IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
October 19, 2005
Members present: Elizabeth Bolton, Jude Grosser, Lisa Guion (chair), Ed Jennings, Gail Kauwell,
Heather McAuslane, Fritz Roka
Members absent: Martin Adjei, John Davis, Lochrane Gary, Bob Hochmuth, Jane Polston, Mike
Guests present: Tom Hintz, Howard Ladewig
Meeting began at 1:32 p.m., chaired by Lisa Guion. Agenda was distributed. Vice President
Cheek addressed the Faculty Council (FC).
Update by VP Cheek. VP Cheek's office is continuing during this off-legislative period to
generate support among legislators and clientele for IFAS funding proposals and is optimistic that
they will be successful. Briefly, initiatives include the following:
1) Increased funding for Youth, 4H, and Families programs in the counties to maintain the
excellent quality of programs offered.
2) Funding for a university-wide initiative in Emerging Pathogens to include a building (put
on PECO list this year) to house all scientists working in the area of emerging
pathogens. IFAS' share of the request amounts to $2 million. There seems to be
considerable support for this initiative among legislators.
3) Complete funding for the Center for Landscape Ecology and Conservation, funded at
$400,000 last year with a request of $900,000 this year.
4) Request non-recurring funds to meet needs in long-delayed infrastructure repair and
5) Continued push for formula funding to fund research and extension in much the same
way that student credit-hours fund increases in allocations to teaching.
6) Funding for an Agriscience Technology initiative that would fund research into
alternative crops and sugarcane.
VP Cheek charged the FC with the task of studying the results of the recent survey of IFAS
faculty. He would like input on which issues/problems that the faculty has identified in this survey
that he can work to resolve. One key concern of VP Cheek is the low participation among IFAS
faculty in this survey. How can we engage the faculty more?
Question from FC member. President Machen recently hired Kyle Cavanaugh in the newly
created position of Vice President for Human Resources. How will that office fit in with the
concept of shared governance?
VP Cheek Response. The Human Resources Office has handled staff grievances and other
issues for a long time. VP Cavanaugh's office will now investigate faculty grievances. Oversight
from his office will standardize investigation and resolution of faculty grievances. Faculty can still
take their grievances to the Senate grievance committee after the HR grievance process if they
are not satisfied with the outcome.
Comment from FC Member. VP Cheek's request for input and feedback on issues from
members of the IFAS FC, as stated in the recently revised Internal Management Memorandum
(6C1-6.10-2), is greatly appreciated. The FC must work to make issues available for discussion
and comment by all IFAS faculty and take their feedback to VP Cheek. Discussion followed on
ways to accomplish this including better use of the FC web site, timely short informational email
messages and email polls on subjects of general interest to the faculty, and IFAS-wide faculty
With no more questions for him, VP Cheek left at 2:00 p.m.
The FC wants to develop methods to communicate issues of importance to all IFAS faculty and
get their feedback to VP Cheek, through the FC. Tom Hintz, Associate Director, IFAS Information
Technologies, addressed the FC about methods for electronic communication with the IFAS
faculty, at the request of Chair Guion.
Electronic Communication Methods. To facilitate communication within the FC, Hintz will set up a
list-serv for the FC to which any member can post.
Hintz showed the FC the capabilities of the web forum (evolution of the old Usenet news groups).
A web forum can be set up for any topic, archives messages on those topics, can be configured
for limited access and reading, and can be moderated or not. Confidentiality of the message
poster cannot be guaranteed even if they sign on with a fictitious screen name. This may not be
ideal for getting faculty response to sensitive issues. Chair Guion wondered whether we could
set up a new subject called "Response to Faculty Survey" and direct IFAS faculty to this site via
the IFAS-FACULTY-L list-serv. The FC wants the FC web forum to have subcategories so that
we can generate discussion on a number of different topics. The FC will revisit the configuration
of the FC web forum and linking to the FC home page at the November meeting.
Hintz showed the FC how to survey the faculty using the polling option in Microsoft Outlook.
Simple "Yes/no", "1 to 10" or "Choose one of the following" polls can be conducted and
summarized in Outlook. Surveys must include only one question with only one choice. Chair
Guion mentioned that an example could be "Do you feel that an IFAS-wide faculty meeting would
be useful. Rank your response from 0 to 10". Concerns were raised about how inclusive the poll
would be because not all faculty use Outlook as their email program.
In response to a question from a FC member about online voting for the two elections for which
the FC is responsible (election of new members to the FC and election of the members of the
IFAS Tenure, Promotion and Permanent Status committee), Hintz replied that he could set up a
web page for online voting. The page would have biographical sketches of the candidates and
then the option to vote for as many as required in the on-campus and off-campus categories.
Hintz said that it would only take one week to get such a site up and running. The FC will work
on this more and give Hintz plenty of lead-time.
More discussion ensued about confidentiality of posts and voting security. A number of
inaccuracies were noted in the current FC web page that must be corrected. All members will
check their contact information.
With no further questions, Tom Hintz departed at 2:50.
At 2:55 p.m. Howard Ladewig, assigned to the Program Development and Education Center to
work on the Unifas Reporting System, addressed the FC at the request of Chair Guion. Ladewig
mentioned that Glenn Israel could help the FC with the design of online surveys and that Ryan
Mills of PDEC would also be available and a valuable resource. Ladewig then responded to
questions about Unifas that had been solicited from the FC members and had been submitted to
Response to Questions Submitted by FC.
1. Is there a PDF manual?
Response: An instructional video is being developed and should be completed in mid November.
The videos will be updated whenever improvements are made in Unifas.
2. How do faculty know which type of information should be reported in each section? This
is especially important for faculty with an extension appointment.
Response: Unifas annual reports follow the T&P guidelines (which change each year). The
instructional videos also provide step-by-step guidelines for each section of Unifas. The
extension videos give detailed instructions for each component of a program.
3. How good are the data provided by DSR and other external databases? Are the data in
faculty's Unifas reports accurate enough to be used for federal funding purposes?
Response: These databases reflect the official records of UF. Until Unifas, faculty did not have
access to the databases to check their records for accuracies. One role this council can play is to
endorse a process by which errors can be corrected by the people responsible for the database.
The federal report generated in April 2005 using Unifas was excellent for its required purpose.
4. Are the issues with citation of EDIS publications fixed?
Response: EDIS is not recognized by University T&P guidelines as a publication type. It is
treated as a fact sheet. To identify a publication as an EDIS document, information can be
entered into one or more of three fields on the Unifas fact sheet screen. The instructional video
covers three of those fields.
PDEC is working with Dian Hagen of IFAS Communication Services (ICS) so that when a
publication is submitted to EDIS for publication, it is exported into the Unifas publications
database. ICS also is equating author names with UFIDs so that past EDIS publications can be
brought into the Unifas database.
5. Have the issues with deletion of extension major programs been fixed?
Response: A program can be deleted only when there is one person listed. A faculty member
cannot remove his/her names from a program. If a faculty member is incorrectly listed on a
program, he/she should contact PDEC to remove them from the program.
6. Is it possible to use part of last year's information; just delete old information and add new
information without having to redo the whole procedure?
Response: Unifas information relevant to the specific year will automatically be included. For
example, a research project or extension program that covers multiple years will include
information relevant to the current year. Go to the specific activities and make updates.
7. Is it possible to view last year's info in its entirety?
Response: Because T&P is a multiple-year report, the Unifas screens contain information for all
years. A specific year or multiple years can be outputted to a Word document. The document
can be printed or viewed on screen.
8. What about the part of UNIFAS that deals with adding people's name to major programs.
That never did work for me last year.
Response: There are two ways to involve other faculty in a major program:
1) An individual should be listed as a team member if they are responsible for helping to plan,
implement, and evaluate the entire program (not just once activity).
2) An individual who has been asked to help with one activity of the program should be listed as a
resource person and not included on personnel list for the program.
If you want to add someone who is not included in the searchable list, contact PDEC for
9. What will be the availability and level of support that will be provided to faculty once the
program is released for faculty use and will there be specific instructions about who to
call if there are problems/questions with inputting data?
Response: PDEC will begin training on Unifas in November. At that time each faculty member
with be provided a CD Unifas tutorial. Both the tutorial and Unifas login screen tell one whom to
contact if they have difficulties. In addition, PDEC will ask for volunteers in each district, REC and
on campus to receive additional training and serve as "problem solvers". Also PDEC will provide
helpdesk support to anyone who calls.
10. To whom should we report data already in the system that we view as inaccurate based
on information that we have (ex: incorrect teaching evaluation scores as compared to
printouts faculty receive)?
Response: IFAS IT has responsibility for bring UF data into Unifas. IFAS IT has identified one of
its staff to work with each secondary database. If a faculty member finds inaccuracies in the data
brought into Unifas, contact PDEC and we will take it to the appropriate persons.
11. Will we be able to use the reporting system to generate useful reports such as for T & P?
Response: One of the improvements of Unifas is that the Plan of Work and Annual Report can
now be outputted as fully editable Word documents. Each report follows the format of the T&P
guidelines. Several faculty have already utilized that feature in submitting documents for T&P.
Additional Discussion on Unifas. Ladewig also mentioned that PDEC wanted to form advisory
committees of five to six people each to advise them on improvements specific to research,
extension and teaching. Eventually information entered into FAS will be imported into Unifas in
the required T&P format. This is the first year that the Plan of Work will be completed within
With no more questions, Howard Ladewig left at 4:10 p.m.
Other Items: September minutes were accepted as written. The next meeting is scheduled for
November 16th at 1:30 p.m. in the Animal Sciences building. The agenda will include discussion
of the IFAS faculty survey, per VP Cheek's request, methods of electronic communication with
the IFAS faculty at large, and ideas for the format of a IFAS-wide faculty meeting. Deans
McLellan and Dean Barrick will join the FC at the December 14th meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
Heather McAuslane (Secretary)