1. The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM on Monday, June 23, 2014 in Library Conference Room B in the URI Library, Chairperson Nassersharif presiding. Senators Rarick, Rollo-Koster, and Welters were present. Senators Cerbo and Sullivan were absent.
2. Minutes from Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting #2, May 28, 2014 were approved as amended. Minutes from Meeting #3, June 11, 2014 were approved with no changes.
a. Chairperson Nassersharif reported that all 2014 FSEC meeting dates have been set and the schedule has been distributed.
b. Chairperson Nassersharif and Vice Chairperson Rollo-Koster reported on their meeting of June 13 with the Provost. They had discussed the implementation process for the new general education program, the composition of the implementation steering team, and the reporting structure for the implementation work. They reported that they had discussed the Provost's verbal reports to constituency groups of the administrators evaluated in 2013-14. The Provost had indicated that he would report on the evaluations of the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, the Chief Information Officer, and Dean of the Graduate School at a special General Faculty Meeting to be called in advance of the October 16, 2014 Faculty Senate meeting. Also, Chairperson Nassersharif reported that he had informed the Provost that he had been contacted by faculty in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences who were concerned about a recent fiscal reorganization in the College. Chairperson Nassersharif had suggested to these faculty that they meet with their dean to ask the purpose of the reorganization. The Provost indicated that he would speak with the dean.
They had also discussed a faculty request to purchase a plagiarism detection service.
c. Chairperson Nassersharif said that he planned to attend 1) the June 24 Lifetime Service Society event honoring retired staff and faculty members who have served the University for 40 or more years and 2) the June 25 Council of Deans meeting to hear the presentation regarding the strategic reinvestments for Academic Affairs.
4. ONGOING BUSINESS
a. Following from the topics discussed with the Provost, the Committee reviewed the implementation plan for the new general education program. After some discussion, the Committee changed the text of the plan, augmenting the reporting by the Steering Team to include not only the FSEC but also the Key Stakeholders, the UCGE Committee, and the Provost's Office. Chairperson Nassersharif indicated that he would send a memo to the URI community announcing the Implementation Plan. The FSEC approved the appointment of 6 faculty to the Implementation Steering Team. These individuals had been previously contacted and had been asked about their interest and availability to serve. Ms. Neff was asked to send appointment letters to these faculty and to follow up on two additional solicitations that have not been answered.
b. The FSEC reviewed the current University Manual description of the University College and General Education Committee in order to consider revising the charge and scope of responsibility of the Committee. The suggestion has been made to remove this portion, "review and make policy recommendations to the Faculty Senate on all matters pertaining to the University College, such as admissions policy, length of time to be spent in the college, advanced standing, transfer students, advisement and counseling" and assign it to the Undergraduate Academic Advising Committee (UAAC) or create a new committee to meet this charge. The matter was tabled for later consideration.
c. The Committee discussed the subject of plagiarism. Intentional and accidental plagiarism, the usefulness and limitations of plagiarism detection software, and assignment design to discourage plagiarism were discussed. Ms. Neff said she would consult with the Library faculty to learn if students have an opportunity to receive instruction about avoiding plagiarism.
4. NEW BUSINESS
a. Concerns about the Confucius Institute were raised and a brief discussion ensued. The Committee will place the subject on the agenda of the next meeting with the President.
b. The Committee discussed a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Distance and Online Education to move to a vendor-supported version of Sakai in order to improve support for Sakai users. Chairperson Nassersharif informed the Committee that CIO Bozylinsky had responded that he was planning to assemble an ITS team to address the recommendation. After some discussion, the FSEC agreed to request that faculty be part of the team.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:17 AM.