1. The meeting was called to order at 11:10 am, Chairperson Swallow presiding. All members were present.
2. Announcements/Correspondence: There was discussion of possible reasons why the URI Cornerstones were not endorsed by the Faculty Senate in 1994, including the omission of academic freedom as an element of the cornerstones. While the Executive Committee felt the Cornerstones were admirable, it was noted that nothing related specifically to academics was listed in the Cornerstones, so it may not be under the purview of the Faculty Senate.
Review of the Confucius Institute: The Council for Research determined that there was not sufficient research at the Confucius Institute for it to be a center they should review. Other precedents were considered for reviewing the Confucius Institute including the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. The Executive Committee will ask for materials to review, and will determine whether the Executive Committee itself should review the center or a committee should be appointed.
3. Proposal for Joint Committee on Academic Planning: Discussion related to the current draft proposal ensued, including the appointments to the committee. Presentation of the proposal will be at the April Faculty Senate meeting.
4. Patents and royalties: A memo is being composed to send to the Constitution, By-Laws and University Manual (CBUM) committee regarding whether the illustration in appendix H of the University Manual is indeed representative of the policy as passed by the Board of Governors, and whether the current practice of sharing revenues from intellectual property is in line with existing policy. These concerns relate to UM sections 10.43.15 and 10.43.12. The Council for Research will also be considering the issue, with respect to alignment of current practice and policy as well as whether the creation of the URI Research Foundation establishes conditions that necessitate a change in policy.
5. President Dooley joined the meeting at 12:10. On the reviewing of centers, President Dooley will be discussing the evaluation of centers with the Vice Presidents to ensure that the broader context of the centers is also considered, beyond research productivity and funding issues. Discussion ensued concerning whether and how reviews by the Council for Research might be coordinated with the Provost before a recommendation is brought to the Faculty Senate. It was agreed that the FSEC should consider whether an addition to the manual is needed to assure a collaborative and transparent review process. At this point, President Dooley is continuing to get information regarding Senate Bill #09-10--16.
Inauguration: Some details of the upcoming inauguration were discussed. Faculty have been encouraged to incorporate the inauguration into their classes and will include on-campus and off-campus participants. In addition to the main speaker, Governor Carcieri, Senator Reed, and Mr. Ryan will also be speaking. There is a reception afterward in Keaney, and a dinner coordinated by the Foundation will follow in the evening. President Dooley noted that his daughter recommended that there be a dance in the evening for the students at the Memorial Union.
Chairperson Swallow brought the President up-to-date on the Executive Committee-s meeting with Vice President Alfonso and General Counsel Saccoccio the previous week.
Vice Chairperson Ordonez presented information about the recent draft of the Joint Committee on Academic Planning (JCAP) to the President. She reported that the Provost felt this was an important committee, and had offered to chair the committee. The Vice Chair will be the Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate. The JCAP would have two major responsibilities: coordinating the Academic Plan as a living document and NEASC accreditation. Membership is still being determined, but the Executive Committee is still trying to ensure broad representation while not creating a group that is too large.
Senators Eaton and Honhart provided an update on the Ad Hoc Four Credit Committee. The Committee will be meeting Wednesday, and will be looking at what models are used at other colleges and universities. The mission and charge has been determined. Senator Eaton asked President Dooley why moving to a four-credit model was worth considering. President Dooley noted that the move to a four-credit model is not a goal for him by itself, but that it could help reach the goal of more student engagement in research, creative, or other scholarship experiences. He described four-credit courses as an opportunity to incorporate additional opportunities to engage with faculty in the lab, in the field, in creative work, in internships, or in service learning, as appropriate for the discipline. He noted that if students take fewer classes but classes with higher credit weights, it will allow them to focus more closely on the topics they are studying.
6. Agenda for FSEC Meeting #31 March 22, 2010 was discussed.
7. The Executive Committee briefly discussed topics for their next meeting with the Provost, including the final version of the proposal for the JCAP.
8. Unfinished business: Senator Eaton provided an update on the Enrollment Management committee, and noted that Dean Libutti will bring some data to the next Faculty Senate meeting for discussion, including information on where students who leave URI continue their education. Senator Izenstark reported that the Distance Learning Task Force will be meeting this week, and that she has been discussing the possibility of using a classroom response system to tally senator votes at the May meeting with a representative of Turning Technologies and Mr. Frank Pari, the student assisting Ms. Grubman.
9. The meeting was adjourned at 1:35.