Goals and Objectivese 2010-2011

13 August 2010

TO: S. M. Stearns, Commissioner of Higher Education
FROM: G. M. Dennison, President
SUBJECT: Goals and Objectives for 2010-2011

I submit my goals and objectives for FY 2011 with the clear understanding that I will leave the Presidency during Fall Semester 2010.  Nonetheless, the goals and objectives that follow, and which will guide my conduct, seem to me essential for whomever assumes the position when I leave.  I understand as well that others will have differing  perspectives.  However, the following goals seem to me dictated by current circumstances and the situation of The University of Montana.


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.  
  • 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.
  • 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 responses to fulfill the 2010 recommendations of the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities.


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.”


  • Engage the Executive Committee of The University of Montana in the development and implementation of the Regents’ new productivity funding model.
  • Engage the Executive Committee of The University of Montana in the development and implementation of an advocacy strategy for the Montana University System in collaboration with the Commissioner of Higher Education and Montana State University.
  • Propose any needed revision of campus scope and niche statements and strategic plans aligned with the strategic plan of the Montana University System, Strategic Directions for The University of Montana, and approved mission statements. 
  • Engage the Executive Committee of The University of Montana in the development of a strategy and productivity plan to secure essential compensation increases for all employee groups.
  • Develop for consideration by the Board of Regents tuition policies and plans for reform and equity.


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 approved campus scope 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, with particular attention to the Bitterroot Valley.
  • 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.
  • Collaborate with the Missoula area public schools to develop and implement professional development academies to service the needs of teachers and administrators.    
  • Implement a certificate in Insurance with start-up assistance from PLUS – the underwriters’ association – during FY 2011.
  • Collaborate with the Missoula hospitals and the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to establish a general practitioner residency in Missoula. 
  • Collaborate with the Office of Public Instruction in the development of Common Core Standards and responsive evaluation and assessment processes and systems.
  • In collaboration with Montana State University, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, continue the Montana collaborative project to increase the number of math and science teachers graduated by Montana colleges and universities.
  • Implement an appropriate admissions policy for the Missoula campus for implementation in Fall 2013.  
  • Participate actively in the development of the Virtual Community College in Montana. 
  • Continue the development of the Montana Digital Academy in 2011.  
  • 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 2010.
  • Continue to collaborate actively in the Regents’ economic development efforts, with specific attention to the restructuring of MonTEC.
  • 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.


  • Participate in community meetings around the State to change the public perception of the responsiveness and contributions of higher education.
  • Assist in advocacy for higher education and the need to assure the global competitiveness of the State and nation in an increasingly interdependent world.
  • 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 student financial assistance, especially but not exclusively for students with demonstrated need.
  • Monitor closely the results of approved tuition discounting.
  • In partnership with The University of Montana Foundation, launch a targeted effort to raise $100 million to support the priorities of The University of Montana. 
  • Continue the marketing program for the Missoula campus.
  • Continue the efforts to develop alternative revenue sources.


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.
  • Identify and implement the “best practices” on all four campuses.
  • Maintain an efficient and responsive internal audit function to assure compliance with Regents’ policies and State law.
  • Implement the University budget for FY 2011 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 2011.
  • 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.
  • 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 its critical importance to the well being of the people and State of 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.
  • 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 focus on these goals and objectives, even during a brief period, will serve the University and next President well.

Thank you for your assistance.


c:  Chancellors and Dean
Executive Officers and Deans
Faculty Senate
Staff Senate
University Faculty Association
Associated Students of The University of Montana