University of South
Florida Tampa Campus Library
USF Faculty Senate Archives
November 28, 2001
FACULTY SENATE MEETING
November 28, 2001
The meeting was called to order at 3:10 p.m. The agenda for today's meeting was approved. The Minutes of October 17, 2001, were approved as corrected.
FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT'S REPORT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS (Gregory Paveza)
President Paveza directed everyone's attention to the Values, Vision, Mission and Goals Statement from Provost Stamps, with a cover letter from himself. This document will be discussed later in today's meeting.
President Paveza announced that another Senator had resigned. This Senator did ask that his resignation letter be distributed to members of the Senate, copies of which were available for pick-up. President Paveza indicated that copies of the Senator's resignation letter will also be included in the packets for the January Senate meeting.At this point, President Paveza entertained a motion that after the adjournment of today's meeting the Senate will stand in recess until the January meeting with one proviso that a Senate meeting could be called at the discretion of the Faculty Senate President. The motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved.
PRESIDENT JUDY GENSHAFT
President Genshaft pointed out that right now the top issue is following what is happening with the Legislature and watching the special session every day to find out what kind of budgetary challenges the University of South Florida (USF) will be facing at the end of this session which is on December 6th. It is known that USF will have at least a 5 percent cut.
President Genshaft announced that Professor Robin Murphy of the College of Engineering and her artificially intelligent robot were featured in a recent edition of the Parade Magazine.
President Genshaft invited everyone to the Faculty Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 12th, from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m., at the Lifsey House. She stated that she is very proud of the faculty and all that they have done. USF is a really great university because of the faculty and she thanked everyone for all they do.At this time, President Genshaft turned the meeting over to Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman Richard Beard.
CHAIRMAN RICHARD BEARD
Chairman Beard announced that the BOT has had two meetings since July 1st, with a third scheduled on Thursday, December 6th. He indicated that the BOT has made the effort to visit all the campuses in an attempt to get a feel for what USF is, which is a huge operation. BOT members have been selected for all the regional campuses. In addition, two initial committees have been put together. One is the Governance Committee, and its goal is to try and determine how to organize the Board. The second committee is the Vision Committee which is supposed to put together a strategic plan.
The Vision Committee consists of thirty-four members, of which President Paveza is one. It is hoped to eventually have a strategic plan which will drive USF for the next five years. The goal is to have a strategic plan in place by the end of the first quarter of next year. From that plan it will be possible to determine what resources will be needed at USF.
Another plan is to make sure that the governance structure of the BOT is complete and put in place. Chairman Beard and President Genshaft have agreed that the major committees on the BOT will match their goals. A committee will work on specific goals to be presented to the BOT. There will be a committee to make sure that USF gets its fair share of funds from Tallahassee.
Chairman Beard pointed out that the one thing the BOT really has the authority to do is hire or fire the President of USF. The BOT will work on making sure that the devolution of its authority gets delivered to them in a timely manner. They have the authority, but do not have the resources.
Lastly, Chairman Beard announced that the BOT wants to make sure that the Health Sciences Center moves in an upward and positive direction to be at the same level as the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.Senator Kathleen Heidi asked Chairman Beard if the BOT has a sense of USF's greatest challenges. He responded that one of the greatest challenges is becoming a true research university. In addition, he feels that it is not well known what a fantastic institution USF really is, especially in the community.
Past President Nancy Jane Tyson asked Chairman Beard if he was going to be present during the discussion on the Mission Statement. Unfortunately, he was unable to stay but felt confident that President Paveza, as a member of the Task Force, could be able to answer questions. Past President Tyson indicated that the tenor of the discussion will be that there needs to be a great deal more focus in that statement on Fine Arts and Humanities and the creative mission of the university. President Genshaft added that the whole discussion during the Town Hall meeting held at the Health Sciences Center was about including the culture, the arts, and scholarly endeavors in the statement. This was absolutely endorsed and the Task Force will make sure it is part of the statement. Past President Tyson pointed out that it needs to be much more present in the document, and this will be addressed during the open discussion later in today's meeting.
Chairman Beard was asked to elaborate on the structure of the Governance Committee and how it will address specific goals. He feels that boards are fluid and the reason for the specific committees was to put the Board in place because there were no goals. If goals change, then the committees will change to meet those goals. Although the goals might change, the values and mission of the university will not. President Genshaft added that the goals being proposed are the over-arching goals of the university which she really does not see changing over a five year period. The mission and goals of each individual unit would fall under this over-arching umbrella. Chairman Beard indicated that there will be specific benchmarks set that the BOT will try to achieve in the values statement, but those have not yet been determined.Senator Harry Vanden asked Chairman Beard if the BOT has had a detailed discussion yet about quality and quality control. One of the albatrosses that USF sometimes has to deal with is that it is not a good university, and that it is not as good as the other Florida research universities. He asked to what extent the BOT has discussed this, and if not, to what extent it would and if the BOT has any ways in which to assure or expedite the further improvement of quality control. Chairman Beard responded that this is one of the issues the BOT is charged to work on. USF is a young university and to compare it with others that have been around twice as long is somewhat unfair. He feels that some of the quality control structure has not kept up with the growth of the university and that needs to be dealt with, which it will be by the BOT. However, Chairman Beard pointed out that the number one priority right now is to set up a strategic plan for the university. President Genshaft added that the equity and funding issue is really an important one for the Board to be undertaking so that USF is not number eight or nine compared to the other Florida research universities. In addition, she feels that strengthening the research and scholarly endeavors goes along with Phi Beta Kappa, which needs to be further discussed. Phi Beta Kappa is something that is not only part of the larger umbrella, but it should come up through Academic Affairs as one of its goals.
Past President Janet Moore applauded Chairman Beard for being receptive to the things he heard at the Town Hall meetings. She asked that he recognize that this Faculty Senate is a built-in town hall meeting at the university and that it would be a wise thing for the BOT to consult the Faculty Senate on any issues that affect the university. Chairman Beard responded that the Faculty Senate was advised to speak before the BOT at every meeting, so the BOT is trying to be as inclusive as it possibly can. He added that the BOT will be looking at strategic issues, not getting into micro-managing of the university.
PROVOST DAVID STAMPS
Provost Stamps started his report by stating that this has been a very difficult year for everyone. It seemed that each time the university began to move forward, something happened which needed to be immediately addressed, putting that motion on hold. The Provost added that throughout these difficult times the faculty have been absolutely outstanding. Whatever adversity there was to face, the faculty have come through which makes it harder for him to ask them to do more, more, and more. He expressed his appreciation to the faculty for their many contributions.
Provost Stamps announced that a new Associate Vice President for Diversity and Equal Opportunity has been hired. Her name is Dr. Deborah Love from Washington State University. Dr. Love will begin her duties at USF in mid-January.
In the Fall Semester 2002, the Honors Program will be renamed the Honors College. The name will not only be changed, but some structural changes will be made as well. One of the goals of the Honors College is to bring in a higher quality of student.
The creation of the College of Professional Studies will not be pursued. The main reason is due to the amount of funds it would take to establish the college, which is not feasible in the midst of budget cuts. The Provost indicated there are other priorities that need attention; therefore, the decision to create a College of Professional Studies has been dropped.
Provost Stamps announced that the Administration has been able to pool one million dollars from other units, plus $300,000 from its own resources, which will be used to increase spring semester course offerings. This also includes graduate student waivers. Summer school will take place, but more resources will need to be found.
Professor Fredric Zerla, Chair of the Faculty Committee on Student Admissions, asked if there are any details available on the Honors College. Provost Stamps responded that Honors Program Director Stuart Silverman is in the process of revising the proposal, and that Dr. Silverman is willing to answer questions pertaining to the new college. Professor Zerla also asked if this college will have its own faculty. Provost Stamps answered that the college will not have its own faculty, but will be made up of faculty from the whole university, including the Health Sciences Center and the Medical School.Senator Gene Ness brought up the discrepancy in raises that went into effect on November 1st between union members and non-union members. Provost Stamps responded that this split was done by the Legislature, not by the university. This salary issue will be addressed by the BOT, as well as by all of the universities' lobbyists
UNITED FACULTY OF FLORIDA (ROY WEATHERFORD)
United Faculty of Florida (UFF) President Weatherford announced that there were two activities that primarily affect the terms and conditions of employment for the USF faculty. They are the activities of the Legislature and the activities of the governance structure. Speaker Feeney has agreed to defer the reduction in the intangible property tax which means that the State will have more money than in previous special sessions. In return for that, the Speaker has announced that he gets to make more cuts.
One of the things that is not in jeopardy is the salary increases for USF faculty in the collective bargaining unit. This is in effect whether or not one is a member of the UFF.
President Weatherford announced that the Florida Board of Education has now reaffirmed its original commitment to turn the state universities into corporate bodies which will mean that we will not be state employees. He pointed out that this is a potential disaster and a potential opportunity. If the benefits of being state employees are removed from us, so are the restrictions. If the university has the right to control its own budget, then this time next year we can say to the Administration our salaries are low because you made them low. Fortunately, every evidence indicates that the present Administration is very supportive of faculty, and the bargaining process with UFF has already started in a cordial and productive manner with no anticipation of having any serious problems.
Senator Harry Vanden asked if faculty did become public employees, does this preclude them from being able to strike? President Weatherford replied probably not because the exclusion does not refer to state employees, but refers to public employees.Senator-at-Large Sara Mandell asked how being public employees would affect the benefits package. Provost Stamps replied that anyone who is already in the State Retirement System is already factored into that package. However, all universities will have the opportunity to negotiate for a new benefits package, possibly as a group package.
There was no old business to discuss at today's meeting.
1. USF Values, Vision, Mission and Goals Statement (VVMGS)
At this time, President Paveza opened the floor for discussion in terms of issues and concerns regarding the VVMGS. These issues and concerns will then be taken back to the Task Force at its meeting on December 6th.
Past President Nancy Jane Tyson felt that faculty should be made aware that this document is something that is mandated by all universities to do under the reorganization act. She pointed out that this reorganization act has worked its way into the Florida Statues as Title 16, Chapter 229. Every institution under the State of Florida is to have its own statement similar to the one that is being produced for USF, and it is going to be an overarching statement of mission, values and goals for the whole education system. Past President Tyson did a search on the internet of the word missions in Chapter 229 and found that when the phrase "of missions and goals" is applied to this kind of project it always appears within three lines of the words funding or budget. That occurs eight times. Or else, it occurs within three lines of the words rules, policies, and performance and that occurs eleven times. Therefore, she called to the Senators' attention that this is a document that is definitely going to be used in the new system, it appears to her, in terms of policy, rules and budgetary funding issues. She added to Senator Mandell's comment that if USF does emphasize primarily the Medical School, it may get a higher quality of students but there may not be any Liberal or Fine Arts courses to offer those better students because they may not be funded under the budget that applies. Past President Tyson also feels that it is very important that USF increase the very limited attention to creative Fine Arts and Humanities endeavors that occur in this document.
Past President Janet Moore emphasized that the mission of the university should be separate from the vision. The mission should be those things that the faculty know what they work for. The faculty should suggest what the vision should be and be strong about it.
Senator Richard Taylor raised concern about the term "student-centered" which is used several times in the document. He asked for clarification as to what this term means.
President Paveza responded that he thinks the issue has to do less with curriculum criteria. This debate came up when the Task Force looked at all the ancillary support services at USF, such as Financial Aid and Student Health Services. These are considered support services or non student-centered activities. The concern was to try to improve in some real fashion those support services that make a university attractive to students to attend this university. Although it could be construed as being so broad-based that it looks like the students are setting the curriculum and drive the educational process, none of the faculty on the Task Force saw that as the intent and purpose of this term.
Senator Taylor responded that he could agree with that if the term appeared in a context other than following the wording in the vision statement "excellent undergraduate and graduate instruction." The Task Force was thinking about services and placing the students first in terms of the ones we wish to serve, but that is a very different notion when put together with "excellent undergraduate and graduate instruction."
Past President Tyson responded that "student-centered" is the jargon that has been the jargon of the Reorganization Task Force from the beginning. What it means is it is their assumption that faculty, for years, have been arranging the education process to suit themselves and not the students. That faculty have been scheduling classes for their own convenience, that the needs of the workplace have been ignored, and arranging the curriculum according to their own research and teaching interests and not according to the needs of the work environment. That is what "student-centered" means which is to take the emphasis off faculty self-indulgence and put it onto students. She stated that it is a disenfranchising of faculty.
Senator Sherman Dorn stated that there are a lot of different alternatives to express the same ideas that students should be treated with respect and as adults. Therefore, if that phrase is offensive to a number of faculty then it does not need to be included in this document. In addition, he pointed out that if the words "University of South Florida" were removed from this document and replaced with the name of any other university, it misses any articulation of what is unique about the University of South Florida. If you want someone to look at this statement and say "Yes, that's the University of South Florida," this does not do it. There are a number of aspects, including the fact that USF is the only public university in this area that offers graduate programs, so that if people want graduate programs, this is the place to go. He indicated that what is missing in this document is what is specific to USF.
Professor Zerla, Chair of the Faculty Committee on Student Admissions, pointed out that when the university began, it was as an education leader in the area in the State of Florida. It was begun as a guide for the community colleges which were beginning at that time, something for the high school curriculum to look forward to, as well as to be the leader in the educational enterprise at least on the West Coast of Florida and one of the leaders of the entire State. Chair Zerla pointed out that he does not see this reflected in the document, although he does not know whether or not it should be included.
President Paveza encouraged anyone who would like to see additions to the document to send them to either him or Ralph Wilcox, and they will be put into the midst of the discussion at the Task Force meeting on December 3rd. He truly does want as much input as he can get, otherwise, he becomes one of two or three voices. He, himself, argued for including the word "tenure" along with academic freedom and professional responsibility. However, the committee as a whole did not think it should be included. President Paveza stated that he is prepared, if someone thinks it should be included, to take it back to the committee for discussion as a critical issue to be included in the value statement. He stressed that the academic community needs to be involved in this process.
Past President Janet Moore supported what President Paveza said in that this document needs to be a broad-based university statement and recognize that the BOT often uses business terms that have a much more narrow, specific focus. The Faculty Senate can remind the BOT that, collectively, the faculty have a much broader mission and that the values, vision and mission statements are very important and need to be broad. Perhaps, the specificity which Senator Dorn mentioned, could be in the goals, and be more short term. She emphasized that the broad ideas which the Faculty Senate can collectively take to the BOT are important and need to be recognized.
Senator-at-Large Mandell felt the statement "accessibility to education that is focused on the achievement of students and an environment that encourages student success" in the values statement was nonsense. Instead, what should be said is "accessibility to an outstanding education." She stated that the students will be successful depending upon whether or not they are willing to work at being successful or not. In addition, she again referred to the value statement, "engagement that advances economic development and the well-being of communities and increases the understanding of contemporary issues." Senator Mandell pointed out that if contemporary issues were stressed, then that would eliminate such things as history, classics, anthropology, etc. She felt that it was not the responsibility of the faculty to advance economic development. Hopefully, if the faculty do their job well economic development will be advanced. It is not what the faculty do, but it is what is permitted to be done. Under the vision statement, she did not approve of using the term "student-centered environment." When this term is used, the focus is placed on teaching responsibilities rather than the need to advance knowledge. Under the proposed goals, she felt it is not the responsibility of the faculty to teach personal development.
Senator Taylor expressed concern that the values statement is nearly silent in regard to the commitment that underlies the very existence of the liberal arts requirement for the university. The only one that speaks to that is the one to which Senator-at-Large Mandell made reference to which deals with advancing economic education. Senator Taylor does not think that this is the primary goal of the university.
Senator Vanden proposed that a resolution could be made to the BOT that their time and energy put into this document is very much appreciated, but the Faculty Senate thinks that several fundamental dimensions need to be improved, specifically, reference to the liberal arts. The Faculty Senate thinks the repeated reference to economic development needs to be dropped. There should be reference to the importance of promoting culture in the general environment. The idea "student-centered environment" needs to be rephrased. Thinking along these lines, rather than random suggestions, would present a more cohesive thrust from the Faculty Senate. President Paveza responded that he would be willing to entertain such a motion if other Senators would like to join Senator Vanden in quickly drafting a resolution.
Senator-at-Large Mandell would like to have the section that mentions "provide for environmentally and socially sound community development" dropped from the proposed goals. She thinks that issues pertaining to the environment are not ones in which the university should be involved. She felt that it is more the business of an individual citizen, but not of the university. It does not belong in a goals statement for a university.
Past President Janet Moore recommended that each college look at the proposed goals to make sure that their college fits. In the goals statement, she felt that some of the areas should be broadened so that each of the areas in the university are included in some place of the goals. She recommended that cultural development, as well as concerns of other colleges, be added to the goals statement.
Discussion was held that it was impossible for the Faculty Senate, as a group, to edit this document because there were as many different suggestions as people in attendance. Graduate Council Chair John Richmond recommended that the Senators follow President Paveza's invitation to send their comments, revisions and additions to him to be forwarded to the Task Force. President Paveza responded that he was more than willing to do that. He pointed out, as did Past President Tyson, that this is a mandated charge. This document will be directing the way the resources are allocated at USF. It is critical to look at those issues which are missing that the faculty believe need to be included, so that it clearly reflects as much as possible, the combined thinking of the academic members of this university community.
Senator John Ward pointed out that the purpose of this document is for accountability of the university. He indicated that the goals should be measurable. He feels that these goals could be something used by the Legislature in order to evaluate the university.
At this time, Senator Vanden presented the following resolution:
The Faculty Senate feels there should be greater faculty representation on the Task Force. Lacking that, we feel that those faculty members, such as the Faculty Senate President, should get the full attention of the Task Force as they bring to the floor issues that affect the faculty. Reference should be made to certain fundamental changes that the faculty feel are necessary. To wit, specific reference to the importanceof the liberal arts and liberal arts education, reference to the importance of developing culture and creative activity, that the focus on research be specified as research that advances knowledge without further caveats, and reference to a need for a greater economic self-reliance.
Although more items could be added to this, Senator Vanden felt it important to convey the idea that there are other dimensions that need to be developed further.
President Paveza then explained the time line as mandated by legislation for this document. The Task Force meets on Monday, December 3rd from which a document will be prepared and forwarded to the BOT on Thursday, December 6th. From there, a final document will be sent to the Board of Education on or about January 1, 2002.
Senator Jana Futch requested that the word "tenure" be added to the values statement.
Senator Vanden made the motion that the Faculty Senate empower President Paveza and Past Presidents Nancy Jane Tyson and Janet Moore to draft a second statement that reflect the discussions which took place at today's meeting and present them to the Task Force. The motion was seconded. Senator Taylor then made an amendment to Senator Vanden's motion that based upon discussions in the Senate that it finds the document, in its present form, unacceptable. The amendment was discussed. Past President Tyson pointed out that it was not just the matter of the document, but a fundamental difference in values between the people who drafted the document and the people who will be carrying out those values. Some Senators felt that the amendment would possibly antagonize the new BOT and cause them to stand off from the Faculty Senate. At this time, President Paveza asked that a vote be taken on the proposed amendment to Senator Vanden's motion. The amendment failed. A vote was then taken on Senator Vanden's motion and the motion passed.
At this time, Senator Dorn pointed out that due to the absence of a quorum, no further action could be taken and he recommended that the meeting be adjourned.President Paveza agreed, and the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
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