January 20 – 21, 2004


ITEM 126-102-R0105                  A New Meeting Schedule for the Montana Board of Regents


THAT:                                       The Board of Regents adopt a new meeting schedule that would result in the following changes:

(1)           the Board would continue to hold its traditional and customary meetings in the months of March, May, September and November; it would meet with the Board of Public Education, in January and July, as the Board of Education, to satisfy its constitutional mandate;

(2)           it would have a short meeting, in January or July, on an “as needed” basis, to complete any Board of Regents’ work that cannot wait until the March or September meeting;

(3)           it will hold its annual Board retreat, in July, in conjunction with that month’s Board of Education meeting.


The new schedule will begin with the July 2005 meeting.


EXPLANATION:                        The revised meeting schedule is proposed for several reasons, including the following:

a)             the new schedule will reduce the number of regular

Regent meetings from six to four, hopefully saving time and expense for everyone associated with the meetings;

b)             the new schedule will give staff in the Commissioner’s office, and on the campuses, more time to prepare for Regent meetings;

c)             the new schedule will make more efficient use of Regents’ time, particularly with the focus on Board of Education meetings in January and July; under the current schedule, those meetings typically require additional travel for the Board to satisfy that obligation;

d)             the new schedule will also eliminate a separate trip for the Board’s annual retreat, and will move that important activity to the beginning of the planning year.


Members of the Board of Regents have been consulted about the meeting schedule change.  The proposal has also been distributed widely on the campuses of the Montana University System.  The academic officers in the System have been consulted carefully about the proposal, because the change could have the most impact on the program approval process.  The feedback from everyone has been supportive, and can probably be summarized in two phrases:  a) fewer meetings would be a real bonus; and b) they will try to work with whatever schedule is formally adopted by the Board.


The Academic & Student Affairs Committee of the Board has reviewed the proposal, and will make a recommendation to the full Board at this meeting.