1. The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:12 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Rice presiding.
All members were present except Senators Beauvais, Dunn, Ginis, Hara, Koske, Krajeski, La Luna, Lee, Malik, Mandel, Quina, Suzawa, Thiem and Yu; Vice Presidents Beagle and Weygand; (Vice Provost McCray was represented by his designee); Deans Farmer, Joseph, Letendre, Mazze, and Richmond (Dean Seemann was represented by his designee); Mr. Freeman and Mr. Mills.
2. Chairperson Rice asked if there were any additions or corrections to or questions about the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #6, February 23, 2006. There were none.
Chairperson Rice ruled that in the absence of additions or corrections, the Minutes were approved as distributed.
3. REPORTS OF OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
B. Vice Chairperson Martin said that the Minutes of Executive Committee Meetings #22, #23, and #24 appeared on pages 4-11 of the Agenda and asked if there were any questions. There were none.
C. On behalf of the Executive Committee, Vice Chairperson Martin moved that the Faculty Senate approve the changes to the UNIVERSITY MANUAL on Academic Program Review, which appeared on pages 12-16 of the Agenda.
Following discussion, the motion carried.
D. Senator Kowalski noted that there would be a brief report on the status of the NEASC Accreditation Self-Study at every Faculty Senate meeting through the NEASC Accreditation visit that was scheduled for October 2007. He reported on the timeline that had been established and on the progress thus far. Senator Kowalski encouraged faculty members who had not already volunteered to help with the work of the eleven self-study committees to do so.
4. REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT
A. President Carothers reported that, as noted on the Agenda, he had approved all of the legislation forwarded to him after the last Faculty Senate meeting. He noted that some of the legislation was approved pending action by the Board of Governors
B. President Carothers then reported to the Faculty Senate on the current and future budget difficulties facing URI.
The President explained that for the current fiscal year (FY'06) the University had been informed in February of a $2 million cut in state appropriations for '06. In addition, graduate student enrollment was short by 92 students (approximate income of $1 million) for the current academic year. As a result of these problems there is a total position freeze until July 2006 (searches can continue but hires will not be made prior to July 1). The freeze should net approximately $600 K. The rest of the $1.4 million will be borrowed from funds and restricted accounts (Student Affairs and fund balances) as well as Dean's overhead accounts and fund 110 accounts. The President also noted that additional expense for health insurance, property insurance, fuel, etc. which cost $1.5 million over what had been budgeted.
President Carothers said that FY'07 (starting July 1, 2006) URI expects a 1-1.5% increase in state appropriation (this is based on the adjusted amount for FY 2006); all asset protection dollars and capital fund dollars are not included (these dollars are what are being used for renovations for example to Independence Hall and planned Lippitt Hall). Although the University is trying to gets this money restored, the $1.2 million final expenses for Independence Hall will have to be paid. This will come from the general operating budget if the dollars are not re-instated.
President Carothers also noted that the Governor has projected an increase in tuition and fees from a current 6% to 7.4% to help balance the reduction in state appropriation. However, it is unlikely that the Board of Governors would agree to go beyond a 6% increase in tuition/fees. This potential loss of revenue is approximately $1.5 million. Furthermore, raising tuition is blunted by the need to increase financial aid, with approximately 74 cents actualized from every dollar increase. In addition, he explained that the freshman class entering fall 2006 is about the same size as that entering 2005. Due to changes in the SAT, scores across the country are about 20 points lower. This has made fewer students eligible for centennial scholarships.
The President outlined the consequences of the budget situation for FY'07. He said that in the best case scenario (if asset protection and capital fund dollars are restored) there will be is a $5.2 million deficit. If no asset protection is restored, the estimate is a $10.4 million deficit. This assumes that the work on Lippitt Hall can be deferred.
President Carothers emphasized that a financial plan has to be devised to create a balanced budget, and decisions need to be made as to where to invest and disinvest. He has asked each of the Vice Presidents to provide plans with a 10% reduction in administrative costs and it is clear that everything is vulnerable.
C. Vice President Dougan reported to the Faculty Senate on the improvement in Fraternities and Sororities at URI. He used series of transparencies based on the Quad Angles' article titled "Greek Life at URI: Back on Track."
5. REPORTS OF STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES
A. Senator Luebke introduced the Four Hundred Forty-First Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee, which appeared on pages 17-24 of the Agenda.
She said that Section I was informational and asked if there were any questions about Section I. There were none.
Senator Luebke announced that Section II required confirmation. She asked that Section II item A, 6, c be removed from the report. She then moved approval of Section II as amended. The motion carried.
Senator Luebke said that Section III was a joint report of the Curricular Affairs Committee and Graduate Council on 400-level courses required confirmation by the Faculty Senate and moved approval of Section III. The motion carried.
B. Vice Provost Pasquerella introduced the Curricular Report No. 2005-06-6 from the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate appeared on pages 25-26 of the Agenda. She said that Section I was informational and asked if there were any questions.
An editorial correction was brought to Vice Provost Pasquerella's attention and she indicated that the report would be corrected as noted.
Vice Provost Pasquerella said that Section II required confirmation by the Faculty Senate and moved approval of Section II. The motion carried
C. Professor Honhart introduced the University College and General Education Committee Report #2005-06-3, which appeared on pages 27-28 of the Agenda. He noted that Section I was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.
Professor Honhart moved approval of Section II. The motion carried.
D. Professor Loy moved approval of the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee Report #2005-06-1 Resubmitted: Revised Proposed Modification to Calendar for Spring 2009, which appeared on pages 29-30 of the Agenda.
Following discussion, the motion carried.
E. Professor Loy introduced the Calendar Committee Report #2005-06-3 Resubmitted: Revised Proposed Calendar for 2011-2012, which appeared on pages 31-34 of the Agenda.
Professor Loy then moved approval of the committee's Version A of the fall 2011 calendar and the spring 2012 calendar.
F. Vice Provost Pasquerella introduced the Annual Report of the Council for Research, which appeared on pages 35-39 of the Agenda. She asked if there were any questions. There were none
G. Senator Karen Ramsay introduced the Annual Report of the Admissions Advisory Board for 2005-06, which appeared on pages 40-42 of the Agenda. She asked if there were any questions.
H. Professor Ramstad presented an oral report on the Activities of the Athletics Advisory Board and responded to questions about his presentation. Professor Ramstad indicated that a written copy of the report had been sent to the Faculty Senate Office. (See http://www.uri.edu/facsen/AAB_Report_3-23-06.pdf)
6. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Chairperson Rice asked if there was any unfinished business. There was none.
7. NEW BUSINESS
Chairperson Rice asked if there was any new business. There was none.
Chairperson Rice invited everyone across the street to the University Club for the reception sponsored by Interim Vice Provost Porter.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:58 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman