Kingston, Rhode Island




Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting #2

August 18, 2008 and August 19, 2008


1.   The meeting was called to order at 10: 10 a.m. on Monday, August 18, 2008 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Martin presiding. All members were present.


2.   The Minutes from Executive Committee Meeting #1, July 25, 2008 were approved.

3.   Announcements/Correspondence:


       a.   Chairperson Martin reminded the FSEC that the following meetings were scheduled through the beginning of the fall semester:


           1)   A Board of Governors meeting was scheduled for that afternoon, August 18, 2007, at 3:00 p.m. at the Narragansett Bay Campus;)

            2)  The August 19 meeting with Provost DeHayes was scheduled for 10:00 a.m.

            3)  The JSPC Orientation with Ms. Morrissey and Vice President Weygand was scheduled for August 19 at 2:00 p.m.

            4)  The first JSPC Meeting of the 08-09 academic year was scheduled for Thursday, August 28: 2:00 p.m.

            5)  The next regular meeting of the FSEC would be held on September 9 at 2:00 p.m.


      b.   Ms. Grubman noted that the Annual Report of the Ombud for 2007-08 had been mailed separately. She said that the report would be included as an informational item on the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #1, September 25, 2008.


      c.   Chairperson Martin reported that Professor Faye Boudreaux-Bartels had asked that the ADVANCE awards to faculty mentors be presented at the first Senate meeting and she had agreed to do so under announcements.


      d.   The Executive Committee discussed a request from Ms. Featherston from Classroom Media Support for advice on the best way for her department to inform the faculty about changes in classroom media services for the 2008-09 academic year. It was agreed that a notice should be sent to the faculty about the changes and that Chairperson Martin would have copies of the notice available at the September 25 meeting as part of her announcements.


      e.   Ms. Grubman distributed materials on tuition and fees, which had been forwarded to The Faculty Senate Office by Enrollment Services. A brief discussion ensued with regard to how expensive URI is for students when tuition and fees are combined.


4.   The Executive Committee was brought up-to-date on the following matters of continuing concern:


      a.   The Presidential Search: The Executive Committee discussed Chairperson Martin's draft of her letter to the BOG requesting greater faculty presence on the search committee. She asked that members of the FSEC send further suggestions to her by e-mail. Ms. Grubman agreed to check the protocol for sending a letter to the Board of Governors to ensure that the appropriate process is followed.


      b.   The Blue Ribbon Study Commission on the future of URI: The FSEC continued their discussion of possible appointees, especially with regard to both internal and external members. Several suggestions were made and the members of the FSEC agreed to follow-up by asking these people whether, if asked, they would be willing to serve.


            It was agreed that the appointment process should go no farther until the details of the membership and charge were discussed with the Provost and the President.


                c.   Committee appointments: Ms. Grubman reported that the Executive Committee had received a number of positive responses to their e-mails to potential committee members. She then noted where there were still vacancies and asked for further suggestions. Discussion ensued.


5.   Chairperson Martin reported on her meeting with Provost DeHayes on July 31 and said that he had continued to express his appreciation for the Faculty Senate Executive CommitteeĖs counsel. She shared with the committee a flow-chart of emphasis areas at URI as well as a draft vision statement that Provost DeHayes had discussed with her. She said that the chart had been an outgrowth of the DeansĖ retreat earlier in the summer. Following discussion, it was agreed to explore further with the Provost his understanding of the chart and what it represented.


      In preparation for their meeting with the Provost on August 19, the Executive Committee reviewed the list of topics that they had forwarded to him on August 15.


6.   The Executive Committee reviewed issues that individual members of the FSEC had raised prior to the first meetings as matters they believed that the 2008-09 should explore further. It was agreed that the majority of these issues had been discussed or would be part of their discussions with the Provost.


      7.   The Executive Committee discussed issues for the 2008-09 Faculty Senate and the FSEC. A number if ideas were explored, with their main theme being the SenateĖs commitment to issues of academic quality as the effects of the budget crisis become increasingly painful.


8.   Ms. Grubman briefly reviewed with the FSEC those items she expected to be on the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #1, September 25, 2008.


The meeting was recessed at 12: 10 p.m.


9.   The meeting was reconvened at 10: 15 a.m. on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Martin presiding. All members were present. Provost De Hayes joined the Executive Committee for the meeting.


      The following matters were considered at the meeting:


         a.   Provost DeHayes and the Executive Committee discussed plans for the Faculty Forum on Learning and Discovery for the New Global Century. Provost DeHayes and former Senate Chairperson, James Miller, had initiated this forum in a memorandum to the faculty on May 8, 2008.


               It was agreed to set a date for the Forum, Thursday, October 16, and to review the names of faculty who had volunteered or nominated others to participate in the panel. It was further agreed to form a joint subcommittee to plan the details of the event, which they hoped would become an annual fall and spring event.


         b.   The Executive Committee asked Provost DeHayes for his advice on the appointment of the Blue Ribbon Study Commission on the Future of URI. It was noted that the Executive Committee was to appoint 10 members to the Commission, five of whom were to be from outside constituencies. The Executive Committee said that they had begun to discuss potential appointees but believed they should be complementary to the PresidentĖs 10 appointees.


               Provost DeHayes said that he would discuss the commission appointments with President Carothers and would be willing to join the FSEC and the President when the appointments were considered.


      c.   The FSEC and Provost DeHayes discussed interim appointments to administrative positions and guidelines for making such appointments. The Provost said that in addition to appointing Dr. Libutti as Vice Provost for Enrollment Management for a year, he also planned to appoint a faculty member to a half time position as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, which would take the place of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Discussion centered on the title of the position, its responsibilities, and whether the appointment would be interim or for a set period of time. Provost DeHayes also indicated that he wanted to appoint an interim half-time Dean of the Graduate School.


               The Executive Committee noted that while appointments to one-year interim positions could technically be made without a search, continuing appointments beyond one year should require the search process according to the University Manual.


Related to that discussion, the Executive Committee asked about the upgrading earlier in the year of the Assistant Provost position to Vice Provost for Academic Finances and Academic Personnel. Provost DeHayes noted that the change was made before he arrived and said his understanding was the change was largely a salary adjustment because of compression and that he didnĖt realize there was a title change He said that he hadnĖt been aware that there was no public announcement at the time the title was changed.


         d.   The Executive Committee asked the Provost about the item on a summer Council of DeansĖ Agenda on Models for Productivity and Workload. Provost DeHayes said that the issue was not about individuals, but rather in relation to how to measure unit productivity in the context of developing a budget model tied to the strategic plan. The resource allocation system under consideration would likely consider strategic priority, unit productivity, and unit cost effectiveness.


         e.   Provost DeHayes elaborated on discussions at the Council of DeansĖ retreat, which had led to the development of a vision statement for academic affairs and a model based on the UniversityĖs strengths. He shared a flow-chart of emphasis areas at URI as well as a draft vision statement, which had evolved from the discussions.


Provost DeHayes said that the vision and the chart were works in progress and he wasnĖt quite ready to solicit faculty comments. He did agree, however, to make a presentation to the Senate on September 25 and said that he would begin to solicit advice and comments from the Senate and the rest of the faculty at that time.


The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.


                                                               Respectfully submitted,

                                                               Sheila Black Grubman