1. The meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m. on Monday, March 31, 2008 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Miller presiding. All members were present.
2. The Minutes for Executive Committee Meetings #23, March 10, 2008 and #24, March 24, 2008 were approved as corrected pending review by Dr. DeHayes and Professor Kowalski of those portions that pertained to them.
a. Vice Chairperson Martin reported on the Board of Governors Meeting of March 24, 2008. She said that the President had announced that the University had received full accreditation by NEASC. She said that the University had been asked to provide NEASC with an update on efforts to integrate planning and budgeting by 2010.
Vice Chairperson Martin said that Commissioner Warner had talked about proposals to redesign public higher education and possibly merge RIC and CCRI. She noted that Commissioner Warner felt that the proposals would not provide any savings.
She said that the Board had approved the elimination of some undersubscribed programs at Rhode Island College and had allowed others to continue. She said that the Board had also approved actions with regard to system-wide outcomes assessment.
When President Carothers arrived, the Executive Committee moved to item 4 on their Agenda.
4. The Executive Committee met with President Carothers from 9:15 to 9:50 a.m. They discussed the possibility of reviving the Blue Ribbon Study Commission on Positioning URI for the Future. The establishment of this commission, which had been approved in the spring 2006, had been postponed because of all of the efforts toward completing the NEASC Accreditation Self-Study. President Carothers suggested that one faculty member, possibly former Senate Chair, Michael Rice, be asked to research and provide the background information that would be needed. He said that when people outside the University are asked to serve on a commission or board a great deal of advance work was needed because of constraints on their time.
The Executive Committee asked President Carothers about various proposals in the legislature to change public higher education governance. The President said that there were some legislators who were dissatisfied with the Board of Governors and that a series of bills were being proposed to modify or eliminate the Board, the Office of Higher Education, and to merge Rhode Island College and CCRI. He indicated that there did not appear to be any savings associated with the proposal to merge RIC and CCRI and noted that proposals of such magnitude couldn't be achieved over a short period of time.
When President Carothers left the meeting, the Executive Committee resumed their regular order of business.
3. b. Chairperson Miller and Vice Chairperson Martin reported on the March 26 Town Meeting on Research at URI. They said that it was well attended, but rather than a town-meeting format, the program was informational with regard to what the Clarendon Group had learned at that point in their study for the URI Commission on Research and Innovation.
They did note that there had been some opportunity for faculty involved with sponsored research to raise concerns about the problem of out-of-state tuition for Graduate Research Assistants.
5. The Executive Committee discussed Faculty Senate Meeting #7, which had been held on March 27. They agreed that it had been a very productive meeting and a significant amount of business was accomplished. They also agreed that, overall, the Branding presentation had gone well.
6. The Executive Committee met with Professor Rice from 10:15 to 11:00 a.m. The revitalization of the Blue Ribbon Commission was the main topic of discussion. The Executive Committee asked Professor Rice to take a lead role in revising the charge and in preparing the groundwork for the Blue Ribbon Commission. They also suggested that he and Ms. Morrissey should work together on the project.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.
Sheila Black Grubman