Meeting, March 13, 2008

Meeting, March 13, 2008
Gallagher Business Building, Room 123

Approved 4/10/08

Members Present:

E. Ametsbichler C. Anderson, L. Barnes, R. Bendick-Kier, J. Carter, B. Cochran, A. Delaney,  B. Douma, J. Eglin, L. Frey, S. Gordon, S. Greymorning, B. Halfpap L. Hayes, J. Henry, J. Herbold, S. Justman, B. Larson, C. Loisel, J. Lopach, J. Luckowski, M. Mayer, S. McCann, M. McHugh, J. McNulty, S. Miller, M. Patterson, M. Pershouse, D. Potts, L. Putnam, B. Reider, T. Seekins, D. Shively, D. Six, R. Skelton, D. Spencer, R. Stubblefield, D. Swibold, K. Uhlenbruck, H. Thompson, E. Uchimoto,  N. Vonessen, A. Ware                      

Members Excused

T. Atkins, N. Bradley-Browning, F. Cardozo-Palaez, J. Crepeau, L. Knott, M. Kupilik, D. McCrea, C. Nichols, M. Papanek-Miller, J. Renz,  G. Smith

Members Absent

B. Allen, L. Blank, B. Brown, K. Canty, L. Dybdal L. Eagle Heart-Thomas D. Erikson J. Gannon, J. Glendening, W. Holben K. James M. Monsos, E. Rosenberg,  P. Silverman S. Stiff, D. Stolle K. Unger

Ex-Officio Present:

President Dennison, Provost Engstrom, Associate Provost Walker-Andrews, Registrar Micus, ASUM Vice President Ness


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

Registrar Micus called role and the minutes from 2/14/08 were approved.

President Dennison
Salary Reports
President Dennison provided the Faculty Senate with two reports.  The first is an analysis of gender differences in salaries at The University of Montana.  This duplicates a mid-nineties study that looked at salary levels and found inequity problems based on gender status. The problems were addressed in collaboration with the University Faculty Association. This recent study determined that the problems have not resurfaced.

The second report was completed by a joint task force chaired by Jim Burchfield and included Doug Kaufman, Boby Evans, Mike Kernigan, Jim Hirstein, Bill Muse, and Kay Unger.  It looked at issues of inversion, compression and salary floors among faculty.   Professors Kupilik and Hirstein presented the report to the Board of Regents at its last meeting. It concluded Assistant Professors on average are paid closer to peers at 90%. Associate Professors are at 85% and full professors are at 80% of peer averages.  The task force recommends that all averages be brought up to 90% over the next two bienniums.  This will require approximately two million dollars.  The Regents will consider the recommendation as they move forward with budget requests. 

Budget Request Process for 2011 Biennium
The process has started now in preparation for the September executive budget deadline.  The requests will be released after the elections in November.  In collaboration with the Governor, the Regents will likely present a plan with zero tuition increases for resident students.  Current revenue reports are not as favorable as last biennium.  The ending fund balance should be between $100-200 million as compared to $1 billion last biennium. 

The administration is proceeding with budget planning under the same premises used for the college affordability plan.  The budget experts from the two universities, the Governor's Budget Director, David Ewer, and the Associate Commissioner for Fiscal Affairs must agree on inflationary increases used to calculate present law adjustments.    The following assumptions will be considered: 1) In state enrollments will be flat for the upcoming biennium.  This assumption will also apply to WUE students who pay 150% of tuition.  Their tuition will remain the same because it is tied to resident tuition. This means the general fund will pick up the inflationary cost of these students as well as resident students. 2)  Non-resident tuition rate will be calculated by that portion of inflationary increase that relates to the education of non -residence. Last time this was at 6.5%.

The high school honors program is now a four year scholarship for students that maintain satisfactory progress.   In order to accommodate four years the number of participants must be reduced.   There was one-time-only money to assist with the transition this biennium. This is not the case for the next biennium.

Personnel services assumptions include a place holder of 4% for salary increases.   The number will be confirmed after collective bargaining is completed. A percentage of this money will be included in the calculation of non -resident tuition. If there are 20% of non-resident students then 20% of the increase would be funded by non-resident tuition. The University is making an argument that promotion and merit increases are outside the 4%.  Continued assistance will be requested for faculty retirement /termination payout costs.  Health insurance is estimated to increase by approximately 7%.

Operating cost assumptions include:

  • Fixed costs - yet to be determined.
  • IT fixed costs - 9%.
  • Library acquisition inflationary costs - 9%.
  • Utilities - yet to be determined (have been very volatile).
  • New space
  • Tuition waivers
  • Other operating expenses - 4%

Once all these costs are estimated.  A calculation is completed to figure out how much it will cost to serve the same number of students with these inflators. This results in a figure that is multiplied by the number of resident students to determine what the general fund contribution to the university budget for zero tuition increase.

It is important to note that the last biennium was the first time that this type of process was used and it worked fairly well.

According to this calculation the general fund would need to increase by $16.4 million in fiscal year 2010 for the Montana University System.   The second year of the biennium $33.7 million additional dollars will be needed.  The biennial total would be approximately $52 million just to accommodate present law adjustments. 

Campus initiatives

Campus initiatives are also being discussed.  During the last session these were eliminated to hold the priority of zero tuition increase.  If all the campus and Board of Regents initiatives are approved another $48.3 million would be required.  The total budget request is for approximately $100 million.  Getting all of the requests will be difficult.

One initiative is related to the expected decline in the cohort group and the need to do something to maintain enrollments.  The proposed targeted financial aid program would provide assistance to students who otherwise would not attend college and is focused on the smaller two-year campuses.  This is accompanied by the doctoral and research initiative on the Missoula and Bozeman campus.  The goal would be to increase the involvement of graduate students by provided the kind of support that other research institutions offer.  These two initiatives total approximately $18 million to fund.

There is a proposal to respond to the two salary reports as well as the special report completed by a recruitment and retention task force of the Board of Regents. It involves a separate 2% pool for salary increases to address problems related to compression, inversion, and salary floors.

Between now and May the BOR and campus budget and finance experts will work through present law adjustments, prioritize campus initiatives, and draft the final budget proposal. In addition there will be a list of facilities for long range building. 

Last time the legislature funded all the building items from the ending fund balance.  This year there will likely be a need for a bonding program. The University Systems priority list totals approximately $80 million.

Energy Conservation

The Governor is calling for a 20% reduction in energy consumption by 2010. This is a pretty tall order.  The University system has over 50% of the expenditures for energy, but it has about 2/3 of the square footage.  The University is working on a list of efficiency items.  Some of which will require investment.  The Governor indicates that savings  from conservation initiatives can be kept.  Some of efficiencies can be achieved in new construction.  For example we now use ground water cooling rather than air conditioning. We can do this because the aquifer is close.  The cold water is brought up for cooling and sent back without contamination. It saves a huge amount of money.

If the thermostat is turned down to 62° in winter and 76° in summer the estimated savings is only between 1-1 1/1%. An investment in monitoring equipment is required to know what is consumed in each building.  Once known, each building could be given a budget.  Then if the building managed to reduce its energy costs, it could use the money for other purposes.  This type of incentive may be necessary to reduce the cost.


Senator Frey: Please clarify the graduate education initiative.  

The focus would be on doctoral students in three areas.  1)  We are at a disadvantage because graduate students are not granted residency status. 2) Our stipends are low compared to other research universities; and 3) We assume doctoral students take 24 credits a year- virtually every other campus assumes they take 18 credits.  Implementation may require a couple of biennium.     The intent is to grow graduate enrollment and slightly reduce the undergraduate enrollment on the Missoula and Bozeman campuses to maintain enrollment on the other campuses.

Provost Engstrom
The accreditation visit is scheduled for April 12-14th, 2010.  This is the same week that UM will be hosting the national conference undergraduate research.

The membership of the accreditation steering committee is still being composed.  Anyone interested in serving on the committee should notify the Provost's Office.   There will be two members representing the Faculty Senate on the committee.   This is an important task and will give the university the opportunity to look hard at who we are and how well we are meeting our mission. 

Academic Strategic Planning

A letter went out about a week ago requesting volunteers for the academic strategic planning process.  This process will develop a decision making guide for the next 5-7 year period relative to our academic programs and how the academic mission of the institution is operated.   There have been many volunteers. 

The two processes should work very closely with one another. He plans to meet with the chairs of the two committees on a weekly basis to assure that these processes reinforce one another. 

Recruitment updates
Many of the searches are coming to completion.  Faculty searches are about half way completed for the next academic year.  We have had excellent candidates.  The Colleges of Arts and Sciences Dean search is well under way.  There is a very large and high quality applicant pool. Eighty-five applications have been received.   The committee is currently doing telephone interviews. Candidates will be brought to campus starting April 1st.   The Associate Provost for Graduate Application applicant pool has between 30-35 applicants and includes some fine applicants.  Candidates will be brought to campus around April 1st as well.  The search for a new Director of Academic Budget and Personnel, formally the second associate provost position is also underway. However there are only between 10-12 applicants.

Board of Regents Meeting
All of the academic items were approved by the board.
There was quite a discussion at the Board of Regents meeting about two-year education that included the Governor.  There was a power point presentation that outlines the boards philosophy.  If interested it is available at:

ASUM Vice President Tara Ness
ASUM is holding a video game competition next week as a fundraising effort.  The Student Involvement Guide is now available at the ASUM Office, the UC, Admissions, and each Dean will receive a copy.  It lists student groups, community leaders, athletics, campus recreation, ASUM agencies, KGBA, and many other extra-curricular activities available on campus.   There are continued efforts on sustainability.  Next week they will be completing the calculations of campus carbon emissions in preparation for making recommendations to reduce them.   ASUM elections are coming up soon. President Lockridge will be reading passages from 1984 followed by information about student government involvement on KGBA.  The idea is to present a worst case scenario to get students excited about politics.

Chair's Report:

The Board of Regents
Chair Hayes encouraged senators to take a look at the Board of Regents Agenda postings on the web.  Specifically there is an Athletic Expenditures Report at

The Montana University System Faculty Association Representatives (MUSFAR) enthusiastically endorsed the proposed 2% pool to address salary inequities related to compression, inversion, and salary floors.

MUSFAR discussed the issue of evaluation of the administration.  UM has an evaluation process that is currently taking place.  The deadline for the electronic survey is March 21st.   Some of the other campuses don't have a procedure and are interested in pursuing one.  There were comments that the Board of Regents should encourage a process on all campuses.  The new Faculty Senate at the Helena College of Technology has requested a visit from the Chair to provide assistance with their new body.  Former Chair Ametsbichler and the Administrative Associate Foos will be visiting with them next week. 

ECOS is looking for members of the Senate to serve on the Accreditation and Academic Planning Committees.  These members would serve as liaisons to the Faculty Senate. Two members from the Senate are desired to facilitate communication.

Report from the Joint Ethics Committee

The Executive Committee of the Senate met with Dane Scott, Director of the Center for Ethics and the Chair of the Joint Ethics Committee.   The survey results of the proposed Statement of Ethics was available online for senators to review.  Discussions regarding the Committee's recommendations are still taking place.

Senate Elections
The election process is mostly completed.  It is not working as well as it should.  Some voting groups did not have enough members on the ballot and write-in candidates decline to serve.  Not many faculty participate in the voting.   ECOS is discussion alternative processes.


Committee Reports:

ASCRC Chair Holly Thompson
The curriculum consent agenda was approved.  ASCRC was fortunate to have the assistance of Professor Lurie in reviewing Communicate Sciences and Disorders'  courses proposals.

English Placement
The placement grid is the result of efforts from a Provost's Workgroup in response to the new Board of Regents policy 301.17 English Composition Placement.  The scores are mandated by the policy with the exception of ENEX 200, which is unique to UM.   

English Composition Catalog Language
This catalog language addresses the changes required by the new BOR policy.  The Writing Committee and ASCRC worked on the language.  After several clarifications the language was approved.   The Writing Committee has been working on a comprehensive Writing Course Guidelines document that will be coming soon to the Faculty Senate as a component of general education revisions.

General Education Timeline

The General Education Subcommittee has been active.  Last week ASCRC reviewed several of the requirements criteria and outcomes statements and provided feedback to the Subcommittee.  There is hope that the final criteria will be submitted to ECOS the first week in April for possible presentation to the Faculty Senate at the April meeting. 


Faculty Library Committee Chair-Elect Vonessen
Senator Vonessen presented the resolution developed by the Faculty Library Committee.  The Committee proposes to strengthen the role of the Library in the approval process of new programs and centers to ensure adequate library funding when new programs or centers are created. The resolution includes a recommendation that faculty members from the library be added as ex-officio members to both ASCRC and Graduate Council.

Senator Thompson:  The resolution was discussed in ASCRC and Graduate Council and there was general support.  However, neither committee is in favor of the addition of ex-officio members for the following reasons.  The issues outlined in the resolution are related to resources, which is not the purview of ASCRC or Graduate Council.  Discussion of new programs is only a small percentage of the business of the curriculum committees. Both committees are open to visitors at anytime and the library faculty are welcome to volunteer to serve on ASCRC as a voting members.

Senator Vonessen will bring the concerns back to the Faculty Library Committee.  Chair-elect ware recommended that the committee consider separating this item from the resolution or amending it so that it could be voted on. 


Unit Standards Committee Chair Uhlenbruck
The CBA requires that all departments revise their unit standards every five years.  However, the review has not been enforced - some standards date back to 1984.  The Committee developed procedures to facilitate a more timely review process..

During the next round of negations the issue of non-compliance with unit standard updates needs to be addressed. There currently is no mechanism for assuring that unit standards are reviewed.



Unfinished Business:

Three-Year Interim Assessment of New Academic Programs
The intent is to give new programs feedback prior to the full review.  There were questions regarding who would conduct the review and what the response mechanism would be.  The item was sent back to committee for clarification.

New Business

Center for Collaborative Stewardship
The direction of the institute has changed and it would like to have a name that better reflects what it is doing.   Given the history of the institute and the fact that it no longer is doing what it was originally developed to do, the Senate agreed that the item was more than a name change and the new purpose of the Center should be approved.  It was therefore sent back to committee.

Center Review
Each of the following reviews were presented by an ECOS member and approved by the Senate with little discussion.

Bureau of Business and Economic Research-recommendation

Center for Riverine Science and Stream Re-naturalization

Montana Biotechnology Center

Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit

Montana Geriatric Education Center

Stella Duncan Memorial Research Institute

Advanced Placement Credit Policy
It was clarified that individual departments may choose to set a score lower than the default 4.  It was noted the university and its peers currently accept a score of 3 for calculus. 


It was recommended to review the data in terms of how many AP credits are coming into the university in order to consider a possible limit.  Recent reports indicate that more students are taken the exam but fewer are passing.  Many students that take the exam do not take an AP course.    

Associate Provost Walker-Andrews recommended a delay in any policy change until ECOS considers 1) information about the newest set of scores, 2) UM student data, and 3) other university's AP policies.

Senator Mayer:  Harvard conducted a study a few years ago comparing how well students did in first year courses with AP credit.  Students who did well on AP exams did not necessarily do well in introductory college level courses. The review warned against giving too much credit for AP exams.

Good and Welfare:


The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 pm.