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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes #27

April 2 and April 4, 2012


1. The meeting was called to order at 11:05 a.m. on Monday, April 2, 2012 in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall, Chairperson Eaton presiding. All members were present. Vice Chairperson-elect Byrd was in attendance.

2. The FSEC discussed their March 28, 2012 meeting with Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais. It was noted that Provost DeHayes planned to meet with the College of Human Science and Services faculty on April 4. Ms. Grubman was asked to contact Professor Mundorf, Chair of the Curricular Affairs Committee, and encourage him to attend the meeting if it was at all possible.

3. Announcements/Correspondence

a. Ms. Grubman reminded the FSEC that the next candidate for Chief Diversity Officer, Naomi Thompson, was scheduled for an interview on Friday, April 6 at 10:00 a.m., in the President's Conference Room, Green Hall.

b. Ms. Grubman noted that candidates for Dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography were scheduled to make presentations on the Kingston campus that week:

1) Robert Weller from 2:30-3:30 that afternoon, April 2, in the Bliss Hall Dean's Conference Room;

2) Darlene Ketten from 2:30-3:30 on Thursday, April 5 in the Bliss Hall Dean's Conference Room

c. The Executive Committee discussed correspondence between Vice Provost Beauvais and the College of the Environment and Life Sciences regarding the Board of Governors' consideration of a proposal from RIC for a new Medical Laboratory Science option in their B. S. in Health Sciences.

d. Chairperson Eaton announced that the Board of Governors meeting scheduled for that evening (April 2, 2012) had been cancelled. Members of the Executive Committee discussed possible reasons for the cancellation.

4. Planning:

a. The FSEC agreed to the following topics for their meeting with President Dooley on Wednesday, April 4, 2012:

1) President Dooley's thoughts about how the Retirement Incentive Plan and the phased retirements will affect the University's Budget for next year.

2) The cancellation of the April 2, 2012 Board of Governors Meeting.

3) Reactions and feedback regarding the March 26 Conversation.

b. The Executive Committee discussed the Faculty Outstanding Service Award and whether the Office of the Provost could provide some type of financial award to accompany the plaque. It was agreed to raise that issue when they meet with Provost DeHayes on April 11.

Ms. Grubman was asked to send an e-mail reminder that the deadline for nominations for the award is April 9, 2012.

c. The Executive Committee discussed the April 19, 2012 meeting of the Faculty Senate. Ms. Grubman said that she wasn't sure about which reports would be on the Agenda because the deadline for reports is April 4.

The FSEC reviewed proposed dates for Faculty Senate Meetings for the 2012-13 academic year and agreed to the following dates, which would be presented at the April 19 Meeting:

September 20, 2012* January 24, 2013
October 18, 2012 February 21, 2013
November 15, 2012 March 21, 2013
December 13, 2012* April 18, 2013*
May 9, 2013 (organizational)

The meeting was recessed at 12: 20 p.m.

The meeting was reconvened at 11:10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 when President Dooley arrived. All members were present.

5. The following matters were discussed:

a. The effect of the retirement Incentive plan and the phased retirements on URI's budget for next year: President Dooley noted that although there were 200 faculty members and administrators who were eligible for the plan, only 38 people decided to take advantage of it. He said that the results were less than projected based on the number of people who chose to retire in 2008, but the administration did not plan to survey the eligible individuals as to why they decided not to take advantage of the option.

The President said that there would be some savings from retirements and phased retirements, but that the impact on the FY13 budget and possible new initiatives was uncertain.

b. The cancellation of the April 2, 2012 meeting of the Board of Governors: President Dooley said that he wasn't sure why the meeting had been cancelled. He speculated that, based on the Board's requests for more financial information from the University, the new Board was proceeding cautiously and wanted to fully understand the fiscal implications of the proposed contract. He pointed out that all but one member of the Board had been appointed within the past year and that therefore the four collective bargaining agreements under review were the first ones that the new Board has been asked to approve.

c. Reactions to his March 26 Conversation: President Dooley said that he had made a point of reinforcing what most faculty and staff are aware of: that URI had become more dependent on tuition income and therefore that every effort was needed to keep enrollments at a sustainable level. He said that the realization that many students had dropped out after accumulating 90 or more credits has led to a number of efforts to bring these students back to complete their degrees.

He said that he was very concerned about the possibility that the United States Congress would not agree on legislation to prevent the interest rate on federally-subsidized student loans from doubling. He said that it was possible that such an increase could have a significant effect on students and families and their ability to pay for higher education. This, in turn, would have a very negative impact on enrollment and, by implication the University's budget.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

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