1. The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:10 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Byrd presiding.
All members were present except Senators Buxton, (Eugene) Lee, Mandel, Matthew, Thomas, Trubiano, ex officio members Vice Presidents Dougan, Sonnenfeld, and Valentino; and Deans Bonn, Corliss, Higgins, Maslyn, Sullivan, and Wright. Senator Gordon was represented by Professor Green, Senator Heikes was represented by Professor Wishner, Vice Provost McCray was represented by Assoc. Dean Quina, and Dean Kirby was represented by Assoc. Dean Veeger.
2. Chairperson Byrd announced that the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #6, February 20, 2014 had been posted on the Faculty Senate website. He asked if there were any additions, corrections to or questions about these Minutes. There were none. Chairperson Byrd ruled that in the absence of any changes or corrections, the Minutes were approved.
3. REPORTS OF OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
1) Chairperson Byrd announced that the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Senate were sponsoring, again this year, the Faculty Outstanding Service Award. Renamed last year the Sheila Black Grubman Faculty Outstanding Service Award, it is to be awarded to a member of the URI Faculty who has consistently dedicated time, thought, and energy serving on the Faculty Senate, committees, task forces, working groups, or other to promote the interests of the University and University Community as a whole. Faculty are asked to nominate peers who exemplify service to the university. All full-time, continuing faculty members who are not currently members of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and have not served on the FSEC for at least two years prior to the current year are eligible. Award recipients receive a service plaque at the May meeting of the Faculty Senate and a financial award of $2000 for departmental use. Chairperson Byrd said that the deadline for nomination is April 1st.
2) Chairperson Byrd announced that the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Senate are sponsoring a Fulbright workshop and reception on April 3rd to learn about teaching and research opportunities in more than 125 countries. Ms. Jennifer Fox, senior program officer from the Fulbright US Scholar Program will be on campus for the day.
3) Chairperson Byrd announced that at today's meeting the University College and General Education Committee would present the revised General Education Program for approval. He added that debate on amendments would be limited to 15 minutes (with extension possible) and asked that Senators limit their comments to 3 minutes and present their amendments in writing if they were lengthy. He said that it was time to move forward to vote.
4) Chairperson Byrd expressed his appreciation to Dean Winnie Brownell for agreeing to sponsor the reception at the University Club after the meeting. He encouraged everyone to attend and noted that the reception gives Senators, ex officio members, and guests an opportunity to meet one another in an informal setting. He also congratulated Dean Brownell for being the recent recipient of the Dream Maker Award from the Rhode Island Film and TV Office.
5) Chairperson Byrd asked everyone to remember to wait to be recognized by the chair before speaking. He noted that it would be very helpful for participants to identify themselves before they speak.
B. Vice Chairperson Rice announced that the Minutes of the 2013-14 Executive Committee Meetings #21 and #27 were available on the Faculty Senate website. He asked if there were any questions. There were none.
C. Vice Chairperson Rice said that the Executive Committee had received a number of letters of concern and proposed resolutions regarding the legislation in the RI General Assembly to re-structure of the Board of Education and the attendant issue of shared governance at the University (discussed by the President at the February 20, 2014 Faculty Senate meeting). Vice Chairperson Rice said that the Executive Committee condensed these concerns into a single resolution and presented it for approval:
RESOLVED: The Faculty Senate urges the President and his Director of Legislative and Government Relations to work with legislators on behalf of the URI faculty to amend Section 2. Chapter 16-32-2.1 of Senate Bill S2265 and FY 2015 Budget Article 20 in order to clarify and affirm that the authority to create and consolidate departments, divisions, programs, and courses of study continues to originate with "president and a committee of the faculty of the university [Faculty Senate]" (RI General Law §16-32-10), in accordance with the principles of shared governance.
The motion passed unanimously.
D. Senator Rice recommended approval of an extension of time until May 8, 2014 for approval of Bill #13-14--13, Report to the Faculty Senate of the Constitution, By-Laws and University Manual Committee, January 2014, for reasons relating to changes in the structural organization of the Rhode Island Board of Education.
The motion passed unanimously.
4. REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT
The President addressed the pending discussion and vote on the revised General Education Program. He said that framing improvements to the current program is an important matter for the benefit of the students. He said that it is important to offer a program that accommodates broad student interest and prepares students for their future work. He wished the faculty the best in their debate of the revisions.
Legislation forwarded to the President after the February 20, 2014 Senate meeting was approved.
5. REPORTS OF STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES
A. Dean Killingbeck presented the Graduate Council Report No. 2013-14-5A to the Faculty Senate. He moved approval of two course changes, two new courses, and departmental changes from Chemical Engineering and Human Development and Family Studies.
The motion passed.
Dean Killingbeck presented the Graduate Council Report No. 2013-14-5B to the Faculty Senate. He moved approval of a new track, Environmental Planning and Design, in the Masters of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) graduate program.
The motion passed.
B. Professor Brand presented the Five Hundred and Thirteenth Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee. She moved approval of two course changes and two new courses.
The motion passed.
C. Professor Andrée Rathemacher presented the Annual Report of the Library Committee and the Report from the Faculty Senate Designate for the Open Access (OA) Policy. She reported that the Faculty Senate had added to the charge of the Library Committee last year that it serve in an advisory capacity to the Faculty Senate regarding the implementation and interpretation of the University of Rhode Island Open Access Policy. The committee met three times and reviewed the process of requesting articles from faculty. 385 article requests sent by the Library to faculty have yielded 85 Open Access articles being added to the DigitalCommons@URI.
Professor Rathemacher, the OA Designate, compiled a list of publishers and sent to 508 individuals at 457 publishers (1) a copy of the University of Rhode Island Open Access Policy, (2) a FAQ for Publishers on the University of Rhode Island Open Access Policy, and (3) a sample Addendum to Publication Agreement.
Responses were received from 29 publishers: 17 indicated their intention to cooperate with the Policy, 10 indicated that they would not cooperate, and 2 failed to understand the correspondence.
The Library Committee plans for next year include more on outreach strategies to faculty, what metrics to track regarding Policy implementation, and strategies for conducting the three-year review of the policy.
D. Professor Maier-Speredelozzi presented the University College and General Education Report 2013-14-3 on Fall 2014 Honors Courses to the Faculty Senate. She said that Section I was informational.
Section II required confirmation by the Faculty Senate. Professor Maier-Speredelozzi moved approval of ART 103 in Fine Arts and Literature (examine human differences; engage in artistic activity; speak effectively).
The motion passed.
E. Professor Maier-Speredelozzi presented the University College and General Education Report 2013-14-4: Revised General Education Program. She moved approval through paper ballot of the report, the General Education Program presented in proposed University manual and catalog language. The motion was seconded. Discussion followed.
Senator Davis moved to amend the report by adding the following:
"No more than two courses from the course code of a student’s major can be counted toward a student's general education requirements."
Discussion ensued and was extended for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minute extension, the motion to approve the amendment failed, 16 yea, 24 nay, 3 abstentions.
Senator Eaton moved to amend the report by changing
8.20.13 Students must take two (2) Grand Challenge courses as part of their General Education requirements.
8.20.13 Students must take one (1) Grand Challenge course as part of their General Education requirements.
The motion was seconded. Discussion followed. A request was made from the floor for a definition of a Grand Challenge course. A slide was projected that had been presented at the February 20 Forum on the revised program (attached at the end of these minutes). At the end of 15 minutes of discussion, Chairperson Byrd made a motion to extend debate. The motion was seconded; the motion to extend debate failed, 12 yea, 28 nay, 0 abstentions. The vote was called on the amendment, to change the program to require one Grand Challenge course and add language to define Grand Challenge courses. The motion carried, 37 yea, 5 nay, 1 abstention.
A motion was made to call the question on the main motion. The motion to call the question was approved 32 yea, 9 nay. The main motion, approval through paper ballot of UCGE Report 2013-14-4: Revised General Education Program as amended by reducing the number of required Grand Challenge courses to one and adding language to define the Grand Challenge course was called. Paper ballots were distributed, collected, and counted by Dr. Katz, Ms. Morrissey, and Ms. Neff. Chairperson Byrd affirmed the results by counting the ballots. The motion carried, 25 yea, 20 nay, 2 abstentions, and 1 unmarked ballot.
Chairperson Byrd asked if there were any New Business. There was none.
A motion was made to adjourn. The motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.