Summary of Ideas

The following is a summary of ideas/suggestions sent to from 8/07/09 - 9/8/09:




Grants Office - faculty who earn the grants should get a bit more of the indirect costs to use for seed money for the next grant or for travel (esp. if grant does not allow for travel) to a conference. This would serve as an incentive for more faculty to write grants. Also, some ataff in the grants office to assist faculty who are not very experienced in grant writing to prepare the documents. An institution that does this well is U Mass Lowell.

Reform the grants accounting policies and procedures, including a review of the status of all current personnel.

Schedule NO CLASSES BEFORE LABOR DAY, EVER!! There is actually a law to this effect in Mass. Because so many students were denied jobs on the Cape and elsewhere if their schools began before Labor Day. I get mothers with children in class, etc.

Charging for parking (faculty and students) could generate income for upkeep to lots and/or hiring staff to ticket cars that park inappropriately in faculty lots.

Impose fines for students parking in faculty parking lots. Funds raise could go to general fund. Students would not be able to get degree until fines are off the books. More signs do need to be placed in more obvious spots. Now, signs are often placed AFTER the lot entrance(!)

Revise the due dates for submission of final grades in order to give faculty adequate time to evaluate student work

The relationship between the GRE and MAT and advanced programs in teaching is not very strong. These tests do little to measure the qualities that make for a good teacher, especially one that will work with culturally and linguistically diverse students. While we are permitted to make holistic admissions decisions based on a variety of factors, still there is the stress placed on candidates financially and emotionally to sit for this exam when we do not value it because it does little to illuminate the qualities that would make a person successful in an advanced teacher education program.

The library or rather the College needs a clear (and published) policy on "fair use" of images in student theses. And expanding on that idea we should match the policies at URI and CCRI. In other words, I am suggesting a consistent policy across the state institutions.

Start some classes at 7:30am to help smooth out early morning traffic flow and get some additional classroom space. Though this is too early for most, there are some who want an early start. Worth an experiment.

Subsidize bus passes for students, faculty, and staff. Provide more detailed information about how to reach RIC by public transit (perhaps on the campus map webpage). Establish a "ride sharing" program so drivers can connect with others commuting from nearby locations





Smartboards in all classrooms.

Look at the Penn State model and develop a similar approach to digital media.





College should place greater emphasis on research. To self-present as a "teaching school" promotes the image of an institution that delivers knowledge discovered by others. This is not the case. Scientists and scholars at RIC have made, and continue to make, important new discoveries in their fields, and this should be emphasized when developing the institutional image. Moreover, a greater emphasis on research will bring external funding that can support student career development, enhance the intellectual climate in departments, and support college development.

Add an MS in Chemistry

Bring back a meaningful "Reading Period" for students prior to final exams. Ideally, I would like to see "Reading Week." It seems wrong to me that students at so-called elite institutions are given so much support- including the time at the end of the semester to really study, complete papers and projects, and absorb the semester's experience before taking exams--while students at RIC are not. If we really intend to make all aspects of the College contribute to student learning--in keeping with our mission--then we must not allow the academic schedule to be driven by administrative rationales. We must figure out what structures are best for the students and then just find ways to implement them.

Our 3-credit courses should all be changed to 4-credit courses and (most if not all) programs should be revised so that students take four 4-credit courses per semester for 8 semesters (128 credits) and then graduate. This is a model that many so-called elite schools have long used and it is a model that would be even more important for the success of RIC students. Most of our students live off campus and many work long hours or have family demands--and yet we usually ask them to take 5 courses per semester (when 3-credit courses are the norm in Gen Ed areas and in majors). Arguably, these models are backwards: if student learning is really valued at RIC, we would let our students concentrate more fully on fewer courses and not force them to spread themselves more thinly than their peers at more elite schools.

A weekend program for alternative students.

The freshman writing requirement should be expanded to a two-course sequence. This seems to be the standard among most colleges and universities.

Reconsider the "four pillars" (science, math, language, social studies) idea for Elementary Education that was once proposed. It made sense to me as 2 or so courses in those areas are not enough for el ed majors, and a full major (as in math) is much more than enough just in that one subject. At least this should be discussed, possibly as an option.

Coordinate the goals in the Core courses so that each level builds on the one that came before it. Make sure these goals are well known to faculty and students.

The Physical Science Department should be separated into a Chemistry Department and a Physics Department. The new Physics Department should be expanded to include courses and a BA degree in Applied Physics/Engineering. The Math and Computer Sci Departments should also be separated with their programs both expanded as well. To accommodate these larger departments new buildings can be built to increase the ability of RIC to bring in students and most importantly greatly increase research. The East Campus can be expanded with a new Math Building, Computer Sci, Building and Physics Building. Moving these departments out of Clarke and Gaige frees up the Chem and History/Anthropology Departments. Allowing them more class room and space for research. Also on the East Campus a new Administrative building and a new Art Department building could be built. This would allow other programs looking for more space the ability to move into Roberts Hall or the Art Center. There is also room for more student housing and parking on the East Campus as well. Expanding the space available to departments should increase the ability of these departments to conduct research, hold new classes, and to bring in students.





This library and all libraries need to justify their continued existence in the on-line age, just like print newspapers. Perhaps such an evaluation should precede a new facility. I use the library a lot, but seldom see students there.

Clarke Science needs a new building, but it the meantime a working HVAC is essential. A "new state of the art" Chemistry, Physics, Earth and Oceanographic Sciences Building paid for and named for a donor to be identified should replace the John Clarke Science Building.

More sufficent lighting should be provided and the lights should be turned on earlier to provide students and faculty with a safer environment.

Reevaluate the use of Sapinsley Hall in the Nazarian Center. Currently, it most often goes unused while ensemble do not have places to rehearse and students do not have places to practice. This could be done on a reserve basis only, but still let the students (and faculty) who are paying for this venue to BE ABLE TO USE IT! In the event, the hall is rented out for a paid event, classes/rehearsals could be moved on those rare occasions. Also, faculty should be able to use the hall, free of charge, to present recitals.

Many) more practice rooms needed for music students. The area beneath Sapinsley could house a few small rooms. The trailer outside of the main entrance to Sapinsley could also be converted.





Mandate one semester of volunteer work for those in education. For example, instead of the proposed third semester of music education course, students work in a mentorship program in schools without music programs. Area students get access to topics not offered, RIC students gain hands on experience and develop sense of community. RIC benefits by developing a program that helps ease education problems in the state AND produces students with better real world skills and sense of duty.

Over the years there is less informal inter-departmental activity for faculty which I think is a loss. Years ago top adminsitrators at least sometimes ate with the faculty,another seeming loss. Perhaps the role of the faculty center should be reconsidered to address this, or perhaps events at the library/student union.

Dining services should be more sensitive to the diversity of food needs on campus. For instance, there are few vegetarian/vegan options provided in the dining hall and especially at on-campus events for faculty like the FAS opening meeting. Providing food services that adequately met the needs of all members of campus would increase Donovan revenue and also increase the likelihood that faculty would spend time at Donovan. At my previous institution, faculty received discounts at the dining hall, something that encouraged us to spend time there and increased informal interaction between students and faculty. Some faculty even held office hours in dining facilities.

Increase the health and well-being of faculty and staff.

Strategy 1- Negotiate with Lifespan or other business or donors to furnish treadmills for RIC. Depending on the amount, each college/department will get one. This includes physical plant, etc.




(on campus and off)

Put the logo for the College Portrait on the first page of

  • Develop a plan to use the College Portrait as part of the marketing/public relations strategy for the campus.
  • Share our assessment results and the improvements (our responses) we make more widely with the public, via the web site. Presently, assessment results are password protected. Out faculty invests time assessing student learning and developing strategies to improve. We should be pleased to be more open about our concern for teaching and learning.

Would be very helpful to see the complete organization chart for RIC.

We have an underutilized resource on the campus, that is, the TV Studio. It is used right now for classes in Communications but we could be webcasting from this controlled environment and perhaps narrow casting on the campus TV channel. I suggest we take a look at how to leverage this resource. We may even be able to generate revenue. It certainly could be used for the President's "Town Meeting" webcasts.

The User Support Services helpdesk, despite being the place to turn for help with computer resources, does not respond to emailed help requests or questions. There should be a way to get answers to questions via email or a web form/forum, especially short questions.


The following is a summary of ideas/suggestions sent to from 6/14/09 - 8/06/09:




special monthly checks (and summer payroll checks) include a note of explanation

insist that the Campus Security team ticket the cars in Parking Lot D & E with no red parking tags

Examine the advantages/disadvantages of the current 15-week academic calendar (semesters) vs. other alternative academic calendars (quarter, trimester, alternative).

Reconstruct Course Schedules (esp more Friday courses)

environmental sustainability

institutional wide service agenda

Improve grants office as follows: Reallocate distribution of indirect costs so that grants office gets more. Allocate a small amount of indirect costs (e.g., 1/2%) to help support the IRB. Increase staff in grants office and have designated staff work with specific departments (much like the department liaisons the library has). Create a “research foundation” that generates separate policies for expenditure of grant funds (which may differ from some state policies) and that employs its own accounting person with direct knowledge of NIH and other agency spending policies.





"Classroom Response Systems" for on-line college introductory courses

Wireless internet is poor or non-existent on many classrooms.

1) Server Side Includes (SSI) or PHP would be useful for writing web pages and  online  labs/tutorials that are more dynamic.
2) provide students with Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP) files so that they could download demos and run them using Java Web Start. 
3) Ideally, I would like to be able to write and run CGI (Common Gateway Interface) programs/scripts. I realize that at RIC I would need to maintain my own web server to do this, but it is on my wish list.






1. Developing COMMON institutional goals and benchmarks for undergraduate research ACROSS disciplines that are in line with institutional goals.
2. Developing a list of changes that will need to be implemented to meet these goals and strategies for their achievement.
3. Discussing ways to measure outcomes of faculty mentored research OTHER than publications that can be used as points for recognition of scholarship.
4. The possible development of a new student RIC Student Research Chapter which would include students across departments, offer purposeful events and meetings (such as career info and counseling, recruitment of new students from H.S., panel discussions with community and academic professionals performing research in a variety of fields, possible collaboration with Brown post-docs to provide mentoring and observation well as general camaraderie and fun discussions)

A Center for Civic Engagement at RIC would perform two functions: (1) provide support for service learning and (2) provide support for RIC’s American Democracy Project

Increase the required number of credits in residence to earn a BA from Rhode Island College from the present 45 credits to 60 credits. This would put us on par with the graduation requirements of URI.

more comprehensive first year experience program

Pursue AACSB accreditation.

Make all courses 4-credits

An ALLIED course for the Nursing Department to assist primarily underrepresented students interested in pursuing a Nursing degree from the College


Off-site courses at places such as Hasbro Children's Hospital for both employees & patients (our freshman-level courses?)


Redesign and support grad programs in changing times. Create a centralized graduate office with a budget for advertising and other needs






charging for parking

sell off the name of the new financial aid building (currently known building three); include requirement that namer also fund scholarships

James P. Adams Library building should be totally removed and replaced with a new state of the art Learning Resource Center/Library/Media Center.  See Bryant University’s Bello Center for example

Warmer classrooms and offices, especially in Alger

sidewalks for East Campus

refurbish the current dormitories and eventually add more housing on campus

The students need tables or bench type seating.  The typical RIC "chair/desktop" unit does not support an open laptop and and provide space for writing on a paper or notepad.

Most classrooms do not have sufficient electrical outlets for students to plug in laptops

Create raised crosswalks between dorms and the Horace-Mann area to force cars to slow down. I see students nearly get plowed down all the time


Improve condition of Horace Mann (heat/AC, energy efficient windows, 30-year old torn carpets, elevator that breaks nearly every day, etc.)


Install a campus map (including one-way street designations) and a pull-off area for cars right at each entrance so that visitors have an easier time finding buildings. Also, I’ve seen too many people going the wrong way on College Road next to the golf course. I’m surprised that a serious accident hasn’t occurred yet. Install “Wrong Way” or other such signs so that people will know after they’ve entered the road and can turn around.


better maintenance, esp classrooms and bathrooms





volunteer mentoring program for students, with staff and faculty mentors

Place administrative responsibility for Summer Orientation programs in the division of Student Affairs

Continue to allow faculty and staff to have discretion regarding placing
their photos on the web site, for safety purposes.

Emphasize the need to hire faculty and staff from out-of-state.

Build a sense of community by stressing shared values, expectations and ideas – create an open forum for sharing the College culture. Answer the question – What is special about RIC

Allow faculty to use Rec Center free of charge




(on campus and off)

special page on website for parents and families

Comprehensive training program for department chairs.

College Pride

Deliver mail EVERY DAY, not 2-3 days a week as seems to be the new norm

The following is a summary of ideas/suggestions sent to as of 6/15/09:




poor condition of bldgs, esp Gaige, Craig Lee, Fogarty:
heat, windows, leaks, etc.

better maintenance, esp classrooms and bathrooms

replace air dryers in Nazarian & Roberts with Dyson Airblade

Donovan and café—better food (esp fresher)

Lighting & emergency phones for lot behind library

Kiosk/welcome center w/maps in each bldg

Create student spaces in underused areas (e.g., Gaige lobby, CL nooks)

Entirely wireless campus

Electronic classrooms

Renovation of dorms & creation of connected walkway in dorms

Clear walking path behind Rec center to Mt. Pleasant Ave.

Enhance sustainability efforts on campus (recycle bins in classrooms, etc)

Create single, appropriate office for Affirmative Action Officer





Daycare center (hourly fee)

Connect college to bike path

Improve RIPTA connections

Increase on-campus students’ involvement in activities

Put all faculty/staff photos on website for easy recognition of colleagues

Allow faculty to use Rec Center free of charge

Install more plantings on campus and include labels to identify/emphasize

Limit campus radio station to reduce “noise” in quad

Secure faculty parking by ticketing more regularly or installing gates/arms




Option of weekend visit for incoming freshmen

Increase on-campus housing

Partner w/K-12 system to improve graduation and college attendance rates





Explore online learning options (including distance courses for military)

retain MFA in Theatre, Performance & Society

Increase language offerings; create cross-dept collaborations w/languages;

Require foreign-language proficiency for all programs

Explore alternative learning opportunities, including on-site work CEUs

Develop reputation for true interdisciplinary education

More study abroad opportunities; possible “adopt-a-country” for campus

Create one-credit course for students with writing issues

Create ESL certification program for undergraduates

Redesign and support grad programs in changing times






Expand Unity Center, including make coordinator full-time

Work toward more LGBTQQ-inclusive community (incl. gender-neutral bathrooms)

Expanded opportunities for faculty to learn from each other re: diversity/inclusion

Clear explanation of “diversity”

Create Multicultural Center to include Unity, Women’s Ctr, etc.

Allow students to list “preferred name” on transcripts, rosters, IDs




Completely update how Development office operates; increase fundraising efforts

Increase support structure for acquiring and managing grants

Better communication and streamlining of grants processes





More opportunities for faculty sabbaticals

More efficiency and communication in mail room for shipping & receiving

Maintenance and housekeeping concerns in many building

Clear, specific orientation materials for new faculty (transparency)

Develop Center for Teaching and Learning

More distinct PR work to get our name out in the public realm

Streamline campus bureaucracy (fewer forms and signatures required)

More efficient and active Human Subjects Review

More in-service, PD and communication among Core 4 faculty

Make technology manuals available in print version for faculty

Bring in outside consultants to do all college assessment – no faculty involved

More time and support for faculty research

Online system for AV requests

Better Parental/Family Leave plan that doesn’t draw from sick days

Adopt-a-Professor Campaign: Partner with community sites to improve life in RI in this poor economy (Nursing with hospitals, Management with local businesses to keep them from going under, etc)

Hire staff person to manage PR/news in each division to better advertise RIC

Create “roadmap” templates for students to help plan schedules and graduation

“Epitomize the scholar/teacher ideal”

Track our students pre- and post-graduation to better serve them

Page last updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011