1. The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 in the President’s Conference Room in Green Hall. All members were present.
2. The Minutes of FSEC Meeting #6, September 21, 2011 were approved as revised pending President Dooley’s review of sections pertaining to his discussion with the FSEC.
a. Chairperson Eaton and Vice Chairperson Larsen reported on their meeting with President Dooley. The President noted that the Faculty Senate had no role in the AAUP and Provost Tenure and Promotion workshop. They said that the President indicated that material covered had been broader than the stated goal of the workshop was more overlap in the area than indicated in the composition of the workshop. Members of the FSEC noted that traditionally the Faculty Senate and the AAUP kept a clear distinction between academic governance and the matters related to collective bargaining and as a result had never been involved in the workshop.
Chairperson Eaton and Vice Chairperson Larsen said that President Dooley commented on the Senate of the University of California system as at the forefront of dealing with all of the changes confronting Higher Education.
They also reported that the President’s comments about the September 26 Board of Governors meeting are posted on the URI website at http://www.uri.edu/news/releases/?id=5972, Chairperson Eaton said that the President indicated he intended to turn his remarks into a broader policy statement.
b. Chairperson Eaton and Vice Chair Larsen said that at their meeting with Provost DeHayes, they had discussed the Provost’s thoughts about the relationship between the AAUP and the Faculty Senate, in addition to the Provost’s initiatives for the 2011-12 academic year.
c. Ms. Grubman reported that the administrator evaluations memos had been forwarded to Dean Jordan’s and Dean Wright’s constituent groups on October 4, 2011.
Chairperson Eaton announced that the Administrator Evaluation Committee for Vice Provost Katz had completed its work and had informed the Faculty Senate Office. She also said that the AEC had delivered a letter that afternoon commenting on the process and making suggestions for modifications. She distributed copies of the letter and, after a brief discussion, the Executive Committee agreed to consider it further when they meet with Professor Rosen, the Administrator Evaluation Coordinator.
d. Senator Rice reported on conversations about a potential biography of former Governor Bruce Sundlun.
4. The Executive Committee reviewed the list of items expected to be on the October 20, 2011 Faculty Senate Agenda. Chairperson Eaton reported that she had confirmed Vice President Beagle’s presentation and had asked if he would sponsor the reception. Other confirmed items on the Agenda include the 490th Report of the CAC, the Annual Report of the Ombud, and the election of a sixth member of the FSEC.
5. The FSEC agreed to the following topics for their October 12 meeting with Provost DeHayes:
a. The Provost’s initiatives for 2011-12:
1. Gateway course project
2. Finish what you start
3. Online professional certification programs
b. The Provost’s thoughts about the different roles of FS and AAUP at URI.
c. How the Provost uses administrator evaluation data
7. The Executive Committee met with Professor Rosen, the Faculty Senate’s Administrator Evaluation Coordinator, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
In response to the FSEC’s question about the administrator evaluation process, Professor Rosen said that although the process has been updated and takes significantly less time to complete, the number of respondents has dwindled. He indicated that he believes that the low return rate reflects faculty members’ belief that the evaluation does not serve the intended purpose. He said that his experience has been that because no one other than the administrator, the administrator’s supervisor, and the evaluation committee know the results, faculty members do not see any consequences of their efforts.
Professor Rosen reported that over the long history of administrator evaluation at URI only two deans had released their evaluations and only one administrator had informed him that he found the evaluation useful.
He said that he did not consider the evaluations anonymous because outer envelopes had to be signed or the evaluations were discarded. He said that the agreed upon process was a double blind one. He separates the outer, signed envelopes, from the letters themselves and assigned the envelopes and the letters a number, which was kept confidential while the letters were forwarded to the administrator evaluation committee. He explained that over the decades that the process has been in effect, administrators had always insisted on signed responses, while perhaps, due to the power relationship between faculty and deans and other administrators, the Faculty Senate has consistently refused to accept a process that required signatures.
Professor Rosen indicated that over the last few years, evaluation committees had been encouraged to include staff in the process. However, letters from faculty and staff were kept and reported separately. He also noted that a number of administrator evaluation committees used surveys to supplement the letters.
The FSEC suggested that it might be time to bring the matter to the Faculty Senate to discuss whether they want to continue or modify the process or leave evaluation to the upper administration, who might or might not ask faculty members for their input.
Professor Rosen and Ms. Grubman both reminded the Executive Committee that it was time to turn administrator evaluation over to different people.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:03 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman