Montana State University Great Falls College of Technology

The mission of Montana State University Great Falls College of Technology is to prepare students for immediate employment or for transfer to another higher education institution through high-quality programs and services that respond to individual, community, and workforce needs. The College s mission and goals align extremely well with those of the Montana Board of Regents. Our budget for the current biennium reflects that alignment.


The primary focus of FY 04 budgeting at MSUGF was the allocation of resources to support increased demand. In FY 04, student FTE increased 4.3%. Enrollment increases are also projected for FY 05, and additional faculty and staff lines have been budgeted to meet the demand. However, the College also allocates resources to fund new initiatives consonant with the strategic plan of the College and of the Montana University System. Many of the FY 04 initiatives will continue with the FY 05 budget. They include (parenthetical notations refer to related initiatives in the Regents strategic plan):


  • The ability to recruit high-quality adjunct faculty. In FY 04 MSUGF allocated $35,000 to raise compensation for adjunct faculty. An additional $25,000 has been built into the FY 05 budget to continue progress toward that goal. In FY 04 MSUGF also dedicated $38,000 to pilot a mentorship program pairing full-time faculty with adjunct faculty in related disciplines. Although communication and connectivity improved, the additional duties for both full-time and adjunct faculty became onerous. In FY 05, the College hope to re-allocate most of the mentorship funds to help support a new position for a human resources officer. (A3)


  • The development of a cutting-edge cadre of faculty who teach on-line. In FY 04 MSUGF allocated $74,000 to advance the expertise and the number of faculty involved in on-line teaching. Faculty satisfaction with this professional development initiative was extremely high averaging 4.6 on a 5.0 scale. With FY 04 on-line offerings increasing 20.9% and on-line FTE up 13.7%, the initiative could not have been more timely. Although the FY 04 allocation, as a one-time-only MSU sustainability grant, is not part of the FY 05 budget, MSUGF was recently awarded a substantial National Science Foundation grant, part of which will be used to continue the development of on-line expertise and offerings. (B1, C2, D3)


  • The development of arts-based programming to support Montana s creative enterprise cluster. In response to needs identified by the Governor s Office of Economic Opportunity, in FY 04 MSUGF allocated $28,039 in MSU sustainability grant funds to provide academic support for creative enterprises in Montana. Specifically, MSUGF added an Associate of Arts degree, expanded its library collection, participated in international networks for creative enterprise programming, and remodeled to create studio space. In FY 05, the College has budgeted $48,701 for a faculty line to support the Associate of Arts degree and to assist in the development of a certificate/degree program in creative enterprise. (A2, D1, D3)


  • More effective systems for job placement and transfer. In FY 04 MSUGF re-allocated funds to create a career placement/transfer advisor (A4, C3)and to support dual credit initiatives with area high schools (B2, B3, C1,C3, D3, E1). As a result, a more effective system for collecting placement data was developed, several new articulations within the Montana University System were created, and the number of high school students receiving high school and college credit simultaneously through dual-credit offerings at MSUGF increased 31%. In FY 05, curriculum revisions that jump start students in jobs, streamlined and expanded dual-credit offerings, and transfer improvements are major focuses of the College s initiatives.


The College continues to face challenges that are unaddressed or inadequately addressed in the current budget. The most pressing of these is the space limitation of the current facility. Although the departure of the College of Nursing has freed office space, classroom space continues to be in high demand. Another urgent concern is the salary level of our employees, particularly faculty. Although MSUGF used a variety of creative measures to allocate/leverage $366,800 toward additional compensation initiatives for faculty in FY 04, the ability to recruit faculty in key fields, especially health care, is an urgent concern.