UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
21 February 2007
Red Larson Dairy Bldg., Room 102
Individuals present: Fritz Roka, Steve Johnson, Lockie Gary, Heather McAuslane, Elizabeth
Bolton, Gail Kauwell, David Holmes, Jude Grosser, Tom Obreza in Gainesville; Samira Daroub
attending via Polycom; Jimmy Cheek attending via telephone. Glenn Israel attended as a guest.
Fritz Roka called the meeting to order at 1:30 PM. Our first task was to review the minutes from
the January meeting. After several changes were suggested and made, the minutes were
accepted unanimously by the council.
Glenn Israel provided an overview of the Unifas system to the group. He reviewed what has
happened with Unifas during the past year. IFAS now has 3 years worth of faculty input to the
system. They have upgraded how publications are entered and recorded. Some faculty reported
missing courses on their Unifas reports. Glenn indicated that these problems were found and
corrected. Last year Glenn organized a Unifas advisory committee with nine members. In
December and January, their group worked to update the personnel database. More data
continue to be entered into the system as availability permits. Sometimes data from other
databases takes awhile to be updated at the respective sources. The Unifas staff troubleshoot
cases on an individual basis as people call to let them know. On the program side, they have
revised the annual report. For example, if a faculty member teaches and does research, only
the headings pertaining to those will appear on the RTF report, and extension will not appear. A
wide scope of changes will come in Version 2 of Unifas. Users will be provided more editing
capability, and the screen layout will change. A different screen geography will be used to
minimize long lists and a lot of scrolling.
After Glenn's overview, several council members had questions and comments about Unifas.
These were specific issues that members had with their own Unifas reports. According to this
discussion, the following things need attention:
Teaching Samira Daroub said that some columns in the teaching evaluation data tables are
blank. Glenn said the raw data they get from academic programs comes in that way, i.e. it is not
a full dataset. Glenn is working on this problem, as it has been an ongoing issue for some time.
Steve Johnson said he needs to put two teaching evaluations for a course into his T&P packet,
but there is only room for one. Glenn realizes this and they are working on that problem.
Extension Samira Daroub asked where someone should put extension activities if they do not
have an extension appointment. Glenn said in this situation the faculty member should create
an umbrella extension program for all they do and enter it regardless. Fritz Roka said that the
distinction between an extension team member and contributor is not clear. It is obvious that
different faculty classify events differently, e.g. a field day vs. a group learning event. Several
council members agreed that it is laborious to go through the series of extension screens.
Elizabeth Bolton stated that she liked the Unifas training sessions provided by Glenn. She would
like to see this done once a year as a refresher.
Glenn said he is getting fewer calls for assistance this year compared with last year. Faculty
reactions to Unifas have been all across the spectrum. Glenn opined that those who enter
information on a regular (e.g. monthly) basis have an easier time in the long run.
David Holmes asked how administrators (unit heads) have taken to the system as evaluators.
Glenn admitted that some department chairs have given him a hard time about it. Their main
complaint is that the unit level report generated by Unifas is not complete. There are two
reasons for this: the external database problem, and the fact that some faculty are not entering
their material into the database.
The faculty council recommended that IFAS use Unifas-based reports to compare the
performance of UF-IFAS vs. other land-grant universities at the federal level.
Samira Daroub left the meeting at 2:38 PM for another engagement.
Final comments about Unifas: Lockie Gary said he is involved with numerous activities that
have no place for reporting in Unifas. Lockie mentioned that his international activities could not
be entered through current Unifas system. Glenn indicated that entering book chapters into the
publications section has been a big problem this year, as well as entering lectures and
speeches. Glenn asserted that Unifas should not be viewed as providing a "ready-to-use" T&P
package. Faculty should take the Unifas document and edit to produce the T&P document.
Dr. Cheek was in Ft. Pierce that afternoon, and joined us by telephone at 2:49 PM. He told us
about the Farm Bill needs meeting he was attending there. As these things often go, the
meeting wrap-up took extra time, which is why he was late calling us.
There were two things Dr. Cheek wanted to talk about the shared governance process and a
potential salary proposal. Shared Governance: Dr. Cheek thinks the faculty council has done a
good job in our shared governance effort; he particularly singled out the PowerPoint
presentation as a product he liked. At this point, Fritz Roka suggested to Dr. Cheek that if would
be very helpful to the effort if he could provide 60 to 90 seconds worth of opening comments
encouraging IFAS faculty to show enthusiasm and get involved. Dr. Cheek said he would
provide an opening statement in that regard. Salary Proposal: The proposal he e-mailed us the
previous day detailed a plan that could be used to allow faculty to pay a portion of their own
salary from grants and contracts. At present, 53% of the IFAS budget comes from the state; the
second highest income stream is grants and contracts. IFAS administration wants to increase
the grants and contracts portion, and are mulling over methods to get this accomplished. The
incentive in this proposal is a salary increase for the faculty if they can pay part of their salary
from outside sources. Dr. Cheek asked that we study the document and provide feedback at the
March faculty council meeting. There are potential downfalls and risk in the concept. The extra
income would be used for merit salary increases that are necessary within IFAS. The upside of
the concept is that a market equity pool would allow investment in new faculty. Dr. Cheek wants
us to take a good hard look at the proposal, not just a cursory evaluation. Fritz Roka indicated
that we will do this at our next meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, March 19th. Dr. Cheek
ended the phone call at 3:07 PM. Lockie Gary left at the same time for another engagement.
The group returned to the discussion with Glenn Israel. Glenn wants input on how to make the
process better and suggestions on how the process could be streamlined. He said he is always
happy to help people and give workshops so faculty can better learn and understand the
system. At this point, Glenn left the meeting.
The last task for the meeting was to discuss the next steps in shared governance. We need to
add the opening message from Dr. Cheek to the PowerPoint, and then put it on the faculty
council website for viewing. We will send it to senators before it is made available to the faculty.
Dr. Cheek had made comments about the PowerPoint that we should take into consideration.
One of his suggestions was to remove the diagram (he said it was confusing). This issue was
discussed by the group, and we felt that the diagram should remain. Gail Kauwell pointed out
that the diagram is not prescriptive. It was felt that it would help some faculty understand shared
governance better than plain text. We should explain to Jimmy Cheek why we want to leave it in
so he will understand our position. Fritz Roka indicated that the diagram provides some
concrete areas for discussion. David Holmes agreed, suggesting that the diagram will help
Some of Dr. Cheek's other comments were discussed, and the group tried to interpret them with
regard to where his concerns might lie. The group listened to the PowerPoint narration on
Heather McAuslane's computer and re-wrote some of the statements for the next version. We
tried to use language that will likely be acceptable to Dr. Cheek.
Fritz Roka suggested the following timeline: Release the PowerPoint in early March for faculty
review. Develop the survey in March for delivery in April. Our purpose is to identify hot button
issues, and perhaps how we should address these issues. We need to address IFAS-wide
concerns in the constitution, not those things that occur strictly at the unit level. Elizabeth Bolton
believes we will receive a huge laundry list that will take a long time to sort out.
There was considerable discussion about the survey, how it will look, how it will be analyzed,
and how the results will be used. Jude Grosser asked if we could find another land grant
university that used a survey in a shared governance process, and obtain it for our use. David
Holmes suggested that our survey should be much shorter than the recent university-level
survey. Fritz Roka indicated that we will need to gather demographic data in the survey. Also,
ask the faculty if they are willing to serve to help with the process, and how much time would
they be willing to commit. Fritz said he would send an e-mail to each unit, to whoever is in
charge of faculty meetings, to make sure the PowerPoint gets shown.
Gail Kauwell said she called eight people regarding their willingness to be nominated for a
university-wide committee and only two people allowed their names to be submitted.
By March 23, the faculty council needs to identify 22 names of willing nominees to put forward
for the University Senate election. Paul Willis will send a list of eligible faculty. We can send out
a preliminary e-mail first to gauge the level of response. This e-mail should also be sent to unit
heads. Another election the council will need to supply names for is the IFAS T & P committee.
A third election will be positions on the faculty council.
Our assignment for the next faculty council meeting is to review salary enhancement draft
proposal and provide commentary.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:28 PM.
Thomas Obreza, Recording Secretary