1. The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:05 p.m. in the Cherry Auditorium, Chester Kirk Building, Chairperson Nassersharif presiding.
All members were present except Senators Chadha, Dunn, Lee, Licht, Mahler, Martin, Matthew, Menden-Deuer, Pearson-Merkowitz, Roberts, Rynearson, Tsiatas, Verskin, and Wang; ex officio members Vice Presidents Dougan and Sonnenfeld; Vice Provosts Beauvais and Libutti, CIO Bozylinsky; Deans Bonn, Jervis, McCarthy, Sullivan, and Wright. Associate Dean Smith represented Dean Corliss and Associate Dean Veeger represented Dean Kirby.
2. Chairperson Nassersharif announced that the Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting #8, April 16, 2015 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 Nassersharif ruled that in the absence of any changes or corrections, the minutes were approved.
3. REPORTS OF OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
1. Chairperson Nassersharif said that today’s meeting was the first Faculty Senate meeting for new Senators. He welcomed the following faculty members to the Senate:
Jerome Adams, Human Development and Family Studies
Fatemeh Akhlaghi, Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Carolyn Betensky, English
Mark Conley, Music
Elizabeth Cooper, Business Administration
Lisa Harlow, Psychology
Leslie Mahler, Communicative Disorders
Bradley Moran, Oceanography
Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz, Political Science
Michael Rice, Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science
Alison Roberts, Biological Sciences
Catherine Sama, Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures
Dara Schniederjans, Business Administration
Leon Thiem, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michael Vocino, University Libraries
Jay Wang, Mechanical, Industrial, and Systems Engineering
Travis Williams, English
2. Chairperson Nassersharif announced that, in 2010, the Faculty Senate and the Provost had instituted a joint award for Faculty Outstanding Service. In 2013, the award was renamed the Sheila Black Grubman Faculty Outstanding Service Award in honor of Sheila Grubman’s 40 years of service as the Faculty Senate Coordinator. Chairperson Nassersharif asked Provost DeHayes to join him in presenting the 2015 Faculty Outstanding Service Award to Senator Cathy English from the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences. Senator English accepted the award and Chairperson Nassersharif read the following:
“The spirit of this award is to recognize faculty members who have been exceptional citizens. You have served broadly on a number of important committees and initiatives including: General Education Committee (CELS representative), Faculty Senate (CELS representative), University College Scholastic Standing Committee, the Sabbatical Review Committee, and the URI Gateway to Completion Committee and a member of the Phase II Health Reorganization Committee, just to mention a few.
As one of your nominators stated, “her excellence in providing service to her department, college, the University and her professional community is admired and appreciated: in this realm she is quite simply, outstanding.” You have led by example and fairness, never saying “no” when your service was needed. You bring a smile to the faces of people who have had the pleasure of working with you. One colleague summarized that “She holds herself to the highest standards no matter what task she engages in.”
Through your exemplary service and dedication, you have made the University of Rhode Island a better place for all of us.”
3. Chairperson Nassersharif thanked the members of the 2014-15 Executive Committee for their efforts and support during the year: Vice Chairperson Joëlle Rollo-Koster and Senators Michael Cerbo, Damon Rarick, Michael Sullivan, and Linda Welters. He also expressed his appreciation to the members and chairs of the many Faculty Senate Committees, and on behalf of the Executive Committee, thanked President Dooley, Provost DeHayes and Vice Provost Beauvais for their continued support and collaboration.
4. Chairperson Nassersharif announced that elections would be held at today’s meeting to fill two positions on the Executive Committee. He said that the names of the nominees had been posted on the agenda.
5. Chairperson Nassersharif thanked Dean Jervis for graciously agreeing to sponsor the reception at the University Club after the meeting. He encouraged all Senators and others to attend.
B. Activities of the Executive Committee
Vice Chairperson Rollo-Koster announced that the Minutes of the 2014-15 Executive Committee Meetings #33, #37, #38, and #39 were available on the Faculty Senate website. She asked if there were any questions. There were none.
Vice Chairperson Rollo-Koster recommended adoption of the following Resolution:
Whereas, Bahram Nassersharif was elected as Chairperson of the Faculty Senate on February 20, 2014 following 2 years of service as an Executive Committee member, and
Whereas, he has led the body through a time of extremely challenging and controversial issues, and collegial mischief, and
Whereas, he has exemplified good leadership through unremitting dedication to communication, continuity, and efficiency of time and effort, manual language changes and due process, and
Whereas, he has been a staunch supporter of the Senate’s central role in shared governance at this institution, and
Whereas, he demonstrates what he asks of others, honorable service and behaviors, and
Whereas, he has continued the tradition of Chairperson-most-dapper, So be it
RESOLVED, that the University of Rhode Island Faculty Senate extends gratitude and appreciation to Bahram Nassersharif for his outstanding service to the University and wishes him well in all his future endeavors.
The resolution was adopted.
C. Recommendations of the Executive Committee
Vice Chairperson Rollo-Koster recommended an amendment to the By-Laws of the Faculty Senate. In an effort to streamline the course approval process, By-Laws Section 10.1, actions of the Faculty Senate that do not require approval by the President, would be amended to include creation of new courses and changes to existing courses. The motion was seconded and discussed. She said that the vote would be called at the September 17, 2015 Faculty Senate meeting [per By-Laws 12.1, a proposed amendment to the By-Laws may not be voted upon at the meeting at which it is first moved]. An accompanying amendment to Chapter 8 of the University Manual would be presented at that time, too.
Chairperson Nassersharif moved to change the order of business to allow the President to make his remarks prior to the Report of the Nominating Committee.
4. REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT
The President thanked Chairperson Nassersharif and Vice Chairperson Rollo-Koster for their efforts to strengthen shared governance. He said that the outcomes achieved will pay off in the future and the institution as a whole benefited from the process. The President indicated that the status of the legislation forwarded to him the after the April meeting was noted on the agenda.
Chairperson Nassersharif resumed the order of business with Agenda item 3. D. Report of the Nominating Committee.
3. D. Report of the Nominating Committee
Chairperson Nassersharif, representing the Nominating Committee, summarized the vacancies on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. He said that the Senate would be electing one Senator to serve a 2-year term and one Senator to serve a one-year term. He placed in nomination the names of the following Senators for the two-year term on the Executive Committee: Michael Rice, College of the Environment and Life Sciences and George Tsiatas, College of Engineering. He asked if there were any nominations from the floor. There were none. Nominations were closed. Ballots were distributed. Chairperson Nassersharif said that that the Senate would proceed with the Agenda during balloting and report voting results as they became available. The Senate moved to the next item of business.
Assistant Vice President Gonzales presented a report on activities of the Student Rights and Responsibilities Committee and efforts to revise the Student Handbook particularly the alcohol and substance abuse policies. She said that the Committee is also standardizing definitions of sexual assault and bringing the student conduct process into compliance with federal law. These and other changes will be presented to the Senate in the fall of 2015.
Chairperson Nassersharif announced that Senator Tsiatas had been elected to the two-year term on the Executive Committee. He then placed in nomination the names of the following Senators for the one-year term on the Executive Committee: Brian Gallagher, University Libraries and Kyle Kusz, College of Human Science and Services. Chairperson Nassersharif asked if there were any nominations from the floor. Senator Rice was nominated from the floor. Nominations were closed. Ballots were distributed. During balloting, the Senate moved to the next item of business.
6. REPORTS OF STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES
A. Associate Dean Killingbeck presented the Curricular Report No. 2014-15-10 from the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate. He presented course change proposals (informational) and moved approval of 2 new courses. The motion passed. The Associate Dean presented a curricular change to the Developmental Science Master’s program from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies proposing elimination of the requirement of a graduate level statistics course. He moved approval. Discussion ensued. The motion passed.
Chairperson Nassersharif announced that Senator Kusz had been elected to the one-year term on the Executive Committee. New members of the Executive Committee were congratulated. Chairperson Nassersharif resumed the order of business with Agenda item 6. B. Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee.
B. Professor Brand presented the Five Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Report of the Curricular Affairs Committee. She said that Section I was informational and asked if there were any questions. There were none. Professor Brand said that Section II required confirmation by the Faculty Senate and she moved approval of 8 new courses and 14 course changes. The motion passed. Professor Brand moved approval of 16 curricular change proposals: creation of the AME (American Studies) course code and undergraduate AME minor, changes to the BS and the BA in Computer Science, changes to the minor in Computer Science, the minor in Cyber Security, and the minor in Digital Forensics; changes to the BA in Film/Media, changes to the BA in Italian, changes to the BS in Math Applied Option and MTH minor, changes to the BOM in Music Education; a proposal to allow use of the professional elective or liberal elective in the BS in Business Administration, changes to the BS in Civil Engineering, creation of CMB (Cell and Molecular Biology) course code and creation of a CMB major general track, creation of an Interdisciplinary Minor in Restoration Science and Management, and a proposal to increase to 2.5 in the minimum GPA in the Health Studies Program. The motion passed.
C. Professor Barbour presented the Annual Report of the Learning Outcomes Oversight Committee (LOOC). She explained that LOOC creates policies for university-wide student learning outcomes assessment, data distribution and frequency of measurement. She said that there has been difficulty filling positions on the committee and proposed reducing by 3 the number of faculty members. The motion was seconded, discussed, and was passed. Professor Barbour summarized the biennial cohort-based program (undergraduate and graduate) reporting results. She acknowledged the following Cohort I programs for their outstanding efforts in learning outcomes assessment: (undergraduate) History, Journalism, Political Science, Public Relations, Nutrition & Dietetics, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Doctor of Pharmacy; and (graduate) English Literature & Culture, English Rhetoric & Composition, Masters in Environmental Science & Management, Human Development and Family Studies: Developmental Science, Kinesiology, Pharmaceutical Science. She thanked the following faculty for their contributions to the process: Professors Rollo-Koster, Pantalone, (K.) Johnson, Bell, English, Husband, Owens, (K.) Davis, Miles, August, Gold, (S.) Adams, McCurdy, Delmonico, and Willey. She also thanked Professor Emeritus Stevenson.
D. Professor Rathemacher presented the Annual Report of the Faculty Senate Designate for the URI Open Access Policy and the Annual Report of the Faculty Senate Library Committee. She said that, since the implementation of the Open Access Policy in March 2013, the Designate had issued six waivers [of the license for a particular article or delay access for a specified period of time upon express direction by a Faculty member] to five individuals. Professor Rathemacher noted a significant increase in the number of downloads of Open Access articles. She said that the Library Committee met twice and proposed adding the Open Access Designate to the Library Committee membership. She moves approval of amending the membership of the Library Committee. The motion was seconded and discussed. She said that the vote would be called at the September 17, 2015 Faculty Senate meeting [per By-Laws 12.1, a proposed amendment to the By-Laws may not be voted upon at the meeting at which it is first moved].
E. Professor Harps-Logan presented the Annual Report of the Athletics Advisory Board. She explained that the Athletics Advisory Board is a Presidential committee and she thanked President Dooley for her appointment as the Faculty Athletic Representative. During the 2014-15 academic, the Athletics Advisory Board met 4 times. Its significant activities were: review and approval of competition schedules in which the board gives feedback for minimizing missed class time for student-athletics, especially at critical times in a semester; review of AAB mission statement and goals; annual reports from the compliance Office and the Academic Advising Office; and development of an AAB Sakai site. Professor Harps-Logan noted the many accomplishments of URI’s student-athletes, especially that 252 student-athletes earned Dean’s list status for Spring and Fall 2014 semesters. She also noted the achievements of many of the athletic teams.
F. Professor Torrens presented the Annual Report of the Joint Committee on Online and Distance Learning. She said that the Committee had focused on two key areas: 1) improving SAKAI and 2) supporting faculty who teach blended and online courses. She reported that much of the year was devoted to writing an RFP to hire a vendor to host and support Sakai. Two companies responded, net and Longsight. A final recommendation will be made soon to state purchasing. In response to NEASC’s standard 6 in its Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Learning, which requires that the “faculty responsible for delivering online learning…are appropriately qualified and effectively supported,” the Joint Committee on Online and Distance Learning developed recommendations designed to ensure that all faculty assigned to teach online courses are qualified to do so either through training or review of their existing course using Quality Matters peer review process.
G. Senator Conley presented the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee Report 2014-15-4. He opened his remarks with the following:
“Fair daffodils, we weep to see you haste away so soon;
A calendar for summertime we should approve by June.
I have short time to speak, as this report should really move.
So… 2016, here it is: this motion please approve!
Having presented and moved approval of the Calendar for Summer Sessions 2016, the motion passed. He moved approval of an amendment to Section 8.70. 18 of Chapter 8 of the University Manual to allow the Faculty Senate Executive Committee to make calendar changes after extenuating circumstances (weather-related cancellation of class) without waiting a month or more for a Faculty Senate meeting. The motion was approved.
H. Senator Conley presented the Annual Report of the Undergraduate Academic Advising Committee (UAAC). He reported that, in its second year, UAAC divided into three separate but related subcommittees. Members met as a larger body once a month to share each subcommittee’s process and to determine needs of the full committee. The subcommittees are 1) Advisors support: Sakai-based training program for advisors; 2) Workload subcommittee: provision of advisement in all forms throughout the undergraduate experience, whether from faculty advisors, professional advisors or a hybrid model; designed a survey to obtain information on the current status of advising across colleges; plan to distribute the survey ready in the Fall semester; and 3) Best models and practices: developing a survey to distribute to students, faculty, chairs and deans to determine perceptions of the current advising model and what resources might be needed in order to provide better advising.
I. Provost DeHayes and Vice Chairperson Rollo-Koster were called upon to present the Annual Report of the Joint Committee on Academic Planning (JCAP). Provost DeHayes thanked Senate Chairperson Nassersharif for his time serving on the Executive Committee. He then explained that JCAP serves as the steering committee for academic strategic planning, develops the comprehensive academic plan, and coordinates the metrics to measure progress and progress reports. He summarized the efforts of the Committee to revise the Strategic Academic Plan 2010-2015, which started with a review of the goals of the existing plan. The Academic Summit held in January 2015 was devoted to developing goals for the new plan, Strategic Academic Plan 2016-2021. In February through April, JCAP members reviewed notes from the Academic Summit and drafted goals, strategies, and a process for advancing the further development of the plan. A Student Summit was held in April to engage student feedback in generating ideas to be included in plan. The Provost said that task forces would meet over the summer to review and propose new strategies within specific draft goals. He asked that faculty volunteer to sign up to work on the task forces this summer. Vice Chairperson Rollo-Koster reiterated a theme from the year’s discussions on shared governance: show up. She said that faculty involvement is important in moving forward.
7. Chairperson Nassersharif asked if there were any Unfinished Business. There was none. Chairperson Nassersharif thanked Ms. Grubman who had arrived at the meeting after the Call to Order.
8. Chairperson Nassersharif asked if there were any New Business. There was none.
9. A motion was made to adjourn. The motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 4:47 p.m.