Montana State University-Bozeman Diversity Report

January 2001

 

III.        Campus Report

 

A.         Enrollment Management

 

MSU’s recruitment activities aimed at Native Americans include hiring a Native American recruiter (who is Native American) to work in New Student Services and assigning the Native American student advisor to assist in recruiting.  These efforts involve traveling to tribal community high schools and tribal colleges, presenting at career fairs, and working with high school career counselors.   Our outreach to reservations and surrounding communities involves currently enrolled students talking to high school students and tribal leaders about the value of higher education and their satisfaction with MSU. The Montana Apprenticeship Program (MAP) brings junior and senior high school students to campus for six weeks during the summer.  Middle and high school science and mathematics teachers also participate in summer enrichment programs on campus.  The Native American Student Advisor coordinates campus visits of students and teachers from tribal community schools.  Despite these efforts, our enrollment of American Indian students peaked at 2.5% in Fall 1996 and has declined to 2.0% in Fall 2000.

 

The University makes no special efforts to recruit Hispanic or Asian American students.  A significant percentage of the African American students enrolled at the University have been recruited for their athletic abilities.  The following chart traces enrollment patterns by percentage of Native American, other ethnic and racial minority students, and percent of total known, U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens.  Students listing “Other” were included although, at this time, it is impossible to determine whether anyone so identifying him- or herself is using this category to denote a mixed racial heritage.  The data show that the percentage enrollment of all ethnic and racial minority groups has remained constant (between 4.2% and 5.1%) over the past eight years.

 

Student Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity

 

 

Fall

 

Total

 

Nat

Am

 

% N.A.

 

Black

 

Hispanic

 

Asian

 

Other

 

Total R/E

 

% R/E

 

Total ALL

 

%

 

2000

 

10515

 

211

 

2.0%

 

38

 

133

 

80

 

48

 

299

 

2.8%

 

510

 

4.9%

 

1999

 

10219

 

216

 

2.1%

 

38

 

116

 

95

 

39

 

288

 

2.8%

 

504

 

4.9%

 

1998

 

10035

 

227

 

2.3%

 

25

 

110

 

87

 

21

 

243

 

2.4%

 

470

 

4.7%

 

1997

 

10037

 

242

 

2.4%

 

32

 

113

 

88

 

19

 

252

 

2.5%

 

494

 

4.9%

 

1996

 

9795

 

240

 

2.5%

 

33

 

118

 

93

 

14

 

258

 

2.6%

 

498

 

5.1%

 

1995

 

9665

 

231

 

2.4%

 

36

 

113

 

86

 

15

 

250

 

2.6%

 

481

 

5.0%

 

1994

 

9281

 

231

 

2.5%

 

33

 

110

 

88

 

12

 

243

 

2.6%

 

474

 

5.1%

 

1993

 

8967

 

212

 

2.4%

 

38

 

96

 

70

 

9

 

213

 

2.4%

 

425

 

4.7%

 

1992

 

8435

 

186

 

2.2%

 

29

 

88

 

46

 

6

 

169

 

2.0%

 

355

 

4.2%

 

B.         Graduation/Completions

 

In addition to participating in the OCHE sponsored Gear Up program aimed at intervening at the middle school level to establish norms for academic success, the University sponsors or provides programs and services aimed at retaining students until graduation.  These include:

 

1.                   A full time Native American Student Advisor coordinates the Peer Advising Program described below, monitors students’ academic progress through an early warning system which currently tracks 40 students, and facilitates a weekly counseling and support group which is regularly attended by between 12 and 20 students.

2.                   The American Indian Club and its affiliate organizations such as the Bobcat Drum and Dance group, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and the American Indian Business Leaders Group are student organizations with faculty/staff advisors.  These groups sponsor social activities for Native American students and their families; provide service and outreach to community groups and schools, and organize the annual Pow Wow.

3.                   The Indian Club meeting room in the basement of Wilson Hall houses the Native American Student Advisor and provides meeting and study space, student computers, reference books and other academic resources.

4.                   Tutoring and learning support services are provided through the Advance by Choice program, ASMSU tutoring, and the AIRO programs.

5.                   The Native American Peer Advising Program in which upper class Indian students mentor entering and transfer students matched 14 students with peer advisors during Fall semester.

6.                   The Native American Student Advisor, the staff of the AIRO program and Advance By Choice work with the tribal colleges to ease transition issues facing students when they enter MSU.

7.                   A number of programs and initiatives provide academic enhancement activities and support for students in particular majors or academic programs.  These include the AIRO program, the Initiative for Minority Student Development for students interested in biomedical/health science careers, the American Indian Business Leaders Chapter, the AISES chapter, and the EMPower Program in Engineering.

 

C.         Funding

 

In addition to the Indian Fee Waivers and other scholarships summarized by the OCHE, discretionary funds support the following staff, programs and/or services:

 

1.                   The tenurable faculty, the Native American Student Advisor, and classified staff of the Native American Studies Program (6 FTE) and the operating expenses and other support for the academic minor and Masters of Arts degree in Native American Studies.

2.                   The computers, reference books, academic aids, and overhead for the Indian Club room.

3.                   The AIRO Office and the EMPower program, which are funded in part by Dean of the College of Engineering.

4.                   The minority admissions representative in New Student Services.

5.                   Outreach to and conferences for tribal college librarians, funded by CNAS and the Renne Library.

6.                   The Multicultural Resources Center, funded by ASMSU.

7.                   The Enhanced Recruitment Program funded by the Provost’s Office.

8.                   Funds to match the William and Flora Hewlett Grant to restructure the University’s core curriculum.

9.                   Use of Berger gift monies to support the Pow Wow, the Native American Emergency Student Loan Fund, recruitment trips and expenses, sponsored lectures, and other special projects and initiatives.

10.               The Endowed Chair in Native American Studies is partially funded by the Provost, the Dean of the College of Letters and Science, and the interest from the endowment.

11.               New student orientation sessions that focus on diversity and creating a tolerant and accepting campus environment are supported from orientation fees.

 

D.         Faculty/Staff

 

Since 1998, the Provost’s Office has provided funds for the Affirmative Action Office to use to enhance recruitment of women and ethnic minorities.  These funds have been used to advertise vacancies in specialized recruitment sources such as the Affirmative Action Registry, to recruit at conferences and caucuses attended by women and ethnic minorities, and to invite additional women and ethnic minority candidates to campus for interviews.  This incentive money was at least partially responsible for the recruitment and subsequent hiring of an Assistant Professor of Architecture who is Native American and an Assistant Professor of Business who is Hispanic.

 

American Indians and other minorities are currently employed in the following senior leadership positions:

 

1.                   The newly appointed Interim Dean of the College of Engineering is Native American.

2.                   The newly appointed Dean of the College of Business is Hispanic.

3.                   The Endowed Chair of Native American Studies is Native American.

4.                   The Head of the Department of Native American Studies, the Director of the Center for Bilingual/Multicultural Education, one of the Extension Service Directors, and the MONTS Director are Native American.

5.                   The Directors of the Advance By Choice, the AIRO program, and the Office of Tribal Services are Native American.

 

Recruiting American Indian and ethnic minority faculty continues to be a challenge due to extremely low availability.   For example, based on 1997 availability figures, which are the most recent, only 151 American Indians received doctoral degrees in all fields, making their overall availability 0.5%.  MSU employs 6 tenurable faculty, counting a department head, for a utilization of 1.3%.  This means that the University’s employment of Native American faculty exceeds their overall availability.  MSU employs 9 tenurable Asian faculty or 1.9% of the total tenurable instructional faculty.  The overall availability of Asian Americans with doctoral degrees is 10.3%, meaning that the University is underutilizing Asian faculty.  MSU employs only one tenurable Hispanic faculty member and no African American faculty, making our utilization far below the overall availability. 

 

Two of 63 administrators (3.1%) are American Indian or ethnic or racial minorities.  Unfortunately, there are no reliable availability figures.  The most current statistics show that 13.8% of administrators in education and related fields are “Black” and “Hispanic.”  No comparable statistics for Asian Americans or American Indians are available.  Thus, as far as can be determined, the University is underutilizing racial and ethnic minorities. 

 

The situation in regard to staff is surprising.  1990 Census data for Gallatin, Madison, Meager, and Park Counties, the area from which staff are generally recruited, shows an overall availability of 2.3% for all American Indian and other racial and ethnic minorities. The University’s overall utilization of nonfaculty/non-administrative staff was 3.1%, indicating that we have met the goal of employing American Indians and other ethnic and racial minorities in staff positions equal to their availability in the relevant labor force.   

 

F.         Coursework and Programs

 

The current core curriculum requires that students take 6 credits in courses designated  “Multicultural Perspectives and Global Issues.”  While it is not possible, at this time, to determine how many students enroll in the 56 specific courses currently listed with this designation, it is possible to estimate the numbers of students enrolled in courses in Native American Studies, the most popular of the designated “multicultural/global” courses:

 

Enrollment in Native American Studies Courses

 

 

Term

 

Total Credit Hours

 

Estimated # of Students

 Fall 2000

 1445

482

 Summer 2000

 393

131

 Spring 2000

1443

 481

 Fall 1999

 1373

 458

 

In addition, during Fall 2000, six students were enrolled as NAS minors; ten were enrolled in the NAS graduate program.

 

Students in General Studies are required to enroll in GS 101, Social Equity, a 3 credit course which helps them interpret events, situations and conflicts from diverse cultural perspectives and examine their beliefs, attitudes, and perspectives with regard to multicultural issues.  In Fall 2000, 580 students enrolled in this course.  An additional 240 first year students enrolled in CLS (College of Letters and Science) 101, College Seminar, another 3 credit course which introduces students to the University, stresses the development of critical thinking skills, and prepares them to participate in a diverse community of learners.  Based on the above figures, approximately 11% of the student body enrolled in courses or seminars that enhanced multicultural awareness and understanding.

 

MSU is in the third year of a four-year grant to restructure the undergraduate core curriculum.  Three specific initiatives focus on diversity and multicultural education.  These are (1) the proposed revision of the freshman seminar includes a significant diversity component, (2) the development of a new courses under an  “Inquiry” designation which will pair faculty from the Natural Sciences and the Humanities and Social Sciences to co-teach newly developed courses on contemporary issues from a cross disciplinary and multicultural perspective, and (3) the proposal that students take one course designated as a “diversity” course from a list of new, existing, and reconfigured courses.

 

Finally, the College of Education requires secondary education majors to complete EDSD 363 Multicultural Education and elementary education majors to complete EDCI Introduction to Multicultural Education in order to graduate and obtain teaching certification.

 

IV         Future Directions

 

A.         Assessment/Future Areas

 

In the University’s Mid-Decade Report, dated March 1997, the University identified six goals.  These goals and a brief assessment of each follows:

 

1.                   Articulate the institution’s continuing commitment to cultural diversity...and ensure the University community is committed to eliminating discrimination and to establishing a learning and working environment that promotes achievement while fostering tolerance.

Assessment:     This goal can never be accomplished but many committed faculty and staff work hard to implement it.  For example, the Nondiscrimination Policies and Procedures are posted electronically on the University’s Web site and are printed in the University Bulletin and Class Schedules.  Certainly, the focus of both Freshmen Seminars is to help entering students create and maintain a diverse, tolerant and inquisitive learning community. 

 

2.                   Continue and strengthen programs and services which enhance minority participation in the University and institutionalize effective programs.

Assessment:     Several important, successful programs that were initially funded from grants and contracts have been institutionalized including the EMPower project which grew out of ABC, SEA, and AIRO initiatives, the expanded student recruitment activities of New Student Services and the NAS advisor, the Tribal College Library support project, and the Native American Housing Technical Assistance Institute.

 

3.                   Involve all faculty and staff in multicultural/diversity training.

Assessment:     Several workshops for faculty and staff have been provided over the past eight years, including the Science and Engineering for All (SEA) project which trained selected faculty in understanding the issues and problems women and American Indian students experience in college and the restructuring of the Faculty Orientation program to focus on the diverse learning styles of students. Despite these and other efforts,  this goal has generally not been accomplished in any consistent, systematic fashion, due primarily to lack of money and staff resources. 

 

4.                   Meet student needs for multicultural understanding.

Assessment:     As explained above, this goal has been the met through a number of programs and initiatives including the Freshman Seminars, the on-going revision of the core curriculum, the multicultural course requirements for graduation and teacher certification, the focus on diversity in New Student Orientation, and in the establishment of the Native American Studies Graduate Program.

 

5.                   A.  Achieve parity in enrollment by increasing enrollment to approximately 500 America

            Indian students by 2002 and increasing the enrollment of other ethnic minority students.

Assessment:     Based on the past eight years of experience, it is probably unrealistic to expect the University to increase its enrollment of Native American students to 6%, the representation of Native peoples in the state’s population, based on the 1990 Census.  It is more realistic to expect the University’s enrollment to reflect the percentage representation of American Indians in the over 16, high school graduate population, which is approximately 3%.  Even with these more realistic expectations, the University will need to continue and enhance its student recruitment efforts.

 

B.  Increase American Indian and other ethnic minority faculty and staff by intensifying recruitment and hiring efforts.

Assessment:     Despite modest success in recruiting American Indians and other racial and ethnic minorities faculty and staff in proportion to their representation in the relevant labor force, the University will continue to emphasize recruitment and target specific positions for enhanced recruitment efforts.

 

C.  Continue and expand “pipeline” related activities.

Assessment:     Many activities and initiatives have been aimed at keeping students in the educational pipeline through high school, into college, and through graduation.  Among these have been the Science and Engineering for All project, the EMPower and AISES initiatives with reservation high schools, Native American Peer Advisors program, and the summer residence programs sponsored by MAP and planned by Gear Up.

 

6.                   Achieve parity in graduation rates between Native American, racial and ethnic minorities, and majority students.

Assessment:     Graduation rates are particularly difficult to determine for all populations, but particularly problematic for Native American students.  The Completions study, for example, shows how many students graduated, but not how many started.  The graduation rate study shows how many started and finished, but is limited to first- time, full-time degree seeking, continuously enrolled students.  Since many American Indian and other ethnic minority students do not enroll in MSU as first-time or full-time students and many do no maintain continuous enrollment, the graduation rate study misses many students who may be successfully completing their degrees. 

 

Goals and Improvement Targeted Over the Next 2-5 Years.

 

President Gamble has established the following objectives for the University as a whole:

 

Ø                   Use the resources of the University to help raise the educational attainment of the state’s American Indian population by:

(i)                   helping increase high school and GED graduates,

(ii)                 moving students into the tribal colleges and appropriate units of MUS,

(iii)                helping students transition to four year programs, and

(iv)                working to improve graduation and completion rates.

           

Ø                   Provide professional development opportunities for colleagues at the tribal colleges.

 

Ø                   Ensure that programs and initiatives work for Native people, as well as the University, through careful and collaborative planning, the establishment of realistic accountability measures, and on-going, University-wide reporting and assessment.

 

On the Bozeman campus, the six goals discussed above should be updated based on the forthcoming 2000 Census, but not radically altered.  For example, enrollment goals should be set for the college eligible population of Native Americans and other ethnic and racial minorities in the state, not on population as a whole.  Employment goals should recalculated to reflect the availability of under-represented populations in the relevant labor markets.  Further, graduation rates should be studied systematically using multiple measures.  Finally, the goal of universal faculty and staff diversity training and the institutionalization of effective soft money programs will require not just the redistribution of existing University resources but the allocation of additional funds as well.