August 23, 2007
3:00 -5:00 P.M.
Reitz Union Grand Ballroom
The meeting was called to order at 3:03 PM
State of the University Address
Dr. Machen presented the State of the University Address:
Good Afternoon! It is good to begin another academic year and I welcome back those of
you who have had opportunities to get away. We ended up experiencing almost all of July
and August in Gainesville and I don't really recommend it! It feels good to have the
students enrolled and going to class. This year, our enrollment situation is more positive
than in past years.
When the data are finalized, we expect the size of the entering class to be about 6,700, which
is about the same as last year. It will be another exceptional class with characteristics even
more impressive than last year. We project 13% African Americans, 15% Hispanic, and 10%
Asian-Americans and 59% Caucasians. Another piece of good news is that our summer
credit hour production is 5% ahead of last year. You may recall this is part of the budget
cycle for the current year and impacts our state appropriation.
We are fortunate this year to have a first-rate student body president. Ryan Moseley has a
serious agenda and has already demonstrated his leadership skill. Student government was
and still is very helpful in our push to get tuition increases for academic enhancement.
I will talk more later about differential tuition but it is accurate to say it would not have
happened without Ryan and his colleagues. We continue to encourage students to take
"full" course loads of at least 15 semester hours per semester. It appears the average
undergraduate load this fall will be about 13.5 semester hours. This is up from several years
ago but one cannot graduate in 4 years taking this course load.
II. Shared Faculty Governance
Rick Yost and the Senate leadership has been working hard this summer and there are some
significant agenda items for the coming year.
I am proud of shared governance at UF. Though I don't always see issues the same as the
Senate, I applaud its commitment to making UF better and I am impressed with the effort
and dedication of our faculty leaders. It should be an interesting year!
The overall productivity of the faculty continues to set records. Last year, our faculty
received $583 M in new Research awards. This is 12.5% over last year.
A few of the many notable achievements are:
1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professorship to Dr. Lou Guillette (CLAS-
Zoology) for $1.1 million. This is the first HHMI professorship award at UF.
1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate science education grant. Dr.
Randy Duran received $1.1 M. This represents the first programmatic grant
received from the HHMI by UF.
2. Florida Center for Excellence grants: Drs. Wachsman/Ingram FISE: The
Energy Technology Incubator; and Drs. Dennis/Moudgil Center for
NanoBio Sensors. The total received was $8.5M. UF was the only university
to receive two centers.
3. State of Florida appropriation for IFAS $20M for the construction of a pilot
plant for the generation of cellulosic ethanol.
4. Ford Foundation Award: Drs. Vasquez and Williams (CLAS Religion and
Political Science). The total received was $450,000 for the study of Atlanta's
5. The Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) started operations in July 2007.
Our collaborations with the New Florida Research Entities (Scripps, Burnham, Torrey
Pines) is increasing as they realize the true quality of our research.
Our renovation and construction efforts continued this year. The Nanoscale Research
facility will be completed in January 2008.
The Biological Sciences Research facility is under construction. This week we broke ground
on the Steinbrenner Music Building which will be finished next March and occupied by the
School of Music next summer. Pugh Hall is coming along and will be occupied in
December and its classrooms will be used in the Spring 2007 semester.
We expect to obtain full funding this year for the Emerging Pathogens building and,
perhaps, the small animal hospital of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Also under
construction is the '41- i\[ Cancer Research Hospital. In total, UF has over $750 million in
facilities construction planned and funded.
It is obvious that facilities development continues at a fast pace of UF. There is always a list
of future needs but we seem to be able to make progress every year in the area of physical
In the area of fundraising, we have very positive news. The Faculty Challenge Initiative was
launched at this faculty meeting three years ago to provide new support for faculty and
We have raised $207 million in new funding. Our original goal was to raise $150 million in
five years. Happily, because of our success, I am folding this initiative into our new capital
We will continue raising funds for this important program but the specialized focus of
reporting results will not continue. I will be announcing some new special initiatives later
The final figures are not in but our University endowment now stands at $1.22 billion. That
is an increase in the last four years of almost 110%. It is the result of new funds from
fundraising, the state matching-gifts program, and the success of our own endowment
investment company (UFICO).
This was the second year in a seven-year fundraising effort which will officially kick off
By kickoff, we will already have raised $500M towards the goal of $1.2 billion. This will help
us achieve our academic goals.
As we look ahead to this academic year, the overriding issue is our budget and the financial
picture in general. I will outline where we are today and how we anticipate managing
through this year. The state budget approved in May, contained no tuition increase for
undergraduates and no funding for faculty and staff raises.
Each faculty and staff member will receive a non-recurring $1000 payment in November and
will see no increase in health care premiums. There was no additional support for Florida
Opportunity Scholars or other UF initiatives.
In June we were notified there is a 4% reduction to this already extremely lean budget. Next
month the Legislature is meeting to determine what else can or should be done.
To manage this situation we implanted a faculty and staff hiring freeze, have recently
established a cost-reduction and efficiency task force and distributed to all units "target"
base budget reductions.
The target is to achieve a reduction in our recurring budget of $30-34 million. Only 25% of
the reductions were assigned to the academic units and libraries. 75% was assigned to
administrative, academic support and auxiliary units. CLAS received a smaller target than
other colleges due to the ongoing effort to balance their budget.
We are looking for additional sources of funds to bridge until the cutbacks take effect.
Amidst this bleak scenario, I want you to know about five positive actions we are taking.
1. Faculty promotion raises are funded as well as the SPP awards for this year.
These are recurring commitments even though no new funding was available.
2. We are committed to taking a new class of Florida Opportunity Scholars and
fully-funding it with University funds. We expect over 400 new students to
benefit from this program.
3. We are fully-funding Gator Grad Care, the enhanced graduate student health
plan and added $1M to the Alumni Fellows Program. There are no reductions in
graduate student funding.
4. The Legislature gave just UF a $5 million appropriation to continue funding
world-class scholars. If we can identify the remaining needed resources, we will
be able to continue this focused, highly successful program.
5. The Legislature gave just UF some funds to begin the academic enhancement
program. This is the initiative for which the undergraduate differential tuition is
going to be used. However, that program won't start officially until 2008 when
we begin charging differential tuition.
This year we have funds to begin immediate recruitment of 5 faculty in high-demand
disciplines and we will begin recruitment on an additional 10 faculty after consultation with
deans and student government.
The provost has identified the following departments that will immediately receive 1 new
tenure/tenure track fte:
Botany, Chemistry, English, Psychology, and Applied Physiology and Kinesiology.
The additional 10 faculty positions will be allocated this semester.
In addition, 8 new academic advisors will be hired. It is a small, but significant beginning to
a program to enhance our undergraduate education programs.
Well, that is where we are financially at the University of Florida in 2007.
I think we are positioned to continue moving forward academically but we all recognize
these are difficult times. I will be reviewing with the Senate my priorities for the year.
Unquestionably, the number one priority is securing base compensation increases for Faculty
We have seen the new US News rankings and I have already commented about them in the
press. They are what they are. People do look at them but they do not capture the total UF
academic experience. It is important for us to focus on the good things happening at UF.
This afternoon we will be posting the results of our third Faculty Survey. The response rate
for this year's survey is the highest we have had at 55%. As in past years, the results of the
survey reveal areas of progress and other areas needing attention.
The results from this year indicate progress in eight of the 15 categories; Benefits, Working
Relationships, University Image, Strategy & Direction, Recognition & Reward, Engagement,
Career Development, and Resources and Efficiency.
The most significant area of reported improvement is in the area of Benefits.
The increase in satisfaction with Benefits can be linked to a combination of improved
administration and communication regarding our plans as well as new offerings.
Two areas remained at the same reported levels as they did in the last survey: Faculty
Administration Relations and Quality of Life.
In addition, the results show a decline in the areas of Diversity, Communication,
Empowerment, Leadership and Reaction to the Survey. These areas demand additional
attention from me and our entire community.
With the results of three surveys, we have included this year a comparison across all three
I am pleased to report that the survey results indicate improvements in 14 of the 15
categories from the first survey in 2004. Although these results are encouraging, we must
recognize that there is much work to do especially as we enter into a most challenging
chapter in the life of the university.
I want to encourage all of you to review the results of this year's survey and reflect upon the
reported changes over the past several years. We need to celebrate our successes and
identify strategies that will allow us to improve in all areas identified in the survey.
Joining UF are three new Senior Administrators:
Ms. Judith Russell
Dean of Libraries
Prof. Hank Frierson
Dean of the Graduate School & Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Prof. Daniel Wubah
Associate Provost, Undergraduate Affairs
I am excited about the year ahead. We have a lot going on. We are doing wonderful things
in service to the people of the state & nation, and the world.
We need to keep it up because we are living in very difficult times. The world can use some
help right now! Thank you for being a part of the University of Florida.