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Board of Trustees approve post-tenure review policy 12-1 as UNF faculty look on in disappointment

“Good luck hiring people. They’re not going to come.” Those were the final words from faculty as they swept out of the University of North Florida Board of Trustees quarterly meeting Monday morning. Seconds before, the Board approved the university-proposed post-tenure review policy in a 12-1 vote. 

Mike Binder, UNF’s faculty association president and the only faculty representation on the Board, was the sole Trustee to vote against the policy’s approval. 

“I hope that we maybe take a minute and give this a try at the bargaining table and maybe come to an agreement,” Binder said earlier in the meeting. His words fell on deaf ears. 

The approval comes almost a full month ahead of the Board of Governors Oct. 16 deadline for a policy, a point that the Trustees focused on. Many members worried about making the deadline in time if they didn’t approve the policy today. 


Four different members of the faculty union made comments about the policy, attacked its language and called on the Trustees to “step up” and protect them from “probably the most hostile and violent attack on faculty,” in the words of Tobias Huning, the faculty union president. 

“I don’t think this policy takes care of its people,” he said. “This policy will accelerate the ongoing exodus from UNF that we’re already kind of seeing.” Huning explained that the union requested just “a few key pieces” of the proposed policy be changed. 

The main issue UFF-UNF had with the proposed policy, which was sent to the Trustees last week after UNF declared impasse, is the language it uses to evaluate faculty undergoing post-tenure review. That language was pulled straight from the BOG’s regulations, but the union and BOT teams disagree over whether it can be revised or not. 

The union has been negotiating with the BOT team since June, but the two couldn’t agree on a final policy, so the university forwarded one to the BOT anyway to meet the BOG deadline. 

Under this policy’s evaluative language, faculty who have consistently met or exceeded expectations in the past could be rated as not meeting job expectations, resulting in them being put on a “personal improvement plan” and re-evaluated a year later.

According to the BOG regulations, faculty who receive a rating of “unsatisfactory” will be immediately terminated. These performance expectations will be reviewed relative to the accomplishments of other faculty members, regardless of their department.

UFF-UNF Vice President Mark Halley, who just earned tenure from the university three months ago, said this is “hostile to academic freedom and harmful to the community.”

Halley pointed to other items on the meeting’s agenda, namely President Moez Limayem’s annual presidential evaluation and consideration of incentive compensation, which is effectively a bonus.

UFF-UNF Vice President Mark Halley makes a public comment at the start of the Board of Trustees September quarterly meeting. (Justin Nedrow)

Limayem’s evaluation will include “progress on the president’s goals for the year,” and consideration of incentive compensation based on “the president’s achievement of mutually agreed upon performance measures and goals.”

“This is a fantastic evaluation method,” Halley said. “You are evaluating President Limayem according to set goals and standards, not according to how he does compared to presidents at other Florida universities. Why not do the same for faculty?”

The room erupted in applause.

The vote

After a short presentation to the BOT outlining the negotiation process and policy language, it was time for the Trustees to discuss and decide on the policy. Though the floor opened for that discussion, every single one of the 13 Trustees was silent. 

However, before the Board could finish a motion for approval, Trustee Binder jumped in and said that if no one else would say anything, he would. 

“I understand there’s a timeline,” Binder said. “I don’t know that this needs to be [approved] today.”

Faculty Association President Mike Binder. (Justin Nedrow)

Soon, other Trustees joined the discussion, asking questions about the negotiation and whether it would continue. While they would vote on a policy today, the procedures for how post-tenure review will be implemented at UNF are still up for negotiation. 

Michael Mattimore, chief negotiator for the BOT team, and President Limayem, both expressed that they were open to continued negotiation with the union in the future.

During discussion, Trustee Nikul Patel appeared to blame the union for not offering a counter proposal on the language in the policy related to the faculty rating system. Faculty sitting in the back of the room shook their heads in disapproval and disappointment. 

Before the final vote, BOT Chair Kevin Hyde emphasized that their only obligation under the BOG regulation is to enact and submit a policy before the deadline of Oct. 16. 

The policy now heads to the BOG for their approval next month and negotiations are expected to continue over UNF’s post-tenure review procedures. 

Stay with Spinnaker as we continue to cover post-tenure review and other topics covered during the Board of Trustees meeting. 


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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Carter Mudgett
Carter Mudgett, Reporter
Carter Mudgett is a University of North Florida student majoring in multimedia journalism. He was Spinnaker's editor-in-chief from August 2021 to December 2023. Carter led Spinnaker to be awarded a 2023 Online Pacemaker Award, and most recently placed second in the Society of Professional Journalists's Sunshine State Awards for "Best Coverage of LGBT Issues" in the college category. Backed by a passion for creative storytelling and accurate reporting, Carter typically covers education, gender and race issues.
Jeanne Gilbert
Jeanne Gilbert, Editor in Chief
Jeanne Gilbert is Spinnaker's current editor-in-chief and a sophomore majoring in public relations at the University of North Florida. She joined Spinnaker in the summer of 2023 as a volunteer. After graduating, Jeanne plans to continue in the newsroom or work in public relations.
Justin Nedrow
Justin Nedrow, Photographer
Justin Nedrow is a Jacksonville-based photographer who started volunteering for Spinnaker in 2020 and recently graduated in spring 2023 with a degree in sports management from the University of North Florida. Taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photos, Justin has helped Spinnaker reporters cover everything from sports games, protests, ordinary campus life and more. Photography is a passion project for Justin, one he started to meet new people and express himself without words.

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