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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes #9

October 23, 2007

1. The meeting was called to order at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 in room 115 Woodward Hall, Chairperson Miller presiding. All members were present except Senator Kovarsky.

2. The Minutes from Executive Committee Meeting #7, October 9, 2007 were approved as corrected. Following discussion, it was agreed to revise the Minutes of Meeting #8, October 16, 2007, and to consider them at the next FSEC meeting.

3. Announcements /Correspondence:

a. Chairperson Miller reported that he had met with the President the previous week and discussed the Executive Committee's suggestion for encouraging late day and evening classes by updating additional classrooms. He said that the President had been very supportive of the idea.

b. Vice Chairperson Martin distributed a report on the Joint Admissions Agreement that was discussed at the October 22, 2007 Meeting of the Board of Governors. Vice Chairperson Martin explained that she had been unable to attend the meeting and that Provost Swan had provided the JAA materials for her to distribute to the Executive Committee.

c. Ms. Grubman reported that there were three candidates for the Director of Institutional Research positions:

  1. Dr. Ming Zhang, Colorado State University
  2. Dr. Robert Karp, Plattsburgh State University
  3. Mr. Gary Boden, University of Rhode Island

The Executive Committee agreed that it would not be necessary for them to meet with each of the candidates separately. They decided that FSEC members could attend the open forums for the candidates.

d. Chairperson Miller said that he and Dr. Robert Samuels, the new Director of the Counseling Center, had discussed the faculty's role with regard to dealing with crises such as the one at Virginia Tech. Chairperson Miller suggested that the Counseling Center Director might speak to the Faculty Senate about what to look for in potentially troubled students and appropriate ways to follow up once they are identified.

4. The Executive Committee reviewed the Agenda for the October 25 Faculty Senate Meeting in preparation for the upcoming meeting.

5. The Executive Committee was brought up to date on ongoing issues:

a. NEASC Accreditation: The Executive Committee discussed the visit by the NEASC Accreditation Team. Several members of the committee indicated that they had the opportunity to meet with members informally either over lunch or at dinner.

Vice Chairperson Martin and Senator Beauvais reported on the JSPC's meeting with the chair of the Accreditation Team the previous afternoon and noted that many of the questions concerned the University's financial situation.

b. Provost Search: The Executive Committee discussed the first two candidates, Dr. Ian Gatley, Dean of the College of Science at Rochester Institution of Technology, and Dr. Damian Fernandez, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University.

Ms. Grubman reported that the third Candidate, Dr. Carol Bresnahan, Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Policies at the University of Toledo, was scheduled to meet with them at 9:00 a.m. on October 25 and that they would meet the final candidate, Dr. Donald DeHayes, Dean of the Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, on Friday, November 2 at 9:00 a.m.

The Executive Committee decided that given the speed at which the Provost Search was moving, they should meet to discuss the candidates as soon as possible after the November 2 interview. It was agreed that late that same afternoon (November 2) might be appropriate.

c. Dean of Engineering Search: Chairperson Miller said that he was pleased to report that seventeen of the fifty candidates for the position were very strong and the committee planned to narrow the group to ten candidates.

d. Administrator Evaluation Committees: Ms. Grubman reported that the AEC for Dean Seemann was completed with the addition of Dr. Nancy Fey-Yensan as the Provost's appointee and Dr. Thomas Mather as the Dean's appointee. The full committee is comprised as follows: Nancy Fey-Yensan, Nutrition and Food Science, Marian Goldsmith, Biological Sciences, Thomas Mather, Plant Sciences, Peter Paton, Natural Resources Science and Professor Cathy Roheim, Environmental and Resource Economics. Ms. Grubman said that e-mails had been sent to faculty of the College of the Environment and Life Sciences reminding them of the November 1 deadline for submitting evaluation letters.

Ms. Grubman reported that the completion of the AEC for Dean McKinney was delayed slightly and that the Provost's and the Dean’s appointees were expected by the end of the week or early the following week.

e. Follow-up on President Carothers' suggestions: The Executive Committee decided that since they had followed up on the 4-credit course proposal and were in the process of working on the proposed change in class scheduling, they would not pursue the President's other proposals at that time.

f. Proposed matching funds legislation: Chairperson Miller reported that he had spoken briefly with Vice President Weygand about proposing a single piece of legislation on matching funds and planned to contact Ms. Hopkins as well. He said that Representative Naughton had urged that he have a draft by the end of the month but he believed that was probably unrealistic.

g. Committees: Ms. Grubman reported that the Academic Program Review Committee (APRC) had agreed to a compromise proposal for opening the AIIM results and had asked to meet with the Council of Deans. She said that Ms. Morrissey had been appointed as the President's Designee on the Joint Classroom Steering Committee (JCSC) and expected to call the first meeting at which a chair would be selected shortly.

h. Graduate Education: The Executive Committee expressed concern about graduate education in light of the change in the position of Dean of the Graduate School from the Vice President for Research and Economic Development to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. The Executive Committee agreed to invite Vice Provost Pasquerella to meet with them to talk about graduate education. They also discussed the possibility of exploring an economic analysis of what might happen if the University reduced tuition of graduate research and teaching assistants.

6. The Executive Committee agreed to the following topics for their October 30 meeting with Vice President Weygand:

  • a. Alternatives to increasing undergraduate admissions;
  • b. Strategic vision for the university;
  • c. Wish list for where URI should be in 10 years;
  • d. Coordinating efforts to develop a URI research bill to be put before the state legislature.

7. The Executive Committee discussed the possibility of scheduling their regular meetings of the spring semester on Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. It was agreed to consider the matter further after everyone had the opportunity to review their spring schedules.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman