1. The first meeting of the 2006-07 Executive Committee was called to order at 1:10 p.m. on Friday, July 7, 2006 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Rice presiding. All members were present.
2. Following discussion, Ms. Grubman agreed to revise the draft Minutes of 2005-06 Executive Committee Meeting #34, May 9, 2006. She said that she would forward the revision to the Executive Committee for consideration at their next meeting.
a. Senator Barbour reported on the May 22, 2006 meeting of the Board of Governors. Of particular interest to the University were the approval of the new B.A. Degree in Writing and Rhetoric and the establishment of the Department of Physical Therapy. In addition, the Board of Governors approved a modified recommendation on General Education, which no longer included the specification of 40 credits.
Other items included the appointment of the new President of CCRI and the establishment at Rhode Island College of a School of Nursing and a new M.S. degree in Nursing. Senator Barbour also noted that the Commissioner had announced that Dr. Carriuolo's new title is Deputy Commissioner and Chief Academic Officer for the Office of Higher Education.
b. Senator Miller reported on the June 16, 2006 meeting of the Board of Governors' Academic and Student Affairs Committee. He said that the issue of primary concern to the Senate was the list of programs at the three institutions to be eliminated or reviewed as mandated by the Board of Governors' Policy on low-completion rate programs. He said that two degrees at URI, the M.A. in French and the M.A. in German, had been recommended for abolition. In addition, the proposal had been modified by moving the Doctor of Audiology degree to a list of programs to be reviewed for potential elimination
Senator Miller also noted that each of the institutions had presented reports on student retention rates.
Discussion ensued regarding the Board's policy on low-enrollment programs and the Executive Committee agreed to pursue this matter with Vice Provost Pasquerella.
Ms. Grubman noted that materials from the June 29 meeting of the Board of Governors for Higher Education, reflected actions taken at the June 16, 2006 Academic and Student Affairs Committee meeting and distributed copies of Agenda materials from July 29. (See http://www.uri.edu/facsen/BoG_6-29-06_item_8a.pdf for the full list of programs in the report and the recommendations that were approved at the June 29 meeting of the Board of Governors).
c. Chairperson Rice reported that he had attended a meeting of the Master Planning Review Team on May 19 before he left for his Fulbright in the Philippines. He said that the team continued considering the selection of consultants on the development of lands on the URI campus, including East and Peckham farms. He said that consultants would be asked to explore all of the development proposals, which included, housing for junior faculty members, a retirement village, a convention hotel, a golf education center, etc. Chairperson Rice also noted that the team had received an update on plans for the north campus and had approved a hardscape plan for structures on campus
d. The Executive Committee discussed President Carothers' response to Resolution #05-06--5 "Expression of Support for 2006 H-7092." (See http://www.uri.edu/facsen/pres.explanation.pdf.) It was agreed that it would have been better for the Faculty Senate's discussion and deliberation if the President had made his concerns known to the body beforehand.
The Executive Committee decided that rather than pursue this specific issue, they would encourage the President and other ex officio members of the Senate to participate more fully in discussions at Senate meetings. The Executive Committee agreed that this would be another appropriate matter to discuss with Vice Provost Pasquerella, as well as with the President.
e. Ms. Grubman noted that interviews for the searches for Dean of University Libraries and Dean of the College of Business Administration appeared to have been completed, but that she was unaware whether any appointments had been made.
With regard to the search for a Vice Provost for Research, Graduate Studies and Outreach and Dean of the Graduate School, Ms. Grubman reported that she had been notified the previous week that on-campus interviews would be scheduled for late July or early August. She said that she would contact the Executive Committee when further information was available.
f. Ms. Grubman reported that Vice Provost Swift had informed her earlier in the summer that admission to the B.S. in Environmental Plant Biology and the B.S. in Water and Soil Sciences had been suspended in addition to the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree.
It was noted that in addition to the programs for which admissions were suspended, the M.S. in Audiology, the B.S. in Financial Services and the Ph.D. in Applied Mathematical Sciences had appeared on the Board of Governors' list of programs to be reviewed in 2006-2007 for possible elimination.
Discussion ensued with regard to the University's practice with regard to informing the faculty involved in the programs, as well as the Senate Executive Committee, about potential reviews before they appear on a published list.
The Executive Committee agreed that communication about programs included in the process should also be included in the agenda for their upcoming meeting with Vice Provost Pasquerella.
g. Ms. Grubman shared with the Executive Committee a request from the Student Senate Academic Affairs Committee for help with possible faculty misappropriation of newspapers intended for students. It was agreed that Ms. Grubman would contact the chair of the Student Senate Academic Affairs Committee to learn about the extent of the problem, including whether students have been left without newspapers because of faculty action.
h. Ms. Grubman reminded the Executive Committee about the Branding Conference on Monday, July 17, 2006 from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Alumni Room, Ryan Center and asked if anyone had decided to attend. Chairperson Rice indicated that he would participate in the conference.
4. Ms. Grubman brought to the committee's attention section 4.3 of the By-Laws of the Faculty Senate, which described the Executive Committee's authority during the summer:
4.3 The Executive Committee shall have the power to act for the Senate during the interim between the last Senate meeting in the spring and the first meeting in the fall on such matters as urgently require action at the time. Before acting, the Chairperson shall invite members of the Senate to a hearing concerning the action and its urgency. The provisions for circulating the agenda and minutes for special meetings of the Senate shall apply. The action of the Executive Committee will become effective ten days following the distribution of the minutes unless a necessary Presidential approval is withheld or unless a petition for challenges the action delay signed by five percent of the General Faculty. In these cases, the action must await consideration by the Senate.
It was agreed that the Executive Committee's action during the summer of 2005 had been a very rare occurrence and they did not intend to pursue any business until the Senate resumed meeting in the fall.
Ms. Grubman then reviewed with the Executive Committee their specific responsibilities during the summer:
a. Appointment of committees;
b. Approval of the CBUM Report on changes to the UNIVERSITY MANUAL for Fall 2006;
c. Developing an Agenda for the 2006-07 Faculty Senate;
d. Planning the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #1, September 28, 2006.
5. The Executive Committee confirmed that they would meet regularly on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to 12:00 noon beginning on September 12, 2006.
Ms. Grubman was asked to schedule meetings with President Carothers, Provost Swan, Vice Provost Pasquerella, Vice President Weygand, Vice Provost Bozylinsky, Dean Bonn and possibly, Mr. McElroy, Director of Athletics.
6. The Executive Committee reviewed the following matters remaining from 2005-06:
a. General Education: Ms. Grubman reminded the FSEC that although the motion had been amended to be less specific on May 22, the Board of Governors still wanted a plan for completion of any necessary revisions to the general education program based on their regulations and the NEASC Standards.
Following discussion, it was agreed that an assessment of general education could be incorporated into the University's self-study for reaccredidation by NEASC. Senator Kowalski said that he would pursue the issue further with the Provost and Associate Dean Beckman.
b. Administrative Bottlenecks: The Executive Committee agreed that recent postings by Vice Provost Weygand with regard to efforts to improve purchasing clearly demonstrated that progress was being made. It was noted that the most recent legislation that removed third party from state purchasing policy was very hopeful. The FSEC decided that since the new legislation delegated these purchasing policies to the Board of Governors, they would suggest to Vice President Weygand that Governor Rockett be asked to take an active role in the process. They also agreed that there were a number of faculty members who might be asked for advice on the policies.
c. Effort to involve Junior Faculty in University Governance: Chairperson Rice noted that the results of the faculty survey had supported the importance of faculty governance. He also noted that at the request of Vice Provost Pasquerella, he is scheduled on August 30 to speak with new faculty members about the Senate and University Governance.
The FSEC agreed that the future of faculty governance at URI was highly dependent on junior faculty members' taking a more active role in the Senate and its committees. Members of the Executive Committee indicated that they would personally work to increase the number of faculty members who were active in the Senate and its committees. Ms. Grubman distributed lists of committee vacancies, volunteers and Senators for consideration at their next meeting.
d. NEASC Accreditation Update: Senator Kowalski brought the Executive Committee up-to-date on the progress of the NEASC Self-Study. He said that an updated timeline had been developed and he would provide it to the Senate.
The Executive Committee agreed that the Senate should not only receive monthly updates on the NEASC self-study process, but should devote time at each Faculty Senate meeting for discussion of a specific topic as part of the self-study.
e. Provost's committee on web-based instruction: It was noted that while the Executive Committee had not been able to meet with Vice Provost Pasquerella about her role as co-chair of the On-Line Instruction Committee last spring, the issue should be included on the Agenda for their meeting with Vice Provost Pasquerella.
f. Early Course Registration Trial Period: Vice Chairperson Luebke said that she hoped that registration for the spring 2007 would be the beginning of the two-semester trial period. She reported that she had already spoken with Mr. Humphrey about the deadlines for spring registration and planned to send out a memorandum later in the summer. Vice Chairperson Luebke reminded the Executive Committee that the process specified that final approval of early course registration requests resided with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
g. Senate Committees: Ms. Grubman reminded the Executive Committee of the following matters of concern with regard to committees:
1) Ad Hoc Committee on Graduate Education and Research: It was agreed to meet with Professor Rodgers to discuss the status of the committee's report.
2) Ad Hoc Committee on Administrator Evaluation: Ms. Grubman confirmed with Senator Miller that he was interested in remaining on the ad hoc committee to oversee a pilot evaluation of the next administrator who is subject to review by the Provost. She explained that no meeting had been scheduled this summer but that she hoped to contact the committee chair Senator Rosen about getting the small group (Assistant Provost Katz, Senators Lauzon Clabo, Miller, and Rosen and Ms. Grubman) together early in the fall semester.
3) Providence Campus Undergraduate Initiative Committee: Ms. Grubman reported that the fall 2006 class was still expected to remain small and that the committee, chaired by Professor Martin would meet early in the fall to consider how to proceed. She noted that consistent with the 2005-06 Executive Committee's belief support for the Joint Admissions Agreement with CCRI might be more productive than admitting some students directly to the Providence Campus. Students who were on the wait list because they were deemed ineligible for admission to URI had been contacted about the possibility of pursuing the Joint Admissions Agreement option.
4) Library Committee: Ms. Grubman said that Professor Onorato did not want to continue to chair the committee and urged that the Executive Committee consider carefully who might be an appropriate chairperson for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years. She reminded the Executive Committee that the Library Committee already had one item of business for 06-07 forwarded by the Senate, the materials on serials provided by Senator Rathemacher.
It was noted that the results of the faculty survey seemed to indicate that the University Library was a significant area of faculty concern.
5) Academic Standards and Calendar: Ms. Grubman reported that Professor Loy did not want to continue as the chairperson of the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee so they must also select a new chair for that committee. She said that the Committee would begin the academic year with business that had been referred by Mr. Humphrey, Vice Provost Swift, and the University Ombud.
7. The Executive Committee agreed to meet on July 25 at 1:00 p.m. to work on committee appointments, to consider the Manual Report, to examine the results of the faculty survey in more depth, and to discuss an agenda for the 2006-07 academic year.
In addition, the FSEC asked Ms. Grubman to invite Vice Provost Pasquerella to the July 25 meeting to discuss the issues they had identified earlier.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman