A&P Council Meeting
May 20. 2008
1. The meeting was called to order at 2:05 p.m.
Members present: Christopher Akin, Bobbi Almirola, Eric Anderson, Regina Brown, Sandi
Conway, Denise Darby, Thomas Gordon, Sonya Jacobs, Elizabeth Kaplon, Carolyn Mourey,
Carl Musson, Meredith Nickles, Justin Selph, Fairfax Vickers, Rosa Walsh
2. Guest Speaker – Gary Howard, Media Sales Executive – WUSF Public Broadcasting
The May meeting was held at WUSF Studio A. Gary Howard noted that there are currently
four digital studios at WUSF. They are capable of doing a large variety of media production
and have two editing suites. They can do all television, CD, and DVD formats in-house for
colleges at USF, and they provide this service to the university community at a discounted
rate. Areas were encouraged to consider WUSF for their media needs, especially during
these tight budget times.
They have done Public Service Announcements for the Tampa Bay Partnership, infomercials
(the “Shark” vacuum cleaner), CD-ROMS for students, and “University Beat.” They are able
to travel to locations and offer options that include field equipment, camera, and crews.
They will also go to the branch campuses. They do not cover the USF Football games, as the
University has a contract with ESPN, however they used to record and produce Jim
Leavitt’s football show. Mr. Howard noted that this particular studio is one of the more
advanced, technologically, in the southeast. Their digital channels include the Annenberg
channel, the Florida Knowledge Network, and Create (crafts, do-it-yourself entertainment).
They will be adding to those channels, and are desirous for more original content.
Mr. Howard answered several questions about potential projects that can be done through
WUSF. He informed us that that the Board of Trustees meetings are not produced by
WUSF, but Information Technologies via Netcast.
3. The minutes from the April meeting were not approved as they have not been
disseminated at this time. Those will be sent shortly.
4. Committee Overview and Reports
University Support – Chris Akin met with representatives of Student Affairs, and
we are gearing up for the Week of Welcome. Chris will convene the committee to
meet within the next 2 weeks to begin planning for this annual project.
The committee is behind in the Election timetable. Nonetheless, we should be fine
and able to catch up. Chris presented a rough timeline to the Council. It included the
following: 5/26 – have districts/areas approved; launch Candidate Interest Form
within 1-2 days of formalizing the constituency groups; 2nd week of June – deadline
for candidates; June 18th – launch election; July – present results. It was noted that
approximately ½ of the current members will be up for re-election. We may want to
consider 3-year terms during the next Council year. (Since this change would need
to be vetted through the by-laws, it was tabled at this time.) A motion was made to
approve the timeline. The motion was passed. It was also noted that with Carl
Carlucci’s resignation, our interim sponsor is Trudie Frecker – Dr. Carlucci’s
Enhancement – There was no report.
Government & Legislative – The Board of Trustees will be meeting on the 21st – and
it should be broadcast live via Netcast. Regina Brown, Chris Akin, and Eric Anderson
were invited (along with the Staff Senate officers) to a meeting with President
Genshaft, prior to her 3:30 p.m. meeting with the BOT. This will be at noon. We will
share any information with the Council. Last week, President Genshaft disseminated
an email discussing a 10% state budget reduction, but we do not know what will
actually be proposed and/or implemented.
Programs & Social – The committee noted that they netted 3K for the golf
scholarships - $200 more than the previous year. There is over $1,300 left in their
fund. The online registration process was flawless.
Communication – Dr. Carlucci was supposed to contribute an article to the newsletter
prior to his resignation. There is a lot of great golf publicity that can be included in
the next communication. The Council agreed that requesting an article from Trudie
Frecker would be inappropriate at this particular time. The Council discussed the
possibility of putting together a newsletter in August – with information about the
new incoming members, upcoming events, etc…
The Council discussed how we can be more proactive in disseminating information,
and how we can possibly refine our communications with our constituents. We
discussed feedback – how do we elicit more of it, and how can we become more
effective in representing our groups? We must be more focused on our mission and
also communicating information to Administrative employees. We should also be
especially concerned with the upcoming budget cuts and how they will impact
5. Issues from the Floor – Communication with Constituents
At the March meeting, Sandy Lovins and Carl Carlucci discussed the upcoming budget
reductions. At this meeting, several “potential” changes were mentioned, but the Council was
not of the opinion that these changes would actually be enacted. It now appears that the
non-reappointment notification period has been shortened, and this change caught us
somewhat by surprise. Indicating that policies and procedures are being reviewed and may
be changed is significantly different from notifying us that the change has been considered
and will be implemented.
The Council feels strongly that issues that impact the terms and conditions of employment
should be discussed openly. In the past, the previous president (Cedric Howard) received
notifications concerning proposed rules changes, but those emails generally addressed
formal USF policies and procedures and they were also communicated across campus. (Note
– those emails continue to be widely disseminated.)
We’ve found that information posted on the web is vague and obscure – for example, Dr.
Carlucci would often advise us to check his web page for updates, but the information
contained on his site was always public in nature. We hold that the Council/Administrative
leadership is not always included or notified directly about significant issues affecting and
The Council noted that the HR Workgroup is one venue wherein real change is discussed and
debated. However these meetings are not open to the public. It is believed that their status
as a “workgroup” allows them to conduct sensitive business outside of the Florida Sunshine
Laws. Council members (and others) periodically become aware of the information that is
discussed during those meetings, as the details leak out – however, by that time, the
decisions have been made and the discussion has concluded without input from the employee
governance groups. Some members expressed concern that there will be significant changes
in attendance and leave and that the University is considering moving to a “Paid Time Off”
leave system – like Moffitt. In the context of this discussion about leave, one Council
member stated that this is not going to be implemented – however, her informational source
was a different workgroup on campus.
The conclusion is that we do not know what is going on or what is being discussed, and we
feel strongly that we should be included in these conversations. The St. Petersburg Campus
has a very active Administrative Council. Two guests from St. Pete attended our meeting –
Dr. Steve Ritch and John Husfield. Their Council is aggressively seeking answers and
information from their leadership. They want to work more closely with us to achieve this
end. While the concept of “shared governance” is familiar to Faculty, it does not exist for
those at the Administrative (or Staff) level. The “executive branch” does not openly
communicate or consult with us. Dr. Ritch stated that the St. Pete Council is demanding a
full accounting of actions and decisions that are being made that affect their employees. He
stated that when he brought up the issue of “shared governance” with their Chancellor, he
was told that this only applies to faculty – that Administrative employees have no similar
role and/or input in the process. There is a strong sense of conviction that there are moral
and ethical obligations to USF employees. It appears that the University is more interested
in legal obligations than moral or ethical ones. Since the University has taken on a more
corporate “look” there has been less direct involvement and communication with employees.
Many Council members agreed that the new direction the University has taken, which places
supreme emphasis on accreditations, rankings, and national memberships, has also served to
undermine the quality of the work environment and demoralized the employees.
We must find a way to get input from our constituents. The Administrative employees at St.
Pete are exceedingly concerned. At a recent meeting of their council, there was standing
room only. Of their 73 Administrative employees, 40+ attended – over 54%. Members of the
Council understand that while we may not be able to change decisions (and in fact may
support some of them), we would like to believe that we can be involved in the process, that
our input is valued, that we can have our opinions considered and heard, and that we can
obtain and access the information and data that was/is being used to make these critical
decisions. Members feel strongly that there is a veil of secrecy surrounding the decision-
making process. The St. Pete Council believes they are gaining a “voice” and making inroads
in matters concerning employment. They are working on their by-laws, and discussing and
reviewing employment matters. They believe that all employees should have reasonable
“expectations” concerning the terms and conditions of their employment. They have asked
for full reporting and transparency from their leadership. They also have requested a full-
accounting of the data, statistics, etc… that have been reviewed and factored into the
decisions that have already been made. Their meetings include agenda items that are
informational and those that require approval. Their council has taken on a decidedly more
activist role at this time. This is a position that our Council must also consider as we move
forward into a more rigid budget era. The Lakeland campus is in the process of forming an
Administrative council. We must build stronger ties between ourselves and work together
for the common good. The Council discussed having delegates from the branch campuses sit
on our Council. We agreed that we must present a united position on critical issues.
The Council posed the following questions:
How do we obtain crucial and relevant information on a timely basis?
Should we consider formulating and adopting a formal “Employee Expectations”
Have we (and others) been misled about past consultation and involvement in the
decision-making process (i.e. when the President’s Office states we were
“consulted,” that implies we were involved and included in the process – often that is
not quite accurate)?
Should we consider a different sponsor – one that is not closely or directly tied to
the main administration of the University?
Can we get representation/access to the HR Workgroup?
Can we expect any semblance of shared governance at the Administrative level?
Should we push for this?
Do we know the steps to promulgating rules? (We believe there are 4 steps in the
process, but should verify this.)
How do we get Administrative employees more involved?
Should we take on a more activist role – such as St. Pete?
How can we solidify our relationships with the other Administrative groups/branch
campuses (i.e. Lakeland, St. Pete, Sarasota)?
We agreed that we need to forge stronger relationships across the branch campuses and
with our own constituents. While we understand tough decisions lie ahead, we desire to be
advised in a timely manner and welcome open debate and discussion about these important
issues across campus. The discussion at this Council meeting was productive and provocative,
and we agreed to pursue these matters further – at a special meeting (if possible). We must
give 5 days notice for special meetings. Eric Anderson will check on rooms and
teleconference capabilities. Other options include: development of a blog that will keep up-
to-date materials posted and broader use of the existing list serves (St. Pete also have an
Administrative list serve). Eric Anderson will also speak with the Staff Senate president –
so we can become aware of their concerns and work together in a productive manner. All
members agreed that it is imperative that we unite and present our concerns in a
professional and constructive manner to University officials.
6. The meeting was adjourned at 3:35. It was followed by a tour of the WUSF
buildings and facilities.