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Meeting, September 11, 2008

Meeting, September 11, 2008
Gallagher Business Building, Room 123

Amended and Approved 10/9/08

Members Present:

D. Allington, C. Anderson, L. Barnes, R. Bendick-Kier, N. Bradley-Browning, B. Brown, J. Burroughs, K. Canty, A. Carpoca, B. Cochran, A. Delaney,  B. Douma, A. Duwell, L. Eagle Heart-Thomas, D. Freeman, J. Glendening, A. Golbeck, S. Gordon, N. Hadad, B. Halfpap, J. Halfpap L. Hayes, J. Henry, J. Herbold, E. Hines, N. Hinman, D. Hollist, B. Ikeda, B. Larson, J. Lopach, J. Luckowski, M. Mayer, S. McCann,   M. McHugh, M. Patterson,  D. Potts, B. Reider T. Seekins, D. Shively, R. Skelton, D. Spencer, D. Stolle, R. Stubblefield, H. Thompson, G. Twigg, E. Uchimoto, K. Uhlenbruck, N. Vonessen, G. Weix, A. Ware, P. Williams, C. Work                      

Members Excused

B. Allen, T. Atkins, D. Beck, J. Carter D. Dalenberg, L. Dybdal, J. Eglin, L. Frey, N. Nickerson, J Renz, D. Six,E. Rosenberg

Members Absent

W. Holben, E. Moore, G. Smith, S. Stiff, M. Valentin

Ex-Officio Present:

Dean Allen, Associate Provost Walker-Andrews, Registrar Micus, ASUM Vice President Smille, ASUM Business Manager Gosline

Guests:

C. Brewer, J. Hirsten, B. Mier, M. Matthews, L. Knapp

Chair Ware called the meeting to order at 3:10 p.m.   He introduced himself, Registrar Micus, Chair-elect Hinman, and the Faculty Senate Administrative Associate, Camie Foos.

Registrar Micus called role.

The 5/1/08 minutes were approved after communication from Associate Provost- Walker Andrews.

Communications:

Provost Engstrom had hoped to be at the meeting but his flight was canceled from Tajikistan, so he is currently somewhere between Tajikistan, London, and Omaha. 

Associate Provost Walker-Andrews
Over the last two years a Retention Taskforce co-chaired by VP Branch and Associate Provost Walker-Andrews has been working on a retention plan.  It included many faculty, student, and staff members. A consultant was also brought in to talk about retention.  The Taskforce created several subcommittees that dealt with specific student populations (undeclared students, advising, first-year implementation, student of color, non-traditional students, and etc.)  The subcommittees analyzed the retention rates of these student populations to determine whether there were things that could be done to improve their success at UM.

The goal of the Taskforce is to look at ways to improve student success at UM. Student success is measured by first-year retention and graduate rates.   UM should have comparable retention rates to peer research intensive universities, or at least be in the top quarter.


Currently the first-year retention rate is approximately 70%.  The aim is to have an 80% retention rate by 2012.  The six year graduation rate is 43%.  The aim is to increase the rate to 57%.  The goal for College of Technology is a 60% retention rate and 45% completion rate.

The following issues were identified for improvement:

  • K-12 Preparation for college
    • Ensure adequate student preparation
  • Transition to college
    • Admissions standards that are appropriate for college-level work
    • Develop/implement accurate placement systems
    • Enhance orientation communications
    • Improve affordability
    • Review business policies and procedures
  • Integrated early curriculum
    • Introduce the context-based, "big questions' curriculum
    • Expand winter session coursework
    • Provide access to developmental coursework for under-prepared students
  • Student engagement
    • Offer co-curricular opportunities
    • Plan for living/learning communities
    • Raise "millennial generation" awareness
  • Student support
    • Establish and Office for Academic Success
    • Expand Early Alert interventions
    • Expand support for nontraditional students
    • Expand support for students of color
  • Faculty and staff development
    • Fund innovations in teaching and learning projects
    • Offer multicultural training
    • Offer staff training on student success issues
    • Improve campus communication about student success

 

 

The next step will be to disband the Taskforce and create an Implementation Committee that will provide regular reports on its progress.

Questions:

Data has been collected regarding why UM students leave.  Many leave because of affordability and personal reasons. The retention plan attempts to work on these issues and others. Retention rates have been analyzed across major, undeclared students (approximately 53%); Forestry is up in the 90 percentile.  Retention has a lot to do with students being committed and knowing what they need.

There are annual benchmarks in the larger plan.  Many of the factors are not easily measured.  We need to know graduation rates as well as how many students stay, their GPAs, how much did they learn, and etc.

The Students Tutoring Students program previously funded by ASUM was canceled.  Last year ASUM put approximately $24,000 into the program but decided not to fund it this year.  So Academic Affairs is providing $10,000 for Study Jam, a similar small group tutoring program. Sharon O'Hare is coordinating the program.  It meets in the UC commons four nights a week from 6:30-9:00 p.m.    Tutors have been hired in the areas of Math, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, and Spanish.  The program will try to meet students' needs as they are identified.   

Academic Affairs is talking to the Student Affairs about improving the orientation process to include more information about academics.  A demonstration of the new scheduling system is something that is currently being talked about as well as rethinking orientation for transfer students.  

 

ASUM Vice President Siri Smillie
ASUM Vice President Siri Smillie introduced herself and recognized Alex Gosline, the ASUM Business Manager.  Trever Hunter, the ASUM President was not able to attend due to a previous engagement.  He plans to attend the other meetings. She is a senior from Billings Montana majoring in Political Science with a minor in History.
 
This year the ASUM leaders will be focused on civic engagement.  Voter registration will be important as well as the next step - How do you communicate to those elected and influence policy changes. They are planning workshops and outreach.

They also will be working to enhance student involvement, support student groups, promoting activities, and informing students and the community about ASUM's functions.  ASUM has nine different agencies.  It runs the bus system- transportation, ASUM Childcare, a sustainability office, UM productions, and etc.  

 

UFA President Kupilik was called out of town.

 

Jim Hirstein, Chair, NWCCU Accreditation Steering Committee
The subcommittee chairs have been appointed and assigned the task of undertaking the self-study for the April 2010 accreditation visit.  The Committee met four times over the summer and identified the documentation needs. The subcommittee chairs are starting to collect information. The chairs of the nine standard subcommittees are:

Standard 1:  Institutional Mission and Goals, Planning and Effectiveness-  Carol Brewer (chair ASP)
Standard 2:  Educational Program and its Effectiveness-  Arlene Walker-Andrews, Associate Provost
Standard 3:  Students-  Teresa Branch, VP Student Affairs
Standard 4:  Faculty-  Jim Burchfield
Standard 5:  Library and Information Resources-  Bonnie Allen, Dean, Libraries
Standard 6:  Governance and Administration-  Lou Hayes
Standard 7:  Finance-  Bill Muse, Director Planning, Budgeting & Analysis
Standard 8:  Physical Resources-  Bob Duringer, VP Admin & Finance
Standard 9:  Institutional Integrity-  Betsy Hawkins, HR Director
At-large faculty (Senate appointment):  Eijiro Uchimoto
Staff Senate:  Shelley Hinicker
Student:  Dustin Leftridge

The subcommittees will be responsible for writing a section of the report that addresses the items in the standard.   Invitations to serve on subcommittees were sent out in July. This year subcommittees will work on the draft report.  It will be finalized fall 2009.  The website (http://www.umt.edu/nwccu/) will be available soon.  Faculty will be able to send comments to committee members and review updates. A campus newsletter will be sent out soon as well. 

Carol Brewer, Chair, Academic Strategic Planning Committee (hand out)
The committee met over the summer and took a look at internal and external factors that are influencing Academic Affairs.  A huge amount of information has been collected. She hopes to report on the review at the next Faculty Senate meeting.   The website is available at: http://www.umt.edu/asp/ and includes a blog. It is hoped that the blog will allow for broad conversations across campus.  The Committee would like to get a sense of where you would like to see Academic Affairs in five years. Town hall meetings will start in October.

Home Page Subcommittee, Becky Meir (chair), Mike Matthews- Web Technology Services Director, Loey Knapp- Assistant Chief Information Officer, Technology Support Services
A handout was distributed that listed the members of the subcommittee. Many campus constituents had member representatives on the subcommittee.   The new home page complex was prepared in collaboration of subcommittee members. 

The subcommittee approached the redesign with several goals in mind.  1) More structure - to provide more consistent navigation and better organized choices; 2) Targeted - to provide more meaningful, targeted content to each of the audiences;  3) More compelling - large photographic headers, ‘stories' designed to draw people into the UM experience; 4) Accessibility; and a 5) Unified marketing theme - common header/ footer that would provide an instant UM identity while allowing departments to express their individuality
The process of redesign included identifying the users - internal and external.  The default home page is for students because it is important that they can access the site. Very specific pages have been developed for each of the internal audiences and a couple of external audiences as well.  There are really five home pages targeted for: current students, future students, international, faculty and staff, alumni, and friends and family.

The new website was designed to be user focused and task oriented.  Stakeholders were involved in the process (included on handout). The revision is now in the pre-soft launch review. Several groups have been reviewing and commenting on the redesign.  Changes are being made according to the comments.  The redesign launch should be sometime in October.

The pre-soft review is available at http://www.umt.edu/beta/current.aspx.  A demonstration of the site was provided to senators.  Stories are the main feature of the web page.  The ‘What's New' page explains the redesign process and has a feature to provide feedback.  Please take the time to look at the site and send comments. Changes are being incorporated in response to comments.

The stakeholders for the Faculty/Staff home page identified the following important topics: teaching tools, employment information, professional development, campus activities, and campus health and safety.  You will be able to select what types of news and events you would like on your home page.

Another component of the redesign was the purchase of a content management system (CMS).  The system allows for easier maintenance of web sites and saves resources through an unlimited license. Cascade Server is the system purchased and it is available for use by departments.  It provides standard templates but allows for individual design as well.  It is platform independent and code agnostic.  Contact Mike at 243-2555 for more information on Cascade Server.   There is a learning curve associated with the CMS, but training will be available from the Information Technology Office.

Chair's Report:
The results of the Evaluation of the Administration are available on Blackboard for senators to review.  If you have any difficulty accessing them please contact the Faculty Senate Office.

Committee needs
There are still committees that need faculty members - Drug and Alcohol Advisory, Unit Standards Committee, ASCRC curriculum subcommittee - Business and Journalism, and General Education Subcommittee - Social Science and Ethics and Human Values.  Senators should contact the Faculty Senate Office with nominations.


ECOS member nomination

The Senate will be caucusing shortly to nominate another member for the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate.  Earlier in the week Chair Ware sent a message to senators eligible to serve on ECOS.

Program of the Senate
ECOS identified the following items to focus on during the academic year.

  • Facilitate open communication, coordination and cooperation with UM administration
  • Participate in the academic planning and accreditation review processes
  • Facilitate review of general education courses 
  • Facilitate improvements to the writing program
  • Keep the Senate informed of Board of Regents transferability and other initiatives affecting faculty
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of  review of centers and new programs
  • Review election process and determine the best system of Senate representation
  • Review the evaluation process and implement improvements to increase participation
  • Begin discussions on the design of the undergraduate experience

The Senate was reminded about the Day of Dialogue on 10/30/08 and encouraged to participate.

 

The Staff Senate Chair contacted the Faculty Senate regarding joint collaboration on the Homecoming float.  Faculty interested in participation should contact Katie at 243-6054.

Annual reports for various senate committees are available at:  http://www.umt.edu/facultysenate/main/yearend_reports.htm.  Year-end reports were not available in May for ASCRC or Graduate Council.

Senators were reminded to attend the reception directly after the meeting.  The event is co-hosted by Academic Affairs.  The Provost had planned to attend, but unfortunately had travel arrangements change unexpectedly.

 

Committee Reports:

ASCRC Chair G.G. Weix
The curriculum consent agenda was approved. 

Senators were reminded that the deadline for curriculum proposals and general education forms is September 26th.

New Business
The Professional Schools' Caucus nominated Senator Allington to serve on ECOS.

Senators voted to accept Senator Allington's nomination to the Executive Committee of the Senate.  ECOS members include:


Andrew Ware, Physics and Astronomy (Chair)
Nancy Hinman, Geosciences (Chair-elect)
John Eglin, History

Michael Mayer, History
Steve McCann, Mansfield Library

Nicole Bradley- Browning, Drama Dance
Doug Allington, Pharmacy Practice

Good and Welfare:
Chair Ware encouraged senators to attend the reception upstairs.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:25 pm.