1. The meeting was called to order at 12:35 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Rice presiding. All members were present.
2. The Minutes of Meeting #30, April 12, 2006 were approved pending the Provost's review of sections pertaining to her meeting with the Executive Committee.
3. The Executive Committee reviewed the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #8, April 20, 2006 in preparation for the following afternoon's meeting.
4. Dr. Callahan joined the Executive Committee at 1:00 p.m. They discussed Dr. Callahan's observations as an ACE Fellow during the 2005-06 academic year.
President Carothers joined the Executive Committee and Dr. Callahan from 1:10 to 1:40 p.m. The following matters were considered:
a. URI's budget difficulties: President Carothers brought the Executive Committee up to date on efforts to accommodate the expected budget shortfall, including his request that each of the divisions, including the President's Office reduce administrative expenses by 10%. He also noted that, although there would be minimal savings in the short term, he and the Provost had been discussing suspension of academic programs that would need an infusion of money to receive accreditation.
b. Authority of the Board of Governors for Higher Education: Members of the Executive Committee expressed concern about the Board's policy requiring 40 credits of general education based on the new NEASC Guidelines. It was suggested that this policy overstepped the Board's authority with regard to curricular matters as specified in 16-32-10 of the laws Rhode Island. President Carothers said that he had spoken to the Commissioner briefly about the issue. He said that he appreciated the Executive Committee's concern and he would pursue the issue further.
5. The Executive Committee discussed the following matters of continuing concern:
a. Faculty Survey: The Executive Committee reviewed the introduction to the survey that had been drafted by Vice Chairperson Martin and approved it in final form. Ms. Grubman agreed to forward the introduction to Professor Costello. It was agreed that Chairperson Rice should announce to the Faculty Senate that the survey would be available on-line in the near future.
b. Searches: The Executive Committee expressed concern that some of the administrative searches might be delayed, possibly, indefinitely given the instructions from the President to reduce administrative costs by 10%.
c. Update on Committees: Vice Chairperson Martin reported on the Providence Campus Undergraduate Initiative (PCUI) Committee's thoughts with regard to possibly proposing modifications to the legislation for students entering in the fall 2007. Members of the Executive Committee expressed concern about the viability of the PCUIC's proposals.
d. NEASC Accreditation Update: Senator Kowalski reported that he and Dean Beckman had met with the Provost and had scheduled a luncheon and two-hour meeting of the Committee Chairs with the Provost and, possibly a representative from NEASC. He said that the chairs will be asked to consider possible members of their committees from the list of volunteers as well as from their own experiences.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:10 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman