Minutes of the UF/IFAS Faculty Advisory Committee Meeting
1:15 p.m., November 26, 2001
Sue Percival presiding.
Members present: Sue Percival, Clayton Hutcheson, Susan Hedge, Karen Koch, Ron Muraro,
Members absent: Mary Collins, Peter Hanson, Pat Hogue, Don Maynard, Maria Gallo-Meagher,
Bill Mahan, Brian Scully
Dr. Martin reported on the ongoing deliberation relating to the budget reduction anticipated based
on the two special sessions of the Legislature. He provided information on the immediate and
long-term restructuring of UF/IFAS. He also discussed the assessment process used to
determine the long-term viability of each research and education center. He referred to a June
28, 2001, memo to the REC review implementation task force and his charge to them. He made
it very clear in that memo that the task force should look at all possible options. In the memo, he
acknowledged it could include the closing of some sites, but he did not want the task force to start
at that point. He wants the whole process to be driven by program delivery. That has been the
direction taken and will continue to be as we move through the budget reduction process.
There are issues associated with deferred maintenance at some of the REC's. That was one of
the many factors taken into consideration in the assessment process. An effort is being made to
work with faculty to make the adjustments as painless as possible, but there is still pain. Faculty
will be given the opportunity to make choices as to where they would like to move when REC's
are closed. Efforts will be made to work those out. As faculty move, it will be necessary for a
redistribution of support in a fair manner by the department or REC that will be receiving the
Most faculty positions will remain frozen.
Dr. Martin reaffirmed the commitment to avoiding across-the-board cuts. He feels it is absolutely
necessary to look at the system when making these decisions. He acknowledged that if base
budgets are not restored, closings will continue. If the Legislators in the special session which
started November 27 see their way to limiting the cuts to less than $2 million, it will slow the
course of things and possibly hold up closures.
Dr. Martin acknowledged the difficulties in providing adequate and timely communications to all
concerned as things are moving rapidly, although that has been his goal.
The week of November 19 Dr. Martin had a chance to meet with the Governor. It was an
opportunity to help him better understand UF/IFAS and to give the Governor a list of requests that
would make it easier to manage under the present scenario.
The possibility of efficiencies in looking at department mergers is still a goal. Programs, program
support, and administrative support are the three components of a department. The potential of
providing program support and administrative support out of one office for several departments is
one way that efficiencies might occur. Economies of size may be possible through pooling,
technology, and other management means. Merger started in Administration within six months
after Dr. Martin arrived before it happened anywhere else.
The committee discussed the necessity of bringing into focus how IFAS impacts positively the
Florida economy. If there are reports that have been done that would provide data to distribute,
those should be identified and used. It would be helpful to have points that could be made by
faculty, by clients, and others regarding the impact of IFAS. We should be enumerating the
benefits that IFAS brings to the agricultural and natural resource industry in the State to our
clientele and legislators.
The next meeting will be December 18, 2001.