1. The meeting was called to order at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 in the Dorothy Vocino Conference Room in the URI Library, Chairperson Larsen presiding. All members were present.
a. Ms. Grubman reminded the FSEC that Professor Wenisch and Deans Zawia and Killingbeck would join them for a discussion of graduate faculty status on February 11 at 10:15.
b. Ms. Grubman reminded members of the Executive Committee who planned to attend the March 6 meeting on proposed college budget initiatives to contact Ms. Williams in Office of the Provost if they expected to be at the meeting at lunchtime.
Chairperson Larsen noted that he and Vice Chairperson Byrd had a meeting with President Dooley scheduled for March 6. They agreed to try to schedule the meeting for later that afternoon so it wouldn't conflict with the budget presentations.
4. The Executive Committee discussed the following matters of continuing concern:
a. Recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Advising: Chairperson Larsen reminded the members of the FSEC that they were scheduled to meet with Dean Richmond and Professor Honhart on February 11 at 11:30. It was noted that a draft charge and membership for a standing Faculty Senate Committee on Advising had been posted on the FSEC's Sakai website. Chairperson Larsen asked that Ms. Grubman forward the proposal to Dean Richmond and Professor Honhart.
Chairperson Larsen reported on his thoughts about dividing the Ad Hoc Committee on Advising's recommendations into 1) best practices, 2) advice to the Provost, colleges and departments, and 3) possible legislation.
b. Search Committees: Ms. Grubman reported that she had forwarded the FSEC's appointments to the two Vice President Search Committees the previous week.
With regard to the search for a coordinator, Chairperson Larsen reported that he, Vice Chair Byrd and Ms. Grubman met the previous Friday and began the process of narrowing down the list of possible candidates. He said that they had some questions about conducting the search and would ask the Provost for advice.
c. Administrator Evaluation: Senator Nassersharif reported that memorandums had been sent to the constituency groups for Deans Higgins and Kirby and Vice Provost McCray asking for nominees for the Administrator Evaluation Committees. Ms. Grubman said the last constituency group, which was Dean Maslyn's, would receive the memorandum from Senator Nassersharif later that day.
Senator Nassersharif said he hoped the FSEC would be able to choose members of the various committees at their next meeting.
5. The Executive Committee met with Provost DeHayes from 10:15 to 12:10. Vice Provost Beauvais joined the meeting at 10:25. The following matters were considered:
a. Outstanding issues raised by the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee with regard to Winter Session (J-term):
1) With regard to Student Housing, Provost DeHayes reported that he had spoken to Vice President Dougan and Residential Life was ready to make accommodations for students to live in the dorms during Winter Session (J-term). He noted that Residential Life already had to provide accommodations for international students and this would be on a somewhat larger scale. He said that Student Affairs would make concrete plans for the Winter Session (J-term) period when they are notified to go ahead.
Chairperson Larsen said that the Library might have to make special accommodations for Winter Session (J-term) depending on the type of courses that were offered and the number of students involved because the Library was on a reduced schedule during that period.
2) With regard to minimum enrollment and at what point instructors and students would be informed whether a Winter Session (J-term) course would run, Provost DeHayes said that it would depend on the type of courses being offered and decided on a course by course basis. He said that enrollment in travel courses would be dependent on whether the University would be able to at least break even. Instructors of travel courses would be expected to develop a proposal that included expenses and revenue. He said that for continuing courses, it would depend on sufficient enrollments.
3) It was noted that the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee had recommended that students not be permitted to drop Winter Session (J-term) courses once the course began. The Executive Committee and Provost DeHayes agreed with the committees recommendation but emphasized that students should be allowed to withdraw within the first five days and that students would not be permitted to add after the first day the class was in session.
4) The Executive Committee and Provost DeHayes discussed the statement in the current 8.32.11 that the course must be "designed for students who will be able to regard their studies as a full-time activity." The consensus was that both the instructor and the student should be aware of the amount of time such a short compact course would take. This led to a discussion of advising for students interested in taking one of these time-shortened courses.
5) The Executive Committee discussed a possible approval process for courses to be offered during Winter Session (J-term). They agreed that for existing courses or existing topics in open-ended courses, the instructor would submit a syllabus for the course to the department chair for approval to schedule the course. Further, temporary courses would be considered under the existing process with syllabi designed for the short time period.
It was agreed to meet on February 14 to develop a proposal for consideration by the Senate on February 21 and to invite members of the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee, Vice Provost Libutti and Mr. Humphrey to join them.
b. Possible reorganization of health programs: The Executive Committee and Provost DeHayes discussed the proposal by the Academic Subcommittee of the Administrative and Management Committee for a committee to explore restructuring of health programs at URI. Vice Provost Beauvais assured the FSEC that the proposed committee would be comprised of interested faculty members from the health disciplines and their recommendations would be considered through the university governance process by departments, colleges, Curricular Affairs Committee and the Faculty Senate. Provost DeHayes emphasized that the goal was to have a faculty committee explore possible organizational models that might highlight the health expertise at URI and add value to the faculty and student experience in the health fields. He noted that given the growing emphasis on health issues in society and the rapid changes occurring in the field, the time seems right to consider possible alternative models for URI and their implications. Members of the Executive Committee urged that the work of the committee be open and transparent to ensure that interested faculty members are aware of the progress of the committee and its recommendations.
c. Provost DeHayes said that he had met with the University College and General Education Committee in December and discussed the status of the proposed revision to the General Education Program. He said that he urged the committee to bring forward a recommendation by the end of the academic year. He had proposed that the UCGE Committee focus on what students should know and be able to do when they graduate from URI. He emphasized looking at what students need and noted that general education comprises about 1/3 of credits for their degrees. He said that he had called a group of faculty together to discuss how to elevate the status of general education and teaching general education courses at URI. He said the group was scheduled to meet later that week.
Ms. Grubman agreed to forward the Minutes of the December 6, 2012 UCGE Committee meeting to members of the FSEC.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman