UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
17 July 2007
Red Larson Dairy Building, Room 102
Individuals present: Fritz Roka, Gail Kauwell, Bill Lindberg, Elizabeth Bolton, Heather
McAuslane, Tom Obreza, Judy Butterfield, and Jimmy Cheek in Gainesville; Samira Daroub in
Belle Glade via Polycom
Council chair Fritz Roka called the meeting to order at 1:35 PM.
The proceedings began with a report from Dr. Cheek indicating that IFAS began the current
year in a good financial position, but there was disappointment in many quarters that the Florida
Legislature did not appropriate money for salary increases. Dr. Cheek said that many states are
experiencing similar situations and described California's as an example; they currently have a
$10 billion shortfall. We may experience a 4% budget callback from UF administrators due to
Florida's shortfall. There has been discussion that next year would also be subject to a 4%
callback, so the future looks rather uncertain. Administrators are debating how cautious they
should be regarding the IFAS budget considering this uncertainty. It appears that President
Machen will ask for $7 to 9 million of the IFAS budget to be returned, and Dr. Cheek feels this
range is accurate. IFAS will cover this cutback by freezing all faculty and staff positions. We
currently have 59 state positions open. About 15 to 20 of these positions are in an advanced
recruitment stage (recently filled, offers made, or interviewing); these positions will not be
subjected to the freeze. Counties have 19 positions open, and those not in the above three
stages will likely be frozen. The result of the hiring freeze will be a saving of about $4 million,
and $2 million more saving will come out of IFAS central administration. Cuts to IFAS units will
range from 5 to 50%, which will total around $3 million.
Dr. Cheek further commented that IFAS has never fully recovered from cuts occurring earlier
this decade. The Center for Landscape Ecology and Conservation will take a big hit because
they were expecting seven new positions. A discussion ensued about tuition increases, how
they will be scheduled, and the lawsuit just filed that should settle the issue of who has the
power to set UF tuition. The most significant issue on the horizon is the January 2008 vote on
property tax relief. Dr. Machen, in an address to UF students, said the university is under-
funded by around $150 to $200 million.
Fritz Roka asked if there is a way to provide an incentive for individuals to become more frugal;
for instance, not being forced to spend money in the "use it or lose it" mode. Is there a way for a
program to carry extra dollars over to the next fiscal year instead of either spending it or turning
it back? Unfortunately, in our current system, the answer is no.
Bill Lindberg pointed out the problem that occurs when extension and teaching costs must be
covered by funds generated in the research program. He asked how we can handle this in
tough times, when research dollars are less likely to go towards extension or teaching. Again,
there was no easy answer.
Fritz Roka expressed the widely-held opinion among IFAS extension workers that charging a
fee for extension programs, i.e., becoming entrepreneurial with extension, would be a difficult
and unpopular decision. A discussion ensued about SHARE dollars and how they have been
managed (or hoarded), perhaps not being used for their original intention when first received.
We also discussed how to become more entrepreneurial in research. It was suggested that
someone from the UF Office of Technology and Licensing (OTL) be invited to make a
presentation about this at unit faculty meetings. It was also suggested that an OTL
representative make presentations at broader gatherings of IFAS faculty.
Fritz Roka indicated that we should share the message with IFAS faculty (particularly at the
RECs) that central administration will be taking a $2 million cut, i.e., not all of the IFAS cutback
burden will be placed on the units.
Dr. Cheek distributed a document entitled "IFAS Supplemental Compensation Plan," which
details a proposal to increase the proportion of faculty salaries supported by non-state funds.
This document has some changes in it compared with the original proposal. Dr. Cheek
explained the new idea, and asked the council for feedback. He also distributed a supplemental
compensation formula. The goal is to decrease the amount of overall faculty salaries paid by
state funds. Part of the state money savings would establish a fund to be used for market equity
salary adjustments. Dr. Cheek asked if the council could provide feedback to him regarding the
new document at our next meeting, and Fritz Roka said he would put it on the agenda.
Dr. Cheek left the meeting at 2:45 PM.
The June 2007 Faculty Council meeting minutes were reviewed and approved. We were
reminded that Nick Place had left the university, so we need to replace him on the council. Our
first idea is to ask Jerry Cullen to serve out the rest of Nick's term, since he had the most votes
of the nominees who were not elected to the council in June 2007.
Fritz Roka brought up the need to choose a Faculty Council chairperson for 2007-08. According
to how chair selection has gone in the past, it appears that David Holmes might be the only
eligible candidate. It was emphasized that our best situation would be to appoint an individual in
their 2nd year on the council, but we may end up having to consider a 1st-year member. No one
had yet asked David Holmes if he would take the chair's position. If David declines, then Judy
Butterfield might take it since she occupies a 1-year term as liason between IFAS members of
the UF Senate and Faculty Council (Bill Lindberg has the 2-year term of those two new
members). The new chairperson issue needs to be resolved by our next meeting in late August.
The next item of discussion was the IFAS faculty survey on shared governance. Ryan Mills did
not provide us with a statistical analysis of results due to a miscommunication. Fritz Roka
distributed a hard copy of the survey and a demographic analysis of the group that responded
(258 of 908 eligible faculty). A discussion ensued about the demographics where the group tried
to determine if the 258 were a true representation of IFAS faculty. We came to no definitive
conclusion about this.
Fritz Roka mused about the future, when shared governance goes forward and an elected body
of faculty is needed to formally participate in it, and asked who will comprise the body of eligible
faculty. We speculated that the most likely group will be those faculty who hold permanent
status or are in tenure-accruing positions.
Fritz Roka asked the group how the survey data should be analyzed. A discussion ensued
about various ways the total count could be classified, e.g. administrators vs. non-
administrators; rank in the system; state faculty vs. county faculty; main campus vs. REC. Bill
Lindberg asked if help is available from someone well-versed in survey analysis. The answer
was yes, Ryan Mills. The group decided that we should begin by analyzing the responses of
IFAS as a whole vs. the individual units.
Fritz Roka asked about the nature of questions we want the survey data analysis to answer. We
realized that we cannot compare administrator answers to regular faculty answers because not
enough administrators responded.
Heather McAuslane suggested that the first data summary should include the mean, variance,
and frequency distribution grouped by REC, main campus, county, and total faculty. She asked
if the generated report could include graphical representation of the results in addition to
summary tables. Bill Lindberg would like to see data summarized by major headings, e.g.
faculty welfare. Samira Daroub suggested that the summary be expressed similar to course
evaluations (frequency distribution as a percentage rather than actual number totals). Bill
Lindberg reminded the group that the response analysis process will be iterative and that we are
entering the first phase.
Fritz Roka indicated that we will have aggregate answers by question in a few days, and asked
if we should have an interim meeting to discuss them. The group did not have a great deal of
enthusiasm for a special meeting. Suggested dates were July 26th, August 20th, and August 21st.
Fritz Roka said an e-mail will be sent to the entire council to vote on a date.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:50 PM.
Thomas Obreza, Recording Secretary