Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting 26 – January 28, 2011


Prior to the meeting, the Executive Committee met with Vice Provost Libutti to consider his request to modify the "add period" for the spring semester.


1.     The meeting was called to order at 11:10 a.m. on Friday, January 28, 2011 in the President’s Conference Room in Green Hall, Chairperson Eaton presiding.  All members were present.


2.   The Minutes from Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting #24 were approved as corrected.


3.         Announcements/Correspondence:


a.   Ms. Grubman reported that the Faculty Senate could support the Survey Monkey fee for one year as long as there was adequate documentation of the expenditure.  It was agreed that the Teaching Effectiveness Committee Survey on the IDEA would be conducted by under the auspices of the Faculty Senate.


b.    Ms. Grubman announced that the joint meeting of the FSEC and the AAUP Executive Committee was scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on March 10.


c.    The Executive Committee discussed the request from Vice Provost Libutti that the “add period” for the current semester be modified by extending the 7-day open enrollment period to 9 days because of the cancellation of classes on January 27.  This extension would not apply to the total number of days to add courses, which would remain 14.


      After discussion, it was agreed to accept this one-time change in the “add period” with the understanding that it would not set a precedent for changing the “add period” or a precedent for changing the University Calendar without approval by the Faculty Senate upon recommendation of the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee.


d.   Chairperson Eaton and Senators Barbour and Honhart reported that they had been able to spend time with Dr. Peterson, President Dooley’s consultant, the previous evening talking about global education.  In addition, Vice Chairperson Larsen and Senator Krieger noted that they had been able to meet with Dr. Peterson during the snow day.


        4.   The Executive Committee agreed not to reschedule the January 27 Faculty Senate Meeting, which was cancelled because no classes had been held that day.  They decided that the business on the January 27 Agenda could be included on the Agenda for the February 24 Faculty Senate Meeting.


The Executive Committee considered whether to ask the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee to propose that an additional instructional day be added to the calendar to compensate for the Thursday when classes had been cancelled.  It was agreed to wait until at least a second day of classes is canceled before proposing a change in the calendar.



5.     The Executive Committee met with Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais from 1:40 to 12:50 p.m.  The following matters were considered:


a.    Budget Issues:  Provost DeHayes reported on the FY’11 budget and explained that at mid-year there was a shortfall for several reasons. The three most significant reasons were first, that $1,000,000 had been cut from the Budget in August before the beginning of the academic year; second was that URI didn’t enroll as many out of state freshmen as expected; and third, there were unanticipated infrastructure expenses.


He mentioned that URI has been at a disadvantage in attracting out of state students, because of our high tuition and housing expenses and our limited financial aid budget.


        The Provost said that, by all estimations, the FY’12 budget looks very difficult.


b.    The Academic Summit - Engaging Students in Learning with Technology: Provost DeHayes said that he was very pleased with the number of faculty members who attended the   summit on January 18 as well as the two previous summits. He provided the FSEC with feedback from faculty members who had participated.  He said that from his perspective, the three summits had provided the opportunity for faculty members from all over the University to meet and discuss matters of interest that transcend specific disciplines. 


c.     NEASC Review:  Provost DeHayes said that he was very pleased with the review by the NEASC Accreditation Team, which was very positive. He read the summary to the Executive Committee.


d.     Process for reviewing new program proposals: Provost DeHayes, Vice Provost Beauvais and the Executive Committee discussed concerns about new program proposals which have been flagged for incompleteness by OHE. All agreed that some of the issues, which have been identified by OHE, can and should be resolved at the University level.  Other issues may have resulted from lack of clarity in communications from OHE.


It was agreed that the next step would be to review the current process and develop a flow chart for steps to be taken from the point where an idea is generated through the internal approval procedure before a new program is forwarded via the Office of Higher Education to the Board of Governors. Vice Provost Beauvais, Senator Barbour and Ms. Grubman volunteered to develop a draft flow chart for the internal program approval process.


e.      Umbrella for IDP, Online Learning and Instructional Technology and Student Learning Outcomes, Assessment , and Accreditation:  Provost DeHayes reported that the three units report to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, which for the present was the extent of the coordination.  He suggested that in light of the upcoming vacancy in the director position for SLOAA and the need to fill the Online Learning and Instructional Technology director position, he was considering the possibility of combining the two directors positions into one director position with full-time coordinators in each department. The Provost said that money to support two directors could be reallocated to support the one director that would oversee both units and the two coordinators, one of which is already being supported half time.  The goal here is NOT to save money, but rather to allocate funds more to the hands-on coordinator functions rather than to the director functions.  He was also going to seek the opinion of the faculty actively involved in promoting the online office and technology applications.


 Provost DeHayes asked that the FSEC consider the possibility of combining the directors’ position(s) and advise him as soon as possible.


f.      Syllabi:  Provost De Hayes said that both he and President Dooley had heard from students that there was a wide range in the detail and scope of information faculty members provide in their syllabi.  He asked the FSEC whether they would consider the Faculty Senate’s taking an active role in promoting “better” syllabi.  The members of the FSEC said that they would consider his suggestion and would respond to his request within a week or two.


      The meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m.


                                          Respectfully submitted,

                                          Sheila Black Grubman