1. The meeting was called to order at 2:35 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 in room 101 Swan Hall, Chairperson Swallow presiding. All members were present.
2. The Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting #3, July 1, 2009 were approved as corrected.
a. Chairperson Swallow and Vice Chairperson Ordoñez reported on their meetings with Provost DeHayes on July 2 and on July 16. They noted that the Provost continued to be concerned about the freshman experience and the effect of general education. They said that the Provost told them about the NEASC follow-up visit, which is scheduled for fall 2010. A focus of the NEASC visit will be how the University is following up on the NEASC recommendations with regard to the interaction between the planning and budgeting processes.
b. The Executive Committee discussed briefly the Annual Report of the Ombud for 2008-09, which they had received earlier that week. It was agreed to include the Ombud's Report on the September 24 Faculty Senate Agenda.
c. Senator Honhart reviewed with the Executive Committee what he had learned about the process followed in the spring when a director was evaluated. It was noted that the Faculty Senate has not established a process with regard to evaluating administrators below the rank of academic dean.
After discussion, the Executive Committee approved the following motion
The Faculty Senate Executive Committee recommends that future evaluations of academic administrators who are not covered by the Faculty Senate Administrator Evaluation process be conducted in a manner consistent with the procedures outlined in sections 10.90.12 through 10.90.15 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL. (See http://www.uri.edu/facsen//CHAPTER_1007.html.)
4. The Executive Committee discussed faculty concerns that the Board's impetus for identifying programs for review appeared to rest solely on the number of graduates. It was agreed that a more informed foundation was necessary for decisions as to whether to combine, modify or eliminate programs. They expressed concern, which had been raised by several faculty members that the Board might want to move quickly on decisions without permitting adequate time for departments and colleges to develop appropriate plans.
Chairperson Swallow said that at the Board Meeting, Commissioner Warner had responded to correspondence from the FSEC by reminding the Board that the University's curricular process must be followed before recommendations are brought forward by URI.
5. The Executive Committee continued its discussion of committee appointments for the 09-10 academic year. It was agreed that, although it was understandable that the Academic Program Review Committee was inactive during 2008-09, APRC must be revitalized for the upcoming year. The Executive Committee asked Ms. Grubman to ask the members of the committee who served in 2007-08 whether they wanted to continue on the committee or had any recommendations for new members.
6. The Executive Committee discussed future summer meetings. They noted that they were scheduled to meet with President Dooley on August 24 at 2:00 p.m. and that their last summer meeting was scheduled for August 26 at 1:30. Discussion ensued as to a satisfactory date for an FSEC meeting during the period prior to the meeting with President Dooley.
7. Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais met with the Executive Committee from 3:30 to 4:55 p.m. The main topic of discussion was the Provost's draft Academic Plan.
Dr. DeHayes said that it was his intention to share the latest iteration of the draft with the Council of Deans and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and ask for comments and suggestions. He explained that he had not wanted to distribute the draft until he and President Dooley had the opportunity to review it.
Provost DeHayes distributed copies of the most recent draft and asked that the Executive Committee review the document and get back to him with comments and suggestions. He said that he would welcome individual comments as well as any comments from the FSEC members as a group. He said that he hoped to have a revised draft based on the feedback from the FSEC and Council of Deans to put on the web by the end of the summer. He would then open the draft for comments and suggestions from the rest of the URI Community.
Provost DeHayes and the members of the Executive Committee discussed the next steps for discussion of the plan. There was general agreement that portions would be the source for some discussion topics at the regular senate meeting(s). Provost DeHayes said that he hoped a consensus about the plan might be established before the end of the fall semester and that working groups would be involved in discussing implementation.
The Provost and Executive Committee discussed their efforts during 2008-09 to hold Faculty Forums on 'Learning and Discovery for the New Global Century.' It was agreed that the first forum on teaching, which had been held in the fall had been well attended but the forum held in the spring had a disappointing turnout. They agreed that that the spring forum, which emphasized research at URI, had engendered a good deal of discussion despite the relatively small group of participants. Provost DeHayes suggested that a possible reason for low attendance in the spring was that it coincided with the open interview of one of the candidates for President of URI.
It was agreed that two well advertised forums, with themes and dates selected well in advance would be the appropriate approach for the 2009-10 academic year. There was some consideration as to whether portions of the academic plan might be the source for discussion topics.
Chairperson Swallow asked the Provost to sponsor one of the receptions after Senate meetings, during the upcoming academic year. In response, Provost DeHayes suggested that the receptions held after every Faculty Senate meeting did not bring as many members of the Faculty Senate community together as had been the goal when they were originally started in 2002-03.
Provost DeHayes and the Executive Committee considered two possibilities, 1) limiting the receptions to three or four over the academic year and 2) combining them with a campus celebration of broader interest such as meeting new faculty or recognizing recently promoted faculty. It was agreed to discuss this possibility further.
Also discussed was a question about the number of students on probation. Vice Provost Beauvais agreed to follow up with Vice Provost Libutti and get back to the FSEC later in the week.*
The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman
*Vice Provost Beauvais subsequently provided the requested information to the Executive Committee.