Meeting, March 8, 2007
Meeting, March 8, 2007
Gallagher Business Building, Room 123
Chair Ametsbichler called the meeting to order at 3:10 p.m.
Registrar Micus called roll.
The minutes from 2/8/07 were approved by unanimous consent
Vice President Duringer
Vice President Duringer explained the University's budget situation now that enrollment numbers are in for spring semester. At the most aggregate level, the university lost 118 students from fall to spring semester with wintersession included in spring semester. Enrollment in Wintersession exceeded projections. However, many students took advantage of the flat spot. Last year, 317 students did not return from fall semester. This year 652 did not return. The preliminary analysis shows that the enrollment rise at the College of Technology is tapering off. There was only a 22 FTE increase this year. Resident lower-division numbers are down significantly (250 students since 2004) and resident upper-division numbers are down as well. Nonresident, upper-division numbers are down to 545 (253 lower than FY 02). As predicted, the declining demographic in Montana and the greater competition for nonresident students is having an impact on enrollment.
In FY 06, the estimate was off by student credit hours, and the university had to dip into the FY 07 contingency fund. So FY 07 started with $1,067,555 in the contingency fund. Other items funded by the contingency fund included MPACT ($491,309), marketing/commercials ($250,000), COT trailers ($115,000), IT utilities/increase in licensing cost ($120,000), loss in estimated revenue ($1,300,000), and fee waivers ($100,000). These deductions leave a $908,754 deficit that must be paid.
Over the past several years, money has been set aside for the core network upgrade process, but because of construction and other delays, there is money in the account that has not been spent. So $450,000 was moved from this account to cover the deficit. Also, the University has been saving money in a dedicated account to help defray the cost of faculty retirements--several hundred faculty are within retirement years-of-service and age. The account has accumulated approximately one million dollars. $450,000 was moved from this account as well so that there would be no operational shortage at the end of the fiscal year.
VP Duringer provided other updates. The instructional budget for higher education is still intact at the legislature. The Athletic Department has paid off its debt 21/2 years early. The new stadium addition should prevent the need for future general fund support. Construction of the new 57,500 square foot interdisciplinary science building will start soon. The building contains a 150 seat auditorium on the first floor. After graduation the steam line project will be in full gear. Construction on the Law School renovation will begin in October, provided the 3.5 million appropriations are approved by the Legislature.
A Budget Study Group has been appointed to study the issues associated with the budget to determine whether the University is over-budgeted, under-enrolled, or a combination of both. The members of the committee are Associate Provost Staub Deans Perry Brown, Forbes, and Howell, Directors Liston and Muse, Professor Pletscher, Peggy Shalk and Charley Thorn. The Study Group meets the first of next week to try to understand where the budget situation is headed.
Senator Lopach asked how the new science building will be funded.
VP Duringer explained that the project was funded using a derivative swap. Because of the University's outstanding bond portfolio, an interest rate in the future could be swapped for an interest rate in the past on $3 million to start the project. The total cost of the project is $13.8 million. Contributions will come from the Research Office (indirect cost), Academic Affairs (general fund), Athletics (ticket revenue), and the institution (general fund) to pay off the debt. A strategy for growth was employed on the building. The basement and the second and third floors will be shelled out, while the first and the fourth floor will be completed; so over the next four or five years, the other floors will be outfitted as additional institutional funds are acquired.
Senator Luckowski asked how the $900,000 would be paid back.
VP Duringer answered that the accounts will be replenished with contingency fund money, based on the assumption that enrollments meet estimates.
Senator Uhlenbruck commented that although the demographics are changing in Montana, there is still growth in other parts of the country. What are the plans to attract out-of-state students?
About three years-ago the University instituted Leadership and Scholastic Achievement Scholarships. This allows Enrollment Services to go to other states and essentially discount out-of-state tuition. Enrollment Services is now looking at other markets to recruit. California is a big market that has not been recruited, because of the states low base tuition. However, California schools are turning away students because they are operating at full capacity. Recruiting strategy discussions are ongoing.
The Office of Planning Budgeting and Analysis is still reviewing the data to determine how many students took advantage of the flat spot for wintersession and online courses.
Associate Provost Walker-Andrews
There is a retention workshop retreat that is being held on Monday, 3/26/07. Invitations were sent to faculty across campus, but because it is held on the first day of spring break, there will likely be openings. So, faculty who are interested should contact her. Academic Affairs is preparing the student data for a very detailed analysis with a retention consultant at the retreat. A preliminary analysis revealed 50 more students graduated than the year before, and there were fewer transfer students. After problem areas have been identified, efforts will be focused on boosting retention.
Assessment of general education is something needed for accreditation. Although there are discussions taking place regarding revisions to the general education program, a report will need to be made to the accreditation agency in 2008 detailing how the university assesses general education. Therefore, last summer, 37 faculty attended a retreat and a number of assessment committees have been formed across the perspectives to work on assessing the outcomes of the current program.
An announcement will go out soon about the new Faculty Mentor Award, which comes with $1500.
Senator Putnam asked whether the enrollment problem was truly a retention issue or just an FTE issue.
Associate Provost Walker-Andrews answered that the analysis is ongoing, but one of the issues is that the projections are based on FTE at each level, not headcount. The Planning, Budgeting, and Analysis Office is working on changing how projections are made.
Senator Lopach was curious about the relationship between general assessment and the work that ASCRC has been doing on general education. He does not understand why the assessment work is not channeled through ASCRC.
Associate Provost Walker-Andrews responded that the last accreditation review indicated that the university needed to assess general education and document its progress for the 2008 review. In the meantime, the General Education Committee was looking at possible revisions to the program. Any revisions would have to be phased in, so she thought it would be a good idea to have committees look at the learning objectives that are in place now for each of the perspectives and see whether students are meeting them. Faculty who teach perspective courses are being asked to select one learning goal and contribute student assignments to a pool for analysis of whether the assignment is meeting the learning goal for the perspective. Hopefully, this information will be useful when implementing changes to the program. It is presumed that those that worked on the assessment efforts will be involved in establishing new criteria and learning outcomes for the perspectives.
Senator Frey asked where the university is loosing students.
Associate Provost Walker-Andrews indicated that the huge increase in attrition was the result of fewer transfer students and fewer nontraditional students taking courses. Some of the students leaving are on academic probation; many are students that would be moving from sophomore to junior year; and 30% of first-year freshmen are leaving. The retention retreat will break down the data into the smallest component possible - what majors, classes, financial background, etc.
Vice President Duringer for Director Jim Lemcke, Public Safety
Public Safety will be asking for a $10 decal fee increase for the next year. Public Safety is funded primarily from the sale of decals and parking tickets. There is almost no state money allocated to the department. Therefore, pay increases must be covered through these sales. Also, the Mountain Lion contract has been renegotiated and will see an increase over the next three years, due to fuel costs. Last year, the contract cost $142,000. Next year, it will increase to $155,000, then $165,000, and $175,000 in 2010. There has been a significant increase in public safety costs because of the additions of the park-n-ride lots (650 new parking spaces) with 10-minute service to campus.
Last year, 5281 parking decals were sold for 3053 spaces. This is a 40% oversell, which is very common practice on campuses because of the way classes are scheduled and the way students come and go.
Senator Potts indicated that one of the solutions to the problem would be to prohibit freshmen living in the dorms from parking on campus or make them park in satellite lots. It is academically in their best interests not to have a car available. Most of the parking lots on the south side of campus are full at 7:00 a.m. Faculty can't leave campus midday. Hunting for a place to park is a serious impediment to faculty doing their jobs.
VP Duringer indicated that the administration has spoken to student government several times about not allowing freshmen to have cars. He usually receives a plethora of good reasons why students need to have cars. Most of our students are employed, many off campus, to help support their education Eighty percent of the student population is from Montana, some from distant towns in the state.
In response, Senator Potts suggested that a solution might be to prohibit overnight parking in strategic parking lots near academic buildings.
VP Duringer agreed to have a discussion with the Director of Public Safety about this possibility.
The Speech Language Pathology program was approved at the Board of Regents meeting.
The Academic and Student Affairs Committee considered a business venture opportunity with a company that was formed by Professors Morton and Furness, previously approved by the BOR as consulting activities. America's Professor (AP) has been offering face-to-face business professional courses in real estate, insurance, and securities fields for a number of years and is now developing a computer platform. The proposed arrangement would allow AP to offer the courses through the AP-owned delivery system as UM courses. If and when the courses are offered for credit they would go through the faculty-governance process. The item was postponed for a month at the Regents' meeting. The Commissioner of Higher Education provided a binder to the senate leadership of materials being considered by the Regents. It was interesting that ECOS had not heard about the proposal prior to the Board of Regents meeting. The item is on the Senate agenda as information because of its future academic implications. Dean Gianchetta, University Legal Council David Aronofsky, and Professor Morton were in attendance to answer questions.
Senator Lopach clarified that the Senate is not voting on the proposal. It is up to the Board of Regents to consider the merits of the proposal. He wondered who prepared the accompanying document that raised varies questions, conflicts, and doubts.
Dean Gianchetta responded that the Commissioners Office prepared the document. There is policy in place dealing with intellectual property. However, this involves an online platform, which is something new and more complicated to understand.
Senator Lopach asked David Aronofsky why this is different that the process required for summer coaches to bargain for the use of the university's logo and etc.
Legal Council Aronofsky informed the Senate that the 2001 Legislature passed a law that authorizes the university to contract with business entities for services. Prior to the passage of this Bill, which he wrote, this was illegal. This venture is different from others that have been approved. The other ventures involved commercialization technology in a research and development context.
Senator Luckowski commented that she did not understand how someone could have a full-time faculty appointment and have time for running a business such as America's Professor.
Dean Gianchetta responded that the true test is whether the activity interferes with their academic productivity. Both of the professors are very productive in terms of their publication, enrollment in their courses, and advising. They both were awarded tenure and continue to receive merits.
Senator Luckowski pointed out that one of the questions in the document was about the conflict between public and personal interest.
Dean Gianchetta indicated that this was addressed in the management agreement, and it is this language that the Regents are considering.
Professor Morton provided additional information. He started at the University 35 years ago. At that time the Business School had a contract with the Board of Real Estate in Helena to teach a pre-licensing course for real estate. One of his extra to load assignments was to grade the essay exams and homework from these courses. Eventually, the contract was dropped. There was still a demand for the course, however, the Business School was not interested. He and another faculty member taught the course and proved that it was viable. They then asked the university whether it would like the course back. It did not. They continued to teach the course and expanded into insurance and securities. Their primary market now is bankers. He no longer teaches the courses. He has office staff that hires professionals from around the country to teach the courses. He is now interested in expanding the business to online courses offered nationally and is again offering the opportunity to the university to be involved. He would like this to be his legacy to the university. However, it is not necessary that the University be involved. It is an opportunity for the university to share the revenue and receive national recognition.
Senator Glass asked who provides the oversight and assures the quality of the courses.
Professor Morton responded that the market regulates the quality of the courses; if the courses are not good than students do not take them. Currently, the courses are not offered for university credit. If and when they are, then the courses would have to go through the faculty governance review process.
Dean Gianchetta commented that the university has an obligation to the state for economic development and job creation. America's Professor serves professionals in the state in important ways. It has created jobs. When the business was started there were five or six providers, now AP is the sole provider. The revenue potential is significant. This is a strategic area where online learning makes sense. The platform that they are developing will be useful for other courses.
Professor Morton informed the Senate that the contract gives the university the right to approve all the courses, to drop the contract with six months notice, and first refusal to buy the whole operation.
Senator Frey questioned whether courses offered for credit would cost the same as other online courses. She is troubled by the model that would contract future courses and establish a name similar to the University of Phoenix. There are no academic controls built into the model.
Professor Morton answered that the University would have to determine the cost of the courses. America's Professor currently does not offer courses for credit. If the University decides to offer courses on the platform for university credit, academic controls would then have to be developed.
Associate Provost Staub addressed the credit-cost issue. The courses would have to meet the same standards as other university online courses if they are offered for credit. For in-state students online courses cost the same as tuition. Out-of-state students would pay twice the cost as in-state students. This pay structure was approved at the November Board of Regents meeting, effective January 2007.
David Aronofsky indicated that there will be an oversight committee consisting of the Business School and Continuing Education Deans, Rosi Keller, either Professor Morton or Ferness, and a representative from Legal Council. The Provost will have final authority over all academic aspects of the university's collaboration with America's Professor and any courses that would be offered for credit would be reviewed either by ASCRC or Graduate Council and then presented to the Faculty Senate for approval.
Senator Ware commented that the proposal is offering the university the opportunity to benefit from the success of America's Professor. The platform could then be used to offer other approved university courses online as appropriate.
The MUS General Education Core operating rules were approved at the meeting. Rule four is new and clarifies that students must have course work in both written and oral communication. The previous fourth rule was dropped, but is included as a ‘note' to encourage students to try to meet major requirements with general education courses in order to complete their degree more quickly.
Associate Vice President Ray Ford provided a report to the Strategic Budget and Planning Committee and also met with ECOS. Information Technology is significantly underfunded. A taskforce was formed at the SBPC meeting to study the critical situation. The taskforce will need to prioritize IT needs and look realistically at what can be done. There is not enough IT staff to meet the IT expectations on campus, so either expectations must be lowered or additional staff need to be added. Chair Ametsbichler has been appointed to the Taskforce and would like to hear from faculty about their IT priorities. She met with Belva Jones, Chair of the Academic IT Advisory Committee, and has the results of the survey sent by the committee. Current priorities are more technology classrooms, operating costs to maintain technology class rooms, Blackboard, and Banner.
ASCRC Chair Allen Szalda-Petree
Senator Szalda-Petree presented the curriculum follow-up list. It was unanimously approved.
Senator Lopach asked whether this would be the last curriculum consent agenda for the year. He also asked about what was being done about certificates.
Senator Szalda-Petree responded that there are a few additional curricular items being considered by the committee. Certificates that are under 30 credits no longer require Board of Regents approval. ASCRC has assigned a workgroup to look into guidelines or best practices for certificates. All certificates have been and will continue to be reviewed by ASCRC and go to the Senate for approval.
Associate Provost Walker-Andrews informed the Senate that the Board of Regents changed the policy about a year ago to allow campuses to approve certificates below 30 credits. Previously the Board of Regents approved all certificates.
ASCRC is still working on general education. The committee has had many visitors to provide input.
Graduate Council Chair Louis Hayes
Senator Hayes presented the draft language for revisions to BOR Policy 301.3, Admissions Requirements, Graduate Students. According to the Graduate School Dean, the policy needs to be more flexible to allow for special circumstances, such as a candidate who already has several graduate degrees and a PhD. Roger Barber proposed language for all graduate programs to establish admission and selection standards appropriate to the program of study. While ECOS and the Graduate Council wanted to allow for flexibility, it still wanted the GRE to be considered the usual standard. The chief academic officers considered the revised language this month, the BOR will consider the revision in May. The Senate will be informed of the final language proposed when it is made available.
Faculty Library Committee Chair Andrew Ware
The Library is changing the model for collection building. The allocation process will be eliminated. The majority of materials will be purchased through the approval plan and there will be a supplemental fund to acquire materials that are not captured with the approval plan. There will no longer be a deadline for orders. Faculty can place orders anytime through the online form. This transition will need further input from faculty to assure the approval plan profile is meeting the needs of departments. The committee is continuing to discuss the best way to make the process transparent to faculty.
Senator Frey asked whether the supplemental fund will be shrinking.
Senator Ware responded that this is not the case. The supplemental fund will be in place to meet the needs not covered by the approval plan. The Library does not yet have a finalized budget and will be working on implementation of the new process next academic year. It is up to the faculty to review the profile to make sure the desired books are being ordered. Filters can be set to exclude publishers and be fine tuned in other ways. Faculty should talk to their library liaison about the approval plan and review the lists of captured books, books available through slips and special orders. Next month there will be a more detailed report on the issue.
Unfinished Business: Ethics Creed
Chair Ametsbichler introduced the proposed ethics creed for discussion. The President made some revisions after the panel discussion last month. A subcommittee made up of members from ASUM, Staff Senate, and representatives for Faculty Senate is being formed to consider the issue.
Senator Dietrich pointed out that the traditional use of the term ‘creed' has to do with religious belief. He was curious about this change and suggests that a different term be used.
Senator Frey commented that as a Senate the faculty should unilaterally oppose the creed. She quoted a Land Mark 1943 Supreme Court case, "If there is a fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."
We are all bound by our individual code of ethics whether it is sociology, psychology, or history. This creed is insulting and manifestly illegal for a list of reasons identified by the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education.
Senator Lopach stated that the President likely changed ‘code' to ‘creed' because code has connotations of being enforceable. He agrees that creed is not an appropriate word and would favor a statement of ethical principles. He has absolutely no problem with the document. He studied constitutional law for over 40 years and he is familiar with the landmark decision referenced by Senator Frey concerning the pledge of allegiance. This is a case in which punitive action was taken against someone. He commends the President for reminding us of how we can be decent and fair in our relationships with others. Historically this is what presidents did to set an ethical tone on a campus.
Senator Eglin commented that the document seems to stem from a completely morphed conception of ethics. About half of the statements in the creed don't really apply to true ethical issues as they affect a university. While tolerance and civility are desirable things, accusing someone who has been intolerant of being unethical would do injustice to the concept of ethics.
Senator Douma agreed. Some of the statements are orientated toward diversity not ethics.
Senator Gordon, who wrote a response to the Code of Ethics last month, indicated that many of her language issues have been fixed with the revised version; however she still maintains that ethics cannot be imposed. It should be discussed among departments and students so that the campus community can agree together on the values it represents. The law school had a discussion for two days on the concept, because as lawyers they are bound by a code of ethics, but not as professors.
Chair Ametsbichler indicated that the ad hoc committee should come up with some ideas.
Senator Gordon wondered why the Ethics Center was not involved in this process.
Chair Ametsbichler responded that the Director of the Center, Dane Scott is on the ad hoc committee.
Senator Frey stated that this is a hidden speech code and faculty should be against it.
New Business: None
Good and Welfare:
Senator Beck announced that Native American Studies has a visiting elder/scholar program. Next week on Wednesday evening, Darrell Kip will be giving a public talk on the tribal language revitalization program. In early April, Ladona Harris will be the visiting scholar. NAS would appreciate faculty encouraging students to attend the public event.
Native American Studies has elected Wade Davis as the department chair for three years.
Senator Bradley-Browning announced that Drama/Dance is sponsoring the Northwest Regional Conference of the American College Dance Festival March 28th -31st. There will be performances every night. Three well-known choreographers will be participating and performing the first Wednesday evening. There will be over 400 participants from 26 schools.
The College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Faculty Research Conference is Saturday April 14th. It is an all day affair and volunteers are needed for a variety of assignments. For more information refer to www.umt.edu/gradfacconf.
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.oNorma0'yeN _Ngin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal'>
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.