Goals and Objectives 1994

December 1994

TO: J. Baker, Commissioner of Higher Education
FROM: G. M. Dennison, President
SUBJECT: Report Card

Restructuring the Montana University System afforded the opportunity to focus sharply upon several key goals and required a periodic and regular report card to the policy makers and people concerning the progress in attaining these goals. As in most cases involving the pursuit of quality and excellence, we measure progress by what we have accomplished rather than by the final attainment of a specific goal. For the four campuses of The University of Montana, I take great pride in submitting this report organized around the programmatic goals.

  1. Unity:
    • Within The University of Montana, we have sought to create an integrated institution consisting of four distinct, mission-oriented campuses working closely together. We have not centralized all functions, but instead have emphasized the most effective and efficient way to deliver services to students, faculty, staff, and external clientele. As a result, we have decentralized functions wherever possible to the operational level in order to serve unique needs in accordance with agreed upon standards of quality and responsiveness, and to assure the fulfillment of campus role and mission. Those functions best performed centrally to the benefit of all campuses, we have centralized, but always within a coordinative and collaborative context assuring campus involvement in decision making and priority setting. In our view, this approach maximizes the advantages of restructuring while also maintaining the strengths of diversity and campus autonomy.
    • All campuses now report to the President of The University of Montana through either the Chancellor--in Butte and Dillon--or Dean--in Helena. The Dean of the Helena College of Technology also reports to the Provost of The University of Montana-Missoula for academic programming purposes. This arrangement has facilitated coordination of all program offerings in accordance with the role and scope of each campus, and assures appropriate articulation.
    • The Executive Committee meets twice annually with the President's Advisory Council comprised of citizens from across the State willing to provide advice and guidance. The meetings rotate among the campuses.
    • The Executive Committee meets regularly with legislative delegations from the communities where the campuses exist.
    • A Government Relations Council meets regularly to plan for initiatives at the State and national levels.
    • Regularly scheduled meetings bring all administrative officers of the several campuses together for planning, articulation, coordination, and cooperation. The meeting groups include the Executive Committee of The University of Montana, consisting of the President, two Chancellors, and Dean of the Helena College of Technology; the Chief Academic Officers, with the Provost of the Missoula campus serving as the Chair; the Deans responsible for two-year and technical education, with the Dean of the Helena College of Technology serving as Chair; the Fiscal Officers, with the Vice President of the Missoula campus serving as the Chair; the Student Affairs Officers, with the Dean of Students of the Missoula campus serving as Chair; and the Outreach Officers, with a designated facilitator.
    • Some integrative actions resulted directly from the design of the restructuring plan adopted by the Board of Regents.
    • The Missoula and Butte Vocational-Technical Centers have become the College of Technology within The University of Montana-Missoula and the Division of Technology of Montana Tech of The University of Montana. All administrative components of the former Centers have become integral parts of the administrative structures of the Missoula and Butte campuses, and the professionals involved have helped to design and then assumed new roles and responsibilities. At the same time, the College and Division have sustained their full ranges of vocational-technical programs while also assuming broader responsibilities within the University and Montana Tech, respectively.
    • The Helena Vocational-Technical Center has become the Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana and a Montana University System Higher Education Center. The College continues to offer its full range of vocational-technical programs, but has also begun to provide lower-division courses for academic transfer and serve as the site for graduate programming.
    • The extension of services among the four campuses has resulted in increased unity and quality.
      • Facilities Services and Planning;
      • Purchasing;
      • Budgeting;
      • Computing and Networking;
      • Library Services;
      • University-wide Audits; and
      • Internal Auditing.
    • By pledging auxiliary revenues for the entire University, we have initiated badly needed facilities renovation and construction on the Helena and Dillon campuses as well as the Missoula campus. We await a more favorable market to proceed with similar work on the Butte campus.
    • The University has in development a policy concerning Regents' Contracts for administrators, and professionals, outlining criteria for making such appointments.
    • Several specific accomplishments include:
      • A unified budget and budget request process using a multi-campus budget committee that presents recommendations to the President who reviews them with the Executive Committee.
      • A unified Long-Range Building Plan and request process using a multi-campus committee that presents recommendations to the President who reviews them with the members of the Executive Committee.
      • A joint Graduate Advisory Council, with the Provost of the Missoula campus as Chair.
      • Three joint Academic Councils for coordinated development of two-year, four-year, and graduate programs.
      • An articulated transfer policy within the University, with the elimination of transfer application fees.
      • Cooperative efforts in student recruitment and admissions including a common brochure listing all programs by campus; combined visits in and out of State, sharing costs and resources; and common training for admissions staff.
      • A general education committee comprised of faculty members from all campuses which meets regularly to refine the general education program and develop appropriate assessment mechanisms to supplement Carnegie units and traditional grades.
      • Faculty, staff, and students from all campuses participate in a Higher Education Roundtable for The University of Montana sponsored by the Pew Memorial Trust and focused upon defining the future for higher education. Building upon the results of campus-based Roundtables, the University Roundtable provides the forum for strategic discussion for The University of Montana.
  2. Improved Services to Students and Increased Productivity:
    • The University of Montana will implement on all campuses the successful collaborative planning process pioneered on the Missoula campus that ties salary increases to enhanced effectiveness and productivity standards, with appropriate attention to the unique needs and conditions of each campus.
    • The former Vocational-Technical Center students will have access to all College and University facilities and services.
    • Collaborative faculty meetings have focused upon sharing resources to deliver graduate programs in business administration, technology management, the sciences, and education.
    • Faculty from all campuses have participated in the development of a Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree program as a capstone for Associate of Applied Sciences degree programs, at the student's option.
    • Student services have expanded and deepened for Technology students in Missoula and Butte and for students on all campuses. Specific examples include sharing of resources for international education, sexual assault services, and disability services.
    • Common health insurance for all students has become a high priority, and an RFP is being written and will be issued to vendors in January.
    • Faculties from the Missoula, Dillon, and Butte campuses have focused directly upon student retention and time to graduation, with specific attention to a guarantee of graduation in four years to any student who will follow the program and maintain the required grade point average.
    • The University has acquired for all campuses--with provision to extend the franchise to Montana State University campuses--a new, state-of-the-art Human Resources Information System, Touchtone Registration System, and Touchtone Financial Aid System. Current plans call for a new Financial Resources System within two years.
    • All campuses participate in the University's benchmarking program designed to evaluate and re-engineer processes for effectiveness and efficiency in the light of "best practices," and to assure continuous quality improvement.
    • All campuses have implemented employee incentive programs to identify problems or inefficiencies and develop responses.
    • All campuses have participated in the development and implementation of an integrated automation system for the Libraries, complete with public access on-line catalogs, campus interconnectivity, and access to the Internet to locate remote resources.
    • A common format for student and other fees for Regents' review and approval, following review and recommendation by the President with the counsel of the Executive Committee.
  3. Balance:
    • The University of Montana has maintained a decentralized approach to functioning, paying appropriate attention to the need for diversity within the University in order to guard against mission drift.
    • The University of Montana participates in a Planning Council with Montana State University and the Commissioner on Higher Education for the Montana University System with representation provided by the President, Provost, and Vice President for Administration and Finance of the Missoula campus.
    • The President reviews all policy, personnel, and budget issues with the Executive Committee prior to taking them to the Regents.
    • The University of Montana has extended its contacts and interactions with the K-12 educational system through the cooperation of all its campuses, especially with regard to school-to-work and workforce preparation.
    • The University of Montana now coordinates all academic programming from the one-week training course through the doctoral level.
    • The University of Montana has developed planning and budgeting processes that require campus deliberations prior to University discussions.
    • The University of Montana deploys the expertise from each campus to assist all campuses and does not seek to duplicate unique resources--occupational safety and hazardous waste, disability services, rural education, international education, and the like.
  4. Two-Year Education:
    • The University has developed an enrollment plan for the years through FY 2000 (using FY 1994 actual enrollments as the departure point) for all campuses that contemplates increases of 787 FTE students (plus 60 percent) in two-year programs, 885 FTE students (plus eight percent) in four-year programs, and 568 FTE students (plus 50 percent) in graduate programs. These numbers will accommodate an increase of 1,585 FTE residents (15 percent), with State funding support, and 659 FTE nonresidents (21 percent), with no State funding support. Of the 1,585 FTE residents, 722 (46 percent) will enroll in two-year programs, 404 (25 percent) will enroll in four-year programs, and 465 (29 percent) will enroll in graduate programs.
    • The University of Montana has maintained the vocational-technical programs heretofore associated with the former Centers and will enhance and broaden those offerings.
    • Technology and two-year program students now have access to all services heretofore available only to four-year students, as a general rule. In Missoula, College of Technology students now have access to the residence halls and family housing, expanded career assistance and placement services, all campus facilities, and will soon have access to the Student Health Services. Similar benefits have been extended in Butte. The Helena College of Technology has in development the provision of similar services.
    • Faculties from the Colleges and Division of Technology have participated in the development of outcomes assessment standards to facilitate student transfer and change of status for students. These standards will take account of demonstrated proficiencies rather than credits and grades.
  5. Strong Telecommunications System:
    • The University has moved aggressively to link the campuses through telecommunications.
    • The Missoula and Helena campuses are now on-line with dedicated facilities.
    • The equipment for the Dillon campus is on order and will be installed upon delivery.
    • The Butte campus has limited access to a privately owned facility, but we have identified the need to provide a dedicated facility on the campus within the next year.
    • The University is participating actively in the development of SUMMITNET and MUSENet.
    • The University will deliver graduate programs in Billings, Butte, Helena, Dillon, and Kalispell in 1995 and 1996 using interactive television.
    • The expertise from the Missoula campus has been extended to all of the campuses, while drawing upon the expertise of the Butte and Dillon campuses.
    • The acquisition of site licenses for The University of Montana has produced savings for all campuses.
    • With the new Human Resources Information System, The University of Montana will begin to implement common or interactive systems across all campuses.
  6. Academic Program Integration:
    • The faculties of the several campuses have met frequently to identify ways to share resources in the delivery of graduate programs in business administration, technology management, liberal arts, health seminars, and education.
    • Discussions have begun involving the geologists from the Missoula and Butte campuses looking toward a joint doctoral program in geology.
    • The Education facilities of the Missoula and Dillon campuses have collaborated to redesign the Master's of Education degree delivered in Dillon and Butte.
    • The faculties from all campuses will participate in the delivery of lower-division courses for transfer on the campus of the Helena College of Technology.
    • The proposed Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree program will involve the faculty of all campuses of the University in the effort to respond to the needs of students earning the Associate of Applied Sciences degrees.
    • The faculties of all campuses participate actively in the ongoing review of general education and the development of outcomes indicators.
    • All four campuses have reviewed program inventories and proposed restructuring and deletions to assure the most efficient and effective use of resources in response to pressing needs.
    • The University has developed an expedited process for review and approval of training and Associate of Applied Arts programs so as to enable the two-year campuses to respond quickly to identified needs within their communities.
    • The University has participated actively in the effort to bring the three Community Colleges into the restructured System in order to assure the achievement of the goals of restructuring and the emphasis upon two-year and technical education.