The USF Tampa campus will now have more representation in the University system, representation equal to the three satellite campuses – USF St. Petersburg, USF Sarasota-Manatee and USF Polytechnic.
During Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting, Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) Vice President Elizabeth Bird announced that Tampa campus representatives will get two additional seats on the council, allowing the campus equal representation with the other three in the USF System.
The FAC, whose president sits on the Board of Trustees, is comprised of representatives from each of the four campuses and is the principal faculty academic advisory body to the USF System.
Before the change, each of the four campuses received at least three representatives, and one additional representative for every 100 faculty members beyond that. No campus was allowed to have more than eight representatives.
As a result, the Sarasota and Polytechnic campuses had three members each, the St. Petersburg campus had four and the Tampa campus had eight. Yet this allowed the Tampa campus to be outvoted 8 to 10.
The new vote will “give Tampa 10 representatives, mirroring the 10 from the three other institutions (combined),” Bird said. “(Voting) was very collegial, very positive … I think the representatives on the other campuses understood why we had to do it to be representative of our body.”
The 18 FAC members voted 14-3-1 in favor of reapportionment, Bird said – a result of concerns raised by the Tampa Faculty Senate that the campus represented the most students and faculty members, and was therefore not represented fairly.
Tampa Faculty Senate Vice President Gregory Teague said the representatives from the other campuses were cognizant of the Senate’s concerns.
“They really recognized, they understood we needed to get rid of this, that was a concern here that the other three campuses could overpower this one, and they understood that,” Teague said.
The changes will be made to the bylaws during the next FAC meeting April 20.
“Once we know who all our 10 members are, and once the other institutions have their 10 members, they will be the ones who elect the next (FAC) office of president and vice president,” Bird said.
Yet, more changes may be on the way.
The St. Petersburg campus requested a provision be made that would require the next FAC president to be voted in with a majority plus one vote.
“There’s always going to be times where what’s in the interest of one campus is not in the interest of somebody else,” Bird said. “Faculty are united by the fact that we’re all faculty, not that we’re separated on different campuses.”