The meeting with President Dooley convened at 3:00PM in the Provost's Conference Room, Green Hall. Chairperson Larsen presided. All members were present except Senator Barbour.
The following matters were discussed:
1. Regarding the searches for the two Vice Presidents, the President has not met with the consultant in a couple weeks. He expects an update later in the week. The consultant has expressed optimism in his ability to generate a list of good candidates.
2. The President has been working with the new Board of Education executive committee (Eva Mancuso, Chair of the Board, Presidents of the three public colleges, Commissioner Gist). Discussions have included procedures, approval processes, and budgetary matters. The President expects that establishing new procedures will take some time given that the majority of the new board members have had little direct experience with the issues in higher education. Ms. Mancuso has indicated that the Board of Education meeting agenda will be developed in the executive committee work sessions.
Ms. Mancuso continues to indicate that it is her intent to permit URI to assume responsibility for many of matters that previously required Board approval. The Board Chair is receptive to a review and possible amendment of the 50 statutes that have accumulated since the enactment of the Education Act of 1981 (creating the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education).
It is expected that the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education will cease to exist after July 1. Establishing the power and structure of new board will likely not take place until the next legislative session (2014). The Board is planning a retreat this summer and they plan to bring in a representative from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges to consult with them.
3. The President reiterated that the University is facing a $4.9 million budget deficit. He believes that there might be some receptiveness in the General Assembly (Finance Committee) to the idea of the state providing some additional funding towards the shortfall. The other alternative is strategic budget cuts. The institution will know better in a couple months what the General Assembly will do based on May revenues.
4. The President was asked about the proposed amendment to section 7.22.10 of the University Manual from the February 21, 2013 Faculty Senate Meeting. The President had asked for a time extension on his approval to discuss it and address his concerns with the Provost. On March 25, 2013, Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais meet with FSEC Chair Larsen and Vice Chair Byrd, and AAUP President Louis Kirschenbaum and Vice President Sandy Hicks to discuss the manual section.
The following draft was proposed (suggested new language in italics):
7.22.10 Criteria for Promotion. Promotion shall be based on the extent of value to the University. The prime mission of a university is the discovery and dissemination of knowledge; teaching, research, and service are regarded as the criteria for promotion. Since faculty positions vary in designated responsibility, these criteria may be weighted differently among departments and among individual faculty members in determining value to the University. It shall be the responsibility of the department with the concurrence of the dean to determine periodically the relative importance of the criteria which shall apply and to report this to the individual faculty members.
The President said he would review it and talk with the Provost. It was hoped that the amendment could be brought forth again at the April 18 Faculty Senate meeting.
5. The President has invited Commissioner Gist to come to campus. A date has not been set.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:00PM.