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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Minutes for Faculty Senate Meetings

March 29, 2007

Number 6

1. Regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:05 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Rice presiding.

All members were present except Senators Beauvais, Fastovsky, Hara, Kinnie, Lee, Manfredi, Ramsay, Rothstein, Shim, Strom, Sun and Suzawa; Vice Presidents Beagle and Dougan; Deans Bonn, Farmer, Higgins, Joseph, Letendre, Richmond and Seemann (Vice Provost McCray was represented by his designee); Mr. Freeman.

2. Chairperson Rice asked if there were any additions or corrections to or questions about the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #5, February 22, 2007. There were none.

Senator Kowalski moved to approve the Minutes of Meeting #5. The motion carried.


A. Announcements:

  1. Chairperson Rice introduced two new ex officio members of the Faculty Senate:

    a) Dr. Peter Alfonso, Vice Provost for Research, Graduate Studies and Outreach and Dean of the Graduate School;

    b) Mr. Neil Liston, the new President of the Student Senate.

  2. Chairperson Rice reminded the Senate that they had authorized a referendum on Article III and Article VII of the Faculty Senate Constitution to allow for changes in administrative titles for Vice Provosts and Vice Presidents without further referendums. He said that ballots would be mailed to all faculty members at the beginning of the second week of April. He asked members of the Senate to vote and advise their colleagues to do so as well.

  3. Chairperson Rice said that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee had been asked by some faculty members to consider rescheduling at least one of the two missed Fridays. He said that the Executive Committee had forwarded the matter to the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee for consideration and possible action at the April meeting. He said that if there were any questions, Senators would have the opportunity to discuss the issue during the Report of the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee later in the meeting

  4. Chairperson Rice reminded Senators that they had been invited to participate in the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" at URI at the February 22 meeting. He reported that the Faculty Senate had also received an invitation from the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Cancer Society to form faculty teams to participate in the event, which is scheduled for April 27-28, 2007. He suggested that if any Senators were interested in participating they should contact Ms. Grubman.

  5. Chairperson Rice introduced Ms. Nicole Gunderson from College Student Leadership RI.

    Ms. Gunderson briefly reported on the College Student Leadership Rhode Island's charitable campaign and asked for donations from members of the Senate.

  6. Chairperson Rice announced that the reception at the University Club that afternoon was sponsored by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and encouraged everyone to attend after the Faculty Senate meeting.

  7. Chairperson Rice said that If members of the Senate had the time and inclination to attend two receptions, the URI Foundation has asked us to invite members of the Senate to drop in at their reception for Mr. Michael Britt, their new Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, which is also being held from 4-5 p.m. at the URI Foundation Building.

B. Vice Chairperson Luebke said that the Minutes of Executive Committee Meetings #19 through #23 appeared on pages 4-20 of the Agenda and asked if there were any questions.

During discussion, Senator Kowalski and Vice Provost Pasquerella responded to questions about the Executive Committee's Minutes.

C. Vice Chairperson Luebke said that the Minutes of the December 21, 2006 meeting of the JSPC appeared on pages 21-22 of the Agenda and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

D. Recommendations of the Executive Committee:

  1. Vice Chairperson Luebke introduced the Executive Committee's recommendation that the Faculty Senate amend the charge to the Joint Strategic Planning Committee (section 5.70.10 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL) by adding the following sentence:

    The committee shall be responsible for the periodic and systematic review of various aspects of institutional effectiveness and shall ensure that the results of these reviews are used for continuing improvement.

    Senator Kowalski moved approval of the motion.

    Following discussion, the motion carried.

  2. Vice Chairperson Luebke moved that the Faculty Senate approve the charge to and membership of the Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee (LOOC) as recommended in the FSEC's Report #06-07-5, which appeared on pages 23-26 of the Agenda:

    5.84.10 Learning Outcomes Oversight Committee (LOOC) shall create policies for URI student learning outcomes assessment, data distribution and frequency of measurement at the university-wide level, with the approval of the Faculty Senate and the Provost. Such policies would include but not be limited to external reporting and the release of assessment data, setting of standards for outcomes assessment, identification of strengths and limitations of existing assessment practices and recommendations for resource allocation to enhance assessment practices.

    5.84.11 The committee shall provide advice and guidance to the Office of Student Learning, Outcomes Assessment, and Accreditation relevant to faculty learning of best practices of student learning outcomes and assessment and oversee implementation and facilitation of approved policies by the Office of Student Learning, Outcomes Assessment and Accreditation.

    5.84.12 The committee shall also develop an ongoing review of the learning outcomes assessment process, interpret external expectations for university-wide learning outcomes assessment, including those of accreditation bodies and facilitate internal communication across units regarding ways of meeting those expectations.

    5.84.13 The membership shall include fifteen faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate: four from Arts & Sciences, one from each of the other degree-granting colleges and one from the University Libraries, as well as one faculty representative of each of the following committees, the UCGE Subcommittee on General Education Assessment, the Curricular Affairs Committee, the Teaching Effectiveness Committee and the Graduate Council. Faculty representatives shall be individuals involved in assessment in their departments/colleges. All faculty appointments shall be for three-year staggered terms. In addition, administrative members shall include the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, the Dean of University College or the dean's designee; two designees of the Vice President for Student Affairs, one representative of the Office of Institutional Research; one representative of the Instructional Development Program; and the Director of the Office of Student Learning, Outcomes Assessment, and Accreditation; A graduate student, an undergraduate student, and a student representing the Feinstein CCE campus, appointed respectively by the Graduate Student Association, the Student Senate, and the FCCE Student Government Board shall also serve on the committee. A faculty member appointed by the Faculty Senate in consultation with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs shall chair the committee.

Following discussion, the motion carried.

E. Senator Kowalski reported on the progress of the University's NEASC Accreditation Self-Study. He explained that the Steering Committee had begun to release drafts of six of the eleven standards, first to the Deans for review of accuracy and within a few weeks hoped that they would be posted on a website for the community. He said that he expected the five remaining drafts to be shared with the Deans in the very near future.


A. President Carothers expressed his appreciation to Senator Kowalski and Dean Beckman and all of the members of the University community that have been working on the Self-Study.

President Carothers said, as indicated on the Agenda, that he had approved all of the legislation that had been forwarded to him after the February Faculty Senate Meeting. He said that the legislation that required approval by the Board of Governors had been forwarded to the Board.

B. President Carothers thanked everyone who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new biotechnology building. He said that the Pell Library project was delayed because it required review by the Fire Marshall's Office, which was behind in reviews and approvals because it was overburdened by the new fire regulations. He said that the delay would put the building behind schedule and as a result would cost more than planned.

President Carothers brought the Senate up-to-date regarding the progress of the proposed budget for FY '08. He explained that the Board of Governors and the University continued to work to reduce the deficit numbers, but reminded the Senate that Higher Education was not the only area of the state facing severe cuts. The President indicated that the University would probably not have a clear picture of the FY'08 Budget until the end of the legislative session.

The President responded to questions from the floor.


A. Vice Chairperson Luebke introduced the Four Hundred Fiftieth Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee, which appeared on pages 27-32 of the Agenda and said that Section I was informational. There were no questions.

Vice Chairperson Luebke said that Section II required confirmation by the Faculty Senate, she made an editorial correction and moved approval of Section II. The motion carried.

Vice Chairperson Luebke announced that Section III was a joint report of the Curricular Affairs Committee and Graduate Council on 400-level courses. She said that part A was informational. There were no questions,

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

B. Senator Honhart introduced the University College and General Education Committee Report #2006-07-3, which appeared on page 33 of the Agenda. Professor Honhart corrected the report editorially and moved approval. The motion carried.

C. Professor Boulmetis introduced the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee Report #2006-07-2: Proposed University Calendar for 2012-2013, which appeared on page 34 of the Agenda and moved approval of the proposed calendar.

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, Senator Leo moved to refer the calendar to committee with the request that they consider issues raised at the meeting and the possible solutions proposed, make the most appropriate revisions, and return the revised proposed calendar to the Faculty Senate in April.

After discussion, the motion to refer to committee carried.

Chairperson Rice indicated that it would be appropriate to discuss the possibility of having an optional make-up day included in the spring semester calendar to accommodate classes that had been cancelled on Fridays.

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, Professor Boulmetis agreed to raise the matter with the committee at their next meeting. He said that he would bring a recommendation for a make-up day to the Senate on April 19.

D. In the absence of Professor Peters, Senator Kirschenbaum noted that the Report of the Affirmative Action Committee was on pages 35-38 of the Agenda. He announced that there was a correction to the report and explained that the Community Conference on Inclusion that appeared on page 38 has been postponed until the fall.


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


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

A motion was made to adjourn. The motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sheila Black Grubman

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

A motion was made to adjourn. The motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sheila Black Grubman



Sheila Black Grubman

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