ASCRC Minutes 11/28/06


Members Present: B. Bach,  R. Browning, I. Crummy, J. Eglin, V. Hedquist C. Henderson, J. Luckowski, T. Manual, A. Szalda-Petree, H. Thompson

Members Absent/Excused: D. Duncan, J. Graham, R. Nalty, P. Silverman A. Tabibnejad


Ex-Officio Present: M. Hoell, D. Micus, A. Walker-Andrews

UM Guests: Dean Evans and Strobel, Associate Deans Tompkins and Dinkel Uhlig, A. Peterson, S. Jepson, R. VanDenPol, A. Garfinkle, G. McGreger, K. Hill, J. Sommers-Flanagan, T. Atkins, L. Heart Paulson


Other Guests: Suzanne Bobowiec, SallyAnn Chrisholm, and Janice Nugent (SLP-Missoula County Public Schools), Michael Magone- Superintendent Lolo School District, Candy Lubanski-Director of Special Education Missoula City Public Schools, C. Anderson (SLP, Special Services Coordinator MCASE-Target Range School)

Chair Szalda-Petree called the meeting to order at 2:15 p.m.

Approval of the minutes was postponed.    


  • Guests and members introduced themselves.

    Professor VanDenPol responded to a question that was asked at the last meeting regarding vacancies in Montana compared to nation-wide. Data from 2002 show a rate of 6.25 in Montana, 20 vacancies out of 320 positions. Nationally the rate was 5.2% with 5,000 vacancies out of 94,000 positions.

    The most recent data from the Montana Speech-Language and Hearing Association indicates there are 340 licensed Speech Language Pathologists in Montana, 146 work in public schools. There are currently 30 unfilled positions and 40% of the pathologists plan to retire in the next 10yrs. Montana is one of two states that does not offer a training program. The Office of Public Instruction has been actively working to recruit from surrounding states. It has tried collaboration with Arizona, and online programs for training, but these have not filled the need.

    According to the Director of Special Education for Missoula City Schools, the situation is desperate. Positions are unfilled for a year and a half. In other districts, such as Billings positions have been vacant for up to 2 years and early childhood programs are not getting served. There are not enough people trained and many that will be retiring. Missoula is getting some interns from Wyoming

    The need for SLPs has increased for various reasons: earlier diagnoses, higher cases of autism, bigger emphasis on rehabilitation- advances in medicine saves accident victims that would have previously died, an aging population - strokes, and federal laws and regulations.

    There are vacancies in all venues - nursing homes, clinics, schools, and early childhood programs. The shortage is nation-wide.

    The problem has been on the table at every Special Education Administrators Conference for 10yrs. It has been extreme for the last 8 years because school districts are open for legal action because services are not available. The state is accountable. SLP is the only field that touches all students with disabilities. There is a significant emotional cost to children and adults that need pathology but don receive it.

    Small school districts utilize co-ops and share positions. The Lolo School District has a 9/10ths Speech Language Pathologist and she is close to retirement age. An important objective of the new program will be to provide relief. Students will have lots of options after they graduate.

    Professor Hart Paulson has worked with 9 UM students that have gone on to master programs in other states. Only one has returned to Montana. Students establish relationships in the community where they do internships and stay. It benefits the students to have a fully integrated program. Without the undergraduate degree students will have to do another year to satisfy prerequisites and may choose not to pursue the degree because of the extra time.

    A comparison was made to the school counselor program. One hundred percent of their graduates are placed in Montana because they build links in the community.

    The starting salary for a SLP in Missoula Public Schools is approximately $36,000, a teacher's salary. They are part of the bargaining unit. If the pathologist stays in the school system they could end their career with a salary slightly higher than healthcare. SLPs going into a clinic setting can start at $60,000. Montana is 48th in the pay scale. The differential is 15%. The schools have discussed stipends.

    The School of Education successfully reduced its graduate departure rate to 40% through active recruitment and community involvement.

    The various organizations in support of the proposal have been actively lobbying the legislature. The state has worked to fill the needs through varies avenues including federal grants. With the program in place, the goals and objectives of the organizations would change and resources would shift.

    There are federal grants available in the field. According to Professor Garfinkle, without the program Special Education looses its competitiveness for grants available to provide tuition support for students. The program will create synergy and the opportunity for collaboration and interdisciplinary efforts. Special education students will benefit from the program

    Part of a University's mission must be to meet the needs of the state and contribute to the economy. The previous program had an excellent reputation. One of the speech pathologists came from Colorado and stayed in Montana after graduating from the program.

    Interim Dean Evans summarized how the current proposal addressed the concerns ASCRC had last year. The School of Education faculty are in support of the proposal. Communication is at the heart of human existence and the need for the program is great.

    Professor VanDenpol commented that there is always a risk in starting a new program and the surplus in the state makes this a good time to appeal to the legislature for start-up funds. He asked that the committee do the right thing.

    Most of the guests departed at 3:15p.m.


Unfinished Business

  • Professor Thompson briefly summarized the pending science curriculum items. The items on the handout were approved.
  • Professor Eglin forwarded email communication to the committee with regard to the title of ENLT 327, U. S. Writers of Color. The committee was satisfied with the explanation and approved the proposal.

    Still pending is the Art Departments' approval of the Film Studies Proposal. The chair wants to discuss this with the faculty and will be meeting with them next week. There is a sense that if visual language is a part of the option than a visual art course should also be included.

    Registrar Micus spoke with Katie Kane regarding the rubric issue for the Irish Courses. He recommends that the courses be cross-listed with MCLG and that all the other courses that apply to the minor also have the ENIR rubric. English is considering this suggestion.
  • The writing course summary was approved. All the experimental writing courses are three credits.
  • Professor Luckowski received a revised course form for two of the Drama Dance proposals that were withdrawn because of the number reuse policy. The department would still like the credits to be increased from 2 to 3 on DRAM 310 and 311. These were approved.

New Business

  • Professor Hedquist reported on the responses of the Ethics subcommittee members to the three proposals. Out of six members there were three responses in favor of each proposal and none against. RELS 381, Comparative Ethics was approved. EVST 295, Sustainable Business Issues and HIST 495, War and Memory were approved for one-time-only ethics designations.

Unfinished Business Continued:

  • The committee deliberated further on the proposed Communicative Disorders major. Professor Bach was convinced of the need for the program and endorsed the proposal.
    There is still concern about financial sustainability and the impact the new program would have on existing resources. The budget and teaching load don't seem to reflect reality.

    Provost Walker-Andrews informed the committee that Billings withdrew their plans for an undergraduate program because they could not offer the masters and Missoula could.

    Chair Allen Szalda-Petree asked for a vote. There were 5 in favor and 4 apposed.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.