candidate search through zoom

Written Question

Now that we have realized the cost savings of conducting searches with Zoom rather than having candidates on campus (involving costs of time and money), can we use Zoom as our future model for searches?

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

Dr. Patterson answered in advance that Zoom is a good resource but noted that face-to-face meetings are essential as part of such huge decisions and they allow faculty and prospective hires to make good choices. Costs should be considered, but the intangibles aren’t always accessible via Zoom.

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.

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.

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

Instructor Positions in Coggin College of Business

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Mark C. Dawkins, Dean of Coggin College of Business

The Dean of the Coggin College of Business recently attempted to convert two instructor positions to two tenure track assistant professor positions — without allowing faculty to conduct searches for the two assistant professor positions. Thankfully UFF and Academic Affairs stepped in to stop his efforts. This represents yet another decision by the Dean of the College of Business to lower academic standards at UNF. [Is this a lowering of standards by Dean Dawkins?]  Since arriving the Dean has made other decisions that lowered academic standards including lowering admission standards in the MBA program (UNF’s largest graduate program). My question is to the Dean of the Coggin College of Business – why are you making decisions that lower academic standards? UNF aspires to maintain high academic standards. Successful deans work to increase academic standards in the colleges they serve – not lower them.

Response by Dean Dawkins: 

I disagree that CCB has made decisions that lower academic standards, and note that admission standards in the MBA program (and changes therein) are approved by CCB faculty.

Ballots and Ranking for Job Candidates

Question from the Floor by Pali Sen:

It came to my attention that ballots were being used for committee decisions on chair, associate dean and dean searches. If they have three candidates A, B, & C, the voting instruction says to vote for each candidate, as acceptable or not, instead of ranking the candidates. Ranking data is supported by the statistical procedures and is accepted for a standard decision but yes or no on each candidate for the same position does not support any statistical practice. Can you please find out about the validity of the ballots before the university is being accused of unfair practice?

Response from Provost Chally: 

Thank you for your questions, Pali.  The process depends on the objective.  If the hiring officer wants to know who is acceptable, then indicating yes or no answers the question.  If the hiring officer is asking who is deemed superior,  a ranking procedure would be appropriate.

Hiring of Chair in Mathematics and Statistics

Questioner: Anonymous

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

The new Dean of COAS came in with a budget for an outside chair search in the department of Math & Stat and formed a search committee with a chair from a different department, four Math & Stat faculty, and a couple of others. Some Math & Stat senior faculty offered to serve on the committee but were told no. The search committee identified two good prospective candidates and were favored by most in the department survey, but the COAS dean offered the position to neither one and announced an internal search for a permanent chair. An internal interim chair was not considered acceptable last year, and last August the department was assigned a faculty member from a different department as an interim chair. Can you please explain how the sources of discord in the department have disappeared when dispirited faculty feel otherwise?

Response by Provost Chally: 

I am not sure that I understand the question posed in the last sentence.  However, the decision to do an external search for the Chair of Mathematics and Statistics was made by the Interim Dean Dan Moon in consultation with Provost Earle Traynham. Dean George Rainbolt selected the interim chair. After he arrived, Dean Rainbolt met individually with each member of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and attended multiple Department meetings. The search committee, of which a majority were Mathematics and Statistics faculty, was composed to reflect the many units at UNF who have a stake in mathematics and statistics. He also met with the external candidates and reviewed their application materials. After these meetings with the faculty and this review of the external candidates, Dean Rainbolt came to the conclusion that there were multiple good internal candidates to be chair of the Department and that neither of the outside candidates was a good fit. Therefore, he closed the external search, opened an internal search, and requested that the budget for an external chair be converted to funds for an additional instructor. I agreed with Dean Rainbolt’s view of the situation and granted his request. The standard procedures for internal searches were followed and Dr. Richard Patterson was selected as chair. Although issues remain, the Department seems to be on the right path.