Q&A

Federal Work Study employee

Questioner: Anonymous

Question Posed to Dr. David Szymanski, UNF President

We have an abundance of Federal Work Study employees, so is there any way that they could support the university shortfall in staffing testing services to ensure folks who have a negative test still receive a call/confirmation?

Answered by Dr. David Szymanski, UNF President

this idea hadn’t been discussed and that it would be brought to a next task force meeting.

COVID Testing and Results

Questioner: Anonymous 

Question posed to Dr. David Szymanski, UNF President

I understand that UNF does not have the resources to give all tested individuals results; do we have enough resources to test all interested folks and provide results?

Answered by Dr. David Szymanski, UNF President

Dr. Szymanski offered that the university has the reverse problem: more than enough ability to provide results within 48 hours if someone tests positive. However, if someone tests negative, they’re not contacted because not enough staff are available for that additional step. He encouraged faculty to take advantage of this great resource and noted that no classroom transmissions have been documented. He added that the testing services are supporting 450-500 tests per week currently.

Spring Break Poll

Questioner: Anonymous 

Questioned posed to Dr. David Szymanksi, UNF President and Dr. Karen Patterson, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Will the university poll faculty about options for moving spring break in line with Dr. Coleman’s answer?

Answered by Dr. David Szymanksi, UNF President and Dr. Karen Patterson, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Dr. Patterson answered that those discussions are happening right now, and they will have an announcement in short order.

Dr. Szymanski added that this conversation is a new one but that they’ve been discussing it and will have a decision to announce pretty soon. He clarified that the goal is to have Dr. Patterson in her role as they consider the question.

Interim Provost

Questioner: Heather Truelove

Question from the floor, Posed to Dr. Karen Patterson, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

now that Karen is in her new role, I’m wondering about her old role—if we’re going to have someone in a temporary/interim position while she’s filling the provost role—if there’s been any discussion about that yet.

Answered from the floor by Dr. Karen Patterson, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

the question is under consideration, and she promised more to come on that topic soon and having a faculty member in that position.

Spring Break (Canceled)

Question Posed to Dr. Simon J Rhodes, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Has any thought been given to canceling Spring Break (like some other universities are doing) in an effort to limit student travel and exposure to coronavirus?

Answered in writing by Dr. Coleman

Yes, this is indeed on our radar, we’re aware of what our sister institutions across the state are doing or are contemplating, and we stay in regular communication with them about this and other COVID-related matters. The status of Spring Break is something that we continue to review. At the moment, the thought is to maintain our normal start and finish time for the term, and perhaps adjust Spring Break to a later date after which classes/exams might be remote, very similar to what is being done this term with Thanksgiving break.

Remote Instruction

Question posed to Dr. Szymanski or Dr. Coleman

When will faculty be able to convert to remote instruction or distance learning for spring if they don’t feel safe?

Answered from the floor

He noted that the university is just now pivoting to spring considerations and still mapping out where it can be. He added that there’s a collective wisdom that has yet to be developed, and it’s possible that the spring is not too different from the approach to fall. He clarified, too, that the goal is to keep things open and ensure faculty and students are protected, so a timeline is not available yet as the focus is on fall 2020.

Dr. Coleman offered that a best guess for a starting point for the discussion is the fall 2020 model, but it’s early days right now.

Provost and Promotion an Tenure

Question posed to Dr. Szymanski, UNF President and Dr. Coleman

Given that the provost’s voice weighs heavily in the promotion and tenure process, is there any guidance from you or your office for the folks went up this year?

Answered from the Floor by Dr. Coleman and Dr. White, FA President

Dr. Coleman answered that he’d rather avoid an answer here and would instead leave it at he would likely examine research in a way similar to Dr. Rhodes.

Dr. White offered that OFE is a good resource too.

Metrics goal

Question Posed to Dr. Szymanski, UNF President

In terms of your goals, have you considered changing your metrics goal from “getting more points” to “improving UNF’s ranking” so we’re not camped out in the bottom three among state universities?

Respond from the floor by Dr. Szymanski, UNF President and Dr. Coleman

Dr. Szymanski offered that metrics are not optional, and that the BOG uses them so UNF must consider them, and while UNF does address metrics, he views them as an outcome and not a particular set of goals. In this way, in attending to improving aspects of the university that support faculty and students, the metrics are likely to improve as well.

Dr. Coleman clarified that the bottom 3 rankings no longer limit an institution’s receipt of performance funds and instead institutions are measured against themselves year over year for improvement.