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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes   #26

February 15, 2010

1. The meeting was called to order at 12:05 p.m. on Monday, February 15, 2010 in the President's Conference Room, Green Hall, Chairperson Swallow presiding. All members were present.

2. The Minutes from FSEC Meetings #23 January 25, 2010 and #25, February 8, 2010 were approved as revised.

3. Announcements/Correspondence.

a. Ms. Grubman announced that she had sent e-mail messages to all Senators with copies to academic department chairpersons and Deans encouraging support for URI Helping Haiti. She said with the help of Ms. Orabone and Ms. Drozd at the URI Foundation, letters to department chairs with return envelopes had been mailed to all academic departments on Friday afternoon.

b. Ms. Grubman confirmed that she had scheduled a meeting with Mr. Saccoccio and Vice President Alfonso for Monday, March 1 at 9:00 a.m. It was noted that not everyone on the FSEC could make the meeting because they had other commitments.

The Executive Committee decided that they should schedule regular meetings with Vice President Alfonso as they did with the President and the Provost.

c. The Executive Committee discussed data on faculty by department, college and gender that they had received from the URI AAUP. They agreed that a report of faculty numbers over a period of 4 or 5 years would be more informative.

Senator Honhart reported that he had been able to gather some information from the University's common data set that was posted on the web. He said there appeared to be a slight increase in faculty-student ratio over the past few years.

d. The FSEC discussed correspondence they had received related to research policy issues. They agreed that it was clear the Senate had a role in development and approval of changes to research policy as specifically stated in Article II of the Faculty Senate Constitution. The FSEC agreed that as the Research Scholarship and Innovation Task Force comes forward with recommendations; policy changes should be fully vetted through the Council for Research and the Senate.

e. Chairperson Swallow reported that the Strategic Budget and Planning Council had met for the first time the previous Friday, February 12, 2010. He shared with the FSEC some of the materials he had received at the meeting. Chairperson Swallow said that it was his understanding that materials from SBPC would be available on the web.

When President Dooley arrived at 1:15, the Executive Committee changed their order of business and moved to item 6 on the Agenda.

6. The Executive Committee met with President Dooley from 1:15 to 2:05. The following matters were discussed:

a. President Dooley reported that Provost De Hayes had been very positive about the SBPC's initial meeting. The Provost said that he was impressed by the insightful questions that were asked by council members. The President indicated that he planned to ask the Council to review their charge, work on the FY'12 budget, and review the FY'11 budget as necessary.

The FSEC and President Dooley discussed whether the Chairperson of the Faculty Senate should be considered an ex officio voting member of the Council or whether Chairperson Swallow's appointment was to be the same as other faculty appointments to the Council. The Executive Committee said that they would like time to consider President Dooley's idea as an alternative to their original intent, which proposed Chairperson Swallow as one of the eight possible faculty members on their list of nominees.

b. The Executive Committee informed President Dooley that they had received a response from Mr. Saccoccio about the change in the management fee and subsequent distribution of royalties. It was clear that if the reasons for the change had been explained to the Senate, the question about patent policy change could have been explored more fully and understood by faculty with patents before the distribution changes. They said that members of the FSEC planned to meet with Vice President Alfonso and Mr. Saccoccio to discuss the letter further. In the interest of transparency, it serves the faculty better if the Faculty Senate vets research policy issues earlier and more directly.

Chairperson Swallow said that to this end, the FSEC planned to schedule regular meetings with Vice President Alfonso as they have traditionally met with the President and the Provost.

c. President Dooley and the Executive Committee reviewed the administrator evaluation process as outlined in the university manual. The FSEC explained that most of the administrators who are evaluated report to Provost DeHayes, and over the last year, they have made an effort to have the reviews coincide with reappointment discussions.

The Executive Committee explained that there are two administrators who report to the President, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

Following discussion, President Dooley asked that the evaluation process for Vice President Alfonso begin this spring to meet the need for timeliness in the process.

d. President Dooley reported that he had some questions about a portion of Faculty Senate Bill #09-10'16. It was noted that there were no provisions for a line item veto, but that there were several options available.

After discussion, President Dooley requested and received a thirty-day extension (until March 18) on taking any action on the legislation in accordance with article 104 of the Faculty Senate By-Laws.

Provost DeHayes arrived for another meeting and participated in this part of the discussion. President Dooley encouraged the Executive Committee and the Provost to consider a role for the Provost's office to comment on legislation concerning the reauthorization of centers before it is brought to the Faculty Senate for approval.

With the exception of Senator DiCioccio, who had another commitment, the Executive Committee continued their meeting in room 103 Quinn Hall.

4. The Executive Committee discussed the following matters of continuing concern:

a. Four-credit courses and curricula: The Executive committee discussed a preliminary draft of a proposal to establish an ad hoc committee on four-credit courses. Senators Eaton and Honhart agreed to revise and refine the draft for possible consideration by the Faculty Senate on February 25.

b. JSPC: The Executive Committee reviewed a draft proposal prepared by Vice Chairperson Ordoñez and Senator Honhart for replacing the JSPC with a Joint Academic Planning Committee.

During discussion, several suggestions were made for modifying the draft. Vice Chairperson Ordoñez agreed to revise the draft based on the discussion. It was agreed that the next step was to share the proposal with the Provost.

c. Academic Plan Task Forces: Ms. Grubman reported that Senator DiCioccio asked her to announce that Senator Robert Schwegler from Writing and Rhetoric had agreed to join the General Education Task Force.

5. The Executive Committee reviewed a draft Agenda for the February 25 Faculty Senate Meeting. Ms. Grubman said that the Committee Reports on the Agenda are the 476th Report of the CAC and Graduate Council Curricular Report No. 4-2009-10. In addition, the FSEC agreed they would propose the establishment of the ad hoc task forces on 4-credit courses and curricula and additional committee appointments.

With regard to the Academic Plan Task Forces portion of the Senate Agenda, Ms. Grubman explained that she had asked Vice Provost Libutti to report on the Enrollment Management Task Force, but he was unable to report to the Senate until the March meeting. Vice Chairperson Ordoñez suggested that Vice Provost Beauvais and Ms. Morrissey be asked to report to the Senate on their progress in establishing the remaining Academic Plan Task Forces.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman

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Michael W. Honhart, Professor of History 2014 Recipient of the Sheila Black Grubman Faculty Outstanding Service Award

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