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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Minutes for Faculty Senate Meetings

September 25, 2008

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 3:06 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Martin presiding.

All members were present except Senators Baudet, Danis , Jenkins, Kaufman, Lasky, Y. Lee, Ordonez, Quilliam Rothstein, Roworth, Sodhi, Thiem, Wilson and Wishner; President Carothers, Vice Presidents Alfonso, Beagle and Dougan; Vice Provost McCray; Deans Bonn, Farmer, Higgins, Joseph and Richmond; (Mr. Ahrens was represented by his designee).

2. Chairperson Martin asked if there were any additions or corrections to or questions about the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #8, May 14, 2008. There were none.

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


A. Chairperson Martin introduced herself and welcomed everyone to the first Faculty Senate Meeting of the 2008-09 academic year. She then made the following announcements:

1) Chairperson Martin reminded the Senate why the printed Agenda will no longer be mailed to senators, ex officio members of the Senate and academic department chairs. She explained that the previous spring the Faculty Senate Office, like many other departments at URI lost a very valuable staff member, Ms. Diane DeFosse and has not been able to fill the position. She further explained that the Faculty Senate Office was operating with a significant cut in its budget, again like most departments at the University. She said that Ms. Grubman was doing her best to make things work. However, one of the necessary changes is that the Faculty Senate Office was no longer able publish printed Agenda or Minutes.

She encouraged Senators to prepare for meetings by printing materials ahead of time, acknowledging everyone needed to become accustomed to the "extra step."

a) Chairperson Martin then outlined the goals that the Executive Committee with the Senate's help, intended to focus on during the upcoming academic year:

* Presidential Search. She emphasized the importance of the search to the future of the University. Although the Search Committee itself had already been chosen, that she encouraged everyone to communicate with the Faculty Senate's representatives on the committee, former FS Chair James Miller and herself. She especially asked for input on those qualities most important for our next president. She asked that faculty members attend the on-campus interviews scheduled for each of these candidates. She said that when the time comes, the schedule for these interviews will be posted on-line.

* Maintenance of quality in the delivery of the curriculum. Chairperson Martin said that the Executive Committee intended to address the following: 1) burgeoning class size, 2) increased advising loads, 3) reliance on part-timers, 4) faculty and staff retirements not replaced 5) retrenchment of full-time lecturers. The Executive Committee, with the advice of the Senate and the entire faculty intends to explore ways of maintaining academic quality. It will present the faculty's perspective on these issues to the JSPC.

* A new funding strategy for the university. Chairperson Martin noted that President Carothers had publicly introduced some creative ideas on this topic and had suggested that the FSEC consider whether we should develop a position paper, reconfiguring the University as a public corporation in light of our ever-decreasing funding from the state.

* Enhancement of faculty input on strategic planning. Chairperson Martin said that the Executive Committee intended to bring the concerns of the faculty to the JSPC in order that they may be addressed in the University's strategic plan.

b) Chairperson Martin said that before the Senate moved to the announcements listed on the Agenda, she wanted to inform the Senate about the following upcoming events:

(1) The Association for Professional and Academic Women at URI had asked that she remind everyone that the APPAW reception for new faculty would be held on Thursday, October 2 at the Alumni Center from 4-6 p.m.

(2) Chairperson Martin announced that Professor Barbara Luebke asked that everyone mark their calendars for the second Walk Around the Quad at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 15. She explained that donations to the ALS Association in memory of Professor Yngve Ramstad would be collected at that time. Interested persons could contact Barbara Luebke in Journalism, Glenn Ramsay in Economics or Gregg Burke in Athletics for information.

(3) Chairperson Martin reminded the Senate that Provost DeHayes and Faculty Senate Chairperson Jim Miller had announced last spring that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the Provost's Office were establishing a Faculty Forum on Learning and Discovery for the New Global Century. She announced that the first Forum, "The Educated Global Citizen for the 21st Century: What Should They Know, Be Able to Do and Stand For?" was scheduled for Thursday October 16 from 3:30 -5:00 pm. at the University Club, followed by a reception. She reported that the plan was to have a panel of URI faculty participate, along with those in attendance, in a discussion of these major issues.

The Executive Committee and Provost DeHayes are hoping that it would be the first of many opportunities for URI faculty to meet and discuss global issues. She reminded Senators that publicity about the forum would be forthcoming shortly and urged everyone to save the October 16 date.

(4) Chairperson Martin thanked Provost DeHayes for sponsoring the reception that afternoon. She asked everyone to join Provost DeHayes at the University Club after the Faculty Senate meeting.

2) Chairperson Martin introduced Dr. Barbara Silver, Director of the ADVANCE Program. Dr. Silver then presented the first Annual Faculty Mentor Awards to Dr. Winifred Brownell, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Dr. Roger LeBrun, Professor of Plant Sciences.

After each award was presented, the recipients addressed the Senate briefly on their commitment to mentoring new faculty members.

3) Chairperson Martin then introduced Ms. Mary Fetherston from Classroom Media Assistance (CMA). Using the URI website, Ms. Fetherson brought the Senate up to date on all of the changes underway in CMA to provide better support to faculty.

B. Vice Chairperson Costello said that the Minutes 2007-2008 Executive Committee Meetings #29, #30 and #31 and the Minutes of the 2008-09 Executive Committee Meetings #1 and #2 had been distributed by e-mail and noted that they were accessible on the web. She asked if there were any questions.

Discussion ensued during which Chairperson Martin and Vice Chairperson Costello responded to a question raised with regard to the Executive Committee minutes.

C. Vice Chairperson Costello moved, on behalf of the Executive Committee, that the Faculty Senate approve the Committee Appointments for 2008-09. She said that the committee appointments which were on the web in both html and PDF format and up-to-date as of that date.

The motion carried.

Vice Chairperson Costello noted that there were still a few vacancies on committees. She suggested that if anyone was interested in serving on the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee, the Admissions Advisory Committee, the Joint Classroom Steering Committee or the Student Rights and Responsibilities Committee, they should contact Ms. Grubman.

D. Professor Emeritus Vincent Rose presented the Annual Report of the University Ombud for 2007-08, which appeared on the web in both html and PDF format

Chairperson Martin requested and received permission to change the order of business and move to item 5, A, because Professor McIntyre had a conflicting commitment that afternoon.


A. Professor McIntyre presented the Annual Report of the Honors Program and Visiting Scholars Committee for 2007-08, which appeared on the web in both html and PDF format. He then responded to questions about his report.

Chairperson Martin thanked Professor McIntyre for his report and asked the Senate to return to its regular order of business at item 4.


In President Carothers' absence, Provost DeHayes gave the President's report.

Provost DeHayes welcomed everyone back for the academic year and expressed his appreciation for all of the department chairs and other members of the faculty who had done their best to accommodate the large number of students who arrived on campus in early in September, especially in light of the severe budget constraints on the University. He also expressed his appreciation to former Faculty Senate Chairperson, Jim Miller, and to Chairperson Martin and the two Executive Committees for all of their support during the first months of his tenure in the position.

A. Provost DeHayes reported that President Carothers had approved all of the legislation that had been forwarded to him at the end of the 2007-08 academic year and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

B. Provost DeHayes announced that the University was in the middle of Diversity Week and that he hoped everyone had the opportunity to attend some of the wide variety of sessions that were continuing through Friday, September 26.

He said that the keynote speech "From 'Silent Spring' to Silent Night: The Silent Attack of Pesticides on the Human Immune System" would be given by Dr. Tyrone Hayes from the University of California - Berkley that evening in the Memorial Union at 7:30.

Chairperson Martin said that she had omitted one announcement earlier in the meeting. She said that the first URI Disability Summit was scheduled for Friday, October 24 from 8:30-3:30. The summit is sponsored jointly by the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Human Science and Services and Engineering and she expressed her appreciation to the college deans for their support.

The Senate moved to item 5, B, on the Agenda.

5. B. In the absence of Professor King, Chairperson of the Council for Research, Chairperson Martin noted that the Annual Report of the Council for Research was an informational report and was available on the web in both html and PDF format.

6. SPECIAL FORUM: Defining the Future for the University of Rhode Island: A Vision for the Division of Academic Affairs.

Provost DeHayes announced that the academic plan for the University was in an early stage in its development. He explained that he and the Council of Deans had spent considerable time during the summer looking at the University's strengths and considering how to bring the budget process in line with academic planning.

The Provost said that the academic vision for the University was still in draft form although he had received some feedback from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee in addition to the Deans' Council. He informed the Senate that he wanted to take the opportunity that afternoon to expand the dialog to the faculty and members of the University Community.

Provost DeHayes used a series of slides on the draft vision and responded to questions throughout his presentation. He said that a text version of the draft vision for Academic Affairs would be available on the web at and encouraged everyone to read and forward their comments to him.


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


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

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sheila Black Grubman



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

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