Computer Currency Program Cancellation

Questioner: Debbie Wang

Question asked from the floor

The computer currency program has been cancelled in 2020 (and maybe 2021?). Could someone comment on this? Why is this program cancelled during a time when we are using technology to support distance learning?

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

Dr. Patterson affirmed that Scott Bennett would be the best person to follow up on this question with to provide a response for faculty, and a response would be forthcoming.

Bookstore failure to order correct textbooks

Written Question

For President, Provost, or FA President:

I want to know how the university is responding to the dozens of classes affected by the bookstore’s failure this term to order correct textbooks (or any) for Spring Term. Since this is a third party provider what contract compliance measures are being taken to insure this does not recur? What do we tell students who have waited a month for the correct texts?

Answered by Dr. John White, Faculty Association President

Dr. White shared that he had received complaints from faculty over the past month and a half, and he reached out the bookstore manager and their regional person but has not heard back. He confirmed that they have met with a number of chairs to discuss several complex issues. He noted that he understood that going forward the bookstore would be purchasing enough textbooks to cover enrollments, which had previously been an issue as the bookstore was fearful of being able to sell enough texts.

Dr. Karen Patterson, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs added

Dr. Patterson added that a meeting took place to discuss this concern, and she will share a follow-up with FA to share any of the outcomes from that meeting.

Dr. Gordon Rakita, Director of Academic Technology and Interim Associate Vice President for Faculty Development suggested

Dr. Rakita suggested that FA reach out to Tully Burnett (A&F – Business Services) to discuss possible next steps, and Dr. White remarked that Mr. Burnett has been a part of the conversation so far and he will follow up with him, too.

Dr. Georgette Dumont shared her personal experience with bookstore ordering issues and how they affect student learning

Explaining this issue has been ongoing for at least several years. She shared that the bookstore has previously explained this under-purchasing issue (i.e., not purchasing enough for enrolled students) as stemming from their ordering based on a percentage calculation of previous semesters’ purchases for that class. Dr. Dumont added that this business model may work for the bookstore but that it doesn’t align with the university’s model of ensuring students have the materials they need when they need them.

Dr. Marianne Jaffee, Executive Assistant to the Provost and Director of Planning added

Marianne Jaffee added that there has been a number of issues this term, echoing Dr. White’s note that these issues tend to be complex, but that the bookstore is working to add more supports and processes to ensure fewer issues in the face of issues related to COVID and lack of staffing. She reported, too, that a conversation is scheduled to take place with the bookstore to help them understand faculty needs.

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.

UNF opening committee

Question posed to Dr. Szymanski, UNF President or Dr. Rhodes, UNF Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

I know several faculty members who were on committees regarding UNF opening during the coronavirus pandemic. They reported that their committees seemingly accomplished numerous tasks (and were even congratulated on their great work). However, the actual committees barely met and did not produce the results. Who produced the results of the committees? Were the committees formed to create the perception that the decisions were a campus-wide collaborative effort?

Answer from the floor by Dr. Simon Rhodes, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

I counted the number of faculty that are in the COVID planning and working groups, the health teams, the behavioral team, and so on. I tried not to count them twice if they were on multiple teams. I counted 21 faculty. That does include a few faculty that are also chairs – chairs that teach, know pedagogy, know public health, etc. I have also talked to the group leaders and I know how grateful they are for the hard and creative work that these faculty have done. And the faculty members have made critical contributions to helping us evolve these plans. And evolve is the right word – we continue to have to respond to a changing situation and the planning continues to evolve – in terms of facilities and getting supplies, academic preparation, formal and informal ways to improve safety – policies, training, mask wearing, signage, behavior, apps, testing preparation, etc.,

I would also note that we have had three Town halls [with more scheduled]. Feedback from that and other processes such as the website have been very important in generating our plans and learning what faculty need and want.

Bottom line – I thank the UNF faculty who served on these committees and groups – they made substantial and pivotal contributions

Dr. Coleman added that there was a number of different groups meeting frequently, and many people in administration and finance participated particularly early on in trying to scramble to figure out how the university was going to get through the spring term, with housing and dining and everything else. There were a lot of deadlines that were placed upon the university by the powers that be above it.

positive covid-19 test

Question asked from the floor by Dr. John White, FA President:

How will the university ensure that if anyone tests positive they do not come to campus?

Answered from the floor by Dr. Simon Rhodes, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs:

that there is a temptation amid COVID that this situation is unique but isn’t insofar as individuals can carry disease in any situation, so there is no way to guarantee that an individual who comes to campus is well.

Answered from the floor by Dr. Curt Lox, Dean – BCH

Dr. Lox clarified the COVID self-reporting process to ensure each individual follows safety guidelines and how the process follows up with individuals.


Covid testing

Question asked from the floor by Dr. Gordon Rakita, Outgoing FA VP:

What about information on testing site locations on campus?  Are F2F faculty supposed to get our tests individually?

Answered from the floor by Dr. Simon Rhodes, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs:

UNF is asking all faculty to get a COVID test but that faculty can do that at any testing site. Dr. Lox added that next week faculty will hear more about the on-campus testing site and hours.

Face to Face teaching

Question asked from the floor by Dr. Beven Livingston, Professor – BCH:

As Dan mentioned, there are graduate course in our college of health that in order meet the curricular demands that our accreditation body requires that require hands-on and so we can’t social distance so in complete PPE but the limitation is causing extended work on the faculties part.

Answered by Dr. Simon Rhodes, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs:

Dr. Rhodes acknowledged that some disciplines and courses will require hands-on work and that departments and programs will work to address these issues on a case-by-case basis.


Online Courses

Question asked from the floor by Dr. John White, FA President:

Do online courses really cost more than in-person courses? If not, why do we still charge online fees for students?

Answered from the floor by Dr. Simon Rhodes, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs:

no fees are charged to Remote Instruction courses but only Distance Learning courses.

Answered from the floor by Dr. Daniel Moon, Professor Academic Affairs Administration:

Dr. Moon confirmed these remarks and noted that, yes, DL courses do cost more than in-person courses insofar as the complex layer of resources that such courses require, e.g., CIRT staff who train faculty and work through technology logistics, funding provided to colleges for DL support (DL coaches and hardware).


Microphones for teaching

Question asked from the floor by Dr. Gordon Rakita, Outgoing FA VP:

Will individual microphones be provided to faculty teaching in large lecture halls.

Answered from the floor by Dr. Simon Rhodes, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs:

administration will do their best to provide those faculty asking for those, and Dr. Moon offered that CIRT has equipment to check out to faculty.