TO: Board of Regents
FROM: LeRoy H. Schramm
RE: UM Military Science Minor
DATE: May 20 - 21, 2004
At the Regents’ meeting in January questions arose as to the criteria used by the UM Academic Standards and Curriculum Review Committee (ASCRC) to evaluate the application for a military science minor. The Board was assured by several individuals from the UM campus that the military science minor had been reviewed under the same standards used to judge academic curriculum and program requests generally. A transcribed copy of the comments made to the Board is appended hereto as Attachment 1. After the meeting some Regents requested this office make some additional inquiry into this matter. This continued interest was in part fueled by a December 2, 2003 Montana Kaiman story that cited an ASCRC member's memo that criticized the military science proposal on grounds that seemed more political than academic. Copies of the Montana Kaiman story and the memo are appended hereto as Attachment 2 and 3 respectively.
The ASCRC minutes of 12/02/03 state: "Chair Hayes stated that the Senate Chair, Bill Knowles has asked for a statement of justification without political or philosophical references for the rejection of the military science minor." The minutes of the next ASCRC meeting (12/9/03) note that, probably in response to Knowles’ request, "a refined version of the ASCRC's review of the military science minor is now available on the Faculty Senate web page." This is the document that Professor Knowles provided to the Regents at their January meeting and a copy is appended hereto as Attachment 4. The same minutes go on to say: "The other philosophical/ethical/emotional/political concerns will be put in an addendum. Those who are interested in viewing this information can contact the senate office." The Faculty Senate minutes of 12/11/03 mention the same document; to wit: "Hayes clarified that there is a second body of information that has to do with philosophical and emotional issues that is being put together in a cohesive form. After the break this document will be available in the Faculty Senate Office but will not be posted." A copy of this document labeled as “Military Science Minor –ASCRC Review 2003 (addendum)” is appended hereto as Attachment 5.
Faculty Senate Chair Bill Knowles stated to me that both he and the ASCRC Chair, Louis Hayes, are of the opinion that the Moore memo expressing political and philosophical concerns about the Military Science minor should be seen for what it is: a draft position that never was adopted by the ASCRC as a body. And while some of the same concerns, expressed in a considerably more muted manner, did find their way into the ASCRC Addendum, Professor Knowles stands by his previous observation to the Board that the valid and appropriate academic reasons referred to in the main body of ASCRC Review are an accurate reflection of the criteria used by a majority of ASCRC and Faculty Senate members. Finally, Professor Knowles asked that the Board be made aware of the ongoing efforts by UM academic personnel to work with Military Science personnel to improve and bolster the academic content of the minor application. A copy of his e-mail to me on this subject is appended hereto as Attachment 6.