Board Report: Jan. 18, 2012, Special Meeting

Board Discusses Subcommittees' Recommendations

(Bradenton, Fla., January 18, 2012) The State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) District Board of Trustees held a special meeting/workshop Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Lakewood Ranch campus, for the purpose of discussing subcommittees’ ideas and recommendations to be considered for official action at the Board’s Jan. 25 regular meeting.

With six of the College’s nine trustees newly appointed in 2011 by Gov. Rick Scott, in October Board Chairman Carlos Beruff had announced the formation of three subcommittees – budget, staffing and compensation, and capital improvements -- to help new trustees gain a better understanding of all aspects of the College. Committee chairs were asked to be prepared to present reports at the Jan. 25 meeting.

Presenting all potential recommendations and items for further discussion at the Jan. 18 meeting were budget committee chair Dr. Craig Trigueiro; staffing and compensation chair Charlene Neal and vice-chair Lori Moran; and capital improvements committee vice-chair Beruff. Other trustees participating in discussions were Ed Bailey, C. J. Fishman, and Jennifer Saslaw. Trustees Joe Miller and Ann Moore were absent.

Discussions covered topics ranging from competitive bidding and purchasing policies; the president’s approval authority for programs, projects and purchases; student participation in professor evaluations; aspects of the president’s contract; and design of the Board meeting agenda format.

Lengthy discussions focused on the process used for students to evaluate professors and on a major construction project to replace the outdated Bradenton campus library with a larger library. The project has been on the state’s construction priority list for several years and SCF has completed preliminary planning and infrastructure work.

“We know the library is needed; that is not the issue,” Beruff said, adding that he wants the current Board to be more involved in the project to ensure the new library will serve the College, taxpayers and community for decades to come.  

While joining SCF President Dr. Lars A. Hafner in emphasizing that the library project should maintain its priority position on the state’s list, Beruff said that at next week’s Board meeting he will recommend revisiting the overall planning and design process to allow the Board more opportunity for input.

Another in-depth discussion centered on the participation rate of and process used for student evaluations of faculty. Beruff stated that he is in favor of promoting and compensating teachers who are effective in the classroom and that he wants to look at how other states approach evaluations and he expects it will be an ongoing process.

Dr. Jack Crocker, SCF vice president of academic quality and success, clarified that teaching effectiveness is a primary consideration for SCF faculty. Crocker pointed out that the popular perception, which is formed primarily around universities that emphasize research, may differ.

Beruff thanked trustees for their time and efforts, and trustees thanked College staff for their detailed work in compiling data and reports. Hafner said that it had been an informative process and likened it to an accreditation review when all College departments conduct in-depth analyses.

“Everyone learned something, and we appreciate the Board’s thoughtful suggestions. There is always room for improvement, but by and large this process reconfirmed that even in a time of decreasing economic resources, SCF operates with maximum efficiency and we consistently produce superior results in our graduates,” Hafner said.  

The Board will discuss and potentially take action on many of the items at the next regular meeting scheduled for 5 p.m., Jan. 25, at SCF Lakewood Ranch.



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