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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes   #31

March 22, 2010

1. The meeting was called to order at 11:10 a.m. on Monday, March 22, 2010 in the Provost's Conference Room, Green Hall, Chairperson Swallow presiding. All members were present except Senator Eaton, who arrived at noon.

2. The Executive Committee approved the Minutes of Executive Committee Meetings #28 and #29. The Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting #30 were approved pending review by President Dooley of those sections pertaining to his meeting with the FSEC.

3. Announcements/Correspondence:

a. Chairperson Swallow announced that the Board of Governors was meeting later that day on the Kingston Campus. The Executive Committee reviewed the Agenda and agreed that few items pertained to URI. He said that he would not be able to attend and Senator Izenstark agreed to represent the Executive Committee.

b. Chairperson Swallow reported that Professor Barbour, Chair of the Learning Outcomes Oversight Committee (LOOC) had informed him that the committee had several policy recommendations for the Faculty Senate, which they intended to discuss with Provost DeHayes. The recommendations would not be submitted to the Senate until LOOC has consulted with the Provost.

c. The Executive Committee discussed an e-mail they had received earlier that day from Senator Wishner, who had raised questions about Dr. Gregory Boyd's position on creationism and the appropriateness of his speaking at the Inauguration. The Executive Committee discussed Senator Wishner's concerns, as well as those raised about Dr. Boyd's writings and website at the Faculty Senate meeting and other venues by Senator Derbyshire and other faculty members. It was agreed that that while individual members of the Executive Committee had their own opinions about the selection of Dr. Boyd, President Dooley should address these concerns.

4. The Executive Committee was brought up to date on the following matters of continuing interest:

a. Patents and royalties: Chairperson Swallow said that he, Ms. Grubman, and Professor Wenisch, Chair of the Constitution, By-Laws and University Manual Committee (CBUM), were scheduled to meet later in the week to discuss the history of the current policy on the distribution of royalties and to learn what, if anything, was said specifically about the flow chart in Appendix H. He said that he had forded to Professor Wenisch all of the current documents on this matter. Ms. Grubman agreed to review the Faculty Senate Office's files to learn more about the original legislation and have background materials ready by the meeting.

b. Ad Hoc Committee on 4-credit courses and curricula: Senator Eaton reported that Professor Cathy English had agreed to fill the CELS vacancy on the Ad Hoc Committee. She reported the Ad Hoc Committee held an initial meeting and had agreed to an informal process for considering each of the points that had been identified in the Ad Hoc Committee's charge.

c. Academic Plan and academic policy: Chairperson Swallow reported that discussions were underway between Provost DeHayes and Vice President Weygand about the scope of the charge to the Task Force on Streamlining Administrative Processes. He said that he hoped to learn more about the formation of the Task Force shortly.

5. The Executive Committee met with Provost DeHayes and Ms. Morrissey from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. The following matters were discussed:

a. Joint Committee on Academic Planning (JCAP): The group discussed the latest iteration of the charge to the committee and agreed to the paragraph outlining the committee's responsibilities with a few editorial changes. The proposed membership of the committee was discussed at length. The Provost emphasized that the committee should not be too large to find a time to meet, and the FSEC wanted to assure adequate faculty representation. It was agreed that not all of the Vice Presidents or all of the members of the FSEC would be members of the new committee as had been the case with the JSPC.

b. Hate Incidents and the University's responsibility: The FSEC and Provost DeHayes discussed concerns raised by the Equity Council and other members of the university community about the apparent increase in instances of hate speech and hateful graffiti on campus. They agreed that the University administration, faculty, staff, and students must be clear in stating that such behavior was unacceptable at URI. They reviewed the University's "cornerstones," which had been adopted over a decade before. They discussed whether it was necessary to make the cornerstones more prominent on campus.

c. Proposal for a Nursing Building in Providence: The Executive Committee raised questions about the recent announcement that URI and RIC would share a building in the health/knowledge district in Providence. The Provost said that he hadn't been involved in the discussions to any great extent, nor had the faculty at the two institutions been involved. The idea surfaced after Governor Carcieri removed both the proposed URI Nursing facility and a proposed RIC Nursing Building from the list for RIPAC funding. He said that the concept appeared to be attractive because the Board is constantly seeking greater efficiencies and financial savings in Higher Education, which is combined with the interest by the legislature and the City of Providence in expanding the health/knowledge district in the city. He said that the concept hadn't been considered formally by either institution but appeared to have some long-term benefits.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman