1. The meeting was called to order at 12:32 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Rice presiding. All members were present.
2. The Minutes of Meeting #32, April 27, 2006 and Meeting #33, May 3, 2006 were approved.
a. A copy of the Council of Deans Agenda for May 10, 2006 was circulated for information.
b. Chairperson Rice and Vice Chairperson Martin reported on the May 5 meeting of the Board of Governors Academic and Student Affairs Committee. They said that the approval of the establishment of a separate department of Physical Therapy and the proposed B. A. program in writing were both approved and would go to the Board of Governors on May 22.
It was noted that the committee had approved the proposal to require 40 credits of General Education at both URI and RIC. As part of the discussion, Senator Kowalski reported that he had spoken to Governor Rockett about the issue when they met on the NEASC Accreditation. Senator Kowalski indicated that Dr. Rockett had discussed the issue with the Commissioner, the Associate Commissioner and the Chair of the Board of Governors and he believed a compromise had been reached through a revised motion that did not specify the specific number of credits.
The Executive Committee thanked Senator Kowalski for his efforts to help solve the 40 credits issue.
c. The Executive Committee discussed a request from the UCGE Committee to add a recommendation on HPR 201 for fall 2006 to the May 11 Agenda. It was agreed to direct Ms. Grubman to send an e-mail message to Senators adding the following to the Agenda as item 5, F Reports of Standing and Special Committees:
Report of the University College and General Education Committee
The UCGE Committee recommends that the Honors Colloquium (HPR 201) for Fall 2006 be approved for general education credit in the Fine Arts and Literature (A) and Social Sciences (S) core areas as follows:
HPR 201 - Honors Colloquium for fall 2006 - "Songs of Social Justice: The Rhetoric of Music" (examining human differences, writing effectively, using artistic activity) [D]
d. The Executive Committee discussed a request from Senator Rathemacher to share with the Senate materials she had prepared with regard to serials as a response to the Library Committee Report. Following discussion, Ms. Grubman agreed to forward the materials from Senator Rathemacher to members of the Senate and the Chair of the Library Committee.
e. Chairperson Rice announced that he would not be able to attend the May 22 Meeting of the Board of Governors and asked if any of the members of the Executive Committee would be able to attend.
4. The Executive Committee reviewed the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #9, May 11, 2006, which was the organizational meeting of the 06-07 Senate. Senator Ramsay asked for advice as to whether she could move approval of the entire slate since all of the candidates were running unopposed.
Following discussion, Senator Kowalski agreed to review Sturgis' and the Faculty Senate By-Laws to determine whether the motion would be in order.
5. The Executive Committee considered the following matters of continuing concern:
a. Faculty Survey: Ms. Grubman reported that she had sent the FSEC's announcement about the Faculty Survey to all of the faculty members for whom she had an up-to-date e-mail address. She noted that some addresses had been returned as unknown and others returned because mailboxes were full but she felt that the message had reached a majority of faculty members. She said that she planned to send at least one reminder out to the faculty.
b. Faculty Governance and Curricular Matters: The Executive Committee agreed that if the Board of Governors approved the revised recommendation on general education that the major concern of the Executive Committee would have been resolved.
The Executive Committee discussed the faculty's role with regard to the elimination of academic programs. It was noted that while the President had the authority to suspend admission to academic programs, the abolition of the programs, including any changes in names of departments, courses codes, and the elimination of courses were the purview of faculty through the Faculty Senate and were subject to all of the approved procedures.
c. Committees: The Executive Committee discussed the Joint Strategic Planning Committee (JSPC) meeting on May 9. The Executive Committee agreed that they weren't playing as active a role in planning decisions as they had expected, in particular the higher-level discussions necessary for strategic planning.
The Executive Committee asked Chairperson Rice to contact Ms. Morrissey about the possibility of holding a JSPC meeting as soon as possible to discuss the proposed draft strategic plan in greater detail.
It was also agreed that the 2006-07 Executive Committee should further the faculty's concept of shared governance by taking a more active role in setting the JSPC Agenda. This might include a regular item from the Executive Committee.
Vice Chairperson Martin distributed a preliminary draft of the report of the Providence Campus Undergraduate Initiative Committee (PCUIC) that she planned to give at the Faculty Senate meeting on the following day. She said she planned to speak to the Provost that afternoon and that she would need additional information before she was ready to address the Senate.
d. Involving Junior Faculty in University Governance: Members of the Executive Committee agreed that it was important for the future of URI for junior members to participate in faculty governance at the University level. Senator Luebke noted that they have a greater stake in the future of URI than most of the faculty who have been involved over the last two decades.
It was also suggested that in order to get a broader participation in faculty governance that department chairs should encourage faculty who have been on campus for a few years to consider service to the community, rather than shielding them from University obligations.
e. NEASC Accreditation Update: Senator Kowalski reported on the previous day's organizational meeting for the NEASC Self-Study which brought the committee chairs together with Provost Swan for the first time as a group. He said that he believed that it was very useful for the chairs to have Dr. Patrice O'Brien, a consultant for NEASC, join the Provost in answering any questions about NEASC and the Accreditation Self-Study process.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:05 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman