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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Minutes for Faculty Senate Meetings

Minutes #4

December 13, 2012


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 Larsen presiding.

All members were present except Senators Anderson, Barbour, Clapham, Conley, Davis, Dorado, Dyehouse, Hu, Kincaid, King, Lloyd, Mitkowski, Morin, Opaluch, Paton, Pearson-Merkowitz, Spivack, Shin, Taveira and Thomas; President Dooley; Provost DeHayes; Vice Presidents Alfonso, Dougan and Weygand, Vice Provost Libutti (Vice Provost McCray was represented by his designee); Deans Bonn, Ciccomascolo, Corliss, Higgins, Jordan, Richmond, Richmond and Wright, (Dean Kirby was represented by his designee); Ms. Segal.

2. Chairperson Larsen announced that the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #3, November 15, 2012, had been posted on the web. He asked if there were any questions, additions or corrections to the Minutes. There were none.

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


A. Announcements

1) Chairperson Larsen reported that the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education held its last meeting this past Monday. He said that it was still not known, at least publicly, whether some members would be appointed to the new Board.

2) Chairperson Larsen expressed his appreciation to Dean Nasser Zawia of the Graduate School and or graciously agreeing to sponsor the reception at the University Club after the meeting. He encouraged everyone to attend the reception even if they were only able to stay for a brief time. He said that the reception provides an opportunity for people to meet and get to speak with one another in an informal setting.

3) Chairperson Larsen noted that it was the last meeting of the Faculty Senate for the calendar year and wished everyone a happy midwinter holiday of his or her choice.

4) Chairperson Larsen said that since the Faculty Senate wouldn't meet again until January 24, 2013 he wanted to encourage as many people as are able to attend the Fifth Annual Academic Summit on January 18, 2013 from 8:30 to 4:30 in the Memorial Union.

5) Chairperson Larsen reminded everyone that speakers should wait to be recognized by the chair before they speak. He said it would also be helpful if speakers identify themselves before speaking.

B. Vice Chairperson Byrd announced that the Minutes of Executive Committee Meetings #13, #14, #15, and #16 were available on the web. He asked if there were any questions.

Discussion ensued regarding the searches for the Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, which had been mentioned in the FSEC Minutes of Meeting #14.

C. Vice Chairperson Byrd moved approval of the new sections 10.72.10-14 of the University Manual on Review of Distribution of Facilities and Administration (Overhead) Funds as recommended by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee in their report dated December 5, 2012.

Discussion ensued.

After discussion, Senator Leo moved to terminate debate. The motion to terminate debate carried.

The Faculty Senate voted immediately on the proposed new sections 10.72.10-14. The motion carried.

Following are the approved new sections of the University Manual:

10.72.10 Procedure for Revisions to the Distribution of Facilities and Administrative (Overhead) Funds At the beginning of each fiscal year, a subcommittee of the Council for Research shall review procedures and distribution of Facilities and Administrative funds (research overhead funds). The review shall: a) evaluate the current expenditure and distribution plan with regard to URI's changing needs and resources; b) examine, as desirable, F&A distribution plans at other peer public research institutions; c) produce a report including, as appropriate, any recommendations for changes in distribution to be considered for implementation in the subsequent fiscal year.

10.72.11 The Subcommittee shall be chaired by the Vice President of Research and Economic Development and the Chair of the Council for Research shall be Vice Chair. The subcommittee shall also consist of four additional faculty members from the Council for Research elected by the Council before its last meeting in the spring and one designee each of the President, the Provost, and the Vice President for Administration and Finance.

10.72.12 Specific arrangements proposed for centers or projects must be reviewed and approved by the Vice President of Research and Economic Development after consultation with the President, PIs, Provost, and appropriate deans, directors and chairs. Such arrangements shall be in writing, be presented to the Subcommittee, and have a defined term (no more than three years) after which they shall be reviewed and, if appropriate, re-established or renegotiated.

10.72.13 Entities receiving F&A funds shall make a full and accurate accounting of how funds were spent during the prior fiscal year, including all SPA expenditures. These reports shall be submitted by October 1 of each year to the Controller by all university units that have expenses related to F&A funds. The Controller will review to ensure reports are reconciled with audit statements.

10.72.14 During the review process, a draft of the report shall be made available to faculty for a minimum 2-week comment period. The Subcommittee shall consider these comments in production of their final report, which shall be submitted to the Council for Research to forward to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the President, Provost, Vice President of Research and Economic Development, and Vice President of Administration and Finance no later than January 31 for review, discussion, and approval, and then is subject to final approval by the President. The President shall submit an annual report to the Board and the Faculty Senate on the use of indirect cost recovery funds and any changes in the distribution of funds for the coming year.


Chairperson Larsen announced that both President Dooley and Provost DeHayes were in China and could not attend that afternoon's meeting. He said that The President's report would be postponed until the January 24 meeting.


A. Dean Killingbeck presented the Graduate Council's Report No. 2012-13-2 to the Faculty Senate. He asked if there were any questions about the changes. There were none.

Dean Killingbeck moved approval of the section of the Graduate Council's Report that required confirmation. The motion carried.

B. Dean Zawia presented the Curricular Report No. 2012-13-2A from the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate: Proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (GIS/RS).

A motion was made to approve the report.

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, the motion carried.

C. Professor Mundorf presented the Five Hundred First Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee. He said that Section I was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

Professor Mundorf noted that Section II required confirmation by the Faculty Senate and moved approval. The motion carried.

Professor Mundorf announced that Section III was a joint report of the Curricular Affairs Committee and Graduate Council on 400-Level Courses. He said that Part A of Section III was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none.

Professor Mundorf announced that Section III, Part B required confirmation and moved approval of part B. The motion carried.

Professor Mundorf announced that Section IV was a recommendation of the CAC to replace University Manual Sections 8.81.62 and 8.81.63 with a new section 8.81.62. He explained that the proposal had been revised in accordance with the Faculty Senate's instructions at the November 15 Meeting:

8.81.62 A course not taught for two successive calendar years and not scheduled for the third year shall be deleted from the public list of curricular offerings (Official University Catalog). Enrollment Services will verify annually which of these courses have been scheduled at the request of department chairs or college deans. Courses not scheduled will be considered suspended and will remain on the Enrollment Services non-public list for 4 years. If the suspended course is offered any time during the four-year period, it will be returned to the public list of curricular offerings (University Catalog). If the suspended course is not offered within 4 years it will be considered deleted and may not be offered without approval as a new course.

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, a motion was made to refer recommendation to the Curricular Affairs Committee. The motion carried.

The following instructions accompanied the motion to refer to committee: clarify wording with regard to terms "scheduled", "offered", and "taught"; forward the revision of 8.81.62 to the Graduate Council for review; and identify those courses not offered officially, but used in exceptional circumstances for applying transfer credit to ensure that departments can still apply the credits without offering the courses.

D. Professor Maier-Speredelozzi presented the University College and General Education Committee Report #2012-13-3.

She moved that the Faculty Senate approve the following history courses for the Letters (L) area of the General Education program:

A. HIS 110 Ancient Greece: History and Archaeology (examine human differences, read complex texts, and writing effectively) Diversity

B. HIS 111 Ancient Rome: History and Archaeology (examine human differences, read complex texts, and writing effectively) Diversity

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, the motion carried.

Professor Maier-Speredelozzi moved that the Faculty Senate allow GCH courses to be scheduled for a fourth offering in 2013.

Discussion ensued.

Following discussion, the motion carried.

E. Professor McIntyre presented the Annual Report of Honors Program & Visiting Scholars Committee for 2011-12, which was informational and did not require a vote.

Discussion ensued.

After discussion, the Senate moved to the next item of business.

F. Professor Kinnie presented the Annual Report of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee for 2011-12, which was informational and did not require a vote.

Discussion ensued.

After discussion, the Senate moved to the next item of business, the Forum on the IDEA.


As the Forum began, Chairperson Larsen announced that 30 minutes would be allowed for discussion before the need to extend debate.

Discussion ensued. A summary of issues raised during the Forum is attached to the Minutes of this meeting.


Chairperson Larsen asked if there was any unfinished business.

Senator Leo asked about asked if there was data on the cost of the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee if they are implemented.

Chairperson Larsen said he was not aware of such data. He noted that the Ad Hoc Advising Committe's recommendations had been referred to the Executive Committee and should be back to the Senate in legislative form in January or February.

A question was raised about the proposed graduate faculty legislation. Dean Zawia said that he hoped to have a new section of the University Manual approved by the Graduate Council and reviewed by the Constitution, By-Laws in and Manual Committee for Senate consideration early in the spring semester.


Chairperson Larsen asked if there was any new business.

There was none.

9. A motion was made to adjourn. The motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheila Black Grubman


Attachment to Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #4, December 13, 2012

Faculty Senate IDEA Forum 12/13/2012

Notes reflecting the open discussion among faculty senators on the IDEA student evaluations of teaching as reported by Professor Kinnie, Chair of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee.

Surprised about the low response rate of the faculty survey distributed in Spring 2011. It was given at the end of the semester but the list was limited by the email lists we have.

Major problem with IDEA is a structural problem. Tries to be comprehensive but all the questions may not be relevant so students may not know how to deal with some of the questions. This could lead to response error. The instrument will need to be parsed to be effective.

Concerns about students' ability to understand the questions; comments are not consistent with quantitative results. The three essential objectives are listed but students see all the questions.

Faculty do not always see the open-ended comments from students.

Administration of the evaluation: there has to be a way to go online.
Interpretation of questions: results did not match with comments; if instructor does not know what the questions are asking, then how can students?

IDEA survey a way for students to express their frustration - unhelpful.
The feedback that instructors get is "absurd." It is a form of disrespect and tells me nothing about how to improve my teaching.

Solution for getting higher return rates on online administration discussed in Admin AAUP Committee. Needs to be presented to AAUP Executive Committee.

Low response rates might be affected by the lists of students - some have dropped but are still included in the idea count.

The survey is too long for students; most students report that they learn facts, whether they were exposed to that form of knowledge or not.

Faculty 'game' the system by going back to previous semester's results and pick the highest-rated objectives for the next semester's evaluation.

Nursing has its own survey, which is much more helpful than the IDEA.

The old SETs had some positive questions. What happened to them?

Should we scrap the whole system? If so, we contractually have to have an evaluation system.

Most useful about the online system: comments from students

Liked the online system; but need to know how many students have responded to encourage them to respond. Can play it like a contest.



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

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