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Faculty Senate Minutes 2-9-11 Final

ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY

FACULTY SENATE

Minutes

 

February 9, 2011

 Library Board Room

Meeting Called to Order at 2:10 p.m.

 

 

  1. Attendance: Peter Alfieri, Dorisa Boggs, Susan Bosco, Jim Brunnhoeffer, Robert Dermody, Kathleen Dunn, Gail Fenske, Diane Harvey, France Hunter, Anthony Hollingsworth, Hasan-Uddin Khan, John Madritch, David Melchar, David Moskowitz, Cliff Murphy, Nancy Nester, Lou Procaccini,  Joseph Roberts, , John Schlinke, Ferd Schroth, Tom Sorger, June Speakman, Michael Swanson, Minoo Tehrani, Cliff Timpson ,Laura Turner, Rom Woodruff,  Min Zhou

 

Absent: Kelly Donnell, Rebecca Leuchak, Mark Sawoski, Josh Stein

 

Guests: President Champagne, Provost de Abruna, Vice President Fawthrop, Associate Provost Koritz, Dean Robertson

 

  1. MOTION: Approve minutes of December 1, 2010 (Alfieri/Tehrani) – 26-0-2

 

 

  1. Announcements/Communications

 

School of Engineering is operating with one less senator, Tony Ruocco has a class conflict with our meetings and has not found a replacement.

 

Allison Chase Padula asks if a senator would like to volunteer to serve on the committee putting together the commemoration of 9/11.

 

We have a new Chief Information Officer Suzanne Barnes, most recently from Northeastern University.

 

  1. Executive Committee Meeting Report from December 13, 2010 – Vice President Alfieri

 

MOTION: Approve Executive Committee Report (Alfieri/Tait) – 26–0-2

 

  1. New Business –
    • Examination of fee for students with 18+ credit hours – Vice President  Moskowitz

 

This item has been on our agenda previously. This item came up in part because of the Gen Ed discussions and from prior discussions with faculty in the sciences. Students who take two lab science courses and a four credit math course can only take one additional three credit course before they reach hit the fee imposed for taking more than 17 credits per semester. The proposed motion would remove the additional fee that students have to pay for taking more than 17 credits in a semester.

 

Discussion:

 

What will this mean, outside of the sciences and mathematics, if a student wants to take 21 credit hours each semester and be able to graduate in 6 semesters rather than 8 semesters. What does this also say of the rigor of our academic programs?

 

It would seem that it would be a rare and extremely competent student who would be able to complete his/her coursework in three years.

 

There should be a way of monitoring the students to make certain that they do not get in over their heads.

 

President Champagne – There is only one student who has been able to complete his/her degree work in 3 years. This is about not penalizing the student for taking additional credits.

 

Stating that the student can take up to 21 credit hours for the same tuition may encourage the student to take 21 credit hours even if the dean and the faculty advisor are against it.

 

 

Vice President Fawthrop – the 21 credit limit is in keeping with our peers.

 

There was a decision made at the university without faculty input? The removal of a fee was already discussed and approved at Dean’s Council?

 

What guidelines will the deans follow in allowing students to take more than 18 credit hours? Students will shop for advisors based upon who wishes to sign off on allowing 18 or more credit hours in a semester.

 

President Champagne – I would invite the Faculty Senate to formulate a criteria and process for students who wish to take more than 17 credit hours.

 

This may push the ante up in that taking 7 courses may lead to taking more than 7 courses. This may also change the nature of the university experience for the student.

 

This varies from discipline to discipline. Dance majors take 7 courses a semester.

 

In the sciences, the heaviest load would be three lab and two additional courses for 18 credits. I would not recommend more even for our best students.

 

Call the Question (Murphy/Moskowitz) 2/3 voice vote.

 

MOTION: The Faculty Senate recommends that the additional fee be waived for students taking above 17 and up to 21 undergraduate credit hours in a semester. (Moskowitz/Alfieri) – Approved  20-7-2

 

 

Discussion (of a motion to change the catalog copy given the prior motion):

 

12 credit hours is a fulltime load. A normal load should say 12-18 in place of the 15-17 currently.

 

Characterizing 18 as normal is not normal in my view.

 

I believe that 17 should be the highest end of the normal load, except in those cases when a student needs to take 18 credit hours. I don’t see why we have to change the catalog in order to remove the financial burden on students.

 

Point of order: this discussion is not on the agenda.

 

(Motion withdrawn.)

 

MOTION: The question on specific language in the catalog regarding normal course load be referred to the Academic Standards and Policies Committee (Sorger/Alfieri) – Approved 29-0-2

 

  1.  
    • Inclusion of students in Senate – Senator Schroth

 

Would be good for the body to have non-voting student representation at our meetings to get student input.

 

Discussion:

 

Don’t we have a student senate body on this campus? This is the faculty senate. When the student senate has an issue, they have always taken it to us.

 

I feel that we would not be able to discuss things as freely as we have if we had students on the faculty senate.

 

This is the same argument that the Board of Trustees has when it comes to faculty representation on the Board. If there is something confidential to consider, the idea of closing sessions to discuss confidential material is a safeguard.

 

Dev (Student Senate) – we would welcome the idea of having closer relations with the faculty senate.

 

Perhaps, four is too many for the student senate to send to attend our meetings.

 

I thought that we had agreed to have the president and vice-president of the student as non-voting members of the faculty senate. Are we no longer following that agreement?

 

President Bosco – this would change the Faculty Senate Constitution by formally having students as non-voting members of the Faculty Senate.

 

I do not understand why we are making students members of the faculty senate and changing the Constitution to allow it.

 

Point of Order – This would be a constitutional amendment and therefore would require a 2/3 majority of the Faculty Senate to be moved on to the full faculty.

 

Point of Order – can we clarify what we are doing now..

 

President Bosco – if we are not proposing a constitutional amendment, then we are just continuing with our current informal process.

 

Is there a way we can do this which encourages students to come without calling them members since we cannot assemble the full faculty for a constitutional amendment.

 

Friendly amendment to change member to liaison in the motion.

 

Discussion of the rewording…

 

President Champagne – the Board is inviting students for their input to Board committee meetings. This would provide a symmetry for the Faculty Senate.

 

 

What is the purpose of have students come to Faculty Senate meetings? What is the current practice and rationale?

 

President Bosco – students have been coming to Faculty Senate meetings since I have been on the Faculty Senate but it has been an informal policy.

 

Perhaps participants instead of liaisons.

 

Our Constitution allows for all members of the community to attend our meetings.

 

 

MOTION: The Faculty Senate requests the Student Senate to annually select up to four students (one freshman, one sophomore, one junior, and one senior) to be participants in the Faculty Senate for one-year terms.

 

The Faculty Senate attendance policy, a copy of which will be sent with the request, shall apply to these student members.

 

In an atypical situation when the majority of the Faculty Senate votes for a closed session, student members will be politely asked to leave the meeting until they are recalled by a majority vote of the Faculty Senate. (Schroth/Swanson)

Approved 21-9-1

 

 

MOTION: Reorder the agenda to allow the Provost to introduce the new Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

 

  1.  
    • Introduction of Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies – Provost deAbruna 

 

Dean Robertson – Thank you for the warm welcome, and I say this tongue and cheek coming from Canada – the President and Provost have asked that I expand graduate programs.

 

  1.  
    • Review of catalog copy – Senators Tehrani and Schroth – The rep or the chair of the department should review the relevant curriculum changes before they go to the Registrar and be informed when they are sent there, too.

Senator Tehrani – when there are changes in the curriculum, some of those changes, especiallyin Business have not gone into the catalog. This will allow faculty review of items going into the catalog.

 

Administrators are submitting catalog copy that have not been approved by the faculty in some instances.

 

We had changed the name of our area and still it is not changed in the catalog.

 

MOTION: The Faculty Senate requests that catalog copy approved from the Provost’s office be reviewed by the department chair or area representative before final publication (Tehrani/Schroth) – Approved unanimously

 

.

  1.  
    • Senate elections for 2011-2012

Elections for School and Division reps are to take place this February.

 

  1.  
    • Board Committees – President Champagne and Provost de Abruna

 

President Champagne- Thank you for the opportunity to be here. Thank you for the support through our bad weather.

 

When NEASC completed their focus review to discuss governance, their goal was for more transparency. I have asked the Governance committee of the Board to expand the number of faculty participating on Board Committees. We have had good success on the Board’s academic Affairs committee with students and faculty. We would like to expand membership of faculty to additional board committees. I have shared the mandates of these committees with President Bosco and hope that the Faculty Senate can help in recommending faculty members who may participate in this capacity.

 

A  second recommendation that NEASC made is the addition of a prominent academic on the Board, other than the President (laughter is duly noted). I have asked President Bosco to make recommendations. Dr. Bernard Harleston – is someone who we would like to ask to serve on the Board. If he agrees, I think that he would be a wonderful addition to the Board. The hope is that by the May Board meeting we would have him elected.

 

I would like Lynn Fawthrop to share with you how enrollments are going this spring semester and for next fall.

 

Vice President Fawthrop – we will be having a reception for Dan Vilenski on the occasion of his retirement next week. He has done an outstanding job as registrar, bringing with him his extensive experience as a registrar. We have an interim registrar who has been working with Dan since February 1. His name is Rogers O’Neil.

 

We have had an increase in students this spring, with a particular increase in Saudi students. The Saudi Arabia government has been providing funds for students to study in the United States. Due to our large cadre of international students, we have the same number of students enrolled this spring as last spring.

 

Acceptance Students Day is critical if we are to bring the enrollment numbers that we need. I encourage all of the campus community to help make ASD a success.

 

We will be looking at student retention, and will need faculty participation on this committee.

 

We have selected a firm to update our website HoHoI’d ask Lynn about this name(?). They will be providing us with designs for the web redesign.

 

Judy Johnston and her staff has received three awards for our websites (law school and prospective students) and our advertising.

 

 

  1.  
    • Budget Matters – President Champagne

 

 

We went in with a conservative budget which has been working out well. We will bring next year’s budget to the Board at their February 25 meeting. We are bringing a budget to the Board with a projected enrollment of 3650. We expect our students to pay, out of pocket, higher than some of our competition. So the students who come here want to come here.

 

80% of our students come from out of state.

 

The only way we can see ourselves out of our bond debt is to expand. Several dormitories need repairs. We will have to take the dormitory off line when it is being repaired. There are pressures on this budget (debt, repairs, etc.). The tuition increase cannot be one where we are outside the market. When all is said and done, there will be reasonable increase.

 

We will engage in long range planning: gaps, expansion and transformational. All of this will need to be done with full faculty participation. The 2020 Plan is fine but there are no specifics about how to achieve the goals in that plan.

 

Fundraising has been reorganized and will take time to bring in more donations.

 

We will have a director of retention.

 

We will be putting in a turf field.

 

To clarify the status of the academic reorganization – I went to the Board to explain that it was an ill-conceived idea and should not be done. And the Board said “So don’t.” The Board will leave it up to the new president to come up with his/her own academic reorganization, if the new president wishes to do so.

 

I’d like for prospective students and their families see how the university’s mission is fulfilled. I wish to dedicate the wall in the University Commons used to tell the stories of three faculty, three alumni and three students who have achieved the mission of the university.

 

I would also like to reinstate the recognition of faculty and staff who have served for 10/15/20… years…

 

 

I would, lastly, like your support for our Founder’s Day, which occurs on Valentine’s Day.

 

 

MOTION: to Extend for five minutes (Speakman/Rutherford)

 

 

 

MOTION: to Reorder the Agenda to get to the Minutes from the FSCC (passes unanimously).

 

 

Senator Hollingsworth (11/17 FSCC Meeting Minutes) A motion to accept the Freshman Year Seminar to begin September 2012. The rest of those minutes were recommendations from the committee to the General Education Committee concerning Gen Ed reform.

 

MOTION: to Extend for five minutes (Speakman/Alfieri)…

 

MOTION: Accept report of Curriculum Committee from November 17, 2010 (Speakman/Alfieri) –

 

The curriculum committee should approve their minutes before the minutes are presented to the Faculty Senate. That has not been done with the second set of minutes from November (11/17/10).

 

I would like to move to table the motion due to the sparse attendance given the significance of the motion.

 

MOTION: Table the motion to accept report of the Curriculum Committee from November 17, 2010 (Sorger/Rutherford) – Approved unanimously

 

Meeting Adjourned at 4:45 due to loss of a quorum.

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