ITEM 110-1501-R0101 Attachment 2
February 15, 2001
Margaret Thompson, Chair
Board of Regents, State of Montana
c/o Joyce Scott
Deputy Commissioner for Academic & Student Affairs
Montana University System
P. O. Box 203101
Helena, MT 59620-3101
Montana Tech of the University of Montana has submitted a proposal to the Board of Regents to initiate an off-campus program in Helena. The purpose is to implement, in Helena, a program of study that leads to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Information Technology.
Under the provision of Board Policy 220, certain procedures are to be followed when new programs are proposed to off-site campuses. Dr. Dan Bradley, previous Vice Chancellor at Montana Tech, and I have had previous conversations about their intent to initiate this program. In addition, I received a letter from Joyce A. Scott, Deputy Commissioner, that the official date for initiating the review process is December 12, 2000. Board Policy 220 sets forth provisions for independent colleges to provide written comments about proposed programs. This letter is sent in response to these provisions.
As indicated in Policy 220, “Units of the Montana University System will not offer degree programs that unnecessarily duplicate existing programs offered by a tribal, community or independent college in its immediate community”. We see Montana Tech’s new program as contradicting the policy. With one exception, all of the business classes that are to be offered in Helena by Montana Tech are taught at Carroll College. Many of these classes are, or have been, taught in the late afternoon and/or evening. In addition, we offer computer science classes that are equivalent to the two computer science classes listed in the Montana Tech proposed curricula.
Prior to the meeting of December 12, 2000, Dr. Bradley and I had previous conversations as to whether we could develop a joint Montana Tech/Carroll College degree. We were not able to complete any detailed proposal, partially because we were conducting a self-study for accreditation by Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. This self-study was completed last October. I understand that the Board of Regents has concerns about approved new programs, but I would suggest that innovative cooperative ventures might best serve the people of Montana. Both Dr. Bradley and I were open to the explorations of such options, but this is a process that will take time, and a great deal of conversation on behalf of respective faculty and administration.
I appreciate the complexity of the issues related to Policy 220. There are many difficulties that confront all of us in higher education and we are all looking for innovative ways to address these problems. We would be open to further dialogue as to possible cooperative efforts for offering degree programs in Helena.
In closing, I thank you for affording me, as a representative of Carroll college, the opportunity to be a participant in the discussions pertaining to Montana Tech’s proposal.
James A. Trudnowski, Ed. D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
and Dean of the College
cc: Rev. Stephen Rowan
Belle Marie, Dept of Business
Provost Lois Muir
Chancellor Frank Gilmore