DATE: September 27, 2001

MEMO TO: Montana Board of Regents

FROM: Stephen T. Hulbert, Chancellor

SUBJECT: Campus Report for September 2001, Board of Regents' Meeting 

         The University of Montana - Western has undertaken a number of activities and enhanced services to provide for the special needs of the campus in light of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. These include additional counseling services; special accommodations for students with family members affected by the events; public observance of the national day of prayer and remembrance and other servicing of the spiritual needs of the Western community; class discussions that examine the relevance of the events; and class activities that promote tolerance, especially for the groups that are unfairly associated with the terrorist activities.

         Western will observe September 28th, American Indian Heritage Day, by special activities involving students enrolled in Western's Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP). ITEP is a collaborative program with Salish-Kootenai College (SKC) involving the offering of Western's elementary education program on the SKC campus. Activities will include the involvement of ITEP students in elementary education courses offered in Dillon. There will also be a public reception for the ITEP students in the Student Union Building.

         Western has received notification from the U. S. Department of Education that the University's proposal for funding from the department's Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) has been approved. Western is funded for $417,797 over a three-year period ($96,187 for the first year). This grant will allow the University to recruit and teach a cohort of students who will complete the general education curriculum using an immersion scheduling model similar to that used successfully at several private institutions. Students will complete four four-week courses, one at a time, over the course of each of two semesters. It is believed that this scheduling model will enhance student success and promote the experiential learning that is a major distinguishing feature of the campus mission statement. If this scheduling model proves successful, it will be adopted campus-wide for Academic Year 2004-5.

         Western has begun to implement enhanced student services programming funded with a grant from the Department of Education's Student Support Services Program. These increased services are expected to enhance the success and graduation rates of educationally disadvantaged students. Program services, available to up to 80% of Western's students, will include needs assessment, orientation, academic monitoring, basic skills instruction, academic counseling and referral, personal counseling and referral, financial aid assistance, tutoring services, and peer mentoring. The program has significant potential for increasing the overall retention and graduation rates of the campus.

         U. S. News and World Reports has named Western as one of America's Best Colleges in the "Top Public Western Comprehensive CollegesBachelor's" category where Western was ranked the third best. This designation recognizes Western's emphasis on providing quality baccalaureate programs, both in the liberal arts and sciences and in its professional programs in business and teacher education.