UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
17 April 2007
Red Larson Dairy Bldg., Room 102
Individuals present: Jimmy Cheek, Fritz Roka, Michael Kane, Gail Kauwell, Elizabeth Bolton,
Mike Sweat, Nick Place, Jude Grosser, and David Holmes in Gainesville
(Please note: Samira Daroub and Steve Johnson were present at their respective off-campus
locations and attempted to attend the meeting via Polycom, but were precluded from doing so
due to technical difficulties.)
Fritz Roka, Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:35 PM.
The first order of business was a discussion of Unifas. Dr. Cheek asked those in the room how
they liked using it. A variety of opinions were put forward that were consistent with previous
discussions about the topic. Faculty hear many complaints from their colleagues. David Holmes
would like to have more opportunity to put text into the software. Fritz Roka echoed onerous
problems related to extension reporting; other committee members chimed in as well. Glenn
Israel is working behind the scenes to improve Unifas. Fritz Roka suggested that too many
expectations have been laid at the feet of Unifas. IFAS unit heads have asked Dr. Cheek to
abandon Unifas. There are good and bad things about the software; the program has to get
100% of the planning and reporting jobs done, not 80 or 90%. IFAS must do something about
this, and do it soon.
A discussion of shifting faculty salaries to grants ensued. This idea started in the late 1970s, so
it is not new, but it is also not necessarily the wave of the future. It is not a move to 9 month
appointments; the IFAS mission indicates that we need to be on the job at all times. It is, rather,
an experiment to see what happens. There will be haves and have-nots, but that situation exists
now. Dr. Cheek said that IFAS has legitimate concerns about the program, but he wants to give
it a trial run. There is neither overwhelming support nor opposition to it. Dr. Cheek wants to give
it 3 years, with safeguards to prevent mission creep and loss of productivity. Fritz Roka still
thinks there will be morale issues. Gail Kauwell indicated that we need to look at the benefit to
the larger group as a whole, rather than at individual parts. Dr. Cheek said that if we went
through with this, IFAS would become more like the rest of the university, e.g. engineering and
health science. A committee should be appointed to determine how well faculty in the program
are doing with respect to productivity and direction of the program (i.e. fulfilling the IFAS
Gail Kauwell left the meeting at 2:34 PM
The question of who is eligible to be on the IFAS T & P committee was asked by Fritz Roka.
County Extension Directors, Asst. Chairs, and Assoc. Chairs are all eligible. Appropriate
abstentions may be needed for particular T & P candidates if these individuals were on the T &
P committee. Dr. Cheek would like to see committee appointments extended to 2 years instead
of 1. A staggered set of appointments needs to be created with five new members coming on
each year. If the committee was expanded to 12 from 10, then staggering would be easy with 6
new members coming on the committee each year (three appointed and three elected).
IFAS senators and Dr. Cheek will meet Thursday April 19th; Elizabeth Bolton indicated that
faculty council members are encouraged to attend. It can be explained at that time why having
senators on the faculty council is important. Dr. Cheek indicated that IFAS has never had a
chair of the UF faculty senate, so we need to groom someone for this position. It would be great
to have an IFAS faculty member there.
Some committee members have heard rumors that there are pending changes to the T & P
process regarding journal authorship. Specifically, there will be a numerical impact factor for
journals in which the T & P candidate has published, and order of authorship will mean
something. Dr. Cheek indicated that these rumors were not true. If there is a question about
journal publication numbers for an individual, then impact factor might be used to explore the
situation, as an additional piece of information. We want the best quantification of the quality of
Dr. Cheek left the meeting at 3:15 PM.
A discussion of IFAS elections ensued. It was recommended to run the elections for the Faculty
Council and T & P committees at the same time. Two separate emails will be needed due to
different qualifications required to vote for each committee. If we add one elected T & P
member, should it be at large? The six elected members will be two from campus, two from the
counties, and two from RECs; the six that Dr. Cheek appoints will be one from the counties, one
from an REC, two from main campus, and two at large.
The Faculty Council minutes from March 2007 were reviewed and accepted unanimously.
A discussion ensued about the IFAS faculty survey dealing with perspectives and expectations
on shared governance. We should make sure the faculty in our own departments see the
PowerPoint, and record their comments. Elizabeth Bolton reminded the group that the purpose
of the PowerPoint was to introduce and inform, so it should be viewed first before going on to
the survey. We should suggest that Dr. Cheek encourage unit heads to discuss the PowerPoint
at a faculty meeting. Also, it would be a good idea if he mentioned shared governance in his
opening remarks at the May extension symposium and possibly show the PowerPoint. Fritz
Roka said that we should make the survey available in May. David Holmes asked if we could
hand out paper copies at the extension symposium because we have a great opportunity there.
Nick Place asked the Faculty Council to look over the survey and email comments back to him.
He will email the survey to us with a deadline of 1 week to view and comment.
Nick Place and David Holmes left the meeting at 3:50 PM.
Elizabeth Bolton opined that the survey is not clear in its emphasis on the department level.
Other suggestions for survey items related to departmental issues were offered. It was
suggested that Table B be split into two tables, one for the IFAS level, and the other for the unit
Regarding location of the individuals taking the survey, it was suggested that the survey not list
the home department.
There was considerable further discussion about what material could and/or should be in the
survey and how it should be structured, particularly "conflict of interest" for administrators and
double duty for administrators. Fritz Roka explained where the survey came from in detail and
what the questions were trying to capture.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:28 PM.