Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education 

Minutes

One Day Retreat

March 20, 2002

Montana State University-Northern

Havre, MT 


These minutes were approved unanimously at the  

May 23-24, 2002 meeting of the Board in Dillon, MT.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2002

The meeting convened at 8:30 a.m.

 

Chairwoman Thompson called on Regent Roehm to introduce and comment on the three resolutions he had drafted for consideration at this Regents’ meeting. 

 

After opening comments about the three resolutions, he moved the adoption of the resolution entitled:

 

“Resolution Regarding the Respective Role of the Board of Regents and University System Managers”  (included as Attachment 1).

 

Regent Mercer: (1) raised a procedural question about whether this resolution had been distributed sufficiently in advance to enable action on it at this meeting; (2) objected to the language that said the Regents “have no ability to perform the actual work of the University System;” and (3) questioned the language that said the Commissioner was the principal employee of the Board of Regents.

 

In responding to Regent Mercer’s comments, Regent Semmens noted that this Board takes a proactive and committed role in the control and management of the Montana University System and he has been told by people with experience in other state’s that this Board is way out in front of what happens in other states with regard to being proactive and in charge.  Regent Mercer commented that the real problem is with the meeting format.  

 

Regent Hur moved to table Regent Roehm’s motion until the May meeting.

 

The Motion was approved on a 4-3 vote.


Regent Mercer moved the approval of his item on changes to the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.  

 

Regent Hamilton moved to table action on the motion until the end of the discussion on each element of the proposed changes.  

 

The Motion was approved unanimously.  


Regent Mercer moved that the reports from students, campus CEOs, and the Commissioner be submitted in writing in advance of the meeting and that the oral reports be eliminated.

 

The Motion was approved on a 5-2 vote. 


Regent Hur moved that the Commissioner be authorized to set up meetings with faculty, classified employees, students, and campus CEOs at each meeting of the Board of Regents.  The Commissioner will consult with these groups to determine the specifics of meeting times and frequency of meetings.  

 

The Motion was approved unanimously.


After a brief discussion of the use of email by the Regents, consensus was reached that Regents should contact LeRoy Schramm for guidance and opinion at any time they see some email activity involving all of the Regents that seems questionable.


Regent Mercer moved that ex-officio members of the Board of Regents (the Governor and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction) be included on all emails to the Regents as a group.  The Commissioner’s Office will supply these email addresses to all of the Regents.

 

The Motion was approved unanimously.


Regent Jasmin moved to take Regent Mercer’s motion on changes to the By-laws off the table.

 

The Motion was approved unanimously.  

 

Regent Roehm moved that the item be tabled until the May meeting of the Board of Regents and that the Committee looking into meeting format reconvene to develop recommendations for the Regents after input from the staff.  After further discussion, Regent Roehm amended his motion to take out the reconvening of the Committee.  

 

The motion to table failed on a 3-4 vote.

 

Regent Mercer moved to add to Article IV of the By-laws the following as a new second sentence in the paragraph: 

 

“However, the chair may assign any Regent to temporarily preside over some specific portion of a meeting.” 

The Motion was approved unanimously.

 

Regent Mercer moved the following new language be added to Article V:  

 

“To place an item, or group of items, on the agenda, a member of the Board of Regents, a campus, or the Commissioner must request the item or items and submit them to the Secretary of the Board of Regents at least two weeks prior to a meeting.” 

 

Regent Mercer agreed to friendly amendments that changed the two weeks prior to a meeting to three weeks and that the Commissioner and the Chair could make an exception to the requirement.  

 

Regent Jasmin offered an amendment that added 

 

“with the approval of the Commissioner” after “a campus” in the proposed new language.  

 

The AMENDMENT was approved on a 5-2 vote.  

 

The original Motion was approved unanimously.

 

Regent Mercer then moved the following new language be added to Article V:  

 

“Upon submitting an item, or group of items, the requestor shall designate the item or items as either action or discussion, information or special.  An action item, or group of action items may also be designated ‘Consent’ by the requestor, with the concurrence of the Chair.  The Chair shall place all requested matters on the agenda in the category designated by the requestor.  The Chair shall arrange the order of the items.” 

 

After informal discussion the first sentence of the proposal was changed to read:  

 

“Upon submitting an item, or group of items, the requestor shall designate the item or items as either action or discussion, information or special; after consultation with the Commissioner, the Chair shall place all such items on the agenda in the category the chair deems appropriate.”  The next to last sentence was deleted.  

 

With those changes the Motion was approved unanimously.

 

Regent Mercer then moved the following new language be added to Article V:  

 

“When a consent item, or group of consent items, is called up on the agenda for action, if there is no objection, action may be taken without further testimony or discussion.” 

 

The Motion was approved on a 6-1 vote.

Regent Mercer then moved the following new language to be added to Article V:  

 

“When an action item, other than a consent item for which no objection has been made, is called up on the agenda, the sponsoring Regent, campus, or representative of the Commissioner’s Office shall present the item, the chair will invite testimony [changed to “comment” editorially before the motion was voted upon] from citizens, students, faculty, staff, administrators and anyone else in attendance, followed by questions from the Regents.  The sponsor will then have the right to respond.  The item may be acted upon by the Regents at that time, or action may be delayed until after other action items have been presented.  Items presented may be altered or amended, but not in such a manner as to change the original topic or subject.” 

 

The Motion was approved on a 4-3 vote.

 

Regent Mercer then moved to eliminate the references to standing committees in Article VII of the By-laws.  

 

After lengthy discussion, the Motion was approved on a 4-3 vote.  

 

Regent Mercer moved to add the following language to the end of Article VIII:  

 

“Prior to convening in executive session the chair shall announce the rationale that forms the legal basis for the executive session.  When executive sessions are contemplated the meeting agenda should indicate the general topic of the contemplated executive session (e.g., honorary degree, employee evaluation, student appeal).”  

 

The Motion was approved unanimously.

 

Discussion then moved to consideration of changes to Article I X, Order of Business.  After considerable discussion of this item, the Board agreed to have LeRoy Schramm bring back a revised version incorporating the various suggestions that had been made.  The Board was unable to reach consensus on two issues.  

 

Regent Hur, therefore, moved that the order of business begin with an invocation.  

 

The motion failed on a 2-5 vote.

 

Regent Hur moved that the order of business include a pledge of allegiance or some other appropriate patriotic ceremony.

 

The motion failed on a 3-4 vote.  

 

LeRoy Schramm subsequently returned with a revised meeting format which was unanimously approved.

 

It was agreed that under the new format public input should come after the approval of the minutes.


Regent Roehm moved the adoption of his resolution entitled: 

 

“Resolution Regarding Commissioner’s Responsibilities to Direct OCHE Staff” (See Attachment 2).  

 

The Board agreed to two editorial changes in the original resolution.

 

The Motion was approved unanimously.


Regent Roehm moved the adoption of his resolution entitled:  

 

“Resolution Regarding the Restructuring Plan” (see Attachment 3).  

 

After some discussion, Regent Hur moved that the topic and the resolution be tabled and carried over to the May meeting.  

 

The motion to table failed on a 2-5 vote.  

 

Regent Roehm’s original Motion was approved on a 5-2 vote.


The Regents unanimously agreed that the amendments to the By-laws would take effect beginning with the July 2002 meeting of the Board.

 

 

A copy of the By-Laws as revised is enclosed as Attachment 4.

 

With no further business to come before the Board the meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.


Mailed to the Board of Regents on

                                                               

(Date)

                                                               

Sherry Rosette

Board Secretary

Approved by the Board of Regents on

                                                             

(Date)

                                                             

Margie Thompson

Board Chairwoman