Faculty survey
 National rankings
 Shared faculty governance

Group Title: State of the University of Florida
Title: State of the University. August 25, 2005
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076699/00002
 Material Information
Title: State of the University. August 25, 2005
Series Title: State of the University
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida. Office of the President.
Publisher: University of Florida
Publication Date: August 25, 2005
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00076699
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Faculty survey
        Page 5
    National rankings
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Shared faculty governance
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
Full Text

State of the University

August, 25, 2005

It is very enjoyable to see the new students enrolled and going to classes. If it

looks more crowded than last year, that's because it is. In spite of our

enrollment management system, there are about 400 more freshmen enrolled

than this time last year. We didn't really want this to happen and it will require

a coordinated effort by many to ensure they are fully incorporated into the

system and get the educational opportunities they deserve. Final enrollment

numbers will be forthcoming in several weeks and I will report back to you.

One piece of good news is that our credit hour production is on-budget or

ahead of budget so far this year. Last year UF finished about $2 million under

its budgeted credit hour production.

An area of real concern in our undergraduate enrollment is the number of

minority students. While the number of Hispanic students in the entering class

increased by 17% (150), the number of African-Americans decreased by 8%

(60). This trend also occurred at the majority of the state's public universities

and, as noted by Governor Bush, it is a statewide problem.

Here at UF we are going to address this in several ways. One, our recruitment

efforts will be expanded with more statewide coverage in an attempt to "sell"


Second, I am announcing today a new scholarship program at the University of

Florida. It will be entitled "Florida Opportunity Scholarships" and will target

students on the basis of economic need and on students who are the first in

their family to attend a 4-year college. The University will initially allocate $1

million and we will seek to raise additional private funds to supplement the

effort. I hope this will become a statewide program and would like to see the

Legislature help fund it. We believe there are significant numbers of students

who can be admitted to UF but who either don't apply or don't enroll because of

the costs associated with attending college away from home. These students

currently either don't go to college or go to a local community college. We

want them at the University of Florida!


In the area of fundraising, I have some positive information to share with you.

This last fiscal year we raised $42 million for the Faculty Challenge. This is

distributed as $16 million in faculty support, $7 million in graduate student

support, and $19 million in research support. Our goal is $150 million and we

will keep at it until we get there.

Last year UF's new endowment investment company (UFICO) grew our

endowment by 9.5% and, combined with new monies, the overall endowment

grew to $836 million. In addition to this growth we distributed $24 million to

endowment spending accounts. This is very important for the University and

our next benchmark is to get to the $1 billion mark.

For this to occur we must continue to increase our fundraising totals. I have

emphasized to the deans and development staff that we must do more and to

assist in the effort we are looking into adding fundraising staff at the college



The overall productivity of the faculty continues to set records. Last year, our

faculty received $493 million in new research awards. This is an amazing

accomplishment! With new research space coming on-line this year the future

looks very good, indeed!

This coming year you will see the launch of the University of Florida Water

Institute. This is a case study for our faculty. The concept emerged from a

group of faculty already doing research in this vital area. We funded this effort

with $1.2 million in start-up funds because it has an interdisciplinary focus,

addresses one of the state's major problems, and has the potential to receive

additional financial support. A $1.8 million endowed chair is dedicated to the

position of Institute Director and several other endowment supports are in the


I consider this a great example of a faculty-driven, strategic initiative. This is

how the University of Florida will move forward to capitalize on our unique

and strategic advantage from which is the large accumulation of academic

disciplines in one location, on one campus.

We will be examining other opportunities in the coming year and I hope we use

the Water Institute as a model.

Faculty Survey

Today we are posting the results of the 2005 Faculty Survey. They can be

accessed through either the President's Home Page or the Human Resources

Home Page. Kyle Cavanaugh will be distributing college results to the deans.

Remember, the survey is exactly the same as the one distributed last year.

Results are encouraging but there is still plenty of room for improvement. Here

are a few select findings:

------the response rate was 45% with 1784 surveys returned

------faculty confidence in the senior administration increased significantly.

In terms of fairness, treating faculty with respect, core values, decision-making

in strategic areas, improved working environment, and climate of acceptance.

------even the attitude towards benefits showed slight improvement in spite

of the problems we had with health coverage last year.

For sure, we have many areas in need of attention. Frankly, I did not expect

any positive movement this year. The Survey was administered before we

announced the salary program and the VP for Human Resources, Kyle

Cavanaugh, had not begun working at UF.

So, I am satisfied with where we are today while I know we have much to do in

the years ahead.

National Rankings

Perhaps you saw the publication of the annual rankings last week. UF remains

in the same position as last year. While it is easy to make too much of them, I

am again struck by the one -- and only one -- area where we clearly don't fit

with the other top universities. That is in the area of "faculty resources." UF

ranks #120. Further, our faculty/student ratio is by far the highest of the top 50

institutions. So, it is no mystery what our problem is and it is equally clear

what has to be done. Compared to our peers UF operates annually with about

$200 million less. That's a big hardship and it highlights just how good we are

in the other measures of quality. We need $80 million to hire 500 additional

full-time faculty. We need $35 million to raise faculty salaries to the level of

our peers. And, we need $10 million for additional student support staff. It's

so simple and yet so difficult. Beginning the process of raising these funds

will be one of the top legislative priorities this year.


You will soon be seeing a new marketing-communications campaign designed

to highlight the accomplishments and successes of UF, its faculty, students, and

alumni. This effort began in the Spring with research, as our consultants met

with over 100 persons on campus, including many faculty members. The

information from this research forms the basis of our new communications

campaign. It pays tribute to UF students, faculty and alumni who develop a

lifelong commitment to the University. And, it acknowledges that these Gators

consider themselves part of a larger network of people who define by example

how a public research university can best serve the global community.

These students, faculty, staff and alumni are members of the Gator Nation. The

theme of the communications campaign is: The University of Florida:

Foundation for the Gator Nation. It celebrates that unique bond enjoyed by

Gators everywhere.

Traditionally, the Gator Nation has been associated with athletics. We intend

to make it much more than that. It encompasses all who have used their UF

experience to accomplish great things. And it recognizes the faculty -- the

classes you teach, the research you conduct, the patient care and extension

services you provide, and the cultural opportunities you create.

Initially, the campaign will include print advertisements, television spots, on-

campus banners, and direct mail. Also, there will be a public relations

campaign that will focus media attention on the accomplishments of faculty.

More information is forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

Shared Faculty Governance

Kim Tanzer has a busy agenda this year and I am fully supportive of the

initiatives she will undertake. In particular, I will participate in helping ensure

that shared faculty governance is working at the college level. We have a joint

task force that will look at the principles needed to enact shared governance in

the units. This is the logical next step for shared faculty governance at UF.

Tony Brennan and Gene Larson have agreed to share leadership of the task

force. Members have been identified and list can be found on the faculty

senate website.

Among the other priorities for this year I want to mention the concern we have

over binge or excessive drinking and underage drinking in our community. We

have been working on this for several months and the Alcohol Steering

Committee met this past Monday. This issue affects all of us and I hope you

will support our efforts. In particular, I encourage the students and student

organizations to get behind this effort.


Next to hurricanes, the one item from last year that has caused concern across

most of the University is our implementation of a new software system for

financial, human resources and contracts and grants management. Progress

was made last year and many units are using the systems well. However, there

remains a significant amount to be done to achieve full implementation and I

have asked for additional administrative leadership to get this done.

Accordingly, each of the senior vice presidents will assume oversight for one

of the Peoplesoft components. They will work in-tandem with other vice

presidents in attempting to identify and solve the remaining implementation


Janie Fouke will work with Kyle Cavanaugh on the HR system.

Jimmy Cheek will work with Ed Poppell on the accounting system and Doug

Barrett will work with Win Phillips on the contracts and grants system.

We want to get this done as soon as possible and I trust they can call on you for

input and support.

In Conclusion:

All of the initiatives I have discussed this afternoon have one common theme:

collaboration between the administration and faculty to advance the University

of Florida. Whether boosting minority enrollment, envisioning the next Water

Institute, persuading the legislature to provide additional resources or

broadcasting our accomplishments to the world, we are always more successful

acting together as partners.

Your involvement I the Faculty Senate is important. I commend you for

devoting your valuable time to it, and I look forward to working with you in the

coming year.

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