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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes #22

February 13 and February 20, 2012

1. The meeting was called to order at 11:05 a.m. on Monday, February 13 in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall, Chairperson Eaton presiding. All members were present.

2. Following discussion, the Minutes from FSEC Meeting #20, January 30 - February 1, 2012 were approved as revised pending review by President Dooley of those sections, which pertained to him. It was agreed to approve the Minutes of Meeting #19, January 13, 2012 by e-mail pending review and possible modifications by Chairperson Eaton.

3. Announcements/Correspondence


a. Chairperson Eaton and Vice Chairperson Larsen reported on their meeting the previous week with Provost DeHayes. They said that they had provided Provost DeHayes with a status report on efforts to move to an online interactive catalog and had requested his support as the University works on the transition. It is of vital concern that a charge be given to IT regarding their role in the process.

Discussion ensued about the difficulty in accomplishing some university-wide endeavors when portions are supported in several divisions. It was suggested that JCAP establish a task force on institutional effectiveness to make recommendations for bringing separate areas together on one project. Senator Honhart said that he would make that suggestion at the next JCAP meeting.

b. Senator Rice confirmed that although he had understood that the URI Foundation would support the Service Award, the proposal had been rejected at a subsequent meeting. The FSEC agreed to move ahead with a Faculty Senate Service Award and hopefully announce criteria and call for nominations at the February 23 Faculty Senate meeting.

c. Senator Rice announced that he had to resign as one of the FSEC's representatives to JCAP due to the pressure of other commitments. Senator Davis agreed to serve in his place.

4. Planning:

a. The FSEC reviewed the draft Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #6, February 23, 2012 and agreed to the format pending receipt of outstanding materials. It was noted that Senator Pearson-Merkowitz had requested time to discuss the Mentor/Tutor Internship (MTI) Program. Ms. Grubman was asked to suggest to Senator Pearson-Merkowitz that the Senator draft a memo to the faculty, which Ms. Grubman could distribute. Senator Pearson-Merkowitz might then follow it up with a brief announcement under the Chairperson's announcements.

b. Ms. Grubman reported that since Provost DeHayes was unable to meet with the FSEC on Wednesday, February 15, the meeting had been rescheduled for Monday, February 20 at 11:00 a.m. She noted that Ms. Williams had sent two additional topics for the meeting and had provided them with a draft proposal for J-Term. Ms. Grubman distributed copies of the material and said she would forward it by e-mail as well.

The Executive Committee reviewed their list of topics for the meeting with the Provost and reordered them to include Provost DeHayes topics as follows:

1) Faculty Senate Service Award
2) Expansion of DISCOVERY@URI this spring
3) Cluster Hires Review Process
4) Textbook orders
5) J-Term
6) Faculty Senate Administrator Review process

5. The Executive Committee discussed the following matters of continuing concern:

a. Culture of Community: It was agreed to discuss issues relating to the expansion of Discovery@URI with the Provost on February 20.

With regard to examination of Faculty Senate membership, including non tenure-track representation, Ms. Grubman was asked to request from the Colleges a list of those persons who have faculty or faculty-like titles. This should help get a clearer picture of what positions might be included.

In addition, Ms. Grubman reported that she had written to the CBUM committee informing them that there had been a number of requests to expand voting privileges and membership on the Faculty Senate to people holding non tenure-track positions.

b. Ad Hoc Committee Administrator Evaluation: The Executive Committee briefly reviewed a draft charge to the ad hoc committee. Ms. Grubman was asked to forward the draft, along with relevant sections of the University Manual to faculty who served on Administrator Evaluation Committees in recent years and ask if they were willing to serve on the ad hoc committee. Chairperson Eaton suggested that she initially contact Senators who appeared on the list.

c. Faculty Senate Service Award: The Executive Committee asked Ms. Grubman to provide copies of the award criteria that were developed the previous spring by the 2010-11 FSEC.

6. The Executive Committee was brought up to date on activities of various committees:

a. CBUM: Ms. Grubman reported that the committee was scheduled to meet on Friday, February 17 with Vice Provost Katz to review the descriptions and titles in Chapters 4 and 7 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL.

b. UCGE: Ms. Grubman and Vice Chair Larsen reported that small groups of members of the committee continued to meet to resolve outstanding issues between the regularly scheduled meetings of the committee.

c. Academic Program Review Committee: Senator Barbour said that the committee was on time with its task and still intended to send the chairs' survey before spring break.

d. JCAP: Senator Barbour reported that she had redrafted a proposed process for reviewing new programs based on JCAP's suggestions and that it would be discussed by JCAP on February 16. In addition, Senator Honhart said that he would introduce the Task Force on Institutional Effectiveness issue in light of the responsibility issues that were being identified as the University moves to an interactive online catalog.

e. Strategic Budget and Planning Council: Chairperson Eaton reported that the Council had a series of meetings established for the spring semester. She said that divisional department heads (Vice Presidents and Director of Athletics) would submit their requests for new funding on March 15th. Teams will be formed to review the proposals and make presentations to the councils. This is new this year. Last year, the division heads themselves gave the presentations. In response to a question about the dean's presentation to each other and the Provost of their priorities for funding, Chairperson Eaton explained that this was a separate process within the academic affairs budget.

7. Chairperson Eaton reported on the status of the Provost's Gateway course project initiatives. She said that proposals for funding came into the Provost's Office in January and have been reviewed. She explained that the proposals were specifically related to courses with high "D" and "F" rates, as well as non completion ("NW" and "NR") rates and were for innovative and pilot projects aimed at helping more students learn the subject matter of these courses.

The meeting was recessed at 12:35 p.m. to be continued on February 20 at 11:00 a.m.

The meeting was reconvened at 11:06 a.m. on Monday, February 20, 2012 when Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais arrived. All members were present except Senator Davis.

8. The following matters were discussed:

a. Service Award: The Executive Committee explained to Provost DeHayes that despite their earlier optimism, the URI Foundation Board voted not to include a Service Award as requested by the FSEC.

Following discussion, it was agreed that the Faculty Senate and the Provost would honor a faculty member for distinguished service to the University with an annual Joint Faculty Senate-Provost Award for Faculty Service.

b. Cluster Hires Review Process: Provost DeHayes reported that his office would send out an RFP listing the twelve topics which faculty might choose to submit cluster hire proposals. Provost DeHayes and the FSEC discussed who might be appointed to committees to review the clusters proposals. It was agreed that the review committees should not be comprised of members from the groups making the proposals.

The Provost suggested that the review committees, one for each of four theme areas, would be convened by a Dean whose college was not heavily invested in that particular theme area. Four faculty members would serve on each of the five-member review committees, one of whom will be Faculty Senate Executive Committee member on JCAP, and three from areas outside the clusters would be appointed by Provost DeHayes.

c. Expansion of DISCOVERY@URI this spring: The Executive Committee reminded Provost DeHayes that they had proposed that DISCOVERY@URI be expanded to include a broader range of faculty members than in previous years and serve as a culture of community event. They explained that they hadn't heard from Dean Zawia about planning for the event and were concerned that they wouldn't have enough time to get things going for the spring semester if there were further delay.

Provost DeHayes said that it was his understanding Dean Zawia had inherited DISCOVERY@URI originally to follow-up on the campus-wide poster sessions in the University Library as part of President Dooley's president's inauguration program and had continued the following year. Provost DeHayes suggested that Dean Zawia would appreciate all of the help and support that the faculty might be able to provide and encouraged Vice Chairperson Larsen to contact the Dean personally.

d. Faculty Senate Administrator Review Process: Provost DeHayes said that he had expanded on the reviews of Deans Jordan and Wright by asking members of the Council of Deans and other members of each dean's constituency to participate in an on-line survey closely resembling the one President Dooley had used to evaluate the Provost and other Vice Presidents. He suggested that the Faculty Senate might want to supplement their process in the future by asking far responses to the same or a similar survey. He said that by combining the questions and responses by area, it might be possible to have greater confidentiality for the faculty members who participate.

Chairperson Eaton said that the FSEC was in the process of appointing an ad hoc committee to review the administrator evaluation process and would share his suggestions with the ad hoc committee

e. J-Term: Provost DeHayes explained that the Winter Session draft had been developed by a very small committee comprised of Vice Provost Libutti and Professors Boving, Moakley and Wills. He said he hoped that another member of the FSEC could also participate. The Provost said that had asked the group to put together a framework for a January term that was modeled somewhat on special summer courses, such as travel courses or modules of existing courses and wouldn't compete with the fall and spring semesters. He said the draft would provide a model for broader discussions of what a J-Term should look like.

Senator Honhart and Ms. Grubman noted that a small intersession program was tried in the 1970s but had not continued beyond the initial year or two.

f. Textbook Orders: Provost DeHayes said that the issue had more to do with the high cost of textbooks and the expense of running a campus bookstore. It was agreed to discuss this item at a subsequent meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 noon.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman