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Faculty Senate Minutes 3-2-11





March 2, 2011

 Meeting Called to order at 2:05 p.m.

Faculty and Staff Dining Room – 1st Floor Commons


  1. Attendance: Peter Alfieri, Susan Bosco, Robert Dermody, Kelly Donnell,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, Scott Rutherford, Mark Sawoski, John Schlinke, Ferd Schroth, Tom Sorger, June Speakman, Michael Swanson, Minoo Tehrani, Cliff Timpson, Laura Turner, Paul Webb


Absent: Josh Stein (leave), Rom Woodruff(leave) Dorisa Boggs, Jim Brunnhoeffer, Rebecca Leuchak (does not meet attendance standards), Min Zhou



President Bosco: We are in our new location, for the moment. We are running into issues with maximum occupancy and the fact that there is a class scheduled in the Library Classroom (formerly the Library Board Room) before our regularly scheduled first Wednesday of the month meetings.


  1. Approval of the Minutes of February 9, 2011(Hunter/Alfieri) – 24-0-1


  1. Announcements/Communications


We need the elections in the schools and divisions to be completed as soon as possible so that At-Large elections can be completed thereafter.


We need three volunteers to conduct the elections for the Board Liaison positions. An elections committee of Senators Moskowitz, Roberts and Stevens will conduct the elections.


University Retention Committee representatives from the Faculty Senate are Senator Rutherford and Professor Tucker Wright (from the Senate Admissions and Enrollment Committee)


President Bosco – I would like to thank those who have taken part in the presidential search process. Our feedback is important in the process and look forward to your continued participation in the process.


The organizational meeting for next year on April 27th at 3 p.m. – this is when we organize our committees for next year’s Faculty Senate.


The Diversity Statement draft  distributed is from the President’s Council on Inclusive Excellence, now co-chaired by Provost de Abruna and Vice President King. There will be forums held on the Diversity Statement.


Provost de Abruna – the committee has generated a statement on diversity which is very close to the statement formulated by the Faculty Senate. There will be a period of input on the Statement with caucuses to be held. If there are any changes in the statement, the statement will be brought back to the Faculty Senate before President Champagne takes the statement to the Board.




  1. Executive Committee Meeting Report from February 16 – Vice President Alfieri


Motion to approve Executive Committee Minutes (Moskowitz/Alfieri) – 26-0-1



Standing Committee Reports


  1. Academic Standards and Policies  – Senator Dermody



Motion to accept the report of February 1, 2011 (Schroth/Roberts) – Unanimous


Senator Dermody: some background on the committee – last spring the ASPC presented to the Faculty Senate a motion to create a university wide Academic Standards Committee. We received a proposal from the Dean’s Council. We have concerns on the committee about that document but we are in favor of having a university wide committee. We have met a couple of times on the formation of a university committee. Associate Provost Koritz will be attending our next meeting to iron out some of the details of the proposals.


What motivated the motion requesting an university-wide committee?


Senator Dermody – that violations of academic standards are not applied uniformly across campus and that offenders in one school may not be known in another school should the student violate the standards again.


What is the process currently for the proposal?


Senator Dermody – we are in the formulation of a motion on creating a committee, once we have the specifics of the functions and procedures for that committee ironed out.


President Bosco – do we know which schools have or do not have an academic standards committee in place?


Senator Dermody – each school/college has an academic standards committee which usually deals with extension of withdrawal dates or extension of incompletes. In some schools a separate panel is created for academic integrity violations.


  1. University Life –  Senator Roberts


We have 2 December 15th information items. February 23 has a final report on graduate culture at RWU which contains 5 motions






Senator Roberts: We surveyed the graduate students which informed the five motions contained in our report.


How was the survey created?


Senator Roberts – the survey was created last year by the University Life Committee with input from faculty.


Provost de Abruna – this is a great first step at putting together a committee that looks at both academic and quality of life issues for graduate students as the number of graduate students grows on campus. It would be nice to create a committee that deals with these issues who perhaps would work with the Graduate Curriculum Committee.


Why wasn’t the Committee able to survey law school students?


Senator Roberts – The person who was asked to request that law school students participate never sent out that request.


Are we not conflating the law school with the undergraduate and graduate mission?


President Champagne – the Law School is a separate corporation and a separate Board. It enjoys the benefits of being with RWU – facilities management for example. The by-laws of the Law School are now consistent with the by-laws of RWU. You will have to address how the Law School and the University integrate.


Irrespective of this survey, the law students are taken care of with regard to a library and parking. It would be nice to extend those same benefits to all graduate students on this campus. The MPA and Leadership graduate students have no library at the Providence campus.


Motion To Reconsider Bullet 2 of the Motion (Speakman/Stevens) – 26-0-2


The library space issue being reserved for graduate students takes away space and resources for undergraduates.


Are we looking at separate section of the stacks in the library dedicated to graduate study or space dedicated for graduate students who can meet and study together?


President Champagne – Strategic Planning means that you want to look at five-years from now and see what you want to do, what you need and what you want to be, but no university should be creating programs that it cannot support. When you start doing your tactical planning, looking ahead 2-4 years, and measure what you are going to need. You should only be doing it if the Board will support it with resources.


Trying to think of all of my experiences in university libraries and do not see a space specifically for graduate students. I don’t know whether a space should be carved out in the library dedicated to graduate students.


Senator Roberts – we were envisioning study carrels where graduate students can go to study and also down the road at a capital expenditure.


I too have not had the experience of having separate library facilities. I would want our graduate and undergraduates to receive equal services.


I do not understand the need for expanded physical space for graduate students when the model for graduate programs has been to have graduate programs taught online or in an online/in-class model?


President Champagne – This is not a zero-sum game. Fund raising will help with future planning so that the resources will be available for an expanded library and services.



  • Motion to approve motion #2 – (Moskowitz/Hunter) – That the library reserve space for graduate student use. This area should be equipped with computers –

4-22-2 – Motion fails


Discussion on the other 4 motions included in the report.


Can we not add to the motion “space dedicated for graduate student computers and lockers/storage?”


Friendly motion (Senators Roberts and Schlinke approve).





When thinking about spaces for graduate students should space be dedicated for a particular program – for example graduate students psychology.


Are we now on the motions that we were discussing with additions to those motions?


Motion to approve minutes and remaining 4 motions –

  • That parking bans be lifted after 4 p.m. so that graduate students have access to parking in close proximity to classroom buildings.
  • That space on campus be allocated for graduate student study and that this space be equipped with lockers for temporary storage of personal items.
  • That graduate students receive information regarding access to the Recreation Center and Health Services, via brochure or e-mail.   
  • That notices regarding all campus programming, appropriate for graduate students, should be sent to the registered graduate students. (Murphy/Moskowitz) – 27-0-1.


President Bosco – I would like to reiterate Senator Hunter’s comments on good the work that the ULC has done over the past two years.





  1. Steering – Senator Sorger

President Bosco – presented the items from the Steering Committee regarding the mission statement for the University.  Comments should be sent to the Steering Committee.





  1. Admissions and Enrollment–  Senator Donnell


Motion to accept the minutes from the meeting of the Admissions and Enrollment Committee from February 14, 2011. (Donnell/Alfieri) 27-0-1


Discussion –


Useful to get this information and publicize this.


Motion to accept minutes from the meeting of the Admissions and Enrollment Committee from December 6, 2010. (Donnell/Rutherford) 26-0-2



  1. Curriculum – Senator Hollingsworth


Motion to approve the minutes only of 11/17/10 –  (Tait/Murphy) – Passed unanimously


February 16, 2011 minutes contain  a collection of new course proposals that were approved and some which were tabled.


Motion to approve the minutes of 2/16/11 – (Hollingsworth/Tehrani) – Passed unanimously


The November 17, 2010 minutes – which was a meeting devoted to the General Education proposal. There are no new motions, but a recommendation from the committee.




About the recommendations from the committee, if we vote to accept the minutes we are accepting the recommendations?


Senator Tehrani – those were suggestions and not recommendations, the minutes were not approved by the committee.


So were the suggestions taken as recommendations by the Gen Ed committee?


Senator Tehrani – the Gen Ed committee took the suggestions from the FSCC and accepted some and even included other changes on their own.



Senator Hollingsworth – these were only recommendations that came from the faculty and were not recommendations from the FSCC to the Gen Ed committee. The Gen Ed committee ran with what the Gen Ed committee thought were recommendations from the FSCC and the faculty and formulated a second version of the Gen Ed proposal.


Provost de Abruna – the committee examined what the program would look like with different features based upon feedback from faculty at the caucuses and other feedback. There is not new program proposal.


So all we have been doing is discussing? Nothing has been decided or changed in the proposal?


Motion to approve Motion 1 from the minutes of 11/17/10 – To approve the use of the revised electronic curriculum routing form for FCAS curriculum proposals in place of the standard FSCC routing forms. (Hollingsworth/Moskowitz) – Passed unanimously


First Year Seminar Discussion (Motion 2 from the minutes of 11/17/10)


We are voting on a FYS which may not be in the final Gen Ed program?


I am not voting in support of a FYS. I need to see how the FYS fits into the Gen Ed proposal.


I am probably going to abstain on this. The time to find out whether something works before we build upon that. We need something like a freshman level 430 course. How do we devise experimentation at the initial level of a student’s career before we are able to see how it works with students?


As presented to the Core Curriculum Committee, the proposal for the pilot of the FYS is not well formulated.


Question – what exactly is the FYS like? Do we know what it will look like?


FYSs have been around forever, with best practices on FYS. I think that the data out there on FYS can guide us. I am all for experimentation, but there is evidence out there for how to teach FYS.


I am enough of an egoist to be driven by my internal data. Looking at best practices might not fit RWU all that well. We have been told constantly, to look to ourselves and who we are  and find the key to our teaching as individualists. Who was the best teacher who enlightened me, what was the student who was enlightened and under what circumstances?


I am speaking in favor of the motion. We voted as a body back in November to approve the general framework of the Gen Ed proposal. We are all in favor of Gen Ed, although it was a contentious vote.


That was a contentious meeting and vote. It was 14-10-4 if I am correct. We were and are deeply divided as a Senate about the Gen Ed. I would like to see what the program and the courses look like before we piecemeal a Gen Ed program together.


Perhaps this motion should be retracted?


I am not sure how courses for the a piloted FYS have found their way to the fall 2011 course schedule. Talking about the cart being before the horse, the cart is already down the road. I have another motion that I would like to get to that is on our agenda.


Provost de Abruna – I would like to make a comment that is on the end of the agenda – a call went out to pilot FYS – these are all faculty volunteers – they will be in the catalog. Pilots are going to move forward because it is a legitimate process available to faculty in the university catalog.


Senator Hollingsworth – we looked at the first year seminar with very specific outcomes that come from the outcomes of higher level courses. Our committee looked at the program in pieces because it made sense to take it in parts rather than an attempt to examine it whole


Motion to table the question (Schroth/Murphy)– Motion fails- 8-16-2


Motion to call the question – (Sawoski/Rutherford) – passed unanimously



Motion to approve Motion 2 from the minutes of 11/17/10 – To approve the First Year Seminar portion of the Petition for a New Undergraduate General Education Program to begin in the fall 2012 semester. (Hollingsworth/Speakman) –Motion fails – 4-18-4



Discussion on the five houses of the Gen Ed Proposal (Motion 3 from the minutes of 11/17/10)


I am completely confused. There is a motion on the table with five houses, while the Provost said that all six houses are still on the table.






Motion to approve Motion 3 from the minutes of 11/17/10 – To approve the following as one of the stipulations for FSCC approval of the Petition for a New Undergraduate General Education Program:

Students will be required to complete one course in each of the following five houses: systems thinking, human connections, global perspectives, social responsibility, and creativity. (Hollingsworth/Schlinke)


Motion to table (Murphy/Tehrani) – 26-1-1.


  1. Diversity– Michael Swanson



Distributes a brochure from the National Coalition Building Institute who will be having a training session before graduation.


We would like to have a person with the LBGTQ group to liaison with us (Senator Hunter volunteers to serve as liaison) and we need a person to represent SEECM.



Motion to approve the minutes of 2/25/11 – (Swanson/ Moskowitz) – Passed unanimously




  1. New business
    • General Education Council

President Bosco – I have sent out material via email prior to our meeting today. How does the Faculty Senate view a General Education Council who would be charged with moving the Gen Ed program through the process. Is this the best form of governance?


Discussion –


Is the council based upon the original model that was proposed with 7 houses or the 5 or 6 house version we have heard about today?


President Bosco – it would be based upon the 7 house model.


Senator Speakman – I have several motions (paper copy distributed) concerning faculty governance for the general education committee, I prefer committee to council.


The motion before us still has 6 houses but we cannot elect committee members from houses when we do not know what the houses are going to be.


Why not utilize the current Core Curriculum Committee which is similar in structure to the committee structure that Senator Speakman is proposing?


Provost de Abruna – we do not want to overwork the CCC since the CCC will still be addressing needs of the existing Core.


When the Core Committee became the Core Curriculum Committee, the committee began to lose its way. The Core has lost full-timers and the Core 102 faculty have not met for three years now. I do not know about the other Cores. We need to have faculty to have responsibility for the Gen Ed program, perhaps with joint appointments as “university professors” which would protect faculty from cross-pressures from their departments and deans.


As a member of the CCC, decisions of the committee are made on the basis of “well the Core will be gone” and therefore we do not need to worry about the Core.



Motion  – The Faculty Senate recommends the immediate establishment of a General Education Committee that would be charged with:

Development of the final draft of the general education curriculum for submission to the Faculty Senate

Development of a general education implementation plan that is specific in steps and timeline

Administration of the curriculum once it has been approved by vote of the full faculty.

Administration will include curriculum review and approval, and management of the program, including scheduling, staffing, academic standards, faculty development, assessment, etc.



Will School of Education and Librarians be considered under professional schools?




Motion to move question (Tehrani/Melchar) – 27—1-0


Motion  – The Faculty Senate will conduct the election to populate this General Education Committee.  The committee shall have one representative from each of the professional schools and one from each division of the College of Arts and Sciences. The librarians will be considered as members of the professional schools.  The committee, once constituted, will elect a faculty chair.  The Associate Provost for University Studies will be an ex officio, non-voting member of the committee.

(Speakman/Sawoski) – 23-2-3


Motion to Extend for 10 minutes (Moskowitz/Tehrani) 27-0-1



Motion  – The Faculty Senate strongly recommends that the freeze on new faculty lines be lifted to prepare for implementation of the general education curriculum in the fall of 2012.



With 50 FYS launching in fall 2012 and all of the Core Interdisciplinary Senior Seminars that we do not have faculty coverage for now, we need more faculty to teach in support of the Gen Ed.


You are talking about adding 50 new FYS sections, we would need 7 new faculty lines.


I do not think that it is our purview to insist or demand.


I would accept gentler language, rather than “insist” perhaps something else in its place “strongly recommends.”


We should soften the language, otherwise it sounds like we are in a rage. We also do not know how many houses we need and when in the Gen Ed the faculty are needed.


Perhaps we should hold President Champagne to his word that resources will be provided to staff new program initiatives.


Motion – Question Called (Dermody/Tehrani) – 28-0-1


Motion  – The Faculty Senate strongly recommends that the freeze on new faculty lines be lifted to prepare for implementation of the general education curriculum in the fall of 2012. (Speakman/Murphy) – 27-0-1



Motion to adjourn – (Speakman/Schroth) – Motion passes unanimously


Meeting Adjourned 4:40 p.m.

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