1. The meeting was called to order at 10:05 a.m. on Tuesday, November 28, 2006, in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Rice presiding. All members were present except Senator Miller.
2. Ms. Grubman reviewed with the Executive Committee those items she expected to be included in the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #4, December 14, 2006. Ms. Grubman reminded the Executive Committee that because the deadline for submission of reports for the Agenda was the following day, further changes could be expected.
3. The Executive Committee met with Provost Swan from 10:30-11:30. The following matters were considered:
a. "Test Optional" Policy for Admission to URI: Following discussion, it was agreed that any change would require considerable research and conversation by members of the academic community and that the extended deadline for the report of the Admissions Advisory Committee was appropriate.
b. Student Evaluation of Teaching: The Executive Committee reported that after they had consulted with the AAUP, they had agreed not to request that the Teaching Effectiveness Committee review and possibly revise the instrument for evaluating teaching. Provost Swan reminded the FSEC that the SETs were only one aspect of teaching evaluation and that the peer review process recommended a number of years ago by the Teaching Effectiveness Committee provided a useful tool as well.
It was agreed that while the SETs were a matter of negotiation by the AAUP and the Board of Governors, the Faculty Senate has a responsibility with regard to improving teaching. The Executive Committee said that it was appropriate for the FSEC to request that the Teaching Effectiveness Committee investigate best practices for evaluation of teaching and to report to the Senate on their findings.
c. The Hossler Report: The Executive Committee discussed the recommendations in the Hossler Report and agreed that many proposals were consistent with the University's own studies. It was noted that, for example, the recommendation to make the Honors Program more visible to prospective students was already underway. With regard to recommendation that the administrative responsibility for enrollment management be assigned to someone at the Vice President/Vice Provost level, Provost Swan said that she considered enrollment management an academic issue and would pursue the idea of establishing a position at level of Vice Provost.
d. The Providence Campus: Provost Swan said that she believed there were a significant number of students who potentially might enroll in the Providence campus program. She noted that limiting admissions to students interested in only three possible majors was not necessarily the way to attract them. The Executive Committee urged that a marketing study be conducted to determine whether there are a significant number of students who would choose the URI Providence Campus over other options, including private institutions.
The Executive Committee restated their conviction that Rhode Island students might be better served if there was greater coordination between the University and the Community College through the Joint Admissions Agreement. Provost Swan indicated that she and the President were scheduled to have lunch with Dr. Di Pasquale, the new President of CCRI and that the Joint Admissions Agreement would certainly be discussed.
5. The Executive Committee considered the following matters of continuing concern:
a. JSPC: The Executive Committee agreed to recommend to Ms. Morrissey that the November 30 and December 7 meetings of the Joint Strategic Planning Committee be cancelled given the busy time of the year and their discussions with both President Carothers and Provost Swan about the Hossler Report.
b. Online courses: Vice Chairperson Luebke reported that Senator Glen Ramsay had helped the CAC in their review of the second batch of online courses and she and Senator Ramsay intended to hold a joint meeting in the spring of the CAC and Teaching Effectiveness Committees to discuss how to identify best practices for online instruction and possibly modify the form for online course approval.
c. Providence Campus Initiative: Ms. Grubman reported that the Providence Campus Undergraduate Initiative Committee had met on November 17 and had agreed to pursue the possibility of proposing a modification to the original legislation. She said that the committee had discussed all of the issues that had been raised by the Executive Committee in their October 31 meeting with Vice Provost Pasquerella. Ms. Grubman indicated that the committee believed that at least two concerns, adequate support services for Providence undergraduates and the ability for full-time continuing faculty in Kingston to teach in Providence during the day, could be addressed satisfactorily.
d. Administrator Evaluation of Dean Letendre: Ms. Grubman reported that the membership of the Administrator Evaluation Committee (AEC) for Dean Letendre was completed and that the AEC was scheduled to meet with Senator Rosen and herself on December 4. Ms. Grubman noted that December 1, 2006 was the deadline for submitting evaluation letters for Dean Letendre.
e. Accreditation Update: Senator Kowalski said that preliminary drafts by the various subcommittees were due on December 1. He said that since the deadline came at a very hectic time of the year, several drafts were expected to come in later. He said that he expected the writing to begin in earnest in January.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:55 a.m.
Sheila Black Grubman