UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
17 January 2007
Red Larson Dairy Bldg., Room 102
Individuals present: Fritz Roka, Jude Grosser, and Steve Johnson attending via Polycom; Mike
Sweat, Samira Daroub, David Holmes, Gail Kauwell, Lockie Gary, Heather McAuslane,
Elizabeth Bolton, Tom Obreza, and Jimmy Cheek attending in Gainesville.
Elizabeth Bolton called the meeting to order at 1:40 PM with acknowledgement from Fritz Roka
via Polycom. We began with remarks provided by Jimmy Cheek: He indicated that he is trying to
visit each IFAS unit during the next 6 months. At a recent meeting, Horticultural Sciences faculty
asked him where IFAS is on shared governance. Dr. Cheek suggested that we send out an e-
mail to inform the IFAS community of where we are at this point. Fritz Roka said he will get this
More from Jimmy Cheek: The new Florida legislative session will begin soon. He does not have
a good feel for how the session will shape up considering we have a new Governor. The
Governor's office has contacted IFAS; it seems the Governor is particularly interested in
bioenergy, e.g. ethanol production. "Green" energy is popular throughout the country, in
particular the move towards cellulose-based ethanol production as opposed to corn and
sugarcane feedstocks. Therefore, IFAS needs to move its bioenergy agenda forward. The
federal budget is a problem for IFAS at present due to the ongoing bureaucracy. The
"continuing resolution" in place means that earmarks do not continue automatically, and may
eventually go by the wayside. IFAS now has three earmarks we are waiting on, including
Questions from the group to Dr. Cheek:
Fritz Roka asked about the status of Unifas. He said he became "cautiously optimistic" about it
after Glenn Israel presented a Unifas workshop at SWFREC. Steve Johnson and Samira
Daroub indicated that some information is missing (data that are supposed to be automatically
entered from other databases, e.g. student evaluations, CRIS material, and EDIS publications).
Steve described a server problem that had recently occurred. Other issues about Unifas were
discussed, particularly the extension section. Jimmy Cheek asked the group if Glenn Israel
should be asked to attend the February faculty council meeting for a give-and-take session
about Unifas. This suggestion was well-received.
David Holmes suggested that an IFAS display be constructed showing our future ideas about
bioenergy and related topics, and this suggestion was also well-received by the group.
Jimmy Cheek had to leave the meeting at 2:09 PM for another engagement. Subsequently, the
group continued to discuss Unifas topics for a short time.
The minutes from the Dec 20, 2006 faculty council meeting were reviewed and were accepted
Elizabeth Bolton distributed a document written by Bill Lindberg regarding the Shared
Governance Conversation & Workshop II that was held on January 11, 2007. (Bill had attended
the morning session of this workshop.) She reviewed the document and highlighted sections of
it, particularly quotes from several of the workshop participants. Elizabeth also distributed a
document called "Queries to Ponder: Shared Governance in Colleges." (She attended the
afternoon session of the workshop.) It would have been desirable to have an IFAS administrator
at the workshop to participate in the panel discussion (as a panelist), but that did not
Elizabeth Bolton's impression of the Health Science shared governance process (College of
Medicine) was that it did not go well initially. After some time passed, it seemed to her that the
process turned toward the positive and they are now moving forward. The shared governance
effort of Design, Construction and Planning (DCP) has been completed, but it took years to
finish. There was some initial "rough footing," but the situation eventually turned positive. The
main point of these observations is that the shared governance process did not happen
At this point (2:30 PM), David Holmes had to leave for a telephone call.
Elizabeth Bolton continued, discussing the development of shared governance in the College of
Engineering. James Klausner had described how it developed, and it was not unlike the DCP
scenario. Originally the process was cumbersome, but they streamlined it. Previously, Jimmy
Cheek had said we might want to mirror that aspect of Engineering within IFAS. The main
lesson here is that we need to learn from others. Elizabeth thinks other colleges would be willing
to help us if we called on them. Shared governance in IFAS will not happen without investment
and commitment. The shared governance directive has both top-down and bottom-up origins.
Fritz Roka pointed out that IFAS is larger, more diverse and complex, and has a broader
mission than the colleges discussed above. Our shared governance process might be more
complex due to these factors.
At this point, a copy of the PowerPoint that was edited and revised by Gail Kauwell was
distributed. Gail went over the 16 slides one by one, explaining the changes she made relative
to the original version. There were several questions and answers as she went along.
Heather McAuslane suggested that the flow chart (graphic representation of an example of
shared governance) be removed, and Elizabeth Bolton agreed. Elizabeth suggested that we
need to make something available that can be amended. Samira Daroub suggested that this
process should occur in stages. It might take a long time, but that should not be our concern.
David Holmes returned to the meeting at 3:02 PM.
Samira Daroub asked what will happen after we finish the PowerPoint. Fritz Roka indicated that
our next step will be to engage our faculty colleagues to hear their comments and inputs.
Subsequently, the Jimmy Cheek/Fritz Roka-appointed committee will be formed, with a more
well-defined task. The question of who will approach the faculty was asked. Fritz suggested that
we could go to our own units as a start. An alternative would be to take Nick Place up on his
offer of graduate student help to ask questions of the faculty. However, we would first need to
design a standard set of questions to ask of faculty in each unit.
Lockie Gary suggested that we make a "trial run" with the PowerPoint to see how it is received,
and Samira Daroub agreed. The group discussed this option, and arguments were put forth on
both sides. David Holmes indicated that we must emphasize what the goal is, and also put
some of the things that threaten shared governance on the PowerPoint. The opening theme of
the PowerPoint should be: "For shared governance to work, we need a commitment from you"
("you" meaning the faculty members we are addressing). Heather McAuslane said that the first
slide should grab the viewer and forcefully explain why they should look at the PowerPoint.
David Holmes suggested that we should provide examples of past episodes that some faculty
looked at unfavorably, and explain how these might have turned out better with shared
governance in place.
It was suggested that we retain the flow chart graphic without discerning between the arrows
(i.e., make them generic). Fritz Roka referred to the flow chart as the "meat" of shared
governance. David Holmes observed that IFAS administrators are friendly now, but this has not
always been so, and may not be again someday. Shared governance could be a legacy that
current faculty leave for those who will follow. Jude Grosser indicated that the purpose of the
PowerPoint is to interest the faculty enough such that they will take the subsequent survey
seriously. Elizabeth Bolton said the PowerPoint should inform and educate first, and then build
Lockie Gary had to depart the meeting at 3:27 PM for another engagement.
Fritz Roka asked about including a historical perspective in the PowerPoint. Gail Kauwell
provided a draft script, and Heather McAuslane completed it. Heather suggested that Fritz
narrate the PowerPoint since he is the council chair and has a great voice. Fritz Roka and
Elizabeth Bolton thought the senators should view the PowerPoint after we complete the effort.
We can take their suggestions and try to assure their buy-in. Elizabeth indicated that we want
Jimmy Cheek to be able to say that IFAS is moving forward with shared governance and
development of a constitution. The process is not occurring as quickly as he would like, but
other colleges have taken years to do this, so it probably cannot or should not be done in haste.
Fritz Roka said that we still must arrange meetings with departments or groups of departments.
We should ask the faculty what the "hot button" issues are, and how much time they are willing
to commit to the process. We can get an idea of the commitment each unit would be willing to
give. A tricky question we will be asking is: "What does participation in shared governance
mean?" How will we answer this question when the faculty ask it? Jude Grosser suggested that
we ask the faculty what part of administration operations they are happy with.
Samira Daroub asked if it is really important to get a time commitment from the faculty?
Elizabeth Bolton suggested that we get a "commitment to participate," but we should leave the
time question alone. Heather McAuslane asked about the nature of the questions (20 or 30) that
need to be on the survey. Mike Sweat asked if we could procure the services of Glenn Israel to
help design a survey. Gail Kauwell said she was concerned that face-to-face meetings with
IFAS units could turn from information dispersal and Q & A to a complaint session that would be
counter-productive. She would rather see a more focused effort that tried to bring out ideas of
what should be put into the constitution (e.g. key items the document should contain). The effort
put towards face-to-face meetings should be worth the faculty's time, allowing them to provide
Heather McAuslane asked where we should go from here. A suggested direction was: 1) Create
the PowerPoint presentation; 2) Develop and issue the survey; 3) The Jimmy Cheek/Fritz Roka-
appointed committee drafts the constitution; 4) The draft is presented to IFAS units for review
and comment. David Holmes indicated that Jimmy Cheek will be speaking at the IFAS
Extension Symposium in May. If the timing works out, he could talk about the shared
governance procedure and "cheerlead" for it. SJ suggested that Ryan Mills could possibly help
construct the survey and get it into Survey Monkey. Fritz Roka asked the group to help think of
names for the committee that he and Jimmy Cheek will be putting together.
The next Faculty Council meeting is Feb 21, 2007. We realize that not all will be able to attend,
but we must go with what we have regarding future meeting dates.
Fritz Roka reminded the group that we are in charge of conducting numerous elections (e.g.
Faculty Council, Senate, T & P committee, etc.). However, no one was sure when these tasks
need to be completed. Elizabeth Bolton suggested that we nominate our colleagues for these
elections. It will take a lot of "bush-beating" to get this done.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:08 PM.
Thomas Obreza, Recording Secretary