1. The meeting was called to order at 3:08 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall. All members were present.
a. Chairperson Eaton announced that Senator Rice had graciously agreed to represent the FSEC at a meeting of the Campus Master Plan Review Team (CMPRT) that had been scheduled for earlier that afternoon. When the JSPC was in operation, a member of the FSEC usually represented the JSPC on the CMPRT, however, since the JSPC was eliminated, there hadn't been a faculty representative.
Senator Rice reported on the meeting. He said that the CMPRT had approved additional eating space in Butterfield Hall, which was to be paid for out of the capital projects budget, upgrading the fire safety and alarm system for the Fine Arts Center, including small landscaping to camouflage the equipment area, with stimulus funds, and improvements and additions to parking plan in concert with RIDOT.
Following discussion, the Executive Committee asked Ms. Grubman to contact Vice President Weygand's Office to suggest that a FSEC representative serve as an additional faculty member on the CMPRT.
b. Chairperson Eaton and Vice Chairperson Larsen reported on the Library Forum on November 4, which had been sponsored by the Library Committee. The FSEC discussed some of the ideas raised by the speaker as well as the faculty members who participated in the workshops.
c. Ms. Grubman reported that a university-wide events calendar was on the University's website and the University and General Education Committee had used it to invite students to a forum on General Education. She encouraged members of the FSEC to look at the calendar, which included Faculty Senate Meetings at http://events.uri.edu/.
d. Chairperson Eaton noted that the FSEC received the Report of the Academic Affairs Diversity Task Force, which had been forwarded by Vice Provost Beauvais. She suggested that the Executive Committee consider asking for a report on the Task Force at an upcoming Faculty Senate Meeting.
3. The Executive Committee reviewed a draft Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #3, November 17, 2011. They agreed to ask Provost DeHayes if he would be willing to report on academic affairs matters on a regular basis at Faculty Senate meetings.
The FSEC reviewed the three reports scheduled for the Agenda and agreed that Section IV of the 491st Report of the CAC, a policy on online and blended courses, should be voted upon by the Faculty Senate, rather than be considered as an informational item. Ms. Grubman agreed to ask Professor Mundorf to recommend approval of the section.
4. The Executive Committee discussed issues raised by the APRC and the JCAP Subcommittee on Metrics that a process be developed to identify courses as "global" and/ or "multicultural" in concert with the Academic Plan. They weighed the options of assigning the establishment of ground rules for definitions and assignment of designations to the UCGE Committee or the CAC.
5. The Executive Committee met with Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais from 4:10 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. The following matters were considered:
a. Faculty Senate Meetings: The FSEC asked Provost DeHayes whether he would consider a "REPORT OF THE PROVOST" as a recurring item on the Faculty Senate Agenda. Provost DeHayes agreed he would be willing to report regularly, if not at every meeting.
In response to a request from the Executive Committee, Vice Provost Beauvais agreed to present at the December meeting, an informational report to the Faculty Senate on the work of the Academic Affairs Diversity Task Force. She said that she would present the report in conjunction with a faculty member on the Task Force.
b. Status of cluster hires: Provost DeHayes reported that he intended to meet with college faculties at their regular meetings to present the cluster hires concept and respond to questions. He said that he had met with the Library faculty and the College of Engineering faculty and was scheduled for faculty meetings at all of the colleges. The Provost noted that whether the University is able to try cluster hires was dependent on the state's budget allocation.
c. Support for accepted students who are not ready to take college-level mathematics, writing, and/or critical reading; Chairperson Eaton reported that she and Vice Chair Larsen had discussed with President Dooley what might be done to bring admitted students up to college level in the basic areas. She said that the FSEC was considering the possibility of asking the Teaching Effectiveness Committee to do a survey of what resources are already available for students and what proportion of students need additional support.
Provost DeHayes said that it was not part of the University's mission to provide remediation to students who are not prepared for college. He said that it was clearly the responsibility of CCRI to perform that function. He said that the entering classes have been improving in quality since 2009 and that he suspected fewer students will need the kind of support. He noted that he was committed to helping students succeed. Provost DeHayes said that he would be in favor of at some point hiring faculty member specialists in college-level writing in the disciplines, mathematics in the disciplines, and critical reading in the disciplines that would work with and perhaps coach faculty when including assignments in these areas in their courses. Chairperson Eaton pointed out that a coach for faculty who give research assignments would also be useful.
d. Establishing a university-wide research day: The Executive Committee asked the Provost about the possibility of establishing an academic community research day which for all faculty members and students. This day would expand on the idea of Discovery@URI. They identified possible ways to proceed. One possibility would be to discuss the expansion of the current with Dean Zawia. Another option would be to establish a standing committee modeled on the Diversity Week Committee, that would develop and continue an annual Community Research Day similar to the original Discovery Day in 2010 that had been part of President Dooley’ Inauguration program, with broad participation by faculty and students.
Vice Chairperson Larsen suggested that they consider the "3 Minute Thesis," a concept popular in Australia and New Zealand, where a number of short presentations by graduate students about research are given prizes. This might replace the poster session idea.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman