Goals and Objectives 2008-2009

8 August 2008

TO: S. M. Stearns, Commissioner of Higher Education
FROM: G. M. Dennison, President
SUBJECT: Goals and Objectives for 2008-2009

In contrast to prior years, I submit my goals and objectives for FY 2009 relying on the major goals as guides and premising continued work in pursuance of them, but with major attention assigned to the italicized objectives within the groupings. I have chosen this approach because of the desire 1) to maintain continuity, but also 2) to focus on specific activities for this and next year. I continue to use “goal” in reference to a long-term aspiration requiring continuous effort over extended periods and “objective” for the short-term, tactical activity undertaken in pursuit of a goal. Assessment of performance in pursuit of goals and objectives offers insights concerning respect for assigned responsibilities and the mission of the University.


With the counsel and advice of all groups on the campuses through appropriate agencies of University governance, guide The University of Montana to maintain campus communities attractive to qualified persons and appropriate to campus missions.


  • Promote an open atmosphere on the campuses characterized by the free interchange of ideas and respect for the rights of all, thereby encouraging participation in governance.
  • Maintain consultative planning, programming, and budgeting processes for all four campuses.
  • Maintain contact with the campuses by visiting each of them at least once per semester.
  • Recruit and retain an administrative team dedicated to responsible and participatory governance respectful of the diverse perspectives and interests of the University community, established governance processes, and administrative responsibilities, and assist and empower the members of the administrative team to fulfill their roles and responsibilities.
  • Recruit and retain a diverse group of outstanding faculty and staff members as role models who serve the needs of the students attracted to the campuses, and empower the faculty and staff, through professional development programs and essential infrastructure, facilities, and equipment, to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. Assure successful completion of the PACE Project during FY 2008.
  • Implement the University’s diversity plan to assure the inclusion of female, minority, and international faculty, staff, and students, with particular attention to the historic role and presence of Native Americans in Montana.
  • Pursue aggressively the availability of opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to participate in international development projects, programs, and exchanges, with particular attention during FY 2009 to the NASULGC initiative to support African higher education.
  • Assure annual evaluations of all Executive Officers, Deans, Chairs, Directors, and supervisors.
  • Monitor the campus environments to identify areas needing further improvement to facilitate the learning, creativity, and development of students, staff, and faculty.
  • Review and revise as necessary University and campus policies, procedures, and facilities for the maintenance of safe, supportive, and family-friendly environments on the several campuses.
  • Implement training programs, in person and online, using The University of Montana, Missoula Code of Ethics as the platform for professional development.


Implement and revise as necessary the Strategic Directions for The University of Montana to operationalize the concept of “a single University with a presence in several communities.”


  • In conjunction with the Executive Committee of The University of Montana, monitor the necessary revision and implementation of the Strategic Directions for The University of Montana with advice of the functional councils in Fall 2008.
  • Assure annual review of campus mission and vision statements for continued relevance and responsiveness.
  • Assure annual review and any needed revision of campus strategic plans aligned with the strategic plan of the Montana University System, Strategic Directions for The University of Montana, and approved mission statements.
  • Secure approval of the first academic building on the South Campus in accordance with the approved Master Plan.
  • Engage the University Executive Committee in discussions to assure the implementation of the Regents’ Strategic Plan.


Sustain responsive instructional programs of high quality and encourage and promote faculty research and creative activities in pursuit of the University’s mission in instruction, research, and service to the people and communities of Montana.


  • Monitor ongoing program review to assure the most responsive and appropriate offering of programs by campus in accordance with the mission while allowing the programmatic autonomy essential to campus vitality, and report the progress of the reviews.
  • Monitor ongoing review for continuance or disestablishment of all centers, institutes, and bureaus based on continued functionality, responsiveness, and support, and report the progress of the reviews.
  • Enhance the diversity, availability, attractiveness, and responsiveness of two-year education in Western Montana, and present a report requesting approval by the Regents of the Hamilton Higher Education Center in May 2009.
  • Support the ongoing survey of State needs and develop academic programs in response to identified needs, especially workforce development programs through the College of Technology.
  • Implement in full the 2+2 Engineering Program (with students going to Butte or Bozeman for advanced work).
  • Complete the implementation of the bachelor’s and master’s programs in Speech Pathology, admitting the initial groups of master’s students in Fall 2008.
  • Complete the development of the doctoral programs in Water Resources and Medicinal Chemistry.
  • Develop a major in Insurance with start-up assistance from PLUS – the underwriters’ association – for consideration during FY 2009 and implementation in FY 2010.
  • Initiate the collaborative electronic transcript project during FY 2009 and plan for the initiation of the collaborative curricular alignment project during FY 2010.
  • In collaboration with Montana State University, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, implement the Montana collaborative project to increase the number of math and science teachers graduated by Montana colleges and universities.
  • Continue collaborative student recruitment efforts for all campuses and assist in the implementation of the targeted financial aid budget initiative for FY 2010 and FY 2011.
  • Initiate the process of increasing graduate enrollments and decreasing resident undergraduate enrollments on the Missoula campus, relying partially on revised prospective admissions standards for the Missoula campus submitted for Regental approval during FY 2009.
  • Assure the full implementation of the policies and procedures for transfer of credits on all campuses, and participate in the implementation of the transferability initiative involving faculty meetings to discuss course equivalencies and the development of a student-tracking database.
  • Complete the required Self Studies by Fall 2009 precedent to the institutional accreditation visits in Spring 2010 by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities for all four campuses.
  • Continue the implementation of the outcomes assessment programs on all campuses and the NASULGC-ACE Voluntary System of Assessment.
  • Enhance the undergraduate retention and graduation rates on the Missoula campus and show progress by reference to benchmarks and established targets for the next six years.
  • Encourage the continued competitiveness of faculty in research and creative activities to attract at minimum an increase of ten percent in external funds above the level achieved in FY 2008.
  • Continue to collaborate actively in the Regents’ economic development efforts, with specific attention to the WIRED Grant in Montana east of the mountains and the Glasco-Smith-Kline workforce needs in Hamilton.
  • Continue the discussions with representatives of the natural resource industries and key legislators to identify ways The University of Montana can assist them and the State of Montana in economic development.


Develop the resource base of the University through a strategy to enhance public awareness of and support for higher education, to influence the legislative process, and to attract private support for the University.


  • Cooperate fully in the budget request process to assure the continuation of the CAP with revisions allowing attention to System and campus initiatives.
  • Assist in advocacy of the budget request initiatives related to 1) enhanced resident undergraduate enrollments on the smaller campuses with reliance on targeted financial aid incentives; 2) increased doctoral enrollments and degrees awarded by the Missoula and Bozeman campuses with reliance on enhanced support for doctoral education; 3) support for two-year education; and 4) strategic salary increase supplements.
  • Contribute to the dialogue about the role of higher education in the social and economic development of the State.
  • Continue to find ways to increase State-funded student financial assistance, especially but not exclusively for students with demonstrated need.
  • Monitor closely the results of approved tuition discounting.
  • Complete by FY 2010 all fund-raising for the unfulfilled priorities of the “Invest in Discovery” Campaign for the Missoula campus that ended on 31 December 2007.
  • Continue the marketing program for the Missoula campus.
  • Continue the efforts to develop alternative revenue sources, including the China Campus initiative.


Assure full accountability for the use of resources and the implementation of applicable rules, regulations, and policies.


  • Monitor the effectiveness of the management approach that distributes authority and responsibility to those who provide direct service to clients, with particular attention to the concept that functions are central, services local.
  • Implement the “best practices” approach to check writing on the Missoula campus and achieve significant savings.
  • Maintain an efficient and responsive internal audit function to assure compliance with Regents’ policies and State law.
  • Implement the University budget for 2008-2009 approved by the Board of Regents and utilize responsive reporting mechanisms.
  • Continue to assess and revise University policies and procedures to assure maximum efficiency and full compliance with all applicable rules, regulations, statutes, and audit findings during FY 2009.
  • Assure adequate contingency funds to deal with unforeseen contingencies that may arise on any of the campuses of The University of Montana.
  • Prevent budget deficits on any of the campuses of The University of Montana in FY 2008.
  • Stand accountable for the stewardship of all University resources.


Communicate the goals, objectives, accomplishments, and contributions of the Montana University System and The University of Montana to the people of Montana and the nation and serve as a spokesperson and representative for higher education and for the University.


  • Participate actively in the public dialogue about the structure, role, and potential of higher education and help to educate the public about the critical importance of the 6 Mill Levy in the financing of public higher education in Montana.
  • Articulate how the University System meets the needs of the people of Montana, and emphasize collaboration among all campuses of the System.
  • Contribute actively in the ongoing effort to assure that public higher education focuses on the development of Montana’s human resources.
  • Engage the business community and the campus Foundations in the development of a matching program with the State for endowments to support faculty positions.
  • Articulate widely the benefits received from Foundations that serve the campuses of The University of Montana and explain the use of donated funds.


I anticipate that the annual evaluation will focus upon these goals and objectives. Please let me know if you or any of the Regents have questions or comments.

Thank you for your assistance.


c: Chancellors and Dean
Executive Officers and Deans
Faculty Senate
Staff Senate