Meeting, April 9, 2009


Meeting, April 9, 2009
Gallagher Business Building, Room 123


Members Present:

D. Allington, C. Anderson, T. Atkins, L. Barnes, D. Beck, R. Bendick-Kier, J. Burroughs, J. Carter, D. Dalenberg, A. Delaney,  B. Douma, L. Eagle Heart-Thomas, J. Eglin, 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, W. Holben,  B. Ikeda, R. Judd, B. Larson, J. Lopach, J. Luckowski, M. Mayer, S. McCann,  M. McHugh, N. Moisey, E. Moore, M. Patterson, D. Potts, J. Renz, E. Rosenberg, W. Sheilds, D. Shively, M. Shogren, R. Skelton, G. Smith,  D. Stolle, R. Stubblefield, H. Thompson, G. Twigg, K. Uhlenbruck, N. Vonessen, A. Ware, G. Weix

Members Excused

B. Brown, A. Carpoca, A. Duwell, L. Dybdal, N. Nickerson, T. Seekins, E. Uchimoto, P. Williams                    

Members Absent

B. Allen, K. Canty, D. Hollist, J. Morton, D. Six, D. Spencer, S. Stiff, C. Work 

Ex-Officio Present:

Provost Engstrom, Associate Provost Walker-Andrews, ASUM Business Vice President Smillie, Interim Registrar Johnson  


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

Chair Ware called the meeting to order at 3:10 p.m. and introduced interim Registrar Ed Johnson.   

Registrar Johnson called role.

The 3/12/08 minutes were approved.


Provost Engstrom
Provost Engstrom presented the graduation lists for approval.  There was a question regarding the validity of a student in Anthropology.  The name was confirmed and the lists were approved.

The School of Law and College of Fine Arts Dean searches are in the final stages. New deans should be announced at the May meeting.

The Provost explained a chart outlining the biennial budget process. There have been several changes to the proposed budget.   The original budget included a 308.2 base and 30.9 billion for present law adjustments this has decreased significantly in subsequent budgets.  Finally HB 645 has a base budget of 306.1 and 17.6 billion of stimulus money.  However, the legislature is considering an amendment that would cut an additional 2% from all state agencies.  The governor is arguing that this should not be applied to education. The additional cut would leave the University with a base budget of 300 billion.

State appropriations make up 1/3 of the university's budget. The other 2/3 comes from tuition and fees.  However, a tuition increase is unlikely given the Governor's determination to keep tuition affordable for Montanan students.

At this point the University is not looking at personnel cuts.  It will be adjusting operational budgets.  The administration recognizes the need to protect the academic core.

Senator Haddad requested that the Provost consider rescinding the recent graduate school tuition waiver policy limiting students to 9 credits. There are many programs that have accreditation requirements that require additional credits.  The policy seems to go against the administrations time to degree expectations.

According to Senator Douma, the management program already sent offers to perspective students indicating tuition would be waived.

There are similar credit concerns in the Law School, English, and Fine Arts.  Programs are already at a disadvantage by the lower stipend levels.  The College of Arts and Sciences is not going to provide the $800 increase to raise the stipend levels for PhD students.   Programs will have a difficult time attracting quality students. The Provost suggests that programs contact Associate Provost Brown to work through the issues.     

ASUM Vice President Smillie

ASUM has a primary election on Wednesday. Students will also be considering a fee referendum including 1) transportation fee increase- $4, 2) optional revolving energy fund used for energy solving measures, and 3) Kaimen fee increase. 

ASUM expressed its concerns to the Regents regarding the budget.  The students support quality education and do not want to see the university system underfunded.

SB 323 passed. It provides for automatic lease renewal if neither party gives termination notice. 

The new ASUM leadership will attend the next meeting.

UFA Vice President Coffin

There has been two bargaining sessions since the last Senate meeting. Compensation will be passed across at the April 28th meeting.  The rumors of empty merits and promotions are rumors only. Other issues that are being negotiated include modified duties to accommodate maternity/family leave, faculty development, spousal accommodation, technical issues, and graduate studies.


Jim Hirstein, Chair, NWCCU Accreditation Steering Committee
A newsletter will go out next week.  The interim reports are available at:

Betsy Bach, Common Course Numbering
There is a hotline (243-2800) to answer questions regarding common course numbering. There are various links and helpful information at:   

Chair's Report:
Academic Strategic Planning Update
The Academic Strategic Planning Committee is working on narrowing the list of priorities.   There will be full update at the May meeting.

Board of Regents meeting update
National data from 2006 shows Montana ranks 50th in terms of dollars spent per student at public research institutions.  It seems the Governor is not pleased with MSU's handling of some federal research earmarks. It is likely there will be no tuition increase and no opportunity for dialogue with the Governor on the issue.

Charge to General Education Committee
ECOS would like the General Education Committee to draft specific criteria for acceptability of upper-division introductory and foundational courses and exceptions to the modern and classical language requirement.  The courses/ programs with exceptions would be re-evaluated. The criteria would be vetted by ASCRC and ultimately approved by the Faculty Senate.

Associate Provost Walker-Andrews clarified that according to Board of Regents Policy College of Technology students who transfer with an associate's degree are assumed to have satisfied all lower-division general education requirements.  The transcript certifies that the lower-division core has been met.

Senator Mehdad suggests that the cost of all students taking a modern and classical language be evaluated considering the fiscal situation in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Senator Hinman recommends that the committee gather information to determine what exceptions are appropriate.  It may be that those that were granted exceptions have proper justification.

Senator Thompson reminded the Senate that the General Education Committee worked under the framework approved by the Faculty Senate.  There are programs with various constraints that talked with ASCRC earlier in the process to influence the framework. 

Committee Reports:


Academic Standards and Curriculum Review Committee Chair G.G. Weix

The curriculum consent agenda was approved.  It was confirmed that Geosciences was consulted.  

The writing course list was approved. 

The Revised Writing Course Guidelines were approved.  The intent of the revision requirement was clarified. 

The Writing Committee requested and was granted a transition year for the writing requirement.  This will allow courses that meet the old writing guidelines that were not submitted for review to be used by current students.  This should mitigate the need for appeals for seniors who had planned to take certain courses.

The general education catalog language was amended and approved after debate. 


A motion to adopt the following language for the general education conversion guide was approved.

Students graduating under a previous catalog may take a course in the Indigenous and Global Perspective to satisfy the Non Western requirement.


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

The Graduate School's Continuous Registration Policy was available for information to senators.  The policy was vetted by the Graduate Council and the Graduate Student Association.


The Graduate School's Tuition Waiver Policy was available as information.  It was discussed this week at the Graduate Council.  Associate Provost Brown is in the process of negotiating exceptions with various programs.

There was concern that when exceptions become the rule than the rule is inappropriate and should be evaluated on its merits.  The issue should have been evaluated prior to setting policy.

Unfinished Business

Center Reviews
Due to time constraints the uncontroversial center reviews were approved without discussion.

Senator Mayer presented the review on the O'Conner Center for the Rocky Mountain West.   It is making progress toward self funding, but still receives $250,000 from the university.   The report indicates senior staff retired, although Pat Williams is still on campus.  The senior staff will be replaced by faculty in departments through the normal recruitment process.  Although requested, specific expenditure information was not received.  Last year ECOS recommended the Center be reviewed in a year, but the President did not agree, so the Center voluntarily submitted the report this year.
Provost Engstrom clarified that Pat Williams retired as of December 31st.  However, he is still teaching a course as an adjunct instructor and has an office at the Center.   Centers and Institutes are subject to the same auditing practices as any unit at UM. 
Given the personnel changes it was asked whether the mission of the center was still valid.  Action on the center review was postponed to allow for further investigation.     


The Senate Election Bylaw Amendment


Senator Vonessen revised the amendment language so that current senators would be included in the preliminary ballot communications.  After debate the bylaw amendment was approved by a 29 to 13 vote.   The intent of the change is for a smoother election process that keeps faculty informed of candidates that have put their names on the ballot.  The additional communication should eliminate the need for write-in candidates.   



Good and Welfare:

  •          Senator Luckowski suggested that the Senate request a report from Communicative Sciences and Disorders given the controversy regarding the expense of the program.  The program will be up for assessment in 2010-2011 according to the Three-Year Interim Assessment of New academic Programs approved by the Senate 4/10/08.
  •          Senator Beck informed the Senate that the Kyi-Yo Pow Wow is next Friday and Saturday 4/17 -18 at the Adam Center

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 pm.