UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
23 May 2007
Red Larson Dairy Bldg., Room 102
Individuals present: Fritz Roka, Michael Kane, Gail Kauwell, Mike Sweat, Jude Grosser, Lockie
Gary, Steve Johnson, Judy Butterfield, Bill Lindberg, Elizabeth Bolton, David Holmes and Tom
Obreza in Gainesville; No attendees via Polycom
Committee chair Fritz Roka called the meeting to order at 1:37 PM. He informed the group that
Dr. Cheek will not be attending the meeting due to a commitment in Okeechobee. He also
welcomed our two new council members, Judy Butterfield and Bill Lindberg.
The April 2007 meeting minutes were reviewed and were unanimously accepted into the record.
Fritz Roka asked the council members if the e-mail about the elections was received. Some
members indicated they did not, although they had heard an email had been sent. There were
no biographical sketches accompanying candidate names, but it was pointed out that a bio may
not do much good to help a voter select a candidate. It would be better if each candidate
supplied a campaign statement, but obtaining that might be difficult considering how hard it was
to fill out the slate of candidates. Next year the council should think about how to improve the
election process. There could be links to faculty web pages, or the candidates could be asked to
provide a written answer to the question of why they want to be elected. It was pointed out that
the ballot does not allow abstentions; a button should be added to the electronic ballot that
allows a voter to continue even if not all races are voted on (or some other measure to allow
abstentions). We need more ideas to coax a larger group of faculty to participate in elections.
Gail Kauwell suggested that an e-mail be sent describing voter turnout so all of IFAS can see
the percentage that votes. This action might improve voter turn-out in the future. In addition, a
report should be compiled showing the departments from which senators and T & P committee
members have come during the previous 5 years.
Lockie Gary and David Holmes observed that the Shared Governance survey was transformed
from "short" to "long." According to Ryan Mills, the first 11 people who took the survey
completed it in an average of 16 minutes. In order to increase survey participation, "reminder" e-
mails will be sent, and the deadline will be extended to the end of June to try to capture survey
reminders mentioned at unit faculty meetings. At the July faculty council meeting, Fritz will invite
reports from members about comments received on the PowerPoint presentation and shared
governance in general.
A discussion ensued about how the survey data will be analyzed. This task needs to be
completed by August if possible. Survey results can potentially be viewed from many different
angles. Gail Kauwell suggested that each faculty council member review the raw results on their
own first because different people may see different things. Elizabeth Bolton said that we need
to be able to sort the answers by type of person, e.g. state, county, administrator, FTE
assignment, employment level. We need to think about the number of responses received...will
it be a large enough sample size to represent all faculty without bias? We should ask Dr. Cheek
to prompt unit heads to encourage their faculty to take the survey.
Gail Kauwell asked if a "standard" exists regarding the sequence or order for authors of journal
articles. A discussion ensued about this situation. There has been a lot of talk among IFAS
faculty about it. This committee may be in position to steer Dr. Cheek in a particular direction.
The issue of charging faculty salaries to grants and contracts was raised. Fritz Roka asked if we
need to invite Dr. Mark McLellan to one of our meetings to discuss it. Mike Kane said that
Faculty Council feedback should also be provided regarding the development of the publication
and science metrics to the Vice President. The faculty council exists in part to help improve the
quality of faculty life through better communication. Everything we do is noted by the faculty and
they react in certain ways. Faculty uncertainty has been the rule of late. Faculty often incorrectly
interpret administrative decisions based on what they hear from their colleagues In some ways
the university is transitioning into a business model with a structure that is perceived as being in
conflict with the mission of a land grant university. Consequently, this generates an environment
of uncertainty among faculty regarding what is expected of them. The challenge is how the
faculty council can help to improve communication. For example, state for the record that we
agree with the idea of raising tuition.
Fritz Roka asked if we need to invite any outside individuals to our next three meetings. Gail
Kauwell suggested that we wait until we have recommendations or a message to pass on
before we invite specific people. Elizabeth Bolton said that we should first analyze the survey
data, and then invite the three deans to the August meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:45 PM.
Submitted by Thomas Obreza, Recording Secretary