1. The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 in the Dorothy Vocino Conference Room in the URI Library, Chairperson Larsen presiding. All members were present except Senator Nassersharif.
2. The Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting #12, October 24, 2012 were approved.
a. It was noted that the October 29 meeting of the Board of Governors for Higher Education had been cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy. Nothing has been announced about rescheduling the meeting.
b. Chairperson Larsen reported that he and Vice Chairperson Byrd had met with Provost DeHayes the previous week. Among the matters discussed were the Advising Report, the Administration and Management Review Committee, a proposed computer security policy, and a recent Council of Dean's retreat with regard to the organization of health and wellness programs at the University.
The Executive Committee agreed that discussions about possible reorganization have implications for faculty governance and should be discussed openly. They decided to include this topic on the Agenda for their meeting with the Provost on November 28.
Ms. Grubman reported that there is an official process for establishing Administrative Policies in Appendix G of the University Manual (#80-1). The Executive Committee agreed that while the Senate might not have a role in approving administrative policies of this nature, there is a published procedure for doing so whether or not the Senate is directly involved.
c. Chairperson Larsen reported that he had written to the President suggesting a meeting with members of the Executive Committee and Council for Research before moving ahead with the search process for a Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
d. Following discussion, it was agreed to cancel the FSEC's regular meeting on November 7 because the University will be following Tuesday's schedule. In addition, the FSEC will meet with President Dooley on November 8 at 3:00 p.m.
e. Chairperson Larsen and Senator Rice reported on the AAUP Governance Conference they attended the previous week. Chairperson Larsen said that he would share his notes from the presentations with the FSEC.
The issue of Academic freedom was raised and it was noted that both the University Manual and the AAUP Contract had strong statements on academic freedom, but perhaps college by-laws should acknowledge the principles as well. There was some discussion as to whether to ask a representative of the URI AAUP to make a presentation to the Faculty Senate about current issues around academic freedom.
4. The Executive Committee reviewed the draft Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting #3, November 15, 2012.
a. Ms. Grubman announced that there were definitely two reports from the Graduate Council and the 500th Report of the CAC. The Executive Committee discussed the report of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee on the IDEA and agreed that the December meeting would be a better time for the report and a forum on the IDEA because a Forum is already scheduled for that meeting.
b. The Executive Committee agreed that the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Advising should be considered and acted upon at the Forum. Chairperson Larsen was directed to send mailings to all senators, deans and department chairs reminding them of the upcoming forum and urging action on the recommendations. It was further agreed to send the URLs for the recommendations as well as the ones for the summary and full report.
The Executive Committee discussed the report's recommendation for two committees on advising. It was noted that it was becoming more and more difficult to get faculty to serve on committees because of the lack of support for service.
c. The Executive Committee discussed the possibility of recommending an amendment to section 7.22.10 of the University Manual that would raise the importance of service in the tenure and promotion process:
7.22.10 Criteria for Promotion (Teaching, Library, Research and Extension Faculties). 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 and research are therefore to be regarded as the most important criteria for promotion, with University-related professional service also considered, in lesser measure. 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 chairperson and dean to determine periodically the relative importance of the criteria which shall apply and to report this to the individual faculty members.
d. The Executive Committee reviewed draft Manual sections for the process for reviewing the allocation of overhead funds. These sections were based on the process recommended by the FSEC at the September 20 Faculty Senate meeting. Several suggestions were made for clarification of the language. Following discussion, it was agreed to continue revising the draft recommendations by e-mail during the upcoming week.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman