UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
20 December 2006
Red Larson Dairy Bldg., Room 102
Individuals present: Fritz Roka, David Holmes, Jude Grosser, Mike Kane, Gail Kauwell, Lockie
Gary, Heather McAuslane, Elizabeth Bolton, Tom Obreza, Steve Johnson (via Polycom), Jimmy
Fritz Roka began the meeting at 1:35 PM. The first item of business was to review the minutes
from the November meeting. After several amendments were made, the revised minutes were
At this point Dr. Cheek had not yet arrived, so Fritz Roka reviewed where we are regarding the
shared governance issue. He outlined his vision of the tasks that need to be accomplished
during the next 10 months. Heather McAuslane indicated that an outcome 10 months from now
might be too late to match Dr. Cheek's original time line.
Dr. Cheek came in at 1:50 PM. He began by saying that IFAS has had a good (calendar) year
with regard to monetary donations, and he hopes it surpasses last year's record. He also
indicated that IFAS had a good legislative year with regard to funding.
The next item of business was to discuss County Extension Directors (CEDs) serving on the
IFAS Tenure, Promotion and Permanent Status committee. Dr. Cheek said that the rules
prohibit Department Chairs and Center Directors from serving, but they do not prohibit CEDs
from serving. Most CEDs carry out faculty roles as well as their administrative assignment. The
organizational structure under which they work is different, because they report to
administrators in their county as well as to Dr. Millie Ferrer. Dr. Cheek further stated that these
rules have existed for a long time, but they could be revisited if necessary. Elizabeth Bolton
pointed out that a positive of allowing CEDs is that it makes the Tenure, Promotion and
Permanent Status committee pool larger (67 more people).
Dr. Cheek then brought up a related item about the University Academic Personnel Board
(APB). This group has indicated that they are uncomfortable evaluating county extension faculty
for T & P. Dr. Cheek has offered several scenarios to President Machen that could remedy this
situation. Dr. Machen proposed a trial (2-year) process to promote county extension faculty
and/or award them permanent status without going to the APB. Basically, the decision would go
from the Dean for Extension to Dr. Cheek, then directly to Dr. Machen for final approval
(bypassing the APB). This proposal will be considered in January 2007, and then a final
decision will be made. Dr. Cheek anticipates that it will be approved.
At this point, a long and general philosophical discussion ensued about the entire T & P process
as it stands today, including intermittent questions and answers with Dr. Cheek. The focus then
shifted to shared governance. Fritz Roka indicated that our council wants to educate our faculty
colleagues about issues such as the timeline, what does shared governance mean, etc., and
then take the pulse of the IFAS community regarding what they want out of it. We have started
to create hot button issues that we think might resonate among IFAS faculty. We will determine
if there are cross-cutting issues we can come to consensus on in the near future as we go
through the process. We also need to consider the legal issues. Our goal is to accomplish this
by May, but this time frame may not be early enough. All of the above needs to occur before a
constitution is written.
The group returned to a discussion of the formation of the joint committee that Dr. Cheek
suggested in November. Fritz Roka feels uncomfortable having a role in selecting committee
members. Dr. Cheek would rather have this task done earlier than our timeline suggests. It
would be nice to have the shared governance document to the Faculty Senate by May, but it
does not look like that will be possible. Dr. Cheek admitted that the methodology suggested to
put the committee together probably could have been better.
The group then discussed several examples of current "shared governance" practices that have
never been officially called such, e.g. hiring department chairs and evaluating unit heads every
Fritz Roka outlined several examples of "hot button" issues: 1) hiring of unit heads; 2) the T & P
process; 3) the IFAS strategic plan; 4) the grievance procedure. Dr. Cheek indicated that the
university has a clearly defined grievance procedure that should probably be left alone.
Elizabeth Bolton asked if a preliminary procedure could be put in place that might help avoid
employees having to go through the official grievance process. She pointed out that most
"grievances" come from IFAS and Health Sciences, so a buffer might help solve some problems
before the grievance committee takes it on. Both Gail Kauwell and Heather McAuslane thought
a process such as this already exists, and Dr. Cheek concurred. Most of the group thought that
a "grievance" IMM describing the process exists. We need to confirm this, and perhaps need to
look at it.
The next item of discussion was how budget and resource allocation might become part of
shared governance. Dr. Cheek said this will be a difficult issue within this context. It is hard for
administration to discuss how "rate" should be allocated between IFAS operating units. In the
shared governance model there should be more information integrated about how much the
budget is and how it is distributed.
Jude Grosser's sense of what people would like in shared governance includes more use of
input from current faculty relative to what happens when a faculty member retires and the
position gets redefined. He also described a similar example: if, for instance, six faculty retire
from a unit but only two new positions come back, the current faculty group at the unit would like
to know why that happened. The same question could be asked regarding how FTE is split.
The group then discussed how shared governance might help departmental strategic plans get
integrated into the overall IFAS strategic plan. Dr. Cheek reminded the group that the IFAS plan
is a broad document that relies heavily on advisory committees (there are five of them across
Dr. Cheek summarized the three phases of shared governance as information, advice, and
decision-making. At this point (3:40 PM), he had to leave the meeting.
Fritz Roka suggested that our goal during the next 3 months should be to provide an
underpinning for the current draft IFAS constitution. Information procured from the faculty will be
melded to provide a foundation for arguments that can be used when it comes time to re-work
and negotiate the constitution. David Holmes suggested that we provide an example of where
shared governance could have helped (e.g. someone who was dismissed with no grievance
procedure) that will make people understand why they should care about it.
A discussion ensued about how search and screen committees have gone wrong and gone
right. There was also considerable discussion of other hot button issues, with several specific
Regarding the Jan 11th meeting: Elizabeth Bolton will ask Bill Lindberg and/or others if he wants
to attend and help represent IFAS in this university-wide discussion. An administrator must be in
Steve Johnson said we should not rush this process because it is so important. Gail Kauwell
agreed; she said we should take the time that we need.
Fritz Roka said we can use e-mail to work out the PowerPoint presentation that will be used to
educate IFAS faculty about shared governance. Once it is complete, it should become an
agenda item at unit faculty meetings. A discussion ensued about how to get the material to the
departments, and if we will need to send people to accompany the slide show.
Our immediate goal is to complete the PowerPoint in early January and provide some text to go
with it. Our next meeting is Jan 17th, 2007.
Meeting adjourned at 4:44 PM.