Meeting, March 12, 2009

Meeting, March 12, 2009
Gallagher Business Building, Room 123


Members Present:

D. Allington, C. Anderson, L. Barnes, D. Beck, A. Carpoca, B. Cochran, D. Dalenberg, A. Delaney,  B. Douma, A. Duwell, L. Dybdal, L. Eagle Heart-Thomas, D. Freeman, L. Frey, L. Gillison, J. Glendening, A. Golbeck, S. Gordon, N. Hadad, B. Halfpap, J. Halfpap, L. Hayes, J. Herbold, E. Hines, N. Hinman, D. Hollist, R. Judd, B. Larson, J. Lopach, J. Luckowski, M. Mayer, M. McHugh, N. Moisey, J. Morton, N. Nickerson, M. Patterson, D. Potts, T. Seekins, W. Sheilds, M. Shogren, G. Smith, D. Spencer, D. Stolle, R. Stubblefield, G. Twigg, E. Uchimoto, N. Vonessen, A. Ware, G. Weix, P. Williams,                    

Members Excused

T. Atkins, R. Bendick-Kier, B. Brown, J. Burroughs, K. Canty, J. Carter, J. Eglin, W. Holben,  B. Ikeda, S. McCann,  N. Moisey, J. Renz, D. Shively, D. Six, R. Skelton, H. Thompson, K. Uhlenbruck, C. Work 

Members Absent

B. Allen, E. Moore, E. Rosenberg, S. Stiff

Ex-Officio Present:

Provost Engstrom, Associate Provost Walker-Andrews, ASUM Business Manager Gosline


B. Bach, J. Hirstein, UFA Vice President Coffin

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

The Faculty Senate Administrative Associate called role.

The 2/12/08 minutes were approved.


Provost Engstrom
President Dennison could not attend the meeting today because he is working on the University's behalf at the Legislature.  The Appropriations Committee budget recommendations are below fiscal year 2009 levels.  Today's discussion at the legislature is regarding the possibility of restoring some of the budget with stimulus package money.  Appropriations make up 1/3 of the University's budget; the other 2/3 comes from tuition and fees.  The Governor is pushing for a 0 tuition increase.  The Board of Regents is considering a modest increase for the four-year schools and 0 increase for the two-year schools.  The final budget situation is still unknown, but we can anticipate a tight budget for the next biennium.
Campuses in Arizona and California are facing serious budget cuts, so we are fortunate that the situation is not worse.

It is unlikely that stimulus money will be allocated for a new College of Technology.  The Bonding Authority Bill is still working its way through the legislative process.

Items on the Board of Regents agenda next week include:

  • Pre-engineering program (2+2 ) in collaboration with MT Tech
  • Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics modification
  • Climate Change Minor
  • Energy Technology Program at the College of Technology

At Friday's Board of Regent meeting there will be a discussion regarding research.  The Regents and the Governor had several inquiries related to the federal research funding process.  Responses to these were submitted.  Representatives from the Research Offices on both campuses will be involved in the discussion.

Although the Bitterroot Community College was not approved, the Board of Regents made a commitment to provide education in the Bitterroot Valley.  Discussions are taking place to identify the best delivery mechanism.   For the last couple of years the University has allocated $180,000 a year to services in Hamilton.  The same amount is requested for the next biennium.

The Interim Registrar, Ed Johnson will start on March 23rd.  He was the Registrar at Montana Tech for 12 years and at Fort Lewis College in Colorado for two years.  

ASUM Vice Business Manager Gosline
Yesterday's ASUM meeting was adjourned at midnight.  It finalized next year's budget and allocated $900,000 dollars.  It will be operating at 100% next year.

ASUM passed a resolution against HB 228, Citizen Self-defense and Firearm Rights.  The bill would allow more people to carry concealed weapons and expands its use in defensive situations.  Chief Lemke spoke at the meeting.

ASUM President and Vice President are at the Legislature today. SB 304,
Keep our Kids Here Tax Credit failed to pass committee today. 

UFA Vice President Coffin
The employer contribution to benefits will be $679 for next year. There will be a 6% increase to Plan A ($400 deductable) and a 9% increase to plan B ($600 deductable).  A single employee should have $50 remaining to use for optional coverage after selecting a benefit plan.

There have been two bargaining sessions.  Work place issues are a concern.  Declining resources could be critical in terms of faculty attending seminars, travel, and membership in professional societies. Section 11, Faculty Development is being discussed in terms of a modified duties mechanism for faculty who are primary care givers.  A Faculty Development Office that would improve communication and work on specific issues is also being considered.  The Union is looking at a mediation process for faculty to faculty conflict as well.  The compensation picture is not good in terms of appropriations. House Bill 2 does not include any new money and does not fund present law adjustments.  Making up the difference with stimulus funds would leave the university with no base budget for the next biennium.  This is a real problem.  The UFA will be sending an email communication asking faculty to contact their local representatives.  It is important that law makers recognize the University as an investment not an expense.

Senator Frey does not think the University should support a Faculty Development Office when there are curriculum needs not being met. 

There is grant funding available for the Faculty Development Office. 

It was suggested that the UFA send out legislative report cards on items of critical interest to faculty.


Jim Hirstein, Chair, NWCCU Accreditation Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is in the process of trying to document how the University deals with challenges and change. The Provost called a meeting on March 23 to document the planning process.  He thanked faculty for participating in the strategic planning town hall meetings.  New International, Native American Studies, and Technology Committees are working on planning issues. 

Betsy Bach, Common Course Numbering
The disciplines in the first cohort will have new rubrics and course numbers in place for fall registration.  The brochure posted to the agenda will be sent to advisors.  There is a pull down menu in Cyberbear that lists the new and old course number and title.  There is a training session for department chairs on March 25th and another one for advisors on April 7th that will also address changes to general education.  The catalog will include both the old and new course numbers.  The Registrar is using a new content management system for the catalog.  It should be possible to search all areas where a course is listed in order to replace it with the new rubric and number.

The Implementation Committee will be designing a process to coordinate future course changes.  The current priority is the conversion.

There was concern that the information in the class schedule, catalog, and Cyberbear is not consistent.  The conversion will be confusing for students, faculty, and advisors. 

Chair's Report:
Academic Strategic Planning Update
The Town Hall meetings are complete. The Committee is meeting tomorrow and will establish subcommittees to draft action plans.  Volunteers will be needed to serve on these subcommittees.

The Board of Regents meeting postponed 
The Board of Regents meeting was postponed for two weeks to allow the Appropriations Committee to complete its work at the Legislature.  The hope was that there would be more clarity regarding the budget status for the meeting.

Committee Preference Communication

After spring break faculty will receive an email communication requesting them to identify committees they would be interested in serving on.  ECOS uses this information to make nominations.  Please respond to the request. 

Elections Results
There are still some issues with Faculty Senate elections. Two voting groups did not have any faculty opt-in for vacant seats.  The Senate should consider the changes proposed to the election bylaws under new business.   

Committee Reports:


Academic Standards and Curriculum Review Committee Chair G.G. Weix
The general education follow-up consent agenda was approved.  One of the College of Technology courses- Nature and Society is the same as a course taught on the main campus by Environmental Studies.  EVST supports the creation of the course. The COT will be establishing a new rubric for general studies next fall to accommodate courses that do not fit in its current structure.   

Senator Frey cautioned that the COT will need to consult with departments regarding duplicate courses.  The courses must have the same rigor as UM courses.

The writing course list was approved.  The Writing Committee is in the process of requesting follow-up and discussing the different approaches to meeting the upper-division writing expectation in the major. Thus far none of the courses submitted have been rejected.  The Committee is in the process of requesting additional information and hopes to have the review completed by March 24th.  The approved courses will be added to the online catalog.

One issue that requires follow-up is that some majors do not specify an upper-division requirement in the major but rather have language such as:

The Upper-division Writing Expectation must be met by successfully completing an upper-division writing course from the approved list in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. 

This is no longer accurate because of the guideline distinctions between writing courses and the upper-division writing requirement by the major.   These majors will need to consult with other majors and specify courses that meet the requirement.

Senator Spencer asked whether two upper-division writing courses would meet the requirement of a writing course and the upper-division writing requirement by the major.  One course would have to be an approved writing course and the other an approved upper-division writing course in the major.  Several upper-division courses are approved writing courses.  The writing component of general education is intended to follow a progression.  The criteria for a writing course and upper-division writing requirement are different.  The upper-division writing requirement should be at a higher level than the writing course.  

The Writing Committee will be considering ways to assure students pass the writing exam prior to taking the upper-division writing requirement in the major.  There is not currently an enforcement mechanism.

ENEX 200 meets both the composition course and writing course requirement.

The general education catalog language was amended and approved after debate.  A motion to remove the Group III Exceptions to the Modern and Classical Languages - Symbolic Systems from approval failed by a show of hands. 

The College of Technology would like to have the exemption for their Associate of Arts degree.  The intent of the AA program is for students to have fulfilled all their general education and matriculate to the main campus at the junior level.
Several senators understood that the exemption would apply to extended majors that could demonstrate that an additional 10 credits of a foreign language would be a burden to their students. However, the framework only specified that students may substitute a symbolic systems sequence for the Modern and Classical Language requirement if the sequence was required by their major and approved by ASCRC.  

Students in majors that have exceptions can still chose to take a modern and classical language.  Students that change majors will have to meet the requirement of their final major.


It was noted that the major reason Phi Beta Kappa will not consider organizing a chapter at the University of Montana is because it does not have a foreign language requirement for all students.

Chair Ware indicated that due to the dissatisfaction with the way the exemption to the Modern and Classical Language requirement was implemented, ECOS will be requesting ASCRC to revisit this issue next year.


The general education conversion guideline was presented as information for senators.


Unfinished Business

ECOS election
Senator Gordon's election to ECOS was confirmed by a show of hands. 

Senate Election Bylaw Amendment (postponed)


New Business


Center Reviews (postponed)
Due to the late hour and a class scheduled for the room at 5:00 consideration of the center review reports was postponed.



Good and Welfare:

  • Senator Frey alerted the Senate to a situation pertaining to the Irish Studies Minor approved February 2006.  Due to the current budget crises in the College of Arts and Sciences, one of the courses required by the major, taught by a retired faculty member in History will not be offered.
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  • Senator Nickerson alerted the Senate to a situation related to college credit offered for high school math courses.  High school math teachers are being told that they must have a masters degree to teach Functions, Statistics,Trigonometry or pre calculus. She wondered whether it was a problem that high school students were receiving college credit for courses taken in high school not taught by college professors.

    According to Provost Engstrom there is a dual credit program that allows courses taken in high school receive college credit.  The curriculum of these courses must be approved by the academic unit offering the course from the University of Montana.  In this case in would be the College of Technology, Applied Arts Program.   The instructor must be approved by the academic unit as well.  It sounds like there may be some misinformation circulating about the program.  
  • Senator Mayer informed the Senate that the pass rates for the WPA have gone up since the former director left.  There could be a problem with the test and the Senate should consider it.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 pm.