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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate University College and General Education Meeting

Minutes #1

September 1, 2011

1.  The meeting was called to order at 3:05 PM on Thursday, September 1, 2011 in Conference Room A in the Library, Chairperson Maier-Speredelozzi presiding.  The following members were present: Professors Betensky, Creed, Hicks, Larsen, McCurdy and Stevenson; Vice Provost Beauvais; Dean Richmond; Ms. Boyd-Colvin.  

2.  Chairperson Maier-Speredelozzi asked members to introduce themselves.  She explained that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee had asked Professor Hicks and Professor Larsen to continue as ex officio members as the UCGE Committee continues to develop a revised General Education Program. Professor Hicks explained to the new members that the UCGE Committee had spent the 2010-11 academic year looking at what the University of Rhode Island’s General Education Program should do.  She explained that by the end of the academic year and through the summer a subcommittee had developed student outcomes for the General Education Program. She said that they had come to look at General Education as the University’s major in addition to department and program majors.  She said that much of the subcommittee’s work centered on formulating eleven outcomes that could be listed on one page and had fleshed each of the outcomes further and had discussed them with Provost DeHayes [See Sakai 1.2. General Education Revision - August Draft ]  Professor Hicks explained that during the summer the subcommittee had developed a list of eleven outcomes 

3. The Committee discussed the May 2 Forum and Chairperson Maier–Speredelozzi summarized what the UCGE learned from faculty who participated in the Forum.  It was decided that the UCGE Committee should hold a number of forums as their work progresses, including forums for students. Ms. Boyd-Colvin agreed to assist in setting up forums with students.  Following discussion, the UCGE Committee concurred that they should set aside an evening in October (3-11 on October 13) to hold workshops for small groups interested in each of the outcomes to develop rubrics for assessing each of the outcomes of their choice.         

4.  Professor Creed, representing the Sustainability Council, suggested that sustainability become part of the program, either as an outcome or within several of the existing outcomes or as part of a ”conversation.”   As part of the discussion, Professor Creed provided a very brief definition of sustainability as “meeting needs of today’s generations without cost to future generations.”  It was agreed to keep the concept of sustainability in mind as the program is further developed.                         

5.  With regard to the Grand Challenge initiative, it was noted that the courses had been offered in the fall of 2010 and would be offered again in a slightly modified way in the fall of  2011.  It was noted that Professor Quilliam had agreed to take on the coordination role previously held by Professor DiCioccio. The grand challenge initiative as it currently exists can’t be continued given financial and other programmatic considerations.  The summer subcommittee had discussed the possibility of some of the courses morphing into conversations, but perhaps at the sophomore or junior level.  

6.  Professor Stevenson reported that the Subcommittee on Assessment of General Education, which included Professor Hicks and himself, along with Professor Hubbard and Ms. Finan, had worked with the Grand Challenges Subcommittee collecting data on the Grand Challenges Courses.  He said that the subcommittee’s evaluation had been included with the materials of the May 12 Faculty Senate meeting and was available on the web at 

Professor Stevenson said that the subcommittee had been asked to report to the Office of Higher Education on assessment of student outcomes for the general education.  He said that SAGE was working on their report, which was due in October. 

7.  Professor Hicks said that the summer subcommittee had met with the Provost in August to discuss their work on learning outcomes and the concept of conversations.  She noted that one new idea suggested by the Provost was the possibility of student-initiated conversations.  Also discussed was the need for clarity and simplicity in advising students about the revised General Education Program.  Chairperson Maier-Speredelozzi and Professor Hicks asked Ms. Grubman to  include an update on the summer subcommittee’s work on the Agenda for the September 22 Faculty Senate Meeting.  Ms. Grubman agreed to do so.  Chairperson Maier-Speredelozzi said that although she would not be able to attend, the Conference Room was reserved for a working meeting on September 15, and interested members of the UCGE Committee could meet informally without her.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:22 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Sheila Black Grubman



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

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