1. The meeting was called to order at 3: 05 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall, Chairperson Martin presiding. All members were present.
2. The Executive Committee met with Ms. Morrissey, Chair of the Master Plan Review Team (MPRT) and reviewed the process that led to the recommendation to site the Research Park at the century forest location. She explained that the MPRT had agreed not to move forward on the recommendation until the question of priorities for use of the land has been resolved.
The Executive Committee agreed to invite Vice President Alfonso and Mr. Frisbie-Fulton to speak to the Faculty Senate when the Executive Committee's
Resolution on the Research Park was introduced.
After Ms. Morrissey left the meeting, the Executive Committee resumed their regular order of business.
a. Chairperson Martin and Senator Ordonez reported on the March 23 meeting of the Board of Governors, which had been held on March 23 at URI. They explained that the issue of the elimination of tuition waivers from employees of Channel 36 and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education had been one of the more controversial items on the Agenda. They noted that Commissioner Warner said that if the departments paid for the waivers, as did URI, CCRI and RIC, they could be restored.
b. The Executive Committee discussed the April 30 Celebration of President Carothers. Chairperson Martin reported that the faculty was scheduled to hold an hour-long reception for President Carothers at the Ryan Center. She said that she would arrange for speakers and welcome the guests.
The Executive Committee discussed the results of their impromptu survey, and agreed not to pursue the matter further, noting that the Library dedication was scheduled for May 1.
c. The Executive Committee reviewed correspondence between Professor Rice and Steve Maurano from the RI Legislature on the proposed three-year degree legislation. In his note, Professor Rice asked that the "legislature work with the URI Faculty Senate and equivalent bodies at RIC and CCRI as this bill passes into law and the initiative moves forward."
4. The Executive Committee was brought up-to-date on the following matters of continuing concern:
a. The Presidential Search: Chairperson Martin reported that the committee had met the previous week and had begun to narrow the list of finalists based on their interviews. She said that they would meet on March 26 with the remaining candidates to narrow the list further based on interviews that day. She said that she felt positive about the process. She stated, however that the Search Committee won't have input after they select the candidates for campus interviews. The decision is the Board of Governors'.
b. Blue Ribbon Study Commission: Chairperson Martin reported that the Commission planned to continue its work and hopefully provide information and assistance to the new president.
c. Faculty Forum on Learning and Discovery: Chairperson Martin reported she was moving ahead on plans for the April 16 Forum, which will focus on research and scholarship. She said that she had asked Dr. Kathleen Gorman to address research on hunger, Professor Barbara Newman to discuss her research on Adolescents and Professor Malcolm Spaulding to report on off shore energy development research and to relate them to the new global century.
d. General Education Initiative: Ms Grubman reported that a small group of faculty and administrators had met during vacation week to advise the Office of the Provost on an RFP for faculty to develop proposals based on the discussions of General Education at the Academic Summit. She said that she expected that the call for innovative course proposals focusing on general education, would be sent out shortly
5. The Executive Committee discussed the Agenda for the March 26 Faculty Senate meeting. Chairperson Martin reminded the Executive Committee that she would be off-campus for the Presidential Search Committee meeting and that Vice Chairperson Costello would preside over the Senate meeting. Senator Ordonez agreed to serve as Vice Chairperson at the meeting.
The Executive Committee reviewed the resolution that appeared on the cover of the March 26 Agenda and agreed that based on the additional information they had received that they should introduce a different resolution at the meeting. The Executive Committee subsequently agreed that Senator Ordonez would move approval of the following resolution after Vice President Alfonso, Mr. Frisbie-Fulton and Dean Killingbeck made their brief presentations on the North Woods site for the Research Park:
In consideration of faculty concerns raised during the Provost's Academic Summit (especially session 8) and in consideration of the substantial negative impacts that site selection for the research park could impose on existing academic coursework, research and scholarship affecting over 1200 students annually,
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ad Hoc Committee of the Faculty Senate comprised of not fewer than five faculty, along with student representatives, be immediately appointed to collaborate with the University Administration in order to evaluate a location for the research park that sustains and preserves the irreplaceable Natural Outdoor Laboratory, including the Century Forest at URI, as an actively used resource for research and teaching. We ask that the specific site-definition or site-selection process be postponed until this Ad Hoc Committee can provide input.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Provost, the Vice President for Administration and the Vice President for Research and Economic Development collaborate with an Ad Hoc Faculty Senate Committee to review priorities for the character of the Research Park and facilities to be established.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman