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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes #8

September 26, 2012

1. The meeting was called to order at 10:03 a.m. on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 in the Dorothy Vocino Conference Room in the URI Library, Chairperson Larsen presiding. All members were present.

2. The Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting #7, September 19, 2012 were approved as corrected pending review by Provost DeHayes of sections related to his meeting with the FSEC.

3. The Executive Committee Chair and Vice Chair discussed the meeting with the Provost of September 19, 2012 for the benefit of those FSEC members who had not been able to be present. The topic of the session with the Provost was the recommendation of the Council for Research on the Overhead Policy to be presented at the Faculty Senate meeting.

The Executive Committee discussed the importance of reiterating to committees (at the first meeting of the year) the charge of the committee. It was suggested that letters issued from the Senate Office inviting or confirming committee membership could contain a link to the charge of the committee as found in the University Manual.

4. The Executive Committee discussed the proceedings of the Faculty Senate Meeting of September 20, 2012. The recommendation by the Council for Research on Overhead Policy and Regulations on Indirect Cost Recovery was approved. The President announced the formation of an Administration and Management Review Committee to identify opportunities and mechanisms by which URI can reduce the costs and improve the performance of its administration, management and business practices. The President had notified the Chair and Vice Chair in advance of the public announcement of his initiative.

5. Announcements/Correspondence/Reports:

a. Stemming from the recent work with the Council for Research, Chairperson Larsen discussed the idea of convening a group of research faculty (and CfR members) to address administrative needs specifically in the pre- and post-award process. The formation of the Research Foundation in 2007 was intended to remedy delays and other administrative problems for researchers. The JCAP task force, Research, Scholarship, and Innovation (2010), worked to identify ways to improve policies, support, and infrastructure towards achieving greater efficiency and cost effectiveness in sponsored programs administration. The FSEC will review these earlier initiatives and determine the progress, if any, made by these efforts.

The proposed (new) group will document problems and consider developing a survey. It was suggested that the concerns this group, when developed, be communicated to Anne Marie Coleman, Chair of the Administration and Management Review Committee.

b. Chairperson Larsen reported that the overhead proposal has been approved at the September 24, 2012 meeting of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. He reported at the Board meeting that the FSEC had met with the Administration and had approved the proposal. During questioning by the Board, the President stated that the new overhead process would be documented in the University Manual. Also, the BS degree in Psychology was approved.

c. Naomi Thompson, the newly hired Associate Vice President for Community, Diversity and Equity, requested the opportunity to join JCAP. The Assistant Vice President for Business Services was willing to step out of the committee. The FSEC approved the following revision to JCAP membership:

The Joint Committee on Academic Planning shall be chaired by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs with the Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate serving as JCAP vice chair. Members of the Committee shall include the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs; Special Assistant to the Provost for Academic Planning; Associate Vice President for Community, Diversity and Equity; Dean of Students in Student Affairs; Vice President for Research and Economic Development; Dean of the Graduate School; a Dean appointed by the Provost; a representative from the Feinstein Providence Campus appointed by the Vice Provost for Urban Programs; four members of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee; chairs of the following Faculty Senate committees: Curricular Affairs, Academic Program Review, and University College and General Education; the Presidents of the Student Senate and Graduate Student Association or their designees. Other individuals from the URI community, such as the Assistant Vice President for Business Services, may be called upon to participate and contribute.

d. Vice Chairperson Byrd reported that there is a meeting of the Administration and Management Review Committee scheduled for October 11.

e. Chairperson Larsen and Vice Chairperson Byrd had been contacted by a Providence Journal reporter seeking input on a report about nation-wide decreases in the levels of state university research support; the data placed URI 49th in the country. Chairperson Larsen had prepared a written response. He and Vice Chairperson Byrd would coordinate their response with Communications and Marketing.


6. Committees

a. Membership of the Ad Hoc Committee on Open Access is almost complete; still seeking one social scientist. Andree Rathemacher (Chair of the Library Committee) will schedule the first meeting soon.

b. The Ombud position remains vacant.

c. The FSEC discussed possible restructuring of the Council for Research. Consideration was given to the possibility of working during the summer and identifying faculty who would be willing to work during the summer months. The role of the Chair, adding a Vice Chair, and the role of administrators was discussed.


The meeting was recessed at 11:40 a.m.

The meeting was reconvened at 12:08 p.m. with President Dooley in the President's Conference Room, Green Hall. All members were present except Senator Rice.

7. Meeting with the President

a. Chairperson Larsen presented to the President the idea of video recording the major reports of Vice Presidents (and their divisions) to the Faculty Senate to allow those not in attendance an opportunity to hear the presentation because PowerPoint slides alone can be limiting. He acknowledged the potential concern about being recorded. The President expressed his opinion that the benefits could outweigh the negatives. He suggested that the FSEC ask the Vice Presidents directly. It was added that these would be available only through a secure website.

b. Chairperson Larsen asked the President if he were aware of any specific plans regarding the change in governance from the Board of Governors for Higher Education to a Board of Education. The President indicated that he had not been made aware of any plans. He added the timing of this impending change (Jan. 2013) presented a challenge to the university's calendar for budget approval as it related to admissions notifications, and that he had a meeting scheduled for later that day with the Governor's Office to address this issue. The President indicated that he had no information about the possible composition of the new Board.

c. Chairperson Larsen raised the issue of developing the URI Research Foundation for use in a more active research enterprise. The President agreed that, in principle, the URI Research Foundation could provide greater efficiency in the support of research. However, he is concerned about many issues including duplicative operations (HR, Purchasing, and post-award accounting functions). The President indicated that his concerns were not barriers and that solutions might be found in models at other institutions.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Nancy Neff




Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

2015 Notice and Criteria



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