The meeting was convened at 9:00AM on November 25, 2013 in the President's Office, Green Hall. Present: President Dooley, Chairperson Byrd, Vice Chairperson Rice, Senators Cerbo, Davis, and Nassersharif.
The following matters were discussed:
1. The President and the FSEC discussed plans for another co-sponsored forum in the series of events relating to the issue of arming the campus police. Subsequent to the October 31 meeting with the President, the FSEC contacted potential speakers, both within and outside of the University, with expertise in the areas of campus security other than arming, such as counseling, interventions to address mental health problems, and non-violent crisis resolution. The President was asked to select or suggest a speaker with expertise in emergency preparedness to add to this event. In addition to that kind of specialist, the President suggested that an individual be invited who has expertise in recognizing threatening behavior as related to mental health disorders, be knowledgeable of appropriate non-violent interventions, and have knowledge of the state's progress in developing a database of individuals with documented mental health problems. For suggestions of potential speakers, the President recommended contacting URI Public Safety Director, Stephen Baker; South Kingstown Chief of Police, Vincent Vespia, Jr.; Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, Michael Fine; or URI Counseling Center Director, Robert Samuels. Senate Vice Chair Michael Rice said that Providence Commissioner of Public Safety, Steven M. Paré (former Chief of the RI State Police and URI alumnus) had experience in this area. Potential speakers had been asked by FSEC members if they were available Dec. 3rd or Dec. 5th. Not all had replied. There was discussion about the timing of the event. It was hoped that it could be scheduled before the end of classes (Dec. 9th). Having to wait until the start of the Spring semester (January) was thought of unfavorably but considered to be a possibility. The President wanted the event to take place by December 16th. He indicated that his staff would be available to assist with the planning and communication as with the previous co-sponsored forums.
2. The President told the FSEC that the Board of Education had not discussed his review on November 4th, as previously scheduled, because not all Board members were present. The discussion will be rescheduled.
3. The President asked the FSEC for an update on the progress of the revisions to the General Education program. Chairperson Byrd said that he and Vice Chair Rice had met with the University College General Education (UCGE) Committee at their last meeting on November 7th. At that time, they asked the committee to prepare a report to distribute to the senators. They expressed to the committee that they wanted to schedule a forum at the January Senate meeting to be followed by a vote on the revisions at the February meeting. The President expressed great concern about the length of time that has passed since the start of the work to revise the general education program. The FSEC discussed some of the reasons for the protracted effort. The President indicated that the lack of meaningful reform of the program in a reasonable time is highly disadvantageous to the institution. The President said that he would talk to the Provost and possibly request a meeting with the Provost and the FSEC to discuss the prospects for passage in the Senate.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:15AM.