Skip to main content
Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes #1

July 9, 2012

1. The meeting was called to order at 10:05 a.m. on Monday, July 9, 2012 in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall, Chairperson Larsen presiding. All members were present except Vice Chairperson Byrd.

Ms. Grubman introduced Ms. Neff who was on assignment from the Office of the Provost to support the Faculty Senate Office during Ms. Grubman's last year at the University.

2. The Minutes of 2011-12 Executive Committee Meeting #31, April 30, 2012 were approved. The Minutes of 2011-12 FSEC Meeting #32, May 7 and May 9, 2012 were approved pending review by Provost DeHayes of those sections that pertained to his meeting with the FSEC.

3. Announcements/Correspondence:

a. The FSEC thanked Senator Rice for attending the Board of Governors June 25 Meeting and preparing a summary for them. In his summary he had reported that the RIBGHE approved the BS degree in Cell and Molecular Biology with an option in Biochemistry and the revised one-year MBA, as well as granting of tenure to URI faculty. He also said that President Dooley had reported that the Division of Advancement would be dissolved as part of Vice president Beagle's retirement and most functions will be subsumed as part of Presidential staff. Further noted was the discussion about what reconfigured State Board of Education might look like and transition as BOGHE ceases to exist.

b. The Executive Committee discussed the legislation, forwarded to them by Ms. Grubman, which eliminated the Board of Governors and the Board of Regents and created a new Board of Education. It was noted that the legislation had been added as an amendment to the Budget for Fiscal year 2013 and approved by the Governor.

4. Ms. Grubman outlined the Executive Committee's summer responsibilities:

a. She reminded the Executive Committee of their summer authority as outlined in section 4.3 of the Faculty Senate By-Laws:

4.3 The Executive Committee shall have the power to act for the Senate during the interim between the last Senate meeting in the spring and the first meeting in the fall on such matters as urgently require action at the time. Before acting, the Chairperson shall invite members of the Senate to a hearing concerning the action and its urgency. The provisions for circulating the agenda and minutes for special meetings of the Senate shall apply. The action of the Executive Committee will become effective ten days following the distribution of the minutes unless a necessary Presidential approval is withheld or unless a petition for challenges the action delay signed by five percent of the General Faculty. In these cases, the action must await consideration by the Senate.

b. The following specific summer responsibilities were discussed:

1) The FSEC agreed to postpone their discussion of committee appointments until after their meeting with the Provost at 10:30.

2) Chairperson Larsen provided background on efforts to create a joint committee on Online Instruction. He explained that a draft had been prepared at least a year ago by the FSEC in consultation with a group of faculty members and Vice Provost Beauvais, but has been held in abeyance pending the appointment of the Director of Learning, Assessment and Online Education.

He said that with the appointment of Dr. Diane Goldsmith, efforts were moving forward to establish the committee. He noted that an outline of the Committee and a draft set of manual paragraphs had been forwarded to them previously. It was agreed to invite Dr. Goldsmith to their meeting on July 19.

3) The Executive Committee approved the report of the Constitution, By-Laws and University Committee on Changes to the University Manual based on legislation approved by the Faculty Senate during the 2011-12 academic year.

c. The Executive Committee briefly reviewed their list of upcoming summer meetings, which were all scheduled in the President's Conference Room in Green Hall:

1) Thursday, July 19, 2012 from 10-12
2) Wednesday, August 15, 2012 from 10-12
3) Thursday, August 23, 2012 from 10-12

5. Provost DeHayes arrived at 10:30 a.m. and was accompanied by Vice Provost Libutti and Mr. Barrett. Discussion ensued on the possibility of instituting a URI J-Term (between the first week in January and the beginning of the spring semester).

Provost DeHayes reviewed his earlier discussions with the previous FSEC about the possibility of piloting a J-Term in January 2013 and preparing to launch a full-scale J-Term in 2014. He explained that some faculty members were already using this period to teach students on an ad hoc basis. Faculty members did not receive compensation and tuition was inconsistent, depending on the student's course load during the spring semester. He said that he saw possibilities for making these efforts official by including salary for faculty members and tuition for students. In addition to discussions with the FSEC, a faculty committee has worked on advancing the concept of a vibrant J-term for URI.

Provost DeHayes said that sections 8.32.10-13 of the University on Intensive short courses, would govern the academic requirements. There was general agreement about providing guidelines for faculty proposing these courses and a possibility for review and assessment of the courses before and after they are offered. This assessment of the pilot would provide the opportunity to modify the program should it go forward on a more permanent basis.

It was agreed that the J-Term classes should be unique and not simply courses that could be taken during the fall and/or spring semesters. The idea would be for departments to use open-ended courses, directed study courses, etc. for travel or internships or to go into depth on topics of specific interest. The possibility of providing students an opportunity to make-up areas within gateway courses was also suggested.

Fees, and assessment of fees or tuition was discussed, as were suggestions for providing financial aid, such as grants for students to take courses not part of a full semester or summer session. However, it was acknowledged that conventional financial aid would likely not be an option for students. As such, a discounted tuition, in comparison with the academic year, may be most appropriate.

When Provost DeHayes, Vice Provost Libutti and Mr. Barrett left the meeting, the Executive committee resumed it s regular order of business and returned to item 4, b, 1):

4. B. 1) The Executive Committee reviewed list of vacant committee positions as well as the names of volunteers and began their discussion of committee appointments for the 2012-13 academic year.

It was agreed to resume consideration of committee appointments at their next scheduled meeting on July 19 at 10:00 a.m. in the President's Conference Room.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman