1. The meeting was called to order at 1:02 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Rice presiding. All members were present.
2. The Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting #17, December 6, 2005 were approved
a. Chairperson Rice and Vice Chairperson Martin reported on the December 12, 2005 Meeting of the Board of Governors. They explained that most of the action items of interest had been discussed at the Board's Academic and Student Affairs Committee meeting of November 18, which they had reported on previously. They said that the Board had also received enrollment reports for fall 2005 and had approved awarding of degrees at URI and RIC.
Chairperson Rice noted that of major interest to URI was President Carothers' reappointment to a three-year term.
b. Chairperson Rice reminded the Executive Committee that they were scheduled, along with the AAUP Executive Committee, to interview Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, candidate for Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, the following morning. It was noted that Dr. Pasquerella's materials had been forwarded by e-mail.
c. The Executive Committee discussed e-mail correspondence from Professor Emeritus Lott on efforts to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". In his e-mail Professor Emeritus Lott reported that he recently attended a meeting with representatives of the Washington-based Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). He said that the SLDN representatives had been impressed with the URI Faculty Senate Resolution on DADT and planned to use it as a model for other universities.
d. The FSEC discussed correspondence with Professor Rosen in which he suggested that the AEC for Dean Nassersharif be postponed because there weren't enough faculty volunteers to make up an Administrator Evaluation Committee for the Dean. It was agreed that Provost Swan's invitation to the COE faculty to participate in her evaluation of the Dean by writing letters was probably the main reason that faculty decided not to volunteer.
The Executive Committee agreed that it was timely for a discussion with Provost Swan on the possibility of linking the Senate's Administrator Evaluation process with the Provost's evaluation of Deans and Vice Provosts.
e. Chairperson Rice reported on a recent meeting he had attended with President Carothers, Dr. Callahan and Ms. Morrissey about forming a blue ribbon committee on the future of URI. He said that the charge would be to look at external trends and the University's capabilities to respond to or capitalize on those trends and report back to the JSPC.
Chairperson Rice noted that the last time the University had undertaken a review of this nature was during the 1992-93 academic year.
4. The Executive Committee reviewed Faculty Senate Meeting #4, which had been held on December 8, 2005. Ms. Grubman said that there would be two items of unfinished business on the January 26, 2006 Agenda remaining from the December Senate Meeting: 1) the By-Laws Change and 2) a more detailed report from the Ad Hoc Committee on Graduate Education and Research.
Ms. Grubman asked the Executive Committee for advice on following up on Senator Pegueros request that the Executive Committee look into the URI Foundation's policy of restricting teaching excellence awards to members of the continuing faculty.
After discussion, the FSEC agreed to recommend to Senator Pegueros that she pursue the matter with the URI Foundation because there did not appear to be any sentiment for asking for a change in policy.
5. The Executive Committee met with Provost Swan from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The following matters were discussed:
a. Planning for the occasions when classes are scheduled for state holidays: Provost Swan said that the University does have contingency plans for those occasions but that complaints of not having all services do continue to arise. She also noted that each time the University holds classes on a holiday, she receives complaints from outside the University about the inappropriateness of meeting on a legal holiday. She said that this year individuals felt that holding classes on Veteran's Day showed disrespect for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
b. Better coordination of efforts regarding Administrator Evaluation: Provost Swan said that she had contacted the Provosts at other New England state universities about their administrator evaluation processes and described how they varied.
The Executive Committee and Provost Swan discussed the possibility of linking the Faculty Senate's Administrator Evaluation process with the Provost's contractual reviews of academic administrators. It was suggested that web-based evaluations conducted under the aegis of the Faculty Senate might be scheduled to coincide with the Provost's reviews. This would give faculty an opportunity to provide feedback to the Provost as a component of her review. It was agreed to continue to pursue the matter.
c. Appointment of scholarship position in Honors: Provost Swan shared with the Executive Committee a proposal for a new office of "National Fellowships and Academic Opportunity" which proposed that a full-time position be created to assume the role that had been performed successfully by Professor Foster on a release-time basis. She said that the timing of the recommendation also coincided with Professor Johnson's resignation as Director of the Honors Program, which is effective at the end of the current academic year and the necessity of appointing a new Honors Program Director. Provost Swan discussed with the FSEC her concerns about creating new positions in academic affairs at a time when resources were especially scarce. She asked the Executive Committee for advice with regard to academic priorities, as well as the non-quantifiable benefits from the allocation of resources to areas such as Honors and Scholarships.
The Executive Committee encouraged the Provost to work through the capital campaign or with the URI Foundation to establish an endowment to support such an endeavor.
d. Update on Administrative Searches: In addition to the information that she had provided to the Faculty Senate on December 8 (See http://www.uri.edu/facsen/FS04m_12-8-05.html), Provost Swan reported that the search for a new Vice Provost for Information Services appeared to be moving towards bringing candidates to campus for interviews in January. She also noted that the College of Business Administration Advisory Committee had offered to fund an outside consultant to assist with the search for a new Dean of the College.
e. Review of URI 101: The Executive Committee informed Provost Swan that they believed it was the appropriate time for a review of URI 101. They shared with the Provost a draft memo to the chair of the University College and General Education Committee requesting that the UCGE Committee initiate a review.
f. On-Line Learning Committee: In response to questions about the composition of her ad hoc committee, Provost Swan noted that she had asked the AAUP for the names of two faculty members and had appointed three Senators who represented the CAC and the Teaching Effectiveness Committee to her committee because she believed the charge included issues relevant to each body. She said that she has expected from the beginning that matters under the Senate's purview would be forwarded to the appropriate Senate committees and matters relevant to collective bargaining would be referred to the AAUP.
As Provost Swan left the meeting she commented that "If I can't solve a problem, I have another one to work on." Ms. Grubman requested and received permission to quote her in the Minutes.
6. The Executive Committee discussed the following matters of continuing concern:
a. Ad Hoc Committee on Early Course Registration Policy: Chairperson Rice said that his meeting with Professor Ramstad to discuss the draft and possible membership had been postponed and he expected to reschedule it shortly.
b. Administrative bottlenecks: The Executive Committee reviewed an updated draft list and agreed that they would serve as a basis for further discussions with Vice President Weygand.
c. Academic Investment & Improvement Model (AIIM): The Executive Committee reviewed revisions to proposed Manual changes and agreed that Ms. Grubman should forward them to the President, Provost, and the members of the Constitution, By-Laws and University Manual Committee (CBUM) for their comments and suggestions.
In response to a question from the Executive Committee, Chairperson Rice said that he and the other members of the AIIM Working group (Vice Chairperson Martin, Senator Boudreaux-Bartels, Assistant Provost Katz, and Ms. Morrissey) planned to meet with President Carothers on January 4 to discuss the results of the AIIM.
d. URI 101: The Executive Committee suggested further revisions to the draft memo to the UCGE Committee and agreed Ms. Grubman would send the modified draft by e-mail and would provide time for further comments before sending it.
e. Administrator Evaluation: Ms. Grubman said that she wasn't sure about how much of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL sections on Administrator Evaluation would need to be revised if the Senate decides to realign the evaluations with the Provost's evaluation schedule. Ms. Grubman said that she would review the relevant sections and report back to the FSEC in January.
7. The Executive Committee confirmed that their next meeting would be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18. It was agreed that the Executive Committee would meet on Wednesday afternoons during the spring semester with the exact time to be determined later after reviewing all of the FSEC's schedules.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman
Organization of websites - make it easier to find something such as graduate student salary information.
Budget Office should ok bottom line budgeting
Notification of turn around time for forms
Computer information system that is compatible with both Macs and PCs
PeopleSoft Queries - many faculty, especially department chairs would be able to solve problems if they knew the correct queries. Possible solution would be a list of all queries and a short description of each that faculty and administrative staff can access easily.
Assistance to University Counsel to make the development and signing of contacts with outside hospitals, clinics, transportation providers, etc. more expeditious (e.g. Paralegal in Counsel's Office.)
More user-friendly information about problems with e-mail providers.
Replacement of key personnel in a timely manner - sometimes a key person is a department's fiscal clerk, laboratory technician, etc. May not require a search committee.
Timely installation of fiscal year budgets.
Ensuring that student salaries and stipends take precedence over more routine matters.
Begin a formal assessment of administrative functions
Designation of a "go-to" person in each area.