Budget Discussion Comments

Anonymously submitted comments on the budget discussion Feb 03, 2009 Your voice is important. Thanks for contributing comments. Feb 06, 2009 Could you please explain further why furloughs and/or salary […]


February 3, 2009



Anonymously submitted comments on the budget discussion

Feb 03, 2009

Your voice is important. Thanks for contributing comments.

Feb 06, 2009

Could you please explain further why furloughs and/or salary reductions won’t work? I see states such as California are trying it as a measure to deal with the budget situation. From what I know, most employees would accept such a decision over the loss of a job.

Feb 06, 2009

IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE SOME PROJECTED plans i.e…savings from consoldating secretarial services….eliminating all adjuncts and increasing faculty teaching loads….,what would savings look like if faculty gave back/up one payday a month…eliminataing all undergraduate programs….combining/reshaping counseling,psych ed./early childhood ed…etc….a listing of possible duplication of courses or areas….a what if scenario…costs associated with program elimination…etc…I know these are senitive topics but it might be helpful to see some what if scenarios..rethinking administrative structures along the models that we see in some other organizations..distributed leadership…

Feb 06, 2009

Many thanks to the COE Administration for offering an open, transparent platform for collegial discussion of a very difficult issue. Let’s hope we can leverage our collective experience and expertise toward a satisfactory solution.

Feb 06, 2009

I hear that some colleges will be closing programs completely. What do the faculty do if a program closes? I can’t see how that saves money. What if FPC does not approve closing a program in our college?

Feb 10, 2009

Catherine’s responses to posted comments:

First, I want to thank people who commented favorably on the openness of the process we using to make these very difficult decisions. As much as we can, we plan to keep people involved in discussions until the draft plan is released, and then I assume comments will continue to come in once the plans are made public by President Machen.
One person wanted to know why furloughs and/or salary cuts are not being considered. This is a decision that would have to be made at the university level (no single college can act alone on this issue) and President Machen has indicated he does not support this option.
A second person suggested any plans should incorporate several strategies (e.g., increasing faculty load, eliminating or consolidating programs, etc.) and I agree. All these options and more are being considered.
A third comment raised the issue of programs being closed in several colleges, and whether it saves money. This option saves money in the short run if the faculty are laid off, but it also saves money in the long run if the program cannot be sustained at a quality level without extensive new resources being added to it . The latter issue also speaks to the need for strategic planning in relation to what progams we can afford to maintain, even if the faculty diminish through natural attrition (e.g., retirements). I also note that closing programs in conjunction with an overall budget reduction plan is not subject to FPC approval under the circumstances we currently face.

Feb 15, 2009

P.S. I have received several inquiries about the fate of our plan once it leaves the college. We will not know the exact amount of our reduction until the legislative session ends on May 1st and President Machen makes a budget recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Final word on our permanent reduction for the 2009-2010 fiscal year is expected by early June. Information should be monitored on the President’s budget news and updates web page: http://budget.president.ufl.edu/ . A university-wide discussion can be followed on the Faculty Senate Budget Blog ( http://blog.senate.ufl.edu/ ).

Feb 17, 2009

Hi Catherine: You stated: “P.S. I have received several inquiries about the fate of our plan once it leaves the college.” You then gave a timeline.

FPC has been receiving a number of questions more specifically about the plan itself…and what the Provost/President/Board will actually be looking at. At the 2/9 meeting, when you shared your conversation with the Provost, some folks (including myself) left thinking that you were going to be submitting 2 or 3 complete budget plans. Since that conversation, I know that you have shared that there is going to be one budget plan with two addenda attached. Could you help clarify? Thanks, Rick

Feb 17, 2009

Response from Catherine regarding the submission of budget materials to Provost Glover.

What I plan to submit is one budget reduction plan that indicates clearly the funds we will give back and where we will pull the money. This plan will not include any cost savings related to the request the Provost made to assess the pros and cons of becoming a graduate college only, and the additional option of downsizing both the UEP (and to a lesser extent), the UEC programs. However, in the analysis of the pros and cons for both scenarios, we will certainly have to consider the implications of the loss of SCH and tuition revenue (which may be extensive) against any potential cost savings. How Glover and Machen may use any of the information that is submitted is unfortunately beyond my control, particularly since it will be reviewed against the broader university context.
One possible ray of hope is that now that the federal stimulus bill has passed, it may benefit Florida in terms of its budget woes that are yet unclear. President Machen may comment on this issue at the Faculty Senate meeting on Thursday which I encourage everyone to attend or view on webcast.

Feb 19, 2009

It seems advisable to give thought to closing some doctoral programs in the COE. With at least 10 doctoral programs in the college, it seems that perhaps resources can be re-directed.

Feb 24, 2009

How will the budget cut affect transfers and the number of transfers accepted to the College of Edu. for Fall ’09?

Feb 25, 2009

I was very interested in the article in the Gainesville Sun this morning. What are the ramifications of reducing or eliminating undergraduate education majors on our graduate education programs? Are we being asked to cut back on all teacher education? How will other long standing programs in the college (all at the graduate level already) be affected? Should we be worried about losing other programs like counselor education or educational administration because they prepare people for schools too?

Feb 25, 2009

I, too, was very interested in the comments in the Sun. What is your reaction to Machens comments.

Additionally, how will the budget reduction impact salary pay plan, market equity, and T&P raises? What is the Provost/Dean’s perspective on counter-offers to retain quality faculty during tough budget times?

Feb 25, 2009

Wow! I did not know we were considering dropping the elementary and early childhood programs. Will dropping these programs cover our budget reduction?

Feb 25, 2009

Catherine’s response to question about impact of budget cuts on transfer students:

In 2007 – 2008, President Machen indicated that UF would begin reducing its overall undegraduate enrollment and that would include reducing the number of transfer students. Each college was given a number as to how many transfer students they could admit as part of this process. We have received our transfer number for Fall 2009 admissions, but we are still waiting to hear when we can formally notify applicants. It may be that the projected budget cuts will change these numbers and that decision may come later. Right now we are in a holding pattern until we receive further information from the Provost.

Feb 25, 2009

Catherine’s response to questions regarding the article in the Gainesville Sun:

We have been asked by Provost Glover to do an analysis of the ramifications of either reducing or eliminating undergradate education majors in elementary education and early childhood education. Because that analysis is not yet completed, I cannot comment at this point on what impact it will have for us. We are NOT being asked to cut back on all teacher education programs, and we expect to continue preparing teachers for initial certification. Our secondary programs are not affected, since they already occur at the graduate level. We have a new undergraduate program in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences called UF Teach to prepare math and science majors to become teachers. We have two strong graduate programs, SITE and the Lastinger Apprenticeship Program in Duval County, that prepare elementary teachers following the concepts of an urban teacher residency program. We have a very innovative job-embedded masters degree program known as TLSI (Teacher Leadership and School Improvement) designed for practicing teachers that is tied to school district partnerships across the state. We are also in the process of developing a new Professional Practice Doctorate, and we have rising enrollments in other doctoral programs. I also want to emphasize that we will continue to maintain strong programs in counselor education, educational administration, school psychology, research and evaluation methods, and higher education administration, all of which are graduate programs only. The point is that the College already has many graduate programs in place that will continue regardless of any possible decision regarding the status of the undergraduate teacher education major programs.

Feb 25, 2009

The request by Glover may not be as bad as initially feared. The emotional outcry came because faculty members were not properly informed about the nature of the request. Knowing that this is an opportunity for us to carefully consider our mission and our future is much less threatening than what we were led to believe – that the decision to cut undergraduate teacher education was already made and the demise of the COE was near.

In fact, had the correct message been portrayed to faculty I wonder how many would have signed the memo and how many would have wanted to engage in a serious conversation about the pros and cons and directions for our future. I think the Dean made a serious error by not addressing the faculty as a whole to set up with scenario for us. Given the way it was portrayed it no wonder the approach taken was a defensive one. I guess it goes back to our perpetual problem –poor communication.

I, for one, see Proteach (or some revised version of it) as essential to our mission, however, what could be different if the program were smaller and possibly redesigned? What if students earned teacher certification in 4 years and then, through collaboration with local schools (not just SBAC), worked as practicing teachers while earning their Master’s degrees? Possibly, local schools and the university could work out an innovative funding model to make this happen.

A smaller program would allow us to consider more innovations in teacher education and would enable students to interact more with faculty (and vice versa). While our adjuncts and GAs do a great job, it is a logistical nightmare to coordinate and many of our students do not get high quality placements due to our volume. Imagine a scenario where ALL of our students are in excellent placements and where much of their coursework is directly tied to work in schools. I know we strive for this now but the logistics get in the way.

Imagine a scenario where other teacher education programs come to Gainesville for teacher education institutes in which we provide support, counsel and guidance (for a fee, of course).

In theory, R1 COEs are supposed to conduct and disseminate research on best practices for the universities that prepare the majority of teachers. Cutting back on undergraduate enrollment may allow us to do this better and provide more robust opportunities for research and scholarship.

I believe this is a time to come together and think carefully about where we are headed. No one has all the answers but collectively we are strong. The only humans who truly like change are wet babies. Change is uncomfortable (and, in fact, even hurts) but those who cannot change are destined to be stuck in the past, a past that may or may not even exist in the future.

So, if Glover’s message to our Dean was about the demise of Proteach followed by the demise of the COE, let the crusade begin. On the other hand, if Glover’s message was to ban together to rethink the future of COE because it has an important role to play in the restructuring of UF, let the conversations begin in earnest.

Feb 25, 2009

Catherine, in your email message tonight you intimated that you want to consider new sources of funds in addition to making cuts. I like that idea and hope you pursue it aggressively. We need to find new money now if we will not receive sufficient money from the state in the near future. Am I correct that funds from other sources could be used to pay for expenses we currently cover with the state’s money thereby decreasing actual cuts? It seems like a logical explanation but several of us really don’t know if we understand it correctly. Can you give an example?

Feb 25, 2009

I heard you shared a budget plan with department chairs today. If it can be shared with them then you should share it with the rest of the faculty. I expect to see it soon so faculty can provide input while there is still time to provide input.

Feb 25, 2009

I just heard that Catherine and Tom talked to a group of faculty about possibly closing their program with faculty layoffs. Several faculty were talking and we all agreed that ending a program is serious and should be public knowledge. I appreciate the fact that budget cutting may mean cutting programs but I never thought it would happen in the College of Education without faculty input.

Feb 26, 2009

this is an opportune(?) time to take advantage of the “climate”….in the elimination of the ug ed program, we need to move forward in the development of 5th year MA programs tied to local community colleges & perhaps certification( I think california’s 5th year model is relevant as a starting point)…developing partnerships with community colleges and enhancing the MA would mean $$ for our graduate program, we would still have/could have an outstanding teacher ed program….maybe partnering with Teach for America would also give us some good numbers for a MA program…..and finally, I think it is strategically a mishap to have faculty sign a petition blindsiding the Dean and the faculty who knew nothing about it…..in tight times like these cowboy like decisions weakens the overall position of the college….the old adage about when you are given a lemon..make lemonaide seems appropriate here…in unity there is hope and who doesn’t like lemonaide? of course unless your are allergic to lemons…

Feb 26, 2009

Catherine’s response to impact of budget cuts on SPPP raises, T&P raises, market equity and counter offers:

Both SPPP and T&P raises are funded by Tigert, and the budget reduction will have no impact on either one. Faculty who meet the criteria for either case will receive raises just as they have been given in the past. Market equity raises are college specific and college funded, and I will not be able to consider any requests until I know what our final reduction cut will be. Counter offers are specific to individual cases and will be considered in the context of other factors related to program quality as well as budget concerns.

Feb 26, 2009

Catherine’s response to question on budget impact of possibly dropping or downsizing undergrad programs:

We are planning to submit a budget reduction plan that does NOT take into account the possible loss or downsizing of the undergraduate programs. In the two analyses I will submit, they will contain information on cost savings and considerable tuition/SCH loss. Whether the Provost may use this information in relation to our budget reduction plan is simply unknown at this point.

Feb 26, 2009

Catherine’s response to posting on Glover’s message and poor communication:

Modern communication theory informs us that how the content of any message is perceived is the result of a complex interaction between sender and recipient. When the message content has high shock value, the “noise” that ensues disrupts and distorts the communication process even more than usual. Now that many of us are past the initial shock (myself included), we can now focus our attention and respond to the Provost’s request that we consider the future of the College in ways this message posting suggests. I emphasize again that I do not believe the Provost had in mind the demise of the College or even undergraduate education per se, but instead asked us to consider what it would mean for us to be a graduate college only, or as an addition, more graduate centered. Undertaking this consideration and examining it from mulitple perspectives does raise the possibility of change, one way or another, but change is an ongoing feature of life. I find it very encouraging that faculty leadership on FPC are taking this issue seriously and developing a framework for soliciting college wide feedback on questions critical to the College’s future.

Feb 27, 2009

The editorial in the Gainesville Sun suggests collaboration with Santa Fe State College to deliver some or all of the undergraduate teacher education programs should be explored in earnest.The new state college system, and Santa Fe in particular, is well positioned to think creatively about delivery of a UF program on their campuses.These new four-year colleges continue to be politically favored and the leadership on these campuses are very willing to work UF, the flagship, to improve their campuses. An interesting suggestion was made in that editorial today. Why not explore the option with Santa Fe leadership? We do not have to commit to anything. At least we will have a backup plan if needed.

Feb 27, 2009

Catherine’s response on faculty input about program closures:

I certainly agree that faculty input on program closures is important, first from the immediate faculty impacted, and then at a wider college level. I also remind everyone that because we do not have sufficent resources to bring every program to a high quality level, we face very difficult and painful choices. I have asked the college Budgetary Affairs Committee to review all the program data posted on the container website, and to provide suggestions on soliciting faculty input to facilitate the process of making the best decisions possible given the budget constraints we face.

Feb 27, 2009

Catherine’s comments on collaboration with Santa Fe College:

We are certainly open to exploring collaborative options for developing an undergraduate teacher education program with Santa Fe. Engaging in a productive dialogue is one way to begin considering the shift for our College to a more graduate focused approach by having students complete the masters degree as was noted in a previous posting. Now is the time to look at all options on the table and be open to think about change in a focused way.

Feb 28, 2009

i am a student in proteach and i respect the program. i love the classroom experience i get. the children are really great. but I must admit that my teachers here are not always that good. most classes in norman are busy work or a waste of time. some teachers act like they don’t know what they are supposed to teach us. what i am saying is its a good to look at this program and others that are not up to par.

Feb 28, 2009

When will those considering applying to UF College of Education or have hopes of transfering there know about eliminating the undergraduate program? Will that be placed into effect Fall 2009? Also, when will transfers be notified about how many the College of Education is allowed to accept since application deadline is March 1st? I have applied as a transfer and think the undergraduate and Proteach program at UF is great and would be very disappointed if the opportunity was taken away due to budget cuts greatly affecting transfers.

Mar 02, 2009

One question it seems important to ask is whether faculty engagement in this process and decision making really plays any role. When the Provost asks us for an “analysis” and then the President announces his intention to move to Graduate only programs in the COE to the Board of Trustess before even receiving this “analysis” we have to wonder whether the analysis will even be considered in making the decision. His comments suggest the decision is already made. And his comments also raise the possibility that COE will contribute our 10% AND lose undergraduate programs. Perhaps we have been targeted to take more than our share of cuts to save others? A President who truly respects faculty governance would not go public with “probabilities” before faculty input is even considered.

Mar 05, 2009

The only program I know of that is being considered for closure is the educational psychology program. This program continues to maintain high admission standards, has several nationally reputed faculty members, and consistently produces quality research that is published in highly respected journals. Educational psychology faculty and students also do valuable work with local public schools.

Mar 08, 2009

I am the parent of a freshman who applied directly to UF’s College of Education with her goal of graduating from the 5 year program that concludes with a Masters in Education. My child gave up scholarship opportunties offered at several private colleges because those particular schools either did not have an Education program or they were not nearly as well regarded as UF’s school. In other words, she made a commitment to UF. Neither she or her parents signed up for her to attend classes at the community college or have to change her career objectives. While there may be a mandate to cut your budget, a decision to sacrifice the Undergraduate progam in favor of the Grauduate progam is not wise in the long-run. How can UF retain its status as the flagship undergradute university in Florida and the Deep South, if it signals to the academic world that the there is no place here for the “best and brightest” students who have chosen to give up higher paying jobs to teach our state’s children.

So, UF needs to fulfill its obligation to provide a first-rate undergraduate degree in Education, at least for those students currently in the program. As a businessman, I know there are more than two options available to address the budget issue. We hope and expect UF’s administration to fulfull its commitment to its dedicated students.

Mar 13, 2009

Comment from Tom Dana, Associate Dean
The impact of the state’s projected budget cuts is being felt far and wide around the state, by citizens in all aspects of life, but education always seems to be one of the hardest hit areas. We are truly sorry that you and your daughter—a committed teacher-to-be—are among those caught in the web of this economic meltdown. It may be comforting to know that no definite decisions have been made concerning the possible elimination or reduction of our undergraduate programs in elementary teacher preparation and early childhood teacher preparation. I emphasize that this is only one of several alternatives that UF President Bernie Machen will discuss with his cabinet and the UF Board of Trustees. The Trustees are not expected to finalize and approve the university’s budget reduction plan until sometime between May 1 (when the current legislative session is due to end) and early June.

Cuts to our undergraduate program are NOT part of the College’s budget reduction plan. Provost Joseph Glover has merely asked us to submit an analysis of the pros and cons of becoming a graduate-level-only college of education. We are doing that, and Provost Glover also agreed to let us submit a second report on the pros and cons of a PARTIAL reduction of the undergraduate portions of our teacher preparation programs (both programs have a required year of graduate study to complete certification requirements). Being able to submit a report on partial reduction gives us some cause for optimism in that we may come out of this with either our undergraduate programs fully intact, or at least maintaining a vital portion of our undergraduate programs. We believe we can present a strong case for both of these options, and we have every reason to believe our arguments will be strongly considered.
In addition to posts in this forum, students, families, community members, and faculty are providing input through several mechanisms. Students, in particular, have orgzaized themselves with a Facebook site and through various meetings. Faculty were asked to complete a survey regarding their perceptions of becoming more focused on graduate education. We will release our 10% budget reduction proposal on Friday, March 20th. The reduction plan does not assume adjustments to the UEP or UEC programs.

While the proposed budget cuts at the colleges of Education and Nursing have received most of the early attention in publicity concerning the university’s overall budget reduction plan, the sad truth is that President Machen and the Trustees will have to consider similar, heart-wrenching cuts all across campus, in every college—some every bit as severe as what we may experience at the College of Education.

When all is said and done, I hope that we are still able to welcome your daughter and other excellent prospective teachers into our undergraduate teaching program. She already has made supreme sacrifices toward her intention to become a “EduGator”, and she sounds like she would be one of our best students and, ultimately, a valued alumna we’d be proud to claim as one of our own. From your description, I have no doubt that whatever path she must take to reach her goal, she will become a master teacher that any parent would love to have teaching their child.

Mar 16, 2009

At the March 16 FPC meeting, it sounded as if Dean Emihovich described a possible College of Education configuration in which numbers of undergraduate education majors would be reduced while numbers of undergraduate non-education majors served by COE courses would remain steady. In that configuration, faculty and doctoral student TAs would partner on teaching these non-education majors. I understand the value of preserving SCH in that configuration, but I do not understand how reducing the number of teachers we graduate can be defended if we continue to serve students who do not plan to enter the teaching force. In addition, experience teaching non-education majors is not appropriate career preparation for doctoral students who intend to become faculty in teacher education programs.

Mar 17, 2009

I’m a little confused. I heard something to the likes that due to budget reductions they’re thinking of closing the undergraduate program for the college of education.
I’m a student at a community college that had planned to apply into Early Childhood Education in Fall of 2010.
Is this true? And when will decisions be made?

Mar 20, 2009

In the budget plan it references the elimination of graduate degrees in higher education administration. Is this just the Higher Education Ph.D., Ed.D, and ED.S. programs or all degrees in what used to be the Ed. Admin & Policy department?

Mar 20, 2009

I’ve read the powerpoint of COE’s proposed budget reduction plan. Slide 14 lists other reduction recommendations. It is unclear if these recommendations are reflected in the budget cuts described in the previous slides. It is also unclear what savings will accrue from closing or combining graduate degree programs, how these particular programs were selected for elimination/reduction, and whether these recommendations will be implemented irregardless of the percentage cut that the college will face. Could you please clarify? Also, could you please comment how closing graduate degree programs fits in with UF’s rhetoric about building graduate programs.

Mar 20, 2009

Have you given a reason yet as to why or how you chose to cut certain programs? You have been very vague reagrding your SPECIFIC reasons for choosing to eliminate SPECIFIC programs. Considering that most deans would view the termination of programs as a last resort, I think it is particularly important that you:
a) explain why your plan to terminate programs is apparently the most viable decision (compared to other options), and
b) how you decided which programs to cut and your evaluations in terms of the specific criteria you used to make such decisions.

Also, I was under the impression that ALL department chairs submitted 10% budget reduction plans. So, again, my question is why it is preferrable to completely eliminate ANY programs.

Mar 21, 2009

Let me start by saying that my program is apparently safe from being cut (at least for now). But I think it is disturbing, embarrassing, and unfair that the dean of the college of education does not support all of our programs (or more specifically that she doesn’t support all of our faculty and students). This stands in stark contrast to the dean of the CLAS, who is doing everything he can to ensure that programs are NOT cut. What about fighting to keep our programs and implementing budget plans that would help EVERYONE? I think the proposed plan makes our college look bad because it assumes that some of our core programs are simply dispensable and easily dismissed.

Mar 21, 2009

The Budget Reduction proposal posted on 3/20 announced
salary reduction accounted for by

returning vacant lines (1)
resignations (2)
retirements (1)
cost shifting positions to non-recurring funds (8)
layoffs (4)

How many of the positions in each category were tenure track and tenured lines?

Mar 21, 2009

Cutting educational psychology and higher education and combining the various counselor education programs does nothing to address the 10% cut the college may have to take. These actions are reminiscent of last years reorganization which was initially announced as a way to meet last year’s budget cuts and did little or nothing to decrease the budget.

Mar 21, 2009

Dean Emihovich’s response to March 16th post on non-majors in education:

The recent decision by the Provost that the undergraduate teacher education majors will not be eliminated should go a long way in relieving the concerns voiced by students, faculty, parents, school personnel, and others who took a strong interest in the College’s future. The possibility that both programs may be scaled back in enrollment is still open, and we do need to plan for that contingency. Even if our undergraduate teacher education enrollment is reduced, I noted at the FPC meeting that we also provide courses for many students interested in an education minor, and we have developed a new undergraduate program in partnership with CLAS to prepare more math and science teachers through UF Teach. Given this new programs, along with the two undergraduate majors and the education minor still in place, we expect to have a strong presence in undergraduate education for many years to come.

Mar 21, 2009

Dean Emihovich’s response to post on transfer into the early childhood program:

Both the undergraduate teacher programs in elementary education and early childhood education will continue at UF, but access may be more limited in the future contingent upon other budget decisions. I also note that transfers from community colleges to all UF programs have become more limited as the University focuses on reducing its undergraduate enrollment. Because so many details are still unknown at this point regarding the status of transfer students, I encourage the person who posted this message to contact both the UF Admissions Office and the Office of Student Services in the College of Education for more information.

Mar 21, 2009

Dean Emihovich’s response to questions concerning the status of higher education administration programs:

I want to reassure all current and future students that pursuing a degree in higher education administration is not in jeopardy. The three degree tracks (Ph.D., Ed.D, Ed.S) in Higher Education Administration (CIP code: 13.0406) are being consolidated under the CIP code for Educational Leadership (13.0401). These two programs are being consolidated since to maintain two separate CIP codes makes it appear as if they are two separate and independent degrees, when in fact they are the same degree with two different concentrations: one for K-12 leadership, and one for higher education leadership. Faculty teach and work with students across both areas and that will not change under this new configuration. This change will also help the Educational Leadership Ph.D program obtain more resources such as Alumni Fellowships to recruit students. The masters program in Student Counseling and Personnel Services (CIP code: 13.1102) is not affected by this change, and it remains a strong and viable program in the College. Students who still have questions should contact their advisor, who can explain that this change is more related to streamlining the programs, but it does not mean the elimination of a concentration in higher education administration.

Mar 22, 2009

Based on what I have learned in the past weeks, there is a unaceptable mistake in the power point presentation regarding budget reductions. My understanding has been that the higher education administration program is going to be merged with K-12 administration into one Ed Leadership Program with two concentrations, one in Higher Education and one in K-12 leadership. How could you made such a mistake given the implications that this public announcement can have to the Higher Ed Admin program? Or is there an intention to cut the Higher Ed Admin program? I think the Dean should publicly and ASAP clarify this point for the good of the Higher Ed program and her own credibility.

Mar 22, 2009

Post from Tom Dana, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

One of the posts above asked for clarification regarding faculty reductions. I am happy to provide some additional details after each item:

returning vacant lines (1) – staff position
resignations (2) – both tenure track
retirements (1) – tenure track
cost shifting positions to non-recurring funds (8) – all non-tenure track and staff
layoffs (4) combination of staff, non-tenure track, and tenure track

Mar 23, 2009

Dear Dean,

I have a question about Ed. Psychology program.
As most people in the educational field agreed, educational psychology area provides basic-level research for other majors in the educational field. How College of Education of UF would stand out as a top research-orientated education school nationwide, if it did not even have such an important major?

Mar 23, 2009

Questions and comments about the rationale for the closure of the Educational Psychology program were posted on March 5, March 20, and March 21. Why have NONE of these questions/comments received a response?

Mar 23, 2009

As an alternative to eliminating the entire educational psychology program and laying off faculty members, have you considered reducing the number of undergraduate courses designed primarily for students in other colleges? The College of Engineering did this last year as part of their budget reduction plan.

Mar 24, 2009

That’s great news about the budget cut not eliminating the undergradute program. When will prospective Fall ’09 transfers, into either of these two programs offered by the COE, find out if he/she is accepted? Applications were due March 1st. Is the COE Admissions Committee waiting until the final budget cut plan is submitted Monday, March 30th?

Mar 24, 2009

In response to my email soliciting questions for the meeting this morning, I received this one, which I quote below:

“I want to know, as part of the budget discussion, how many funds are required for HHMI and how much external funding is being generated to match the input of funds from our college? I especially want to know how much of this work is resulting in external funding for research.”

When I asked the question at the meeting this morning, Tom, you couldn’t answer because you didn’t have the pertinent information at hand (and neither did Marcia). I’m posting the question to remind you to reply. Thanks.

Paul Sindelar

Mar 26, 2009

I do not find support to maintain the undergraduate education program and and am concerned that there has been a shift in the original direction that suggested closing it. Can the STL faculty provide studies that indicate that a five-year teacher is superior to a four-year teacher?

To support the nation’s infrastructure, I believe that the full support is warranted in making the college a graduate-only program. As the flagship university, it is long overdue that UF make graduate education a priority and leave undergraduate education to regional institutions.

Mar 26, 2009

In the interests of transparency I would like for the Dean to address what the plans are should the COE face a cut of less than 10%. I know several other colleges have presented tiered budget cut plans – in CLAS the plan actually goes roughly 1% percent at a time. The COE plan only specifies what happens if the full ten percent is cut. What happens if the COE is required to only make a 3% cut? 5%? 7-8%? I am confident that the Dean has wisely prepared for those contingencies and I think the faculty and students of the college would appreciate knowing what they administration’s budget priorities are.

Mar 29, 2009

The College Administration was short-sighted last year when it closed Social Foundations. A Social Foundations program, with its focus on history, philosophy, and social forces is an important part of a College of Education and can be a vibrant and nationally prominent program with a relatively small number of faculty members. The College Administration is being equally short-sighted this year by closing Educational Psychology. An Educational Psychology program, with its focus on psychological functioning of individuals and groups and how this functioning influences the processes and outcomes of education, is also an important part of a College of Education and can be effective with relatively few faculty members.

The College Administration argues that it cannot support all programs. That may be true in the short run. But the current recession will end and more support will flow into the University. At that time, the next administration of the College will be scratching its head and wondering why Educational Psychology and Social Foundations were closed in reaction to short-term financial problems. If, as expected, the College moves to a greater emphasis on graduate education, the Social Foundations and Educational Psychology program will be conspicuously absent in the College.

The College Administration is being particularly short-sighted in regard to a layoff of a faculty member in Educational Psychology. Although non-tenured, that faculty member has four PhD students who should finish in the next two to three years. The faculty member’s research program is such that a graduation rate of between 1 to 2 students per year is likely. The Dean has asked for alternatives to her plan. The Dean knows full well that there are budget alternatives to the layoff of a tenure-stream faculty member.

The College Administration also does not seem to know the history of the College. In the 70s, Counselor Education was almost dead, but under Joe Wittmer’s leadership and hard work by several generations of faculty members Counselor Education became a top-ranked program nationally. In the late 80s School Psychology was almost dead but with support by the Department of Foundations of Education and the Department of Educational Psychology became a strong program. Educational Psychology has already begun its resurgence. After years in which Deans almost never replaced faculty members in Educational Psychology, the millennium brought in two new faculty members. The program is getting more applicants than in past years, has been active in seeking grants funds, and has a substantial number of undergraduate courses that it can use to support graduate students. Do not close Educational Psychology and work to reestablish Social Foundations.

Mar 31, 2009

Despite the corrections made in the official communication about the budget cuts in the main COE website regarding the Higher Education Administration Program, there is a wide perception that this program will be eliminated outside the college and among students. This perception is very detrimental for the program. I think the Dean should reach out and announce outside the college what are the real intentions about this program. Thanks.

Apr 07, 2009

The reduction plan posted on 4/20 shows 436K devoted to non-tenure track faculty for 2009-2010. Please tell us how much of these funds is used to support faculty in the each of teh following roles: (1) work in a college support office and (2) work in a department or school, broken down by the following categories: (a) distance education, (b) grant research and/or administration, (c) department or academic program administration, (d) on campus teaching.