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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Minutes for Faculty Senate Meetings

October 26, 2006

Number 2

1. 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 Cohen, Fastovsky, Gerber, Grigalunas, Hara, Lauzon Clabo, R. Lee, W. Lee, Luebke, Manfredi, Quina, Shim, Sodhi, Sun and Taggart; Vice Presidents Beagle and Dougan; Vice Provost McCray; Deans Farmer, Higgins, Joseph, Letendre, Maslyn, Nassersharif and Richmond (Deans Brownell and Seemann were represented by their designees); Mr. Freeman.

2. Chairperson Rice asked if there were any additions or corrections to or questions about the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #1, September 28 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 said that Election Day, November 7, was less than two weeks away. He reminded everyone that Proposition 4 is extremely important to URI and noted that it recommends approval of 65 million dollars for the construction of a new state-of-the-art building for the College of Pharmacy. He said that the "YES on 4" campaign needs all of the help it can get from members of the university community and urged Senators to take several lapel stickers and copies of the informational cards to share with family and friends. In addition, Chairperson Rice suggested that if people wanted to do more, they could put up a lawn sign or volunteer to work at the polls. Contact Assistant Vice President Andrea Hopkins in the President's Office if you want lawn signs, more stickers, or informational cards or if you are willing, to volunteer to work on the campaign during the final push between now and the election.

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

  3. Chairperson Rice said that in the absence of Vice Chairperson Luebke, Senator Kinnie had agreed to present the reports of the Executive Committee.

B. Senator Kinnie said that the Minutes of Executive Committee Meetings #3 through #6 appeared on pages 3-15 of the Agenda and asked if there were any questions.

Discussion ensued during which Chairperson Rice and Vice Provost Pasquerella responded to questions about the Executive Committee minutes.

Following discussion, Senator Miller moved to change the order of business to consider the recommendation of the Executive Committee under New Business. The motion carried.


Senator Kinnie moved approval of the following recommendation on behalf of the Executive Committee:

WHEREAS The 2006-2009 Strategic Plan for the University calls for the completion of a "study of the optional use of SAT/ACT scores for all applicants," and the implementation of "a plan consistent with the conclusion of that study by the fall of 2008;" and

WHEREAS A committee appointed by the Provost is investigating the possibility of eliminating the SAT as a requirement for admission to URI and;

WHEREAS Section 16.32.10 of the general laws of the state of Rhode Island states that "It shall also be the duty of the president and a committee of the faculty, with the approval of the board of governors for higher education, to arrange courses of study conforming to all acts of Congress, and prescribe any qualifications for the admission of students and any rules of study, exercise, discipline, and government as the president and committee may deem proper" and

WHEREAS Article II, paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the Faculty Senate states that "The Senate, subject to the provisions of state and federal law, subject to consistency with the general objectives established by its governing Board, and subject to the referendum power of the General Faculty, has ultimate legislative power on educational policies. It shall, with the concurrence of the President, 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.), ..."

THEREFORE The Faculty Senate directs the Admissions Advisory Committee, working in concert with the Provost's Committee investigating the possibility of making SATs optional for admission to the University, to conduct a careful study of the implications of eliminating the requirement of the SAT for admission of freshman to the URI. This study shall investigate the effectiveness of the SAT and ACT in predicting success at URI including data on gender, race, and major; study potential benefits of making the SAT/ACT optional as well as risks and potential costs involved with this change. The Admissions Advisory Committee shall report to Faculty Senate no later than April 20, 2007.

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, Senator Kowalski moved to amend the motion by replacing "April 20, 2007" with "January 25, 2007."

Discussion ensued on the amendment.

Following discussion, the amendment carried.

Discussion ensued on the motion as amended.

Following discussion, the motion as amended carried.

The Senate resumed its regular order of business and returned to item 3, C.

3. C. Senator Kinnie said that the Minutes of the September 14 meeting of the JSPC appeared on pages 16-17 of the Agenda and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

D. Senator Kowalski reported on the progress of the University's NEASC Accreditation Self-Study and shared the most recent timeline for the self-study, which appeared on page 10 of the Agenda. Senator Kowalski noted that many members of the faculty and the campus community were involved in the committees and many more would be called upon to contribute in various ways such as responding to surveys and taking part in focus groups. He urged everyone to participate when invited to do so.


President Carothers apologized for missing the previous Senate meeting and explained that it had been unavoidable. He expressed his appreciation to everyone for the successful opening of the school year and commended Senator Grigalunas for his leadership in the global security and marine transportation conference in September.

A. President Carothers said that, as indicated on the Agenda, he had approved the legislation and had supported the resolution that had been forwarded to him after the September 28 Faculty Senate Meeting.

B. President Carothers reported on the status of construction projects and expressed his appreciation to Vice President Weygand for his efforts to obtain the additional $3.5 million needed to complete the renovations of Independence Hall. He noted that the entire housing complex would be back on line by fall 2007.

President Carothers reported that the headcount for fall 2006 was available and the University would have a figure on actual revenue shortly. He said that graduate enrollment had continued to decrease and said that the University would have to continue to monitor and try to remedy the situation. The President noted that the gender mix at URI remained steady with women comprising 56% of the student body and 44% for men.

The President reviewed for the Faculty Senate the financial situation facing the University in light of the expected $300 million deficit for the state of Rhode Island. He noted that the Board of Governors wanted to stabilize tuition increases, which was consistent with the recommendations of the Spellings Commission and that would present a challenge for URI. He commented that enrollment growth appeared to be the only way to generate additional funds.

President Carothers said that enrollment was a serious issue for the University, and the Board of Governors had requested a management audit of Admissions and Enrollment Services. He reported that Dr. Don Hossler from the University of Indiana had conducted an audit in early October and his report would be available within the next month. The President said that when the report was made public, the University could begin to discuss recommendations. He also indicated that he was looking at the total management organization of the University but that he may not take action until after the visit of the NEASC accreditation visit next fall.

The President then responded to questions from the floor, but asked that questions about the budget be deferred until Vice President Weygand's presentation.

C. Vice President Weygand presented the State of the Budget address for the 2006-07 academic year using a series of slides prepared by the Budget Office. He expressed his appreciation to Ms. Barrett and Ms. Rand and their staff for their efforts to prepare materials for the report. (These slides are available on the web at

Vice President Weygand responded to questions during and immediately following the presentation.


A. In Vice Chairperson Luebke's absence, Professor Englander introduced the Four Hundred Forty-Fourth Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee, which appeared on pages 27-35 of the Agenda and said that Section I was informational. He asked if there were any questions about Section I. There were none.

Professor Englander said that Section II required confirmation by the Faculty Senate and moved approval of Section II. The motion carried.

Professor Englander announced that Section III was a joint report of the Curricular Affairs Committee and Graduate Council on 400-level courses. He said that part A was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none

Professor Englander said that part B of Section III required confirmation by the Faculty Senate and moved approval. The motion carried.

B. In Dean Bibb's absence, Professor Martin Sadd presented Curricular Report No. 2006-2007-1 from the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate, which appeared on pages 36-37 of the Agenda. He said that Section I was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

Professor Sadd moved approval of Section II.

Following discussion, the motion carried.

Senator Kowalski moved to change the order of business to consider Unfinished Business. The motion carried.


A. Chairperson Rice said that the following recommendation of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee was introduced on September 28 and was now returned to the Faculty Senate for action:

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.

Following discussion, the motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sheila Black Grubman



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

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