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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes #1

June 12, 2007

1. The first meeting of the 2007-08 Executive Committee was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Miller presiding. All members were present except Senator Costello.

2. Following discussion, the Minutes of 2006-07 Executive Committee Meeting #32, May 10, 2007 were approved.

3. Announcements/Correspondence:

a. Copies of the Agenda for the Board of Governors Academic and Student Affairs Committee Meeting, June 12, 2007 were distributed. Chairperson Miller said that he had tried to attend the committee meetings last year because former Chairperson Rice had not been able to attend. He said that he had missed that morning's meeting, but intended to attend them during the academic year. Chairperson Miller noted that Agenda could be downloaded from the web at http://www.ribghe.org/acadcommittee.htm

b. Chairperson Miller announced that the next meeting of the Board of Governors was scheduled for Monday, June 25, 2007 at 5:00 p.m. in the OHE Board Room. He said that he would try to attend Board of Governors Meetings and Vice Chairperson Martin indicated that she would be willing to attend meetings if he was not able to do so.

Ms Grubman said that the Board of Governors traditionally held their August meeting at the Narragansett Bay Campus. This year's meeting was scheduled for August 20. (See http://www.ribghe.org/boardagenda.htm to download Board Agenda and Minutes.

c. Chairperson Miller reported that he had several announcements regarding the Joint Strategic Planning Committee (JSPC):

1) Chairperson Miller said that President Carothers wanted to add Dr. Peter Alfonso to the JSPC when his title is changed to Vice President. It was noted that this would require another amendment to section 5.70.11 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL.

2) Chairperson Miller reported that Ms. Morrissey had asked that representatives of the Executive Committee serve as the JSPC's faculty representatives to the Campus Master Plan Review Team and the Space Enhancement, Design and Allocation Committee (SEDA). Vice Chairperson Martin agreed to serve on the Master Plan Review Team. Ms. Grubman was asked to contact former Senator Kowalski for additional information about SEDA since he had served in that capacity for the last three academic years.

3) Chairperson Miller announced that Ms. Morrissey wanted to schedule an orientation meeting for the new members of the JSPC this summer. He noted that the 06-07 FSEC had suggested that Vice President Weygand be asked to provide the budget overview and that he had informed Ms. Morrissey of the request. It was agreed that once summer schedules were reviewed Ms. Morrissey would be informed of possible dates.

4) Chairperson Miller said that if possible, he hoped that the Executive Committee would continue to urge that there should be a systematic assessment process for administrative units/functions as well as academic departments. It was agreed that academic administrative functions such as the Graduate School and University College should be assessed along with those that are primarily administrative.

4. The Executive Committee was brought up-to-date on matters remaining from 2006-07 FSEC:

a. Chairperson Miller provided background on the issue of lab fees raised by the Curricular Affairs Committee. He shared copies of his memorandum to Provost Swan following up on the 06-07 committee's decision to request that her office draft a University policy that sets up a transparent process for assigning lab or possibly other fees and offering the assistance of the FSEC and the CAC in the effort.

Chairperson Miller said that he had already discussed the lab fee issue with Vice Provost Pasquerella, who was very interested in developing the policy with the FSEC's help. He also shared copies of Dean Brownell's memo to the Provost about the use of lab fees for courses that were not approved as laboratory courses.

b. Chairperson Miller outlined for the FSEC the plans for reorganizing Academic Affairs, including changing the Position of Vice Provost for Research, Graduate Studies and Outreach and Dean of the Graduate School to Vice President for Research and Economic Development. He said that under the proposal the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs would also become Dean of the Graduate School.

c. Chairperson Miller reported that the following searches were underway at that time:

  1. Dean of University Libraries
  2. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  3. Dean of the College of Engineering
  4. Associate Dean of the Graduate School

Chairperson Miller said that it was his understanding that the search for a Vice Provost for Enrollment Management had been suspended temporarily.

d. Chairperson Miller said that legislation proposing a simplified Administrator Evaluation process linked to the Provost's evaluations of administrators should be forthcoming from the ad hoc Committee on Administrator Evaluation for consideration by the Senate in the fall. He said that the pilot evaluations of Dean Letendre and Dean Farmer had appeared to work effectively and that Deans McKinney and Seemann would be evaluated in the fall.

e. Ms. Grubman reported on the ongoing discussions with Vice President Weygand, the FSEC and the CBUM Committee with regard to revising Policy #80-1 "Establishing Administrative Policy." She distributed copies of the most recent draft of the policy.

f. The Executive Committee discussed the importance of committee appointments for the coming academic year. It was agreed that the FSEC should follow through on the request that the FSEC solicit nominations from Senators for committees, not only for appointments as they arise during the academic year, such as for search committees, but for standing committees as well.

Chairperson Miller reported that he had discussed the membership of the Academic Program Review Committee with both the President and the Provost as a result of learning at the last Senate meeting that section 5.86.11 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL stated that the committee's membership could include "at least four faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate." He said that both the President and the Provost agreed to add two more faculty members to the APRC.

5. 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 noted that the Executive Committee's action during the summer of 2005 had been a very rare occurrence and agreed that they did not expect to pursue any business until the Senate resumed meeting in the fall.

6. The Executive Committee tentatively agreed to meet regularly on Tuesday mornings from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. beginning on September 11, 2007.

Ms. Grubman was asked to schedule meetings with President Carothers, Provost Swan, Vice Provost Pasquerella, Vice President Weygand, Vice Provost Bozylinsky and Vice President Alfonso.

7. 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 2007;
c. Developing an Agenda for the 2007-08 Faculty Senate;
d. Planning the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #1, September 27, 2007.

After reviewing everyone's summer schedule, it was agreed to hold the next FSEC meeting on Tuesday, August 21 at 9:30.

Following discussion, it was agreed that committee appointments were especially important after the Senate's discussion at the May 10 meeting to rush through them at the end of the meeting and should be discussed on August 21. Ms. Grubman then distributed materials on committee appointments: a list of committee vacancies, a list of faculty volunteers and a list of Senators and their current committee assignments.

8. Chairperson Miller asked members of the FSEC whether they had specific issues that they wanted to see addressed during the 2007-08 academic year. The following issues were raised: The review of URI 101 by the UCGE Committee that had been initiated by the 2005-06 Executive Committee, technology support for teaching, enforcement of University regulations as outlined in the UNIVERSITY MANUAL, emphasizing a faculty culture of ethics and integrity.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 noon.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman