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Thursday, February 8, 1996
282 Reitz Union
I. APPROVE MINUTES of January 11, 1996, University Senate Meeting
I. ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORTSS:
A. President's Report
B. Provost's Report
C. Vice Provost's Report Performance-Based Budgeting
m. ACTION ITEM(S):
A. Jack Ohanian, chair, Honorary Degree Committee
Nomination of the Committee
IV. CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT/PROVOST: If time permits, there will be a
three-minute interactive dialogue between Senators and the President, Provost or other
administrators. Ask anything! Rules: One question, with follow-up. Dialogue limited to
one minute for the question and three minutes for the response.
Meeting of the University Senate
January 11, 1996
The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m.
The minutes of the December 7, 1995 meeting were approved as submitted.
PRESIDENT'S REPORT: The President discussed the football team's performance in the
Fiesta Bowl, praising the players and coaches for a spectacular season. The 12-1 record sets a
new standard for UF football and the President is confident in the continued success of the
The President discussed the redesigned Proposal for Degree Funding. A draft of the proposal
was recently distributed to various faculty, staff and student groups on campus. Extra copies of
the proposal were available at the Senate meeting. The President explained that several changes
have been made to the proposal, including the utilization of a sliding scale for state subsidized
tuition. If approved by the Legislature and the Board of Regents (B.O.R.) the program would
begin in Fall 1996 but the new tuition policies would not affect those who were enrolled before
that time. The President feels that the proposal successfully focuses attention on how many credit
hours students take to get to their degree rather than on the funding of the university. The
President encouraged the members of the Senate to review the proposal and advise the
administration of any comments, questions or suggestions.
The President discussed the upcoming Legislative session, indicating that it will be similar to the
last in that many of the same issues will be argued. The President feels that the state budget may
be affected by several things, including the problems with the federal budget and Florida's surplus
prison beds. Other topics that will be discussed at the upcoming session will include marginal
funding of new credit hours, research and productivity measurements, administrative costs
specific to service, and structural issues in relation to the B.O.R.
PROVOST'S REPORT: The Provost explained that UF will not have a budgetary recall this
year and that funds set aside by individual colleges in anticipation of a recall may now be spent.
However, there continues to be talk about the possibility of a three-percent cut in the state budget
for next year.
The Provost indicated that Karen Holbrook, Vice President for Research and Dean of the
Graduate School, has been working with UF investigators who have been affected by the
government's inability to agree on a budget. The Provost indicated that Dr. Holbrook would be
available after the meeting to address questions or concerns about this issue.
The Provost reports there are dean searches currently going on in the College of Pharmacy, the
College of Law and the College of Veterinary Medicine. The pharmacy search committee has
begun the second round of interviews and have narrowed their list to three candidates. The law
search committee recently began the interviewing process. The search for a new dean for the
College of Veterinary Medicine will begin in the near future. Also, the search for a new director
for UF's Center for Latin American Studies has begun.
The Provost mentioned a recent article in the New York Times which discussed the University of
Florida's quality and competitiveness. The Provost is pleased with the article and indicated that it
was the best coverage of the university he has seen in the New York Times since he and the
President came to UF.
The Provost reports that President Lombardi recently gave a speech at a monthly breakfast
meeting with community leaders and UF faculty in which he discussed the importance of
balancing research with teaching. The Provost feels that there is far more interest in teaching at
UF now than there was fiie or six years ago, and as interest in teaching is encouraged and
stimulated, it is important;not to forget how valuable research is to the university.
The Provost announced that he will be attending a Council of Academic Vice Presidents meeting
later in the month. The council will be discussing ways to effectively describe and evaluate
research in an effort to communicate to the Legislature the importance of research to the state.
The Provost feels that this will be an important issue in the coming months and hopes that many
individuals and groups on campus will participate in the discussion.
ACTION ITEM(S): None.
INFORMATION ITEM(S): Carl Barfield, chair of the Professorial Excellence Program
(P.E.P.) task force discussed the proposed Post-Professor Review. The proposed program would
be in addition to the T.I.P. awards and was designed to provide additional incentives for
high-levels of productivity. A memo detailing the proposal was circulated to all campus deans
and directors. Senators are encouraged to forward comments and suggestions concerning the
proposal to the P.E.P. task force.
Three members of the Distance Learning task force discussed distance learning technology and its
potential at the University of Florida. Jimmy Cheek gave a general overview of the program and
focused on assumptions in distance learning. Warren Viessman discussed infrastructure and Jim
Knight reported on funding. Copies of the complete task force report are available to Senate
members or other interested persons.
Gerardo Gonzalez, chair of the Senate Nominating Committee, delivered a call for nominations.
A nomination form has been distributed to all faculty; interested faculty and staff are encouraged
to nominate themselves and others to facilitate a balanced representation on all committees.
David Bloomquist, vice-chair of the Senate Steering Committee, reported that on December 1,
1995, he and Elizabeth Bolton attended a meeting of the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates
(ACFS) in Tallahassee. The ACFS is composed of representative from each of the SUS
institutions who help direct input from the faculty to the Chancellor of the B.O.R. Dr.
Bloomquist discussed several issues on the ACFS agenda and indicated that the next meeting will
be held on February 16.
CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT/PROVOST:
Senator: At the five universities I've been at, this is the only one where the faculty are considered
general public for all university-related events. Our ID card should be good for something more
than checking books out of the library.
President: I'm not sure if it is general public for everything. Aren't football tickets slightly
different for faculty and staff?
President: If you want me to bring it up, I'll bring it up but what it does is reduce revenue so that
if faculty and staff receive discounts at the Center for the Performing Arts, it will just come out of
the Provost's budget. It's pretty straight forward. The money will come out of the departmental
budget in the end so it's a zero-sum gain. Athletic events are a different issue. Athletic events are
a different budget. You could certainly ask for discounted tickets to athletic events and that
would be an interesting conversation. We have a faculty committee that looks at intercollegiate
athletics and we have a board that sets the policies on tickets and prices. Anybody in the faculty
who has a plan for improving the way in which tickets are distributed or paid for or discount
policies --we do have a mechanism for capturing those suggestions and trying to deal with them.
Our experience is that the range of people for whom a case can be made that they should have a
discount is rather large. It's tough to decide exactly who deserves a discount. If we say faculty
deserve a discount, then we must include staff and then by extension all members of the SUS. If
all SUS employees get a discount and we are all state employees, then all state employees should
also get the discount because as it stands all state employees are entitled to a waiver for the first
six hours of undergraduate tuition. That is usually what happens to that conversation, but there is
no reason not to try it again.
Provost: Just to underscore Dr. Lombardi's point, the director of the Samuel P. Ham Museum of
Art reports to me. I'm responsible for his budget and if he has a decrease in revenues generated
from admissions, then I will take money off the top of all the colleges to replace that decrease in
President: It is a subsidy for those things. But as far as the athletic enterprise discounts to
faculty--it's simply a substitute for making the transfer to the university for subsidy. I don't know
what kind of discount you would be talking about, but it's worth the conversation and if you have
an idea from your other universities as to what a reasonable faculty discount might look like,
there's no reason not to write it up and send it to the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee. I'm not
trying to tell you not to do it -- I'm just trying to tell you the sorts of things you want to think
about before you submit it so you can provide some rationale that would lead you through that
particular thicket so at least you get halfway down the trail before something happens!
Senator: My question has to do with the campus bookstore. Those of us who go there once and
awhile are a bit appalled by the lack of depth in the book section. It seems to be a very thin
operation. Also, the staff do not seem to know about our most famous professors. For example,
trying to buy a book of pictures by Jerry Uelsmann and they have never heard of the guy.
Somehow, it seems to me there ought to be a way to promote these kinds of people at our
university. If you go to Johns Hopkins University, for example, you have more depth in the
bookstore in many areas.
President: Johns Hopkins'sold their bookstore to Barnes and Noble. It is a private bookstore that
rents space on campus. Ithas been a private bookstore for at least the last twelve years, so it's not
actually a campus bookstore. It's not really comparable. Many universities have done that. I'm
not going to defend whether our bookstore staff know who is famous or not, which is a different
issue, but the campus bookstore has a slightly different mission. It has a peculiar function in this
town because campus bookstores of that kind are the bookstore of last resort. That is, they carry a
host of books and publications that are required for classes in too small quantities to be viable to
the commercial bookstores that surround campus. There is a sub-set of material that they carry
that nobody else will carry because there is no profit in carrying it. The books that have very
high volume and that have very high profit return are carried by the surrounding bookstores.
That doesn't excuse the help of being uninformed, but it is important to recognize that the role of
the campus bookstore is not to be the center of culture but rather to be the bookstore for the
student who needs a book that is required. They can find it there.
Provost: And Gator memorabilia!
President: That's where the profit margin is that pays for the rest of it.
Senator: There was a comment during the distance learning presentation that "Although it may
be dramatic, we have to do it." I'm just curious as to why we have to do it.
President: We don't have to do it. This is a voluntary enterprise. It is part of our state university
system mission to explore the opportunities for distance education where it is appropriate, where
it provides a good educational outcome and where it is financially viable. No faculty member is
required to do distance education nor any particular subject matter required but we know from
discussion with our faculty that many people want to participate in distance education and this
committee was designed to figure out how to support those initiatives and entrepreneurial
activities and how to fund them.
Provost: We're already doing a huge amount of distance education so it's not as if we weren't
doing it and now we are going to start it. We're already doing it.
Senator: I hope that in our discussion of distance learning we generate a general agreement that it
is in the interest of increasing the number of students who are customers, not decreasing the
faculty involved or replacing them with communication technology.
President: Distance education is designed to increase two things. One is our ability to reach new
customers. Two is to create opportunities for faculty to expand either their income or their reach
or both, but not to reduce faculty on campus. That is not the goal of distance education. It is an
incremental activity not a decremental activity to what takes place here.
Provost: If you teach televised classes in the College of Business Administration you get a
reduced teaching load which has the effect of increasing the faculty size.
Senator: This conversation about service concerns us greatly in the College of Education and I
think the other colleges as well. For example, there is legislation that requires this university to
provide services while at the same time we have this movement in the legislature to reduce
funding. When there is a cut in service funding from the state it seems to be across the board. If
we are in the business of providing service and the cut is 50% you lose 50% regardless of the
mission of the particular unit. If it continues that way, I think we in education, agriculture and
other areas are going to be caught in a situation where we are committed to service as a legitimate
part of our mission, yet there is no funding for that service. Is that conversation being extended?
President: Yes. The conversation that involves the parts of service that are either mandated by
law or which are a specific part of a college's mission and can be defined and evaluated and so
forth --that's probably not going to be at risk in the end. What is at real risk is that we have taken
all of these activities and lumped them in the generic category of service and not distinguished
between what is involved in going to a conference and participating in a national symposium with
what is providing specific mission-oriented service. Because some of the things that are in
service have no evaluatory output, there is no way to know whether what is done is productive.
For example, you serve on a committee of ten people and of those ten, three of them work and
seven of them show up for the final report. In the process of calibrating that effort there is no
distinction made between individuals. There is no evaluation, no follow up and no way to know
what kind of service there is or what purpose it served. Therefore the hostility to service as a
category is a function of that kind of service and its lack of evaluation and output rather than the
other kind of service which is mission-oriented and mission-directed.
What we are probably going to end up doing is taking the service category and dividing it into
units where there is a definable mission-oriented service component such as in education and
IFAS and show how it is a valuable state investment. Then when they go after the other forms of
service, we are dealing with a much smaller part of the conversation and we will defend what we
can. In the case of whether it is mandated service by law, that is even more fun because you can
catch them in their own contradictions with their across the board budget cutting, which doesn't
work. Clearly the conversation needs to get a little more sophisticated as it rolls along and the
colleges and programs that have this kind of service need to help us define the category so it can
be defended with its particular evaluation and mission orientation. That is the critical element in
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.