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 Salaries

Questioner: Anonymous

Question posed to David Fenner, FA President

According to the National Education Association, faculty salaries at UNF are the lowest (or near lowest) in the Florida State University System which makes up 11 schools. Moreover, UNF salaries have been the lowest in the state for the past decade. What has the Faculty Association done to raise faculty salaries at UNF during this time? What is the Faculty Association doing to address the fact that UNF has the lowest faculty salaries in the state?

Answer from the Floor by David Fenner, FA President

Let me say a couple things about that. The first thing to say is that I am very, very clear on the dividing line between the Faculty Association and the Union, and the Union really takes care of matters of employment. So I’m careful not to sort of wade into those waters. To the degree to which Kally wants to talk to me about anything, I’m delighted. The second thing to say is that you probably know that the President of the Faculty Association is a member of the Board of Trustees, so I’m privy to information that’s coming to the BOT with regard to bargaining, and that kind of moves me on to, not exactly the management side, but I’m sitting there with the management side when I’m being briefed by the  attorney, so it would really be a conflict of interest for me to get into anything to do with salaries.  Having said all of that, I will say that last year we passed a resolution calling for a certain percentage of funds that might be realized from a performance funding model for the metrics to go to faculty bonuses.   And this summer I worked out—and I’m delighted to share this information with Kally or with anybody who would ask—numbers with regard to how that might look in terms of how much money we were talking about in general for faculty and staff bonuses, so forth and so on. Those numbers didn’t go anywhere but I’m keen to do whatever—I will follow Kally’s lead with regard to support for enhancing the salaries of the faculty.

2% Faculty Raise

December 6, 2018

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Shari Shuman, Vice President, Administration; Finance

  1.  I have heard that the administration refused to make the 2% faculty raise for last year (2017-2018) retroactive to the beginning of the academic year. Instead, the raise only applies for a portion of the year. Is this correct? If so, why isn’t the faculty raise for 2017-2018 retroactive to the beginning of the academic year? What is the actual date the raise becomes effective?
  2. I received my raise for 2017-2018. I taught in the summer of 2018. When will I receive the additional compensation for that teaching as provided for in the CBA?

Response from the floor by Vice President Shari Shuman

For Part A, retro pay went back to September 23rd. VP Shuman stated that the President did address the first question from the floor regarding summer pay.

Not Getting Paid On Time

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Pamela S. Chally, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

As an adjunct in COAS, it was a hardship to not get paid this fall in a timely manner. I understand several of my colleagues were victims of the same snafu. Will someone be held accountable for this error? I do not want to leave UNF, but will not continue if this is the way we are treated.

Response from the Floor by Provost Chally

Provost Chally apologized for the error and assured the faculty that the process that caused the problem has been corrected. There are new processes in place to ensure that this will not happen again. Dean’s that were involved in this situation understand that this is their responsibility.

Faculty Salaries

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: David S. Szymanski, UNF President

Part 1:
As a faculty member it was extremely disappointing this past week to learn that a National Education Association study found that faculty salaries at UNF are at, or near the bottom, compared to other State of Florida University System Schools. It was further disappointing to learn that this did not happen overnight. Instead as reported by UNF-UFF, faculty salaries at UNF have increasingly lagged behind inflation for more than a decade. However, it was insulting to learn further that during this time the policy of the administration was to permit some administrators to keep all or most of their salaries after they returned to the faculty and no longer were performing or involved in administrative duties. Sadly, these revelations and this state of affairs is now a part of the legacy of the current administration and the outgoing president. Looking forward to new leadership does the newly hired president plan to similarly prioritize and compensate faculty in the same way? What plans does the new president have for compensating faculty? Will these plans address the pay gap between UNF faculty salaries and other State University System Schools? Will they address the continuing and eroding effects of inflation? Will they continue the policy that permits administrators to keep their salaries even though they are no longer in an administrative role?


Response from the Floor by UNF President Szymanski

Regarding the first part of the question, we have approved a proposal which has been forwarded through the collective bargaining process.


Part 2:
Over the past year the UNF president has made repeated statements that his administration will be proposing raises. However, according to the most recent UNF-UFF “Bargaining Update,” to date no formal written proposal for salary or raises has been received. Is this true? Negotiations have been ongoing for months; why has the administration not made a salary proposal yet? Does the current administration plan to follow through with the statements of the outgoing president? According to the National Education Association, with the exception of one other school, the average faculty salary at UNF has fallen below all other doctoral granting institutions in the state. What are the intentions and plans of the incoming president for faculty salaries and raises? Thank you.


Response from the Floor by UFF President Rebecca Marcon

We will be receiving pay raises once the negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is ratified by the faculty and by the UNF Board of Trustees (BOT), according to Florida statutes. The faculty vote on ratification will be held September 24 and 25, and the BOT will hold their vote on ratification at their previously scheduled Board meeting on October 11.

Faculty Members Salaries

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: John Delaney, UNF President

#1 – As a follow-up to last month’s question, could the administration please provide the faculty with the following public information: The total salaries (including any salary funds drawn from the Foundation) for 2011-12, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014 for the following individuals: Tom Serwatka, Shari Shuman, Pam Chally, Barb Hetrick, Mark Tumeo, Ajay Samant, Larry Daniel, Jay Coleman, Len Roberson, Jeff Michelman, John Kantner, Mark Workman.


#2 – Two recent pieces of information cause me to ask: Is UNF “over-administered”?

  1. First, in Florida Trend’s June 2013 issue, it was noted that the number of administrators at UNF increased by 15.7% from 2007 to 2011. (In 2007, there were 235 administrators and in 2011 there were 272 administrators). As a side note, in fall 2007 there were 16,406 students and in fall 2011 there were 16,368 students.
  2. Second, we recently learned that Tom Serwatka received a $60,000 raise. I think a thorough analysis of this issue is warranted. Has the Budget Advisory Committee looked into this? Is there another group of non-administrators on campus that should be examining this issue?


Responses from President Rakita: “I’ll answer that, and I’ll answer it from the floor. The answer to the first part – Has the Budget Advisory Committee looked into this issue?
No, to my knowledge the Budget Advisory Committee has not looked into it.
Should they, or should some group of non-administrators look into it?
I would ask that the Budget Advisory Committee await the response from the President’s office about the salaries that was asked in Question 2, and then, given that response, make a recommendation to me about any action the Faculty Association may want to take on the issue.”

Recent Salary Increase

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: John Delaney, UNF President

How do you justify the recent $60K salary increase for Tom Serwatka?


Written response from UNF President, John Delaney:

January 24, 2014



Dear President Rakita,


Let me take this opportunity to answer the questions submitted at the January 9, Faculty Association Meeting.


Question #1

Faculty Association meetings are held on the same first Thursday of every month at the same time and in the same location. Should the faculty interpret this lack of attendance and participation as a signal that you don’t believe these meetings to be of importance? You have been missed 19 of the past 24 meetings and have not attended one this year. If you continue this attendance record, it might be helpful to establish another way to communicate with your faculty about initiatives and plans so we know where we are headed.

First I want to state that I think Faculty Association meetings are important for a host of reasons. I hope this is tangibly demonstrated by the actions we took to encourage greater attendance and participation between colleagues – the creation of the new venue and the funding of the luncheons.  I couldn’t be happier than to see the change in attendance and the increased cross-disciplinary communication-channels.


But historically, I have not viewed these meetings as optimal to present initiatives or plans. I have only a few minutes to talk, and I always viewed the meetings as the faculty’s and not mine. The questioner may have another view.
Secondly, I constantly look for ways to interact with faculty. The faculty union hosts a “Coffee with the President” twice per semester. That is an open meeting. That format is particularly good for having conversations. Last year, I also began inviting somewhat random groups of faculty for lunch every month or so. Every few years, I also cycle through meetings with departments and/or colleges and plan on starting that again next year.

Additionally, the fall convocation is specifically designed to discuss initiatives and plans.
All that being said I will certainly focus on attending Faculty Association meetings as my calendar permits. Regrettably, this past fall I had an unusual amount of travel on the schedule. I was out of town almost weekly, nearly all UNF related. Additionally, I took ill several times and was hospitalized twice for fluky reasons. (All is well now.) And as most, if not all, of you know, the Board of Governors has been working on a funding formula that favors the larger schools, and we have spent a great deal of time confronting that.
Of course, January through May is always difficult with the Legislature in session. Nonetheless, I only miss the Faculty Association meeting if there is a scheduling conflict.
I will close by saying that I also meet with any group of or individual faculty member on request. I meet regularly with the President of the Faculty Association and the leadership of the faculty union.
I also meet with the deans and with the chairs every 6 weeks or so, a rare occurrence for most college presidents. Unless I have an unmovable conflict, I never turn down a faculty request to visit a classroom.

In most public settings, I stress that I have an open door policy, and historically I have been able to meet within 48 hours of a faculty request. Finally, I respond to emails typically the same day.
If anyone has any other suggestions, feel free to let me know.


Question #2 for President Delaney:

How do you justify the recent $60K salary increase for Tom Serwatka?

First, we do not publicly discuss personnel decisions, including compensation. Secondly, the dollar figure contained in the question is extremely inaccurate.