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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Minutes for Faculty Senate Meetings

September 22, 2005

Number 1

1. Immediately following a meeting of the General Faculty-Graduate Faculty, the regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:10 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Rice presiding.

All members were present except Senators Dicioccio, Dunn, Ferszt, Hara, Kogut, Koske, Lauzon-Clabo, Manfredi, Melanson, Miller, Rossby, Sun, Suzawa and Wang; Vice President Beagle; Vice Provost McCray; Deans Farmer, Joseph, Letendre, Lynch, Mazze, McKinney, and Wessells (Vice Provost Pasquerella and Dean Seemann were represented by their designees). Mr. Freeman, Mr. Mills.

2. Chairperson Rice asked if there were any additions or corrections to or questions about the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #9, May 12, 2005 or the Special Faculty Senate Meeting of July 14, 2005. There were none.

Chairperson Rice ruled that in the absence of additions or corrections, the Minutes were approved as distributed.


A. Announcements:

  1. Chairperson Rice welcomed the Senate back for the 2005-06 academic year and introduced the following new Senators:

    • Senator Rae Ferguson who is replacing Senator Joelle Rollo-Koster for the fall semester;
    • Senator Kathleen Torrens who is replacing Senator Sharon Strom for the 05-06 academic year; and
    • Senator Ruby Dholakia who is filling a vacancy for the College of Business Administration.

    Chairperson Rice announced that in addition to new Senators, there are three new ex officio members of the Faculty Senate this year:

    • Lynn Pasquerella, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Research;
    • James Lynch, Dean of Admissions; and
    • Matt Freeman, President of the Graduate Student Association.

    Chairperson Rice then welcomed Susan Roush who is serving as Special Assistant to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs."

    Chairperson Rice introduced the members of the 2005-06 Executive Committee: Vice Chairperson Celest Martin and Senators Marilyn Barbour, James Kowalski, Barbara Luebke and Karen Ramsay.

  2. Chairperson Rice reminded members of the Faculty Senate that the Senate's authority is derived from section 16.32.10 of the laws of the State of Rhode Island and was delegated by the General Faculty in 1960 to serve as the committee of the faculty that with the concurrence of the President, has the authority "to formulate policy concerning teaching and research, study, exercise, discipline and government: for example, and without excluding others not listed, academic standards (scholastic standing, admission and dismissal policy, class attendance, grading systems, etc.), the University calendar, University-wide curriculum matters both graduate and undergraduate, and research and patent policy as they may affect the faculty as a whole."

    Chairperson Rice said that the goals that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee has developed for the upcoming year are identified in his September 15, 2005 letter ( He then elaborated on the goals using a series of slides.

  3. Chairperson Rice announced that there would be a special Faculty Senate Meeting on September 29, 2005 for a report on the Academic Investment and Improvement Model (AIIM). He said that Senator Boudreaux-Bartels who worked all last year and through the summer on behalf of the Senate would present the report. He encouraged all Senators to attend the informational meeting and to bring their colleagues as well.

    Chairperson Rice then invited President Carothers and Provost Swan to address the Senate on the background for the development of the AIIM and plans for its use. (See for link to pdf version of the September 22, 2005 Letter from President Carothers and Provost Swan to all departments on the AIIM.)

  4. Chairperson Rice announced that URI's formal response to Hurricane Katrina is an all-out effort through the Clearing House for Volunteers to raise $70,000 for the student chapter of Habitat of Humanity to help build a home in the Gulf region during spring break. He explained that groups are being asked to conduct fundraising efforts in behalf of the project and said that if anyone on the Senate has suggestions for what we can do as a body, they should contact Vice Chairperson Martin or Ms. Grubman.

  5. Chairperson Rice reminded the Senate that the following week, September 26 -30 is the 9th annual Diversity Week at URI and encouraged everyone to attend some of this wide variety of programs.

  6. Chairperson Rice explained that the Senate would not have its own reception that afternoon and encouraged everyone to attend the reception in celebration of women at the University Club sponsored by the President's Commission on the Status of Women and the Association for Professional and Academic Women.

B. Vice Chairperson Martin said that the minutes of the 2004-05 Executive Committee Meetings #29, #30, #31, #32 and #33 and 2005-06 Executive Committee Meetings #1, #2, and #3 appeared on pages 4-35 of the Agenda. She asked if there were any questions.

Vice Chairperson Martin and Chairperson Rice responded to questions about the Executive Committee minutes.

Following discussion, Senator Barbour moved that the Faculty Senate formally consider the revised mission statement which was approved by the JSPC on September 8 at the October 20, 2005 meeting:

The University of Rhode Island is the State's public learner-centered research university. We are a community joined in a common quest for knowledge. The University is committed to enriching the lives of its students through its land, sea, and urban grant traditions. URI is the only public institution in Rhode Island offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the distinctive educational opportunities of a major research university. Our undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, research, and outreach serve Rhode Island and beyond. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are united in one common purpose: to learn and lead together. Embracing Rhode Island's heritage of independent thought, we value:

  • Creativity and Scholarship
  • Diversity, Fairness, and Respect
  • Engaged Learning and Civic Involvement
  • Intellectual and Ethical Leadership

The motion carried.

C. Vice Chairperson Martin said that the Minutes of JSPC meetings from March through August 2005 appeared on pages 36-43 of the Agenda and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

D. Recommendations of the Executive Committee.

  1. Vice Chairperson Martin announced that committee appointments for the 2005-05 academic year appeared on pages 44-51 of the Agenda. She moved approval of the committee appointments with the addition on page 48 of Norma Owens, PHP as the Provost's appointee to the Competitive Grant Advisory Committee. The motion carried.

  2. Vice Chairperson Martin introduced the report of the Executive Committee on Changes to the UNIVERSITY MANUAL, which appeared on pages 52-54 of the Agenda.

    a) Vice Chairperson Martin moved approval of the following new sections 5.83.10, 5.83.11 and 5.83.12 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL:

    5.83.10 The Providence Campus Undergraduate Initiative Committee shall oversee undergraduate programs offered on the Providence Campus to students admitted under the provisions of section 8.88.10. The committee shall provide advice and support to the Vice Provost for Urban Programs and the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs during the initial stage of the initiative. After the establishment phase, the committee shall review the initiative every 4 years. Specific degree programs will be reviewed every three years on a staggered basis in accordance with the University's current review policies.

    5.83.11 The committee shall be comprised of the following members: one faculty member appointed by each department which offers an undergraduate program at the Providence Campus; three faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate in consultation with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from departments that do not offer undergraduate programs; and a designee of each of the following: the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice Provost for Urban Programs, the Dean of University College and Special Academic Programs and the Dean of Admissions. Faculty members shall be appointed for three-year staggered terms. One of the Faculty Senate's appointees shall serve as chair.

    5.83.12 The committee shall meet on a regular basis and report annually to the Faculty Senate through the Curricular Affairs Committee on the status of the overall Providence Campus initiative. Recommendations shall be forwarded to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Senate Curricular Affairs Committee for appropriate action.

    The motion carried.

    b) Vice Chairperson Martin moved approval of the clarification to section 8.70.13 (change is underlined) and the addition of a new section 8.70.14:

    8.70.13 Recommendations regarding rescheduling class days missed within an academic year as the result of natural calamity, work stoppage, etc. shall be the responsibility of the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee, whose proposals will be subject to the approval of the Faculty Senate.

    8.70.14 With the exception of circumstances stated in 8.70.13, changes to the calendar shall not be considered within eighteen months prior to the beginning of a semester.

    The motion carried.

E. Professor Emeritus Rose introduced the Annual Report of the University Ombud for 2004-05, which appeared on pages 55-57 of the Agenda. He reviewed some of the major issues identified in the report and announced that Mr. Thomas Hardiman had been appointed Student Assistant to the Ombud for 2005-06. Ombud Rose asked if there were any questions. There were none.


A. President Carothers announced, as indicated on the Agenda, that he had approved all of the Senate Bills that had been forwarded to him at the end of the 2004-05 academic year.

President Carothers thanked everyone for a successful opening to the 2005-06 academic year. He then thanked the URI AAUP for their leadership in successfully concluding contracts for the non-classified, non-faculty unions and non-union employees of the Board of Governors, as well as for members of the AAUP.

B. President Carothers announced that the JSPC would be working with him to develop a new strategic plan for 2007-2010, which he hoped would be ready by the summer of 2006. The President also reported that while the University had met its enrollment goals for the first two years of the 2003-06 plan, it had not been as successful for the current academic year. He noted that, although there had been an increase in highly qualifies in-state students, there was not a similar increase in out-of state students to meet the budget goals for 2005-06.

President Carothers emphasized that the entire university community should work towards improving recruitment and retention. He said that the University must continue to reduce the gap between what people can afford to pay and the financial aid they receive. He encouraged everyone to support the new Dean of Admissions, James Lynch, in efforts to recruit new students.

President Carothers then explained that he would be away from campus more than usual as he worked with Vice President Beagle on the upcoming Capital Campaign. He said that he had asked Provost Swan and Vice Presidents Weygand and Dougan to provide continuity during his frequent absences.

The President then announced that the University would be undertaking a very large campaign for its largest building program for the 2006 Bond Issue, which would include improved facilities for Pharmacy, Nursing, Chemistry and Physics at the north end of campus.

President Carothers responded to questions from the Senate on the Ryan Center and improvements for existing buildings on the quad, including handicapped access.


A. Professor Johnson presented the Report of the Honors Program and Visiting Scholars Committee for 2004-05, which appeared on pages 58-65 of the Agenda. He noted the highlights of the report and expressed his appreciation to all of the deans, department chairs and faculty members who contributed to the success of the Honors Program. He then responded to questions about the Honors Program.

B. Dean Cohen presented the Report of the Student Rights and Responsibilities Committee, which appeared on pages 66-70 of the Agenda and moved approval of the following revisions to section 9.24.10 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL:

9.24.10 Jurisdiction of the Student Discipline System over Off-Campus Conduct. Off-campus conduct shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Student Discipline System if one of the following conditions is met: 1) an infraction of a community standard of behavior as listed in the STUDENT HANDBOOK occurs at: a) an official University event, such as a field trip; b) a University sanctioned event as defined in Section 8.51.12 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL; or c) an event sponsored by a recognized student organization, fraternity or sorority; or 2) an off-campus action performed by a person while he or she is a student is of a nature such that it would be subject to the Student Discipline System if it had occurred on campus, and the nature and circumstances of the infraction provide reasonable grounds for believing that the alleged offender posed or poses a threat to life, health, or safety of the University community, or to University property the safety of self or others or if the alleged offender is repeatedly arrested or cited for violating local, state or federal laws. The decision to apply jurisdiction to off-campus conduct shall be made by the Dean of Students

Discussion ensued.

During discussion, Mr. Jesse Whitsitt Lynch read a prepared statement from the undergraduate students who had served on the Student Rights and Responsibilities Committee requesting that their names be removed from the September Report (Michael Katz, Cristin Langworthy, Jesse Whitsitt Lynch, Kevin McCarthy, and Ryan Rabideau).

Following discussion, the motion carried.

Dean Cohen moved approval of the following revisions to section 9.23.10 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL:

9.23.10 Emergency Suspension. .... for reasons of imminent danger to the safety or well-being of the University community. The decision to separate a student from the campus under these conditions shall be made only with the approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs or the President. ....

Following discussion, the motion carried.

Dean Cohen moved approval of the following revisions to section 9.21.29 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL:

9.21.29 Appeals Procedure. .... When a hearing panel or hearing officer recommends a judicial sanction, the accused student shall have the right to appeal the decision to the University Appeals Board (5.20.10-12). Such appeal requests, which must be presented in writing, shall be based only on evidence of fraud, denial of rights, procedural error, or on the claim of new evidence which was not available at the hearing, and which would have materially affected the decision of the hearing panel or officer. Following a hearing, a complainant has the right to submit an appeal request to the University Appeals Board based on new evidence (as described above). Appeal requests must be filed with the Dean of Students within one week of receipt of the letter informing the accused student that a judicial sanction has been recommended. ....

Following discussion, the motion carried.

Dean Cohen moved approval of the following revisions to Policy #86-1 "Administrative Room Entry and Search Procedure" from Appendix G of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL:

  1. Entry and Search by Consent of the Student
    a) ... In situations where the student refuses consent search procedures described below may be implemented.
    c) A resident student can give consent to an authorized University employee to enter his/her room, apartment or shared bathroom. The resident student can give consent only to the search of his/her belongings, and of shared areas that are not under the primary control of another student. For example a student may give consent to a search of a shared refrigerator but not to any closed containers therein that are the property of another student. No student may consent to the search of another student's bedroom, closets, locker, suitcases, backpacks, or other areas under the primary control of another student.

  2. Entry Without Consent in a Health or Safety Emergency
    The Director of Security, Director of Safety and Risk Management or his/her designee, the Director or Assistant Director of Residential Life, a Hall Director or Assistant Hall Director or Security Officer may enter ...

  3. Entry For Routine Inspections
    ... inspections for health, safety, and building maintenance purposes. In the case of fraternity or sorority rooms, the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee may enter for such inspections and maintenance.

  4. Entry Without Consent on Suspicion of Violation of University Regulations or Federal or State Law

    In the following section, "concrete information" is something known from direct observation or information from a reliable source. For example, a resident assistant reports hearing a drinking game; a resident assistant sees alcohol being brought into the room of an underage student; there is the smell of marijuana, a towel under the door, the window is open and a fan is on; a credible message is received about a suicide threat.

    A Hall Director or Assistant Hall Director or someone of higher authority may use master keys for entry only under the following circumstances.    - health and safety crisis    - search warrant from court    - verbal permission has been given for a limited administrative search    - written permission has been given for a full administrative search

    a) Limited Administrative Search. A Hall Director or Assistant Hall Director who has concrete information of a violation of community standards must get verbal permission from a Director or Assistant Director of Housing and Residential Life to open the door of a non-responsive student. The resulting search will be hands-off and limited to what is in plain sight, closet and refrigerator contents and a quick look under and around surfaces. Any evidence found in a limited administrative search may be used for campus disciplinary procedures.

    b) Full Administrative Search. If federal, state, or local law enforcement officers (including URI campus police) are not involved in an investigation of possible criminal activity, and if a staff or student provides concrete information that the search of a particular room will yield evidence of a serious violation of community standards by a particular student, the Director of Housing and Residential Life, the Dean of Students, or the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee may issue a written administrative search warrant. Once the administrative warrant has been granted, the Director of Housing and Residential Life, Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee will conduct the search. Any evidence found in the administrative search may be used for campus disciplinary procedures.

    c) ... an investigation of possible violation of state or federal law, any search of a student residence shall be conducted only by such law enforcement officers and only in accord with legal standards applicable to police searches of private residences. Only law enforcement officers are authorized to conduct a search of a student residence. University staff may accompany officers. Evidence found may be used in criminal proceedings and/or in campus disciplinary proceedings.

Following discussion, the motion carried.

Dean Cohen moved to change all references in sections 9.20.10 through 9.25.10 from "judicial" to "conduct."

Following discussion, the motion carried. Dean Cohen moved approval of the following revisions to section 9.21.17 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL:

9.21.17...When the charged student denies responsibility; the burden of proof shall rest upon the person(s) bringing the charges. The standard for this proof shall be clear and convincing evidence more likely than not.

Following discussion, the motion carried.


Chairperson Rice asked if there was any unfinished business. There was none.


Chairperson Rice asked if there was any new business. There was none.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sheila Black Grubman



Sheila Black Grubman

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