Research Productivity at UNF

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: David S. Szymanski, UNF President

Under the past administration research productivity at UNF dropped precipitously. As revealed by the Faculty Union, revenues from grants and contracts – a key indicator of research – dropped from 28% of revenues to 6% of revenues leaving UNF ranked last among all other Florida schools. This decline has affected research productivity and also resulted in the loss of tens of millions of dollars in annual revenues that could have supported faculty, students, and staff. Remarkably, according to a Times Union story, this was part of an “intentional” strategy on the part of the past administration. The new president and the BOT have rightfully chosen to put UNF back on track. UNF’s current president is quoted as saying he expects to “grow UNF’s research offerings and reputation.” Moreover, the Board of Trustee’s (BOT) new strategic plan calls for UNF to “attract, support, and reward talented faculty and staff who promote student success through research, inquiry, the creative process, and the application of knowledge.” As a long-standing research oriented member of the faculty, I applaud the new president’s and BOT’s recognition of the importance and role of research at a major university like UNF. Question to the President: going forward what plans does the president have to “grow UNF’s research offerings” and its “research” reputation. Many current administrators, wedded to the past, have shown little initiative to grow UNF’s research offerings and to increase UNF’s research reputation. Question to the BOT: Going forward, what plans does the BOT have to “attract, support, and reward talented faculty and staff who promote student success through research, inquiry, the creative process, and the application of knowledge.” Under the BOT, faculty salaries necessary to attract research oriented faculty to UNF have fallen to the lowest level in the state.

Response from the Floor by President Szymanski

We have taken the first step in the Leadership Awards. These awards will be provided to faculty who are excellent in teaching and in their research efforts.

Board of Trustees Bargaining Representative

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: David S. Szymanski, UNF President

Can we please know how much UNF paid Leonard Carson each of the past two years?

 

Response from the Floor by Vice President Shari Shuman:
In fiscal year 2017, we paid our Chief Negotiator $54000, in 2018 fiscal year, we paid $124000, and this year, we have paid $4200 so far. If we did not pay our Chief Negotiator in this way, we would be paying more for a full-time staff member to support the negotiation needs of the university administration.

 

Administrative Stipends

Questioner: Anonymous

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

Why are administrators that return to the faculty after completion of their term continuing to be paid their administrative stipend? These administrators are no longer performing administrative services. Is it true that these “excess” payments amount to over $100,000 annually (the union says it more like $400,000)? At the completion of their professorships, faculty are not permitted to keep their stipends. The argument that individuals would not take on administrative roles unless they were allowed to keep their salary stipends is not credible (according to the union and a recent Folio Weekly article no other university in Florida has such a provision in their contract).

 

Response from the Floor by Provost Chally

That has been a current policy that has been in effect for a large number of years.

Trip Spending by University President

December 1, 2016

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: John Delaney, President, University of North Florida

This past summer the President made trips to visit honors colleges and art museums with many of the Vice Presidents, the costs of which are a concern when academic resources are dwindling. Could the president please tell us how many trips were taken and how many individuals went on each?

Response: 

First, I will say that my personal travel is very limited. Unlike most Presidents, I have done no university travel abroad, and very little university travel out of state over the past 14 years. I believe and have long stated that the money is better spent to support faculty travel rather than my own. Nearly all of my travel is related to Tallahassee and the Board of Governors in-state and is nearly all done by car vs. flying.

Secondly, the total cost for the four trips mentioned is about $8800 in university money and about $7400 in private Foundation money. Five people went on three of the trips and six went on the remaining trip. Thus those costs are essentially split among 21 people. Two of the trips were day trips with the parties going out and back the same day. One of the day trips was by automobile and did not involve a commercial flight. Either the Provost or I did the driving! A Foundation member went on three of the four trips and personally covered her own expenses. On one of the trips, this Foundation member bought dinner for the entire group.

Increase in Awarded Presidential Scholarships

October 13, 2016

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: John Delaney, President, University of North Florida

 

In the e-mail you sent to faculty on 9/22, you noted the large number of Presidential scholarships awarded to UNF students. While this is certainly great, I am wondering if we can get (a) an accounting of how much is being spent on these scholarships and where the money comes from and (b) why the UNF endowment seems to not have increased substantially in many years.
Response from the Floor by Vice President Shari Shuman:

There were three parts of the question. The first part was about the number of Presidential Scholarships. That information will need to come from Enrollment Services. The second part of the question relates to from where are the Presidential Scholarships are paid. Presidential Merit Scholarships are paid for through the regular E&G (Education and General Funds) budget. The UNF Foundation also provides many merit-based scholarships for students from the UNF Foundation budget. The third part of the question is about the Foundation and its endowment. In 2008, it was about $100 million dollars. After the economic crash in 2008, the endowment reduced to about $70 million. Currently, the endowment is up to about $90 million dollars. In 2003, the endowment was around $50 million. There have been some declines, but other than the dramatic drop in 2008, the endowment was on an increasing trend.

Electronic P&T Dossier Software

April 7, 2016

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: John Delaney, President, University of North Florida and Earle Traynham, Provost & Vice President, Academic Affairs

Given the budget issues discussed in President Delaney’s message from the President on February 29th, is the administration/UNF Faculty Association still considering the electronic P&T dossier software, which has an estimated recurring cost of $25,000 per year?

Response: 

Dear Chairs,

We will not be able to purchase and implement any electronic P&T software for this next cycle. Earlier in the year, I was hopeful that it might be possible to select, purchase and implement an electronic dossier system for this fall. However, it has not worked out. First, the ITN process took longer than expected. The task force did an excellent job of reviewing and evaluating the available alternatives, and has recently made their recommendation. They also negotiated a “Best Final Offer” from the vendor. However, there is not adequate time to ask everyone one who plans to go up for promotion and/or tenure this fall to adopt the e-dossier software, even if we had it today. Given the tight budget situation facing the university for this next year, it is also unclear if we should make this investment at this time. For these reasons, it is best to continue with our traditional dossier process relying on binders.

We are continuing to investigate the possibility of purchasing the electronic P&T software, with the hope of implementing it in the future. I would appreciate it if you would inform anyone in your department who might be preparing their dossier for P&T to proceed with the traditional process.

Thanks for your help with this.
Earle