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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes   #7

August 31, 2010

1. The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 31 in the President's Conference Room, Green Hall, Chairperson Swallow presiding. All members were present.

2. The Minutes from FSEC Meeting #5, July 22, 2010, were approved as revised. The Minutes of FSEC Meeting #6, July 28, 2010 were approved as distributed.

3. Announcements/Correspondence:

a. Senator Honhart reported on the Board of Governors Academic and Student Affairs Committee meeting and Vice Chairperson Eaton reported on the Board of Governors meeting, both of which had been held in succession on the previous evening.

Of specific interest to the Faculty Senate, was the approval of the establishment of the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. In addition, President Dooley informed the Board of the creation of the minor in music voice performance for theater majors and the minor in nuclear engineering. The Faculty Senate had approved all three curricular changes in the spring.

It was noted that the Board of Governors' Draft Strategic Plan had been hand delivered to members of the Board at the meeting. The Executive Committee asked Ms. Grubman if she could obtain a copy of the draft for the Executive Committee.

b. The Executive Committee discussed e-mail correspondence they had received from the Provost with regard to an electronic tenure and promotion process and a response to Provost DeHayes from AAUP President Roworth.

c. Ms Grubman announced that Administrator Evaluation Coordinator William Rosen was setting up the process for the evaluation this fall of Deans Winnie Brownell and W. Lynn McKinney. She reported that there had been some discussion among the Provost, Vice Provost Katz and Professor Rosen as to whether Vice Provost Katz should be evaluated under the Administrator Evaluation process.

The FSEC reviewed section 10.70.11 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL, which stated explicitly that "...the Vice Provosts, and all academic deans ... are subject to faculty evaluation."

After discussion, they agreed that although Vice Provost Katz position was somewhat different from other Vice Provosts, he should be evaluated under the provisions of 10.70.10.

4. The Executive Committee continued their discussion of possible faculty appointees to committees.

5. Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais joined the Executive Committee at 4:00 p.m. The following matters were discussed:

a. Provost DeHayes thanked Chairperson Swallow and the members of the Executive Committee for agreeing to co-sponsor the Fall Welcome Reception, which was scheduled for September 7 at 4:00 p.m. on the University Library's patio.

b. Provost DeHayes reported on the extensive classroom technology improvements that had taken place over the summer. He said that 52 classrooms had been completely renovated and eight additional classrooms had been repaired and updated. He expressed his appreciation to Vice Provost Bozylinsky and his staff for accomplishing their goals. He said that outside consultants had indicated that URI was on the cutting edge with regard to modern technology in the classrooms. He also reported that through the work of Vice Provost Bozylinsky's staff the University has WI-FI capabilities throughout the campus.

c. Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais reported on efforts to improve record-keeping aspects of the promotion and tenure process using available technology. They explained that the only change in the process was moving to electronic records. They acknowledged that not everything faculty members include in their dossiers could be presented electronically and there would always be some documentation in other formats. They said that they had begun a series of workshops for academic department chairs to orient them on the electronic process. In consultation with the AAUP, the Provost's Office had agreed to initiate the electronic process on a pilot basis this year.

d. Provost DeHayes announced that a follow-up visit from NEASC was scheduled for late October. He expressed his appreciation to Vice Provost Beauvais, Senator Barbour and Ms. Morrissey for the University's report to NEASC.

e. The Provost said that he was committed to diversity at URI and would continue to assert that harassment of members of the community is a violation of the University's core values that would not be tolerated. He suggested that in addition to everything that is already being done in this regard, faculty members might include anti-bias statements on their syllabi.

f. The Executive Committee and Provost DeHayes discussed the Executive Committee's proposed resolution regarding course credits. The FSEC explained their reasons for coming forward at this time. During discussion, suggestions with regard to the wording of the resolution were considered.

g. Provost DeHayes asked the Executive Committee to continue to focus on student success as an academic goal. He proposed that departments be encouraged to review their curricula in an effort to map whether there are obstacles in the way of student achievement that might be resolved without lowering academic standards.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted

Sheila Black Grubman