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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Minutes for Faculty Senate Meetings

February 25, 2010

Number 6

1. The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:02 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Swallow presiding.

All members were present except Senators Baxter, Davis, Hames, Hedderich, Hutt, Lardaro, Schwegler, Thiem, Wills, and Wishner; Vice Presidents Beagle, Dougan and Weygand; Vice Provosts Libutti and McCray; Deans Bonn, Farmer, Jordan, Joseph and Richmond (Dean McKinney was represented by his designee); Mr. Bedard.

Chairperson Swallow announced that if there was no objection, the Senate would change the order of business and move directly to item 6. A. to accommodate Professor Rice because he had a legislative commitment in Providence


A. Professor Rice reported on the activities of the Research, Scholarship, and Innovation Task Force, which he co-chaired with Associate Vice President Bradley Moran. He provided the Senate with a list of members, gave an overview of the Task Force's activities and indicated that the Minutes and other materials on the Task Force would be posted on the web shortly. He then responded to questions about the Task Force.

Chairperson Swallow thanked Professor Rice and said the Senate would return to its regular order of business and that item 6 B would be considered later in the meeting.

2. Chairperson Swallow asked if there were any additions or corrections to or questions about the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #5, January 28, 2010. There were none.

A motion was made to approve the Minutes of Meeting #5. The motion carried. Chairperson Swallow ruled that in the absence of any additions or further corrections, the Minutes were approved as distributed.


A. Chairperson Swallow made the following announcements:

1) Chairperson Swallow noted that February is a short month and was coming toward the end. The end of February means the end of the URI Helping Haiti campaign. He said that he hoped everyone had contributed to the campaign, but said that if the had not done so or if would like to contribute more, members of the Senate were encouraged to give Ms. Grubman their contributions at the end of the meeting or at the reception.

2) Chairperson Swallow announced that Professor John Stevenson was scheduled to speak at the Psychology Department's Colloquium series on Monday, March 1 at 3:00 p.m. in the Cancer Prevention Research Center. The title of his presentation is "Using Program-level Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes to Foster a Campus-wide Learning Community."

3) Chairperson Swallow thanked Dean Lynn McKinney from the College of Human Science and Services, for sponsoring the reception that afternoon. He invited members of the Senate to gather at the University Club after the Faculty Senate meeting.

4) Chairperson Swallow recognized Vice Provost Bozylinsky, who had asked to speak to the Senate about the move of students to gmail.

Vice Provost Bozylinsky reported that, despite some ambiguous reporting that appeared in the Providence Business News, only students would have their email service moved to gmail. He explained that the move would free up email resources that will be reallocated to faculty. The Student government also endorsed the move.

Dean Brownell announced that all faculty were invited to a symposium on developing programs on the Oliver Hazard Perry tall ship, which was under construction. She said the symposium would take place on Friday, Marc 12 from 1-3:30 p.m. at the University Club.

B. Vice Chairperson Ordonez said that the Minutes of Executive Committee Meetings #22 through #25 had been distributed by e-mail and noted that they were accessible on the web at She asked if there were any questions. There were none.

C. Recommendations of the Executive Committee

1) Vice Chairperson Ordonez moved approval of additional committee appointments for the spring semester. The motion carried.

2) Vice Chairperson Ordonez moved that the Faculty Senate create an Ad Hoc Committee on 4-credit courses and curricula with the following charge:

Gather information about steps that have been taken at URI to facilitate faculty assessment and decision-making about the process of moving toward a four-credit curriculum.

Identify whether any case studies exist from other universities regarding experiences, gains, and losses in moving to or from a 4-credit system or a mixture of 4-credit and 3-credit courses, and make any such studies available to URI faculty.

Decide what the main issues of concern are, within the three categories of effects on faculty teaching assignments, effects on student learning (breadth and depth), and effects that program changes would have on other programs.

Address each concern by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of change to a four-credit curriculum or mixed two, three, four, and five-credit curriculum. To the extent practical, support assessments of advantages and disadvantages with reference to documented case studies or systematic, data-based assessments of experiences elsewhere.

Propose solutions to the issues raised and define goals.

Create a Q&A forum.

Provide opportunities for faculty members to weigh in and exchange information and opinions about the advantages and disadvantages of a move toward a new curriculum.

Determine a list of actions or policies recommended by the faculty as a result of this study that may address broader issues, beyond a four-credit curriculum.

Create a document, "Four-Credit Courses and Curricula for URI: The Faculty Perspective", which the Ad Hoc Committee will present to the Faculty Senate in May 2010. At that time the committee may be asked to continue its work during the academic year 2010-2011.

The membership to include at least 8 faculty members representative of colleges and disciplines.

Discussion ensued.

When the fifteen minutes allowed for debate expired, Senator Roworth moved to extend debate for an additional 5 minutes.

Discussion ensued.

During discussion, Provost DeHayes responded to the question of whether there is a "mandate for 4-credit courses". He responded as follows and asked that it be reported in the Minutes of the meeting:

Provost DeHayes responded that there was no mandate to move to a four credit curricula. The issue was generated by some of the University's own faculty across several departments expressing an interest in transitioning their programs to four credits. The Provost supports an exploratory process by all departments to consider whether a four-credit program would be worthwhile with attention to enhancing the student learning experience as first and foremost a rationale for such a transition. This exploratory exercise also creates the opportunity for faculty to review and evaluate their existing curriculum in the context of the Academic Plan as well as in consideration of any improvements that might be made, which is always a valuable process. The Provost further commented that such a process by faculty in each department to explore and decide whether a four credit curriculum in their program was beneficial to student learning is one the best examples of shared governance.


A. President Dooley noted that as reported on the Agenda, he approved most of the Bills from the January 28 Faculty Senate meeting and supported the Faculty Senate's resolution on URI Helping Haiti.

He explained that he had concerns about a portion of Bill l#09-10--16 and was not ready to take formal action at that time. He said that he had discussed this matter with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and they had agreed to a 30-day extension of time on the legislation in accordance with section 10.4 of the Faculty Senate By-Laws.

B. President Dooley said that he had appreciated the discussion about the establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee on 4-Credit Courses and Curricula. He said that he was pleased to see that the faculty continued to consider how to make things better for the students and the University.

President Dooley reported that the Strategic Budget and Planning Committee held its first formal meeting and he was pleased with the group and looked forward to working with them

The President then responded to questions from the Senate.


A. Professor Mundorf presented the Four Hundred Seventy-Sixth Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee, which appeared on the web at He noted that Section I was Informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

Professor Mundorf announced that two courses (ARH 475 and MAF 472) would be removed from the list of courses to be deleted in accordance with section 8.81.62 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL. After removing the courses, Professor Mundorf moved approval of Section II. The motion carried

Professor Mundorf announced that Section III was a report on 400-level courses, which did not require action by the Graduate Council. He said that part A was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

Professor Mundorf moved approval of part B of Section III. The motion carried.

C. Dean Killingbeck presented the Curricular Report No. 4-2009-10 from the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate, which appeared on the web at. Dean Killingbeck said that the first section was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

Dean Killingbeck said that the second section of the report required confirmation by the Faculty Senate and moved approval. The motion carried.


Chairperson Swallow explained for those members of the Senate who had arrived a little late for the meeting that Professor Rice reported on the activities of the Research, Scholarship, and Innovation Task Force at the very beginning of the Faculty Senate meeting.

B. He then introduced Vice Provost Beauvais and Ms. Morrissey who reported on efforts to establish the remaining Task Forces. They said that the Task Forces had been asked to engage as many faculty members as were interested and that each planned to hold at least one public forum. They explained that information on each of the Task Forces, and the ongoing committees related to the academic plan, including members and charges, are posted on the Provost's website along with any relevant documents the Task Forces will use in their deliberations. (See They responded to questions from the Senate throughout their presentation.


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


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

A motion was made to adjourn. The motion carried.

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

Respectfully submitted,
Sheila Black Grubman



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

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