Meeting, October 12, 2006

Meeting, October 12, 2006
Gallagher Business Building, Room 123

Members Present:

L. Ametsbichler, C. Anderson, T. Atkins, L. Barnes, D. Beck, N. Bradley-Browning, K. Canty, B. Cochran, A. Delaney, L. Frey, J. Gannon, J. Glendening, S. Gordon, C. Hand, L. Hayes, S. Justman, M. Kupilik, B. Larson, G. Larson, C. Lawrence, J. Lopach, J. Luckowski, S. McCann, D. McCrea J. McNulty, V. Micheletto, C. Nichols, D. Potts, M. Pershouse, L. Putnam, B. Reider, Y. Reimer, T. Seekins, L. Sheng, D. Shively, F. Snyder, J. Sommers-Flanagan, A. Sondag, S. Stiff, D. Stolle, R. Stubblefield, D. Swibold, H. Thompson, E. Uchimoto, N. Uhlenbruck, A. Ware

Ex-Officio Present:

V.P. Foley, Registrar Micus, Associate Provost Staub, ASUM President Helling


Jim Lopach, Faculty Athletics Representative, Jim O'Day, Director of Athletics, and Jean Gee, Associate Director of Athletics

Members Excused:



Members Absent:

B. Allan, R. Bendick Kier, F. Cardozo-Palaez, J. Crepeau, M. DeGrandpre, P. Dietrich, B. Douma, W. Freimund, B. Halpap, K. Hill, C. Loisel, M. Monsos, N. Nickerson, F. Rosenzweig, R. Skelton, G. Smith, A. Szalda-Petree, M. Tonon,

J. Eglin, F. Glass, T. Seekins, P. Silverman, N. Tuleja, K. Unger

Chair Ametsbichler called the meeting to order at 3:10 p.m.
Registrar Micus called roll. 

The 9/14/06minutes were entered into the record.

University Executive Vice President Jim Foley
Last spring, University Executive Vice President Jim Foley hoped to inform the Senate of the development of several commercials, but meeting agendas were full. He will now explain the purpose of the commercials and show three of them. There will be a total of 9 commercials.  The commercials are intended to get people excited about the university, to show the sprit of the place and what makes UM special.  The hope is that the commercials will be helpful in recruiting students.  The academic deans were contacted to recommend inspiring faculty for the project.  The project was sent to bid and was awarded to a Bozeman Company, the only company in Montana that does this type of work with 35 millimeter film.  This film has better color results and allows audio to be streamed to video for Ipods or PDAs.  An Ipod with the audio downloaded was passed around the room for senators to listen to.

The first commercial showed various scenes from the symphony with the voice of Professor Luis Millán; the second showed technology in the Gallagher Business Building and other scenes with Professor David Firth; and the third was a science theme with Professor Garon Smith.  The audio is still in production on a fourth commercial with Professor Donna Beall and a pharmacy theme.  The music for the symphony commercial will be changed to symphonic music before it is aired.   


The marketing campaign will run for 18-24 months, depending on the cost-benefit measurement.  Currently the business and science commercials are airing on cable because pricing is more reasonable.  Eventually the ads will run on local stations and outlining areas of feeder schools.


The commercials will be accessible via the website in a few weeks. Faculty may contact VP Foley with any questions.



ASUM President Andrea Helling

ASUM President Andrea Helling introduced herself and described some of the issues ASUM will be working on this year. ASUM is opposed to segways. It is working on the controversy over the inoperable wheelchair lifts on the buses.  The students are also very interested in sustainability.  Faculty may encounter students conducting sustainability surveys.   This year's priorities for student government are to be visible and accessible, to run a smooth operation, and effectively lobby the legislature.  Faculty are welcome to contact her with any questions.

Vice President Foley announced to the Senate that Andrea was elected to head the combined associated student body of the Montana University System and UM is honored to have her in the position.


UFA President Kupilik

UFA President Kupilik provided an update from a three-day meeting of the Inter-Unit Benefits Committee.  The committee is made up of 22 members, 11 from labor, and 11 from administration.  The Human Resource Director Rob Gannon is UM's representative from administration.  Terry Gruba is the MPA representative and Professor Kupilik is the UFA representative. The Montana University System's health care is self insured and benefits are not bargained directly.  

Mercer Human Resource Consulting Firm analyzed the financial shape of the program and provided a report to the committee.  There has been a sharp increase in medical trends starting July 1, 2005.  Medical claims increased 29.9% from FY2005 to FY2006. Pharmacy claims increased 16.7%.  Benchmarks for increases are between 7-11% for medical claims and 14% for pharmacy claims.  The graph showed that the program would break even with a yearly 10% increase in funding at current medical costs for FY2007 and FY2008. If revenues stay at the current rate there will be a deficit starting in FY2007.  It is not likely there will be an increase in revenue from the state; therefore, expenses must be cut. The fund is not in bad shape.  The estimated incurred but not reported claim reserves are at $6,250,000.  The fund balance as of 6/30/06 is $21,302,072. This is up 2 million from FY2005.

At the end of this year, the program will be different than it is today. A request for proposals (RFP) has been issued for a third party administrator.  The RFP calls for the cost of a program different from our current program.   It is predicted that the cost for the claim indemnity program will increase but the HMOs will not change. There will also be a steering program alternative that mandates what institution a person goes to for services.  The dental and vision programs will also be changing.  The vision program will have a new provider with better benefits.

A major cause for the deficit is that discount agreements with hospitals were terminated.   There will be many workshops and communications to educate all employees about choices.   This is simply the initial notification.

Senator Frey asked about the origin of the cost overruns.
Professor Kupilik responded that the majority of the deficit came from loosing the hospital discounts.  The report contains several pages of data regarding expenses that he would be happy to share, but didn't know the areas offhand.

She then asked whether the plan was to target those areas that had overruns.

He clarified that the plan is to bring down the costs by offering a third alternative.   The hope is that more employees will choose the HMO and steering plans because they are cheaper. 

The claims data analyzed by Mercer is from a database maintained for medical benefits for all state employees.  The 29.9% increase is in individual claims not dollars.

UFA President Kupilik has been appointed to the Campus Benefits Committee. It will be active during this time.  He encouraged faculty to call him, Terry Gruba, or Rob Gannon with questions.

Intercollegiate Athletics Report
The Athletics Oversight Committee established as a result of the deficit two years ago concluded that a report should be made to the Faculty Senate at the beginning of each academic year.  This report should include issues that would interest faculty and provide the opportunity for questions

Jim Lopach, the Faculty Athletics Representative for the past 11 years takes the position very seriously.   His role is to ensure the academic performance of the student athletes.  Sometimes he has to investigate rules infractions, but more importantly he has to investigate faculty members' easy grading of athletes. 

Jean Gee, Associate Director, Intercollegiate Athletics oversees academic services.  The tradition of the orange progress cards continues.  She provided an overview of the student athletes' performance in comparison to the general student population. Every semester, the student athletes have a higher GPA --3.0 compared to 2.86(spring) and 2.84 (fall) for the general student population.  They also complete more average term credits and have a higher graduation rate--62% compared to 43% for the general student population.  Athletics is always looking for ways for student athletes to do better, but they are proud of the figures.

Professor Lopach went over the reasons for ineligibility and rules infractions on the handout.   In the summer and spring, student athlete transcripts are reviewed for eligibility according to University, NCAA, and Bigsky Conference regulations.   Athletes have to measure up to the academic progress rules that are more rigorous than the general student population.   Students may become eligible by taking credits in the summer, and until this year, wintersession.   Starting this year wintersession will no longer be considered as a separate semester administratively. 

Last year, there were only three reported infractions to the NCAA and Big Sky Conference rules.  This is low and is somewhat concerning, because it is nearly impossible to be in 100% compliance.  There is a cycle with rule violations.  When new rules are implemented, there is an increase in infractions.  Athletics has implemented a better education system and communication is increasing for self-reporting infractions. 

Jim O'Day, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics provided a fiscal report.  For the third straight year, Athletics has finished the year in the black. The budget is approximately 11.5 million and they produce about 8 million themselves. This is remarkable at their level.  They are able to charge more for the football tickets because of the popularity.  This translates into fewer institutional dollars being required.  The President provides 3.5 million each year to help with salaries and fee waivers.  Other athletic departments receive 6 million in institutional support.  Athletics is able to net about $300,000 each home game.  Peer institutions net approximately $100,000 or less.   They bring in 3.2 million in revenue from the football season tickets.  UM's closest competitor, Montana State brings in $800,000.  University Fund Raising is similarly higher than other institutions.  Last year the GSA donated 1.8 million.  Montana State had $500.000. Other fundraising accounts for approximately 8 million, compared to Montana State with 5 million.  

UM Athletic coaches are informed not only to recruit student athletes, but to recruit students.

The deficit will be paid at the end of this year, two years ahead of time.  The students would like football tickets to be free rather than cost $4.  This equates to a $100,000 loss per game.  Also, until this year, there were student tickets available for resale at a higher price for an addition $30,000.  This year, student tickets have sold out for every game.   Basketball ticket sales bring in $450,000, and that's $100,000 more than Weber state, the second highest revenue generating program in the conference.  Woman's basketball brings in about $350,000 a year compared to Montana State at $57,000.


Senator Potts asked for clarification regarding the 33 students academically ineligible.

Professor Lopach responded that there are approximately 300 student athletes in the various sports.  Most of the students flagged as ineligible become eligible by taking courses during summer session or in the case of declare-major violations, filling out a form.   These standards are higher than any applied to the general student population and the data is not alarming.

Assistant Director Gee addressed a question regarding the repercussions of rule infractions.   The repercussion depends on the fraction.  Some infractions will affect the eligibility of the student athlete.  If the infraction involves an extra monetary benefit, the student athlete has to pay it back.

The third infraction listed was fairly serious because the individual gave items of value to a high school student and claimed to represent the university.  Only coaches are allowed to recruit.   The person involved almost lost their season tickets and status. 

Professor Lopach explained that there are two categories of infractions, secondary and major.   There has not been a major infraction since the late 1970s.   With secondary infractions students can be reinstated to eligibility once they fulfill the requirements of the penalty.  

Director O'Day explained that many of the infractions are unintentional.  He described a situation where an individual bought lunch for a group of guests.  Two of them were student athletes and had to donate five dollars to a charity.

Senator Frey asked what happens to the orange cards filled out by faculty.

Assistant Director Gee explained that the cards are reviewed and if there is a concern, strategies are discussed with the student, including study habits, time management, tutoring, or more study table hours.

Senator Cochran inquired about whether the orange cards were a violation of the privacy rights of students.
Assistant Director Gee responded that student athletes sign a Buckley release form.  There is an explanation of this on the back of the orange card.  Faculty members can be provided with a copy of the form if requested.


Chair's Report


Chair Ametsbichler thanked President Dennison and Associate Provost Walker-Andrews for their sponsorship and hosting of the Faculty Senate Social.  It was attended by approximately 25 senators.

She and chair-Elect Hayes attended the Montana University System Faculty Association Representatives meeting and the breakfast meeting with the Board of Regents in September.  They had a conversation with the Regents about the Governor's 0% tuition increase proposal.

Senator Beck was also at an Indian Education for All meeting in Helena and was informed by Commissioner Stearns that the Board of Regents will not ask the legislature for money over 50 million.

Chair Ametsbichler updated the Senate on the activities of the Provost's Search Committee.  Members are currently calling references and will meet next week to decide on candidates to bring to campus for interviews.

ECOS is asking for faculty input regarding their interaction with the Centers up for review.  These are:

            The Western Montana RiteCare Childhood Language and Literacy Clinic
            Montana Business Connections
            O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West
            Shafizadeh Rocky Mountain Center for Wood & Carbohydrate Chemistry
            Center for Ethics

ECOS met with Associate Vice President Ray Ford and Associate Provost Staub regarding the continued unhappiness with Blackboard.  They recommended establishing a standing subcommittee of the Academic Information Technology Advisory Committee to focus on academic, technical, and operational issues related to learning systems in general and specifically the Blackboard learning system utilized on campus.  ECOS concurred.

ECOS is meeting with several faculty who teach online courses to better understand how the courses differ from traditional courses and how the courses are perceived by faculty and students.  The Board of Regents are interested in having the MUS general education core available online and ECOS needs to learn more about the online format to discern whether there are any academic concerns associated with this initiative.  ECOS is interested in any questions or comments senators may have as well.  Please send your input to the Faculty Senate Office. 

Senator Thompson was curious about the configuration of an MUS online general education core.
Chair Ametsbichler did not have any specifics. 

Committee Reports:
Faculty Library Committee Chair Andrew Ware

Senator Ware highlighted a few of the items in the written report. The Faculty Library representative meeting will be October 19th from 12-1.  The goal of this meeting is for library reps to network and learn about the allocation process and ho other departments make allocations.  He has consulted with Bonner Allen, the new Library Dean with regard to the committee's agenda items for the year.  The committee will review the budget, look at the allocation process, and discuss scholarly communication in terms of how the library can assure copyrights of authors, considering the complications of the internet.   He encouraged faculty to communicate, preferably via email, any concerns or information they would like to see the committee address.

New Business:


Chair Ametsbichler went over the first reading of the Elections Procedures bylaw amendment. 


Unfinished Business:
The Recorder Bylaw Amendment was approved by unanimous consent.

The Voting Group Bylaw amendment was approved by unanimous consent.


The Voting Group Article Amendment was approved by unanimous consent.   The Senate was reminded that amendments to the articles require a vote by the faculty at large and therefore will receive an email to this effect.

Good and Welfare:


Senator Beck announced that the site for the new Native American Building will be blessed tomorrow morning at sunrise by representatives from all 12 tribes.  Everyone is welcome to attend. 

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30pm.

utoL&-aNNom-alt:auto; line-height:normal'>Senator Putnam announced that on Friday, April 13th, the Undergraduate Research Conference is being held all day at the University Center.  It is also in need of judges. There are currently over 80 presenters registered.  Contact the Davidson Honors Collage.  In addition the Montana Academy of Sciences Conference is taking place the same weekend in Butte.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 pm.

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New Business:

New Academic Policy
The Worklife and Spousal Employment Policy is available for review and discussion.   It will be voted on at the next meeting in accordance with the bylaws.

President Dennison informed the Senate that the policy was drafted at the request of the PACE Group.  It is working to pull together various procedures, practices and policies to make them accessible.  It isn't anything new; it includes current practice, and procedures that are in the collective bargaining agreement.

Sabbatical/Leave Bylaw Amendment
The Sabbatical/leave Bylaw amendment was available for consideration and will also be voted on in October in accordance with the bylaws. 

Senator Vonessen recommended the correction of a typo in the last sentence.  It will be corrected for the next reading.


Good and Welfare:
The reception is located upstairs. 


The meeting was adjourned at 4:43pm.