SCF Board Report: February 29, 2012

Continuing Contracts and Efficiencies Reviewed

(Bradenton, Fla., February 29, 2012) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) District Board of Trustees held its regular meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 29.

The board approved consent agenda items and reviewed reports requested by Board Chair Carlos Beruff on the president’s contract, staffing and compensation, continuing contracts, baccalaureate programs, athletics, lobbyist, travel expenses, and the library project.

After Beruff introduced the topic of continuing contract status for faculty, trustees indicated an interest in learning more about SCF’s continuing contract policies and procedures compared to tenure at universities and whether current state and federal laws offer protections for academic freedom. The board agreed to hold a workshop on continuing contracts on March 28 before the start of the regular meeting.

The board revisited previous recommendations from Trustee Lori Moran, vice chair of the staffing and compensation committee, addressing portions of the president’s contract. Peg Beck, executive director of human resources, offered explanations. Discussion followed with no action taken.

In other board action, Trustee Jennifer Saslaw accepted the appointment as board representative to serve on The State College of Florida Foundation Inc. board.

The board agreed to invite the leadership of University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee (USF-SM) to participate in a joint workshop to discuss opportunities that benefit area students. Dr. Jack Crocker, SCF vice president of academic quality and success, noted that the existing 2+2 program helps students transition from SCF to USF and that faculty members at both institutions regularly meet to discuss academic standards, prerequisites, curriculum and expectations for student performance.

Dr. Carol Probstfeld, SCF vice president of business and administrative services, presented various reports including a review of baccalaureate programs showing that enrollment in the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education had exceeded expectations. Some new programs started this spring instead of last fall to allow for a phased launch, but all baccalaureate programs were described as having healthy projections by Dr. Mike Mears, vice president for baccalaureate programs and SCF Bradenton provost.

“Our new programs should be given enough of a runway to get off the ground,” Beruff said, suggesting that the board conduct a review of each program every semester to determine their effectiveness.

Dr. Don Bowman, SCF vice president of educational and student services, presented the results of student surveys about the selection of a new educational technology platform, called a Learning Management System (LMS) to replace the current system that is nearing obsolescence. Almost 500 students participated and gave feedback about the most important features of LMS from their perspective.

Bowman said the staff expects to have a proposal ready for the board’s review at the next meeting.

“We will collaboratively move forward to make sure our students continue to receive the most relevant and best possible education,” Bowman said.

Recognizing the SCF staff’s hard work that went into preparing the reports, Trustee C.J. Fishman led fellow trustees in applauding President Dr. Lars A. Hafner and SCF administrators, faculty and staff for quickly responding to board members’ requests and assisting new board members in “getting up to speed fast” about the college’s processes and procedures.

“I’m unbelievably impressed as a taxpayer, businessman and fiscal conservative. I’d like to see businesses run as efficiently as this college. You’re doing a great job in a really tough time to achieve the most important goal and that’s educating students,” Fishman said.

In response to Trustee Ed Bailey’s request, Beruff said the proposed A+STEM Charter School at SCF Venice will be placed on the board’s March agenda.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at SCF Bradenton at 8 a.m. on March 28, preceded by a 7:30 a.m. workshop on continuing contracts.


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