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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Minutes for Faculty Senate Meetings

September 28, 2006

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 3:09 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Rice presiding.

All members were present except Senators Carroll, Cohen, Eaton, Dunn, Fastovsky, Grigalunas, Hara, Rossby, Rothstein, Roworth, Shim, Sodhi, and Suzawa; President Carothers, Vice Presidents Beagle and Weygand; Vice Provost McCray; Deans Bonn, Farmer, Higgins, Maslyn, Nassersharif and Richmond (Dean Brownell was represented by her designee); Mr. Cavanaugh and Mr. Freeman.

2. Chairperson Rice asked if there were any additions or corrections to or questions about the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #9, May 11, 2006. 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 everyone back for the first Faculty Senate meeting of the 2006-07 academic year. He then introduced himself as well as members of the 2006-07 Executive Committee: Vice Chair Barbara Luebke from the College of Arts and Sciences, Senators Marilyn Barbour from the College of Pharmacy, Jim Kinnie from University Libraries, Jim Kowalski from the College of Arts and Sciences, and Senator Jim Miller from the College of Engineering.

    In addition, he announced that Dr. David Maslyn, Interim Dean of the University Libraries and Dr. Mark Higgins, Dean of the College of Business Administration were two new ex officio members of the Faculty Senate.

  2. Chairperson Rice said that Dean Letendre from the College of Pharmacy had graciously agreed to sponsor the reception that afternoon. He thanked Dean Letendre on behalf of the Senate and encouraged everyone to meet at the University Club immediately following the Faculty Senate meeting.

  3. Chairperson Rice introduced Dean Jeff Seemann who reported on the status of the search for a Vice Provost for Research, Graduate Studies and Outreach and Dean of the Graduate School. Dean Seemann encouraged everyone to forward to the search committee completed evaluation forms on the candidates, as well as their own thoughts about research, graduate studies and outreach at URI. He then responded to questions about the search.

  4. Chairperson Rice briefly outlined the history of the Faculty Senate. He noted that the Senate was established in 1960 by a vote of the general faculty and derived its authority from section 16.32.10 of the laws of the State of Rhode Island.

Chairperson Rice encouraged everyone to review his September 12, 2006 memo to the faculty, which outlined some of the goals that the Executive Committee had developed for the 2006-07 academic year. He then responded to questions from the floor.

B. Vice Chairperson Luebke said that the Minutes 2005-2006 Executive Committee Meetings #32, #33 and #34 and 2006-2007 Executive Committee Meetings #1 and #2 appeared on pages 4-25 of the Agenda and asked if there were any questions.

Discussion ensued during which Provost Swan, Chairperson Rice, Vice Chairperson Luebke, Dean McKinney and Ms. Morrissey responded to questions about the Executive Committee minutes.

C. Vice Chairperson Luebke moved approval of the following recommendation on behalf of the Executive Committee:

  1. That the Faculty Senate approve the Committee Appointments for the 2006-07 academic year, which appear on pages 26-32 of the Agenda.

The motion carried.

  1. Vice Chairperson Luebke moved that the Faculty Senate approve the following recommendations of the Executive Committee:

    A. That the Faculty Senate authorize a referendum of the faculty to amend Article III Membership of the Faculty Senate Constitution to read as follows (a strikethrough indicates deletions, change is in boldface):

    Article III. Membership.

    1. The Senate shall consist of designated ex officio administrative members, ex officio student members and of elected members of the full-time teaching, library, research and extension faculty, chosen in the approximate ratio of one senator for each 10 full-time faculty members... The President, the Provost, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Research and Outreach, the Vice Provost for Urban Programs, Vice Provosts, the Vice Presidents for Administration, the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Vice President for University Advancement, the deans of the colleges and schools, the Dean of Admissions and the President or in his/her absence, the Vice President of the Student Senate and the President or in his/her absence, the Vice President of the Graduate Student Association shall be members of the Senate ex officio without the right to vote, but with the right to make and second motions...

B. That the Faculty Senate authorize a change in Article III by replacing the title of Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Research and Outreach with "Vice Provost for Research, Graduate Studies and Outreach and Dean of the Graduate School" in accordance with the provisions of Article VII, paragraphs 3 and 4, until such time as the constitutional amendment is approved by a referendum of the faculty.

Chairperson Rice said that the recommendations could be discussed but not acted upon that afternoon and would require a 2/3-majority vote.

Senator Wenisch, Chairperson of the Constitution, By-Laws and University Manual Committee, stated that Article VII, paragraph 1 of the Senate Constitution does not require either a waiting period or a 2/3-majority vote when the Faculty Senate authorizes a referendum. He said that the Senate may vote on recommendation A at that meeting and that it only required a simple majority. He asked Chairperson Rice to divide the motions to consider recommendations A and B separately.

Discussion ensued on recommendation A.

Following discussion Senator Wenisch moved to amend recommendation A by adding the following amendment to Article VII, paragraph 5 (change is in italics):

5. Changes to the provisions determining Faculty Senate membership can be made only in accordance with the referendum process as outlined in Article VII, 1 and 2, of this Constitution.

The amendment carried.

The main motion as amended carried.

The Senate resumed discussion of Recommendation B.

Following discussion, Chairperson Rice announced that Recommendation B would return to the floor for a vote on October 26.

D. Chairperson Rice introduced Professor Barbara Costello from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, who reported on the results of the Faculty Survey conducted by the Executive Committee in the spring 2006. (Professor Costello's power point presentation is available on the web at

Professor Costello, along with members of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee responded to questions about the survey and survey results.

Following discussion, Vice Chairperson Luebke moved approval of a resolution expressing the Faculty Senate's appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Barbara Costello for all of her work on the Spring 2006 Faculty Survey.

The motion carried

E. Professor Emeritus Vincent Rose presented the Annual Report of the University Ombud for 2005-06, which appeared on pages 38-40 of the Agenda. Ombud Rose introduced his Student Assistant for 2006-07, Mr. Jared Abdirkin, who gave a brief overview of his plans for the year.

Ombud Rose responded to questions about his report.

F. Senator Kowalski gave a brief overview of the University's NEASC Accreditation Self-Study. He also provided the Senate with a list of committees working on the various Standards for the self-study and the general timeline for the self-study, which had been developed by the Self-Study Steering Committee. Senator Kowalski responded to questions from the floor.


Provost Swan announced that she would present the President's Report since President Carothers was hosting the Global U8 meetings in Newport. She announced that the International U8 had elected President Carothers as President of the group.

A. Provost Swan said that President Carothers had responded to all of the legislation that had been forwarded to him by the Senate at the end of the 2005-06 academic year.

B. Provost Swan distributed materials for the November Referendum. She noted that funding for URI was on Question #4. She said that #4 was the first money question on the ballot and was primarily for the new College of Pharmacy Building along with some funding for Rhode Island College.

She said that the campaign in support of the Bond Issue was just beginning and asked members of the Senate, along with their friends and families, work to get the referendum approved.

Provost Swan announced that there had been four major appointments in Academic Affairs during the summer:

  • Mr. Garry Bozylinsky as Vice Provost for Information Technology Services;
  • Professor Mark Higgins as Dean of the College of Business Administration;
  • Professor Richard McIntyre as Director of the Honors Program;
  • Ms. Deborah Grossman-Garber as Director of Student Learning, Outcomes Assessment and Accreditation.

C. Provost Swan moved approval of the President's recommendation to amend section 5.70.11 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL as follows (change is underlined):

5.70.11 The Joint Strategic Planning Committee shall be comprised of the President, who shall serve as Chair, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice Presidents for Administration, Student Affairs, and University Advancement, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, a Dean representing the Council of Deans, two administrative staff members appointed by the President, the President of the Student Senate, and the President of the Graduate Student Association. It shall be staffed by the Executive Assistants to the President and Directors of Planning Services.

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, Senator Kowalski moved to postpone definitely consideration of the recommendation to add a dean to the membership of the JSPC until the President is available to participate in the discussion. The motion carried.


The reports were considered in the following order:

B. Professor McIntyre presented the Annual Report of the Honors Program and Visiting Scholars Committee for 2005-06, which appeared on pages 46-55 of the Agenda and responded to questions from the floor.

A. Dean Bibb presented Curricular Report No. 2005-2006-8a from the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate: Proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics which appeared on pages 42-45 of the Agenda. He moved approval of the Graduate Certificate Program in Digital Forensics as a program that will require no new resources. The motion carried.


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


Chairperson Rice asked if there was any new business.

Discussion ensued with regard to issues for possible consideration by the Faculty Senate.

Following discussion, Senator Kowalski moved that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sheila Black Grubman



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

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