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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes #32

May 7 and 9, 2012


1. The meeting was called to order at 11:11 a.m. on Monday, April 7, 2012 in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall, Chairperson Eaton presiding. All members were present, including Vice Chairperson-elect Byrd. Senator Davis participated by telephone.

2. The Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting #28, April 9 and April 11, 2012 were approved pending review by Provost DeHayes of those sections that pertained to his meeting with the FSEC.

3. Announcements/Correspondence:

Chairperson Eaton said that she planned to attend the Board of Governors meeting that evening. It was noted that the URI AAUP had been informed that there would be a vote on the several contracts that evening, but it was not clear whether the Board will vote to approve them.

4. The Executive Committee discussed Faculty Senate Meeting #8A, which had been held on May 3. The possibility was raised that the UCGE Committee work on the general education revisions during the summer and into the fall. They agreed that the amendments, along with the discussion would give the UCGE Committee a better understanding of where to move ahead.

Reservations were expressed that the proposed outcomes and principles had not been based on NEASC requirements. It was suggested that the newly approved general education program at Rhode Island College more clearly reflected NEASC Standards than had the proposal brought forward by the UCGE Committee.

Vice Chairperson Larsen agreed to continue as the Executive Committee's liaison with the UCGE Committee.

5. Planning

a. The FSEC discussed their upcoming meeting with Provost DeHayes on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 and reviewed their list of discussion topics.

b. The cover of the Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #9, May 10, 2012 was reviewed in preparation for the meeting later that week. Ms. Grubman said that everything was ready with the exception of the Report of the Nominating Committee, which was expected before the meeting.

c. The Committee discussed the possibility of taping the Vice Presidents' presentations to the Faculty Senate. They agreed to ask the 2012-13 FSEC to further consider the idea and discuss it with the presenters.

6. Matters of continuing concern:

a. Joint Faculty Senate-Provost Faculty Outstanding Service Award: Chairperson Eaton reported that she had informed Professor von Reinhart that he was the recipient of this year's award. She said that he had explained that he would not be able to attend the Faculty Senate Meeting on May 10 because his daughter was graduating from medical school.

It was agreed that Chairperson Eaton would ask if Professor von Reinhart could suggest a representative who might receive the award on his behalf at the meeting. *

b. Administrator Evaluation: Senator Rice reported that Professor Nassersharif had agreed to serve as Administrator Evaluation Coordinator.

Chairperson Eaton shared with the FSEC a draft report from the ad hoc subcommittee on administrator evaluation. She noted that in the report the ad hoc subcommittee had discussed the process that is being used for administrator evaluations by faculty and included the ideas and opinions that were expressed during discussions among the FSEC, the Provost, and the President. The report also recounted the forum that was held during a Senate Meeting on the topic.

She explained to the Executive Committee that the ad hoc committee had agreed that their recommendations, if carried out, would require no changes in the Administrator Evaluation language in the UNIVERSITY MANUAL to accomplish any suggested changes.

The report recommended the creation of an ad hoc committee in the fall that would include the new Administrator Evaluation Coordinator who could work with the Executive Committee to implement some of the suggestions.

The full report is attached to the Minutes of this meeting and will be forwarded to the 2012-13 Executive Committee.

c. Culture of Community: The Executive Committee discussed Chairperson Eaton's report on their efforts to encourage a culture of community during the 2011-12 academic year. It was agreed to attach the report to the web Agenda as part of announcements and that Chairperson Eaton would report on it at the meeting using a few PowerPoint slides.

7. The Executive Committee discussed the following with regard to committees:

a. Teaching Effectiveness: Ms. Grubman said that she had apologized to Professor Kinnie for moving his report several times and then keeping it off the May 10 Agenda. She said that he had agreed to present the report in the fall, to be followed by a forum on the IDEA.

b. Academic Program Review Committee: Senator Barbour reported on the APRC's progress to date. She said that some of the department chairs and program directors had not yet completed the biennial "Chair Survey". She expressed concern that the responses were designed to provide departments and programs with a record for their future use. Discussion ensued as to how to get 100% participation.

The Executive Committee thanked Senator Barbour for taking the responsibility for APRC along with Vice Provost Beauvais, when the committee's chair resigned.

c. Strategic Budget and Planning Committee: Chairperson Eaton said that she had agreed to continue on the committee until it completes its budget cycle this summer. Vice Chairperson Larsen said that he would attempt to attend as many meetings of SBPC as possible as an observer during this interim period.

d. Ad Hoc Committee on Advising: Senator Honhart said that the committee expected to report to the Provost and the Executive Committee later in the spring. He suggested that the FSEC consider what the Senate's role should be with regard to the committee's recommendations.

The meeting was recessed at 12:30p.m.

The meeting reconvened at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 when Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais arrived. All members were present, except Senator Davis. Vice President-elect Byrd was in attendance.

8. The following matters were discussed:

a. Certificate Programs: The FSEC and the Provost discussed the need for a clear process for the approval of graduate certificate programs, both face-to-face and those offered exclusively online. It was noted that post-baccalaureate certificates with less than 18 credits and no funding associated with them did not require approval by the Board of Governors. It would be important to have a budget review of certificates to determine whether there would be additional cost associated with them. This was different from the from the current review process.

Currently, post-baccalaureate certificates were approved by college(s) and the Graduate Council with no consideration of funding. Ms. Grubman explained that the certificates approved to-date had been limited to using existing courses, which assumed no additional cost. It was agreed that new interdisciplinary certificate programs were likely to include new courses.

In addition, it was agreed that post-baccalaureate certificate programs were under the purview of the Graduate School. Furthermore, a proposal must identify the person or department who would have responsibility for the certificate program, they should be issued by Enrollment Services and should be consistent in appearance.

b. Library Committee Report and Recommendations: In response to a question by the Executive Committee, Provost DeHayes said that the report was very well done. He noted that there were many details in the report that would require further review and discussion. The report is available at

The Provost and the FSEC discussed the implications of open access for faculty members and the tenure and promotion process. They also considered the effect more widespread use might have on small publishers, specifically college presses. Provost DeHayes suggested that the FSEC may wish to consider opening dialogue with the faculty more broadly, perhaps in a senate meeting forum, about the the implications of open access, enhancing a vibrant Digital Commons at URI, and ensuring that such systems are meaningful and substantive.

c. Freshman Class: Provost De Hayes reported that he was guardedly optimistic about the number of students in the fall 2012 Freshman class. He explained that the University was looking for a class of 3,065 and that we have a greater number in deposits. However, we have to allow for summer and early fall melt as well. He also noted that the deposits were non-refundable which might mean that those students who paid would be more likely to come. However, it is all possible that students who have changed their mind may not contact us because there is no opportunity for a refund of their deposit. He said that by all appearances, the average SAT scores and class grades were slightly better than last year, which had been a great improvement over previous years.

d. General Education Reform: Provost DeHayes said that in general he was pleased with the direction of the committee, but realized that faculty cannot help looking at the proposal from the perspective of their departments and colleges. He said that the structure of the proposed program was important and would have to be simple to explain and understand. He suggested that the Executive Committee might play a greater role in facilitating efforts to help faculty find common ground.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman

Minutes Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting #32
May 6, 2012 and May 9, 2002

Administrator Evaluation Review
Faculty Senate Executive Committee
May 31, 2012

Over the last year, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) reviewed the process by which the Senate conducts Administrator Evaluations. Concerns had been raised about the challenges in the process itself and the value of the resulting reports. The FSEC conducted discussions with President Dooley, Provost DeHayes, the Administrator Evaluation Coordinator, William Rosen, and the Senate via a forum that was held at a regular meeting of the Faculty Senate. There was a clear consensus on many of the concerns listed here.

1. A low percentage of eligible faculty participate

2. Many faculty members have very little direct knowledge about the relevant aspects of the particular administrator under review.

3. Faculty who contribute their evaluation letter learn nothing about the results of their efforts and do not perceive their effectiveness

4. The faculty members most likely to contribute a report are the ones who are strongly biased one way or another

5. Faculty members have little time to write a thoughtful letter

6. Some concerns about anonymity were expressed

7. The flaws in the process give rise to reports may have very little value

Some people who shared these concerns also suggested that an online survey be used. *

One possible type would be a 360-degree feedback online survey.

According to Making a difference: leadership and academic libraries 360-assessments "include multiple perspectives and the alignment of self-perception with the perceptions of such others as co-workers, managers in higher positions, and the public."**

Provost DeHayes and President Dooley both said they would not be opposed to including the faculty survey as a component of their own feedback gathering surveys. Under the current process, the Administrator Evaluation Committee solicits reviews from faculty in the units underneath the administrator who is being evaluated. To retain confidentiality, these reviews are submitted in the form of letters. These letters are placed in plain envelopes and tucked into another envelope, which identifies the responder.

The identity of the review writer, while not anonymous, is kept confidential throughout the process. We feel that this process should be reviewed, and if necessary a new process created.

Our current coordinator, Professor William Rosen has asked not to be reappointed and completes his service at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year.
* Surveys can have scaled answers to questions, invite comments, are easier and take less time for faculty to respond to than writing a letter, can retain confidentiality, and can provide automatic reminders targeted at those who didn’t complete it. A process for abstentions and reasons for abstentions should be allowed and consideration be given to differences in roles of administrators at different levels, but there should not be too much difference made in surveys given to members of the same group, e.g. deans. Care must be taken to assure faculty members of the confidentiality of their reviews.

** Hernon, Peter and Rossiter, Nancy (2007). 360-assessement in Making a difference: leadership and academic libraries (p. 202) Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited.

As is stated in the Faculty Senate By-Laws, section 4.4, it is the duty of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee to appoint an Administrator Evaluation Coordinator for a 2-year term. This is an opportune time to review the entire process and make recommendations to the new coordinator.

Sections 5.76.10-5.76.12 and 10.90.10-10.90.15 pertain to these processes. See attached. In order to address these important issues, summarize what has been done, and suggest a process going forward, the FSEC formed an ad hoc committee whose members were Nancy Eaton, Senate Chair, Sarina Rodrigues, Senator and previous review committee member, and Sheila Black Grubman, Senate Coordinator. Their charge was to review concerns raised about the current evaluation process and make recommendations for modifications to the current process, including sections of the University Manual and By-Laws on Administrator Evaluation. Their recommendations to the FSEC are given here.

Report of the ad hoc committee During the appointment of a new administration evaluation coordinator, the FSEC should ask her or him to work with an ad hoc committee on administrator evaluation review, which will be formed by the FSEC, to devise a method that would address the concerns stated above resulting in a new administrator review process (NARP). The ad hoc committee should include the outgoing coordinator, William Rosen and an expert on survey creation - a couple of names of sociology professors came to mind. The NARP would follow Manual guidelines, section 10.90.15 (a), (b), (c), and (d), which state that it is the duty of the coordinator to guide each review committee as to how to perform the review, the coordinator would give each review committee the NARP and suggest that they use it. This procedure is consistent with the Manual and so there is no need to consider making changes to the Manual.

In response to a letter addressed to Nancy Eaton, Faculty Senate Chair, from one of the administrator review committees, that questioned the need for confidentiality of the reports, this ad hoc committee concluded that the responses remain confidential. The Administrator Evaluation Coordinator is responsible to keep the confidentiality. In most cases, evaluations are designed for constructive criticism to reflect the administrator's success and challenges and help them to do their jobs better. They can reveal a pattern of performance. It is not appropriate that the administrator have routine access to the individual responses by evaluators. However, there should be a procedure put in place that gives the administrator access to the responses if the report leads to punitive measures.

Nancy Eaton

Sarina Rodrigues,

Sheila Black Grubman

A new survey instrument isn't enough to answer all of the concerns. The FSEC feels strongly that in order to educate the faculty and have a stronger more meaningful response to the surveys, departments discuss administrator evaluations during department meetings. Often chairs and senators have factual information about the administrator that they can impart to their department members.

Nancy Eaton, Senate Chair
Peter Larsen, Vice Chair
Marilyn Barbour
Michael Rice
Michael Honhart
Kathleen Davis

From Chapter 5 of the University Manual

5.76.10 Administrator Evaluation Committees shall be established within each administrative unit to conduct administrator evaluations as described in sections 10.90.10 - 10.90.15.

5.76.11 Each administrator evaluation committee shall normally consist of 5 members except for the President's, which shall have 4 members. Three members shall be selected from a slate of nominees or volunteers generated from the administrator's constituent group (defined in section 5.76.12) by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. The administrator shall choose an additional member of the committee. In addition, the President or Provost as appropriate shall choose an additional member of the committee. The additional members of the committee shall usually come from the constituent group.

5.76.12 The constituent groups shall be defined as follows: a) for academic deans with college faculties: all continuing members of the appropriate college faculty; b) for the Vice Provost for Urban Programs: all continuing faculty who are currently teaching, or who have taught at the Feinstein College of Continuing Education in the preceding three years and academic department chairpersons who participate in programs at ASFCCE; c) for the Dean of University College and Special Academic Programs: all continuing faculty who are currently teaching URI 101 or who have served as advisors to University College during the three years immediately preceding the evaluation; d) for the Dean of the Graduate School, all continuing members of the graduate faculty; e) for the President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, and the Vice Provosts: all continuing members of the general faculty.

From Chapter 10 of the University Manual
10.90.10 Faculty Evaluation of Administrators. The purpose of Administrator Evaluation is to help administrators do their jobs as well as possible in accordance with long-range plans and goals, by giving them, regularly and through established procedures, information about how their faculty perceive their current effectiveness and what things their faculty deem it most important that they do. In conducting this procedure the faculty acknowledges that this is only one element of an overall evaluation of administrators.

10.90.11 The President, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the Vice Provosts, and all academic deans including the Dean of the University College and Special Academic Programs, the Graduate School, the Graduate School of Oceanography, and of the Library are subject to faculty evaluation. The evaluation will follow the President's or the Provost's review cycle beginning at the end of the second year of the administrator's first term. After the first evaluation, the administrator will be subject to faculty evaluation on a regular basis not to exceed five-year cycles.

10.90.12 Review Letters. The administrator evaluation process is based in part on peer reviews, which are a fundamental practice in academia. Therefore, objective and balanced evaluations are necessary for an effective procedure. Each member of an administrator's constituent group shall be invited to submit a one or two page evaluation letter to Administrator Evaluation Coordinator (see section 4.4 of the By-Laws of the Faculty Senate). For academic deans this letter should reflect the individual faculty member's judgment and evaluation of the administrator's performance in the following major areas of responsibility: 1) foster the education and learning of students of the college or unit and the University; 2) enhance the climate for research and scholarly activities by the faculty of the unit; 3) create and improve the outreach efforts and opportunities of the faculty and staff of the college or unit; 4) manage and balance the budgetary and fiduciary functions of the college or unit; 5) advocate for the college or unit within the administration of the University and the State in an effective manner; 6) and attract external funds in support of learning, scholarly activities and service/outreach. For other administrators, this letter should reflect the individual faculty member's judgment and evaluation of the administrator's performance in his/her major areas of responsibility. Writing an administrator evaluation letter is an optional activity.

10.90.13 Administrator Evaluation Committees (see 5.76.10) shall be established within each administrative unit to review faculty letters and determine how the letters and any additional data are to be summarized and presented. The work of these committees shall be completed within one semester. See sections 5.76.10 - 5.76.12 for descriptions of Administrator Evaluation Committees.

10.90.14 The written summary of the evaluation shall be disseminated to the administrator involved and his or her immediate supervisor by the evaluation committee for each administrator. The results of the President's evaluation go only to the President. The Administrator Evaluation Committee (AEC) performing each evaluation other than that of the President shall meet with the administrator involved, and may meet with the immediate supervisor to discuss the evaluation. The AEC performing the President's evaluation shall meet with the President to discuss the evaluation. The administrator has the option to provide a written response to the Administrator Evaluation Committee. All members of the constituent unit shall be notified in writing by the AEC as to when the meeting took place.

10.90.15 The respective administrator evaluation committees shall ensure the confidentiality of the process for the faculty participating in the process as well as for the administrator being evaluated.