UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
18 October 2006
Red Larson Dairy Bldg., Room 102
Individuals present: Fritz Roka, Mike Sweat, Mike Kane, Nick Place, David Holmes, Gail
Kauwell, Jude Grosser, Tom Obreza, Heather McAuslane, Bill Lindberg, Jimmy Cheek
Council members absent: Elizabeth Bolton, Samira Daroub, Lochrane Gary, Steve Johnson
Chairperson Fritz Roka called the meeting to order at 1:32 PM.
Dr. Cheek made some opening comments regarding spending on infrastructure and deferred
maintenance needs. The amount needed to cover all deferred maintenance throughout IFAS is
$60 million. This figure was not realistically attainable in 1 year, but it ended up that a key
Florida senator was able to push a $15.1 million allocation through the legislature during the
past session. The Governor did not initially look favorably on this allocation, but was convinced
otherwise and refrained from eliminating it. The IFAS budget cap for the coming year is 8%, so
infrastructure is not high on the list.
Dr. Cheek then commented on shared governance, focusing on these highlights:
We value shared governance in IFAS. Dr. Cheek has given considerable thought to
this subject and has developed some "talking points." He visited with a lot of people,
particularly other administrators, while doing this.
New bylaws/constitution language must be developed through cooperation between
administrators and faculty, working together.
Where we are now: A small committee developed the current document, then shared
it with a larger group from the Faculty Senate. The next step should be to form a new
committee that will be charged with taking the current document and developing it
further, spending time talking about what each part means and how it will be
implemented. They should examine shared governance documents from other land
grant institutions, and peruse other documents in use at UF to gain a better
understanding. Dr. Cheek suggested that he and Dr. Roka share responsibility for
filling the committee with 10 to 13 members.
The revised document should portray the needs and functions of IFAS; each item
should be clear regarding its purpose.
The Faculty Council and administration need to come to a consensus about the
document before it is shared with a broader group. We need to make sure it is
something we can all live with.
The Faculty Council and administration should develop the process by which the
document is released and shared with other, larger groups (e.g. departments and
centers). After this is done, it will be released for approval.
We should be able to answer the questions: "Why are we doing this?" and "What
difference will it make?" In a nutshell, the answers will center on allowing more
shared governance in IFAS.
Barbara Wingo should visit with the appointed committee to offer insight and make
sure the document is legal. The document must be subordinate to superseding
regulations and rules that are already established at UF.
Comments from the group:
o How will establishing a constitution change the way we currently do things?
o Most people believe the establishment of a committee to do what Dr. Cheek
indicated above is the right thing to do.
*Gail Kauwell agreed with Dr. Cheek/Dr. Roka regarding committee formation, but
suggested that the final document create a process where faculty share in the
decision making process without getting bogged down in handling administrative
matters that detract from their ability to manage their teaching, research and
extension responsibilities. She also expressed the importance of making it clear that
the work of the initial committee is valued and was instrumental in moving us forward
in the process of developing a shared governance document.
David Holmes indicated the need to make it clear to faculty at county offices and
RECs why their input is needed and is important.
o Impressed with what committee and task forces have done in the past,
particularly their dedication to IFAS. There is a lot to shared governance, more
than he realized.
o How does the IFAS administration feel about increased involvement of faculty in
what has been traditionally the realm of administrators? Dr. Cheek's response:
We must be careful about this increased involvement with respect to
responsibility. In general, IFAS faculty have a lot of input into decisions the
administrators make right now.
Fritz Roka: Where does shared governance make a difference? A discussion of
hiring and removing department chairs ensued. Dr. Cheek indicated that he trusts
o The process from this point forward is more important than the document itself.
o Should we adopt IMMs as by-laws in the constitution? Dr. Cheek suggested that
the new committee will need to deal with that issue.
Jude Grosser: Can Dr. Cheek elaborate on the composition of the new committee to
be formed? Dr. Cheek suggested a 10 to 13 member committee composed of
Faculty Council and Senators. Drs. Cheek and Roka will share the responsibility of
filling the committee. The product of their work will be a revised document that would
come back to the Faculty Council and Dr. Cheek for review. The final document
needs to be approved by all IFAS faculty, but the process for doing this has not yet
Bill Lindberg: It will be important to have "seasoned" senators involved in the
Mike Kane: Faculty Council members who have been around longer than the newly-
appointed ones should be involved since they have a memory of its beginnings and
David Holmes: The fact that numerous faculty are not clamoring for a shared
governance document indicates that most IFAS people are pretty happy with the way
things are now.
Summary: Drs. Cheek and Roka will think about potential appointees for the new committee and
will get in touch with one another in a couple of weeks. Dr. Roka indicated the need for some
help and advice regarding the best potential committee members. He asked the group to also
think about the same things he will be thinking of.
At this point Dr. Cheek left the meeting, and Dr. Joe Joyce entered to discuss the allocation of
$15 million for renovations and repairs and other items regarding IFAS operations.
Dr. Joyce's handed out four documents: 1) UF/IFAS critical deferred maintenance needs; 2)
State university system 5-year capital improvement plan and legislative budget request; 3)
Sources of funds for construction and renovation; and 4) UF/IFAS recommended minor projects
to be funded, 2006-07.
Dr. Joyce explained the differences between sources of funds for construction and renovation.
For example, some sources have greater limits on what the money can be used for compared
Dr. Joyce presented a list of how the $15 million for critical deferred maintenance needs will be
allocated. He explained in detail how UF/IFAS received the $15 million. The council quickly
realized how political budget dealings become, and how important it is for UF/IFAS to have its
interests well-represented in Tallahassee.
Dr. Joyce explained the list of UF/IFAS recommended minor projects to be funded. He has
detailed knowledge about this because he is on the space committee.
A discussion ensued about how budgets are put together in Tallahassee and how the system
works. One question was why buildings constructed for IFAS cost considerably more that what
a private agricultural enterprise would spend. The answer was that IFAS is considered a
"business" as opposed to "agriculture." Businesses are treated much differently with respect to
permitting costs, architectural fees, etc.
At this point Dr. Joyce left the meeting.
The September Faculty Council minutes were reviewed by the group. Fritz Roka received a
communication from Glenn Israel indicating that metricss" may become a more important part of
T & P packages. Mike Kane thinks the administration is looking harder at certain metrics as
evidence of productivity, but the specifics they are looking at may not tell the true story about
faculty performance. A motion to accept minutes was made and seconded. The motion carried
unanimously by voice vote.
The group decided that the November Faculty Council meeting will be cancelled due to
excessive calendar conflicts. Our next meeting is scheduled for Dec 20th.
A discussion ensued regarding who within the faculty ranks might be best suited to fill the new
"constitution review" committee. Several names were mentioned but committee members came
to no resolution. Jude Grosser indicated that these individuals had better be able to understand
the unorthodox language that populates much of the document.
Dr. Roka adjourned the meeting at 4:47 PM.