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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting



November 6, 2009

  1. The meeting was called to order at 1:10 p.m. on Friday, November 06, 2009 in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall, Chairperson Swallow presiding. All members were present.

  2. The minutes from FSEC Meeting #15, October 30, 2009, were approved as amended.

  3. Announcements/Correspondence:

    1. IDEA-SRI survey: It was determined that student evaluation of faculty performance is under the purview of the AAUP and the Provost's Office, and the FSEC had no role at that time.

    2. Correspondence on Sakai and the need for a committee on Instructional Technology: Senator Izenstark reported on the history of the selection of Sakai, and the advice provided by the selection committee. One option for working with current and future technological planning may be to revive the Information Resources Council to follow up on recommendations of the Academic Plan. Senator DiCioccio reported on her positive experience as an Online Instruction Fellow last summer, and suggested that a similar program could be expanded. Senator Eaton noted that the campus will be getting a site license for Mathematica, which is a software package for anything technical -- for computation, modeling, simulation, visualization, development, documentation, and deployment.

    3. The Board of Governors Meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 9, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. at Rhode Island College. Chairperson Swallow and Senator Izenstark will attend.

  4. Follow-up on matters of concern:

    1. Administrator Evaluation: The committee evaluating Dean Higgins has selected Chet Hickox as chair, and the committee evaluating Dean Maslyn will be appointing a chair shortly.

    2. Academic Plan and Task Forces: Senator Honhart mentioned that interdisciplinary initiatives occur so frequently in the Academic Plan that there might be a need for a task force to guide progress toward developing more interdisciplinary opportunities. Chairperson Swallow and Senator Izenstark met with Ann Morrissey and Laura Beauvais to craft a charge for the Research, Scholarship, and Innovation Task force.

    3. Strategic Budget and Planning Council: Chairperson Swallow reported on the status of the SBPC. It was noted that it was expected to go forward as a Presidential Committee.

  5. Provost DeHayes joined the meeting at 2:00. The following matters were discussed:
    1. Academic Plan and Task Forces: The committee and the Provost discussed progress on the task forces being developed. The Provost and the FSEC were in agreement that there should be a timeline for most of the task forces. The Provost also noted that the task forces are a good way to include those outside the usual committee members that serve on standing committees. Senator Honhart mentioned the possible need for an interdisciplinary task force. The Provost agreed that it might be necessary, but did not want to create an excessive number of task forces. Chairperson Swallow noted that such a task force should look at models of successful interdisciplinary appointments, including experiences at other universities to avoid unintended consequences. Senator Eaton noted the need for venues where faculty can meet other faculty interested in working together. The Provost agreed that the Academic Plan should be reviewed for areas where interdisciplinary themes arise and to craft a charge for a potential task force.

      Chairperson Swallow mentioned that campus discussions about technology suggest that this might be a time to consider reviving the Information Resources Council. The Provost mentioned that he and Vice Provost Libutti are in the preliminary planning stages for a program that will support faculty to develop technological skills.

      Senator DiCioccio reported on the activities of the Task Force on Advancing General Education, including developing an RFP to solicit interdisciplinary General Education proposals that address "grand challenges" and work across disciplinary borders. The courses are intended for Fall 2010, which would be the first tangible result from the Academic Plan. Senator Honhart reported that the Global Education Pre-Task Force is working on the charge and potential membership for the committee. Vice Chair Ordoñez reported that she and Senator Eaton will be meeting with the Graduate School's Interim Dean Zawia to craft a charge and identify potential members for the Graduate Education Task Force.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Amanda Izenstark



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

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