University of Central Florida

Archived 2007-2008 Resolutions

Resolution 2007-2008-1 Faculty Conduct and Conflicts of Interest

Whereas, faculty of the University must behave in a professional manner and avoid conflicts of interest in fulfilling their professional obligations, and

Whereas, all faculty are subject to the requirements of Florida Statutes Chapter 112, Part III, known as the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees.

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate endorses the following statement from the Undergraduate Policy and Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Council

A conflict of interest occurs when there is a divergence between an individual’s private, personal relationships or interests and his/her professional obligations to the university such that an independent observer would reasonably question whether the individual’s professional actions or decisions are determined or influenced by considerations of personal benefit, gain, or advantage.  Where there is an actual conflict of interest, the employee will be asked to resolve the conflicting activity.

A potential for conflict of interest exists where there are personal relationships or interests which reasonably could create a divergence between those interests and professional obligations but which have not yet (and may not) do so.  Thus, a potential conflict of interest is where there is a reasonable possibility of an actual conflict of interest arising.  In the event of a potential conflict of interest, a monitoring plan may be devised to manage the possibility of conflict or the activity may be altered in some way to prevent a conflict from occurring. 

Conflicts of interest may also arise in the conduct of personal relations between university employees and between university employees and students.  Employees are expected to treat students and fellow colleagues with courtesy and to respect their rights, including, but not limited to, academic freedom and freedom from coercion or the imposition of a quid pro quo relationship.  The potential for conflict of interest in personal relations between employees and between employees and students is grounded in the distinctly unequal power in certain relationships, such as between a director and a subordinate employee or between a thesis advisor and a student.  It is often the case that  subordinates in a work or school relationship of this type will feel that they cannot say no to a request by the individual having the evaluative role or the more authoritative position.  The individual with the predominant or controlling position in such relationships should be aware of this fact and of the potential for abuse of this unequal authority and control.

Employees and students must realize that even consensual amorous relationships may lead to sexual harassment, other breaches of professional obligations, or charges of sexual harassment or ethics complaints.  This is particularly true where the relationship is one of unequal power (i.e., where one of the individuals in the relationship has a professional responsibility toward the other, such as in the context of instruction, advisement or supervision).  No faculty member shall have an amorous relationship (consensual or otherwise) with a student who is enrolled in a course being taught by the faculty member or when academic work is being supervised by the faculty member or when that faculty member has or is likely to have academic responsibility over that student at any time during that student’s tenure at UCF.  No person in a supervisory position shall have romantic or sexual relationships with anyone that he or she evaluates.  Romantic partners, including spouses, will be separated for purposes of evaluation and direct supervision.

A faculty member may not involve university students or other employees in the faculty member’s external activities if such involvement is coerced or presented as a quid pro quo.  Additionally, if it is another employee who is being involved in an external activity of this sort, then that involvement in the external activity must not conflict with the employee’s required commitment of time to the university.  This proscription is especially relevant to employees in their relationships with students and with employees over whom they have a supervisory or evaluative role. 

Where there is doubt in the mind of any individual about a potential conflict of interest, the individual should raise the issue with his or her supervisor and the Office of Academic Affairs.  In-unit faculty should also refer to Article 19 of the UCF BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement

Approved by the Senate on September 27, 2007.
Forward to the Provost on October 1, 2007.
Approved by the Provost on October 9, 2007.

Resolution 2007-2008-2: ETD Dissemination Policy

Whereas, the university is dedicated to open access of original work for the purposes of scholarship, and

Whereas, the university is mindful of protecting the rights of our students (and faculty) with regard to their original work,

Be it resolved, that UCF will provide the following options for all graduate students submitting the required Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (with required graduate advisor input)

  1. Immediate worldwide ETD dissemination with no restrictions.
  2. Pending ETD dissemination of the entire work for six months for patent or other proprietary issues, with an additional six months extension available. Once the patent and proprietary issues are resolved, we recommend immediate worldwide ETD dissemination with no restrictions.
  3. Pending ETD dissemination of the entire work for six months for patent or other proprietary issues, with an additional six months extension available. Once the patent and proprietary issues are resolved, we recommend ETD dissemination with limited access to the UCF community for a period of
    1. ___one year
    2. ___three years
    3. ___five years
  4. ETD Dissemination with limited access to the UCF community for a period of
    1. ___one year
    2. ___three years
    3. ___five years

Approved by the Senate on March 20, 2008.
Forward to the Provost on March 24, 2008.
Approved by the Provost on July 31, 2008.

Resolution 2007-2008-3 Thesis and Dissertation Submittals

Whereas, the originality of thesis and dissertation work reflects directly on the quality of the institution, its faculty, and its students, and

Whereas, many students are using the web extensively for their research, sometimes without understanding attribution, and

Whereas, UCF makes available Turnitin.com for faculty and students to ensure that the work of the student is original,

And whereas, General Counsel has taken necessary actions with Turnitin.com to ensure that providing theses/dissertations to Turnitin.com will not jeopardize intellectual property for the authors of these works,

Therefore, be it resolved, that UCF will require all students submitting a thesis or dissertation that meet graduate degree requirements to submit the thesis or dissertation through Turnitin.com. Turnitin.com will supply the results to the ETD committee chair for review.

Approved by the Senate on November 29, 2007.
Forward to the Provost on November 30, 2007.
Approved by the Provost on February 27, 2008

Resolution 2007-2008- 4 Endorsement of Governor Crist's Energy Efforts

Whereas, the issues of energy independence and sustainability are of vital importance to the state of Florida and the nation as a whole;

Whereas, energy independence and the development of sustainable energy resources have significant implications to the citizens of Florida, ranging from cost of living to quality of life to safety and security;

Whereas, global climate change poses a serious threat to the people and natural systems of the state including coastlines;

Whereas, public and private policy makers in the state are addressing the issues of energy independence and global climate change and will make decisions that will have long term implications for the citizens of the state;

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate of the University of Central Florida strongly endorses the efforts of Governor Charlie Crist and the Florida legislature to develop progressive directions to help stimulate the development of renewable energy resources in Florida, thus mitigating the damaging effects of global climate change.

Approved by the Senate on November 29, 2007.
Forward to the Provost on November 30 , 2007.
Approved by the Provost on February 27, 2008.

Resolution 2007-08-05 Appointment and Evaluation of School Directors and Department Chairs
(Not Approved)

Whereas, the University of Central Florida seeks to sustain growth, productivity and excellence in education and research,

Be it resolved, that the Faculty Senate endorses the following guidelines for appointment and evaluation of directors and department chairs.

All schools/departments must have an appointed director/department chair.

Service Eligibility

A school/department’s director/chair serves a term of five years although the appointment is renewable annually. Normally, a director/department chair will not serve more than two successive five-year terms. Except in rare occasions, college deans, associate deans, and assistant deans should not serve as directors/department chairs. Where an outside faculty member is considered for director/department chair, customary academic search procedures should be followed.

Appointment

Each college dean, upon consultation with that college’s faculty, will establish a procedure for the appointment and reappointment of directors/department chairs. After due consideration, as hiring agent, the dean will nominate a candidate for director/department chair, whose appointment is subject to approval by the provost and the president. Eligible voters on appointments include all tenured and tenure-track faculty but eligibility may be extended at the college level by vote of the tenured and tenure-track faculty. College procedures require a record of the vote for appointment and reappointment.

Review & Reappointment

The faculty of the school/department will evaluate directors/department chairs annually. Department/school faculty and others whom the dean deems appropriate will conduct the review. A full review for reappointment will take place during the fifth year. The dean at his or her own initiative or as a consequence of a request by the school/department faculty can institute an interim review.

Approved by the Senate on February 28, 2008.
Forward to the Provost on March 24, 2008.
Not Approved: Memo from Provost Hickey on August 1, 2008:  Manoj, I cannot support this resolution as currently worded. I agree that the university is best served when deans do not act as department chairs and could support that part of the resolution.  However, our current fiscal constraints may make it appropriate for an associate or assistant dean to fulfill the responsibilities of a chair or director. I could support a resolution that included that change and would be happy to meet with the Faculty Senate Steering Committee or the Faculty Senate to explain my concerns.

Finally, the guidelines for the appointment and evaluation of school directors and department chairs and other university procedures need to recognize the appointment of clinical faculty in medicine and, hopefully, nursing.

[Note: This resolution was revised and approved in Senate year 2008-2009. The revised version is here.]

Resolution 2007-08-06 Budget Management
(Not Approved)

Whereas, the State University System of Florida and faculty and administrators of the University of Central Florida are dedicated to the goals of promoting quality higher education for the metropolitan Orlando and central Florida area, and

Whereas, the University of Central Florida has one of the worst student faculty ratios in the nation, and

Whereas, the current economic environment in Florida challenges the ability of the University of Central Florida to support the necessary instructional expenditures, to prevent faculty and staff reductions, and to keep pace with the cost of living increases, and

Whereas, the University of Central Florida has demonstrated foresight in addressing this year’s budget challenges,

Be it resolved, that the University of Central Florida Faculty Senate encourages the administration to make every effort to lower student faculty ratios at the University of Central Florida, and to resist any external effort that may cause the student faculty ratios to increase.

Be it further resolved, that the University of Central Florida Faculty Senate encourages the University of Central Florida administration to make every effort to recruit and retain the highest quality faculty and staff at the University of Central Florida through, amongst other things, the use of future funds obtained from increases in tuition and differential tuition.

Approved by the Senate on February 28, 2008.
Forward to the Provost on March 24, 2008.
Not Approved: Memo from Provost Hickey on August 1, 2008:  Manoj, I agree that faculty and advisors are critical to the mission of the university, but I am unclear on the intent of this resolution. I would be happy to meet with the Faculty Senate Steering Committee to discuss this resolution.

[Note: This resolution was revised and approved in Senate year 2008-2009. The revised version is here.]

Resolution 2007-2008-7 Funding of the Library Materials and Subscriptions in Support of Faculty Research
(Not Approved)

Whereas, the University of Central Florida recognizes the great importance of research performed by its faculty and the need to afford the research community at UCF with all the necessary facilities to maximize productivity and excellence, and

Whereas, the UCF Library performs a vital function of providing access to journals and publications in support of sponsored research being performed by the faculty,

Be it resolved, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Central Florida recommends to the university administration that the overhead returns generated by research grants, along with other sources of funding, be reviewed for helping overcome the downward spiral of funding for the library's procurement of materials and subscriptions.

Approved by the Senate on March 20, 2008.
Forward to the Provost on March 24, 2008.
Not Approved: Memo from Provost Hickey on August 1, 2008:  Manoj, the UCF Library is clearly a key component of the university, but I cannot support this resolution as currently worded. Many sources of revenue will be needed to address our budget shortfalls, including those impacting the Library. Asking that any one source be used to address those shortfalls is neither reasonable nor effective. I have already taken steps to at least partially protect Library acquisitions from further budget cuts and would be happy to meet with the Faculty Senate Steering Committee to discuss what is being done.

[Note: This resolution was revised and approved in Senate year 2008-2009. The revised version is here.]

Resolution 2007-2008-8 Endorsement of Student Government Green Fee
(Not Approved)

Whereas, the University of Central Florida has previously endorsed the Focus the Nation initiative toward environmental concerns, and

Whereas, the Student Government and Student Body of the University of Central Florida has supported creation of a Sustainability Fund through the implementation of a "Green Fee,"

Be it resolved, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Central Florida endorses the concept of environmental sustainability on the UCF campus, and supports the efforts of the Student Government Association to establish a "Green Fee" to generate a Sustainability Fund.

We further urge the Student Government Association to work with the University of Central Florida administration to guarantee reasonable control and proper utilization of such funds.

Approved by the Senate on March 20, 2008.
Forward to the Provost on March 24, 2008.
Not Approved: Memo from Provost Hickey on August 1, 2008:  Manoj, I applaud the students for their interest in establishing a sustainability fund. Given student support of a fee dedicated to green efforts on campus, the university would be pleased to join efforts to seek passage of the fee at the state level. While I understand what the students hope to accomplish, their goal cannot be achieved in the way described in this resolution. To assist all involved in finding a more effective strategy, I would be pleased to ask Vice President Holsenbeck to meet with student leaders and the Faculty Senate to offer advice on how we might better work to achieve this goal.

[Note: This resolution was revised and approved in Senate year 2008-2009. The revised version is here.]

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