1. The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:12 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Eaton presiding.
All members were present except Senators Cooper, Derbyshire, Dilworth, Dorado, Ferszt, Hannel, Hu, Husband, La Luna, Leonard, Lloyd, Mahler, Marcoux, Moran, Ohley, Pearson-Merkowitz, Rice, Sun, Swaszek, Thomas and Wills; President Dooley, Vice Presidents Beagle, Dougan and Weygand; Vice Provosts Bozylinsky and Libutti (Vice Provost McCray was represented by his designee); Deans Bonn, Higgins, Jordan, Joseph, Kirby, Maslyn, Richmond and Wright (Deans Brownell, D’Hondt and McKinney were represented by their designees).
2. Chairperson Eaton announced that the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #2, October 20, 2011, had been posted on the web. She asked if there were any additions, further corrections to or questions about the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #2. There were none.
Chairperson Eaton ruled that in the absence of any comments or corrections, the Minutes were approved.
3. REPORTS OF OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
1) Chairperson Eaton announced that she had been asked by Executive Committee to report about efforts to follow-up on the matters discussed at previous forums. She said that the FSEC had responded to the original culture of community discussion by asking the Constitution, By-Laws and University Manual Committee to review chapters 4 and 7 of the University Manual on the faculty and make recommendations about the various definitions of faculty and suggest how the Senate might proceed on reviewing criteria for Senate membership.
In addition, she noted that with regard to Administrator Evaluation, the Executive Committee has agreed to establish an ad hoc committee to take a fresh look at our Administrator Evaluation process in light of concerns raised at the Faculty Senate Meeting and by the Provost and President. She asked that interested Senators contact Ms. Grubman or any member of the Executive Committee about serving on the committee.
Chairperson Eaton also explained that the FSEC has begun to discuss ways to bring the community of scholars together for an opportunity to get to know about our colleagues' research and scholarship. She said that the Executive Committee is seeking suggestions as to how to proceed during that afternoon's forum.
2) Chairperson Eaton said that the Academic Program Review Committee (APRC), a joint committee of the Senate and the Administration, asked that she announce that representatives of the committee will attend Provost DeHayes December 2 meeting with academic department chairs to report on the academic program review process as well as answer any questions chairs may have.
3) Chairperson Eaton thanked Dean Zawia for graciously agreeing to sponsor the reception at the University Club after the meeting. She encouraged everyone to attend, noting that the reception gives Senators, ex officio members and guests an opportunity to meet one another and to continue discussions begun during the formal meeting.
Chairperson Eaton then introduced Dean Zawia.
Dean Zawia said that he believed it was time to define a better future for graduate education at URI. He announced that the first step toward a conversation was to invite Dr. Debra Stewart, the President of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), to address faculty, members of the administration, and students at 6:00 p.m. that evening. He said that her speech would begin an open forum on the "Future of Graduate Education in the US."
Dean Zawia noted that the forum that evening would be followed by the very first Graduate Faculty Retreat to address graduate education issues on the following day at the Marriott in Newport. Dean Zawia urged members of the Senate to attend that evening's forum and noted that Senators and other guests would have an opportunity to meet and speak to Dr. Stewart at the reception immediately following the Faculty Senate meeting.
B. Vice Chairperson Larsen said that the Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting #9 were accessible on the web at http://www.uri.edu/facsen/about/committees/committees_2011-2012_meetings.html#FSEC and asked if there were any questions. There were none.
4. REPORTS OF THE PRESIDENT
In President Dooley's absence, Provost DeHayes gave the President's report.
Provost DeHayes said that he had a few announcements:
a. Provost DeHayes announced that the search for an Associate Vice President for Equity, Community and Diversity was underway and Vice Provost Beauvais was Chair of the Search Committee. He encouraged members of the Senate to give some thought about the appropriate credentials for the position and to take time to nominate candidates. He noted that working with nominations would bring a broader group of candidates who might not necessarily apply for the position.
b. Provost De Hayes said that he had recently attended a meeting of the Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU). He stated that the future funding of Public Higher Education in the contexts of both declining state funding and increasing tuition was a dominant theme at the meeting. He noted that persistence of students and completion of degrees was discussed, stating that the United States is now 15th in ranking of countries from which college degrees are completed. Innovative efforts to increased the number of adults achieving quality college degrees are being encouraged by the federal government and the APLU.
c. The Provost said that he was pleased to announce that the incoming freshman class had the best profiles as far as SAT scores, rank in high school graduating class and grade point averages seen in a number of years. He said that there were over 20,000 applicants, which brought in a class of 3,120 and noted that there were 600 more merit scholars than in the previous class.
d. Provost DeHayes said that there was a 3% increase in student retention, i.e., who entered as freshmen and stayed for sophomore year, as well as a steady increase in the graduation rate over the previous four years.
e. Provost DeHayes reported that the University faces a new challenge, retaining seniors and super seniors. The University found a significant number of students who left the University with 75 or more credits. He said that the administration is trying to get more information about why students didn't return to graduate and hoped to find ways to bring some back to complete their degrees.
5. REPORTS OF STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES
A. Dean Killingbeck presented the Curricular Report No. 1, 2011-12 from the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate. He noted that the changes in the first part of the report were informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.
Dean Killingbeck moved approval of new courses in the second part of the report, which required confirmation. The motion carried.
B. Professor Mundorf presented the Four Hundred Ninety-First Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee. He noted that Section I was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.
Professor Mundorf moved approval of Section II. The motion carried.
Professor Mundorf announced that Section III on 400-level courses was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.
Professor Mundorf said that Section IV was a report on Policies and Procedures for Online & Blended Course Development and moved approval.
Professor Torrens, Interim Director of the Office of Online Teaching and Learning, distributed paper copies of Section IV.
Following discussion, the motion carried.
C. Professor M. Wood presented the Annual Report of the Council for Research for 2010-11. He asked if there were any questions. There were none.
Provost DeHayes reported on the concept of "interdisciplinary clusters." He used a series of PowerPoint slides and answered questions throughout his presentation.
Chairperson Eaton, Senator Barbour and Vice Chairperson Larsen briefly outlined the Executive Committee's concept of what might constitute a culture of community event.
After discussion, a motion was made to adjourn. The motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
Sheila Black Grubman