The meeting was convened at 3:45PM on Thursday, October 31, 2013 in the President's Conference Room, Green Hall. Present: President Dooley, Chairperson Byrd, Vice Chairperson Rice, Senators Brady, Cerbo, Davis, and Nassersharif.
Chairperson Byrd thanked the President for his address to the faculty at the September 19th General Faculty - Graduate Faculty meeting preceding the Senate Meeting on that day. Chairperson Byrd also said that the FSEC hoped to continue to engage with the President on matters of concern and mutual interest during the Report of the President at Senate meetings.
The following matters were discussed:
1. The Executive Committee asked the President about the constituents who should be included in the distribution of the survey for the administrator evaluation of Provost DeHayes. The FSEC expressed some frustration that obtaining email lists of faculty, deans, vice provosts, staff, etc. is difficult at the institution. There is no single division or office that actively offers this service to the community. The FSEC wished not to exclude anyone whom the President thought should be surveyed.
The President said he would consult with the Provost to identify external constituents who interact sufficiently with the Provost to have an informed opinion of his work.
2. Regarding the possible Faculty Senate role in the evaluation of the President, scheduled for 2014-2015, the President said that he would address the matter on the following Monday (November 4) when his review was scheduled for discussion with the Board of Education. The President was informed that University Manual language would likely have to be amended to allow the faculty to communicate with the Board of Education on the subject of the President's evaluation report or results. The FSEC referred the President to the following Manual Sections:
2.10.10 Channel of Authority. The normal channel of authority from the Board of Governors for Higher Education to the faculty, administration and staff of the University shall be through the President. All faculty members and administrative and other officers shall be responsible, through appropriate channels, to the President and only through him/her to the Board of Governors.
10.90.14 The written summary of the evaluation shall be disseminated to the administrator involved and his or her immediate supervisor by the evaluation committee for each administrator. The results of the President's evaluation go only to the President. The Administrator Evaluation Committee (AEC) performing each evaluation other than that of the President shall meet with the administrator involved, and may meet with the immediate supervisor to discuss the evaluation. The AEC performing the President's evaluation shall meet with the President to discuss the evaluation. The administrator has the option to provide a written response to the Administrator Evaluation Committee. All members of the constituent unit shall be notified in writing by the AEC as to when the meeting took place. #07-08--4
3. The President was asked about the next steps, subsequent to the three public forums, in coming to a decision about the arming of the campus police. He said that he would consult with his leadership team, many of whom had attended the forums. They would consider the possibility of more conversations if they thought they would be useful. The President planned to talk with the Student Senate and possibly meet with other student groups at this house during the month of November. Although he wanted to allow sufficient time for discussion, the President indicated that he hoped to be able to make the decision before the end of the fall semester.
Senator Brady commented on the concerns about the potential for racial profiling raised at the forums by some of the minority students. She also commented that she thought the forum panels were not balanced with regard to the viewpoint on arming the campus police. The President indicated that these events had not been intended to be venues for debate but that the panelists were chosen for their expertise on the matter and their ability to answer questions. He said that these events were intended to be opportunities to ask questions. The President added that the decision to arm is not the kind to be made through debate. He said that he believed that campus comment is important but that he and his administration will be accountable for the decision, once made. He added that data on the subject, expert advice, and experiences of comparable institutions are relevant and will help inform the decision.
The FSEC and the President discussed other elements of the scenario of an armed shooter on campus. The question was raised if URI is giving adequate consideration to the mental health dimension of this kind of a risk to campus safety. Senator Brady said that she believed that a broader approach to addressing risk factors, one that would include non-violent conflict resolution, would be popular. The FSEC proposed the idea of convening another event with expertise in this area to educate and inform the community about prevention, non-violent training for law enforcement, counseling, and mental health issues specific to the college-aged population. The President was receptive to the idea.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:00PM.