Meeting, February 14, 2008

Meeting, February 14, 2008
Gallagher Business Building, Room 123


Members Present:

B. Allen, E. Ametsbichler C. Anderson, T. Atkins L. Barnes, B. Brown, K. Canty, F. Cardozo-Palaez, J. Carter, B. Cochran, J. Crepeau,  B. Douma, J. Eglin, D. Erikson, L. Frey, J. Gannon J. Glendening, S. Gordon S. Greymorning, L. Hayes, J. Henry, J. Herbold, S. Justman, M. Kupilik B. Larson, C. Loisel, J. Lopach, J. Luckowski, M. Mayor, S. McCann, D. McCrea, M. McHugh, J. McNulty, M. Monsos C. Nichols, M. Papanek-Miller M. Patterson, M. Pershouse, L. Putnam B. Reider, D. Six, , D. Spencer, R. Stubblefield, D. Swibold, H. Thompson, E. Uchimoto,  A. Ware                      

Members Excused

R. Bendick-Kier, N. Bradley-Browning, A. Delaney, L. Dybdal, L. Eagle Heart-Thomas, W. Holben, L. Knott, S. Miller, D. Potts, J. Renz, D. Shively P. Silverman, G. Smith, S. Stiff, K. Uhlenbruck K. Unger, N. Vonessen

Members Absent

L. Blank, B. Halfpap, K. James T. Seekins, R. Skelton, D. Stolle,

Ex-Officio Present:

Registrar Micus, A. Szalda-Petree, ,


V. Grund, N. Natale, C. Thompson

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

Registrar Micus called role and the minutes from 12/6/08 were approved.

Provost Engstrom
Non-tenreruable Faculty Appointment Report
Provost Engstrom presented the Non-tenurable Faculty Appointment Report as required by Academic Policy 101.2 and CBA, Section 9.0.  Policy stipulates the percentage of non-tenurable faculty should be less than 25%, but that exceptions are made when special expertise is required to enhance educational quality.  The number of tenure/tenure track faculty was 481.6 in 2007 compared to 469.5 in 2006.  The number of non-tenurable is 130 in 2007 compared to 130.6 in 2006.  The University as a whole has under 25% non-tenurable faculty. The School of Law is 36.75% and the College of Technology is 37.32%.

Senators may make an appointment with the Faculty Senate Office to review the full report.

Senator Lopach: Are there any national caparisons that would be meaningful?

Provost Engstrom was not familiar with any, but could look into the matter.

Senator Kupilik addressed the Montana State University Faculty Senate yesterday. During the meeting their Provost indicated that Non-tenurable faculty at .5 and above made up 35% of its faculty and teach 30-35% of the credit hours.

Credit hours taught at UM are disproportionately high for non-tenurable faculty-- thirty to thirty-five percent of credit hours are taught by non-tenurable faculty.

Preliminary budget initiatives were reported to the Board of Regents in January.  The administration through the Executive Planning Committee is in the process of revising the initiatives for resubmission at the March BOR meeting. It will be meeting with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee this Friday.  The Board will then prepare the budget package that will go to the Governor and eventually the Legislature for the 2009 session.  Major initiatives include:

  •          Salary augmentation pool (2%) above the regular salary package used to address salary compression, inversion, market disparities, and etc.
  •          Strengthening graduate programs through enhanced stipends and non-resident waivers
  •          Undergraduate recruiting, retention, and excellence
  •          Strategic research faculty- to meet obligations from grants
  •          IT- ability to deliver education with technology
  •          Facilities

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities Accreditation
The 2010 accreditation visit has been scheduled for April 14-16.  Preparing for the visit is a two-year process and involves a large number of people. The administration has received preliminary instructions via a workshop in Seattle and a NWCCU representative visit.   An important part of the requirement will be closing the loop of assessment- making changes based on assessment. The process will be starting soon.  A timeline communication will be sent next week requesting volunteers.  A steering committee and coordinator will be selected from the response. 

Academic Strategic Planning
Academic Strategic Planning will begin immediately to be completed by summer 2009. These efforts will be linked to accreditation preparation. There will be open forums for input at every step, including the design of the process itself - environmental scan, identification of strategic issues, goal-setting, actions, assessment and annual feedback.  Please consider involvement in this process.

Design of Undergraduate Curriculum
The Provost has had discussions with ECOS and ASCRC regarding a framework for undergraduate curriculum.  Due to the general education revision efforts, these ideas will remain at the discussion stage for now.   Next fall, as part of Strategic Planning, there will be a broader discussion of a design for undergraduate curriculum with general education integration.

Early Alert

The early alert deadline is next Tuesday.   Providing early assessment is important to give notice to students who are struggling in 100/200 level courses.

UFA President Kupilik
The Regents are engaging in pre-budget negotiations, something that has not been done since 1993. The 1993 negotiations led to the 4 plus 2 contract which was one of the best negotiated.  The Board will meet with all the unionized campuses (all but MSU) to gain a position on faculty compensation.  UM's members of the pre-negotiation team are Kay Unger- Economics and Doug Coffin- Pharmacy.

The UFA has sent in a four page position paper outlining two positions. 1) There has to meaningful base pay raises- perhaps the state pay plan plus 2% for base pay raises; and 2) additional monies will be negotiated to address inversion, compression, and salary floors. The Union and Administration Special Committee on Inversion, Compression and Salary Floors has completed  their study and will be presenting their report to the Regents at the March meeting.

The MEA-MFT is still trying to organize MSU.  The MSU Faculty Senate invited the union to  address a meeting.  There were 120 faculty in attendance. They seemed to be very interested.  There are more than enough cards signed to force an election, but the MEA-MFT would like to have over 50% which will assure success if there is an election. 

Chair's Report:

The Board of Regents will be meeting in March.  Chair Hayes and Chair-Elect Ware will be attending the meeting.  Senators should inform ECOS of any issues that need to be discussed by Montana University System Faculty Association Representatives (MUSFAR) and brought to the Regents attention. 

Common Course Numbering

Last Tuesday there was a joint meeting with ASCRC, ECOS, and representatives from the Commissioner's Office.  The Board of Regents passed policy to move in the direction of common-course numbering to address the transferability problems between institutions in the Montana University System.   The Commissioner's Office has put together Faculty Councils or discipline committees to decide which courses are significantly similar and decide on a prefix, course number, and catalogue course description based upon course outcomes. Faculty Councils for Writing, Math, Accounting, and Anatomy & Physiology met November 9th 2007.  Faculty Councils for Chemistry, Psychology, Economics, and Philosophy met January 25th 2008.  The following meetings are scheduled:

            March 3: History, Biology, Political Science, Modern & Classical Languages

            April 14: Literature, Computer Science / IT, Sociology, Geosciences

This is a very important matter and faculty are encouraged to participate through an online discussion board (  OCHE is trying to make the process as transparent as possible and have information available on its website. 

Faculty Outreach to prospective Students
ECOS recently met with Teresa Branch, Vice President Student Affairs and Jed Liston, Assistant Vice President- Enrollment Services.   They stressed the importance of faculty involvement in recruitment.  Students' accessibility to faculty makes a difference in whether students choose to attend UM.  


Committee Reports:

ASCRC Chair Holly Thompson
The curriculum consent agenda was approved

Certificate guidelines were developed to provide guidance to programs considering certificates and to assist ASCRC in reviewing certificates for approval. There are different types of certificates that are defined in the guidelines. The item was approved.  

Principles of Quality for Online Courses
A subcommittee of ASCRC was tasked with developing guidelines for online courses.  It was joined by the new Director of UM Online, Keith Lynip and finalized the Principles of  Quality for Online Courses.  The document was approved.  The next step will be to develop best practices. 

Service Learning

The President put together a Service Learning Advisory Board after the university did not receive the Carnegie Engagement Classification.  The Director of the Office for Civic Engagement and member of the Advisory Board, Andrea Vernon explained that the service learning course designation will provide recognition and increase visibility of service learning on campus. The increased awareness may increase partnerships and increase the course offerings in service learning. 

Senator Lopach: Is the intent to add a service learning requirement to the general education program.

ASCRC Chair Thompson: That intent was not apparent in the proposal.

Senator Lopach: What is the prevalence of these courses?

Director Vernon: There are currently between 20-25 courses in a variety of disciplines including Business, EVST, Education, Chemistry, Communication, Pharmacy, and Social Work.

The Service Learning Designation was approved.

Repeat Fee Resolution
ASCRC has been reviewing the repeat fee for several years.  Students pay the fee to have their GPA recalculated using only the final grade.  There is no evidence that the fee reduces students retaking courses and none of the other MUS campuses have such a fee.   The way the fee is administered disadvantages low income students. ASCRC recommends that the fee be eliminated. 

There was considerable discussion regarding the repeat resolution.  There was strong sentiment not to allow students to remove the first grade from the GPA calculation - the transcript should be a record of performance and the grades should be averaged. 

Provost Engstrom clarified that all fees and changes to fees must be approved by the Board of Regents.  The action taken by the Senate on this would be advisory to the President.  The President would then make the decision to take it forward to the Board or not. 

Senator Mayer: The Faculty Senate through ASCRC has authority to change academic policy.

Provost Engstrom asked that faculty governance do more thinking about incentive for students to take courses seriously the first time.   There are many students that retake courses for legitimate reasons.  However, there are students that retake courses for reasons that may not be appropriate.  The repeat fee is one tool, however imperfect- especially the way it is implemented.  He asks the Senate to think about what tools we should have in place to encourage students to take the course seriously and succeed the first time through.  There is a great deal of literature related to course repeats and students success in a reasonable period of time.  He requests that the issue go back to ASCRC for review of possible replacement tools to help students succeed the first time through.

The resolution was finally approved (36 to 6) with the removal of the specifications (Use only the most recent grade of a repeated course to calculate the cumulative GPA; and Show all grades on the transcript).  An amendment to have all grades calculated in the GPA failed 21 to 23.

A change was made to ASCRC's Adding New Courses Policy.  ASCRC found that there was different information pertaining to new courses under policy, procedures and instructions.  This change will bring them all into alignment. This was available for information to senators and did not require a vote.


Graduate Council Chair David Erickson
The curriculum consent agenda included a footnote regarding the new doctoral program.  The Council supports the new PhD program in Medicinal Chemistry but has concerns and would like the new program to be reviewed in three years.

Professor Natale: Every Medicinal Chemistry Program in North America is housed in the Pharmacy college and has a strong association with the Chemistry Department.  These programs have strengthened the Chemistry program.

The curriculum consent agenda was approved.

Last spring the Board of Regents approved a new admissions policy to graduate programs that no longer requires the GRE.   The Graduate Council is not recommending that every program revise their admissions criteria.  However if programs are interested in alternative admission selection criteria, these should submitted to the Council for review and approval.  Programs can submit proposed revisions at anytime.  Review will be ongoing.


Unfinished Business:

Revisions to Academic Policy 103: Establishment and Periodic Review of Academic Institutes, Bureaus, Centers, Stations, Labs, and Other Similar Entities
The amended language was unanimously approved. 

International Baccalaureate
The amended language was unanimously approved. 

New Business

Three-Year Review of New Programs
The outline for review of new programs was introduced for initial consideration.


Chair Hayes: The sense of the Senate is for ASCRC to review the grade calculation issue.  He requested that Senators who have strong views express their ideas to ASCRC.

Executive Session
- Honorary Degree Candidates
The candidates presented by Dean Kuhr and Professor Johnson were unanimously approved.

Good and Welfare:


The meeting was adjourned at 4:48 pm.