Meeting, December 7, 2006

Meeting, December 7, 2006
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, A. Delaney, P. Dietrich, B. Douma, L. Frey, W. Freimund, J. Gannon, F. Glass, J. Glendening, S. Gordon, B. Halpap, C. Hand, L. Hayes, K. Hill, S. Justman, M. Kupilik, B. Larson, G. Larson, C. Lawrence, S. Li, C. Loisel, J. Lopach, S. McCann, D. McCrea, J. McNulty, V. Micheletto, C. Nichols, D. Potts, L. Putnam, B. Reider, Y. Reimer, P. Silverman, R. Skelton, G. Smith, J. Sommers-Flanagan, A. Sondag,  S. Stiff, D. Stolle, R. Stubblefield,  D. Swibold, 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:

J. Eglin,  J. Luckowski, M. Monsos, N. Nickerson, T. Seekins, D. Shively,  F. Snyder, M. Tonon

K. Unger

UM Guests:

Dean Evans and Strobel, Associate Dean Dinkel Uhlig, M. Antonioli, M. Bachman, J. Burfeind, J. Carter, D. Coffin, K. Dalessio (Staff Senate), D. Doyle, K. Driscoll (student), M. Farrier, M. Fredrickson, A. Garfinkle, R. Grimes, B.  Hanson, L. Heart Paulson, S. Hiniker (Staff Senate), M. Hoell, S. Hohnstein, G. Johnson, K. Kaufmann, P. Koehn, K. Kuipers, L. LaCounte, J. Lundt, J. Lutz, B. McCaw, C. Merriman, M. Nie, J. O'Rielly, A. Peterson, J. Randall, M. Riordan (Student interested in SLP program), S. Schwarze, S. Spencer-Kennedy, R. VanDenPol, J. VonSehlen, C. Woodruff

Other Guests:

C. Anderson (SLP, Special Services Coordinator MCASE-Target Range School, Suzanne Bobowiec (SLP-MCPS), Jim Clark (MCPS Superintendent),  SallyAnn Chrisholm (SLP-MCPS), Sarah Elliott (SLP-Community Medical Center), Janice Gaare (MCPS), Margaret Greene (SLP- MCPS), Julia Hammerquist (Family Support Specialist), Allen Haugen (Head Start Special Services Coordinator), Kris Kuehn (Malta School District Superintendent,  Kathy Love (SLP), Linda Maass (Director Missoula Education Cooperative), Candy Lubanski (Director of Special Education Missoula City), Peggy Moses (Child Development Center), Drew Necker (Special Coordinator GFPS), Kathleen Nerison (MCPS),  Public Schools, Janice Nugent (SLP-MCPS), Dave Puyefr (MT Rural Education Association), Shawna Roo (Parent), Darrell Rud (School Administrators of Montana), Dave Severson (MES-MFT), Steve Situt (MSDB Superintendent), Rachel Vielleux (Missoula County Superintendent), Bud WIlliams (OPI), Bill Woodford (Superior K-12 Public Schools)

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

The minutes from 10/12 and 11/9 were entered into the record.

Chair Ametsbichler announced that there would be a change in the agenda to accommodate the numerous guests in attendance. New Business will be delt with prior to committee reports.

The President spoke about wintersession and the transition to intersession.  Three years ago a study was done on the productivity of wintersession.  The usage and participation is very low. In 2003, there were 47 sections and 56 FTE.  At that time he decided to let it run for a few years to see whether enrollment could be increased.  By 2006 there were 77 sections and 1104 duplicated headcount compared to 649 duplicated headcount in 2003.  Since speaking with ECOS last, he has had the opportunity to look at the data for 2007.  As of 12/4/06 there were 80 sections with 1692 duplicated headcount, but most significantly, 158 FTE compared to 98 in 2006-approximately a 60% growth.   One of the strongest arguments to transition is the cost per student for heating the facilities.  It costs about $1,300 dollars per student during winter session.  It costs about $25 per student when they're all on campus.  So there really is a difference in energy efficiency.

Since the numbers are moving in the right direction he is willing to give wintersession a couple more years, but it has to grow.  He should have looked at this data before he made the proposal.   As Andrea Helling pointed out to him in an earlier discussion, one of the reasons for the significant growth is that wintersession is now included in the spring semester and the 12 credit limit now prevents students from having to pay additional tuition.   If the numbers continue in this direction wintersession can be feasible, but change is inevitable if something is not done to make it much more viable.  When reviewing the data, we reasoned that we might as well face the inevitable.  There are a lot of people who disagree and he respects their disagreements and understands the arguments that they make.  He was not presuming that the only thing faculty members do is teach.  However, he is looking for much more efficient use of facilities. So, the calendar will not be changed for next year.  The obligation is on everyone to make wintersession work.  If it doesn't, the University will have to change something to be more efficient. 



ASUM President Andrea Helling

After a lengthy, (6 hours) ASUM meeting, the students voted 19 to 2 in support of the administrations plan to expand the stadium.   The students are excited about the additional seats.

ASUM requests faculty to refer students, who are concerned about the legislature or who are interested in lobbying themselves, to ASUM.  They have $25,000 set aside for next year's legislative session and would like to get as many students as possible involved with lobbying.  Student involvement helps sell higher education to legislators and exposes students to the process.


UFA President Mike Kupilik
This is a semibargaining year. Article 13.000, compensation, will be the only item bargained.  It is very important that all departments choose a bargaining council representative and that the representative attend the bargaining council meetings. This is how the UFA communicates with the faculty and provides information on the progress of negotiations.

As the faculty representative on the Inter-Unit Benefits Committee, he previously reported that there will be some health insurance changes.  The university's third party provider has been put out for RFP (request for proposal).  The deadline has passed for proposals and he is on the selection committee to determine the third party provider. The committee will be meeting in Helena the month of January.  Therefore, he will have something to report at the Senate meeting in February.

Once again the UFA is sponsoring a TIAA-Cref Bill.  Last year it died in committee on a tie vote along party lines.  This year's strategy is different.  Instead of trying to get the whole increase in one legislative session, the bill proposes a 1% state contribution increase for those on TIAA-Cref.  A republican legislator has agreed to carry the bill, so there is hope that it will pass committee. 



Chair's Report

Board of Regents meeting update:
Chair Ametsbichler provided a brief update on the November Board of Regents meeting.   The Academic and Student Affairs Committee met on Wednesday, 11/15/06, and discussed the revised MUS Core and the proposed operating rules.  The core was approved but the operating rules were sent back to the General Education Council.  There was considerable discussion on transfer credits.

The Montana University Faculty Association Representatives (MUSFAR) group met Wednesday evening to discuss strategy for the Thursday morning meeting with the Board of Regents.   It decided on three items.  The first was to inform the Regents again about the Montana University System's Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) with the goal of aligning the Montana ORP retirement system with surrounding states. MUSFAR wanted to stress the inequity between TRS and TIAA-Cref to the Regents. This is the same TIAA-Cref issue that the UFA has been working on.  The second item was to impress upon the Regents that recruiting quality faculty is difficult considering the high cost of living in Montana and the relatively low salaries.  Bozeman has conducted a housing cost study.   The third issue of concern was transferability and the perceived desire of the Regents' to have a universal general education program. 

Provost Search:
Three candidates for Provost will be visiting campus starting on Friday 12/8 and all faculty are encouraged to attend the open forums at 11:00 or 1:30.

Faculty Technology Needs Assessment:

Belva Jones, the Chair of the Academic Information Technology Committee reported the results of the faculty technology needs assessment to ECOS. There is a need for additional technology rooms.  However, the budget for the maintenance of existing technology rooms is inadequate. Also, over half of the respondents were dissatisfied with the administration of Blackboard. Workgroups will be assigned to analyze and recommend solutions to the major issues.     

The motion was approved to suspend the rules to change the order of business and consider new business as an action item.

Chair Ametsbichler explained that ECOS put the Speech Language Pathology proposal on the agenda as an information item to allow senators time to consider the proposal and talk about it with their constituents.  However, a petition was received, signed by 10 senators to move it to an action item.  ECOS is aware of the need for the program, but did not have a consensus of support.  ASCRC passed the proposal with a narrow margin, thus there are still some concerns and controversy. For consideration today is the approval of the program in principle so that funding may be secured through legislative efforts by the President.  The courses, once developed by the new chair, would still have to go through the faculty governance process for approval. 

New Business - Bachelor's Degree in Communicative Disorders and Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology

Professor VanDenPol provided background to the proposal and introduced several guests.

Deputy Superintendent of the Office of Public Instruction and member of the School of Education Advisory Council thanked the School for bringing the proposal forward.  Since 1989, when the program was dropped, it has been increasingly difficult to find speech therapists for Montana schools.  There were 29 openings last year and only 9 positions were filled.  There are 20 schools or cooperatives that could not fill positions.  In many cases, it's the rural schools.  Great Falls still has five openings. The need is critical.  They are using less than appropriate models to provide service - speech pathologists are supervising paraprofessionals with bachelor degrees.  Montana schools have difficulty filling positions in other areas as well, but there are Montana gradates in those areas.  This is not the case for speech therapy. On behalf of the 145,600 children and 900 schools, he requests that the proposal be approved to go forward to the Board of Regents.

The Superintendent of the Malta School district, Kris Kuehn explained that for the last three years they have advertised aggressively for a speech therapist and have not had one application. An individual in retirement is contracted for 55 days over 11 months at $4500, which is 2/3rds of the districts budget for special education.  He visited a senior class at Minot, ND (the nearest University offering a degree in Speech Therapy) and begged students to complete their student practicum in Malta.  He offered $1500 for a four-month practicum, but not one of the 29 students expressed an interest.

Director of Special Education in Missoula, Candy Lubanski, spoke to the need in the Missoula community.  Montana schools are desperate.  There are 8,600 children in the Missoula County Public Schools, 15% of which are identified as students with disabilities.  Most of these students either have a primary disability of speech language or a secondary disability of speech language.  For children with a disability, communication is core to the impact of the disability.  Most of the Speech Language Pathologists in Missoula were trained by the former program and are at retirement age.  Missoula has had vacant positions for a year and a half and is considered a desirable district.  They have cobbled together services and work very hard with colleagues in non-school settings.  Services are desperately needed for children ages 3 to 21.

Dave Puyefr, Executive Director, Montana Rural Education Association (MREA), emphasized the critical needs in the rural schools.  Situations similar to Malta are occurring all across the state.  People are trying to do the very best they can under difficult circumstances.  They have tried everything - working with other states, several other models, and it isn't working.  The situation is reaching a crises level.  It is going to be an issue at this legislative session because people have voiced their concerns to their legislators.  This is an opportunity for the University to reinvest in the connection with k-12 schools and move the proposal forward.

The floor was opened for questions.

Senator Anderson asked how many schools in Montana have a similar need as Malta and how many have the resources to fill the vacancies.

Professor VanDenPol reiterated that there were 29 vacancies last year and only 9 were filled.  He suspects that not many of the schools would have the resources required to fill the positions.

Senator Hill, a former neurological nurse, supports the proposal because of her knowledge of patients with injuries, degenerative diseases, and strokes.  Speech pathologists are essential in helping these individuals achieve the highest quality of life possible.

Senator Beck, a parent of a daughter who required speech therapy and could not get services from the Missoula school district had been told by the school district that it did not have money for services and to wait a few years to see whether the problem persisted. When the problem continued it was addressed, but probably not as well as it could have been.  He had two related questions.   How many schools in the district actually employ speech therapists? Despite the fact that we know there is a need, how many of the needs will be filled by school districts? If schools don't have the money to hire, what assurances are there that students graduating from the program won't go out-of-state to earn more money?  Is there a nation-wide shortage?

Professor VanDenPol responded that there is a nation-wide shortage, though it is slightly higher in Montana.  Past experience has been that students are likely to stay where they are trained. Some will leave for higher paying jobs.  All schools in Montana are obliged to require speech therapy if the child qualifies under the states criteria for diagnosing the disability.  There is a range of ‘at riskness' that may not trigger that obligation.  The very high prevalence of communicative disorders indicate that, out of the students getting special education, half or more require speech therapy and should be getting service from a licensed therapist.  Currently the services are being provided on an itinerate basis from aides who do not have a graduate credential, but who are supervised once a week by a licensed therapist.

Senator Lopach requested additional information on the one-time-only funds and enrollment growth as sources of funding the program.  There is concern that if the funding should not materialize that the money would be drawn from existing programs to support this one.

President Dennison responded that currently within the governor's budget there is the College Affordability Program (CAP) which addresses current enrollments and present- law adjustments for current services at existing enrollment levels.  There is nothing built into the base of CAP for new programs or enrollment growth.  But, there are two pots of money in the governor's budget open to proposals from campuses.  One is a four million dollar equipment pool, which in the last budget cycle was open only to two-year colleges of technology.  This year it is open to all campuses.   There is also a one and one-half million dollar program development pool designed to address needs in critical areas. During the last legislative session more money was added to the one-time-only areas.  The SLP proposal would use the one-time-only money to bring the faculty to campus, to develop the curriculum, and then to attract the students.  The program should pay for itself when students are fully enrolled.   The enrollment projections are conservative and based on analysis.

Given today's date, it may be difficult to meet the planning schedule.  Similarly, the Master's in Public Health did not meet the schedule, but faculty were hired, curriculum was developed, and it is permanently funded now.

He believes there is a good possibility of receiving the one-time-only money. And at the next biennium, the enrollments will be adjusted upward and the students with tuition and state subsidy will be here to make the program viable.

He will not allow other programs to be cannibalized to support this one.   That is a sure way to kill a good program.  He simply is not going to allow that to happen. So the resources will be obtained, but the proposal has to be on the Board of Regents agenda in January.

Senator Lopach inquired whether there are any implications in terms of additional support considering the Board of Regents' request to develop the program.  He also asked whether students will be charged super tuition and whether users will be charged fees for the use of this program.

The President responded that there could be some fee structure through the Office of Public Instruction (OPI).  He is not sure whether this will go forward or not.  There previously was a proposal to do this. There could be some fees in terms of the laboratory and students who are serving as interns.  This happened in the pass.  The request to look at developing a program grew out of a needs assessment conducted by the Regents. Also, the Commissioner of Higher Education with Regents' support tried pretty diligently over the past 16 years to collaborate with another institution to deliver an in-state program with a combination of distance education and so forth.   It just didn't work.  So the Regents are very much aware of the need.

The proposal from UM is based on the existence of the laboratory.  The President has maintained from the day he arrived on campus, that the laboratory would be reserved for Communication Disorders if it came back, and it has been.  The Rural Institute uses it, but they believe it is possible to share the space and work together.  The Regents have stated that the program is necessary because of the needs in the state and UM is in the best position to do it.  The other proposal came forward from Billings, but they did not have the laboratory or the ability to offer a master's degree program. The Regents have not seen the proposal, they are aware only of UM's interest.

The proposal did not include supertuition because; based on the analysis, the program should produce cash flow.  In the event that it doesn't, the possibility of supertuition will be reviewed at a future date.  This has been done with other programs.  This year the Regents and the Governor have come together on the CAP program that specifies Montana residents will not be charged any additional tuition this biennium. There could be an exception for supertuition, but we don't know whether it is needed.  

Senator Allen asked whether there was an analysis done that shows the program will meet the needs of the state.

Professor VanDenPol responded that a comparison was done with programs in the region and they tend to retain a portion of the students they graduate.

Senator Sommers-Flanagan, Director of the School Counseling Program in Educational Counseling and Leadership, commented that the School Counseling Program is similar in that there is a very strong need.  In the last two years they placed 100% of their graduates in Montana schools.  Another advantage of this type of program is that the internship and practicum placement occur quickly and students placed in Montana tend to stay.

Senator and ASCRC Chair Szalda-Petree explained the vote from the committee lacked consensus (5 to 4).  ASCRC reviewed the course descriptions that are similar to surrounding states curriculum.  One area of concern is the number of faculty running the program.  The teaching load will be high for the faculty and involves practicum supervision, which is very time consuming.  An issue is whether the faculty will have time to commit to scholarship.

Professor VanDenPol responded that the proposal includes more PhD faculty than the University of Wyoming's program, which is similar. There will be four PhD faculty including the chair and two master's level supervisors.  The program also has an offer of donated time from the RiteCare pathologist to supervise students.

Senator Szalda-Petree asked about the logic to house the program in the School of Education.

Professor VanDenPol explained that the students will be trained along side other students who will be going to work in schools.  There is also expectation of collaboration with special education and school counseling.

Professor Uhlenbruck inquired about difficulty finding PhDs in the field because of the national shortage.

Professor VanDenPol responded that the School will have to recruit aggressively.  The salaries are at average or above average of the nation for faculty teaching in Speech Language Pathology.  The intent is to hire the chair this summer and then have that person responsible for recruiting the other faculty.

Senator Frey indicated that ECOS was concerned that salaries listed for the faculty would not be competitive given the current shortage in the field.  Institutions in the surrounding region were contacted.  She also has concerns about the quality of the program given the projected acceptance rate of 1 out of 3 compared to other programs, such as History, with a rate of 1 out of 10.

Professor VanDenPol explained that the projected salaries are at the medium range taken from the College University Personnel Association (CUPA) National Faculty Salary Survey for 2005-2006.   There are two admissions processes anticipated: one at the junior level, similar to what the School of Education uses now for teacher education candidates; the second would be at the master's level.  The 36% figure is the national norm and reflects the reality that only relatively competitive individuals apply. 

A motion was made and seconded to accept the proposal as written.  A show of hands indicated a majority (38) in favor of the proposal, approximately 10 opposed, and several abstained.  The guests exited the meeting noisily.

Committee Reports:
ASCRC Chair Allen Szalda-Petree

The ASCRC items were presented and approved by unanimous consent.

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

Faculty Library Committee Chair Andrew Ware
The committee will be talking more about the approval plan and allocation process in the spring. The Library publishes a monthly InfoIssues and has a "What's New Weblog" that faculty can subscribe to.  The last InfoIssues is about approval plans.  If faculty have any questions or concerns, they can send them via email to Professor Ware.

Senator Frey expressed concern that there is not enough faculty input in the approval plans and has questions about the filter process.

Senator McCrea responded that there is a certain level of review by the vendors and departments are encouraged to set up profiles.  Also, it is still possible to request other allocation materials through your library liaison.  The library needs more feedback on the approval plan.

Senator Beck asked who does the reviewing for the vendors.

Senator McCrea answered that essential specialists, recommended by professionals in the field, do.   Lists can be tailored.  A benefit of the approval plan is that books are on campus just weeks after they are published.  There are some fine-tuning issues that need to be addressed.  Your input is requested to improve the service.

Senator McCann added that part of the filter is whether or not the book has received awards, and the comments of other reviews are also part of the consideration.

Senator Frey asked how faculty are informed of the items ordered.

Senator McCrea will send Senator Frey a list of recent approval plan orders for her department. 

Unfinished Business: none


Good and Welfare:


Associate Provost Walker-Andrews announced that on December 11, there is a luncheon with Teresa Farnum, who is conducting a Retention Assessment on campus. All Senators are invited to meet with her to voice concerns and ideas regarding admissions, retention, and graduation at UM.  Please contact Academic Affairs if you will be attending.

Also, the University will be taking advantage of a Collegiate Learning Assessment pilot in February.  Two hundred students will be paid $45-60 dollars for participating, and the University will get a half-price discount for its involvement in the pilot.  Please contact Academic Affairs for more information and to recommend students.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:47pm.