Meeting, November 9

Meeting, November 9
Gallagher Business Building, Room 123


Members Present:

B. Allan, L. Ametsbichler, C. Anderson, T. Atkins, L. Barnes, D. Beck,  R. Bendick Kier, N. Bradley-Browning, F. Cardozo-Palaez, K. Canty, B. Cochran, J. Crepeau, M. DeGrandpre, P. Dietrich, A. Delaney, B. Douma L. Frey, J. Eglin, J. Gannon, F. Glass J. Glendening,  B. Halpap, L. Hayes, K. Hill, S. Justman, M. Kupilik, B. Larson, G. Larson, C. Lawrence, C. Loisel, J. Lopach, J. Luckowski, S. McCann, D. McCrea, J. McNulty, V. Micheletto, M. Monsos, N. Nickerson, M. Pershouse, L. Putnam, B. Reider, Y. Reimer, T. Seekins, L. Sheng, D. Shively, G. Smith, F. Snyder, J. Sommers-Flanagan, A. Sondag,  R. Stubblefield,  A. Szalda-Petree, H. Thompson, N. Tuleja, E. Uchimoto, N. Uhlenbruck, A. Ware

Ex-Officio Present:

President Dennison, Vice President Duringer, Associate Provosts Staub and Walker-Andrews, Registrar Micus, ASUM President Helling

Members Excused:


Members Absent:

C. Hand, S. Gordon, C. Nichols,  R. Skelton, P. Silverman, S. Stiff, D. Stolle, M. Tonon,

W. Freimund, D. Potts, F. Rosenzweig, D. Swibold, K. Unger

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

The administration has been planning for the Governor's Tuition Cap.  The College Affordability Program is designed to avoid tuition increases for resident students.  Therefore, nonresident tuition is decoupled from resident tuition.  The Program is based on an agreement of present-law adjustments - the delivery of current services to the same number of students with the same number of employees, recognizing that there are inflationary increases that have to be met.  Agreement was reached on inflationary items such as energy, benefits, health care, and etc.  This involved a lot of discussions between the Budget Office and the University System Financial Officers.  Included in the calculation (for planning purposes only) is a 3% salary increase.

One unsettled issue is the fund maintained to provide payouts for employees' leave balances.  The proposal is that the state will maintain a separate fund so that if the campuses exceed their fund level, a request can be made that at least half of the expense be paid out of the states fund.  

The expenditure total was calculated for the same number of students as last year.  Then the student enrollment of each campus was evaluated to determine the percentage of resident students.  The present-law adjustment expenditures are then multiplied by the percentage of resident students to determine the total funding to be provided by the state.

The Missoula campus has 79% resident students in comparison to the Helena College of Technology with 99.1% resident students.  Nonresident students would pay 100% of their education costs.  So, 21% of the University's budget would require some indeterminate increase in nonresident tuition. 

The calculation will be the operating budget going into the legislative session.  The long- range building requests are separate.  There was initially some discussion about having a bonding program and what it would include.  Most recently, the discussion has moved away from bonding toward using some of the ending fund balance to pay the building requests directly.  This will also be determined in the legislative session.

It is yet to be determined whether any of the one-time-only funding requests will be provided.  These are still being looked at and there is still the possibility that some of these requests might be approved once the legislative session begins.

Senator Frey asked whether the one-time-only requests would be available in the future.
President Dennison responded that the appropriation is for this biennium.

This model is a significant change in the way funding is figured in Montana.
In the past there was a lump sum that was provided for higher education and this was allocated among the campuses based on the Cost of Education Model.  Now, there is a computation of what is required to maintain the current level of service.  Missing from the model is recognition that enrollment growth will occur.  Also missing is the recognition of the need for funding to develop new programs. This is what the one-time-only money can do now.

Senator Kupilik asked whether the model funds the state pay plan at 80%.

According to the President, the gross average of the MUS system is 80% but on this campus, it would be 79% in accordance with the percentage of resident students.  Also, in the faculty pay plan is 80% salaries and 20% merits and promotions, but that has yet to be determined.

How the agency budgets fit within the calculation has yet to be addressed.  The agencies are entities like the Extension Services, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, Fire Sciences School, and etc.

Vice President for Administration and Finance, Robert Duringer
ECOS requested Vice President Duringer to provide an update on the current fiscal year.  The University is very reliant on tuition revenue and enrollment stability.  Since fiscal year 2002, there have been odd permutations in enrollment. There was a non-resident decline for a while, then a resident decline, then a problem with WUE students, and most recently, the head count is up, but credit hours are down.  Variations are always to be expected because perfect estimates are impossible.  The projections have been 99.5% accurate over the past five years, but there can still be turbulence with .5% revenue shortage.   To safeguard the campus from suffering the turbulence, the university maintains 2% or approximately $2 million of the general fund budget in reserve. In the 06-07 biennium, a stream of events used the entire contingency fund. These events included: high FTE but low credit hours, low summer school performance for two years, a substantial increase in mandatory waivers, and the purchase of trailers and electrical equipment to house the displaced College of Technology.

The depleted contingency fund should not impact faculty.  The administration is adept at managing this type of situation and should be able to move funds to minimize the risk. This will be a bit of a challenge for Administration and Finance, but it is hoped that there will be no manifestation on the campus. 

Senator Thompson asked whether the higher minimum wage will have any impact on students credit load. 

Vice President Duringer responded that the difference in the wages might give students a little more money, but it most likely will go towards discretionary spending.

Senator Lopach asked whether the contingency fund covered all the unanticipated expenses or whether expenses still need to be paid.  


Vice President Duringer clarified that the contingency fund paid most of the unanticipated expenses.  It is gone, but unless there is a complete surprise with spring enrollment, which is statistically unlikely, Administration and Finance will be able to move money around to cover the remaining expenses.

Associate Provost, James Staub
In accordance with Academic Policy 101.2, Associate Provost Staub submitted the Nontenurable Academic Faculty Report.  The tenure-track faculty total is up by 5 and nontenurable faculty is up by 12 compared to last year.  Any questions regarding the report should be directed to him.

ASUM President Andrea Helling

ASUM President Andrea Helling provided an update of ASUM activities.  The students made 7,000 phone calls to remind students to vote and distributed voter guides to students in the dorms and family housing.  ASUM will be hiring a lobbyist and intern to work in support of the tuition cap. A resolution was unanimously passed to encourage the University to join the Workers Rights Consortium, which is an organization that monitors factories around the world to assure they are in compliance with fair labor standards and human rights compliance. ASUM will be considering the stadium expansion and associated $17.50 athletics fee increase at the next meeting Tuesday evening.  



Chair's Report


Article Amendment

Chair Ametsbichler announced that the Article Amendment updating titles of Pharmacy and Forestry was approved with 112 affirmative votes of the faculty at large and President Dennison.

General Education Council Update
As promised, ECOS is keeping the Senate apprised of the Board of Regents General Education Council Activities.  The Council has revised the MUS General Education Transferable Core and developed operational rules. Senator Hill is a member of the Council and responded to questions.

Senator Lopach asked whether there was a relationship between the Board of Regent's general education requirement and the institutions'.  How much flexibility is there?  How much does the university have to adhere to the MUS core?

Senator Hill responded that there really is no relationship.  There is no intent by the Board of Regents to require changes to the campuses' general education programs.  Each institution is encouraged to keep its unique program.   The MUS Core will only apply to students wishing to transfer within the system.  So it is really a lot of work for only a few students.  The Indian Education for All component was included because it is important to the Regents, but the funding is still unknown.

Senator Lopach asked whether a student who took 24 credits of the core, for example, at one of the technical colleges transferred to Missoula.  Would they have 24 credits of UM's general education program completed.

Senator Hill explained that students who take the MUS core will have fulfilled all lower division general education requirements at any MUS institution for which they transfer.  However, students are only eligible to use the MUS core if they have taken 20 credits or more of the core.  Students transferring with fewer than 20 core credits would have their courses assessed for meeting UM's general education program.   Students would still have to take university requirements and program requirements, such as the upper-division writing assessment and writing requirement in the major. 

The faculty and administrators on the Council are very much protecting the individual programs.  Individual courses have not yet been reviewed. 

Senator Luckowski asked about the Council's sense of the Indian Education for All requirement, whether it was in addition to the core.  What is the intent?

Senator Hill indicated that this is a work in progress. The Regents are clear that this is a feature of K-12, and there is a desire to do something in higher education, but there isn't any money.  It could be a value-added experience or be integrated into courses.  The Council didn't address this issue because of the funding.   The Board of Regents is very much in favor of Indian Education for All, but how to deliver it is still a discussion for the future.

It was pointed out that there was a document on the Board of Regents agenda, An Academic Plan for Indian Education for All for the Montana University System that identifies priorities.  It states that every campus must offer one course, at least once a year, but that not all students are required to take it.

Senator Beck has been attending the Board of Regents Indian Education for All Committee meetings in Helena.  At this point,  the committee is proposing far less than what is currently offered on this campus.

Senator Frey commented that the MUS core appears to threaten the campuses general education programs.

Senate Hill responded that the number of students using the core is very small.

Senator Frey conjectured that if it becomes an issue, individual departments can set up major requirements to ensure their students are getting the desired foundation.


The Strategic Budget and Planning notes were made available to inform Senators of the budget status.  VP Duringer spoke to some of these issues.

Service Award
Chair Ametsbichler reminded the Senate that nominees were needed for the service award.  ECOS has yet to receive any nominations. 

BOR Meeting

The Board of Regents meeting is on campus next week.  There was a link to the agenda.  Faculty are welcome to attend when an item of interest is scheduled.

Curriculum Special Request
Associate Provost Walker-Andrews asked that the Level 1 degree title changes for the School of Fine Arts be considered by the Faculty Senate.  All of the degree title changes for bachelor programs have been approved by ASCRC and ECOS and are on the consent agenda.  The graduate degree title changes were approved this week by Graduate Council, but had not been presented to ECOS in order to make the consent agenda. She has spoken with ECOS members and explained that she had planned to present these items for Board of Regents approval this week.  Otherwise the items could not be approved again until March. ECOS consented that the items could be considered today. The items on the School of Fine Arts Summary were approved by unanimous consent.

Committee Reports:
ASCRC Chair Allen Szalda-Petree

Senator Szalda- Petree presented the curriculum list for approval.

Senator Frey asked whether there was any discussion on Journalism's increase of credits in the major.

Senator Szalda-Petree responded that the program went from 30 to 35 credits and this is in line with credits required in other programs.

ASCRC has established an ad hoc committee to establish guidelines / best practices for online course.  The committee is made up of faculty that teach online courses.  Having the guidelines in place should make it possible for the current curriculum subcommittee structure to review proposed online courses rather than creating a separate cumbersome process.

Graduate Council Chair Louis Hayes
The graduate curriculum items were presented and approved by unanimous consent. 

Associate Provost Walker-Andrews informed the Senate that the termination of the MS in Physical Therapy was approved several years ago, but apparently did not make it to the Board of Regents to update the degree inventory. 

Graduate Council is also concerned about online courses and is letting ASCRC create the process.

Unfinished Business:


The election procedures bylaw amendment was approved.


New Business:

Associate Provost Arlene Walker-Andrews presented the graduation lists for Autumn 2006 and corrections from Summer 2006.  The lists were approved unanimously.

Good and Welfare:


Senator Frey asked about the status of the general education issue. 
Senator Szalda-Petree responded that ASCRC brought a draft model to ECOS.  ECOS recommended that ASCRC invite faculty members to meetings to discuss the various conflicting view points.  This will be done in the spring after curriculum review is completed.  ASCRC would like to see the contentious issues settled before the model is sent to campus, otherwise a lot of time an effort will be lost. 

Senator Lopach asked if the draft was sent to department chairs. 
Senator Szalda-Petree answered that the model has not been distributed to departments.  Members on the committee have shared information with their departments and comments have been returned.  A compromise needs to be decided prior to the draft going to departments so that productive revisions may occur.  

Senator Luckowski asked Registrar Micus about the rumored elimination of paper schedules. 
Registrar Micus explained that he is working on a preliminary approval to eliminate some of the printed schedules, primarily because the schedule is out-of-date the moment it is printed.  There is a possibility of an online schedule that is more interactive and up-to-date.  Likewise, the Registrar's Office can provide more accurate information for advising activities.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:11pm.

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Senator Frey remarked that there are a number of things that are problematic about the President's proposed Code of Ethics.  A similar code was disavowed by the Federal Court in the Shippensburg (PA) Case 2003.  She urged senators to read the language so that an informed discussion can take place at the next Senate meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 pm.