1. The meeting was called to order at 12:38 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2006 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Rice presiding. All members were present except Senator Barbour.
a. Chairperson Rice reported that the committee on the selection of architectural, economic analysis, and planning firm for renovations to the Kingston Campus had narrowed down its choices to three firms that would be asked to come to campus.
b. The Executive Committee discussed a memorandum from the Curricular Affairs Committee to Provost Swan and the FSEC regarding Lab fees. Senator Luebke explained that the CAC subcommittee that was working on methods of instruction had learned that there did not appear to be a transparent or consistent process when assigning lab fees and had asked the CAC to request that the Provost consider a series of recommendations regarding laboratory fees.
c. The Executive Committee discussed a memorandum from Mr. Jack Humphrey, Senior Associate Director of Enrollment Services forwarding on behalf of the Inter-institutional Articulation Transfer Committee's proposal to amend Appendix F of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL.
Following discussion it was agreed that the matter should be forwarded to the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee for their consideration during the 2006-07 academic year.
d. The Executive Committee reviewed a Draft Report of the President and the Chair of the Faculty Senate on the activities of the JSPC for the 2005-06 academic year. After discussion, it was agreed to include the summary on the Agenda for the May 11 Faculty Senate meeting pending review by President Carothers.
3. The Executive Committee reviewed the draft Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #9, May 11, 2006 and approved it in final form. It was noted that there would be a delay in taking the Agenda to Printing Services because there were last minute details that would require waiting until Thursday morning.
4. Matters of Continuing Concern:
a. Faculty Survey: Ms. Grubman reported that the Faculty Survey was up and running and that once she had a complete mailing list she would mail the Executive Committee's memorandum to all of the faculty.
1) Vice Chairperson Martin said that she planned to meet with the members of the Providence Campus Undergraduate Initiative Committee on May 8. She said that she planned to meet with Provost Swan subsequent to the PCUIC meeting but before she gave an oral report to the Faculty Senate.
2) Ms Grubman reported that all of the Faculty Senate's committees had submitted annual reports for 2005-06 except the Honors Program and Visiting Scholars Committee, which traditionally reports at the first Faculty Senate Meeting in the fall.
c. NEASC Accreditation Update: Senator Kowalski reported that he and Associate Dean Beckman met with the Student Senate and explained the accreditation process and asked for student participation in the fall. He noted that the organizational meeting for the chairs of the various self-study committees was scheduled for May 9.
d. Administrative bottlenecks: It was noted that despite Vice President Weygand's efforts, problems with travel were continuing. It was agreed to ask Vice President Weygand for an update on efforts to eliminate bottlenecks related to faculty travel.
5. Ms. Grubman reported that Mr. Humphrey, Senior Associate Director of Enrollment Services, had raised concerns about the proliferation of courses offered through Special Programs at the Providence Campus that begin or end at times inconsistent with the University Calendar. In addition to presenting a hardship for graduating seniors who don't receive final grades until after commencement and the difficulty faced by Enrollment Services in implementing rolling deadlines for submitting grades, Ms. Grubman said that the concern was that the Providence campus has not followed the provisions of section 8.70.20 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL:
8.70.20 The Academic Year. The beginning and ending dates of each semester shall be the same for all colleges and schools of the University. Exceptions may be granted to the Feinstein College of Continuing Education. Requests for exceptions shall be received by the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee no later than October 1 of the preceding academic year.
Discussion ensued with regard to possible remedies for the problem.
6. Senator Luebke said that she would recommend to the incoming Executive Committee that an effort be made to include junior faculty in issues of faculty governance. She noted that many of the decisions that will be made would have a greater impact on the professional lives of these faculty members, than the senior faculty who comprise the Senate and committees.
7. The Executive Committee met with Provost Swan from 1:30-2:10 p.m. The following matters were considered:
a. Searches for administrative and faculty positions: Provost Swan brought the Executive Committee up to date on searches. She said that all of the faculty and administrative searches were proceeding and she identified faculty and administrative positions that have already been filled for 2006-07. She explained that budget problems might lead the President to freeze hiring of outstanding positions and if that were the case, whatever positions are not filled at that time would have to wait. She said that this would mean that vacancies might not be filled based on timing rather than priorities.
Provost Swan also shared with the Executive Committee that some positions currently funded through grants (e.g., ADVANCE, Department of Transportation, INBRE) would eventually become the University's responsibility and therefore paid for out of the University's budget.
b. On-Line Instruction and Summer Session: The Executive committee expressed concern that the faculty voices on the On-Line Committee might not be taken as seriously as they should because while there were a number of faculty members on the committee, meetings had been scheduled for times that most faculty cannot be available; subcommittees had been formed without including all of the faculty in the establishment process, and some questions have been raised about the accuracy of the subcommittee minutes, discussions may not be reported fully in the minutes of the subcommittees.
Provost Swan indicated that she would raise these issues when the co-chairs of the committee change on July 1. She said that the new chairs would be Vice Provost Pasquerella and Vice Provost Bozylinsky.
The Executive Committee raised concerns about the administration of summer session and the implementation of policies with regard to on-line courses without any discussion or approval. She said that she would look into the concerns raised by the Executive Committee.
In response to a question about the administrative home of Summer Session, Provost Swan said that it currently reports to her office. She said she was exploring several options and hoped that by the end of the summer that she would be in a position to recommend to the Curricular Affairs Committee that Summer Session be transferred out of the Office of the Provost.
c. Lab Fees: The Provost acknowledged receipt of the CAC's memorandum with regard to laboratory fees. She said that she appreciated the Curricular Affairs Committee's concerns and noted that she had already begun to review the issues identified by the CAC.
d. Suspension of Admissions to the Doctor of Audiology Program: Provost Swan provided the Executive Committee with background information that led to the decision to suspend admissions to the Au.D. Program.
After Provost Swan left the meeting, the Executive Committee considered the possibility of meeting with Vice Provost Pasquerella on May 10 to discuss the On-Line Instruction Committee. This would give the FSEC an opportunity to review the committee's activities with her before she takes over as co-chair with Vice Provost Bozylinsky.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman