Faculty role and budget cuts

Questioner: Paul Parkison

Question asked from the floor

What will be the faculty role if larger cuts are required? Will it work through the Budget Advisory or another prioritization process?

Answered by Jason Haraldsen

We did not get into the faculty for budget cuts. However, as we advise the FA, not the administration, I believe that if they will request Faculty feedback, then that would be run through the FA not the budget Advisory Committee. With this in mind, this is something that we will ask the administration in our future meetings.

Non Essential positions

Written Question

Why are we continuing to hire seemingly non-essential positions when facing such a budget shortfall?

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

Dr. Patterson answered in writing that no non-essential hiring is taking place. Every job posting and hire has been vetted by Academic Affairs as mission critical to ensure that everyone is able to complete their work. The deans have been told that if budgets worsen, searches can be impacted.

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.

Adjunct Funding

Question Posed to Adjunct Affairs Committee

Question/Suggestion Text:
I had my workload (and, therefore, my income) cut by 25% for the Fall 2020 semester. I was told that this was due to the entire university seeking to cut the budget by 6%. The following day, I received an email that select faculty would have their salaries increased by 3%, and how proud the president was that they were able to find this money, in spite of budget cuts. This is either the second or third email I have received in my three years working at UNF about full-time faculty’s across-the-board raises. Before my hours were cut, I was teaching the same number of courses that my full-time counterparts are required to teach, so having my hours cut so that they could receive raises feels especially hurtful. While I would like to remain anonymous, for obvious reasons, I would like to know why adjuncts never receive these raises, even though we work very hard, and when, if ever, we would see any kind of cost of living raise. I understand that the amount per hour that adjuncts receive at UNF is nationally competitive. However, there are many events, meetings, and student events which I am strongly encouraged to attend. While I understand I cannot be required to attend such functions, it would be virtually impossible for me to continue working in my area without attending these events. I work many hours over the hours I am “in class,” often working the same hours as my full-time colleagues. While I am often right at the maximum FTE adjuncts are allowed, I have never made the amount the university claims is the average adjunct pay of $25,000/year. We have been asked to do an extensive amount of extra work due to COVID-19, and it is difficult for me to understand why the university does not find funds to keep adjunct morale high, especially during this time.

Question Answered from the Floor by Dr. John White, FA President 

Dr. White referred to the Adjunct Affairs Committee. I also welcome Kally Malcolm, President of UNF-UFF to speak on the matter of adjunct pay and the negotiation of raises for in-unit faculty. President Szymanski is also welcome to speak to the issue.

Faculty Searches

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

Why have certain colleges have already started faculty searches? How were these decisions made? These ads are posted and collecting applications.

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

that the budget is a moving target and that in certain departments there are challenges that need attention now

Office Supply requests

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

I’ve received reports from faculty that their office supply requests have been denied due to budget cuts. Is the university no longer supplying nominal office supplies?

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

Dr. Rhodes noted that it was the first he’d heard of this, and he will investigate to report back.

E&G budget

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

With regards to the 6% cut in the E&G budget, what kind of implications could the faculty and staff face on a day to day bases this upcoming year?

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

we are working on all the parameters to find the least dramatic and best long-term solutions to protect the things that UNF values the most.

Faculty Association Lunches

Anonymous question for Dr. David Fenner, President of the Faculty Association

My question is about faculty association lunch being provided. I am wondering why no lunch is provided for faculty association, as this is what stimulates conversation among faculty and builds comradery. I would like to know why that decision was made and who made it.


Answered from the floor by Dr. Fenner

At the end of spring 2019, Dr. Fenner met with Shari Shuman to discuss that the President’s office will no longer provide lunch for FA meetings. The cost was about $20,000 per year and that the funds needed to be reallocated. She promised to provide some funds, which she has done: $5,500, which has been used for snacks at FA. Dr. Fenner reported also that he’s been able to help raise $5,000 from two anonymous donors. Additionally, the head of catering, John Schneider, gave FA a good deal on pricing FA lunches. Dr. Fenner plans to be able to provide food at the rest of the FA lunches through the end of spring 2020.
Dr. Fenner provided an update on the anonymous questions process. See minutes.


Anonymous question for Dr. Simon Rhodes, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

The university markets itself as “Uniquely UNF,” yet the flagship programs – among the most distinctive and impactful programs on campus – have had their budgets cut severely. Will someone from Academic Affairs please explain this decision? Where do the flagship programs fit into the Provost’s vision for UNF going forward?


Answer from the floor by Dr. Rhodes

So some of these decisions were made before I arrived. I know the president is still taking this under consideration. So that’s the first part of the question. Second part of the question. In terms of my point of view, I can see the flagship programs are clearly notable strengths at UNF and I see that, I celebrate that. The president also sees that, noting that it is the center point of his <inaudible> proposal. I’ve been faced with many questions about this since I got here, but I do need to tell you, I’ve had an almost equivalent number of questions asking why do we still have flagships? Why does a certain discipline have a special status, but my discipline does not? And I think that is also a fair question and I think we should look at the big picture. So as with the other topics and the principle of this meeting, this is a discussion we should have as a campus community. My personal feeling is I would like this to look for where we can take these existing strengths and integrate them into interdisciplinary cross college, cross-discipline things that build in a bigger way to cross-campus ends.

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.”