Senate Steering Committee

Meeting Minutes

November 19, 2004
1:00 PM
226 Tigert Hall


  • Approval of November 4, 2004 Meeting Minutes
  • Update on Search for Provost
  • Update on Search for VP of Human Resources
  • Discussion on Policy Council Responsibilities

Pierre Ramond
Doug Barrett
Pamela Bernard
Bernie Machen


Pierre Ramond, Chair
Anthony Brennan, Past-Chair
Barbara Wingo, Parliamentarian

Anthony Brennan
Robert Cousins
Jim Cusick
Kim Emery
Joan Frosch
Gene Hemp
Mike Katovich
Saeed Khan
Pradeep Kumar
Bernie Machen
Kim Tanzer

Doug Barrett
Pamela Bernard

Jack Mecholsky

Approval of November 4, 2004 Meeting Minutes

Pierre Ramond

Discussion: No changes were noted.

Action Items: Gene Hemp motioned to Approve, Motion was seconded. Motion approved unanimously.

Person Responsible:


Update on Search for Provost

Doug Barrett

Discussion: Doug Barrett, Chair of the Provost Search Committee came in to speak to the Steering Committee. Doug Barrett advised the Committee that no specific timeframe is set, the goal is to find the individual most suited for the job. Continuous contact has been made with the contracted Search Firm, and there has been substantial response to this job posting. A job description has been created with the help of President Machen and Provost Colburn. Several members voiced important criteria to be considered including understanding of the Academic Units and Scholarship process, involvement with the Councils and Committees, emphasis on the idea of Shared Governance, etc. A formal ad has been placed. The first meeting took place on October 20th at which time the Committee was charged. The committee consists of Deans, Faculty and Student Reps. Through mid-December the Committee and the Search firm representatives will screen applicants and filter out those that may be a potential fit and those that may not meet the criteria. The goal is to possibly begin the formal interviewing process in January. Jim Cusick, Chair of the Policy Council on Academic Planning, Budgeting and Resource Allocation suggested that a member from his Council be on the Committee. The Committee has already been formed so no additional names will be included. Mike Katovich provided a list of the questions that had been used during the Presidential search as a means of reference and to highlight some of the important topics and issues. The goal is that the individual will be ready to take office over the Summer. All updates and information can be found via a link from the Provost's website. Faculty input is strongly encouraged.

Conclusions: Encouragement was offered for the members of the Steering Committee to attend the formal interviews when they take place.

Update on Search for VP Human Resources

Pamela Bernard

Discussion: Pamela Bernard the Chair of the Search Committee for the VP of HR detailed the status and possible time frame for this search. At this time no Search Firm has been contracted for services based on the nature of the position. Because this is not an academic position it is possible to move along a little quicker. The goal of this position is to enhance faculty communications and to address the results of the Faculty Survey. It is important that the individual is a person with vision and will work towards making UF a place of choice to work. Over 150+ applications have been received. Currently the website providing information on the search, Committee members, timeline and candidates is under construction. The committee anticipates having the top 10 or 20 to review at the Committee's December meeting. At the meeting they will narrow down to <12 or so candidates to talk to. The next step will be to identify 3-6 individuals to come to campus for interviews. Encouragement of all faculty and senators to participate was stressed.

Conclusions: Pierre Ramond is to nominate one individual to serve on this Committee. Mike Katovich, Chair of the Policy Council on Academic Freedom, Faculty Quality and Faculty Welfare suggested that an individual from his Council be on this Committee because of the nature and the interaction that they will have with this individual.

Discussion on Policy Council Responsibilities

Bernie Machen


Gene Hemp provided a draft detailing the missions of each Policy Council. These overviews were created by the 5 Council Chairs.

  • President Machen stated that with the new budget cycle coming up and the absence of a permanent Provost, he would like to be able to turn to the Councils and have them offer feedback and suggestions. These Councils are serving as the voice of the faculty to the Senate. Councils have the ability to get things done at a more rapid pace than do Committees.
  • Saeed Khan questioned whether the Councils were to be serving as a reactive body or if they were able to address initiatives. President Machen stated he would like the Councils to take a proactive approach and determine if issues are relevant to be aired or if further research needs to be conducted.
  • Mike Katovich addressed service on the Councils. The feedback and reactions from Administrators, Deans and Chairs has not been supportive or positive in all cases. The presence and service on these Councils need to be recognized. President Machen will seek to drive this concept down to the Department level. It is important to have the Administrations. views known as a new cycle for the Councils and the Faculty Senate looms. President Machen will draft a letter to be sent to the DDD-listserve and Faculty at large.
  • President Machen addressed the Strategic Plan initiatives. The first phase is almost completed, which are reports from each Academic Unit defining current needs. No process has yet been defined. President Machen has requested that the Senate and Councils be involved in assisting him with this. Determining which issues have faculty input and are the consensus of the unit is important. The lack of Faculty input will negatively impact this process. The Councils will serve as an integral part. It was also noted that the President can appoint any person(s) to any Council or Committee. This is also important in Faculty Senate matters.
  • The issue of the Faculty Senate processes and the structure of the previous meetings were addressed. Pierre Ramond stated that they are in place and need to be followed. Senators need to be aware of what is going on before the meeting and are provided with the resources to do so.
  • Saeed Khan raised the point that the Chairs of contributing Committees are members of the Policy Councils but this should also go the other way and that the Council Chairs should be Committee members as well.

The items related to the Constitutional changes for the Policy Councils were addressed. Initially the Council seats were to be one year terms. In a meeting that took place with the Chairs of the Councils, Committees and the Faculty Senate Chair it was determined that one year was not long enough. A one year term will limit what is accomplished. These Councils were designed because the contributing Committees were unable to take on any more. The joint Senate-Presidential task force on shared governance proposed Policy Councils designed to serve as a means of addressing important issues. The Councils membership was done from the perspective that the Council seats would serve as the majority and would be elected individuals. Pierre Ramond identified that the relevance of the Councils are in their interactions with Administration.

The recommendations from the Academic Freedom, Tenure and Professional Relation Standards Committee were to be presented to the faculty senate at the last meeting. Due to time constraints the meeting was adjourned before these were presented.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Sustainability will be presenting their recommendations at the next Steering Committee meeting on 12/2. Based on the events of the last Faculty Senate meeting with respect to the General Education Recommendations it was encouraged that the Steering Committee provides more feedback to help prepare the Committee for the Senate presentation.

Saeed Khan proposed a virtual chat room in which Senators and presenters can interact and address specific issues and topics before the Faculty Senate meeting to help facilitate the actual meeting. This would allow for everyone to view and see the questions and responses and to further understand and educate oneself. Barbara Wingo will look into this and the legalities and statues of setting this up.

Pradeep Kumar suggested that based on the length of the Faculty Senate meetings thus far, that a time limit be employed, especially for the presentation of Information Items. Must vote to allow time length. Will consider this.

Additional Information

Meeting was adjourned at 3:05 P.M.

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