T&P

Questioner: Dr. Santavicca (Physics)

Question Posed from the floor

In past years, there’s always been an announcement at one of the last FA meetings of the year about the T&P cases for that year: how many people went out, what the outcomes were, the university committee votes. We did not have that this year. Can we get that information?

Answer from the floor by David Fenner and Others

It has been common practice that we get a P&T report usually around April. Usually, once it has gone through the provost, the provost provides us with that report; we hear about the positive, we hear about the negative, we hear about the whole picture. This year, Faculty Association has not been provided with that report. Cindy and I have both asked for it on a few occasions. We’ve been told it has to now wait till the full slate is approved by the Board of Trustees, so I go back to the point about June 18. On June 18, there will be a BOT meeting at which the positive slate is voted on. Once that happens, I believe that the provost’s office will then release to us a report about P&T cases, but, yes, this is not normal precedent, to not have a report.

 

UNF FA and President’s attendance to meetings

Questioner: Anonymous

Question Posed to David Fenner, FA president

Under the UNF Constitution and as stated on the FA’s website, the UNF Faculty Association is the core of UNF’s shared governance structure. Thus, it was extraordinary to hear on from the FA president on May 9, 2019, that the UNF President will no longer be presenting a President’s Report to the Faculty Association and that in general terms neither will the UNF Vice Presidents. In both instances the UNF President and VPs will not attend meetings of the FA and only the Provost will attend and answer questions. Given this extraordinary change, can the Faculty Association President comment on his agreement with this change and describe the impact that this change will have on the Faculty Association as the core of UNF’s shared governance structure. Can the FA president also share his view on whether he believes the President hosting so-called “jam sessions” in colleges is a comparable substitute for the President’s attendance, Report, and responses to questions brought forth by the Faculty Association.

Answer from the floor by David Fenner, FA President

I want to say two things. The first thing I want to say is about the lunches:  I’ve always taken the lunches—as I think most of you have, too—as a gift. John Delaney started this six years ago. It’s been a blessing not only because we’ve had the opportunity for camaraderie and the opportunity to be fed, but also it allowed us to make certain we had a quorum to get faculty association business done. We had five years of lunches under John, and we have had a year’s worth of lunches under President Szymanski. I take those to have been a gift. What money Shari is going to continue to give us for lunches, I also take that to be a gift. The only concern I have is to make certain we have enough faculty who are participating on a regular basis to make sure that we can do the shared governance part of our work, that we can handle the curriculum and the legislative calendar and ensure that faculty voice is heard.

The second thing to say is that when I was in the graduate school, I had an opportunity to interact with Coggin in a serious way for the first time. I realized then that Coggin has a different kind of administrative structure that many of the other colleges. For a number of years under at least two deans, there was a relationship where the dean was very outward facing; the dean was interested in connecting with the community, was interested in fundraising, was really looking outside, was looking at the horizon—if we could use the captain of a ship metaphor. And the Associate Dean was responsible for running the day-to-day matters of the college.  That was certainly the case with Bobby Waldrup. I think it might’ve been the case with Jay Coleman and Jeff Steagall when they were there. That was a model that I was not used to. You know that our president comes out of a business school background and so I believe he is giving us a new model and that new model is more like a business school model where he is going to be outward facing. He’s going to be looking at the legislature, he’s going to be looking at fundraising and it’s really going to be the provost who takes on the duties of being sort of master of the ship, to extend the metaphor, who is really going to be responsible for the day-to-day operations. So an awful lot of what I’m saying is resting on the hope and expectation that Simon Rhodes will be brilliant and will connect with us in very close, intimate ways.

Regalia at Commencement

Questioner: Jose Franco (Mathematics & Statistics)

When we were preparing for the commencement, we were told that there is a possible interest of doing uniform regalia for the marshals for the commencement. I would like to know if you could conduct a survey among faculty, because many of us are very proud of our colors, of our regalia, and we would want that not to be taken away from us. Me, in particular, I’ll say that. So could you conduct a survey just to in that way inform the people organizing the commencement ceremonies on the sentiment of faculty.

Answered by David Fenner, FA President and Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Dr. Fenner:  So let me say two things. First thing to say is I will pass it on to the Executive Committee, and we we will pick that up as a discussion of the Executive Committee, which is going to happen in two weeks or around there.  And so YES, we’ll definitely take up the issue, and if we could do a survey the committee will do a survey.

 

But may I say something else, which is kind of just purely anecdotal. So when we had the inauguration not too long ago, Sharon Ashton and I had a big fight about this and the fight was about me being in one of the uniform gowns, so what I expressed was that my primary role in the inauguration is a representative of the faculty, and not a member of the Board of Trustees.  She allowed me to wear my own gown and so forth, but I did not sit with the Board of Trustees. I actually ended up sitting on the row with the deans. Now all of the Board of Trustees members were in the uniform gown, which is blue with gray bands here. And so with the vice presidents, so for somebody like Vice President Shuman being in that kind of gown is not—I mean, it’s actually a little bit nicer than what she was wearing before. She was just wearing a standard black master’s gown. I don’t know how Dr. Chally feels about this, but I felt slightly bad for Dr. Chally, that she was wearing a gown that did not have doctoral bars on it, all that stuff. I believe that the president is interested in having a kind of uniform look to some degree, but I don’t know how far it’s going to go.

 

Dr. Chally, responding to Dr. Fenner asking if she’d like to add anything: added: I’ll just speak for Dr. Rhodes down the road.  If I had stayed in this position, I would have ordered a gown that had stripes, but it was just in the UNF colors.  Since I’m interim, we didn’t do that.  I’m sure Dr. Rhodes will do that. I can’t really add anything more than what you said.

Alcohol related incident

Questioner: Stephynie Perkins (Communication Department)

Question from the Floor posed to Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

1a. During the last week of class in the spring term, a faculty member was suspended because several students brought alcohol into the classroom unbeknownst to the faculty member. The University Police was tipped off that alcohol was in the classroom and came to the class. It was reported that the students will go before the Student Conduct Office, and that the faculty member has been suspended indefinitely until this incident can be thoroughly investigated. How and when did the University Police know about this alcohol related incident in the classroom and if they knew before the start of class, should they have informed the faculty to be on the lookout?

1b. In order for faculty not to be reprimanded or suspended, has the administration created specific step-by-step written guidelines for faculty to follow in case this kind of incident occurs again?

1c. What is the due process for faculty who are caught up in this kind of activity unbeknownst to them?

 

Answer from the Floor by Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

1a. One of the students in the class posted a picture on Instagram that somehow made it to UPD during the class.

1b. I sent some suggestions about that to Dr. Parmelee yesterday. I don’t want to do it misjustice by reporting it without having it in front of me, so I will be very happy to answer that question and include what I had sent to Dr. Parmelee yesterday.

1c. I don’t feel that I can answer that at this point. I will say this: they certainly can appeal, they can grieve. That is certainly their right to do that.

ISQ results and Promotion of Faculty

Questioner : Anonymous

Question posed to Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs and Kally Malcom – Bjorklund, UFF President

This question is for the UFF union president and the UNF administration interim Provost. Can each of you weigh in on the appropriateness — contractually and scientifically — of a Promotion and  Tenure Committee or an administrator to focus narrowly on ISQ results (student evaluations) and impose a threshold score for a particular item when making judgements of teaching?

Question answered by Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Kally and I thought we would answer that together. I really appreciate that, because it comes directly form the contract.

The Collective Bargaining agreement addresses criteria for demonstrating teaching effectiveness, and the process of applying for tenure and promotion. Article 20 addresses tenure:
“Judgments of academic excellence are complex. They cannot easily be reduced to a quantitative formula, nor can the considerations that must be applied in each individual case be completely described in general terms or by numbers alone, separate from necessary qualitative assessments.”

 

Article 20.5 is the section titled Criteria for Tenure and Basis for Tenure Decision.

This section includes the paragraph I just mentioned, and section D states that the tenure decision shall take into account annual assignments and annual performance evaluations, among other things.

 

Performance Evaluations are addressed in Article 18, and on teaching effectiveness. This article offers the most specific language about how faculty can demonstrate teaching effectiveness. And it is in Article 18 where ISQs are addressed specifically.

 

Article 18.2(d) University Required Student Evaluations.

“(1) The University required student Instructional Satisfaction Questionnaire (or ISQ) is one tool for evaluating teaching performance, and all the required ISQs must be included in the annual evaluation portfolio. However, the evaluation of a faculty member shall not be based solely or primarily on student evaluations if the faculty member has provided other information or evidence in support of his/her teaching performance.”

 

Article 18.4(a)1

“There are many approaches to and dimensions of pedagogical work. Thus, the evaluation of teaching performance shall consider the range of pedagogical activities engaged in by the faculty member.”

 

Another section in Article 18 offers 15 examples of pedagogical activities that can be used to evaluate teaching effectiveness, and ISQs are but one of the measures listed.

 

The Collective Bargaining agreement has language in Articles 18 and 20, as well as several promotion articles that outline the appropriate way to evaluate teaching effectiveness. The person asking the question also seeks scientific data supporting or challenging the use of student evaluations as the singular method of assessing teaching effectiveness. In the interest of brevity, I will not use this time to point to the several studies that are out there related to the usefulness of student evaluations. The best practices for evaluating faculty teaching are already addressed clearly within the collective bargaining agreement. And that is an agreement that is negotiated not just by UFF but also by the administration, and I was so happy that Provost Chally told us this morning that they are committed to following the contract, which we all must do, so we are happy to stand together in support of Articles 18, 20, and so many more.

 

Dr. Chally: It’s a multifaceted decision, and it’s really important that the individual make their case as to why they should be supported

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.