ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY
November 3, 2010, 2:00 – 4:30 P.M.
Library Board Room
Meeting Called to order : 2:07 p.m.
1. Attendance: Peter Alfieri, Dorisa Boggs, Susan Bosco, Jim Brunnhoeffer, Robert
Dermody, Kelly Donnell, Kathleen Dunn, Gail Fenske, Diane Harvey, Anthony
Hollingsworth, Hasan-Uddin Khan, John Madritch, David Melchar, David
Moskowitz, Cliff Murphy, Nancy Nester, Lou Procaccini, Joseph Roberts,
Anthony Ruocco, Mark Sawoski, John Schlinke, Ferd Schroth, Tom Sorger, June
Speakman, Josh Stein, Jennifer Stevens, Michael Swanson, Minoo Tehrani, ,
Laura Turner, Paul Webb, Rom Woodruff, Min Zhou.
Absent: France Hunter (sabbatical), Rebecca Leuchak, Anne Tait, Scott
Rutherford, Cliff Timpson
Guests: President Champagne, Stan Hales (consultant, Academic Search)
2. Motion: Approval of Minutes of October 6, 2010 (Alfieri/Khan) Approved 29-0-1
President Champagne – Academic Reorganization
Your time spent with the consultant is important – He needs a profile of the university
and the faculty input becomes very important. Please be very candid with him.
Another item is the Gen Ed program discussion which will be coming to a conclusion.
An academic reorganization proposal came forward and the Board considered it. A prior
President said that this was the way to go, it was cost effective and the Board said okay.
When I came to campus it bothered me that two programs were being downgraded. The
preparation of teachers is important and how we are educating our young will be a
subject in the next election.
The other part of reorganization is the coming together of Architecture and Engineering.
Perhaps the prior President did not have the same respect for professional programs. That
was his opinion to merge the two, it is not my opinion. No efficiencies are gained by
putting them together.
I want the Board to change its mind regarding those two items. It also bothered me about
the quality of conversation that occurred. This is not an invitation to siloing. We are not
trying to create independent sectors. Over time we do form schools and it is important to
see what their needs are and to determine their resource needs to make them the best that
they can be.
We were presented a plan that was not endorsed by the faculty. We agree with what you
We in Architecture support your efforts to reconsider the academic reorganization plan.
We in the School of Education, as you know, do not have our own building and would
welcome going back and reconsidering the academic reorganization plan.
President Champagne – I would like to go to the Board with the support of the Faculty
Senate that we undo the approved academic reorganization.
Would you need a motion from us to go forward to the Board?
President – yes that would help.
We did have discussions about the academic reorganization plan – they were just among
President Champagne – the capital campaign will be based upon the needs of the
university, a performing arts center, a School of Business which needs to be larger, more
science space, a building for the School of Education, but we must have a plan in order to
undertake a capital campaign.
The Board has adopted a whole new set of by-laws. This will be a committee driven
board. The Executive Committee will be made up of the chairs of the committees and the
Board Chair and Vice-Chair. This will be akin to a Steering Committee. This is a very
good Board, and dedicated based upon my meeting with them. Now that they are
properly organized they are going to be more tied into the University.
The academic reorganization presentation was rationalized as breaking down silos,
instead it just seemed that we were being organized into different silos. Given the move
to more transdisciplinarity, the academic reorganization may wish to help foster that
transdisciplinarity and to break down barriers to students.
President Bosco – Introduction of Stan Hale, Academic Search, consultant on the
Stan Hales – Academic Search – Presidential Search
Stan Hales – what we would like to see in our next President. I have a 3:00 p.m. meeting
with two of your vice-presidents. I am a Senior Consultant with Academic Search, which
was formed to help universities to make the right choices for themselves. What I need to
hear from you are your thoughts of what we should keep in mind that I can bring back to
the search committee.
We had nominated several faculty to serve on the search committee. We do not have
much representation on that search committee. We would like to have more input when
an initial short list is created as well as when the finalists are invited to campus.
Hales – we will be requesting feedback immediately after the candidate has made his/her
presentation. Before they become finalists, it would be difficult due to privacy to divulge
I would like to see a person who has gone through the tenure process and one who was
president at both a small liberal arts college and one at a larger university so that the
candidate has experience.
Management and experience – fundraising experience or knowing how it is done,
Someone who appreciates the arts and the university environment.
A leader and someone who believes in, lives and breathes academic integrity.
Our prior president wanted the majors and the faculty to be profit-centers. We are
primarily a teaching institution. I hope that these candidates can take a more nuanced
view of the micro-economics of the university.
Look to see whether the candidate has taught undergraduates, particularly in the general
A president who is not status conscious about differences in rank. I want a president who
not only appreciates but enjoys faculty.
Before we can fully give you an answer to this question, we have to figure out who we
are. We are a Liberal Arts University and we should be led by a president who has a PhD
in one of the liberal arts.
I oppose what you just said.
The importance and respect for scholarship. We value good teaching, but there is also
fine work by many faculty in the area of scholarship.
Somebody who has a sense of vision of where s/he wants to take the school. The last
president never shared the rationale of his vision. We need somebody who has a vision of
where s/he wants to take the university and do it in concert with the faculty.
Our motto is learning to bridge the world. A quality that we should be looking for given
all of our international efforts is a person who is bi-lingual or has an extensive
4. Review of Executive Committee Minutes – Vice President Alfieri
Motion to Accept (Khan/Murphy)
Is Bob Blackburn still our representative to one of the committees to the Board.
President Champagne – the old committees no longer exist. Next week the committees
will be (ratified/certified) and at that point the committees will select their chairs and be
populated. I will bring up faculty representation to the Board’s academic committee.
Send me names for academic affairs, and retention and student life committees. No Board
committee can approve anything; they can research and make recommendations to the
Continued Discussion about Academic Reorganization
Thank you President Champagne for allowing us to reconsider academic reorganization.
We are now (SED) under the College of Arts and Sciences. We have two chairs currently
since the move to CAS, and provided support for us which has allowed us time to
accomplish what we need to do for accreditation. We appreciate the leadership provided
by Robert Cole, but we want to do what is right for the children our students will teach
and we want to do right by our colleagues. President Champagne, you want education to
be at the forefront. Can you please let us know what benefit it will be to us to launch a
national search for dean for the school of education when we are doing well with Dean
President Champagne – we need to have a dean and a school of education so that
decisions that are made at the school level can be acted upon in a number of ways. I
would expect a leader who knows education. It is not that Bob Cole is not doing a good
job, it is just that he is doing too much. An education leader is someone who is well
versed in education and can argue passionately about the needs of the School of
The important thing is that the new leadership in education will be based upon what the
faculty in the school of education need as an advocate for them.
Before you go to the Board, can you please meet with the Education faculty to discuss the
way that the faculty wishes to go?
President Champagne – yes I will.
We had two presentations by the former president, but we did not have warning about
when he was coming in so we did not have much time to provide feedback. Both
synergies and parity were? discussed as the reasons why he proposed the academic
reorganization plan that he had.
President Champagne – I am all in favor of synergies, and this is why I like how? the Gen
Ed program is shaping up which will create these synergies. The goal was good but the
method was not.
In Gabelli, with the CIS major we were not consulted at all.
Those of us in CAS felt that the former president did not feel that we were favored over
the professional schools.
Is there market research – if we build it will they come?
President Champagne – yes there is, business is still at the top followed by science and
engineering, then education as the fourth most popular major.
You have mentioned about increasing the size of our student body, what is your thinking
President Champagne – We are at the razor’s edge – we have enough to pay for what we
have but not for where we would like to grow. Our endowment is back up but not where
it once was. We have opportunities to gain some properties toward the northern end of
campus which we will are looking at. If we expand to 6-7,000 then we are not growing
our fixed costs – the number of deans will be the same although we would need more
faculty with that growth. So having the extra 1-2,000 would provide us with breathing
room, financially. If we want to get to 10,000 then we would have to look at it. The
strength of this college is the care that you give to students. If you go beyond 7,000 you
are going to be a different kind of school.
I am interested in the resources for the people who work here. I understand that we are on
the razor’s edge financially but it was the existing Board that has approved the spending
that has placed us in this financial situation. Yet, our secretaries have just negotiated a
contract which puts less money into their pockets. Can you address the resources for the
people who work here.
President Champagne – this institution is one of the highest in terms of dollars that go
directly to a student’s education. We do pay faculty better here than they do at Bucknell
University. When it comes down to a particular group and how they are treated, I am very
much about fairness. But there is only so much in the budget to do things with. This is
why growth will help us get over the razor’s edge.
We have been hearing about the bubble of students (prospective applicants and students)
that will no longer exist – that there will no longer be a bubble of students. Where are we
going to get the 1-2,000 students to grow?
President Champagne – when we recruit in NY and NJ we are competing against
Fairleigh Dickinson based upon the quality of our programs. We have more applications
from international students and our new programs should be attracting even more
students. My concern is not what we can get a student to pay for but what we do with
them when they get here. We are at 90% occupancy in the dorms. Where would we put
the graduate students who come here? Baypoint is a teardown.
We appreciate your candor about potential acquisitions. I had partnered with the MAHER
Center. I was told that we are the prime bidder on that property. 30-50 people would be
displaced. It was an uncomfortable situation not to know that we were planning on
purchasing the center. If we could put any pressure on the new Governor to make sure
that the people at the MAHER center are taken care of.
President Champagne – when I say we are negotiating this, this is what we are talking
about, not what we are doing. I was told that the people at the center were going to be
transferred to other places.
Reorder the Agenda
University Life Committee – Senator Roberts
Motion: That the University Life Committee explore the feasibility of a faculty center to
encourage greater interaction of faculty through dialogue, exchange, and support
(Roberts/Speakman). Passed unanimously.
Motion: The ULC would like to request a link on the website (bottom of initial page,
perhaps) to lost and found policies and procedures and a once per semester reminder to
direct all lost items to the appropriate place (public safety) (Roberts/Speakman). 24-1-1.
Motion: to extend for 5 minutes(Speakman/Alfieri)
Motion: The Faculty Senate supports President Champagne in his efforts to stop the
academic reorg approved by the board of trustees until he has time to reconsider it.
Substitute motion – that the faculty does not support academic reorganization.
I am uncomfortable about passing a motion 5 minutes before we are supposed to leave.
Call the question
Meeting adjourned due to a lack of a quorum 4:40 p.m.