1. The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 15, 2007, in the President's conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Rice presiding. All members were present except Senator Luebke.
2. It was agreed to postpone consideration of the Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting #24, March 8, 2007 until the next meeting.
3. Chairperson Rice noted that the Executive Committee had received the Agenda for the March 14 Meeting of the Council of Deans by e-mail and asked if there were any items the committee wanted to discuss. Ms. Grubman was asked to contact the Provost to request information on the Agenda item that referred to "guiding principles."
4. Ms. Grubman reviewed with the FSEC the items that would be included on the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #6, which was scheduled for March 29. She asked if she could contact members of the Executive Committee during the spring break to review the final Agenda before it was sent to Printing Services. Several members of the Executive Committee indicated that they would be on campus during the week of March 19.
5. The Executive Committee met with President Carothers from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. The following matters were considered:
a. Update on the Budget situation: President Carothers indicated that there were a number of issues with regard to the Governor's Budget that still required clarification. He said that discussions would continue until the House Finance Committee has a clear picture of the Budget. He noted that once an agreement has been reached on the Governor's Budget, the House Finance Committee would resume its hearings and the University would have a better handle on its financial situation.
b. Financial Aid and Admissions Efforts: President Carothers said that an Enrollment Management Task Force chaired by Vice Provost Pasquerella had been considering some modifications to the distribution of financial aid focusing primarily on need-based scholarships
c. Usefulness of the AIIM: President Carothers said that he had not used the AIIM data to any extent. He said that Academic Affairs, however seemed to find it useful in decision-making. He suggested that Assistant Provost Katz and Provost Swan were in a better position to discuss the matter.
President Carothers reported that URI was to be featured on the NBC Nightly News that evening as part of a report on college age drinking. He said that URI had been suggested because of its efforts over the past several years to reduce the problem. He noted that while it was not possible to eliminate the alcohol problem, the University continued to work on the challenge.
President Carothers and the FSEC discussed the proposed reorganization of Vice Provost positions within academic affairs and agreed that it would be timely to have the faculty referendum on Article III Membership of the Faculty Senate Constitution this spring. Ms. Grubman said that although the referendum had been authorized at the beginning of the academic year she hadn't had the time to conduct it any earlier.
6. The Executive Committee was brought up to date on the following matters of continuing concern:
a. Online Courses: Ms. Grubman reported that the CAC continued to receive proposals for online courses. She said that there were a number of new courses that had been submitted, as well as courses that had been taught in the summer 2006.
Senator Kinnie and Ms. Grubman also reported that the Provost's Online Committee had met on March 8 and had divided into three subgroups: academic integrity, finance and technology. They said that they were both on the academic integrity subcommittee, which was chaired by Vice Provost Pasquerella, along with Vice Chairperson Luebke and Senator Ramsay.
b. Policy #80-1 Establishing Administrative Policies: The Executive Committee reviewed Policy #07-1 Catering Policy which had been forwarded to them by Vice President Weygand in accordance with Policy #80-1. After discussion, it was agreed that Policy #07-1 did not fall within the purview of the Faculty Senate. Chairperson Rice signed the form indicating that there was no need for a review by the Faculty Senate and agreed to inform Vice President Weygand that while the Senate had no responsibility in the area that a number of issues had been raised about the catering policy that might be taken into consideration when the policy was revised.
c. APRC: At the request of the Executive Committee, Chairperson Rice agreed to chair the new Academic Program Review Committee (APRC). The FSEC agreed to ask for nominations for the two remaining faculty positions on the committee.
d. JSPC: The Executive Committee reviewed the Agenda for that afternoon's meeting and discussed each of the items they had suggested should be included. Chairperson Rice reported that Assistant Provost Katz had agreed to report on the use of the AIIM data in Academic Affairs.
e. NSSE: The Executive Committee discussed Vice Provost Pasquerella's response to their questions about the most recent NSSE data. In her answers to Chairperson Rice's questions, Vice Provost Pasquerella had noted that URI has data for 2002 and 2005 and will have data for 2007. She had explained that the results of the survey have been used with regard to orientation, the first year experience and advising and that "some of the strategic plan initiatives for URI (i.e. the master advising plan) are the results of - or at least grounded in the NSSE data." The Executive Committee asked Chairperson Rice to find out more specifically whether URI planned to send representatives to the Association of American Colleges and Universities' 7th annual Greater Expectations Institute (June 20-24) in Burlington, Vermont. It was noted that there would be a program for schools that use the NSSE survey to work on "ways to increase student engagement, inclusion, and high achievement."
f. Accreditation: Senator Kowalski announced that Dr. Sherry H. Penney, Professor of Leadership at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, College of Management, has been appointed Chair of the NEASC Accreditation Team for URI. He also reported that both he and Senator Barbour were being trained to serve on accreditation teams. He said that he was hopeful that some of the things they learned would be helpful for URI's Accreditation Team visit.
Senator Kowalski said that the data integrity issue that had been raised early by the subcommittee on Faculty Standards did not appear to be as serious an issue as originally thought. He said that it was possible to account for the apparent disparity between Dr. Katz' data and the data that were provided by the Office of Institutional Research. He said that the integration of HR data into PeopleSoft would probably eliminate most of the disparity among the data sets. He also noted that the University's data collection was expected to improve once a new director and an additional staff person were hired for the Office of Institutional Research.
g. Referendum on the Faculty Senate Constitution: Ms. Grubman said that she would try to have the referendum on the Constitution during April and agreed that there might be a less time-consuming process using modern technology. She agreed to review the rules governing referendums and report back to the Executive Committee at their next meeting.
7. Senator Kinnie announced that the URI Library had been designated a Federal Depository Library in 1907 and was celebrating its hundredth anniversary.
Senator Kowalski moved approval of the following resolution:
RESOLVED: That The Faculty Senate Executive Committee congratulates the University of Rhode Island Library on achieving 100 years as Federal Depository Library.
The motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m.
Sheila Black Grubman