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.

Faculty Salary Compression task force

Questioner Anonymous

Question Posed to President Szymanski

Would the president please share why [he] has not honored his commitment to convene a Task Force to study and recommend solutions to address faculty salary compression and inversion (known as C&I). The president promised to do so. UNF salaries are already the lowest in the state and C&I affects hiring and retention.

Answer from the floor by Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs, on behalf of the Presidents office

The President has told me this morning that he is not sure where that group currently is; as far as he is concerned, it’s still on the table, and he anticipates that it will move forward.

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.”

Teaching, Research, and Service in Annual Evaluations

January 10, 2019

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Pamela Chally, Provost

Why are Department Chairs not including a faculty member’s proportional assignment in teaching, research and service with their annual evaluations? The union contract requires it, common sense suggests it, and theory and practice recommends it. The university risks grievances for failing to include this information in annual evaluations. Failure to include such information could also be grounds for appeal in tenure cases. Chairs included this information in the past. Anecdotal evidence indicates few are doing so now. Why are chairs not providing this essential information to faculty? Please do so going forward.

Answer from the Floor by Provost Chally: 

If Department Chairs are not being provided information, the Provost Office will provide the information.

Pay for Former Administrators

Questioner: Anonymous

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

At the last FA meeting (September 2018), an anonymous questioner asked why the university pays former administrators at the same rate of pay even after they have stepped down or been pushed down from administrative roles—a policy that creates golden parachutes, grossly differential pay for the same work within a department, and costs the university hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Provost Chally’s answer, that “That has been a current policy that has been in effect for a large number of years” does not answer the question. I would appreciate an answer that includes a justifiable rationale for continuing a policy that Folio Weekly called a “demotion bonus.”

Response from the Floor by Provost Chally

There are two parts that need to be included in the answer. UNF has maintained the belief that individuals that are Associate Deans or Chairs are in roles that are difficult. These individuals have to manage faculty, often large number of faculty, and manage other duties that are quite challenging. The Policy that was referenced in the previous question is the policy that was established so that Chairs and Associate Deans that serve a given amount of time are able to maintain a portion of that stipend.

The second part of the question pertains to individual administrators who have negotiated strong parachutes when they returned to faculty. Interim Provost Chally stated that she was not a part of discussions that took place when previous administrators left their positions and therefore cannot comment further.

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.

Email to COAS Faculty Members

Questioner: Anonymous

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

On September 23, Dean Rainbolt sent an urgent e-mail to all COAS faculty saying:

“As some of you may have heard from your chair, the University has asked all units across campus to temporarily reallocate resources to support student scholarships. ”

and after asking for suggestions states:

“I will make the decisions regarding which funds will provide the temporary reallocation.”

Did the university in fact, ask colleges to make such a reallocation? As an underpaid, under supported COAS faculty member, I do not see how we can continue to serve our students with fewer and fewer resources. Does the administration not recognize this?

Response from the Floor by Provost Chally

Provost Chally stated that colleges look at their budgets to identify monies that could be used for student scholarships. Provost Chally stated that Academic Affairs would not ask departments to cut critical funds.

CBL Carnegie standards

Questioner: Anonymous

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

At a recent meeting discussing the Carnegie standards for community engaged research, the LARGE discrepancy between the CBA’s interpretation of scholarship and what is put forth for consideration for P&T committees by CCBL regarding community engaged research was discussed.  The UFF President noted that, if a faculty member were to not be promoted and/or receive tenure due to a perceived lack of scholarship despite engaging in high quality and quantity community-engaged scholarship as defined by Carnegie, this would not be a grievable incident. Is this true? If it is, what can be done? And isn’t exploitative of the university to seek out Carnegie status, say they value community-engaged scholarship of this nature, and then not give credit to community scholars for their work?

Response from the Floor by Provost Chally

Provost Chally stated that she knew that the contract stated that community based research and teaching will be considered, recognized, and valued. To her, that meant that it will be considered as part of the tenure and promotion decision.

Harsh Faculty Evaluations

Questioner: Anonymous

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

Weren’t chairs directed by Provost Traynham and you to evaluate faculty more harshly. Specifically, weren’t chairs to to give more accurate annual ratings, because they were rating faculty too positively?

Response from the floor by Provost Chally

Regarding evaluating individuals more harshly, we encourage our evaluations to be accurate. They do not need to be high — they do not need to be low — they just need to be accurate.