1. The meeting was called to order at 9:10 a.m. on Monday, April 21, 2008 in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall, Chairperson Miller presiding. All members were present except Senator Ordonez.
2. The Minutes for Executive Committee Meetings #25, March 31, 2008 and #26, April 7, 2008 were approved.
3. The Executive Committee reviewed the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #8, April 24, 2008 in preparation for the meeting later in the week.
When President Carothers arrived, the Executive Committee moved to the next item on the Agenda.
4. The Executive Committee met with President Carothers from 9:30 to 10:20 a.m. The following matters were considered:
a. Blue Ribbon Study Commission: President Carothers and the Executive Committee discussed the most recent iteration of the charge to the Blue Ribbon Study Commission. President Carothers said that he thought there was too much emphasis on "Land Grant" and he wanted Professor Rice to consider the lack of state and local funding for land grant activities when he revises the charge. He noted that URI cannot expect an improvement in state and local support in the future and that he hoped the Commission would explore ways to mesh the University's resources with future needs.
President Carothers said that he had asked Vice President Alfonso to forward more recent articles than the ones cited in the draft and had asked Ms. Morrissey to work with Professor Rice to revise the charge further. He said that the University had to look into the social and cultural climate in the next decade and
The Executive Committee indicated that they had asked Vice Chairperson Martin to work on the revisions as well and hoped the charge would be ready for the May 15 Faculty Senate Meeting.
b. Next year's budget: In response to a question from the Executive Committee, President Carothers reported that 46 faculty members and 21 members of the staff had decided to take the retirement package. He said that the best prediction at that time was that about $6,000,000 would be saved. However, vacancies would have to be filled in areas such as Nursing, while other units might find compelling reasons to merge or realign themselves. He said that most of the divisions had made serious cuts in their budgets and that he was aware that Provost DeHayes was working with the Deans on their significantly reduced budgets. He said that he believed that the Deans' budgets would be out shortly.
c. Special Programs for Talent Development: The Executive Committee asked the President whether there had ever been a formal assessment of the Talent Development Program. President Carothers said that in the past, there weren't good data on graduation rates for students in Talent Development, but that there was an effort to begin gathering them. He said that the decision had been made for the first time to limit admission to the TD Program and invest in better financial support for fewer students.
d. 2008-09 Executive Committee: In response to the Executive Committee's request for suggestions to pass on to the next Executive Committee, President Carothers said that the next Executive Committee should be involved in the Search for a new President. He also said that he hoped that the FSEC would devote some effort to responding to the issues raised by NEASC in its Report and letter. He said that there was a relatively short time for the University to move ahead with merging strategic planning with budgeting because NEASC expected a report in 2010 on the University's progress in this area.
Before he left the meeting, President Carothers informed the Executive Committee that the memorial service for Mary Ellen "Molly" Offer was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the Catholic Center.
When President Carothers left the meeting, the Executive Committee resumed its discussion of the April 24 Faculty Senate Agenda, after which, they moved to the next order of business.
5. The Executive Committee was brought up-to-date on the following matters of continuing concern:
a. Administrator Evaluation: Ms. Grubman reported that the evaluations of Vice Provost McCray and Dean Richmond were moving ahead. She said that she and Senator Rosen had met with the Vice Provost McCray Administrator Evaluation Committee (AEC) on April 17 to review the ground rules for the evaluation and to emphasize the confidentiality of the process.
Ms. Grubman said that the AEC for Dean Richmond was scheduled to hold their initial meeting on Monday, April 28.
b. Blue Ribbon Study Commission: Vice Chairperson Martin reported that the revised draft of the Blue Ribbon Study Commission Charge would probably undergo further revision based on the issues raised by President Carothers earlier in the meeting.
The Executive Committee discussed what informal role they might take in appointing members to the Commission in light of the late date (May 15) at which the charge would be approved.
c. Committees: Ms. Grubman informed the FSEC that she expected that the report of the Academic Program Review Committee (APRC) would be on the May 15 Faculty Senate Agenda. Also on the Agenda, would be the first report of the Learning Outcomes Oversight Committee (LOOC) the Providence Campus Oversight Committee (PCUIC) and the UCGE Committee Report on URI 101.
d. Four-credit courses: The Executive Committee discussed the possibility of charging the CAC to investigate the pros and cons of moving to a 4-credit system.
6. The Executive Committee considered President Carothers' suggestion that the 2008-09 FSEC be asked to actively follow-up on the NEASC recommendations. Ms. Grubman said that she would forward the NEASC accreditation letter of April 3 and any relevant portions of the Report and the University's response to it.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:58 a.m.
Sheila Black Grubman