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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Minutes for Faculty Senate Meetings

October 20, 2011

Number 2

1. The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:06 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Eaton presiding.

All members were present except Senators Dilworth, Dorado, Ferszt, Hamel, Hu, Husband, King, Lofgren, Mahler, La Luna, Mitkowski, Moran, Morin, Sun, and Wyant; Vice President Dougan; Vice Provosts Bozylinsky and Libutti; Deans Bonn, D’Hondt, Higgins, Jordan, Joseph, Maslyn, McKinney, Richmond and Wright (Deans Brownell, Kirby and Zawia were represented by their designees); Mr. Coates.  

2. Chairperson Eaton announced that the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting  #1, September 22, 2011, had been distributed, corrected and posted on the web.  She asked if there were any additions, further corrections to or questions about the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #1. There were none.

A motion was made to approve the corrected Minutes.  The motion carried.


A. Announcements

1) Chairperson Eaton said that she wanted to assure the Senate that the Executive Committee was following up on the comments and suggestions made at the September 22 Forum on the Culture of Community and intended to report back regularly.  She said that the FSEC had appreciated all of the comments made during the forum and thanked everyone who participated in the discussion.

2) Chairperson Eaton thanked Vice President Beagle not only for providing the Faculty Senate with a very informative presentation later, but also for graciously agreeing to sponsor our reception at the University Club after the meeting this afternoon.  She encouraged everyone to attend.  Chairperson Eaton explained that the reception gives Senators, ex officio members and guests an opportunity to meet one another and to continue any discussions begun during the formal meeting.

3) Chairperson Eaton reminded Senate that people who wish to speak wait to be recognized by the chair and also that they identify themselves before speaking. She said that this would give more people the chance to participate and provides the opportunity for the members of the Senate to become acquainted with one another by name.


B. Vice Chairperson Larsen said that the Minutes of Executive Committee Meetings #5, #6, #7, and #8 were accessible on the web at  and asked if there were any questions.  There were none. 

C. Vice Chairperson Larsen placed in nomination the names of the following Senators for the sixth member of the 2011-12 Executive Committee and asked them each to stand.

Senator Kathleen Davis, English

Senator Sherri Wills, Film Media


Vice Chairperson Larsen asked if there were any nominations from the floor.  There were none.  A motion was made to close nominations.  The motion carried.  Chairperson Eaton appointed Dean Killingbeck and Dean Quina to serve as tellers.  During Balloting, the Senate moved to the next item of business.             


D. Professor Emeritus Rose, University Ombud, presented the annual report of the Ombud for 2010-11.  He asked if there were any questions.  There were none.


Chairperson Eaton announced that Senator Kathleen Davis had been elected to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.  She thanked Senator Barber for his service and expressed appreciation to Senator Wills for agreeing to stand for election.  She also thanked Dean Killingbeck and Dean Quina for serving as tellers. 


A. President Dooley noted that he had approved Senate Bill #11-12--1 “Council for Research Report on the Institute for Immunology and Informatics.”  He said that the next step in the approval process would be consideration by the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. 

B. President Dooley said that he would respond to any questions at that point or later during the discussion of Administrator Evaluation.  There were no questions.


Senator Honhart presented the Four Hundred Ninetieth Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee. He noted that Section I was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

Senator Honhart moved approval of Section II.

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, a motion was made to amend the report by removing Section II B, 2 pending clarification.

After discussion, the amendment carried.

Following discussion, the motion to approve Section II as amended carried.

Senator Honhart said that Section III A was informational. He asked if there were any questions. There were none.

He moved approval of part B of Section III. The motion carried.


Vice President Beagle presented a Power Point display about the role of the Division of University Advancement in “Advancing URI.”  He responded to questions during and after his report.  (Additional information is available at


Ms. Acciardo assisted Vice president Beagle in distributing President Dooley’s Transformational Goals for the 21st Century (



On behalf of the Executive Committee, Chairperson Eaton raised the question as to how to get greater participation in the Administrator Evaluation Process.

Senator Rice and Professor Rosen provided background information on Administrator Evaluation at URI.

Discussion ensued. 


During discussion Chairperson Eaton took notes on suggestions and ideas.  These notes are attached to the Minutes of this Meeting as an Appendix.


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



Chairperson Eaton asked if there was any New Business.  There was none.

A motion was made to adjourn.  The motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:58 p.m.

                                                                                                                                         Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                                                  Sheila Black Grubman             




Administrator Evaluation Forum 10-20-11



It was reported by Professor William Rosen, Coordinator of Administrator Evaluation for the Faculty Senate, that there is often very low participation by faculty in the administrator evaluation process.  This forum was intended to solicit ideas from Senators on how to improve the process so that evaluations can be done in a more efficient and effective way.


Under the current process, the evaluation committee could choose to use an online survey to get input from faculty.  Instead, they most commonly request faculty to send in letters on paper.  The letters are kept confidential but the process is not anonymous.  It was suggested that there be an online survey made for all evaluations.

Pro’s and cons of surveys:

  • Survey's can have scaled answers to questions and invite comments. 
  • It is impossible to keep completely confidential.  Someone will know who wrote what. 
  • People are inundated with requests for surveys but have little time to do them all.
  • Surveys take much less time than letters.
  • Web-based evaluations provide more information when comments are solicited.
  • People are more likely to take the survey than to write a letter. 
  • Surveys are easy to complete.
  • Surveys can be made confidential but not anonymous. 
  • There could be email reminders to complete the survey.  
  • More people are likely to take the few minutes to fill out the survey than to take the time to write a letter.
  • If surveys are used, it should be carefully created.  Studies show that when a survey is taken by people who are not knowledgeable about the subject, responses will not represent their actual beliefs.  The results might be tainted by personal or political agendas. Information should be given to the responders. 

Specific features that a survey should have: 

Survey could be sent to selected groups rather than everyone.  There could be a 360° Degree evaluation with representative participation from, Superiors, Peers internally, Peers externally, Direct staff.  The survey could reflect the administrator's successes and challenges.  When the evaluation is only done by volunteers, the result has very little value, mostly those that have only praises for the administrator or have a negative view will respond.


Other questions and comments: 

  • How valuable is the input from faculty when they don't know much about the administrator?
  • The administrator should be required to submit a dossier just as faculty do.
  • One reason that faculty don't participate in the evaluation process is that they don't always feedback after the evaluation is complete.  
  • Perhaps evaluation could be included on department agenda so that faculty would have some time to talk about that administrator and hear more about their accomplishments and shortcomings.  Senators can play a role in talking to the chairs in their college chairs council meetings.
  • It would be good to have more information from administrator so evaluators can respond to specific issues identified by administrator.
  • It is not clear to faculty what the results and consequences of their evaluations are. 
  • We need to expand the base of input.


Actions to be taken: 

It may be time for a fresh perspective on the process including a change in selection of committee members, who should not be biased.   The survey idea seems to be popular among senators but we keep in mind that we might want the evaluation committee to do more than just a survey. 

An Ad Hoc Committee can be assembled by the FSEC to address what can be done better and what is being done well. 




Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

2015 Notice and Criteria



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