President's Report 1/26/23
Board of Governors Meeting 1/24-1/25
The meeting opened with a visit from Lieutenant Governor Nunez and the Governor's Chief of Staff. The Lieutenant Governor's speech contained some points worth noting:
Thank you Miami Herald, for pulling the quotes:
In a speech that earlier praised the university system for its high rankings and relatively low student debt, Nuñez said “real forces” were “undermining the good work taking place” at the state schools. “These new threats that are creeping and taking hold are things that we need to face,” she said. “I believe one of the biggest threats that’s infiltrating our universities is a permeating culture — one might call it woke culture, one might call it woke ideology, one might call it identity politics. ... We don’t need to get into all the names, but I do believe that some of these issues are taking hold. The policies they advocate are based on hate and based on indoctrination.” Nuñez also previewed proposals to review general education courses and give university presidents more control over faculty hiring.
“We want to further empower our presidents to make sure that they own the responsibility of hiring individuals to work in their campuses and make sure it stays in the hands of the leader of the institution more so than in hidden hiring practices and faculty committees,” she said.
Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article271590247.html#storylink=cpy
Undergraduate enrollment is down 1.5% in Florida, compared to 1.1% nationally. FGCU undergraduate enrollment was up 2.7% (according to my math) between 2020 to 2021.
The Board Chair's "State of the Union" message included reference to merit based rewards for high performing faculty in a post-tenure review situation. The post-tenure review regulation was not discussed at this January 2023 meeting.
The new Chancellor of the State University System, Ray Rodrigues, gave remarks that referenced the conversations that he had with faculty (the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates) that morning, about what diversity, equity, and inclusion, means for higher education.
President Martin's contract extension through June 2023 was approved by the BOG.
The FGCU Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) met on January 13 and the recording is available to view online. New members, Trustee Joseph Fogg and Dr. Shelton Weeks were welcomed. The search committee decided to bring all three search firms that submitted proposals in for interviews and consideration, though I learned this week that AGB Search has been selected by Florida Atlantic University for their presidential search. This seems to make it less likely that we will be able to continue to use their services.
The PSAC discussed the need to keep a short timeline to try to complete the process as quickly as possible, and focused on ideas about having the search firm present a short list of top candidates to the committee members to consider rather than having to comb through all applicants to find semi-finalists.
BOT Chair Visit
Trustee and Board Chair Blake Gable has said he will attend Faculty Senate on 2/24. We will collect your questions ahead of this meeting so that he may consider what our top priorities are and prepare his responses. We will send a survey asking for your submissions.
The first invitation to complete the COACHE survey will go out before our next Faculty Senate meeting. Please help contribute to a great response to this survey by responding early and encouraging your colleagues to do so as well. More information about the survey is available online at FGCU and at the COACHE website.
Research Policies and Procedures Taskforce
Faculty Senate Vice-President Lyndsay Rhodes and I will be convening a taskforce to look at research related policies, approval processes, and safety procedures, to identify ways to simplify and clarify expectations and improve the faculty experience. We will be asking for representatives from university offices like ORSP (and constituent groups like IRB, IACUC, Export Control) and Environmental Health and Safety, as well as faculty teams like the Grants and Research Team and faculty safety councils, to come together to identify current practices and find ways to close gaps in communication and create processes that an clarify and ease the proposal and approval processes for faculty conducting research. Outcomes we would like to see emerge from this this taskforce include:
Identify exisiting policies and procedures related to research proposals and approvals; write and published documentation that covers all steps of the process; investigate technological solutions for managing research proposals and approvals; investigate and clarify web pages, forms, and communication for faculty submitting proposals; identify areas for faculty training for a future Research Skills Academy.
While we plan to lean on the Grants and Research Team for our representative faculty participants in this taskforce, we welcome anyone that may have an interest in participating. We would like for the initial charge of this group to be fulfilled by the end of this semester. Contact Dr. Rhodes if you are interested in being a part of this taskforce