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 Faculty Senate

The University of Montana

Meeting, November 8, 2007
Gallagher Business Building, Room 123

Approved 12/6/07

Members Present:

B. Allen, E. Ametsbichler, C. Anderson, T. Atkins, L. Barnes, R. Bendick-Kier,  B. Brown, F. Cardozo-Palaez, J. Carter, B. Cochran, A. Delaney, B. Douma, L. Dybdal, J. Eglin, D. Erikson, J. Gannon, J. Glendening, S. Gordon, B. Halfpap, L. Hayes, J. Henry, J. Herbold, W. Holben, K. James, B. Larson, C. Loisel, J. Lopach, J. Luckowski, M. Mayer, S. McCann, D. McCrea, M. McHugh, J. McNulty, S. Miller, M. Monsos, C. Nichols, M. Papanek-Miller, M. Patterson, M. Pershouse, D. Potts, L. Putnam, B. Reider, T. Seekins, D. Shively, D. Six, R. Skelton, G. Smith, D. Spencer, S. Stiff, D. Stolle,  R. Stubblefield, D. Swibold, H. Thompson, E. Uchimoto, K. Uhlenbruck, N. Vonessen, A. Ware                      

Members Excused

N. Bradley-Browning, K. Canty, J. Crepeau, L. Eagle Heart-Thomas, L. Frey, S. Greymorning, L. Knott, J. Renz, P. Silverman,

Members Absent

L. Blank, S. Justman, M. Kupilik, K. Unger

Ex-Officio Present:

President Dennison, Registrar Micus, ASUM Vice President Ness

 

Chair Hayes called the meeting to order at 3:10 p.m.  

Communications:
Provost Engstrom
:
The graduation lists were presented and approved.

The Provost appreciates all the hard work taking place regarding general education.  He will be meeting with ASCRC after the holiday to discuss some interdisciplinary ideas.

There is much work needed to update Unit Standards.  In some cases unit's standards are 15 years old.  The Unit Standards Committee is working on procedures to streamline the process.

Academic Program Review is a constructive process designed to improve programs.  Programs conduct a self-study, are reviewed by an outside evaluator, Graduate Council (as appropriate), and Academic Affairs.  The program then meets with Academic Affairs and through discussion establishes action items.

The Board of Regents is meeting next week and will be discussing several items of interest to faculty.  One is transferability -there is a perception that students are having difficulty transferring within the Montana University System and the Regents are considering a common course numbering system.  This is a controversial practice that has been implemented by other states.  Other topics include aligning K-12 with the expectations of higher education, math and writing placement scores, and employee recruitment and retention issues.  Your faculty representatives will be in attendance to join the discussions as will representatives from Academic Affairs.   

Senator Ametsbichler: How does the new focus on graduate education fit in with these discussions?
Provost Engstrom: There will be parallel discussions.  A focus on graduate education by the larger campuses will involve higher enrollment of undergraduates at the smaller campuses and therefore will involve admission standards discussions. The administration has not yet started to look at the details.  They are working on a collaborative strategic budget initiative for teaching assistants and new programs. 


Senator Mayer:  Is there any evidence, other than anecdotal regarding transferability problems?

Provost Engstrom: Probably not. The fact is that transfer students take a few more courses on the average to complete their degrees.  Common course numbering is a political solution and would likely not resolve the issue in a practical sense.

Senator Mayer: This issue is problematic given the huge investment of faculty time required for little benefit.

Senator Holben: There should at least be some translation of courses in order to enforce   prerequisites.

Registrar Micus: Prerequisites have not been checked in Banner because initially there was a bug in the system that would cause it to crash.  This has been fixed, but currently no prerequisites are built into the system.  We hope to have this function working next fall.

Provost Engstrom:  Transferability is not a non-problem. There are some issues out there.


Fall Enrollment - Recruitment, Retention, and Intervention
Recruitment -Jed Liston, Assistant Vice President - Enrollment Services
New Freshmen enrollment (Resident, Nonresident, and WUE Students) overall was even with last year at 1670.  There was an upward trend in WUE students.   The capture rate of Montana freshmen is showing an upward trend as a result of targeted efforts.  There are only 10,000 Montana high school graduates each year.  Only half of these go on to college with 1/3 of the students going out of state.   This number will decline by 17% by 2015. 

The University made an investment to recruit more non-resident students and has seen some results.  However, other universities are doing the same thing and thus applicant volume is going down.  Faculty contacting top students is helping the yield (378 Non-resident students enrolled out of 1551 acceptances). This is the fifth year that freshman GPA has risen.  There is an initiative jointly funded by Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and the Administration to increase applicant numbers.  

New transfer students are in decline.  The biggest concern is the significant decline in non-traditional students.  Non-traditional students are defined as 25 or older or having been out of school for more than 3 years.   The mission of enrollment services is to get the university the very best students at the volume the institution needs.

Student Credit Hour Loads- Bill Muse, Associate Vice President- Planning, Budgeting and Analysis
The detailed enrollment analysis has been taking place now for three years and has many components.  It is being worked on from many angles due to the demographic challenge in Montana.  There was a steady decline in the average student credit hour loads. This year the numbers show an increase based on targeted efforts.  Analysis shows that students taking full loads persist better, graduate better and have better GPAs. The conversion of online courses to state support increased the figures. Students are taking more courses above and below the tuition flat spot.

Retention - Registrar Micus
In fall 2005 the University looked hard at retention due to the 69.5% traditional resident freshmen persistence rate.  Students leaving were in good standing and caused concern. Retention initiatives resulted in an increase to 72.5%.  Lower division retention is at 73.2% and upper-division at 80.0%. Non-resident student retention is particularly important.  Registration cancellation and late fees have been moved back reducing the number of cancellations by approximately 200 students. There was a joint effort to contact students and encourage them to pay before the cutoff.

Implications
We need to continue to mitigate the declining pool of Montana residents.  There is room for improving participation rates and non-traditional students.  The State of Montana ranks 50th in adult education so there is improvement potential.  Non-resident enrollment needs to increase.  Access and affordability for Montanans should continue to improve, as well as retention and progression.

 

Students who withdraw are surveyed, as are students who enroll and those that accept, but go elsewhere. This year there were several comments by students that really wanted to come to Montana, but another school made them a better offer.   Other universities are discounting at higher rates.

Senator Cochran: Contacting student applicants feels a lot like a cold call.  It would be really helpful to have some additional information to start a conversation with the potential student.

Jed Liston: Enrollment Services is working on revamping the system and will be providing faculty with all the information that has been gathered (test scores, GPA, general interests) on the potential students.

Senator Gannon:  Are there any plans to address graduate student recruitment?

Dean Strobel: Currently we all chip in and try to recruit.  If the graduate initiative happens, some resources will have to go to recruitment efforts.  At this point there have not been discussions to address the issue directly.  There are some services that could be used for recruiting.  Recruiting efforts could be targeted to increase International students.

Bill Muse:  A couple of strategies are being considered that would improve the University's ability to attract and enroll graduate students.  One is more and higher level  stipends.  Part of the issue is having programs and faculty.

 

Jed Liston:  The President has mentioned that it might be necessary for each program to recruit.  Each program or academic unit would get an allocation and would have a person assigned to recruit the student slots.

Provost Engstrom: Residency status is another part of the graduate student recruitment issue.  There will be efforts to get the Board of Regents and the state to consider resident conversion for graduate students. 

Dean Strobel:  The selling point for the state is that the University needs to be treated as an investment rather than an expense.  The University is engaging in developing programs that are going to help with economic development of the state or region.

Jed Liston:  Enrollment of minority new students is up in every category except in Asian American students.  It appears that there are fewer local Asian American than in previous years.  International student enrollment has had significant growth and there will be efforts to expand areas of recruitment.

Senator Uchimoto:  Looking to Europe is a good idea considering the Euro is at an all time high.  It is less expensive for European families to send their students to the US.

How does UM's enrollment issues compare to national trends?

Bill Muse: Our peers around the country are also working on retention.  In terms of the size of enrollment, array of programs, and the academic preparedness of incoming freshmen, UM's profile is about average.

Registrar Micus: The robust economy and unemployment rate in Missoula is likely affecting nontraditional students.

Bill Muse:  Many states are faced with the challenge related to the reduction of state support. Universities are looking to out-of-state students to replace some of the revenue and are competing via discounted tuition and selective recruiting.  It is a tough market.

Jed Liston: UM is a $100,000 education for non-resident students.  We are expensive to get to, and have an expensive cost of living compared to other places.  These economic factors are not working in our favor.

What role does the Davidson Honors College play in retaining top Montana High School graduates and attracting good non-resident students?

Jed Liston:  Significant. We are capitalizing on the Davidson Honors College to be the small liberal arts campus within the big university. 

 

Intercollegiate Athletics Report
Jim Lopach, Faculty Athletics Representative,
explained that this is an annual report requested by President Dennison and the Athletic Oversight Board.  A hand out was distributed to senators.

Jean Gee, Associate Director, Intercollegiate Athletics went over the student athletes GPA data.  Student athletes achieve a higher GPA (3.02) compared to the general student population (2.84).  This is to be expected because student athletes must follow academic progress rules. 

The six year graduation rate for student athletes is 67% compared to 42% for the general student population. The federal graduation rate calculation is flawed because it does not account for students transferring.  UM's NCAA student athlete graduation success rate (accounts for students transferring out of the program) of 72% is slightly below the national average, but above the average of all Division I schools and the Big Sky Conference.  In terms of comparative measures, UM student athletes are performing well.

The Academic Progress Rate is a timely measure of the progress of student athletes through their education.  Scholarship student athletes are assigned four points per year.  Athletics receives the points after each semester that the athletes are retained and eligible.  All sports are above the cutoff of 925.

Jim Lopach:  There are approximately 300 student athletes that are checked twice every academic year for eligibility.  Each transcript is reviewed according to NCAA, Big Sky Conference, and UM's academic regulations.   Twenty-six athletes were determined to be ineligible for the reasons listed.

There were 10 rules infractions last year reported to the NCAA and/or the Big Sky Conference.  Most of the violations were related to recruitment, none were associated with academics.  The fourth infraction listed was discovered by the Internal Audit Office, which oversees Athletics closely.

Jim O'Day, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics addressed student athlete behavior problems.  Two of the four court cases have been dismissed.   They have started a random drug testing and a mentoring program.  Athletics just completed a strategic plan where student welfare was identified as a priority.  It will be looking at fundraising to build a new academic center.  Currently there are 10 terminals located outside the football locker room to service 300 athletes.  Also needed are meeting rooms and an expansion of locker rooms. Parents of potential student athletes are interested in the spaces their children will be spending most of their time, so these goals are important for attracting top student athletes.   Training facilities are also being reviewed.

The current budget is $11.5 million. The administration supports the program with $3.5 million dollars.  The scholarship account has reached $2 million and raised $2.5 million through the capital campaign.  Last year $100,000 was awarded to students, whose eligibility expired, for summer school degree completion assistance.

The bid was open two days ago for the 2,000 seat stadium expansion.  The revenue from the seats will be of $25,000.  The cost should be paid off within six years and will allow an accumulation of $1.3 million in ticket sales.  The financing package will allow $190,000 to be put aside for the bonding of the new interdisciplinary science building.  When completed, the students will have 700 additional seats for a total of 4,000 stadium seats. 


Chair's Report:
Nominations for the Faculty Service Award should be submitted to the Faculty Senate Office by Monday, November 26, 2007.


Several committees still need faculty members.  These were specified by Chair Hayes.

ECOS is suggesting revisions to the Center Policy resulting from its experience in conducting the reviews for the past five years.  The draft is under new business. 

Also under new business is revised catalog language for International Baccalaureate.  Provost Engstrom requested that ECOS consider a proposal to allow students that complete the IB to enter as sophomores. ECOS found that the current practice of credit for exam scores also required review. 

After the visit from Donald McCabe, President Dennison reconsidered the proposed Ethics Creed and sent another draft to ECOS for consideration.  Chair Hayes then met with the President and discussed ECOS' recommended revisions, which he agreed upon.  This new ‘Ethical Principles of The University of Montana' is the result of this process.  Faculty will be given the opportunity to comment on this version via a revised online survey that will be sent to senators.

Committee Reports:

ASCRC Chair Holly Thompson
The curriculum consent agenda was approved after discussion regarding the significant changes to the curriculum from intermediate algebra to calculus.
Professor Hirstein provided some background and summarized the changes in the math service curriculum.  The Board of Regents mandated that remedial courses not be taught at the four-year campuses.  MATH 100 Intermediate Algebra is considered remedial as it contains material that should be covered in high school.  Regent's policy stipulates that students should have three years of math prior to university.  Although the Regent's passed this rule, admissions standards were not adjusted, so that students with ACT scores of 18 were admitted.  This score is really below Math 100, so there was a mismatch between students' ability and what was offered.   The new mandate would likely widen this gap, so a taskforce was put together last spring to work on the issue. 

Material from MATH 100 will be moved to MAT 100, a College of Technology course
Two new courses are being added to fill the gap to precalculus: MATH 111 College Algebra, and MATH 112 Functions and Trigonometry.  Then another workgroup talked with various client departments and discovered that students needed a better foundation in linear structure and probability prior to statistics. Students continuing with science and other majors that require calculus have two options. If well prepared in high school, students can go directly into Precalculus (MATH 121) if not they should take the two course sequence MATH 111 and 112.

 

Senator Uchimoto: He is concerned about the prerequisites of MATH 107, 109, and 117.  Currently the prerequisite is MATH 100.  The proposed change is to a B- or higher in Math 005.  This implies that students could fulfill the University's math literacy requirement without studying the functions or relationship beyond linear functions and this would do a great disservice to non-science students.  How would the prerequisites be enforced?

Professor Hirstein:  One thing this change has thrust upon us is the necessity of looking at the university's prerequisite policies.   Until now we have had an advisory role in terms of prerequisites. Math prerequisites have been assessed through scores on ACT, SAT or the placement exam. 

Holly Thompson: A number of related issues are currently being considered.  The math changes are one issue.   Another is the desire by Provost Engstrom to ensure that students take their math general education requirement early.  And Registrar Micus is taking a serious look at enforcing prerequisites through Banner. 

Professor Hirstein:  The Board of Regents is considering a new policy on remediation next week.  The policy indicates that students scoring less then 22 on the ACT or 540 on the Math section of the SAT will be admitted provisionally until they meet the required scores.  This can be accomplished by retaking the tests or taking the prerequisite/remedial courses.

Professor Patterson (Chair of Mathematics):   The current prerequisite on Math 107, 109, and 117 is MATH 100 or an appropriate score on the placement exam. Students were failing MATH 100 and still taking MATH 117.  There is now a committee looking at what is necessary to fulfill math literacy.

Senator Uchimoto:  Students who graduate from the University of Montana should learn mathematics beyond linear functions.  He showed a plot on the NASDAQ scaled in time.  Students should be exposed to logarithmic functions in order to fully appreciate a similar plot.

Professor Hirstein: Students can still learn logarithmic and semi-logarithmic functions in MATH 107.  It has almost nothing to do with what was taught in MATH 100. 

Senator Uchimoto: This change could lower the math requirements for the University and he is very concerned.

Senator Lopach: Given that this has gone through thorough review and discussion at ASCRC, it should be considered, unless the chair wishes to alert the Senate of a potential problem.

Senator Uchimoto moved to separate the proposed mathematic proposals from the consent agenda.  The motion was not seconded.

The curriculum consent agenda was approved.

 

Graduate Council Chair David Erickson
Political Science 502 was pulled from the consent agenda.  The department requested that the form be withdrawn from consideration.  The other items on the curriculum consent agenda were approved.

Old Business:

Sabbatical/Leave Bylaw Amendment
The amendment was approved.

New Business:

Draft revisions to Academic Policy 103 were available as information for vote at the December meeting.

           
Draft catalog language for
International Baccalaureate was available as information and will be voted on at the next meeting.

 

Good and Welfare: None

The meeting was adjourned at 5:20pm.

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The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 pm.


Faculty Senate

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT 59812