1. The meeting was called to order at 1:05 p.m. on Friday, December 11, 2009 in the President's Conference Room, Green Hall, Chairperson Swallow presiding. All members were present.
a. The Executive Committee thanked Senator Izenstark for attending the Board of Governor's meeting earlier in the week and for providing them with her notes.
b. Chairperson Swallow said that he had been able to meet with President Dooley earlier that day. He said that the President had indicated that he viewed the academic plan as a framework for the faculty and deans to use as they move forward.
c. Chairperson Swallow said that he and President Dooley had discussed the potential membership of the Strategic Budget and Planning Council and the President had asked for more information about the names that had been suggested by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee discussed each of the nominees and elaborated on their strengths and reasons for suggesting them.
3. The Executive Committee discussed the previous afternoon's Faculty Senate Meeting. Chairperson Swallow began by thanking Senator DiCioccio for her presentation on the work of the General Education Task Force and their plan for an initiative for freshmen entering in the fall 2010.
The entire committee expressed their appreciation for Mr. Pari's successful handling of the technical aspects of both the General Faculty-Graduate Faculty meeting and the Faculty Senate meeting.
The Executive Committee discussed Vice President Weygand's brief budget update. It was noted that, the University's efforts over the previous five years to decrease its reliance on the auxiliaries and balance last year's budget, it demonstrated that all of the painful cuts over the past few years were not entirely in vain.
4. The Executive Committee noted that Senator Martin had regretfully withdrawn as chair of the Academic Program (APRC) for personal reasons. The Executive Committee agreed that all of the members of the APRC who remained from previous iterations of the AIIM were already too overburdened to ask them to chair the committee.
Since Chairperson Swallow had reported that Senator Martin had agreed to assist the new chair during the transition, they considered the possibility of appointing a faculty member who has not served recently on a Faculty Senate committee.
5. The Executive Committee met with Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais from 2:00-3:00 p.m. The following matters were discussed:
a. Provost DeHayes noted that programs, that were triggered by the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education as having low completion rates and are currently listed as being in provisional status, are being given a second chance to provide information defending the position of retention of the program. They have been asked to complete the PROVISIONAL STATUS PROGRAM REVIEW report, which is due in February. The Executive Committee suggested that after the review process is complete and he has made recommendations for the suspension of certain programs that, as a courtesy, he meet with the affected departments to discuss his reasons, as well as their options going forward. The Executive Committee urged him to do this before making his recommendations public, first to the University and then to the Board of Governors. Provost DeHayes responded favorably to this idea.
b. In response to the Executive Committee's request for clarification of 4-credit classes under discussion throughout the university, Provost DeHayes said that it was not a mandate that programs move to 4-credit courses. He said that he has asked colleges and departments to consider whether moving to a 4-credit model was a good option for their students and to make curricular decisions based on what they conclude. He noted that the department chairs in the College of Arts and Sciences had voted to consider the appropriateness of revising their programs; they had not agreed to change their programs to a 4-credit model.
Senator Eaton reported that the College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum committee was developing a set of guidelines for programs planning to develop 4-credit courses or add an additional credit to existing courses.
c. The Executive Committee and the Provost agreed to look at the charge and membership of the JSPC in light of the establishment of the Strategic Budget and Planning Council. Options to be considered focused on a committee on the academic plan and on monitoring the work of the task forces that were to follow-up on the goals of the academic plan.
6. After discussion, the Executive Committee decided to include the following matters on the agenda for their December 18 meeting with President Dooley:
a. An update on the Strategic Budget and Planning Council.
b. The FSEC's concerns about potential modifications to the University's patent policy and distribution of royalties.
c. Anything the President can share with the FSEC with regard to discussions/plans for managing the University's budget for FY'10.
d. The FSEC's thoughts about modifications to the charge to and membership of the JSPC.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman