business (CCB) has not lowered its admission standards, although CCB faculty has revised the graduate admissions policies. Nor has CCB significantly increased the number of part-time faculty teaching its courses. In fact, CCB hired five (5) new tenure-track faculty in Fall 2018. Additionally, CCB hired five (5) instructors in Fall 2018 (1 new hire, 2 visiting instructor hired as permanent instructors, and 2 adjunct instructors hired as permanent instructors).

CCB has increased the number of its courses being taught online, and this increase is not “dramatic” relative to the overall number of courses taught by CCB. CCB did increase the number of faculty teaching overload assignments in 2016-17 and 2017-18 to staff the Master of Science in Management (MSM) Program (about 200 new graduate students) and the Fidelity on-site MBA Program in 2018-19 (22 new graduate students), and the overload assignments have decreased with the addition of the five (5) new tenure-track faculty in Fall 2018. CCB started the MSM Program in the summer of 2016 with an agreement with AA to staff the classes with teaching overload assignments for two years, and based on enrollments, to hire two new tenure-track faculty in Fall 2018.

Improving UNF’s Decline in Grant/Contract Revenue

January 11, 2018

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Radha Pyati, President Faculty Association

The UNF Faculty Association recently published a “Scholarship Statement” describing that research was a “necessary and integral component of our academic lives and identities.” However UNF financial statements report that revenues from “Grants and Contracts” have dropped more than 50% in the last 10 years and are now lower than any time since 2002, despite warnings by the Society of Research Administrators in 2012 that support for research at UNF contrasted markedly with UNF’s “sister institutions”. Revenues from grants and contracts at almost all of the other SUS institutions exceed UNFs. What steps are being taken by the administration to reverse UNF’s decline? What plans do the deans have to support research? What more can the UNF Faculty Association do to insure that research remains an “integral component of our academic lives and identities”?

 

 

Campus Transportation Safety

September 7, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Radha Pyati, President Faculty Association

I just watched a minor accident when a student on her bike passed a golf cart and the cart driver made a left turn without signaling. No one got hurt but the student had to step down from her bike. Increasing number of skateboards, bikes and golf carts are crisscrossing our sidewalks with good speeds; that should get some attention.
FA President Pyati will seek a response to this question.