1. The meeting was called to order at 3: 07 p.m. on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall, Chairperson Martin presiding. All members were present.
2. The Executive Committee discussed Faculty Senate Meeting #5, February 19, 2009 and the Senate's referral of a resolution in support of H5167 to them. After discussion of the proposed legislation, the Executive Committee agreed that there was likely to be little or no impact on URI because admissions standards and cost were likely to preclude many of these students from entering the University. They decided however, to find out more about the number of people who might be affected by the legislation, which would only be retroactive to September 2008.
3. The Executive Committee was brought up-to-date on the following matters of continuing concern:
a. The Presidential Search: Chairperson Martin said that the next meeting of the Presidential Search Committee was scheduled for February 25 at the Ryan Center.
b. JSPC: After discussion, the Executive Committee agreed to refine the "faculty concern" issue for the JSPC Agenda with regard to the Smart Money article. They asked Chairperson Martin to broaden the JSPC topic to include various publications' lists of Universities as a way to learn more about how the University fares in these lists and what is being done to address URI's strengths as well as ameliorate the University's "weaknesses."
c. Blue Ribbon Study Commission: Chairperson Martin reported that she and Professor Rice met with Provost DeHayes to discuss the revised charge to the Commission.
d. Arming Campus Police: The Executive Committee agreed that the straw poll about arming the police did not provide enough information to generalize about the Faculty Senate's position on the issue position since less than half of the Senate had voiced an opinion on the matter. They decided that members of the Executive Committee who were interested might attend the forum that was scheduled for later that week.
e. Faculty Forum on Learning and Discovery: Ms Grubman said that she would send reminders to the Senate's e-mail lists to encourage attendance at the Forum on March 3. They noted that the Forum would replace their regularly scheduled Tuesday afternoon meeting with Provost DeHayes.
f. The Freshman Year Experience: The committee agreed to review the materials forwarded by Dean Richmond and discuss any possible suggestions at their next meeting.
g. Celebration for President Carothers: The Executive Committee discussed the upcoming celebration for President Carothers and asked Chairperson Martin to explain the need for greater faculty involvement at the next meeting of the Celebration Committee.
5. The Executive Committee met with President Carothers from 4:25-5:00 p.m. Dr. Andrew Harris, his ACE Fellow for the 2008-09 academic year, accompanied the President.
The Executive Committee asked President Carothers about how he thought the stimulus package might affect Rhode Island, especially URI. The President said that students and their families would benefit from the increase in Pell grants and the proposed education tax credits. He also noted that the state planned to support infrastructure improvements that were demonstrably "shovel-ready" and the University had proposed several projects. The President suggested that there might be grants available to URI's researchers as well.
With regard to education, President Carothers said that one of the difficulties facing Rhode Island was "maintenance of effort." He said that Rhode Island, as well as New Jersey and Nevada, had not demonstrated a continuing level of support for education over the last few years and would need a waiver from the government to receive the funding for elementary, secondary, and higher education. He explained that more information would be available when the U.S. Department of Education writes the regulations with regard to the stimulus money.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman