Faculty Senate Meeting

September 20, 2001


1. The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:07 p.m. without the ringing of the Novgorod Bell in room 113 White Hall, Chairperson Peters presiding.

All members were present except Senators Babson, Frohlich, Hickox, Ibrahim, Kislalioglu, Kulenovic, Lee, Ma, Nippo, Riebe, Rodgers and Specker; Vice Presidents Beagle, Dougan and Stark; Deans Letendre, Mazze, Richmond and Taggart (Deans Kim and Seemann were represented by their designees).

2. A motion was made to approve the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #10, May 10, 2001.

Chairperson Peters asked if there were any additions or corrections to or questions about the Minutes. There were none.

The motion to approve the Minutes of Meeting #10 carried.


A. Announcements:

1) Chairperson Peters introduced three new Senators who had been elected since the May 10 Faculty Senate Meeting and were taking their seats at that time:

Senator Judy Beckman and Senator Joseph Matoney from the College of Business Administration and Senator Dana Kester from the Graduate School of Oceanography.

2) Chairperson Peters briefly outlined the major issues that are before the 2001-02 Faculty Senate:

a) Continuation of General Education Reform: Chairperson Peters said that the effort to revise the General Education program would continue during the current academic year. He informed the Senate that a series of workshops on integrating skills had been conducted during the summer for faculty members who teach courses in the Social Sciences core area. He also noted that the Foreign Language/Cross-cultural Competence working group was somewhat behind the Social Sciences area and that a group on the Letters core area is being formed.

In response to a question from the floor, Chairperson Peters indicated that guidelines for proposing Social Sciences courses and sample proposals would be part of a faculty mailing sometime during the fall semester.

b) Partnerships Proposal: Chairperson Peters reminded the Senate that at the last meeting of 2000-01 the Council for Research had made a number of recommendations regarding the Partnerships and their connection to the University and its administrative structure. He said that the Executive Committee had asked the Council for Research to review the Partnership structure and to propose formal legislation for consideration by the Faculty Senate.

c) Changes at the Feinstein College of Continuing Education: Chairperson Peters stated that the changes introduced in the College of Continuing Education over the past few months require a thorough review by the Faculty Senate. He reported that the Executive Committee has asked President Carothers to begin the process by convening the Joint Educational Policy Committee. Chairperson Peters noted that the review and, quite likely, the necessity of Senate approval of some of the changes would be extremely important in charting the course of the College.

Chairperson Peters indicated that other important matters would come forward during the year as well. He said that the Senate's work is important and useful to the University and thanked Senators for agreeing to participate in faculty governance.

3) Chairperson Peters reminded everyone to identify himself or herself before speaking.

B. Vice Chairperson Goldsmith said that the minutes of the last meeting of the 2000-01 Executive Committee and the first meeting of this year's Executive Committee appeared on pages 4-8 of the Agenda and asked if there were any questions.

Following discussion, Chairperson Peters agreed that the Executive Committee would discuss both the concerns about non-Senate business on FacSen-L raised by Senator Arakelian and the questions about the effect of the summer "Common Agenda" meetings on faculty governance raised by Senator Feldman.

C. 1) Vice Chairperson Goldsmith corrected page 10 of the Agenda by removing Senator Nippo's name from the membership of the Library Committee. She then moved approval of the corrected committee appointments for the 2001-02, which appeared on pages 9-13 of the Agenda. The motion carried.

2) Vice Chairperson Goldsmith then moved approval of the following resolution on behalf of the Executive Committee:

The events of September 11, 2001 have created circumstances that require all of us to respond with both careful thought and deep compassion. In recognition of the University's unique role in fostering an informed engagement with the world, the Faculty Senate of the University of Rhode Island urges our colleagues to devote some time during the University's Diversity Week (October 1-5) to a sustained conversation with students about the meaning and potential consequences of the events of September 11, 2001.

Following discussion, the motion carried

D. Vice Chairperson Goldsmith introduced Ms. McMahon and Ms. Palm, who gave a brief update on the status of the general use classrooms on behalf of the Classroom Management Team. They also responded to questions from the floor.

E. Chairperson Peters announced that the Report of the Ombud for 2000-01 appeared on pages 14-16 of the Agenda and asked if there were any questions for Senator Rose. There were none.

Chairperson Peters accepted the Ombud's Report on behalf of the Senate and thanked Senator Rose for serving in that important role.


A. President Carothers announced that he had approved all of the legislation and had supported all of the resolutions from the 2000-01 Senate as indicated on the Agenda cover. He noted that Bill #00-01--27 still awaited action by the Board of Governors.

B. President Carothers said that the school year had gotten off to a wonderful start and thanked everyone for their role in it. He then expressed his appreciation to all of the faculty members who have taken the time to help students through the difficult period following the terrorist attack on September 11. He also said that he wanted to commend the staffs of the Counseling Center and Health Services and the University Chaplains for all of their efforts.

The President gave possible budget scenario in light of the economic downturn before and since the events of September 11. He said that he expected that the current economy could also affect student enrollment, noting that there was a greater possibility that people will decide to go to school closer to home. President Carothers explained that this could change the mix of in-state and out-of-state students and affect the University's tuition income.

President Carothers announced that Vice President Stark would be presenting the State of the Budget Address to the Senate on October 25. He said that the University's budget appeared to be in reasonably good shape for the current year as long as there was no mid-year rescission. He indicated, however, that he expected that the University would face challenges in the fiscal '03 budget.

The President then reported on the administrative appointments that had been made during the summer and introduced Dean Farmer from the Graduate School of Oceanography and Interim Assistant Vice President Rhodes. He also reviewed the status of the two outstanding dean searches: the College of Engineering and the College of Human Science and Services.

President Carothers then responded to a question from Senator Arakelian about minority enrollment and agreed to get the requested information to him.


Chairperson Peters said that there were no committee reports on the agenda.


Chairperson Peters reminded the Senate that at the May 10, 2001 meeting of the Faculty Senate, the Library Committee recommended that the Director, University Libraries be added as a permanent non-voting ex officio member of the Library Committee. He explained that because the change required an amendment to the By-Laws of the Faculty Senate it could not be voted upon at the meeting at which it was introduced. He said that the following motion was now returned to the Faculty Senate for approval:

Amend section 4.50 of the Faculty Senate By-Laws by adding, "The Director of the University Libraries shall serve as an ex officio non-voting member of the Library Committee."

Following discussion. The motion carried.


Chairperson Peters asked if there was any new business. There was none.

Chairperson Peters reminded the Senate that the State of the Budget Address for 2001-02 was scheduled for Thursday October 25, 2001. He said that the Executive Committee was compiling a list of concerns that they would like to see addressed by Vice President Stark and encouraged members of the Senate to forward to the Executive Committee any specific requests they have for information on the Budget.

Chairperson Peters declared the meeting adjourned

The meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman