1. The meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m. on Monday, March 3, 2008 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Miller presiding. All members were present.
2. The Minutes of Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meetings #19, February 11, 2008, #20, February 18, 2008 and #21, February 25, 2008 were approved as corrected pending review by the President and Provost of sections that pertained to them.
a. The Executive Committee discussed "2007 Orientation Pre-test (June 2007) and URI 101 Post-test (November 2007) Assessment, with Comparisons with 2006 and 2005," which had been forwarded to them by Dean Richmond.
b. The Executive Committee discussed a February 29 letter to Cigar on appointments to the Student Rights and Responsibilities Committee. It was agreed to forward the Manual questions raised in the letter to the Constitution, By-Laws and University Manual Committee
c. The FSEC reviewed e-mail correspondence from President Carothers on proposed legislation on arming campus police (See http://www.uri.edu/facsen/S2723.pdf).
They discussed the President's request that they try to survey the faculty about the proposed legislation as soon as possible.
Following discussion, it was agreed to set up two e-mail addresses, one for "yes," and the other "no," and to ask Senators to respond to the question of arming campus police by sending messages to the appropriate mailbox.
d. Chairperson Miller reminded the Executive Committee that the joint meeting of the Council of Deans and JSPC on Branding was scheduled for March 6 at 2:00 p.m. in Ballentine Conference Room. Senator Costello and Ms. Grubman said that they would not be able to attend the entire meeting because the UCGE Committee was to be held at 3:00 p.m.
4. The Executive Committee met with Assistant Vice President Vern Wyman from 9:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. The following matters were considered:
a. Mr. Wyman provided the Executive Committee with an overview of activities and the coordinating of efforts to improve the University's response to emergencies. He noted that much of the original work was done through grants from Homeland Security.
Mr. Wyman and the Executive Committee discussed how the Emergency Alert system had been tested during the two snowstorms. They talked about efforts to get everyone connected to the system by signing on through e-campus at uri.edu/emergency as well as which individual contact formats work best. Mr. Wyman noted that e-mail is problematic because the server, which can take only a certain amount of traffic at one time, delays the messages. He suggested that cell phone numbers were likely to be the best method for reaching people. Mr. Wyman said that when registering, faculty, staff and students could prioritize how they want to be reached.
Also discussed was the need for faculty to have brief simple instructions for what to do in an emergency that could be posted in every classroom in case a crisis situation occurs. Other forms of alerting the community (e.g., flashing lights, sirens, and classroom telephones) were talked about as well. The Executive Committee invited Mr. Wyman to talk to the Faculty Senate as improvements are added to the emergency alert system.
b. In response to the Executive Committee's question about efforts to make physical improvements based on the Visitors' Experience Committee, Mr. Wyman reported that the responsibility for and the staffing of the Information Center was in the process of changing from the Division of Administration to the Division of University Advancement. He also discussed plans for improving access to the Information Center, efforts to improve visitor parking, and long-term plans for a Welcome Center, possibly as part of a University Inn.
When Assistant Vice President Wyman left the meeting, the Executive Committee resumed its regular order of business.
5. The Executive committee discussed the following matters of continuing interest:
a. Course Fees: The Executive Committee discussed the proposed new policies and practices with regard to course fees that had been forwarded to them by the CAC Subcommittee. It was noted that the proposed changes were consistent with the FSEC's position on the issue. Ms. Grubman reminded the Executive Committee that the subcommittee report would be considered by the CAC on March 24.
b. Accreditation: The NEASC Accreditation Team's Final Report and the University's response to it were discussed briefly. It was noted that a number of concerns identified in the NEASC Report had already been delegated to Dr. DeHayes.
c. Matching Fund Legislation: Chairperson Miller said that he was scheduled to meet with Dean Jeffrey Seemann and Barry Costa Pierce from the Sea Grant to discuss proposed legislation on matching funds.
6. The Executive Committee discussed possible topics for their March 10 meeting with Dr. DeHayes. The following topics were agreed upon:
a. Access to Excellence:
1) The possibility of enhancing minority student access to admission to certain majors in the STEM disciplines, including the possibility of affirmative action-style admission procedures to increase representation of minority groups in those majors.
2) Providing and funding academic support for students enrolled in, or aspiring to, STEM majors.
b. Faculty workload (teaching, research, service) at a research university.
c. Transition in Academic Affairs: His priorities for the next twelve months and how the Faculty Senate Executive Committee can be of assistance.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 a.m.
Sheila Black Grubman