Montana Board of Regents

 of Higher Education 

Minutes

 

Regular Meeting

 

May 18-20, 2005

 

Montana State University-Billings College of Technology

3803 Central Avenue

Billings, MT 59102

These Minutes were approved unanimously by the Board of Regents at the September 21-23, 2005 meeting in Billings, MT


COMMITTEES

Academic/Student Affairs Committee

Budget and Audit Oversight Committee

Staff and Compensation Committee

System Issues

Academic / Student Affairs Items

Administrative/Budget Items

Staff and Compensation Committee Items

Workforce Development Committee Items

Consent Agenda


WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2005

 

Budget and Audit Oversight Committee

 

The Budget and Audit Oversight Committee convened at 10:35 a.m.

 

Committee Members Present:  Regent Mark Semmens Chair, Regent John Mercer, and Regent Lila Taylor

Others Present:      Pam Joehler, Mark Sheehan, President George Dennison, Craig Roloff, Terri Iverson, Chuck Jensen, Commissioner Sheila Stearns, Chancellor Ron Sexton, President Geoff Gamble, Dean Mary Moe, Susan Briggs, Tom McCoy, Bob Duringer, Cathy Swift, President Jane Karas, Rosi Keller, Chancellor Frank Gilmore, Rolf Groseth, Dave Gibson, Alan Peura, Bill Muse, Bob Frazier, Dan Carter, Mark Bruno, Terry Hetrick, Theresa Branch, Chancellor Alex Capdeville, Michael Barber, Mary Ellen Baukol, Laurie Neils, and Kevin Turner

a.   ITEM 127-101-R0505 – Inventory and Validation of Fees 2005 – 06 and 2006 – 07; Montana University System    Attachment   ADDENDUM

Tuition:

Chair Semmens indicated the tuition increase was not 19% as reported in the media.  The average annual increase for resident students is $300 per year, or 8.7%, and $781 for non-residents, or 6.2%.  President Gamble reported an error in their budget presentation with a double entry for the pay raises.  His suggestion was to either lower tuition by $28 per student or set the funds aside for the upcoming increase in natural gas.  Pam Joehler said it appears this problem was isolated at the Bozeman campus.  It did not occur at UM nor any of its campuses, nor at the campuses associated with MSU.  However, MSU-Northern needs to check their documents to confirm they did not do the same thing.  Regent Mercer indicated he was pleased with the process used to arrive at the tuition rates, based on what it costs.  Consistent with that process, if the calculation was wrong, the $28 should be returned to the students, and if Northern finds the same problem, they should handle it in the same manner.  Chair Semmens indicated the system will be faced with a large issue of contracts for natural gas with substantially higher prices than what were budgeted.  Based on customary usage, the cost will exceed the budget authority by $385,000 at MSU-Bozeman alone.  Bill Muse indicated that UM will see a 3% increase over the original estimate in the campus budget.  The Legislature struck the Bill for a contingency pool to cover excessive power costs.  MSU-Billings is still negotiating their power contract, but expect to see an increase of $250,000 to $300,000 over the budgeted amount.  Regent Mercer stated that to keep truth in budgeting, the Board needs to authorize the campuses to assess a utility surcharge, rather than an increase in tuition.  The surcharge must be based on actual needs of each campus, with the proposed charges being submitted to the Board.  Chair Semmens noted a benefit of using a surcharge is the chance of more reasonable rates being available at the end of the two-year contracts.  Pam Joehler offered an alternative to cover higher utility costs.  The Legislature introduced a Bill that addressed the actuarial needs for state retirement funds, requiring employers to increase their contributions to keep the funds sound.  The amount that needed to be invested by the University System was $800,000, and that amount was included in the budget.  After being tabled in the Finance and Claims Committee the Bill went no further, but the Legislature will take this issue up in December in a special session.  How they will deal with the issue is unknown, but staff believes it unlikely the Legislature would make it retroactive to FY06, but would start in FY07.  Ms. Joehler suggested the $800,000 be held back from the funds until the Legislature decides what they intend to do.  The $800,000 for FY06 might be available for the Board to use for other priorities such as utilities or OCHE staffing issues.  Chair Semmens suggested the Board could use about $120,000 per year for the OCHE staffing needs, ($240,000 for the biennium), and be left with $660,000 for utilities.  Chancellor Capdeville asked if they were looking at deferring the retirement and doubling it up the following year.  Alan Peura indicated the Legislative Council approved a study the other day and is assigning it to the appropriate subcommittee.  What they will do is not clear at this point.  Regent Mercer did not agree with spending these funds.  Since the System does not know what the Legislature will ask, spending the money could possibly mean the need to find it somewhere else.  It should be left in reserve.  A surcharge for utilities can be tailored to each campus and its needs.  The CEOs agreed with the concept of using the surcharge to cover the unbudgeted increase in utility costs.  In response to a question from Regent Mercer on whether all the campuses had two year contracts, Chancellor Sexton stated that they are still negotiating and don’t know if they will have a multiyear contract.  Chancellor Gilmore believed Tech still had one year left on their contract, but he would verify it.  Regent Mercer asked the OCHE staff to work with the campuses to draft the proper language.  Chair Semmens said it was necessary to show that this is a pass through cost, and he asked how long it would take the campuses to present their needed surcharge.  President Gamble indicated they could make their recommendations by next week.  Regent Mercer requested the language for the formula be written into the Board’s directive.  Chair Semmens reminded the CEOs that the surcharge must reflect the actual cost of the increase over that budgeted.

Fees:

Pam Joehler said she had advised the campuses to prepare justification for any mandatory and discretionary fee increases exceeding 5% or $5 for the Board.  She indicated those fees were shown in a separate table.  Some of the increases were actually consolidations of multiple fees into one, and were revenue neutral.  Ms Joehler noted discrepancies between campuses on super tuition, or program fees and whether they were put into designated funds or current unrestricted funds.  She questioned this difference.  Although a systemwide study was made five years ago, and the recommendations were adopted by the Board, no policies were forthcoming, and there is no tracking mechanism.  Chair Mercer said this relates to the fundamental question of what is meant by “system”.  Is this a loose confederation of campuses that share ideas, or lock step campuses with exact policies, the same pay, and textbooks?  The Board has not yet come to grips with it.  Although there is a need for more uniformity and system-wide agreement on how fees are categorized, it is still critical to preserve independence of the campuses.  Regent Semmens said that if the work done five years ago was a good start, then the Board needs to move.  For simplicity, he believes it is worth looking at.  President Dennison reminded the Board that the study of five years ago was on student fees only, not mandatory fees.  He agreed it needs to be clear what fees should be outside tuition.  Following discussion on the variations in fees on the different campuses, Chair Mercer indicated the Board needs to set guidelines on what they want from the campuses as soon as possible.  Ms. Joehler noted that Dawson Community College had submitted their tuition matrix in the last couple days, and that the students at UM-Missoula voted to increase their recycle fee from $2 to $4.

  Regent Mercer moved to recommend APPROVAL of fees as amended

Chair Mercer directed the Committee to begin a dialogue with the community colleges on whether they want to do their tuition and fees on a two-year cycle like the university system.  President Karas indicated her Board would be interested.  President Hetrick indicated they need to be sensitive to the Dakotas who are on a one-year cycle, as they now offer resident tuition to Montana students.

  Regent Mercer moved to recommend to the Board  ADOPTION of the Inventory and Validation of Fees and Tuition for all the campuses including the Community Colleges as amended

  The motion CARRIED on 3-0 vote.

b.   ITEM 127-134-R0505 - Construct New Parking Lot, East Broadway, The University of Montana-Missoula

c.   ITEM 127-110-R0505 – FYE04 Negative Fund Balance Update; Montana University System   Attachment

d.   ITEM 127-125-R0505 - Summary of Internal Audit Findings - Task Force on Fees   Attachment

Interim Associate Commissioner Joehler noted this audit was done at the recommendation of the Board to see how things were going following the review of fees by the Task Force.  Regent Semmens noted they were not following those recommendations.  Ms. Joehler indicated the audit revealed the recommendations were not well known, understood or followed.  There were a variety of errors.  She believes the way to bring the recommendations of the Task Force to fulfillment would be to direct the Commissioner’s staff to reactivate the task force to implement and answer the recommendations, and perhaps bring that to the Board next fall.  It would need to be a system-wide effort. Regent Mercer stated that before trying to reactivate the task force, this issue should be a topic for the summer retreat.  Regent Taylor said they set tuition and fees, but she wasn’t sure some fees weren’t actually tuition.  Regent Semmens agreed, and indicated there should be a financial analysis with the internal audits, and they should be cyclical.  He asked Commissioner Stearns, Pam Joehler and others to consider the best way to approach the issue.  He emphasized that the tuition policy and fee policies need to be considered together.  President Dennison noted he thought a review by the Commissioner would be fine, but to have another task force would be a waste because things remain the same.  He believes the definitions are straightforward, easy to read and understand.  Regent Semmens indicated this is a good starting point.  Much in the recommendations shouldn’t be controversial, and the intent is not to change revenues, but to make the sources more uniform.

The Committee recommended development of a process to focus on the issue of fee policies in context of tuition and fees and broader issues, and Ms. Joehler will follow-up on specific items in the report.

e.   ITEM 127-1007-R0505 – Certificates of Completion for 216-Unit Student Housing complex and network Wiring Project, Series G 2002 and Washington/Grizzly Stadium Expansion, Series H 2003, Facilities Improvement and Refunding Revenue Bonds; The University of Montana-Missoula  Attachment 1    Attachment 2    Attachment 3    Attachment 4    Attachment 5    Attachment 6    Attachment 7    Attachment 8    Attachment 9    Attachment 10

f.    ITEM 127-1008-R0505 – Authorization to Construct New Native American studies Building; The University of Montana-Missoula   Proposal

 The Committee will recommend Item f. to the Board

g.   IITEM 127-124-R0505 - Authorization for OCHE and University of Montana-Missoula to Plan the Financing and Construction of an Office Building to house OCHE and MGSLP

Ms. Joehler indicated this item was the result of 18 months of reviewing options.  OCHE was ready to issue an RFP to build, and then had a discussion with Helena College of Technology Interim Dean Frazier to decide if through HB 540 this piece of property could best be used for OCHE needs because they could share services with the campus.  Rod Sundsted thought it an excellent idea and spoke with Architecture and Engineering and approached this as a combined revenue bond.  It appears to President Dennison, Dean Frazier and OCHE that this would be a very cost effective approach.  President Dennison indicated they were quite excited about going forward with the planning, and it can work very well.  He stated they need authorization to proceed, and also need to negotiate the fee.  Further, they need to talk to A&E about using the existing arch to work on both lots to coordinate the parking, etc.  Commissioner Stearns indicated it would be $6,000,000 for 28,000 sq. ft.  Regent Semmens asked if there was a benefit to the College of Technology beside the rental payment making the debt payment.  Dean Frazier said they talked about sharing IT, maintenance, and janitorial, and perhaps a day care center on the campus, as well as transportation and food services.  Their thought was that two small areas could help each other.

  The Committee will recommend Item g. to the Board

h.   ITEM 127-2006-R0505 - Authorization for MSU-Bozeman to Execute an Office Building Lease for Grant Funded Programs; Montana State University-Bozeman   Lease Agreement

  The Committee will recommend Item h. to the Board

i.    ITEM 127-2007-R0505 - Authorization to Negotiate a Utility Easement with the City of Bozeman for Underground Utilities along Fowler Avenue – Extended; Montana State University-Bozeman

  The Committee will recommend Item i. to the Board

j.    ITEM 127-127-R0505 – Student Health Insurance Program; Montana University System

  Item j. was deferred to the September 2005 meeting

k.   ITEM 126-106-R0305 – New Policy on Enrollment Reserves; Montana University System

There was discussion on the difficulty for some campuses to contribute to such a fund, and they requested the flexibility to do it as they are able.  In a fund with such stringent restrictions, they could be in a position of not being able to pay their bills.  There was also some doubt about the ability of campuses to build funds over five or six years.

  Chair Semmens moved to AMEND the policy by adding unanticipated and unavoidable, which would cover utilities, but not staffing cost increases.

Regent Mercer believed it should be for any contingency, with an adequate reserve.  He indicated the appropriate amount should be determined and put in the fund now.  Susan Briggs said she thought this was more an option so the campuses could roll in termination funds, deferred maintenance, or another option.  However, if it is a requirement, that will require revenue.  Regent Mercer said he believes the contingency needs to be built into the budget because it’s as important as any other expenditure.  Bob Duringer suggested the policy as written was more punitive than helpful.  He asked if the financial officers could work on it to make it more useful.

  Chair Semmens deferred the item to the September 2005 meeting for further work.

l.    ITEM 127-123-R0505Proposed Revision of Policy 407 - Approval of University System Employee Equity Interest and/or Business Participation; Montana University System   Attachment   Form

Following a brief discussion, Regent Mercer encouraged the campuses to work with Regents Semmens and Barrett on revising the item before the September 2005 meeting.  At that meeting, a full presentation of what is happening in research, and discoveries on the campuses will be provided.


Following a fifteen-minute break, the committee reconvened at 3:20 p.m.


Commissioner Stearns introduced Ms. Cecelia Foxley, a former Commissioner of Higher Education, and currently a consultant.


m.  Demonstration by The University of Montana-Missoula of finance data warehouse program, and front-end reports.

Ms. Rosi Keller of The University of Montana-Missoula explained that the program they use for data reports was affordable and had plenty of power for them.  It is strictly Banner with an extraction.  The front end is an Access program.  One is able to drill down to obtain data, create data sheets, and load to Excel.  New data uploads every night.  At present they only have finance data in the system, and most of payroll.  After HR is added the student data will be input.  Ray Ford indicated the program was accessed through the web, but not through a browser, and it requires special software on each computer for security.  Regent Mercer asked why there was no single warehouse, and no uniform approach in the system.  Laurie Neils indicated all the needs were considered when they started the first stage of the system warehouse.  The problem was that OCHE had no technical expertise to lead the campuses to a system.  The campuses developed the programs to fit their needs.  OCHE waited until it became cost effective to join.  Although the systems are different between campuses, it does not preclude the Montana University System establishing a warehouse.  Ms. Keller indicated the key was getting the data and putting it in the system warehouse.  It is all Banner.  Regent Mercer asked if the reports would look the same.  Ms. Keller replied reports could be designed to suit the needs of the Board.  Ray Ford stated that Regent Mercer was asking the right questions.  They spent about $30,000, which should be interpreted as a small prototyping cost towards an expanded system.  The goal should be organic and system-wide.  After getting a feeling for what was useful, their program succeeded beyond their dreams.  Ms. Jo Ansel provided a handout on the way their system works at Montana State University-Bozeman.  Regent Semmens asked if the two sides of the system were working together for best practices.  Ms. Ansel indicated they had discussed cross collaboration, but have not done it.  Regent Mercer said there is a difference between the Commissioner having access to two systems, and all using one system.  It would look the same everywhere, and would use the same software.  He stated he hoped that was the road they would follow.  Broader discussion was deferred to the full Board meeting.

n.   ITEM 127-121-R0505The Board of Regents directs the Commissioner of Higher Education to proceed toward a University System data warehouse, which includes finance, human resources, student, and financial aid components, and provides executive and management level standard report capabilities.  The Board of Regents further directs the campus Presidents to work with the Commissioner to provide the resources, both personnel and financial, that are required to successfully implement the Regents Data Warehouse Information and Report System.  The Commissioner is further directed to give a formal report to the Board at each meeting regarding the progress of this effort.    Attachment

The Committee adjourned at 4:10 p.m.

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DRAFT Minutes

The Academic & Student Affairs Committee

 

Regent Lynn Hamilton, chair of the Academic & Student Affairs Committee, called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. and introduced the other voting members of the committee, Regents French and Barrett.  Regent Foster, the fourth member of the committee, joined the group later in the day.

Regent Hamilton noted that this is an open meeting, invited everyone to join the Committee at the table, and asked everyone to feel free to make comments as the agenda proceeds.  There is a time at the end of the meeting for public comment on non-agenda items, she said.

Review and Adoption of Agenda.

Regent Barrett moved to adopt the agenda.  Motion carried.

Approval of Minutes.

A.     From the March 16, 2005 meeting of the Committee.

Regent French moved to approve the minutes.  Motion carried.

Portion of the Meeting Devoted to Chief Academic Officers.

A.     Action: ITEM 126-2851-R0305 - Approval to Establish a Certificate in Creative Arts Enterprise; Montana State University-Great Falls, College of Technology   Cover    Summary    Proposal    Budget

Vern Pedersen gave background on this item, a follow-up to a highly successful workforce development pilot program funded by OCHE.  The program includes a business component, a mentoring element and a Montana Heritage strand.  Regent Hamilton complimented MSU-GF on their marketing efforts for this program, which is bringing recognition to Central Montana.  Regent French moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

B.      Action:  ITEM 126-301-R0305:  A.A.S. degree in Surgical Technology, Flathead Valley Community College.   Request    Summary    Proposal   Budget    Attachment

This program was initially approved for a two-year period in response to community needs.  Kathy Hughes said that the program has now gone through the national accreditation process.  The associate degree, rather than the certificate, is now the preferred norm, so that change was made in this proposal.  Regent French moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

C.      Action:  ITEM 126-302-R0305:  Certificate in Medical Coding, Flathead Valley Community College.   Request    Summary    Proposal

This program was also originally approved on the “fast track” for a two-year period.  Regent French moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

D.      Action:  ITEM 126-201-R0305:  Permission to change the A.A.S. degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling to an A.A. degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling, Dawson Community College.   Request    Summary    Proposal    Attachment 1    Attachment 2    Attachment 3    Attachment 4    Attachment 5

This request is slightly unusual because AA and AS degrees usually don’t carry a designation unless required for accreditation or by statute.  The 2003 legislature raised the standards for chemical dependency counseling, as part of a move toward the national standard of a baccalaureate degree.  The designation is now required by statute, and Dawson Community College’s proposal has been reviewed and approved by the Two-Year Committee.  Regent Hamilton asked if this degree will transfer or articulate into baccalaureate programs; Dawson plans to work on this in the future.  Regent Barrett moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

E.      Action:  ITEM 127-108-R0505 – Revise Policy 303.3 – Program Review; Montana University System   Attachment

This revision represents a significant change, giving responsibility for the review process to the campuses and spreading individual program review over a seven-year period, to coincide with accreditation review cycles.  All programs that are part of the degree inventory, including options and certificates, are to be included in the review process.  The Chief Academic Officers worked on this policy revision for many months and unanimously support it.  Regent French moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

F.      Action:  ITEM 127-109-R0505 – Academic Program Planning; Montana University System   Attachment

This new policy would require campuses to keep the Board of Regents informed regarding their academic program plans over a three year period, and to identify the programs they expect to bring to the Board in the next year.  The intent is to encourage collaboration between campuses, and to allow the Regents to plan on a system-wide and long-term basis.  The policy also includes a compliance incentive.  Regent Barrett supports the compliance incentive, and noted that the academic program planning process will synchronize nicely with the new program review process after the first few years.  Regent French wondered whether collaboration would be the responsibility of the Regents, OCHE or the campuses.  Regent Hamilton said that this is best done at the campus level, but campuses should be aware that the Board will be paying attention.  Regent Barrett moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

Discussion Items.

A.     Regent Mercer’s request for information on “fast track programs” in the Montana University System.

Information regarding early degree completion was assembled at the request of Regent Mercer.  Roger noted that the “time to degree” programs have not been very successful, except on the UM-Missoula campus.  Students often use the time to degree programs, such as “Four Bear”, to gain entry into high demand classes in the first year or two, only to drop out of the program before completing their degree.  Regent French raised a question regarding dual enrollment limitations, and she will discuss this further with Arlene Parisot so that Arlene can take it to the Dual Enrollment Task Force of the P-20 Committee.

Announcements.

A.     Level I memorandum.

MSU-Billings asked to remove Item 127-2702+R0505 from the Level I approvals.

Roger pointed out that the Board of Nursing formally authorized the joint Board of Nursing/Board of Regents review and approval process for nursing program changes at its April meeting.  The Regents approved the new process at their May 2004 meeting.

Regent Hamilton asked if the large number of programs MSU-Northern put on moratorium were reviewed using the old or the new program review process.  Cheri Jimeno said they used the old process, but that the result would be the same under the new one.

Portion of the Meeting Devoted to Topics of Concern to Both Academic & STUDENT Affairs Officers.

A.   Action: ITEM 126-105-R0305:  Minimum Course Grades.   Attachment

Roger explained the three options for a minimum course grade policy that were included in the Board packet.  He clarified that this policy will apply to all students, not just transfer students.  Although including all students exceeds the recommendation of the transfer audit, creating separate categories of students for grading purposes was deemed inappropriate.  Inherent in all of the policies is recognition that the entire system will go to plus/minus grading.

During the discussion regarding plus/minus grading it was noted that some professors will elect not to use plus/minus grades.  Although this may seem unfair to students, faculty must be free to set their own standards and grade as they choose.  UM-Missoula and MSU-Bozeman currently use plus/minus grading, but round differently.  This results in different GPAs for students receiving identical grades on the two campuses, illuminating the need for a system-wide numerical standard for each grade.  The numerical standard will not affect an instructor’s ability to structure grades for individual courses, but relates only to how the letter grade is reflected numerically on the transcript.

Dave Dooley stated that the ability of individual programs to establish higher minimum grade standards (included in some versions of the policy) is vital, especially in terms of accreditation.  He strongly urged including optional higher standards in the final policy, while recognizing the importance of ensuring that students are aware of those higher standards if they have been adopted.

Discussion turned to the value of the “D” grade—if it should be acceptable as a minimum for various types of coursework, the potential for grade inflation if the C- becomes the minimum standard, whether or not students who receive a D are prepared for the next level of coursework in a series, and if two-year programs should have a different standard to accommodate the circumstances of non-traditional students.  Regent Hamilton advocated for setting meaningful standards while providing the support systems students need to succeed (e.g. tutoring, childcare).  It was also noted that this policy does not abrogate faculty’s ability to make discretionary decisions allowing individual students to demonstrate competency in ways other than grade performance.  Roger clarified that faculty may waive or substitute a course normally required for a degree, but any course used to fulfill graduation requirements must meet the minimum grade standard.  A course that is not used to complete a degree requirement does not have to meet the standard.

Roger distributed a fourth alternative of the policy, which combines some of the features of the other proposed policies.  Regent Barrett asked for discussion regarding changing 1 (c) from a minimum of C- to a D-, since programs would be free to set a higher standard in this version of the policy.  Some thought this would give more flexibility in enabling students to move through a program.  Others said it would make the transfer situation even worse, because students would be unprepared to meet the higher standards that many programs would choose to set.  Regent Barrett moved to recommend alternative four to the full Board, including a system-wide standard for grades in part three.  Motion carried.

Implementation of the minimum grade policy is proposed for Fall 2005, and will apply only to new or readmitted students, not to continuing students.  However, plus/minus grading will begin in the Fall for all students.  It was recognized that existing students may see a change in their GPA when the uniform numerical standard is set due to the current rounding variations between the Missoula and Bozeman campuses.  No Banner problems are foreseen in implementing plus/minus grading.  Campuses will be asked to notify students of the minimum grade policy through catalog inserts and information on their websites.  Regent Barrett moved to recommend implementation in Fall 2005.  Motion carried.

B.      Action: ITEM 127-102-R0505:  Policy 301.10, Montana University System General Education Core  Attachment

There was concern regarding the language in the Block Transfer Procedure (procedure one).  It will be modified to refer to only lower level courses.  Regent Hamilton said the other question regarding block transfer relates to A.A.S. degrees, but this policy does not apply to A.A.S. degrees.  Regent Barrett moved to forward this item as amended to the full Board.  Motion carried.

Celia Winkler, chair of the UM-Missoula Faculty Senate, initiated a discussion of the composition of the General Education Council (procedure six).  She and Warren Jones, chair of the MSU-Bozeman Faculty Senate, urged revision of the policy to require faculty senate representation from each campus on the General Education Council.  Roger pointed out that the General Education Council will oversee the MUS Core, which belongs to the system, not to the campuses.  He also cautioned against the Regents forfeiting the prerogative to determine membership of a standing committee of the Regents.  Following additional discussion, the motion carried again as previously amended.

C.   Action:  ITEM 127-103-R0505Policy 301.12 - Undergraduate Degree Requirements; Associate Degrees and Certificates of Applied Science   Attachment

Roger expressed concern that this policy revision, while clarifying policy on two-year degrees, doesn’t satisfy all of the expectations of the performance audit.  Credit totals, general education requirements and transferability of coursework are issues yet to be addressed.  The Two-Year Education Committee will assume responsibility for continued work on those issues.  Regent Barrett, recognizing this as an initial step, moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

E.      Action:  ITEM 127-114-R0505 – BAS Degrees; Montana University System    Attachment

Regent French moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

F.      Action:  ITEM 127-104-R0505 – Transfer of cumulative GPA; Montana University System   Attachment

There were significant and disparate opinions regarding this policy, and so two versions were presented in the Board packet.  One version requires that all students’ transcripts show a cumulative GPA, and the other allows each student to decide if they want it to appear on their transcript.  Regent French said that a majority of students would be negatively impacted by the “all or none” option, so the students would not support it.  Discussion included the limitations of the Banner system in implementing the choice option; and the differences in how campuses use the cumulative GPA to make admission decisions, award scholarships and determine graduation honors.  Regent Barrett asked if this issue was important enough to students to make system-wide changes.  Allen Yarnell replied that statistically it’s not a problem for a significant number of students.  Regent Barrett moved to recommend that the Board decline to adopt a policy regarding the overall GPA.  Motion carried.  The Committee also recommended establishing a workgroup to develop a standardized format for recording transfer classes, credits and grades; and to standardize policies and procedures relating to use of the cumulative GPA in making admission and scholarship decisions.

G.     Action:  ITEM 127-105-R0505 – LPN Nursing Programs; Montana University System   Attachment

Roger prepared an extensive narrative to accompany this item, trying to include all of the benefits and limitations of the proposal.  The proposal has the endorsement of all of the LPN programs, some albeit reluctantly.  The workgroup that developed the proposal included LPN and RN program managers with input from Board of Nursing members.  The Board of Nursing is cautiously supportive of the plan, but will need to see actual program proposals before giving final approval.

This proposal accomplishes the objectives identified by the Board and the transfer audit to standardize the type of credential and number of credits, and to develop common pre-nursing and nursing courses.  Susan Patton asked if the new curriculum will require master-prepared faculty, and Roger replied that the Board of Nursing will be looking at those requirements.

Regent Barrett was impressed with the buy-in from such a wide range of constituencies, and moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

H.      Action:  ITEM 127-107-R0505 – Single Admissions File; Montana University System   Attachment

This policy is limited to current students of the MUS who wish to transfer or to take classes at more than one campus in the same semester.  New students must still create a separate application for every campus to which they apply for admission.  Suggestions were made for changes to the Request for Transmittal form.  Regent French moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

I.         Action:  ITEM 127-112-R0505 – Common appeal process for transfer evaluations; Office Commissioner of Higher Education   Attachment

This formalizes the process currently used by many campuses, and has been endorsed by the Chief Academic Officers.  Regent Barrett moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

J.       Action:  ITEM 127-115-R0505Policy 301.5.1- Amendment to System of Controls; Montana University System  Attachment

OCHE staff attorney Cathy Swift worked with Roger to address the concerns the Regents had with the policy adopted in March.  It expands the policy to include transfer students from outside the MUS, but requires them to provide more information to assist in making transfer of credit decisions.  Section four, compliance, excludes automatic entitlement if deadlines are not met, and was added on the advice of Ms. Swift.  An editorial change was suggested in the first sentence.  Regent French moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

K.      Action:  ITEM 127-113-R0505Policy 301.1 - Admission requirements; in-state undergraduates Adjustment of SAT Scores; Montana University System   Attachment

After consultation with campus representatives, it was decided that a proportional shift was the best way to accommodate the new SAT scoring.  SAT scores are just one of several alternatives that satisfy admission requirements to the four-year campuses.  Regent Barrett moved to forward this item to the full Board.  Motion carried.

L.      Action:  ITEM 127-128-R0505 – Math Proficiencies; Montana University System

This math proficiency statement was developed by math faculty from around the state.  Dave Dooley requested a change to the language in item one to reflect the MSU-Bozeman path to demonstrating proficiency.  The change will be prepared for presentation at the full Board meeting.  Copies of a color-coded chart were distributed showing how the math courses in two-year programs will fulfill the math proficiency requirement, and the chart will soon be available on the web.

Discussion turned to use of the exemption pool.  Roger clarified that there are two different exemption pools.  Campuses can make exemptions to the college prep requirements (not to exceed 5%), and there is also a 15% exemption pool for students with special talents, minorities and others who demonstrate special needs.  The Student Affairs Officers are in favor of using the 15% pool to admit students that don’t meet the math proficiency standard, while the Math Proficiency Committee opposes using the exemptions in this way.  The Math Proficiency Committee also advocated strongly for a minimum grade of C, not C-, to demonstrate proficiency.  Regent Foster asked about the connection between the proficiency standard and the degree a student might be pursuing (e.g., art)—just how difficult is the math standard?  Jan Clinard said that the threshold would be a course below “Math for Liberal Arts.”  Regent Hamilton asked that a report on the success of students admitted under the exemption pool be prepared in the future.  She also commented that admission policies should be systematically reviewed to eliminate obsolete language and to determine their effectiveness.  Regent French moved to forward this item to the full Board with the addition of new language to include the MSU-Bozeman path to proficiency, and including the statement allowing use of the 15% exemption pool for students who do not meet the math proficiency standard.  Motion carried.

M.    Discussion of a preliminary assessment plan for the new Transfer Audit policies.

Jim Rimpau said that once the transfer policies are adopted by the Board, his group will be able to see the policies as an entire package and develop an integrated assessment proposal for the September meeting.

Portion of the Meeting Devoted to Chief Student Affairs Officers.

A.   Discussion Items:

1.       Follow-up on the priority security issues

The Student Affairs Officers on each campus prioritized their top three security needs and identified those that are currently unfunded.  Several campuses provided additional information for the needs and cost analysis.  UM-Helena hopes that their priority items one and three will be included in new building funds.  Item two was originally in their budget request for this year, but was eventually removed.  MSU-Northern will need additional funding for item one, residence hall sprinklers.  MSU-Great Falls will try to incorporate their unfunded projects into their operating budget.  MSU-Bozeman will be able to fund item two, higher police salaries, if enrollment is higher than anticipated.  Item three, AED defibrillator equipment, is still being discussed by an MSU-Bozeman committee and no consensus has been reached yet on the need for such equipment at several campus locations.  The Budget Committee of the Board of Regents will now be asked to look at the unfunded items, with the hope of making them a high priority in the long-range building plans.

Other business.

Dean John Cech welcomed everyone to the MSU-Billings COT and issued an invitation to a reception beginning at 5:30.

Jan Clinard offered her appreciation to all of the campuses that hosted the recent writing proficiency tests.  She has the results for those who are interested.

Public Comment.

There was no public comment.

Close: Review assignments.

There will be new language for four of the items to be brought to the full Board on Thursday.

The meeting adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

Submitted by Cathy Doyle

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Staff and Compensation Committee

 

Committee Members Present:  Chairman John Mercer, Regent Mark Semmens, and Regent Steve Barrett

Also Present:  Commissioner Sheila Stearns, OCHE Staff Member Kathy Crego

 

The committee convened at approximately 5:10 p.m.

 

1.   Minutes of the January 19, 2005, meeting were unanimously approved.

2.   The attached summary was distributed to the committee, explaining the issues resulting in the need for the consideration of new and revised salary policies (i.e. Compensation Philosophy (item 2.a. on committee agenda); Policy on Salary Increases – ITEM 126-109-R0305; Criteria for Board of Regents Contract – ITEM 126-108-R0305 (policy 711.2); and Employment Instruments; Professional and Administrative Employees – ITEM 127-126-R0505 (Policy 711.1).

Based on feedback from campuses, MSU-Bozeman is the only campus opposed to adoption of the policies at this time.

President Gamble stated his continuing dissatisfaction with the proposed policies; however, he did acknowledge that many of the campus’ concerns were addressed in various revisions of the proposed policies.  President Gamble also indicated that Committee members received copies of Bozeman’s concerns summarized by Leslie Taylor, Bozeman legal counsel.

Five MSU-Bozeman employees offered testimony indicating their concerns with the proposed policies.  Primary focus was on proposed revisions to current policy 711.2.  All employees stated their concern with adverse impact on recruitment and retention if positions currently on Regents Contract become classified positions when vacated.  Campus representatives also discussed the campus culture relative to perceptions that employees on Regents Contracts are “professional” employees as opposed to employees who are classified staff members.

There is general consistency among all other campuses relative to the types of employees issued Regents Contracts.  Most other campuses have a small number of positions that would be impacted by the proposed revisions to policy 711.2; however MSU-Bozeman has an estimated 87 positions that could be impacted when the positions become vacant.

In order to allow time for further discussion, the committee members agreed to recommend to the Board that action on the referenced items be delayed until the September 2005 Board meeting.  At the request of Chairman Mercer, Kathy Crego agreed to continue her involvement in addressing the policy issues until the policies are approved by the Board.

3.   The adoption of a policy to permanently establish a methodology by which the salaries of the Commissioner, Presidents, other campus Chief Executive Officers, and possibly Executive Officers was discussed.  The provisions of 2-16-405, M.C.A. were considered as an option.  This statute establishes the formula by which the Governor’s salary is determined, as well as the salaries of other elected officials of the executive branch of state government.

Chairman Mercer proposed that this method be considered to determine the appropriate salary of the two Presidents.  The Commissioner’s salary would then be set at 5 percent above the presidents’; chancellors set at 85 percent of the presidents’; and deans of the Great Falls and Helena Colleges of Technology set at 75 percent.  Chairman Mercer further proposed that such increases become effective July 1, 2006.

This approach to setting the salaries of senior administrators would present a permanent solution to the periodic discussion of appropriate salary levels, and would provide a sound, logical basis for the public to understand why and how such salary levels are established.

System and campus administrators were asked by the committee to consider the concept; and the committee and Board will consider approval of this approach at the September 2005 Board meeting.

4.   Format and reportable items on the Consent Agenda Staff Items were discussed in an attempt to: a) improve the usefulness of the report for the Regents; b) decrease the burden on campuses relative to the current format; and c) include items that are both statutorily required for Regents’ approval and other items of importance.

Representatives from three campuses (Missoula, Bozeman, and Billings) will help develop an improved report.  The proposed report format will be used at the September 2005 Board meeting.

5.   The Commissioner offered a proposal to develop a 5-year strategic plan for the Montana University System – 5-year strategic plan - ITEM 127-122-R0505 - Approval of Proposal to develop a 5-year strategic plan for the Montana University System.  Committee members agreed with the importance of developing a five-year strategic plan

Guidance offered by committee members and President Dennison included:

·         Maintaining focus on a strategic plan, rather than a list of objectives or attempts to resolve specific problems;

·         Using models available from SHEEO or other sources;

·         Including presidents and other key stakeholders in the process; however, not to include too many individuals that will result in a loss of focus;

·         Ensuring the process is relevant and results in a useable end product; and utilizing time involved effectively.

Commissioner Stearns proposed a timeline:

·         Completion of a preliminary product, with involvement of relevant individuals, prior to July 2005 Board retreat;

·         Board participates in process in July 2005;

·         Strategic plan completed January 2006 Board retreat, with approach at March 2006 Board meeting.

The committee endorsed the proposed process and timelines.

6.   OCHE Operational Priority Issues - ITEM 127-133-RO505 – Board of Regents/Office Commissioner of Higher Education Operational Priority Issues Details presented by Commissioner Stearns.  The Commissioner and senior OCHE staff identified priority operational staffing needs as specified in referenced item.  These priorities follow the priority need for continuation of the Associate Commissioner for Economic Development and Outreach and the associated administrative associate position.

Funding is unavailable for all proposed priorities.  Committee members endorsed the priorities and recommend that the Board approve authorization for the Commissioner to proceed with the priorities within current budget availability.  The issue will be revisited after the State Legislature convenes in December to determine if additional budget flexibility is available at that time.  Additionally, Vice President Duringer from UM-Missoula, offered to assist the Commissioner’s staff in reviewing better investment alternatives that may result in increased budget flexibility.

7.   Recommendation on laptops for the Regents - Regent Barrett encouraged and the committee members agreed to recommend to the Board approval of the purchase of laptop computers for all Regents.  The laptops will be assigned to Regents during their term of service.  One-time-only money is available during the current fiscal year for the purchases.  The purchase is intended to improve the efficiency of Regents’ access to Board information.

8.   Kathy Crego gave an update on collective bargaining.  All except four collective bargaining agreements should be finalized before her retirement on June 30.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 5:40 p.m.

Submitted by Kathy Crego

END OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

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BOARD OF REGENTS MEETING

 

THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2005

The full Board convened at 8:15 a.m.

 

Commissioner Stearns acknowledged the presence of Representative Norma Bixby.

President Dennison introduced Daniel Bingham, the new Dean of the UM-Helena College of Technology

ROLL CALL

Roll Call indicated a quorum present

 

Regents Present: Stephen Barrett, Mike Foster Vice Chair, Lynn Hamilton, Kala French, John Mercer Chair, Mark Semmens, Lila Taylor, and Linda McCulloch ex officio.  Also present was Commissioner Sheila M. Stearns.

Regent Absent:  Governor Brian Schweitzer ex officio excused

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

  Regent Barrett moved APPROVAL of the Minutes of the March 16-18, 2005 meeting

  The Minutes were APPROVED unanimously as amended on 7-0 vote.


SYSTEM ISSUES

 

a.   Governor Schweitzer and Lt. Gov. Bohlinger

Due to other commitments, the Governor and Lt. Governor were unable to attend the meeting.

b.   Final Report on the 59th Legislative Session

Associate Commissioner David A. Gibson reviewed the final outcome in the Legislature on the Bills of interest to the Board.  Chair Mercer commented on the success of the budget process this year.  By working with the Budget Office in the Martz administration and then the Schweitzer administration, phenomenal things happened for the Montana University System and the state.  He said the Montana University System should be proud of the leadership.  Although people had hoped for relief in tuition, it did not happen.  He indicated they will continue working to educate the population on this issue.  The Legislature had a $300,000,000 surplus and endorsed an increase in the pay plan.  The state covers 100% of the pay plan in the Department of Corrections, but less than 50% for the Montana University System.  This along with other factors such as inflation, drives tuition increases.  He said he did not believe that people in the state understood this policy.  He indicated it was important for the system to get back to having the State support the cost of employees, or increases in tuition will continue to be high.  Although there was a  $300,000,000 surplus, the state was unable to get a $1.7 million energy contingency fund.  This will probably require a surcharge on the students to cover the higher cost of energy.  He said the connection between actions and the level of tuition are not yet realized by the Executive and Legislative branches.  Chair Mercer said great progress has been made for the tribal colleges.  The Salish Kootenai College is an outstanding resource in his community, however some of the actions taken to help the tribal colleges came out of the pockets of the Montana University System.  Students must pick up the difference.  Chair Mercer noted that fee waivers are paid by students who do not receive them, and it would be appropriate for the legislature to include the financial cost of fee waivers they urge the system to adopt.  He commended the Commissioner, her staff and all those who worked on behalf of the Montana University System for their hard work with the legislature and executive branch.  He stated this was a very successful session for the State and the Montana University System.  Chair Mercer indicated he had asked Steve Meloy to invite the interim Committee to the Board of Education meeting in July, to address ways in which the Board of Education might be of assistance to them.

c.   Federal Update

Associate Commissioner David Gibson indicated the office of the Commissioner would attempt to invite the local staff of the Congressional Delegation to the Board meetings as the meetings are held in their communities.  In attendance at this meeting were Melodee Haines, legal counsel for Senator Baucus, Todd Capser of Senator Burns office, and Linda Price from Representative Rehberg’s office.  Dr. Arlene Parisot reported there were issues in the Federal Budget Resolution that could impact the FY06 funding streams, and could even create a 1% cut across the board for programs like Perkins, TRIO, GearUp, and others.  Chair Mercer asked the Delegation staff what they thought was the best way for the Montana University System and the Board of Regents to interact with their offices.  He indicated the Board needed to meet with each of Congressional Delegates, even if it meant individually.  He asked for direction on how the Board could expand its relationship with the Delegation beyond what the Montana University System needs.  Commissioner Stearns asked them to elaborate on the community-based programs, and wondered if Montana could be competitive working for those grants.  Mr. Capser indicated Montana would have every availability as well as the support of the Delegation.  He indicated that the Reauthorization would probably not be completed until late September, or early October.  Further, the Delegation will go to the conference to fight for the highest level of funding for Montana.  Melody Haines passed around a press release on legislation Senator Baucus signed with Senator Dole.  She indicated that Senator Baucus will be very helpful, and will make Montana successful.  Regent Foster inquired about the process used by the campuses to submit grant proposals.  Mr. Capser indicated the universities have done a wonderful job of streamlining their processes.  Rather than numerous individuals coming forward with proposals, the universities each send one packet of applications, and there is one contact person on the campus.  Chair Mercer noted that Mr. Capser had referred to The University of Montana system, and the Montana State University system, but that in reality it was one system.  He asked if there could be better coordination to present these more globally.  Melody Haines indicated it never hurts for them to know what the Board wants globally, but she believes the local contact is very important.  Mr. Capser agreed with this.  President Dennison commented that the Delegation is very responsive and helpful.  He had a student whose parents were denied a visa to attend his graduation, and although they were unable to make it happen, they all worked very hard on it.


Following a fifteen-minute break, the Board reconvened at 9:45 a.m.


d.   State Practices in Higher Education Funding

Commissioner Stearns indicated the Board needed to update the allocation model, and the person best able to help with that is Mr. Dennis Jones, Director of NCHEMS.  This is one of the most respected resources for higher education in the country.  She noted that both NCHEMS and SHEEO will be located in a single facility in Boulder, CO in the near future.  Commissioner Stearns introduced Dennis Jones who then made a presentation to the Board (See attached).  Following the presentation, Chair Mercer indicated he wanted Regent Semmens to work with the Commissioner on a timetable to work with Mr. Jones on the allocation model.  He wanted to be sure it was completed before Regent Semmens’ term on the Board expires.

e.   Shared Leadership for a Better Montana Economy Update – Dave Gibson

Chair Mercer asked if the level of enthusiasm for this project has faded or lost continuity.  Associate Commissioner Gibson replied that they had done a tremendous amount of work on it, broke for the legislative session, and are now back on track.  If it becomes a ten-year process, momentum could be lost.  Chair Mercer said that if either Mr. Gibson or the Commissioner had thoughts or ideas on structural things that could be done, he would like to hear them.  This project has been very successful, and he doesn’t want people to burn out from all the hard work.

f.    ITEM 127-119-R0505 – Student Appeal

  Regent Hamilton moved to uphold the decision of the Commissioner.

Chair Mercer asked if Regent Barrett would look at the procedures of the Board on handling these appeals, and also if they should be listening to the students.  Regent Barrett noted that the process the Board follows is no different than the process followed by the Supreme Court.  Each appeal is considered on its merits, with deference being given to those who are closest to the facts.  The Supreme Court does not hear all the appeals sent before it either.

  Motion approved on 6-1 vote with Regent Mercer dissenting.

g.   ITEM 127-120-R0505 – Student Appeal

  Regent Hamilton moved to uphold the decision of the Commissioner.

  Motion approved on 6-1 vote with Regent Mercer dissenting.


Following a ten-minute break, the Board reconvened at 11:05 a.m.


Regent Barrett commented on the student appeal process, indicating it may not be understood.  He believes it should be articulated that although there was a brief discussion here, over the long term it was presented to the Commissioner with full documentation.  The Commissioner then made her decision.  That entire packet was sent to each member of the Board to read and consider.  At this meeting they decided whether to take it further or not by considering the full documentation as well as the decisions through the appeal process.  Regent Barrett believes it might not be clear to students that the Regents read everything they wrote.


DISCUSSION WITH CAMPUS Leaders

 

President Gamble provided handouts on their graduate survey and bond sale update.  He indicated they were on target with the bonding and were pleased with the fixed rate they were able to obtain.  One wrinkle in the process is the rate of growth in the Gallatin Valley, and with a six-month lag they will need to scale back on their plans.  He noted what he called the “Brain Gain” shown in the graduate survey.  90% of their graduates are in graduate school or are employed.  Half of those employed are in Montana in business and industry, and health care with high earnings.

    Chancellor Capdeville said he was reminded of the importance of the Northern campus, as they awarded over 400 degrees this year.  Deputy Commissioner Roger Barber was the commencement speaker and was given an award.  Chancellor Capdeville reported a $1.2M trust had just been established for the Northern Campus.  He said that during budgeting they had focused on deferred maintenance with the Legislature.  They received $700,000 for ADA issues.  They have also taken care of $3M in deferred maintenance.  Although they have suffered a decline in enrollment, their budget has been okay with help from MSU-Bozeman.  They have restructured the enrollment and recruitment team.  He said they plan to go into Medicine Hat, and are trying to get the border crossing open 24 hours.  They also are working on an articulation agreement with Canada.  This summer all the civic organizations will be on campus for discussions, rather than being visited individually by MSU-Northern.  The new technology center is doing well, and will be complete by the end of July or early August.  Chancellor Capdeville indicated that for $4M they got their money’s worth.  They are running close on funds in equipment, with a large contribution from the Hensler family.  They are not yet sure how they will furnish the building.  Faculty have worked to revise nursing requirements, and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission has recommended an 8-year continuation of their accreditation.  The plumbing program is doing very well, and they are working to get an electrical program on campus.  They have over 10 students in apprenticeships, and 16 full time in the first year.  They hope to duplicate that with the electrical program.  With a focus on improving residence life, they will have over 100 more students living on campus next fall, for a total of 260 students in dorms.  Chancellor Capdeville indicated they have challenges with distance delivery, communication being the biggest factor.  They continue to work with the tribal colleges and Native students.

     Vice Chancellor Karl Ulrich reported for Chancellor Storey who was in Colorado at the time of the meeting.  He focused on their accreditation visit.  The report said students spoke highly of the faculty.  The Commission commended UM-Western for the courage and vision to rethink their traditional method of delivery.  Experience One was a bold adventure.  They have experienced better spring enrollment than normal.  Improvements in the library and technology are dramatic, and have a positive impact on teaching and learning.  They improved their marketing and are now being commended for the dramatic increase in enrollment.  There is an increase in the numbers of equine and science students.  They are making extra efforts in advising and student support services, and hope to increase the graduation rates.  There were also a number of recommendations, but the most important was the first one calling for better assessment of programs and courses.  There are plans in place to do that with more rigorous forms of review.  Vice Chancellor Ulrich indicated that would be his personal effort in the next year.  Another recommendation was to bring in an outside consultant to organize efficiently for appropriate administration.  The third recommendation was to put more effort into faculty development.  The increase was noted, but there is a long way to go.  There are increased opportunities for faculty to learn about experiential learning.  They sent some faculty to Colorado College to learn, and brought consultants to Western.  They will continue to make better use of the increased time span.

     Dean Cech commented on the incredible relationships between his campus and the other five campuses.  He said those relationships, and that with the Foundation are critical to their movement.  Regent Foster agreed that there are wonderful things going on at the Billings College of Technology.  He mentioned that six weeks previously he had spoken to a group of 8th grade through senior students.  Arlene Parisot had prepared information for him, and the survey that President Gamble presented this morning would have been great information to give to the students.  Regent Foster requested the campuses freely distribute this information among the high school counselors.

     Regent Barrett commented on the number of creative ideas coming from the campuses, but he noted that neither side is speaking with the other.  He does not believe there should be different formats, and said the two sides need to work to make this one system.  Regent Hamilton inquired about the evaluation of the pilot nursing program in Shelby, and the rural science program and how the campuses are working together.  Rolf Groseth indicated they will have the final report this summer on the cost and on student data.  They hope to know what it might cost to offer in other communities.  President Gamble indicated there is weak communication between the campuses.  They are using graduates to help the rural schools develop state of the art research in the curriculum.  Regent Hamilton reported that Diane Fladmo is working on a project for The University of Montana.  President Dennison stated that for the most part, science and math have more coordination than is apparent to the Presidents.  Regent Foster noted that in the Frontier Conference there is a strong effort to recruit Montana athletes.  He pays attention to that because he is a strong advocate of awarding scholarships to Montana student athletes.  He understands the Big Sky Conference is in a different situation because of the pressure of winning, but he is pleased when they do recruit Montana students.  Commissioner Sheila Stearns will provide the Board members with copies of the Interim Focus reports.


The meeting recessed at 12:12 p.m. for lunch

The Board reconvened at 1:30 p.m.


Chair Mercer introduced guests Amy Carlson and David Ewer from the Governor’s office who had requested a conversation with the Board.  Mr. Ewer expressed concern about how the press was characterizing what higher education was doing with tuition.  He indicated he had a discussion with the Commissioner and offered constructive criticism.  Mr. Ewer noted that in the press and in comments from the Board, the tuition increase being considered was attributable to the pay plan.  An analysis by their office shows the pay plan might account for 6% of the tuition increase, but there are many other factors contributing to the increase.  He acknowledged the pay plan for the Montana University System is not fully funded, but it has other revenue sources.  Although the pay plan for State workers was 25 cents, the Montana University System increased pay by more than 10%.  He believes the State cannot be held responsible for actions taken by the Board in this decision.  Mr. Ewer stated he thought they had a good legislative session with higher education.  Further the Governor’s Office does not believe it is fair to attribute the raises in tuition to the pay plan.  At the same time, they want to continue their relationship with the Board.  Chair Mercer noted that they had a discussion that morning on the session, and had given it very high marks.  The Board had credited all those involved for some of the phenomenal things that had happened for higher education.  As far as what is driving tuition, he indicated the Board is trying to educate people on the truth, and he is concerned that there is disagreement over that.  He hopes the Board and Governor’s Office can come to a mutual understanding of what is driving tuition increases.  He asked if the staff could work with the Governor’s staff to work out what factors are involved in the tuition increases.  Regent Semmens indicated it would be counterproductive to do a detailed analysis of the numbers, but preferred that he and Mr. Ewer get together to be sure that are using the numbers similarly.  The components as presented by Rod Sundsted showed tuition and mandatory fees have increased 8% to 8.5%.  Approximately 4% goes to the pay plan, 2% to inflationary items, and the balance of 2% to 2.5% is for investments in excellence, financial aid increase at the campus level, academic quality issues, technology investments, and enrollment reserves.  Although the pay plan is only one component of the tuition increase, Regent Semmens noted that few citizens are aware that a minority of the pay increase is funded by the State.  40% of the pay plan is funded by the State, and the balance by tuition.  He did not view the pay plan negatively, but asked how the Board was to choose to fund higher education, including the component that makes up ¾ of the budget, professionals.  He assured Mr. Ewer that the pay freeze was adhered to by the Montana University System.  He offered to have Pam Joehler review the data with Amy Carlson.  Mr. Ewer indicated the issue was very complicated and should be handled analyst to analyst and not on the front page of the paper.  He believed they had a respectful relationship and the Governor’s Office supports strong education.  Mr. Ewer said their single political disappointment was losing the utility reserve.  They had budgeted $1.7M but were unable to keep it.  They are sympathetic with all the agencies that have a problem with utility bills.  Chair Mercer thanked Mr. Ewer for coming to the meeting and making his comments.  He reiterated that his message is that the biggest single driver in tuition increases is that the State covers less than half of the university system pay.  He believes the Governor’s office was unaware of this fact, the same as he was when he served in the Legislature.  Chair Mercer indicated he believes they must educate people about this, as it will help alleviate tuition increases.  This Pandora’s Box was opened by the Montana University System itself in the early 1990s, when it asked the Legislature to allow higher increases.  He noted that the Governor had inherited this procedure, and they need to have a good discussion to turn this around.  Chair Mercer said the pay plan is a simple item to sort out, and believes that if the State can fund the Department of Corrections at 100%, then the Board needs to set its target at 100%.  He explained this was the harmless message they had been trying to get to the public.  He apologized for any heartburn to Mr. Ewer or the Governor.  He invited Mr. Ewer to attend the Board Retreat in July to attempt to build a long-standing good relationship, setting common goals and maintaining the success of this legislative session.  Mr. Ewer pointed out that although the Department of Corrections is funded at 100%, many agencies do not have full coverage for the pay plan, and some like Fish, Wildlife and Parks receive very little.  He accepted Chair Mercer’s comments, but could not commit to the goal of 100% funding of the pay plan due to scarce resources.  Chair Mercer indicated he did not expect the Governor’s Office to commit to this, but rather to help the Board educate the public about the truth of it.

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ACADEMIC/STUDENT AFFAIRS ITEMS

Portion of the Meeting Devoted to Chief Academic Officers.

a.   ITEM 126-2851-R0305 - Approval to Establish a Certificate in Creative Arts Enterprise; Montana State University-Great Falls, College of Technology   Cover    Summary    Proposal    Budget

b.   ITEM 126-301-R0305:  A.A.S. degree in Surgical Technology, Flathead Valley Community College.   Request    Summary    Proposal   Budget    Attachment

c.   ITEM 126-302-R0305:  Certificate in Medical Coding, Flathead Valley Community College.   Request    Summary    Proposal

d.   ITEM 126-201-R0305:  Permission to change the A.A.S. degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling to an A.A. degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling, Dawson Community College.   Request    Summary    Proposal    Attachment 1    Attachment 2    Attachment 3    Attachment 4    Attachment 5

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Items a. through d.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

e.   ITEM 127-108-R0505 – Revise Policy 303.3 – Program Review; Montana University System   Attachment

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item e.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

f.    ITEM 127-109-R0505 – Academic Program Planning; Montana University System   Attachment

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item f.

Regent Hamilton reported this item was the result of the October, 2004 Board retreat requesting the campuses keep the Board informed of their intentions for academic programs.  She said many are afraid some campuses will try to squeeze out others, but they must list everything and the Board will review them.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote


Chair Mercer left the meeting for an emergency call at this time and returned shortly.


Announcements.

a.   Level I memorandum

At the request of the campus, Item 127-2702+R0505 from the Level I approvals.

Portion of the Meeting Devoted to Topics of Concern to Both Academic & Student Affairs Officers.

a.   ITEM 126-105-R0305:  Minimum Course Grades.   Attachment

Regent Foster denied a request to delay this item until Friday.  Deputy Commissioner Roger Barber handed out the final version of the policy as proposed by the Committee

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item a. as amended

Many individuals commented on the pros and cons of this item.  Some saw difficulty using plus and minus grades, since the cutoff points would vary from class to class.  Regent Barret indicated that this discrepancy is not something that the Board should solve, but the campuses should use the same value points when determining student gradepoint averages.  The Commissioner’s office will develop a common value system for the campuses, as one of the follow-up projects to this policy.  Regent Semmens said this policy puts the system in a better position than it was, since it answers one recommendation in the Legislative Audit.  Regent Barrett noted that by following this policy, programs can still set their own standards.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

See amended item on-line

b.   ITEM 127-102-R0505:  Policy 301.10, Montana University System General Education Core  Attachment

Deputy Commissioner Roger Barber handed out the final version of the policy as proposed by the Committee

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item b. as amended

Roger Barber explained the option this policy provides to transfer students.  If a student completes all of the general education courses at the first campus, the courses will be accepted by all the campuses.  The Montana University System core is a compromise which is not quite as good as the campus specific general education courses.  Commissioner Stearns commended this policy.  She believes the key in terms of advising is that faculty and advisors can prove in the next Audit that they can readily explain the transfer issues to someone who is about to transfer.  Chair Mercer noted this is a very difficult problem of either making a decision for uniformity or returning to individual campuses making their own decisions.  Regent Semmens said this policy addresses the Audit by Angie Grove, so that students don’t have to redo their general education requirements because the receiving campus will not accept them.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

See amended item on-line


Following a ten-minute break, the Board reconvened at 3:40 p.m.


c.   ITEM 127-103-R0505Policy 301.12 - Undergraduate Degree Requirements; Associate Degrees and Certificates of Applied Science   Attachment

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item c.

Roger Barber said this policy offers clarification and guidance on the development of two-year degrees, but still needs more work to address the Legislative Audit.  Regent Hamilton recommended the Two Year Council continue to address the issues, and to quickly return their recommendations to the Committee for additional policy statements.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

d.   ITEM 127-114-R0505 – BAS Degrees; Montana University System    Attachment

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item d. as amended

Regent Hamilton indicated the change to this policy was in response to a suggestion by the Legislative Audit.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

See amended item on-line

e.   ITEM 127-104-R0505 – Transfer of cumulative GPA; Montana University System   Attachment

  Regent Hamilton moved to NOT ADOPT AN OVERALL GPA POLICY

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

f.    ITEM 127-105-R0505 – LPN Nursing Programs; Montana University System   Attachment

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item f.

Regent Taylor expressed concern at the possible decrease in the number of LPNs which would harm a large section of the health care industry.  Roger Barber indicated this policy had been shared with the Montana Hospital Association, and they had expressed no concerns.  However, he did share Regent Taylor’s concerns since there is no way to know what the impact might be.  He indicated it seems logical that it will affect the number of LPNs in the system, particularly in the integrated programs.  Since they would be taking the same program, those students would not drop out after two years if they had the time and funds to continue.  He was unable to find the statistics for the 22 states that use this model.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

g.   ITEM 127-107-R0505 – Single Admissions File; Montana University System   Attachment

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item g.

Roger Barber explained this policy requires the sending institution to document that the general education block transfer is completed.  The policy includes a fee of $15 for copying, postage and a certified transcript.

  Regent French moved to REDUCE the fee from $15 to $8.

Regent Hamilton also noted there are two corrections to the form that is included in the policy.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously with all amendments on 7-0 vote

See amended item on-line

h.   ITEM 127-112-R0505 – Common appeal process for transfer evaluations; Office Commissioner of Higher Education   Attachment

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item h.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

i.    ITEM 127-115-R0505Policy 301.5.1- Amendment to System of Controls; Montana University System  Attachment

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item i. as amended

Regent Hamilton noted that at the March meeting there was confusion on if this policy only applied to students within the system.  It applies to all transfer students, and those from outside the system must provide additional information for evaluation.  A section was added to cover this.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

See amended item on-line

j.    ITEM 127-113-R0505Policy 301.1 - Admission requirements; in-state undergraduates Adjustment of SAT Scores; Montana University System   Attachment

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item j.

The changes in this policy reflect the changes made to the SAT.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

k.   ITEM 127-128-R0505Mathematics Proficiency from 2-Year to 4-Year Programs; Montana University System

  Regent Hamilton moved APPROVAL of Item k.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

See final item on-line

l.    Discussion of a preliminary assessment plan for the new Transfer Audit policies

Chair Mercer recommended the Board attempt to get on the Audit Committee agenda to show these changes have been made, and to continue follow-up monitoring.


Portion of the Meeting Devoted to Chief Student Affairs Officers.

1.   Follow-up on the priority security issues.

Regent Hamilton recommended this item be assigned to the Budget Committee and given priority status in the LRBP.  President Dennison indicated it was important to keep in mind the LRBP would not be related to this, but rather it would be done internally from realized revenue.  Chair Mercer said the Board was appreciative of the work done on this, and assigned it to the Budget Committee.  Regent Semmens indicated they would have to identify funding sources.

END ACADEMIC / STUDENT AFFAIRS ITEMS

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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT ITEMS

 

a.   Review Equipment RFP Committee project funding recommendations

Associate Commissioner David A. Gibson explained that the panel had prioritized the projects in order of funding.  The dark line delineates the end of those projects that definitely will be funded.

  Regent Foster moved APPROVAL of the list of recommended proposals

The projects were judged competitively, and there was consideration for geography.  The major areas were health care and construction.  The Legislature divided $900,000 equally among the three community colleges, but following a compromise from the original  $5,000,000 to $1,400,000 budgeted, it also was allocated across the other two-year campuses.  These were non-competitive funds.  The balance of $200,000 per institution was awarded on a competitive basis.  Most campuses believe the entire process had been quite fair.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

b.   Update on Workforce Data Project

David Gibson reported the Committee will meet in July, and will probably have the data on workforce needs collected from the state agencies by that time.  They are pushing to have it completed for the July Board retreat.

c.   Review Status of Shared Leadership Workforce Recommendations

David Gibson indicated there has been progress in the areas identified by Shared Leadership, and that despite the interlude of the Legislative Session, momentum has not been lost.

d.   Discuss Medical School/Rural Healthcare Study proposal

Regent Foster reported that Senator Stapleton was present at their Committee meeting, and gave a presentation.  There was insufficient information to take any steps on this item, and the groups involved will provide the Board and Commissioner with information on what the proposal entails, what the options are, what needs to be considered, and some possibilities.  The issue will then be brought back to the Board at its next meeting.

e.   Review Recommendation for Formal Charge to the Two-Year Education Council

Dr. Arlene Parisot reported they are continuing their work on this item.  They hope to bring a final proposal to the Board at the September 20-21, 2005 meeting.

END WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT ITEMS

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Staff and Compensation Items

Salary Issues

a.   Compensation Philosophy

b.   Policy on Salary Increases - ITEM 126-109-R0305  - New Policy on Salary Increases Contract Administrators and Professionals

c.   Criteria for Board of Regents Contract - ITEM 126-108-R0305 – Revise Policy 711.2 - Criteria for Board of Regents Contract; Non-faculty Personnel

d.   CEO and Executive Officer Salaries

e.   Staff Agenda Items – New Format

  At the recommendation of the Committee Items a. through e. were delayed until the September 2005 meeting.

Other Items

a.   ITEM 127-126-R0505 – Revise Board Policy 711.1 - Employment Instruments; Professional and Administrative Employees

  At the recommendation of the Committee Item a. was delayed until the September, 2005 meeting.

b.   ITEM 127-122-R0505 - Approval of Proposal to develop a 5-year strategic plan for the Montana University System.

  Regent Barrett moved ADOPTION of Item b.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

c.   ITEM 127-133-RO505 – Board of Regents/Office Commissioner of Higher Education Operational Priority Issues   Details

  Regent Barrett moved ENDORSEMENT of Item c.

Regent Semmens indicated the Board has already committed some of their discretionary funds to this item.  Regent Hamilton asked if that meant they had no discretionary funds left for the biennium.  Regent Semmens confirmed that.  Commissioner Stearns noted that in the last biennium they had directed the funds to Shared Leadership.  In the discussion of the previous day, it was explained that the three positions were actually a distillation of six to eight functions that are spread around the office at this time.  She said the first one presented is one they would proceed on even if there was not enough money.  They will prepare the position descriptions and hope to get the funds.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

d.   Recommendation on laptops for the Regents

  Regent Barrett moved APPROVAL to purchase the laptops and create a formal implementation plan.

Regent Barrett noted the entire book had been loaded on the laptop he was using, and he found it far easier to use than the hard copy.  He said that once the indexing is in place it will be even easier to use.  Regent Barrett said the documents can be marked up, and it will be a refreshing change.  Regent Hamilton asked if the hard copies would be eliminated.  Chair Mercer replied that any Regent who needed a hard copy would receive one.  Regent Semmens indicated the North Dakota model gives each Board member a laptop and printer in case they need to print any of the items.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

END COMMITTEE REPORT


Chair Mercer thanked Kathy Crego for her efforts on behalf of the Board and the university system, and indicated she has agreed to work beyond her retirement to finalize the items which have been delayed to the September meeting.

The Board recessed at 5:00 p.m.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2005

The full Board reconvened at 8:55 a.m.

STUDENT REPORTS

See attached reports

Following the student reports, Regent French commented that these students are near and dear to her heart.  They have made her job fun, and in turn, their concerns become her concerns.  She reminded the campuses that students should be involved in changes and plans from the beginning, rather than being left out till the end.

Interim Dean Bob Frazier took the opportunity to thank the Board for all they have done for his wife, because she has made a huge difference in the system.  He also thanked each member of the Board for all they do because he realizes it is not an easy job.  Dean Frazier told Commissioner Stearns that he appreciated the opportunity he had to work with her.  He thanked President Dennison for being his mentor and offering him many opportunities through the years, and noted he has done as much for higher education as anyone who ever served.  He encouraged the Board to pursue the path they are following, and noted it was his last day with the system, and bittersweet.  Chair Mercer thanked Dean Frazier for his dedication to the system, stating he had given real service to the State.

END STUDENT REPORTS

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Commissioner Stearns reported that Terry Hetrick, President of Dawson Community College had accepted a position at Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas.  President Hetrick stated it was a very unique situation being born, educated, and able to serve in his home state for so many years.  He gratefully acknowledged his colleagues.


ADMINISTRATIVE/BUDGET ITEMS

 

a.   ITEM 127-101-R0505 – Inventory and Validation of Fees 2005 – 06 and 2006 – 07; Montana University System    Attachment   ADDENDUM

Interim Associate Commissioner Pam Joehler handed out amendments made to the budget following the Committee meeting of the day before.  Regent Semmens noted an Addendum to Item 127-101-R0505 gives authorization to assess a utility surcharge.  This is a direct pass through charge to consumers using utilities.  The amount of the surcharge will equal the actual amount which exceeds the amount budgeted by the campuses.  It was requested that the campuses provide a report to the Board before the September meeting, detailing the numbers used to reach their surcharges.

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of the surcharge

Regent Hamilton said she would not support it.  She believes the increase in utility costs should not have been a surprise to the Board, and the Regents should be better managers.  She disapproved of dependence on legislative action and a volatile legislature, and said there were other options such as adjusting schedules.  Regent Foster asked when the contingency pool was dropped from the budget.  Pam Joehler indicated it was dropped about three quarters of the way through the session.  Previously, there was concern because the pool was too small, and the campuses based their budgets on that fact.  Regents Semmens and Barrett indicated a surcharge is how the market typically handles these issues.  Regent Hamilton appreciated their comments but freshmen have already made their school choices based on cost, and they are required to live in the dorms and will now find it more expensive.

  Motion APPROVED on 6-1 vote with Regent Hamilton dissenting

At the request of the Chair, Chancellor Gilmore and Commissioner Stearns will work together with Northwest Energy to pull together a presentation on the relationship between natural gas prices and oil prices for the September 2005 meeting.

NON-MANDATORY FEES, CHARGES, AND TUITION

Changes were made to the fees:  MSU-Northern corrected their room and board to reflect that at MSU-Bozeman.  The fee for the Single Admissions File was changed from $15 to $8.  Students at The University of Montana-Missoula voted to increase the recycle fee from $2 to $4.

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of the non-mandatory fees, charges, and tuition as AMENDED

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

Chair Mercer requested a study be made of what tuition would cost today if the State had continued to contribute at the same level to the pay plan since 1990.  He also wanted a study of what tuition would cost today, if no administrative fees had been taken from the Trust Lands.

b.   ITEM 127-134-R0505 - Construct New Parking Lot, East Broadway, The University of Montana-Missoula

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of Item b.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

c.   ITEM 127-110-R0505 – FYE04 Negative Fund Balance Update; Montana University System   Attachment

Pam Joehler reported briefly on the positive findings in the latest report on negative funds.

d.   ITEM 127-125-R0505 - Summary of Internal Audit Findings - Task Force on Fees    Attachment

Pam Joehler reported the recommendations of the task force five years ago were never formalized into policy.  The recommendations are not well known on some of the campuses, they are implemented differently, and the informal policy has been inconsistent across the campuses.  The Board should look at formalizing the recommendations into policy.  Regent Semmens indicated a priority item for the Budget Committee is to develop and implement detailed policy on fees, and this needs to be done hand-in-hand with policy on tuition.  He indicated it should be a component of the July meeting, either through a committee structure or task force.

  It was the CONSENSUS of the Board to concentrate on this item at the July Retreat.

e.   ITEM 127-1007-R0505 – Certificates of Completion for 216-Unit Student Housing complex and network Wiring Project, Series G 2002 and Washington/Grizzly Stadium Expansion, Series H 2003, Facilities Improvement and Refunding Revenue Bonds; The University of Montana-Missoula  Attachment 1    Attachment 2    Attachment 3    Attachment 4    Attachment 5    Attachment 6    Attachment 7    Attachment 8    Attachment 9    Attachment 10

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of Item e.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

f.    ITEM 127-1008-R0505 – Authorization to Construct New Native American studies Building; The University of Montana-Missoula   Proposal

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of Item f.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

g.   ITEM 127-124-R0505 - Authorization for OCHE and University of Montana-Missoula to Plan the Financing and Construction of an Office Building to house OCHE and MGSLP

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of Item g.

This item is designed to be a permanent solution for office space for the Commissioner and her staff.  It will also work well for the Helena College of Technology long-range plan, creating shared parking, and a variety of services.  Plans still need to be made for the possibility of classroom space in the new building, single or multi-level parking, and how costs will be separated.  Chair Mercer said he liked seeing the campus working with the Commissioner.  Regent Semmens indicated it is also very creative financing which reduces the cost of occupancy.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

h.   ITEM 127-2006-R0505 - Authorization for MSU-Bozeman to Execute an Office Building Lease for Grant Funded Programs; Montana State University-Bozeman   Lease Agreement

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of Item h.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

i.    ITEM 127-2007-R0505 - Authorization to Negotiate a Utility Easement with the City of Bozeman for Underground Utilities along Fowler Avenue – Extended; Montana State University-Bozeman

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of Item i.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

j.    ITEM 127-127-R0505 – Student Health Insurance Program; Montana University System

  Item j. was deferred to the September 2005 meeting


Following a 10-minute break, the Board reconvened at 11:00 a.m.


Chancellor Sexton introduced all the members of the College of Technology staff who had made the meeting as enjoyable as it was.  They received a standing ovation.

 

k.   ITEM 126-106-R0305 – New Policy on Enrollment Reserves; Montana University System

Following the Committee meeting, the policy on Enrollment Reserves was amended and handed out at this time.  Regent Semmens noted the policy is permissive with the option to make changes later.  Two considerations are either permissive as it is now, or mandatory (campuses want permissive), and how broadly to allow the expenditures.  Rod Sundsted had intended that the funds be used only for unanticipated revenue shortfalls, but Regent Semmens suggested perhaps a tight expansion for such things as utilities could be made.  However, he said the definition must be tight enough to make this a permanent reserve fund.  He believes it should be for unanticipated and unexpected expenditures and shortfalls.

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of Item k. with the specified amendments.

President Dennison said he agreed entirely with this approach, and the fund should be permanent with tight constraints.  He believes the campuses must stand accountable to the Board for having used the funds.  Regent Semmens asked if there was any reason this item could not be delayed to the September meeting.  Regent Barrett indicated a step is a step, and being near the fiscal year end, they should be allowed to make use of the funds.  It can be fine tuned in the future.  Pam Joehler noted this is a good first step, as it helps the campuses manage unanticipated shortfalls.  She believes it is a good move for the Board to give approval, and monitor how the funds are being handled over the next year.  Regent Hamilton expressed concern that the Legislature might look at these funds, and cut the system budget.  President Gamble said there could be concern if the funds grew to a significant amount, but as a tool, a small amount for specific purposes is good.  Regent Semmens said the time is right with the decline in enrollment and the demographics.  Regent Taylor expressed the feelings of the legislature in looking at these funds, that if as President Dennison said they are tightly constrained, that means it isn’t slush money and they can accept that.

  Motion APPROVED on 6-1 vote with Regent Hamilton dissenting

l.    ITEM 127-123-R0505 Proposed Revision of Policy 407 - Approval of University System Employee Equity Interest and/or Business Participation; Montana University System   Attachment   Form

Item l. deferred to the September 2005 meeting for demonstrations by the campuses of what they are doing in the areas of research and development.

m.  Demonstration by The University of Montana-Missoula of finance data warehouse program, and front-end reports.

Presentations were made to the Committee on Wednesday.

n.   ITEM 127-121-R0505The Board of Regents directs the Commissioner of Higher Education to proceed toward a University System data warehouse, which includes finance, human resources, student, and financial aid components, and provides executive and management level standard report capabilities.  The Board of Regents further directs the campus Presidents to work with the Commissioner to provide the resources, both personnel and financial, that are required to successfully implement the Regents Data Warehouse Information and Report System.  The Commissioner is further directed to give a formal report to the Board at each meeting regarding the progress of this effort.    Attachment

Regent Semmens noted that the two sides of the system are developing two different approaches to the data warehouse.  He said he hopes and expects that the Montana University System will not have resources and effort spent for two different systems.  He offered kudos to the IT staff and the fiscal staff for developing the program to this level.  Commissioner Stearns referred to the piece presented by Laurie Neils and Kevin Turner, which currently plans to begin with the finance data.  She noted that her office needs help from the campuses, and guidance from the Board to be able to serve and do the job.  Pam Joehler said she was astonished when she took her position with OCHE and saw the poor condition of data availability, and for staff to be so data poor with the size of the operation.  Policy starts with good information and data.  She said the campuses use Banner and are proficient with it, and availability to their data is extraordinary compared to what OCHE has.  Further, she stated that when they receive data from the campuses, they must be able to verify it independently, but are unable to do so.  They would have a greater comfort level if they could verify the data independently.  Following the demonstration the previous day, Laurie Neils met with the campuses who were willing to help OCHE who has some one time funds to dedicate to this project.  If the Board gives the go ahead, Ms. Joehler indicated they would proceed immediately to work with the campuses to get the data warehouse down the road.  Regent Semmens indicated they must ensure that direct data access is available in the Office of the Commissioner, and the security issues can be worked through.  There also must be a single system that is developed cooperatively.  Both campuses have the skills to do this.  Mark Sheehan said there are no fundamental changes in the use of Banner.  As they approach this, one purpose will be to roll up the data and normalize it to make it comparable to that at UM so apples and apples can be compared.  President Hetrick reported that neither Miles Community College nor Dawson Community College is on Banner.  This poses a problem for them to communicate common databases.  President Dennison said they needed to include the community colleges and probably others, but if the program can be set up now, those others can be incorporated later.

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of Item n.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 7-0 vote

Pam Joehler was assigned to Chair the committee to implement this item.


PUBLIC COMMENT

Representative Norma Bixby requested that the Montana University System keep the Education Offices at the Tribal Colleges informed on scholarship information, rather than just the financial aid offices.  She also requested Student Regent French to make more contact with the tribal students because they now have dual enrollment.  She reported that Chief Dull Knife College had five graduates of the Montana University System with honors.  She asked the Board to invite the tribal colleges to the July retreat for strategic planning.  Further, Native students need to feel a level of comfort when entering the university system.  It will add to system enrollment, and she believes it should be a natural transition, a part of the process.  Rep. Bixby expressed disappointment that the Legislature had not funded the Indian Education for All Act, but reported she and Commissioner Stearns were discussing ways to proceed without it.

END PUBLIC COMMENT

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Regent Hamilton left the meeting at this time.


CONSENT AGENDA

Staff Items:

a.

ITEM 127-100-R0505 – Staff; Office Commissioner of Higher Education
b. ITEM 127-1000-R0505 – Staff; The University of Montana-Missoula
c. ITEM 127-1011-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Upon Richard J. Field; The University of Montana-Missoula
d. ITEM 127-1012-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Geology Upon Graham Thompson; The University of Montana-Missoula
e. ITEM 127-1013-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences Upon Rudy A. Gideon; The University of Montana-Missoula
f. ITEM 127-1014-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences Upon Johnny W. Lott; The University of Montana-Missoula
g. ITEM 127-1015-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Spanish Upon Anthony Beltramo; The University of Montana-Missoula
h. ITEM 127-1016-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of French Upon Sigyn Minier; The University of Montana-Missoula
i. ITEM 127-1017-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Upon Thomas P. Huff; The University of Montana-Missoula
j. ITEM 127-1018-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Upon Burke Townsend; The University of Montana-Missoula
k. ITEM 127-1019-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Sociology Upon Paul E. Miller; The University of Montana-Missoula
l. ITEM 127-1500-R0505 – Staff; Montana Tech of The University of Montana
m. ITEM 127-1500A-R0505 – Staff; Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology
n. ITEM 127-1600-R0505 – Staff; The University of Montana-Western
o. ITEM 127-1900-R0505 – Staff; The University of Montana-Helena College of Technology
p. ITEM 127-2000-R0505 - Staff; Montana State University-Bozeman
q. ITEM 127-2001-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering upon Victor Gerez; Montana State University-Bozeman
r. ITEM 127-2002-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Animal and Range Sciences upon Don D. Kress; Montana State University-Bozeman
s. ITEM 127-2003-R0505 - Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Art upon Francis J. Noel III; Montana State University-Bozeman
t. ITEM 127-2300-R0505 - Staff; Ag Experiment Station
u. ITEM 127-2400-R0505 - Staff; Cooperative Extension Service
v. ITEM 127-2700-R0505 - Staff; Montana State University-Billings
w. ITEM 127-2800-R0505 - Staff; Montana State University-Northern

  Regent Foster moved APPROVAL of all Staff Items.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 6-0 vote

Labor Agreements/Other

a.

ITEM 127-111-R0505 - Approval of Tentative Agreement with Montana Public Employees Association; Montana University System   Memo    Agreement
b. ITEM 127-116-R0505 – Approval of Tentative Agreement with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Montana University System   Memo    Agreement
c. ITEM 127-117-R0505 – Approval of Tentative Agreement with the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters; Montana University System   Memo    Agreement
e. ITEM 127-130-R0505 – Approval of Tentative Agreement With Montana University System Maintenance Painters Union; Office Commissioner of Higher Education   Memo
f. ITEM 127-131-R0505 – Approval of Tentative Agreement with AFSCME Local 441, Montana State University Livestock and Range Research Lab in Miles City, MT; Office Commissioner of Higher Education   Memo
g. ITEM 127-2801-R0505 - Appointment of (Len) Eric Albright to the Montana Motorcycle Safety Advisory Committee; Montana State University-Northern   Memo

  Regent Barrett moved APPROVAL of Items a. – c. and e. – g.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 6-0 vote

Administrative/Budget Items:

a.

ITEM 127-1006-R0505 – Status Report on Authorized LRBP and Other Projects; The University of Montana-Missoula   Attachment 1     Attachment 2
b. ITEM 127-2004-R0505 - Status Report on Authorized LRBP and Other Projects; Montana State University-Bozeman   Attachment
c. ITEM 127-1009-R0505 – Student Computer Fee Employment Allocation; The University of Montana-Missoula   Memo
d. ITEM 127-1010-R0505 – Student Computer Fee Equipment Allocation; The University of Montana-Missoula   Memo
e. ITEM 127-2701-R0505 - Authorization to Expend Student Computer Fee Allocation; Montana State University-Billings
f. ITEM 127-2005-R0505 - Authorization to Expend Equipment Fees: Montana State University-Bozeman
g. ITEM 127-1004-R0505 – Foundation Operating Agreement; The University of Montana-Missoula
h. ITEM 127-1501-R0505 – Foundation Operating Agreement; Montana Tech of The University of Montana
i. ITEM 127-132-R0505 – Foundation Operating Agreement; Montana State University-Northern

  Regent Semmens moved APPROVAL of Items a. through i.

  Motion APPROVED unanimously on 6-0 vote


PRESENTATIONS

The following Resolution was adopted by the Board.

Resolution of Thanks and Appreciation

 

Come now the Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education and resolve as follows:

Whereas, Rod Sundsted, has served the Board of Regents, the Montana University System and the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education for fourteen years, first as Director of Labor Relations, and for the past twelve years as Associate Commissioner of Fiscal Affairs; and

Whereas, Rod brought to the University System a wealth of knowledge of state government based on his prior experience as State Budget Director and before that as head of the State Labor Relations Bureau; and

Whereas, Rod also brought to the University System an abundant amount of common sense, an unparalleled work ethic and a seemingly unflappable demeanor (all probably a result of spending his younger years among the many Danes, Norwegians and Swedes in the rural reaches of northeastern Montana near Plentywood); and

Whereas, Rod was universally recognized as a person of unimpeachable integrity; a virtue that earned him the trust and respect of all who worked with him and which made him a most valuable representative of the University System in legislative halls or gubernatorial offices; and

Whereas, Rod has now chosen to move on to another stage in life;

 

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED

That the Board of Regents, on its own behalf and on behalf of the students, employees and officers of the Montana University System, and on behalf of all the citizens of the State of Montana,

Extend to Rod their heartfelt and sincere thanks and appreciation for his exemplary service to the Montana University System over the past fourteen years; and

Wish Rod and his spouse Kathy good fortune and happiness in the years to come, and success in all their endeavors (which in Rod’s case is sure to involve playing golf and rooting for the Yankees and Bobcats).

Adopted this 20th day of May, 2005 by the Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education meeting in regular session in Billings, Montana.

/S/ John A. Mercer                                      /S/ Sheila M. Stearns                                      

Chair, Board of Regents                          Commissioner of Higher Education


ELECTION OF BOARD OFFICERS

     Regent Taylor nominated Regent Mercer for Chairman.  With no other nominations, Regent Mercer stands as Chairman.

     Regent Barrett nominated Regent Foster for Vice Chair.  With no other nominations, Regent Foster stands as Vice Chairman.


The Board Recessed at 11:50 a.m. and went directly into Executive Session

With no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.


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