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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes #2

July 16, 2012

1. The meeting was called to order at 10:07 a.m. on Monday, July 16, 2012 in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall, Chairperson Larsen presiding. All members were present except Vice Chairperson Byrd.

2. The Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting #1, July 9, 2012 were approved pending review by Provost DeHayes of those sections that pertained to his meeting with the FSEC.

It was noted that there were three sets of FSEC Meetings (#26m, #28m, and #32m) and one set of Senate Minutes (May 9, 2012) that were pending review by Provost DeHayes.

Following discussion, the FSEC directed Ms. Grubman to contact the Provost about the outstanding Minutes and to suggest that if they were not reviewed within three weeks the FSEC would consider Minutes approved.

3. Announcements/Correspondence:

a. The draft NEASC 5-year Review which had been forwarded previously by Vice Provost Beauvais was discussed. It was agreed to send comments to Ms. Grubman before the comments deadline of July 25 and she would send them as one set from the entire FSEC.

b. Chairperson Larsen announced that he had been informed that the New Faculty Orientation is scheduled for August 29.

c. Chairperson Larsen announced that the Provost's Office and President's Office were in the process of scheduling two meetings each month with Vice Chairperson Byrd and himself for the fall semester. He further noted that their lunch meetings with the Provost and the AAUP Officers were also being arranged.

d. Ms. Grubman reported that she and Mr. Barrett had reviewed materials from 1976, 1977 and 1978 in the Faculty Senate files to find out about the intersession during that period. She explained that the idea was proposed by a small group of students and faculty for January 1976. There was no tuition, credit, or faculty remuneration.

Ms. Grubman said that an ad hoc Faculty Senate Committee had proposed a program for January 1977 with several conditions: a calendar proposed by the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee approved by the Faculty Senate, summer session tuition, allowing students to earn a maximum of 3 credits, and negotiation between the Board of Regents and with the AAUP about faculty remuneration. She said that the ad hoc committee had not reported and it appeared that nothing seemed to have been proposed for January 1978.

e. Chairperson Larsen reported that he had spoken briefly with Dean Zawia. He said that the Dean had suggested that he and Senator Davis contact Vice President Alfonso, who was now responsible for oversight of Discovery@URI, about increasing faculty participation in the program.

f. Chairperson Larsen informed the FSEC that he would be available except for a week at the end of July, when he would be in Iceland. He said he wasn't sure there would be internet access during that time.

4. Committees.

a. The Executive Committee reviewed their list of committee vacancies and continued their discussion of committee appointments for the 2012-13 academic year.

b. Dr. Diane Goldsmith, Director of Learning, Assessment and Online Education joined the committee from 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. to discuss a proposal to create a standing Faculty Senate-Provost Joint Committee on Online and Distance Learning.

It was noted that the original proposal for a new online committee had been considered by the Executive Committee in the spring of 2011, but was postponed pending the appointment of a new director. Since Dr. Goldsmith's arrival, a revised proposal was drafted and brought to the FSEC to consider recommending its approval as a continuing committee.

During discussion of the proposed committee's charge and membership, it was noted that the committee would not be part of the curricular approval process but would serve in an advisory capacity to the Senate and the Provost on policies related to online teaching at URI.

After discussion, the Executive Committee agreed to recommend that the Faculty Senate approve the following new sections of the University Manual at the September meeting of the Faculty Senate:

5.78.10 The Joint Committee on Online and Distance Learning shall propose, examine and recommend institutional policies and practices for developing, planning, evaluating, and implementing online and distance learning offerings with a focus on quality, sustainability, and connection to the mission of the institution, with the approval of the Faculty Senate and the Provost. Such policies may include, but are not limited to, those regarding standards for faculty training and assurance of quality in the delivery of online offerings, expectations of students, student learning outcomes and assessment (in collaboration with SLOAA and appropriate entities), class size guidelines, intellectual property, compliance with ADA requirements, and reasonable accommodations dealing with access and digital divide issues. In addition, the committee shall consult with the appropriate University personnel on policies regarding national trends (i.e., interstate practices and regulations) associated with distance learning.

5.78.11 The committee shall provide advice and guidance to the Provost and Faculty Senate in the development and implementation of a strategic plan for online offerings, including web-enhanced, blended, and online courses; online certificate programs; and online and distance degree programs, including majors and minors. In its work, the committee will consult with the appropriate committees and the various colleges.

5.78.12 Membership. The committee shall comprise the Director of Learning, Assessment and Online Education as Chair, the Assistant Director of Online Learning and the Director of Media & Technology Services by virtue of their positions. The Provost shall appoint a designee from the Office of the Provost, a dean of a degree-granting college and a representative of the College of Continuing Education. The Faculty Senate shall appoint six faculty members to staggered three-year terms. A graduate student and an undergraduate student, appointed respectively by the Graduate Student Association, the Student Senate shall also serve on the committee. The faculty appointees shall represent the University Libraries, the Curricular Affairs Committee, the University College and General Education Committee and the Graduate Council and may represent more than one of these constituencies. Faculty appointees may succeed themselves once.

5. Senator Rice reported that he had found two conflicting sections of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL with regard to college scholastic standing committees. Section 4.50.10 stated, "The college faculty shall elect a secretary and committees, including a scholastic standing committee," while section 8.24.10 included the following: "A scholastic standing committee shall be established for each college. The membership shall comprise the dean of the college and two or more faculty members of the college, appointed by the dean."
Following discussion, it was agreed to forward the sections to the CBUM Committee and to ask for a revision to make them consistent.

Senator Rice also noted that the Agricultural Experiment Station was not included in Chapter 3 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL although it had been in existence since 1888. He asked that the CBUM Committee consider adding a section after 3.51.10 Rhode Island Cooperative Extension Service.  The Executive Committee agreed to forward this proposal to the CBUM Committee as well.

Chairperson Larsen noted that inconsistencies within the UNIVERSITY MANUAL, especially with regard to administrative sections could be reduced if the UNIVERSITY MANUAL was reviewed on a regular basis.

He suggested that the FSEC ask the CBUM Committee with representatives of the President's and Provost's Offices review the UNIVERSITY MANUAL at least a year before the University begins its accreditation self-study and perhaps before a 5-year accreditation review. It was agreed that the CBUM Committee be asked to formalize a review process. Ms. Grubman suggested that the CBUM Committee begin by proposing revisions to Chapter 11, which provided for the Faculty Senate Coordinator to serve as editor.

The FSEC further agreed to raise issues related to the review of the MANUAL when they meet with the URI AAUP Executive Committee in the fall.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman