UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
19 March 2007
Red Larson Dairy Bldg., Room 102
Individuals present: Jimmy Cheek, Fritz Roka, Steve Johnson, Michael Kane, Lockie Gary,
Heather McAuslane, Elizabeth Bolton, Michael Sweat, Nick Place, and David Holmes, in
Gainesville; Jude Grosser attending via Polycom.
Fritz Roka, Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:35 PM. Fritz Roka requested that the Faculty
Council re-discuss the administration's consideration of a policy change by which the packets of
County Extension Faculty would be reviewed only by the IFAS Tenure and Permanent Status
Committee and no longer by the University Academic Personnel Board (APB). It was the
general opinion that County Extension Faculty did not have adequate opportunity to discuss this
policy change. Elizabeth Bolton distributed a letter composed by the IFAS Senators to the UF
Senators which outlined counter arguments to the proposal from the Council on Academic
Freedom, Faculty Quality and Faculty Welfare. The fundamental concern was that it would
create a two-tier system for T&P. The issue was moved up to the #1 agenda item for the March
22nd University Faculty Senate Meeting. It was stated that the University Senate would not vote
on it as an action item.
Dr. Cheek arrived at 1:44 PM and the discussion continued regarding the modified permanent
status and promotion process for County Extension Faculty. Fritz Roka briefed Dr. Cheek
regarding the concerns of County Extension Faculty that they were not adequately informed.
Michael Sweat further added that there was a misconception by County Extension Faculty that
the Faculty Council had actually supported the idea. Dr. Cheek reemphasized that the idea was
discussed but there was no action taken by the Faculty Council or Extension Directors. Dr.
Cheek suggested that adding two IFAS Senators to the Faculty Council could help to improve
communications. Dr. Cheek further indicated that an error may have been made by not getting
the information out to the County Faculty before it came before the Faculty Senate. David
Holmes asked Dr. Cheek to provide the historic background as to how this came about. Dr.
Cheek indicated that two years ago the APB sent a memo to the President which recommended
that several non-tenure-accruing faculty groups, not be reviewed by the APB. The rationale for
making this recommendation came from two perspectives: 1) the excessive APB workload and
more importantly, 2) their belief that they did not have sufficient knowledge to make a
determination of a promotion case (not understanding the work of County Faculty). Dr. Cheek
mentioned that he was recently reminded that librarians and County Extension Faculty packets
were not reviewed by the APB until 1996. This year the APB met with President Machen and
requested that they not review County Extension Faculty packets for the aforementioned
reasons. President Machen asked Dr. Cheek to develop a process, on a trial basis, which
would allow County Extension Faculty packets not to be reviewed by the APB.
Dr. Cheek stated that there were "two edges to this sword". First, IFAS would have more
control over the packets and the recommendations made to the President. Secondly, the
County Extension Faculty packets would not go through the exact same process as all the other
packets went through. Fritz Roka questioned if this process would send the message that
County Faculty would not have the same stature as any other faculty at UF.
Nick Place asked Dr. Cheek whether the APB was asking if other faculty groups, beside County
Extension Faculty not be reviewed this year. Dr. Cheek responded that this year the APB was
only asking not to review the County Faculty packets. Michael Sweat stated that the Faculty
Welfare Council surveyed the APB members and that out of five respondents only one, a new
member, expressed any concerns. Michael Sweat asked whether these concerns could have
been generated solely from this new member. Dr. Cheek responded that he did not know. He
suggested that the Faculty Council call the APB Chair to ask that question. Dr. Cheek was
asked by Fritz Roka if he knew when this would be voted upon. Dr. Cheek replied that he was
not sure if it would be voted on.
Elizabeth Bolton, reviewed the position memo composed by the IFAS Senators and stated that
it would be an information item only at the next Faculty Senate meeting. She added that she
was not clear as to why it would only be presented as an information only item. Dr. Cheek
stated that in September Dr. Machen indicated that he wanted to implement the APB
recommendation on a trial basis and that the Faculty Senate would be informed. When asked
by Fritz Roka, Dr. Cheek responded that he was not sure now who would make the final
Lockie Gary added that, in light of the current dialog going on with shared governance, there
would be increased concerned by faculty if this was mandated without further discussion. David
Holmes stated that after talking with some of his colleagues, he sees it as a kind of erosion of
faculty status and that there needs to be a lengthy discussion and some type of a vote. He also
suggested that the APB be told to take the time to better understand and appreciate what
County Extension Faculty do. Elizabeth Bolton suggested that there may be some concern by
the APB because County Extension Faculty are reviewed three times while advancing through
Level II to IV. The possibility of asking the APB Chair to attend the next Faculty Council Meeting
was discussed. Fritz Roka ended the topic by concluding that he believed that the Faculty
Council has clearly expressed its concern regarding the APB's recommendation that it not
review County Extension Faculty packets for promotion.
Dr. Cheek reviewed the development of the draft Faculty Salary Enhancement Plan. He had
previously asked Dr. Tim White to chair a task force committee to look at how IFAS might
enhance our grant portfolio in IFAS and enhance salaries using grants and contracts. Dr. Cheek
mentioned that most land grant universities have gone to 9-month appointments. However he is
opposed to switching to 9-month appointments which will not fit the IFAS mission. Nick Place
added that 9-month appointments would not work for faculty with extension responsibilities. Dr.
Cheek said that the task force recommended that a process be developed for faculty to put at
least some of their salaries on grants or contracts. A draft salary enhancement plan was
developed about 4 or 5 months ago by the VP and Deans and reviewed once by the Chairs and
Center Directors about two months ago. The plan was then distributed to the faculty for
feedback. Dr. Cheek requested that the Faculty Council provide feedback on the process. He
stated that there are about 10 IFAS faculty who, when hired, are required to generate some of
their salary from grants and contracts. It was mentioned that new salary plan the money saved
would be used to make market salary adjustments to other faculty and hire new faculty.
Dr. Cheek then outlined the expectations of faculty participating in the salary enhancement plan.
These included the expectations that faculty would not reduce their responsibilities in teaching,
research or extension, especially guiding graduate students, extension activities and teaching
courses. Each participating faculty member would be monitored. Heather McAuslane asked if
faculty who were currently required to generate some of their salary on grants and contracts
would be able to participate in this new salary plan. Dr Cheek responded that they would have
to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.
Dr. Cheek clarified that faculty could use any non-state funds to supplement their salaries
including grants, contracts and SHARE funds. He also stated that he did not believe that this
plan represented a major financial gamble to IFAS should faculty not be able to continue on the
plan. Jude Grosser asked how IFAS would stop the shift away from graduate students toward
hiring more productive Post-docs who generate grant dollars. Dr. Cheek responded that to
participate in the program a faculty member would have to maintain or expand their established
level of graduate student activity. If this does not happen then the faculty member would not
receive the salary adjustment. Dr. Cheek also reminded the Council members that a faculty
member won't get promoted or participate in the salary enhancement plan if they are in tenure-
accruing positions and don't have graduate students. He repeated the point that we need to do
a better job in IFAS to explain the concept that if you are in a tenure-accruing position you better
have graduate students and you better have productivity with your graduate students. If you
don't, you won't get promoted or receive a salary adjustment through the Special Pay Plan for
Steve Johnson asked Dr. Cheek for further clarification with regard to the expected level of
graduate student involvement considering that the number of graduate students could vary with
attrition. Dr. Cheek remarked that the implementation procedures have not been fully developed
yet. Fritz Roka asked if some agencies such as FDAC or FDEP did not allow funds to be
allocated to faculty salaries, would that motivate faculty to divert efforts strategically to grants
that would allow them to do that; therefore compromising our basic missions? Dr. Cheek did not
believe this would be the case. Mike Kane suggested that perhaps the grant and contract
residual formula might be revised so that a greater percentage of those funds could be used in
the salary plan. Several members asked if using funds from state agencies, such as FDEP, to
pay salaries would generate concerns from grower groups that faculty would become less
objective in their research and recommendations? Dr. Cheek did not believe that this would be
Steve Johnson asked how new priority faculty positions would be decided. For example, would
a unit generating 80% of the funds used to generate a new position have the priority for that
new position being assigned to them? Dr. Cheek stated that the Deans and VP would decide
which positions would be filled based on IFAS priorities not the unit generating the most funds.
The time line along which faculty would be paid from non-state funds was clarified by Dr. Cheek.
Dr. Cheek indicated that he hoped that the plan would be implemented by July 1st. The
proposal would need to be revised based on faculty input, review by the General Council,
submitted to Human Resources and approved by the President.
Dr. Cheek's second agenda item involved extending membership on the T&P Committee. The
possibility of having members serve for three years (currently it is 2-years) was raised. This
would significantly increase the institutional memory of the committee and allow consistency in
decision making. After a brief discussion, it was suggested that 2-year appointments with 9
members be tried first.
Dr. Cheek next discussed the proposal to expand the Faculty Council membership to include
two IFAS Faculty Senate Members. This change would facilitate communication between the
VP, Faculty Council and Faculty Senate. To initiate the rotation, one senator would initially
serve for a 1-year term while a second would serve a 2-year term. Dr. Cheek indicated that a
change in the IMM for the Faculty Council would be required to reflect the inclusion of the IFAS
The UF Faculty Senate wanted to know where IFAS was with respect to adoption of the IFAS
Constitution. Elizabeth Bolton indicated that a report outlining the development status of the
IFAS Constitution needed to be made. Heather McAuslane suggested that the faculty and
Chairs be directed to go to the website to view the Shared Governance PowerPoint presentation
and streaming videos. David Holmes suggested that a memo also needs to be sent to the
County Directors. Heather McAuslane reported that Dr. Cheek had completed his introductory
video to the shared governance presentation. Lockie Gary suggested that CDs containing the
narrated PowerPoint presentations of Shared Governance be provided to avoid technical
Michael Sweat stated that in Baker county, the impact of the proposed reduction in property
taxes will result in a $2.2 million budget shortfall with 27 people possibly losing their jobs. He
asked Dr. Cheek what impact he thought this would have on IFAS county faculty. Dr. Cheek
responded that the reduction in property tax revenues will have a major impact on Extension.
Jude Grosser asked Dr. Cheek if there was any change in the funding of federal "ear-marked
projects"? Dr. Cheek responded that there was no change but he thought next year that only
about 50% of the ear mark funds would be approved. He went on to state that IFAS took the
blunt of the ear marked fund reductions.
Dr. Cheek departed the meeting at 3:38 PM. Elizabeth Bolton left the meeting at 3:45 PM to
attend another meeting.
Fritz Roka stated that the Faculty Council needed to expand the list of faculty nominees to run
for the IFAS Faculty Senate. He stated that he sent reminders to Chairs and Directors to submit
names. He clarified that all is needed is a list of names of individuals who are willing to serve if
elected. The Faculty Council will manage the T&P committee member election. David Holmes
left the meeting at 4:03 PM.
The minutes of the February 21, 2007 Faculty Council Meeting were approved.
The next Faculty Council Meeting will be held on April 17, 2007. The meeting was adjourned at
Michael Kane, Substitute Recording Secretary