1. The meeting was called to order at 3:10 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 in the President’s Conference Room in Green Hall. All members were present.
2. The Minutes of FSEC Meeting #8, October 5, 2011 were approved as revised.
a. Chairperson Eaton reported that she and Professor Uht had corresponded about the Division of Research and Economic Development’s Research Open Forum on September 23. She said that she had informed Professor Uht that the meeting was a general informational meeting and that no Intellectual Policy revisions had been proposed.
b. The Executive Committee discussed correspondence about Turnitin®, which they had received from Associate Dean Quina and Vice Provost Beauvais.
Senator Honhart reported that the Senate had briefly discussed Turnitin® at a Senate meeting several years earlier. While no vote had been taken, the consensus was that the cost of Turnitin® didn’t appear to be worth the service. Further, it raised serious questions about student ownership of their work because each paper uploaded onto the site becomes the property of Turnitin®. It was suggested that typing exact sentences into Google would work as well if a Professor suspects plagiarism.
4. The Executive Committee reviewed a draft Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #2, October 20, 2011. They agreed that since the Agenda had only two reports and a presentation, there would be enough time to have a Forum on Administrator Evaluation and what might be done to encourage greater participation in the evaluation process.
Following discussion the Agenda was approved in final form. Ms. Grubman noted that the Minutes from Meetings #8 and #9 would go on the web Agenda immediately, but that she was still waiting for responses from President Dooley and Provost DeHayes to the draft Minutes from FSEC Meetings #5 and #6 and from Faculty Senate Meeting #1 before posting them on the web.
5. The FSEC was brought up-to-date on matters related to committees:
a. JCAP: Chairperson Eaton said that she planned to continue attending JCAP meetings although she was technically no longer a member of the committee. The Executive Committee asked Vice Chair Larsen, as Vice Chair of JCAP, to suggest to Provost DeHayes that JCAP review whether last year’s subcommittees had completed their tasks and whether different subcommittees should be established for the 2011-12 academic year.
b. Ad Hoc Advising: Senator Honhart explained that he had been unable to attend the most recent meeting of the committee and wasn’t able to report on any discussions or progress at that time.
c. Academic Program Review Committee: The Executive Committee discussed the request from the APRC that members of the FSEC, along with deans and department chairs, review the APRC’s questionnaire for departments.
d. Ad Hoc Online and Distance Learning Committee: Chairperson Eaton said she was interested in the activities of the ad hoc committee and hoped to discuss with both the Provost and Professor Torrens the Board’s and the President’s position with regard to online learning. She said that she hoped it could become a permanent joint committee with a charge and membership outlined in the UNIVERSITY MANUAL.
e. Teaching Effectiveness Committee: The FSEC asked Ms. Grubman to contact Professor Kinney and Dean Ciccomascolo about the status of the Survey Monkey IDEA-SRI survey.
f. Experiential Learning: Senator Honhart reported that the ad hoc Committee on Experiential Learning had completed their work and expected to report shortly.
6. Following discussion, the FSEC agreed to ask the Constitution, By-Laws and University Manual Committee to review Chapters 4 and 7 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL, which appear to be significantly out of date with regard to faculty and other position titles.
7. Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais joined the Executive Committee at 4:00 p.m. The Provost’s initiatives for 2011-12 were discussed.
a. Gateway course project: Provost DeHayes reported that he wanted to continue efforts begun the previous year to look at ways to develop new paths for success for students in the approximately 18 courses required for students in a number of undergraduate majors and in which many students encounter difficulty.
The Provost said that he wasn’t talking about lowering standards in these courses, but rather finding different, possibly more effective ways to convey the material. One thought was to divide the courses into self-contained parts that could be taken and graded separately so students having difficulty would only find it necessary to repeat part of a course rather that whole courses. He suggested that if the courses were divided into modules, different modes of instruction might be used in different modules.
Provost DeHayes announced that he would offer funding for faculty members responsible for these courses to develop proposals for innovations in these courses. He said he’d ask for proposals and then appoint a faculty committee to review them and recommend funding for projects that look promising.
b. “Finish what you start”: The Provost reported that a review of student records for the past five years had revealed that a surprising number of undergraduates had completed 90 or more credits toward their degrees but then had dropped out. He would like to look at these students and their reasons for dropping out to see if something might be done to help them complete their degrees.
c. Online professional certification programs: Provost DeHayes said that the Board of Governors wanted the three institutions to employ new technologies to a greater extent. He said that the role for CCRI would be using technology to bring students up to college level in weak areas, but he saw the University as moving forward with opportunities for people with degrees to earn credits in areas that would supplement their degrees or enable them to move ahead in their fields. He said that he saw a great deal of potential in this area.
Senator Rice noted that non-degree studies for professionals keeping up with current research and trends in their field are in keeping with the Land Grant philosophy of the University and the traditional practices of Cooperative Extension. The on-line aspects are simply the new media or platform for delivery of such University programming.
The Provost said that the Online and Distance Learning Committee has indicated that it might be worth taking a risk and moving ahead with a plan to invest in online certificate programs. Examples the Provost gave were: Information Technology, Green Innovation, and Social Media.
d. J-Term: Provost DeHayes said that he wanted the faculty to consider the possibility of using the break between the beginning of the year and the start of spring semester as a period to offer programs to students. He said that he hoped a small faculty committee might be formed to look at the potential benefits and difficulties with setting up such a program.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman
URI ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW (5/24/13)
OPEN ACCESS POLICY (5/24/13)