UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
28 November 2007
Red Larson Dairy Building, Room 102
Individuals present: David Holmes, Bill Lindberg, Adegbola Adesogan, Billy Crow, Mike Kane,
Tom Obreza, Sherry Larkin and Jimmy Cheek attended in Gainesville; Brenda Rogers, Monica
Elliott, Steve Johnson, Maisie Ross and Samira Daroub participated via Polycom.
David Holmes called the meeting to order at 1:35 PM. The minutes from the October meeting
were reviewed and amended. A motion was made to accept the minutes into the permanent
record. The motion was seconded and it passed by unanimous vote.
A short discussion ensued about the Emeritus Faculty IMM, related to how IFAS grants
emeritus status. Brenda Rogers described how emeritus status is granted at the county level. In
most counties, a vote is required before emeritus status is granted. However, the eligibility of
individuals to vote varies between counties. The group agreed that IFAS should standardize the
voting procedure across all units. Dr. Cheek suggested that Mary Ann Morgan be consulted
The group next discussed the operational procedures of the IFAS Tenure and Promotion
committee. An issue recently arose where an elected member was not able to serve. Dr. Cheek
and David Holmes communicated about this in the interim period between our last two Faculty
Council meetings, and David Holmes provided a shortcut solution that alleviated the problem.
Dr. Cheek indicated that the IFAS "Salary Supplement for Senior Faculty" committee needs an
addition of four people. He distributed a list of names of previous supplement recipients,
including those who had also served on the T & P committee. The group derived a pool of
candidates from which the four individuals would be chosen: John Stevely, Norm Leppla, Bob
Stamps, Mike Olexa, Mary Williams, Steve Sargent, Steve Olson, and Mike Swett. These
names will be put forward into the election process.
Dr. Cheek brought up a few details about the UF-IFAS Senior Vice President's Holiday Social.
Invitations have been sent to all Faculty Council members, and he encouraged the group to
attend. Dr. Cheek said he would like to be able to invite all IFAS faculty to this event, but it
would not be physically possible because it would involve inviting around 900 people. The group
considered several ways that all IFAS faculty could receive intermittent invitations on a rotating
basis. For example, the body of faculty could be divided into thirds or quarters, with one group
(-250 to 300 people) invited each year. Dr. Cheek inquired about additional IFAS committees
that should be included on the invitation list if we continue on the current path. The group did not
have any suggestions regarding additional committees that are now being left out.
Billy Crow initiated a discussion about the new IFAS vehicle management plan. Dr. Crow
described how he procures state vehicles for his research/extension team and how they use
them across the state. He expressed concern that the proposed management plan could
prevent him from fully carrying out his research and extension missions, and provided details
about how this could happen. Dr. Cheek then described how the management plan came about.
It originated with The Huron Group report, which recommended that the university dispose of
some vehicles, particularly those that are used sparingly. In response, IFAS drafted the plan
under current discussion. Presently, IFAS owns about 1000 vehicles. Dr. Cheek distributed a
draft copy of the plan and reviewed its specifics. He indicated that IFAS will go forward with the
plan, but will observe carefully to see how it plays out. We must proceed with it quickly due to a
directive from upper university administration in response to the Huron report. A discussion
ensued about vehicles, their use, and the concern of faculty across IFAS. Dr. Cheek again
explained why the action was being taken. One point of contention was how automobile
insurance is handled in the case of a wreck, considering that IFAS is self insured. The question
of using personal insurance was raised. A major problem with using personal insurance is that it
could increase the cost of an individual's policy if an incident occurs.
Dr. Kirby Barrick arrived at 2:12 PM.
David Holmes began a discussion about how to move shared governance ahead. He provided
us a quick look at where we have been and where we are now. An original draft constitution was
completed in mid-2006, a revised draft came forth in October 2006, then faculty was surveyed
on-line about shared governance, and finally the survey data were analyzed. Dr. Cheek and the
Faculty Council now must appoint a committee to re-work the October 2006 draft, which will
finalize the procedure. Dr. Cheek wants this committee to not only look at what is currently on
paper, but also look at other similar documents across UF, and even documents in place at
other universities. Dr. Cheek indicated that the committee should ask questions like "Why are
we doing this?" and "Will the document help us achieve what we want to achieve?" The
committee must make sure the document will work for its intended purpose of allowing IFAS to
achieve more shared governance. Dr. Cheek also reminded us that the final document needs to
be examined by Barbara Wingo regarding legality. The constitution must not repeat any
language that is contained in any other governing document. It cannot be in conflict with
documents that have emanated from the university or Board of Trustees.
Dr. Barrick offered his input, saying that the committee needs to make sure we end up with a
constitution for the entity of IFAS, not the entity of a college within a university. What works for a
college will not work for an organization like IFAS. We must avoid creating a cumbersome
document. Other comments by Dr. Barrick: Keep in mind why we have administrative leadership
at various levels, i.e. what their purpose and assignments are. For example, the positions of
"faculty" and "dean" have significantly different assignments. We should keep the document as
brief as possible, and avoid "nit-picking."
Bill Lindberg reminded us that our survey indicated the level of satisfaction with shared
governance improved as the group considered got smaller and closer to home. The structure
and composition of IFAS makes the job of writing a constitution much more challenging than if
the document was being written for a college, e.g. the College of Engineering or College of
Sherry Larkin arrived at 3:00 PM.
Mike Kane suggested that the committee should examine the current document to determine its
potential negatives and limitations from an administration standpoint. Bill Lindberg suggested
that current version be used as a catalyst for dialogue between committee members. As a
member of the group that produced the original version, he recalled some areas that raised
contention during deliberations, and indicated that these specifics need to be identified and
David Holmes suggested that it was now time to form the committee to take on the tasks that
the group just outlined. The committee will consist of nine people: four from administration and
five from the general faculty. The question of the best way for the committee to do their work
was raised. The group agreed that a format similar to the one used by the T & P committee
should work well, e.g. sequester them and dedicate about 2 full days to the task. David Holmes
indicated that this format would prevent the work from lagging. The group reviewed a list of
general faculty members that could potentially become committee members. The names
chosen included Bill Lindberg, Fritz Roka, Mary Beth Salisbury, Judy Butterfield, and Charley
Guy. An alternate list was provided in case additional names are needed: Brenda Williams, Sue
Percival, and Larry Halsey. Names suggested from the administrative group included John
Capinera, Chris Waddill, Millie Ferrer, and Ed Osborne. Dr. Cheek's office will send "request to
serve" letters to these individuals. The target month for the first committee meeting is February
2008. It was agreed that the committee should be formed before the January 15 Faculty Council
meeting so the members can attend to receive their charge.
Dr. Cheek left the meeting at 3:27 PM.
The balance of the meeting was devoted to our discussion with Dr. Barrick. David Holmes
asked him to comment on several issues:
Peer evaluation system for teaching assessment: Dr. Barrick distributed a draft document
entitled "Peer Evaluation for Teaching Assessment, 2007-2008." One of the Faculty Council's
own, Mike Kane, helped develop it. The manual has so far been shared with a small number of
people in IFAS. The rationale for producing it was to provide information to teaching evaluators
about how to observe and identify good teaching. Student evaluations cannot possibly be the
only way to determine the effectiveness of a teacher. Dr. Barrick espoused his view about the
best way to evaluate teaching, which will eventually be turned into a peer evaluation system for
IFAS. Sherry Larkin asked if a timeline to do this is in place. Dr. Barrick told us that nothing is
carved in stone, but hopefully sometime during the next several months it will be ready for
review by a larger group of people (e.g. the Faculty Council). After examining the draft
document, Bola Adesogan gave it a good review and told Drs. Barrick and Kane he thought they
had done a commendable job.
Distance education and new academic programs: Dr. Barrick distributed two documents:
"CALS Overload Pay Policy for Distance Education," and "Guidelines for Creating Self-Funded
Courses or Programs." He discussed the concept and justification for self-funded courses.
These course types are going to be strongly promoted in IFAS.
Outlook for future assistantships: Dr. Barrick indicated that the reservoir of money from which
matching assistantships are funded is not growing. Also, the matching assistantship amount
was increased from $6000 for $8000 per student. CALS sends $5.5 million to departments in
the form of matching assistantships and fellowships.
Proposed new lab, technology, and other student fees: Dr. Barrick told us there are no "lab" fees
at UF; the fees imposed are called "material and supplies" fees. The nomenclature in this case
is important relative to what UF is allowed to charge for. Also, a new term (course "equipment
fee") has come to the forefront. If the Board of Trustees approves the equipment fee this week,
it can be collected starting spring semester 2008. The money collected is allocated to the
department offering the course.
Curriculum enhancement: Dr. Barrick announced that he has a goal for each department in
IFAS to determine if they are doing all they can to prepare students for graduation during the
next 10 years, and if not, to take corrective action.
Dr. Barrick left the meeting at 4:30 PM.
David Holmes asked the group if any eligible members would consider volunteering to serve as
vice-chair of the Faculty Council. He listed the names of eligible members, and again asked for
a volunteer. There were no volunteers at this time, so he asked potential candidates to think
about it and let him know through personal contact. We need to have a candidate by the next
Faculty Council meeting.
The next Faculty Council meeting is scheduled for December 18th, 2007. Mary Ann Morgan has
been invited as our special guest to discuss personnel issues. We need to make sure that if she
has handouts, she knows to send them to us the day before at the latest.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:37 PM.
Thomas Obreza, Recording Secretary