Faculty Senate

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December 10th, 2015 Minutes

1. Immediately following a meeting of the General Faculty‐Graduate Faculty, the regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:13 p.m. in Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Rollo­‐Koster presiding.

All members were present except Senators Chadha, Dunn, Kirschenbaum, Licht, Mahler, Mandel, Martin, Mead, Meagher, Menden­‐Deuer, Moran, Omand, Pearson‐Merkowitz, Vocino, Wang, and Zhang; ex officio members Vice Presidents Dougan, Sonnenfeld, and Valentino; Vice Provosts Beauvais, Katz, and Libutti; Chief Information Officer Bozylinsky; Deans Bonn, Ebrahimpour, Richmond, Sullivan, Wright, and Zawia.  Associate Dean Smith represented Dean Corliss and Associate Dean Veeger represented Dean Kirby.


A. Announcements

1. Chairperson Rollo‐Koster announced that, at the February 2016 Senate meeting, elections would be conducted for the Senate leadership positions. She reminded  the Senators that, in 2014‐15, the Senate had approved a new two‐year position called Vice Chair/Chair Elect.  In this new position, a senator would serve one year as Vice Chair and a second consecutive year as Chair.  Chairperson Rollo‐Koster urged those interested in being considered to contact her or other members of the Executive Committee.  She also asked Senators to contact her if interested in serving on the Nominating Committee.

2. Chairperson Rollo‐Koster reported that the survey to evaluate President Dooley had been clos 224 faculty and 353 staff had completed the survey.  The Evaluation Committee was reviewing the results and drafting a report.

3. Chairperson Rollo‐Koster announced that the Curricular Affairs Committee would present for the Senate’s approval the proposal to create the College of Education and Professional Studies and the proposal to transfer the Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design from the College of Human Science and Services to the College of Business Administration.

4. Chairperson Rollo­‐Koster reported that the General Education Implementation Steering Team (GEIST) would terminate its work at the end of December. She credited GEIST with an excellent job of important work and said that the Executive Committee would continue discussions about implementation with the Provost.

5. Chairperson Rollo‐Koster announced that the Joint Committee on Academic Planning would present the final draft of the new Academic Plan for 2016‐2021 and ask for support of the goals for the Plan.

6. Chairperson Rollo‐Koster reminded non­‐Senators to sign the Permission to Speak form and asked everyone to remember to wait to be recognized and to identify themselves before speaking.

B. Chairperson Rollo­‐Koster announced that the minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #3, November 19, 2015 had been posted with the age She asked if there were any additions, corrections to or questions about these minutes. There were none. Chairperson Rollo‐Koster ruled that, in the absence of any changes or corrections, the minutes were approved.

C. Activities of the Executive Committee

Vice Chairperson Welters announced that the Minutes of the 2015‐16 Executive Committee Meetings #15 and #16 were available on the Faculty Senate website. She answered questions.


The President said that the meeting agenda accurately reflected the status of the legislation forwarded to him after the November 19 Senate meeting. He thanked the Senators for a successful semester. The President noted that students are enthusiastically engaged and appreciative of the creative work of the faculty. He said that the academic reputation of the institution continues to grow, due, in part, to the work of the faculty.


A. Associate Dean Rusnock presented Curricular Report N 2015‐16‐2 from the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate. She summarized the Informational section of the Report (one course change) and described 8 new courses, 6 of which were part of joint PhD program in Education with Rhode Island College.  She moved approval of the new courses and the motion passed.  The Associate Dean summarized and moved approval of two curricular proposals: a change to the graduate admission requirements from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the creation of 3 new tracks in the Masters of Arts/Teacher Certification Program in Health, Physical Education, and Health/Physical Education.  The motion passed.

B. Professor Owens presented the Five Hundred and Twenty‐Eighth Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee. She said that Section I was Informational and asked if there were any que There were none.  She reported that Section II required Senate approval.  Five new courses and 7 course changes were presented and approved. Professor Owens presented 5 curricular proposals:  a change to the requirement to transfer to the Department of Communication Studies from University College, two changes to the (BA) Anthropology core curriculum, changes to the Minor in Labor Relations to be called Minor in Work, Labor, and Social Justice; merger of the School of Education and College of Continuing Education into the College of Education and Professional Studies and closure of the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education; and transfer of the Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design from the College of Human Sciences and Services to the College of Business Administration.  Each proposal was moved separately and each was approved.

C. Professor Kinnie presented General Education Committee Report 2015­‐16‐6. He presented a list of 24 existing courses that had been approved for offering in the new general education program.  He moved approval of one new course for the new general education program. The motion passe Professor Kinnie provided a brief update on the status of the course submissions for the new program.  He said that there was a need for more Grand Challenge courses and courses assessing the Civic Knowledge and Responsibilities learning outcome.

D. Professor Gindy presented the Report of the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee #2015‐16‐2. She presented the 2016‐2019 calendars for the fully online accelerated degree programs and the 2021‐2022 academic year calendar.  She noted that a snow emergency makeup day had been added to the spring 2022 semester on President’s Day of that year.  A motion was made to approve the calendar  The motion passed.  Professor Gindy presented a change to the University Manual (8.19.15) regarding non­‐matriculating students.   A motion was made to approve the following: “Non matriculating students may earn up to a maximum of 45 credits before applying for admission or readmission.”  The motion was seconded and discussion ensued. Senators expressed concern that students should not be limited to earning 45 credits but that 45 credits be the limit that could apply toward a bachelor’s degree.  The motion to approve was withdrawn.  A motion was made to send the proposal back to the Committee for revision and clarification of the intent of the statement. The motion passed.

E. Provost DeHayes and Senate Vice Chairperson Welters presented the final draft of the Academic Strategic Plan 2016‐2021. The Provost reviewed the development of the Plan over the previous 18 months.  He thanked all those who had contributed to the Plan: members of the Joint Committee on Academic Planning (JCAP), JCAP subcommittees, faculty task forces, and the university community at large for their feedback. Vice Chairperson Welters moved approval of the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the 2016‐2021 Academic Plan evolved from widespread input and collaboration from task forces comprised of faculty, students, staff, and representatives of the URI Foundation, And,

WHEREAS, the Joint Committee on Academic Planning has provided detailed direction and guidance to the Academic Plan, And

WHEREAS, the Academic Plan is essentially a document not meant to be a prescriptive plan, but rather a dynamic guide open to modification over time,

BE IT RESOLVED: That the Faculty Senate of the University of Rhode Island agrees to advance the goals of the Academic Plan and supports continuing efforts by the Provost, Deans and Faculty to work on accomplishing those goals.

Discussion ensued. It was noted that advancing the goals of the Plan would not require that all faculty agree with all the subordinate strategies and actions described in the Plan.  The resolution was approved.

F. Honors Program Director Lynne Derbyshire presented the 2014­‐2015 Report of the Honors Program and Visiting Scholars Committee. The report described the Honors Office as comprised of three divisions: the Honors Program, National Fellowships, and Pre‐health professions advising.  The Director explained that the criteria for acceptance into the Honors Program had changed for the Fall 2015 freshmen class:

  • a cumulative high school GPA of 3.80 or higher or
  • a cumulative high school GPA of 3.50 or higher AND a combined SAT score of 1200 or higher in Critical Reading and Mathematics (or the ACT equivalent score or 27)

She explained that the dual eligibility criteria was instituted in an effort not to exclude first generation and Pell eligible students because SAT scores can be correlated with family income. Director Derbyshire noted that 12% of honors students identified as from underrepresented groups in 2014 and, in 2015, the figure increased to 15%. Director Derbyshire said that the honors Program had just concluded another successful Colloquium, The Power of Humor, which had been coordinated by Professor DiCioccio (Communication Studies, Harrington School of Communication and Media), and Associate Dean Quilliam (Pharmacy). She said that the Fall 2016 Colloquium, Inequality and the American Dream, would be coordinated by Professors Doerner (Sociology), Johnson (Political Science), Loomis (History), and Malloy (Economics). Director Derbyshire noted many achievements in National Fellowships. Student applications were assisted by Assistant Director Maher. Honors student Morgan Breene (BA History and Anthropology ‘14, GIS certificate ’15) became the first University of Rhode Island student in the history of the program to be named a Marshall Scholar.  Michael Roderick (MA Elem. Ed ‘15; BA History and Political Science ’13) was selected as a Fulbright (English) Teaching Assistant to South Korea.  Alexandra Azevedo (BA Philosophy ’16 and BS Biological Sciences ’15; Pre‐Med) received full funding study through the Boren African Language Flagship Initiative.  Many other honorees were noted in the report that was posted with the agenda.  President Dooley inquired about the medical school acceptance rate.  Director Derbyshire answered that the acceptance rate in 2014‐15 was 57%.  Although considered low for the institution, it is above the national average of 50%.  Director Derbyshire answered other questions.


Chairperson Rollo­‐Koster asked if there were any Unfinished Business.  Senator Cohen asked about the referendum to the General Faculty that resulted in a failure of the motion to allow non­‐tenure track faculty to serve in the Senate.  A clarification was made that, in February 2015, legislation was approved allowing non‐tenure track faculty full voting privileges in their departments and/or colleges on matters requiring approval of the Faculty Senate.  The failure of the referendum to the General Faculty (October 2015) did not affect the voting rights legislation from the previous February.  Chairperson Rollo‐Koster said that the question of allowing non‐tenure track faculty to serve in the Senate could be re‐visited and re‐proposed another time.


Chairperson Rollo‐Koster asked if there were any New Business.  There was none.

8. A motion was made to adjourn. The motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 4:20pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Neff

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