UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
8 October 2008
Red Larson Dairy Building, Room 102
Members present: Billy Crow, Entomology and Nematology; Gbola Adesogan, Animal
Sciences, Art Teixeira, Agriculture and Biological Engineering; Wendy Wilbur, Alachua County;
.\/lhi ty Larkin, Food and Resource Economics; BillLindberg, Forest Resources and
Conservation; Charlie Guy, Environmental Horticulture; Maisie Ross Palm Beach County
(Polycom), Monica Elliot Ft. Lauderdale REC (Polycom), Dave Norman, Mid-Florida REC via
Apopka (Polycom): Gene Mc Avoy, Hendry County (Polycom)
Guests present: Eric Luc (graduate student and aide to B. Crow); Cheri Brodeur and Diane
Craig, Agricultural Education and Communication
Members absent: Debbie Miller, West Florida REC; Kevin Kenworthy, Agronomy; Heather
McAuslane, Entomology and Nematology
The meeting was called to order by Chair Billy Crow at 1:07pm. Members present introduced
themselves. The minutes were presented and corrections were made (i.e., name change to 'Gbola
Adesogan' throughout). A motion to accept the minutes with corrections was made by Bill
Lindberg with a second by Art Teixeira. Motion passed. The corrected minutes will be posted on
the Faculty Council (FC) web page.
New Faculty Reporting System
A web site (http://pdec.ifas.ufl.edu/workload) designed to capture annual workload information
from faculty was introduced by Diane Craig (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Cheri Brodeur. The welcome
page is titled "Workload and Impacts" to emphasize that the site is intended to capture what the
faculty are doing with respect to, primarily, extension activities each year. The goal of the site is
to facilitate the collection of information that is needed for reporting by IFAS the better job we
do at documenting actual workload activities, the better justification we have for continued (or
possibly increased) funding. While the new Endnote interface will capture publications, and the
teaching information is electronically available, information on extension activities (especially
those by faculty without formal extension appointments) is crucial to the reporting process but
difficult to capture (e.g., number and type of clientele contacts, number and type of educational
materials developed, etc.). This new system is designed to help. The intent is that faculty will use
information from their end-of-year reporting summary such that the additional reporting burden
is minimized. Each year the information will be due on December 31st.
The process that is ongoing in the development of this site involved an initial presentation
to the VP and the Deans. This is the second presentation of the site. The system is currently in
the testing phase. Faculty are welcome to explore the site and are encouraged to submit
comments to Diane but nothing that is entered will be saved. Diane emphasized that one aspect
of the site that will be reviewed thoroughly before release is the FAQ; they need to be adequate
and useful. This is just one example of how the site will be modified and improved before release
later this year.
The FC discussed several aspects of the draft site. There was confusion over the wording
of the initial question, which asked for the faculty's appointment (i.e., percentage of workload
allocated between T, R, and E). Should faculty enter their official split or that budgeted, on
average, during the year? The split information is needed to direct faculty with formal extension
appointments to a more detailed page. Due to the confusion, one suggestion was to move the
appointment information to the bottom of the page, after the extension information needed from
all faculty (regardless of appointment) would be entered.
Bill Lindberg noted that since the site does not cover teaching, but faculty are used to
UNIFAS where all information was collected, an initial statement about what is and what is not
included in this application would be helpful. As is, there are links to the research-oriented
Endnote and CRIS reporting but nothing about teaching. Some faculty found the teaching
information that was available from the UNIFAS system to be very helpful. A suggestion was
made to contact Dr. Barrick and ask about the availability of this information (i.e., course
information and committee assignments).
VP J. Cheek joined the meeting at 1:42pm.
Diane and Cheri will continue to update the site as suggestions are provided. They encouraged
all FC members to explore the site and provide comments if possible. The site is located at
VPJ. Cheek encouraged the FC to RSVP to the Dedication of the Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Plant
on Friday, October 10. He then presented budget information that highlighted how the share for
salaries increased but the staff share decreased substantially. County faculty stayed about the
same. He then reviewed the principles that were used to identify the specific cuts, namely:
(1) Faculty are major drivers of our enterprise, we need to do everything possible to preserve
that investment. Similarly, monies for graduate students were also essentially unchanged.
(2) Need to leverage federal, state, and/or grant funds to maintain revenue stream (note: $300
million of budget from non-state sources, which is less than 50%, but it used to be 55-56%;
IFAS also spent $11 million from SHARE accounts last year versus $7 million in previous
So, while we were fortunate to have dedicated technical support for a number of years, technical
support staff needed to be the focus of reductions since tradeoffs were necessary. In addition, last
year IFAS needed to fill 50 positions. This year, nearly all were eliminated (not frozen since
monies were returned).
Operational monies also went down but Central OE support went from $2 million to
$800,000 (facilities operation monies to departments, IT). Utilities and Fiscal spending was
about the same since the primary expense is for utilities (although $7 million was budgeted but
the actual expense totaled approximately $8.5 million).
Despite the bleak budget situation, IFAS will be able to hire. Priority hires at the assistant
professor level are ones with outside match (e.g., Emerging Pathogens 100% grant funded,
another is being hired with 100% from royalty stream without start up costs, or another with a
50% match by industry for the first few years, the use of differential tuition monies via the
Provost is also a promising source of funds to hire new faculty).
Sources of the budget changed, many went up (e.g., contracts and grants went from $93
to $105 million). SPP and promotion did not come out of the 3% average raise as in previous
years due to President Machen's support. Next step is to present to Administrative Council
A 4-8% reduction is expected this year but it may not happen until July 2009. Given the
state of the budget presented, Dr. Cheek solicited any suggestions or feedback on how/where to
cut the budget. He also asked for feedback on the protocol used to direct budget cuts last year -
do the guiding principles seem reasonable? Eric Luc asked about energy conservation. Dr. Cheek
agreed that perhaps everyone could be encouraged to do more.
Billy Crow reiterated that retirements without planning means programs are left to face
difficult constraints, for example, in their ability to offer needed courses that affect the viability
of the graduate program. Bill Lindberg asked whether the opportunity to reinvest in the future
can provide a justification for a way to administer/address critical needs now so as to not lose
momentum by some programs. In other words, if you know where you're going to build in the
future could you factor that in now to keep programs afloat/viable? VP Cheek replied that it is
extremely difficult to plan ahead without knowing the details of the budget cuts.
Dr. Cheek solicited suggestions on the procedures to use for addresses additional budget
cuts. He would like the feedback prior to the November 13th meeting with the new Faculty
Assembly. Charlie Guy stated his appreciation for being asked to provide feedback and offered
three suggestions to Dr. Cheek to consider: (1) keeping folks informed, (2) re-examining the
guiding principles since the economic situation is unprecedented, and (3) planning for the worst-
case scenario under each potential % reduction. Dr. Cheek agreed with all but perhaps (3) since
causing alarm can be damaging. He provided an example given the initial budget situation last
Supplemental Compensation Plan
Dr. Cheek provided a copy of the plan to the FC. He would like specific recommendations to
change the plan to make it more attractive and successful. Some initial suggestions include:
(1) Provide a contact person that knows the details of applying (B. Crow)
(2) Charge the grant specialists with notifying faculty if they are eligible during the
contracting process (W. Wilber)
(3) Modify the first paragraph to emphasize the benefit to the faculty (B. Lindberg)
(4) Define "total salary savings" when discussing the payment in section 2 as direct salary
plus fringe then use that terminology throughout section 3 when discussing share
allocations (S. Larkin)
(5) Switch faculty and IFAS administrative share allocations (J. Cheek)
(6) Provide transparency with respect to use of money by IFAS admin and deans; if used for
activities that directly help faculty then faculty may be more inclined to participate
VP J. Cheek leaves at 3pm.
B. Crow and J. Cheek sent a joint letter to all department heads and center directors explaining
the election process for members of the new Faculty Assembly (FA) on September 22nd. To date,
only two units have responded by sending the name of their representative to B. Crow. Art
suggested sending a reminder and a copy of materials to FC members so they can follow up
within their own units.
The first meeting of the FA will be held on November 13th in Gainesville there was a
discussion on identifying the number of Polycom sites needed to accommodate all members.
There will be approximately 50 members at the initial meeting (FA plus FC), but in the future
there will be a need to reserve a room that can also accommodate guests. It was agreed that the
number of these sites needed to be restricted in order to facilitate effective communication
between all groups, especially for the first meeting. B. Crow plans to look at map of the REC's
then pick centers (every larger primary REC could be assembly point for meeting).
B. Lindberg led the discussion of the proposed agenda. He mentioned the need for
someone to initially lead the meeting until a chair is elected. Charlie Guy recommended that
Billy serve as the chair. Similarly, a recording secretary will also be needed until the elections
are held. B. Lindberg discussed the use of an established voting network that was used by the
Faculty Senate and agreed to explore the use of that system for the FA elections. It was also
noted that the time allocated to each agenda item should be defined and included in the agenda
so that Billy can keep the meeting on schedule.
B. Lindberg and C. Guy briefly reviewed the organization of the FC and the composition
and role of each standing committee under the new governance system. Recall, the FA is
intended as a mechanism for effective communication with administration. As such, the FC will
not be immediately abolished since it (we) serve at the pleasure of the VP and serve to provide
feedback to him, which serves a different purpose.
Charge to the FC before the FA meeting
Charlie Guy summarized that VP J. Cheek asked the FC for specific feedback on two items prior
to the next meeting, which is immediately prior to the new FA meeting on Nov. 13th. He
suggested that the FC should take a more comprehensive approach to providing the feedback and
advice. Specifically he suggested that each FC member solicit information from individual
faculty in their own unit, then synthesize and send to the chair. At which point the chair (B.
Crow) can identify consensus recommendations for Dr. Cheek. To that end, B. Crow will
assemble our input, draft a joint statement and send for review prior to Nov. 13th
Meeting adjourned at 3:51pm.