1. The meeting was called to order at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 in room 201 (Enrollment Services), Green Hall, Chairperson Eaton presiding. All members were present.
2. There were no minutes to approve.
a. Early retirement incentive: It was announced that the proposed University Retirement Incentive Program was recommended for a vote by Commissioner
Di Pasquale to the full Board of Governors. This item is on the Dec. 5, 2011
b. Correspondence from Dean Brownell regarding an amendment to the University Manual to establish a mechanism for students to protest grades on individual assignments: Following discussion, the Executive Committee agreed that such a policy would not be appropriate. They asked Chairperson Eaton to inform Dean Brownell that they recommend against a policy on the protest of grades at the assignment level. Faculty are encouraged to utilize the course syllabus to clearly communicate expectations and contingencies for absences, etc. Chairs are encouraged to attempt to resolve any such issues within the department.
a. Planning for Faculty Senate Meeting #4, December 15, 2011
1) Chairperson Eaton listed the following as potential areas for Faculty Senate presentations: the URI catalog, the ad hoc Online and Distance Learning Committee, the Advising Committee, Experiential Education, Student Affairs, Athletics.
2) They discussed ideas for Forum topics, among which were to offer faculty an opportunity to weigh in on the academic calendar (scheduling); open a discussion on effective syllabi. The discussion on syllabi should take place in the same meeting with the presentation from the Advising committee. It was suggested that no forum take place at this meeting due to the demands of the end of the semester.
3) The FSEC agreed Chairperson Eaton will announce that a nominating committee will be elected at the January 26, 2012 senate meeting. This committee will facilitate the election of the senate chair and vice chair for the next academic year at the February 23, 2012 and assist in nominating senators for the May 10, 2012 election. A question arose as to how to make public the compensation given to the department of the senate chair and vice chair from the Provost.
b. Review forum responses from FS meeting #3, November 17, 2011: The FSEC agreed that there had been a positive response from the faculty regarding expanding Discovery@URI day to include more faculty representation (poster sessions). Vice Chairperson Larsen indicated that he would chair a committee to solicit participation in this event. He will first contact Dean Nasser Zawia. Senator Davis will participate in this committee also.
5. Matters of continuing concern:
a. Culture of Community: This was discussed as part of item 4,b.
b. Administrator Evaluation: an ad hoc committee will convene to discuss changes to the process. Chairperson Eaton and Senator Rice agreed to be part of this committee.
c. Syllabi: syllabi have been compiled for use as models for faculty who want to improve, revise and/or update syllabi for courses. A syllabus website is being developed. An announcement to the faculty from the Provost's Office, possibly in conjunction with IDP, will be made when the website is active.
6. Committee updates:
a. Academic Program Review Committee: guidelines for the self-study were sent to deans, chairs, other division heads, FSEC members, and JCAP members on Nov. 29 by Vice Provost Beauvais. The APRC is hosting a chairs forum on Dec. 2.
b. Teaching Effectiveness - IDEA/SRI: The Executive Committee discussed their previous meeting at which Professor Kinnie and Dean Ciccomascolo reported on the results of their survey.
The idea of administering a shorter, mid-semester survey was discussed. The cost of an additional survey needs to be determined. It was suggested that the Joint AAUP-Administration Committee add a representative from the Faculty Senate. The purpose of the IDEA was discussed. The Executive committee agreed that it is intended to be used to inform faculty of the efficacy of their teaching methods; it is not to be used in evaluating faculty performance.
7. Provost's initiatives: The Executive Committee discussed Provost DeHayes' presentation at the last Faculty Senate meeting on "cluster hires," a recommendation from the August retreat. He is making presentations to the colleges and is asking for ideas as to how to go forward. The priority areas of hire are: Liberal Learning and Scholarship for the 21st Century, Science and Technology, Environment and the Green Economy, Health and Wellness. In order to advise the implementation of this idea, the goal(s) needs to be clear. It was suggested that cluster proposal review committees be comprised primarily of faculty.
8. Other business: the chair of the Equity Council has asked if the Faculty Senate would like representation on the council. The Executive Committee will investigate the criteria for Faculty Senate involvement on presidential committees.