Kingston, Rhode Island




FacultySenate Executive Committee Meeting #1ñ July 25, 2008


1.   The meeting was called to order at 11: 10 a.m. on Friday, July 25, 2008 in the third floor conference room in  Green Hall, Chairperson Martin presiding. All members were present.


     The members of the 2008-09 Executive Committee introduced themselves: Chairperson Celest Martin, Writing and Rhetoric; Vice Chairperson Barbara Costello, Sociology and Anthropology; Senator Barbara Meagher Smith, Journalism; Senator Margaret Ordonez, Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design; Senator Andree Rathemacher, University Libraries; Senator Stephen Swallow, Natural Resource Economics.


2.   The Minutes from 2007-08 Executive Committee Meetings #29, #30 and #31 were approved pending editorial corrections and Provost DeHayesí review of those sections of meeting #30 regarding his meeting with the Executive Committee.


3. Announcements/Correspondence


     a.   Chairperson Martin asked members of the FSEC if they had read the following memorandums and encouraged them to do so if they had not already read them:


           1)   President Carothersí June 25, 2008 memo to the University Community on the Universityís financial situation;


           2)  Provost DeHayes   June 30 memorandum announcing the appointment of an Interim Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and the possible new Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs;


           3)  A July 9 memorandum from Brad Moran, the Assistant Vice President for Research Administration regarding his appointment on a half-time basis.


     b.   Chairperson Martin reported on the Board of Governors:


           1)   She said that she had represented the Executive Committee at meetings of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee during the previous academic year, but had not been able to attend the meeting that morning. She noted that the only item of interest on the Agenda was the proposed professional degree in Ocean Engineering.

           2)  Chairperson Martin said that she had attended the  June 30,2008 meeting of the Board of Governors and noted that the next meeting of the full Board was scheduled for August 18 at the Narragansett Bay Campus. She urged FSEC members to take the opportunity to attend the meeting


     c.   Chairperson Martin announced that she and Vice Chairperson  Costello had been invited to meet informally with Provost DeHayes on July 31 and asked if there were any items the Executive Committee thought should be raised at that time. It was agreed that since the Provost had asked for the meeting, the Executive Committee would wait until their next meeting to consider whether To raise any additional questions.


     d.   The Executive Committee was brought up to date on matters relating to the Joint Strategic Planning Committee (JSPC):


           1)   Chairperson Martin reminded the Executive Committee that the orientation for new members was scheduled for August 19 at 2:00 p.m. in third floor conference room in Green Hall                   


           2)  Chairperson Martin said that during the 2007-08 academic year, she had served as the JSPC representative from the FSEC to the Space Enhancement, Design and Allocation Committee (SEDA) and the Campus Master Plan Review Team (MPRT). She explained that it would not be possible for her to serve on these committees during the 2008-09 academic year and asked for volunteers from the Executive Committee.


                 Senator Ordonez agreed to represent the FSEC on SEDA and Senator Rathemacher agreed to serve on the Campus Master Plan Review Team.


           3)  Ms. Grubman announced that JSPC Meetings had been scheduled for the fall semester on the following Thursdays from 2:00-3:30 in President's Conference Room: August 28, September 11, October 9, November 13, December 11


4    The Executive Committee reviewed matters that remained from 2007-08:


     a.   The Presidential Search: The FSEC agreed that the Presidential Search was probably the most important item of business for the 2008-09 academic year. Ms. Grubman reported that from her experience, the Board of Governors had always asked the Faculty Senate and the AAUP to appoint two faculty each for the Presidential Search Committee. She said that the precedents were for the Search Committees that led to the appointment of Presidents Newman, Eddy, and Carothers. Ms. Grubman also noted that the Senate had scheduled regular reports from the search committees as part of the Reports of the Executive Committee.


           Following discussion, Chairperson Martin was directed to draft a letter to the Board urging that at least four faculty representatives be included on the Presidential Search Committee.


     b.   Blue Ribbon Study Commission: The Executive Committee reviewed the charge to and membership of the Joint Commission on the future of URI. They noted that the Senate was to appoint 10 of the 20 members of the Commission, 5 of whom were to represent outside constituencies. Several possible names were suggested, and the committee agreed to continue to explore possible appointees before their next meeting. It was agreed that the commission should be co-chaired by a faculty member and one of the external appointees.


     c.   Assessment of administrative operations: The Executive Committee considered the request from the 2007-08 FSEC that they introduce to the JSPC the inclusion of administrative units with academic responsibilities such as the Graduate School and the Special Program for Talent Development. It was agreed that the initial step would include a meeting with Vice President Tom Dougan and the Dean of the Graduate School.


               d.   Research  support issues: After discussion, it was agreed to continue to pursue the issues raised by the 07-08  FSEC, including tuition for graduate research assistants, the need for greater support for the social sciences and the humanities, and the necessity of accounting for research productivity that occurs without extra mural funding;


     e.   Graduation rates: The Executive Committee considered the concerns raised by the Provost at his meeting with the previous FSEC that the University take a fresh look at what practices at URI might affect graduation rates such as the Universityís policies on incompletes and deadlines for dropping and adding courses and agreed they should follow up with the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee during the 2008-09 academic year.


     f.   Joint Strategic Planning Committee. The members of the Executive Committee agreed that it was important that they playa more active role in the functioning of the JSPC. For example, members of the Executive committee should take advantage of Ms. Morrisseyís request for Agenda items prior to each JSPC meeting and be prepared to contribute discussion topics. Chairperson Martin suggested that the JSPC meeting time might be extended to an hour and a half so long as the majority of time was spent discussing items of concern identified in reports that had been forwarded in advance, rather than sitting through the presentation of the reports at the meeting.


5.   It was noted that the following Executive meetings had been scheduled:


     a.   August 18 at 10:00 a.m.


     b.   August 19 at 10:00 a.m. with Provost DeHayes. The following topics were suggested:


           1)   Faculty Forums

           2)  Futuring Commission

           3)  Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

           4)  The Council of Deans discussion of Models for Productivity and Workload 


     c.   A preliminary calendar of fall 2008 meetings, which were scheduled for Tuesdays from 2-4, was distributed.


           d.   Ms. Grubman reported that meetings with the President and Provost had already been scheduled and the FSEC agreed they should probably schedule meetings with the following administrators as well: Vice President Weygand, Vice President Alfonso, Vice President Dougan, Vice Provost Bozylinsky, Interim Vice Provost Libutti, and the new Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.


6.   Ms. Grubman identified the summer responsibilities of the Executive Committee:


     a.   It was noted that the FSEC was governed by the following section of the By-Laws of the Faculty Senate and had only found it necessary once in over 35 years to hold an emergency meeting:


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.

     b.   Ms. Grubman noted that the following were specific summer responsibilities:


           1)  Appointment of committees. The Executive Committee devoted the majority of the remainder of the meeting discussing committee appointments for the coming academic year.


           2)  Approval of CBUM Report on changes to the UNIVERSITY MANUAL: The Executive Committee approved the report, which had been forwarded to them prior to the meeting.


                 Ms. Grubman announced that she would incorporate all of the Senate actions into the web version of the Manual and would update the download able PDF portions as well. She said that the Senate Office would no longer publish a printed edition in light of the budget cuts and shortage of staff. (See


                 Ms. Grubman also announced that she had not asked the President, Provost or Vice Presidents for administrative changes to the fall 2008 edition in light of the administrative transitions in progress.


           3)  With regard to Developing an Agenda for the 2008-09 Faculty Senate and its Executive Committee: and Planning the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #1, September 25, 2008, it was agreed to postpone discussion until a subsequent meeting.       


7.   The Committee agreed to postpone any items of new business until their August 18 meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.


                                                           Respectfully submitted,


                                                           Sheila Black Grubman