1. The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2007, in the Provost's conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Rice presiding. All members were present.
a. The Executive Committee discussed Provost Swan's announcement at the previous day's Council of Deans' meeting that she was resigning from her position at the end of the calendar year.
b. Chairperson Rice reported on the April 9 Meeting of the Board of Governors which had been held on the URI Kingston Campus. He said that the majority of items concerned the financial matters such as lease and license agreements, the auditor's report for FY'06 for URI, contracts and fees, etc. Of interest to the Senate was a discussion of recommendations regarding bills before the state legislature and approval of degrees at the three institutions.
c. The Executive Committee discussed Provost Swan's request for two Faculty Senate appointees to the Search Committee for Dean of the College of Engineering. Chairperson Rice said that he had been asked to coordinate the Senate's appointees with the AAUP to ensure wider representation.
d. Chairperson Rice said that he had attended the April 6 meeting of the Master Planning Review Team and brought the Executive Committee up-to-date on plans for the Pharmacy building, the demolition of the Biological Sciences Building and renovations of Lippitt and Tyler Halls. He also reported on the delays in approvals for the Pell addition, the prospective move of Kinesiology to Independence Square, and the inclusion of Chemistry, Nursing and the Fine Arts as priorities after the Pharmacy building.
Chairperson Rice also noted that there had been some discussion of President Carothers' commitment with regard to efforts with respect to greenhouse gases and climate change. He said that the team was looking into UNH as a model for reducing emissions on campus. Chairperson Rice encouraged the FSEC to visit the following websites for additional information: http://www.sustainableunh.unh.edu and http://www.apolloalliance.org/.
3. The Executive Committee reviewed the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #7, April 9, 2007. It was noted that deadlines for printing had made it impossible for the FSEC to review the complete Agenda before it went to Printing Services, but the Executive Committee had received each of the reports by e-mail prior to publication.
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 10:55 a.m. The current budget situation and possible scenarios for the future were discussed. President Carothers said that given the steady reduction in state support, it was inevitable that the University would look very different in the next decade. The Executive Committee suggested that the time was appropriate for getting the Blue Ribbon Commission on Futuring established and underway. The President and the FSEC agreed that encouraging younger members of the faculty to become involved in the Commission specifically, and faculty governance as a whole, was essential.
6. The Executive Committee was brought up to date on the following matters of continuing concern:
a. Online Courses: Vice Chairperson Luebke said that the CAC had nothing further to report regarding the online course approvals. Ms, Grubman noted that a significant number of the approved online courses were taught by non-continuing faculty members.
Senator Kinnie reported that a resolution had been introduced and passed in the RI House of Representatives requesting that the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education conduct a comprehensive study on the feasibility of establishing an accredited distance-learning program. The Resolution, 2007 - H 6239 had been introduced by Representatives Costantino, Crowley, Lewiss, Laughton, and Mumford. (See http://www.uri.edu/facsen/2007-H6249.pdf)
b. Policy #80-1: Ms. Grubman reported that she, Senator Wenisch and Ms. Costa had met earlier in the week to resolve outstanding issues between The CBUM Committee and Vice President Weygand on the revision of Policy #80-1 Establishing Administrative Policy. Ms. Grubman said that she was hopeful that the proposed revised #80-1 would come to the Senate this spring.
c. Ad Hoc Committee on 8.87.10-11: Chairperson Rice reported that the ad hoc committee's proposed draft section 8.87.12 had been revised based on suggestions by the FSEC at their previous meeting. He said that the draft had been circulated and he had received no objections. He reported that he asked the other members of the ad hoc committee whether they agreed that it would not be necessary to revise sections 8.87-10-11 if the President and the Provost are satisfied with the proposed new section on suspension of programs.
d. APRC Membership: The Executive Committee discussed the membership of the Academic Program Review Committee and agreed they should consider appointing a faculty member who was expert in psychometrics.
e. Administrator Evaluation: Ms. Grubman reported that all of the letters for Dean Farmer's evaluation had been received and turned into PDF files for the committee. She said that she had notified Professor Specker, Chair of the AEC for Dean Farmer, that the materials were available in the Faculty Senate Office.
f. JSPC: The Executive Committee discussed the April 9 meeting of the JSPC at which representatives of COGNOS presented a demonstration of the data reporting system that they have developed for other colleges and university's using the various data-bases available at their institutions. It was agreed that the COGNOS system would greatly improve user's ability to access data. Chairperson Rice was asked to write to the President expressing the Executive Committee's positive reaction to COGNOS and asking about responses from other University's who had used COGNOS' program.
The Executive Committee also discussed access to data and who would be authorized to use the system. Ms. Grubman said that former Vice Provost Gandel had initiated a Policy on Computing and Network Use that the Faculty Senate had referred to the Constitution, By Laws and University Manual Committee. Action on the policy had been postponed pending the arrival of a permanent Vice Provost. Ms. Grubman said that this year, the committee had forwarded the proposed policy to Vice Provost Bozylinsky and had asked him to review the policy.
g. NSSE: Chairperson Rice reported that he had contacted Vice Provost Pasquerella about whether there would be a team from URI sent to the Association of American Colleges and Universities' 7th Annual Greater Expectations Institute at which the National Survey of Student Engagement is being discussed/coordinated. Vice Provost Pasquerella said that as far as she knew, no one from URI was scheduled to attend. (e-mail correspondence between Chairperson Rice and Vice Provost Pasquerella e-mailed separately)
h. Accreditation: Senator Kowalski reported that, although not all of the sections on NEASC Standards were complete, the plan is to have them available on the web and to begin holding the open forums.
i. Referendum on the Faculty Senate Constitution: Ms. Grubman said that she was encouraged by the number of ballots that had already arrived in the Faculty Senate office.
7. The Executive Committee agreed to the following topics for their April 19 meeting with the Provost:
a. Proposed restructuring of areas within Academic Affairs, i.e. summer session, distance learning, separation of Graduate School from Graduate Admissions;
b. Council of Deans' "Guiding Principles;"
c. Planning for URI's future in light of budget implications.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 noon
Sheila Black Grubman