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 Faculty Senate

The University of Montana

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

Approved 12/6/08

Members Present:

B. Allen, D. Allington, C. Anderson, T. Atkins, L. Barnes, N. Bradley-Browning, B. Brown, J. Burroughs, J. Carter, B. Cochran, D. Dalenberg, A. Delaney,  B. Douma, A. Duwell, L. Dybdal, L. Eagle Heart-Thomas, J. Eglin, D. Freeman, L. Frey, A. Golbeck, S. Gordon N. Hadad, B. Halfpap, J. Halfpap, L. Hayes, J. Herbold, E. Hines, W. Holben, B. Ikeda, J. Lopach, J. Luckowski, M. Mayer, M. McHugh, N. Moisey, E. Moore, N. Nickerson, M. Patterson, D. Potts, B. Reider, J. Renz, E. Rosenberg, T. Seekins, D. Shively, R. Skelton, D. Spencer, S. Stiff, R. Stubblefield, H. Thompson, K. Uhlenbruck, N. Vonessen, A. Ware, G. Weix, P. Williams, C. Work                      

Members Excused

D. Beck, R. Bendick-Kier, K. Canty, A. Carpoca, J. Glendening, N. Hinman, D. Hollist, S. McCann,  B. Larson, G. Twigg, E. Uchimoto

Members Absent

J. Henry, D. Six, G. Smith, D. Stolle, M. Valentin

Ex-Officio Present:

President Dennison, Provost Engstrom, Associate Provost Walker-Andrews, Registrar Micus, ASUM President Hunter, ASUM Vice President Smillie, Interim Dean Kalm

Guests:

Associate Vice President Muse, Assistant Vice President Liston, ASUM Business Manager Gosline, Athletic Director O'Day, Associate Athletic Director Gee, Faculty Athletic Representative Lopach, Director McKinney

Chair Ware called the meeting to order at 3:10 p.m.  
Registrar Micus called role.

The 9/11/08 minutes were amended and approved.

Communications:

President Dennison
President Dennison did not have a lot to report.  The last budget meeting was canceled and the Governor is due to release his proposal on Friday.   The major obstacles to budget planning will be clarified when the ending fund balance is announced.   He suspects that the legislature will want to set aside some funds in case the economy worsens.
The present law adjustments have been agreed upon and the pay plan still needs to be negotiated. 

The President's Office is accepting nominations for the Distinguished Faculty and Staff awards. 

Provost Engstrom
Graduation Lists
The Provost presented the graduation lists for approval.  Voting was postponed because there is an issue with how programs are listed in the School of Business.   

Student Success
You will soon receive a brochure outlining the plan for student success developed by the Retention Task Force.  Volunteers are needed for the implementation stage.  Please inform the Provost's Office if you have an interest in serving.

Common Course Numbering
The Commissioner's Office agreed to have 12 disciplines finalized by January.  The following ten disciplines are either complete or very close to completion - Sociology, Writing, Economics, Geography, Geology, History, Accounting, Political Science, Foreign Language, and Chemistry.   These courses have been assigned the same number, prefix, and titled based on learning outcomes.   The goal of the Transferability Initiative is to identify commonality, not to force commonality or change the curriculum.   At the completion of the project every undergraduate course will have been reviewed and a new numbering system will be in place.  Of the disciplines completed approximately 10-15% of the courses have been identified as common.  It will be up to departments to decide whether to change the prefix for their graduate programs.

There were several questions relating to the initiative.  If a course is identified as a common course then the department will not be able to sustain a separate title.  However, for purposes of implementation and degree audit Banner will include the new and old title, number, and prefix in the equivalency field. Courses identified as common will also have the same catalog description.   Courses that are revised will be reviewed annually.  If the course no longer has the same learning outcomes as the common courses then it will change to a unique course.

There will be several years of difficult translation.  The intent is to have a number of the common courses in place for the fall.  ASCRC will need to consider all the ramifications in terms of general education requirements and other curriculum policies.  It will need to review the course lists in detail to determine how the new courses satisfy requirements.  The Registrar's Office has a program that will search the catalog in order to replace all the revised numbers, titles and descriptions.   This is a big project.  Faculty should have received a letter of thanks from the Commissioner of Higher Education.

Design of the Undergraduate Curriculum

The Provost has sent out a memo requesting faculty to serve on a discussion group that will focus on the integrated design of the undergraduate experience. The focus of the group will be to develop a conceptual framework for the overall undergraduate academic experience.  

Course Repeat Fee
The Administration is having discussions with the student leadership regarding the fee.  The grade calculation issue was separated from the fee for resolution. There will likely be a mandatory fee to repeat a course.  The revenue from the fee will be directed toward student success initiatives.

College of Technology Rank
Provost Engstrom distributed a memo that outlines a proposal to change the rank of instructional faculty at the College of Technology.  This issue was negotiated between the bargaining unit and the administration.  Unit Standards define the teaching, service and scholarly activity required for each of the ranks in the applicable discipline. The Faculty Senate is not in a position to vote on the proposal; however the Provost would like to get some feedback.  There is not time for discussion today, so please consider the information and be prepared to comment at the December meeting.   


Faculty Development Funds
Calls have not gone out for proposals because the administration is waiting to see how the budget situation plays out.  There will likely be a call for proposals sometime during spring semester.

 

ASUM President Hunter
ASUM President Hunter introduced himself, Vice President Smillie and the ASUM Business Manager Gosline.   ASUM has hired a student Lobbyist - Lucas Hamilton.  He will live in Helena full-time for the January legislative session.  ASUM is working on five bills.  Three of the bills relate to renter's rights - the capability of a heat source to reach 70°, penalties for landlords who wrongly withhold security deposits, and an online mold registry.  Another bill proposes online voter registration and the last is a program that provides incentives (tax credits) to students and businesses to keep students in the state after they graduate.  ASUM is hoping that the Montana Associated Students (MAS) will adopt these legislative goals as well. There has been a change to the Griz/Cat game ticket distribution that should be less disruptive and more efficient.    On December 2nd there will be a Renter's Rights Panel Discussion.   ASUM is working to have a Student Lobby Day which would involve 40-50 students attending the legislature to show their support for higher education.

Resolution regarding the proposed Add/Drop Policy Revision
ASUM supports the extension of the drop date but would like to reinstate the option to add a course between the 11-45th day by approval form. There are financial aid consequences for students who go below a certain number of credits.   ASUM Business Manager Gosline consulted the Financial Aid Director about the proposed policy change.   Financial Aid is opposed to separating the add and drop date deadlines.  Students should be able to add a course if they drop a course to maintain the same credit load and not impact their financial aid.  Students on the Western University Exchange Program will lose 25% of the grant aid by dropping 1-3 credits.  WUE students must maintain 30 credits per year for four years.

Registrar Micus supports maintaining the 15 day electronic add/drop date as well.  There is another mechanism that would allow faculty to close their courses to electronic adds.

Enrollment Analysis - Office of Planning Budgeting and Analysis, Associate Vice President, Bill Muse, Enrollment Services Assistant Vice President Jed Liston, and Registrar Micus

A power point presentation provided a detailed analysis of the enrollment data.  There was record enrollment this fall. Enrollment was above projections by 223 FTE and 323 head count. Both resident and non-resident enrollment was up. WUE enrollment was down. UM's recruitment efforts captured more Montana students.  Enrollment Services expanded its recruitment market which resulted in an increase in transfer students from other four-year institutions.  Non-traditional student enrollment is also up, which is likely a reflection of the economy. Assistant VP Liston thanked the faculty for their involvement in open houses.

Student credit hours also increased.  Graduate students credit load increased from 8.6 to 9.1, undergraduate from 13.2 to 13.5, and College of Technology from 11.0 to 11.9.  There was an increase of 170 student credit load above the flat spot.

Traditional resident freshmen retention rate dropped from 72.6 to 71.9%.  The non- resident freshmen retention rate is lower than resident freshmen.  Suspension numbers are dropping - from 476 in Spring 07 to 406 in spring 08.

Implications of the analysis include the need to:

  • Continue to mitigate the declining pool of Montana residents.
  • Continue to increase non-resident enrollment.
  • Continue to improve access and affordability for Montanans.
  • Improve non-resident freshmen retention.

Discussions are pending in terms of what to do with the increased revenue. The administration is speculating with regard to the implications of the economic down turn.

Intercollegiate Athletics Report - Athletic Director Jim O'Day, Associate Athletic Director Jean Gee, and Faculty Athletic Representative Lopach
The report was posted to the agenda, so rather than address each item, the floor was opened for questions. 

Athletic Director O'Day told a story regarding an upset fan.  Student athlete's behavior is more prevalent in the media today than it has been in the past. 

Athletics works hard on schedules so that students miss as few courses as possible. The Football team only travels 4 days.  There are some issues with women's golf and tennis.  The University must maintain these sports to compete in the NCAA.

Faculty should continue to report any difficulties with the system to enter student athlete grades.

It was suggested that Athletics send the report be to all faculty. 

Jim Hirstein, Chair, NWCCU Accreditation Steering Committee
The review team will be here in April 2010.  There is a lot of work required for Standard One- Institutional Mission and Goals, Planning and Effectives as well as Standard Two- Educational Programs and Its Effectiveness.  Assessment was just starting to be prevalent at the end of the last cycle so there is a lot to do.  The deadline for departmental assessment information is in February.  It is critical that a draft report is completed this academic year.  

Carol Brewer, Chair, Academic Strategic Planning Committee update
The Committee has completed the environmental scan and has a list of aspirations.  This list will be prioritized and communicated to the campus community in early December.  Next semester there will be town hall meetings to get faculty feedback, and then subcommittees will work on action plans for the strategic goals. 

 

Chair's Report:
Service Award
The deadline for nominations for the Faculty Service Award is November 19th.  Please send nomination materials to the Faculty Senate Office. 

The Board of Regents meeting is next week at UM.  Senators are encouraged to attend portions of the meeting that may be of interest.  The agenda is available at: http://mus.edu/board/meetings/2008/Nov08/Nov08.asp

ECOS reviewed the cumulative grade point average policy and proposes a revision so that only the last grade earned counts.  The proposed policy change is under new business for vote at the December meeting.

 

Committee Reports:

 

Academic Standards and Curriculum Review Committee Chair G.G. Weix
The curriculum consent agenda was approved after a clarification was made regarding a title change.

The Drop/Add Policy Revision was introduced for consideration.  There was some discussion related to ASUM's resolution.  ECOS recommended that the add date be changed to 10 days and ASCRC accepted this change.  Students should not be able to add a course without the instructors consent after 10 days.  

There may be some situations that are compelling to allow students to add courses after the 10th day via an approved form.  For example, sometimes students will be advised to drop down to precalculus from calculus after the first exam in the sixth week.  It should be possible for the system to inform students that to add a course they must get approval from the instructor

According to Registrar Micus the electronic add/drop date should correspond.  He reiterated that there is a mechanism in Banner to close courses.  The fifteenth date is when enrollment is reported to the Board of Regents so this change could impact these reports.

It was noted that administrative procedures should not drive academic policies.  The policy will be voted on next month.

 

Graduate Council Chair Neil Moisey
The curriculum consent agenda was approved.

 

 

New Business:

Name Change for the School of Fine Arts to the College of Visual and Performing Arts 
The proposal was presented by Interim Dean Kalm. After a brief discussion the proposal was approved with one senator opposed. The change will provide for national recognition of the schools and they will be headed by directors similar to UM's peers.  The titles of the degrees are governed by accreditation and will remain the same.  


Name Change for Public Policy Research Institute to Center for natural Resource and Environmental Policy 
Director Matthew McKinney was in attendance to answer any questions.  The proposal was approved unanimously. 

 

Cumulative Grade Point Average Policy Revision
Senators should consider the revision for vote next month. 

 

Unfinished Business

The Writing Guidelines document was introduced by Senator Carter.   The Writing Committee considered comments made at the last meeting and amended the document.  The guidelines were approved with one senator opposed.  The catalog language was approved unanimously.  Registrar Micus noted that the rubric will change in accordance with common course numbering. 

 

 

Good and Welfare: None

The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 pm.


Faculty Senate

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT 59812