Question #12

Please provide follow-up information on the Skeen Institute materials provided to the Governor on 1/27/09: Why was the website changed in a two week period?  Why was it reported to the press that the project is defunct, yet there are still operating revenues?  Why is MSU asking for a FY 10 federal initiative that continues this work?

  • The Information Technology Coordinator for the Agriculture Experiment Station looked at the website properties and offers this explanation for the appearance of a website change.  There is a Skeen page posted on the Animal and Range Extension site which is the first link in an Internet search (at least on (   This page appears to either be a draft of a website or the first website for the Montana Skeen Project.  The second link in an Internet search (at least on is which is the newer, more complete site.  Both sites are Internet accessible, both are cataloged by search engines, and they look very similar.  It is likely that, when the project changed the URL to, the first site on the A&RS website was forgotten and not removed.  Thus, if someone looking at the Montana Skeen Institute happened to click on the different addresses, even within minutes of each other, it would seem like the page had been changed or updated when, in reality, there are two sites with very similar information and looks.  Neither site has been changed or updated since March 2007.  (Technology tracking allows the site managers to know exactly when the last update was entered.)

  • Some contracting or granting agencies allow carryover of unspent operating funds.  Skeen Institute funds fit into that category, and some funds remained available in FY09.