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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Minutes for Faculty Senate Meetings

January 26, 2012

Number 5

1. The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:09 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Eaton presiding.

All members were present except Senators Barber, Clapham, Conley, Cooper, Dilworth, Dorado, Hu, La Luna, Lardaro, Lloyd, Marcoux, Northby, Ohley, Opaluch, Palm, Sun, Thomas and Wyant; President Dooley, Vice Presidents Beagle and Weygand; Vice Provosts Bozylinsky, Katz, and Libutti (Vice Provost McCray was represented by his designee); Deans Higgins, Joseph, Maslyn, McKinney and Richmond (Deans D’Hondt and Kirby were represented by their designees); Mr. Coates and Mr. Martin.

2. Chairperson Eaton announced that the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #4, December 15, 2011, had been posted on the web. She asked if there were any additions, corrections to or questions about the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #4. There were none.

Chairperson Eaton ruled that in the absence of any comments or corrections, the Minutes were approved.


A. Announcements

1) Chairperson Eaton began the meeting by welcoming everyone back for the spring semester and for the first meeting of 2012.

2) Chairperson Eaton announced that the Syllabus Website was up and fully functional. She thanked Phil Teixiera and Nancy Neff for getting it on the web in time for spring semester. She also expressed her appreciation to Bette Erickson for her help and to all of the faculty members who were gracious enough to provide us with their syllabi. She reminded the Senate that the site was developed in response to a request from the Provost and the Student Senate leadership to provide guidelines for faculty who want to improve or revise and update syllabi for courses. She encouraged everyone to visit the site, which is on the web at

3) Chairperson Eaton reported her observations on the public hearing that the Special House Commission to Study Public Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility in the State of Rhode Island and its Chairman, Representative Frank Ferri held at URI on Tuesday evening. (The full text of Chairperson Eaton's remarks are attached as an addendum to these Minutes.)

4) Chairperson Eaton thanked Vice President Tom Dougan for graciously agreeing to make a presentation to the Faculty Senate on the Division of Student Affairs as well as sponsor the reception at the University Club after the meeting that afternoon. She encouraged senators and guests to attend. She noted that the reception provides Senators, ex officio members and guests with an opportunity to meet one another and to continue any discussions we might have begun during the formal meeting.

B. Vice Chairperson Larsen said that the Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting #15 through #18 were accessible on the web and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

C. Vice Chairperson Larsen reminded the Senate that the By-Laws were amended in spring 2011 to permit election of the Chair and Vice Chair for the following academic year in February. He explained that the Senate By-Laws were also amended to appoint the nominating committee for the following year's Senate in January.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, Vice Chairperson Larsen moved that the Faculty Senate approve the membership of the Nominating Committee for Officers of the 2012-13 Faculty Senate:

Senator Michael Honhart, Arts and Sciences
Senator Tom Husband, Environment and Life Sciences
Senator Leslie Mahler, Human Science and Services

The motion carried.

Chairperson Eaton said that an agreement had been reached with the Provost with regard to compensating the academic departments of the Senate Chair and Vice Chair. She referred the Senate to the compensation agreement, which was posted on the web at



In President Dooley's absence, Provost DeHayes gave the President's Report.

A. Provost DeHayes said that President Dooley was prepared to sign the legislation listed on the Agenda when he returns the following week.

B. Provost DeHayes said that he had been impressed and moved by the expressions of support for URI from faculty, staff, students and alumni at the open meeting of the Commission on Access and Affordability on Tuesday evening. He stated that it was one of URI's finest extended moments in the four years he has been at URI and expressed his gratitude to everyone who spoke and participated at the hearing.

Provost DeHayes reported on the Fourth Academic Summit on January 20. He said that the theme of the day was interdisciplinary learning and discovery. He praised the keynote speaker, Dr. Leah Buechley from MIT. He also said that the panels of faculty and students were remarkable and inspiring as to what is being done among disciplines. He indicated that the afternoon's sharing of ideas about cluster hires was an exciting beginning and was hopeful that the University would continue to move ahead.

Provost DeHayes said that the URI Retirement Incentive Plan was a hot topic and that he hoped that when some questions are clarified, the University would be able to move ahead.

The Provost also reported on the "Finish What You Started" efforts for students who had dropped out of URI over the past ten years with 2/3 or even 3/4 of their requirements already accomplished. He then responded to questions from the Senate on specific details about this effort.


A. Dean Killingbeck presented the Curricular Report No. 3, 2011-12 from the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate. He noted that the first part of the report included a number of new courses and the second was the addition of a research specialization in the Biological and Environmental Sciences Graduate Degrees (M.S. and Ph.D.).  He moved approval of the report. The motion carried.

B. Professor Mundorf presented the Four Hundred Ninety-Third Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee. He said that Section I required confirmation by the Faculty Senate and moved approval. The motion carried.

Professor Mundorf announced that Section II was a joint report of the CAC and Graduate Council on 400-level courses. He said that part A of was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

Professor Mundorf then moved approval of part B of Section III. The motion carried.

D. Professor Izenstark, representing the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee, moved approval of Section I of the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee Report #11-12-1, the proposed calendar for the 2017-18 academic year.

Following discussion, the motion carried.

Professor Izenstark moved approval of Section II, a revised calendar for the 2012-18 academic years.

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, a motion was made to refer the revised 2012-13 through 2017-18 calendar back to the committee with instructions to consider the feasibility of changing the date on which final grades are due in the fall semesters.

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, the motion to refer to committee carried.

E. Professor Luebke, Chair of the Athletics Advisory Board, moved approval of the Board's recommendation to replace existing sections 8.51.30-31 of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL with the following three sections:

8.51.30 Final Examinations and Athletic Events. The University of Rhode Island shall not schedule intercollegiate athletic contests and compulsory practice sessions for the Reading Day(s) and Final Exam Days, except that home contests or contests requiring local travel may be scheduled for non - exam Saturdays or Sundays.

8.51.31 Participation in conference - scheduled competitions, conference championships, and NCAA championships is permitted on the Reading Day(s) and Final Exam Days. The Athletics Advisory Board must be notified in advance on a timely basis when such participation will occur and what the off - campus travel requirements will be.

8.51.32 Participation in special tournaments or other major athletic competitions not controlled through University scheduling that occur, or require off - campus travel, on the Reading Day(s) and Final Exam Days require approval of the University President if recommended by the Athletics Advisory Board. A request for such participation shall be forwarded in a timely manner to the Board for its consideration. If the Board agrees to recommend that the President waive the provisions of section 8.51.30, then the Board shall also provide the Faculty Senate Executive Committee with appropriate documentation and explanation for making the recommendation. The explanation to the Executive Committee should be forwarded simultaneously with the recommendation to the President. The President shall inform the Athletics Director, the Athletics Advisory Board Chair and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee of his/her decision within 48 hours of receipt of the recommendation.

Following discussion, the motion carried.


Vice President Dougan presented a Power Point display about the Division of Student Affairs' Projects and Programs. He responded to questions during and after his report.


A. Chairperson Eaton announced that when the Faculty Senate ran out of time at the December meeting, Vice Provost Beauvais and Senator Morokoff had not had the opportunity to provide the Faculty Senate with an update on the work of the Academic Affairs Diversity Task Force. She said that the report was now returned to the Agenda as unfinished business.

Vice Provost Beauvais and Senator Morokoff presented a Power Point display about the Academic Affairs Diversity Task Force. They responded to questions during and after their presentation.

B. Chairperson Eaton asked if there was any other unfinished business.

Senator Honhart said that the Nominating Committee was seeking nominations and volunteers for the positions of Chair and Vice Chair of the 2012-13 Faculty Senate. He encouraged interested Senators to contact himself or Senators Husband or Mahler.

8. New Business

Chairperson Eaton asked if there was any new business. There was none.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman

ADDENDUM to Minutes from Faculty Senate Meeting #5, January 26, 2012

On January 24, 2012 at 6:30PM a public hearing was held at the University of Rhode Island by The Special House Commission to Study Public Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility in the State of Rhode Island, which is chaired by Representative Frank Ferri.

There were approximately 25 faculty, deans, students, alumni, and other community members who gave testimony of 3-4 minutes each and enter their scripts into the public record. The testimonies went well past the scheduled ending time of 8PM. Approximately 80 people were in attendance form the university community.

The messages were about:

Faculty innovators who create products of great practical, commercial, and economic value to the state

The ability of a flagship institution with heavy support for research to draw industries to the state for both research and commercial relationships

New expanding areas of research and ways of doing research that our faculty are developing that cross disciplines and are going to provide tools to teach our students for future careers

Opportunity to be at the forefront of research in informatics, which is making sense of mountains of data that is being collected every second of everyday by sensors around the earth on land and in the oceans

The current funding and capacity for URI researchers in education to perform outreach to state K - 12 schools

How crucial it is to provide teachers, with a special emphasis on Kindergarten and elementary teachers, in state schools with resources

Some students' lack of basic skills to be prepared for college level study and how that relates to the statewide educational system and support thereof

An emphasis on providing more state support to students so they don’t end up maximizing their student loans or working 20 hours or more a week while attending school full time

Pride in having a URI education and the ability to have been able to afford to attend under challenging conditions - worrying that with soaring costs of higher education, their children and grandchildren might not have the same opportunity that they did

The responsiveness of Nursing to national and state demand to train a larger workforce, more than doubling the number of undergraduate students in recent years

The number of our PhD students in Psychology that work in RI as school clinicians and elsewhere in the state

Support of departments such as history that play a central role to the education that everyone should have to be an informed citizen and decision maker of today

At our Providence Campus, URI serves many older and non-traditional students, making a difference in their lives.

I talked about how as a member of the executive committee, I have seen a large number of faculty members step up, sometimes on short notice, and volunteer to be on task forces, ad hoc committees, and standing committees, to work together on important issues in higher education that we value at URI. That gives me pride in our institution and pleasure to be working among such dedicated people.

One thing that came across loud and clear is that faculty and students at URI love our institution, agree about its high quality in research and education, and believe it could be made much better with increased support. We are a key player in the economic growth of our state. I thought David Coates, the Student Senate President, said it well, "If the state wants something from us, they should pay for it."

Nancy Eaton,
Chairperson, Faculty Senate
February 23, 2012



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

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