1. The meeting was called to order at 8:35 a.m. on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Miller presiding. All members were present.
2. Chairperson Miller reported that the Board of Governors had met the previous evening and had approved a new overhead policy for the University. Chairperson Miller expressed his disappointment that the Executive Committee had not been informed prior to its appearance on the Board's Agenda.
The Executive Committee discussed the revised policy that Chairperson Miller had forwarded to them and noted that the increase in the overhead rate to 48% was equalized by the reduction in the various allocations in order to provide funds for the new Division of Research and Economic Development.
3. The Executive Committee was brought up to date on matters of continuing interest:
a. Lab Fees: Senator Fastovsky presented a draft resolution stating that laboratory fees should only be assessed to courses that have a lab component. The Executive Committee adopted the proposal as a resolution and agreed to include it on the Agenda for the September 27 Faculty Senate Meeting.
b. Searches: The Executive Committee was brought up to date on the Provost's Search and the Dean of Engineering Search. It was agreed to consider the appointments to the College of Pharmacy Dean’s search at the next meeting.
c. Add Period Concerns: The Executive Committee discussed concerns raised by the administration that some faculty members close classes before the end of the add period. The Executive Committee agreed that they should ask the academic Standards and Calendar Committee to consider the length of both the drop and the add period to find out if a compromise could be legislated that would satisfy faculty concerns about students adding courses at the end of the add period and the administration's concerns about having an adequate number of seats for students' who need them.
d. Strategic Planning v. Tactical Planning: The Executive Committee discussed the contention that rather than strategic planning the university was involved in tactical planning. It was agreed that some members of the Executive Committee would meet with Ms. Morrissey to talk further about how the University might move toward more strategic future-oriented planning than was currently being done.
e. Online Courses: Ms Grubman reported that the first of a series of coffee hours for people who teach or who are thinking about teaching online courses was scheduled for Thursday morning. She noted that the Curricular Affairs Committee continued to receive proposals to add online courses as well as instructors for the spring semester.
f. Quality issues related to increasing enrollment: The Executive Committee agreed that quality issues must be addressed as all efforts seemed to be directed at increasing enrollment to balance the University's budget. They agreed that planning should include concerns about continuously increasing class size, the increased need for good advising and related concerns. It was also suggested that with efforts to increase the number of courses taught online, policies that would ensure quality and appropriateness should be developed at the same time as online courses were being used as a method for teaching students outside the typical classroom.
g. Committees: The Executive Committee was brought up to date on committee appointments. Ms. Grubman said that vacancies remained for the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee, the Joint Classroom Steering Committee and the Alumni Association Executive Committee.
h. Draft legislation on matching funds: Chairperson Miller shared with the Executive Committee a chart he had prepared comparing the original state law and the legislation proposed last year by two separate bodies as the beginning of efforts to develop a single piece of legislation from URI for both the House and the Senate.
4. The Executive Committee reviewed the Draft Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #1, September 27, 2007 and approved it in final form.
5. Chairperson Miller reminded the FSEC that the next meeting of the JSPC was scheduled for Thursday, September 20, 2007. Of major interest to the Executive Committee would be updates on the FY'08 Budget and the proposed FY'09 Budget and a report from Assistant Provost Katz on the AIIM and how it was used by the Provost's Office for decision-making. Chairperson Miller said that he would be away for the rest of the week and would have to miss the JSPC meeting. He encouraged the rest of the Executive Committee to attend the meeting if it was at all possible.
6. Following discussion, the Executive Committee agreed to the following topics for their September 25 meeting with Provost Swan:
a. Change in overhead allocation policy.
b. Concerns about quality of curriculum delivery/student life related to enrollment growth.
c. Issues the Executive Committee should be aware of to better assist with the upcoming transition in Academic Affairs.
d. Strategic vision for the university: the Provost's wish list for where URI should be in 10 years.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:42 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman