Montana Board of Regents

 of Higher Education 



Special Meeting


April 2, 2003


Montana Higher Education Complex

2500 Broadway

Helena, MT 59620

These minutes were approved unanimously at the May 29-30, 2003 Meeting in Great Falls, MT






The Full Board Convened at 10:30 a.m. - Roll Call indicated a Quorum Present  


Regents Present: Richard Roehm Chairman, Lynn Morrison-Hamilton Vice-Chair, Christian Hur, Ed Jasmin, John Mercer, Mark Semmens, Lila Taylor, and Interim Commissioner Carrol Krause ex officio


Regents Absent:  Governor Judy Martz ex officio, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Linda McCulloch ex officio

It was agreed that an updated version of the Allocation Model would be added to the Agenda later in the day.


Please note:  These are items which were not completed at the March 20-21, 2003 regular meeting.


ITEM 118-104-R0303 � Workers Compensation Self Insurance; Office of Commissioner of Higher Education (Action Item) Rod Sundsted Program Proposal   RFP   By-Laws

Rod Sundsted passed out written answers to questions posed by Regent Mercer on Monday.  He indicated they have been looking at this issue since 1999 and have consistently felt it is the best option for the MUS.  The plan presented represents four months of intense work.  Although adopting the self insured workers comp program will be more work for everyone involved, they are convinced it is the best long term option for the system.  Mr. Sundsted indicated they needed the strong support of the Board before they would proceed since it will be for the long term.  Brian Benton of the State Fund gave a brief overview of the reasons for the premium they quoted this year.  He did note that a big motivation to self insuring is having more control over capital and reaping rewards on the investment income.  Lawrence Hubbard of the Montana State Fund reminded the Board of the long tailed nature of some of the claims.  They currently have some that go back to 1971.  He advised the Board of the need to have, or ability to create the infrastructure to handle accident prevention, mitigate severity of claims, and staff appropriately with target case loads.  Options they have available would include retrospective rating, and a large deductible program.  New to workers comp insurance is the risk of terrorism, although the risk is low in Montana.  State Fund would contemplate that the MUS could be targets, and costs for such claims or acts need to be included in the premiums.  George Wood, Executive Secretary of Montana Self Insurers Association reported there are four public groups and three non public groups who are self insured with a payroll of over $2.2 billion.  All of the groups are enjoying success.  He indicated that with self insurance, risk can be made nearly non-existent with reinsurance.  State agencies are the only groups still captive to State Fund.  Montana Schools Group K-12, Montana Municipal Insurance Authority for Cities and Towns, and Counties are self insured.  The County of Missoula set up its own self insurance program.  Mr. Wood advised that the cost for aggregate insurance is prohibitive.  Bob Worthington of the Municipal Insurers indicated they have been self insuring towns and cities since 1986.  There are 98 cities and towns (about 6500 employees) in the group and none has left.  The program was initially created with bond issuance.  Their rates are at or below the State Fund.  In seventeen and a half years they have developed from using an outside administrator, to 17 in-house staff members, and are a full service insurance company for cities and towns.  They have a surplus of $10 million and have given back dividends in excess of $10 million.  He advised that the key to success is flexibility to change.

  Regent Hamilton MOVED for APPROVAL to proceed with self insuring workers comp 

  Regent Mercer offered a SUBSTITUTE MOTION for MUS to fully develop a self funded plan and present the options to the Board.

Regent Mercer stated he wanted others to look at the proposal, offer guidance in fine tuning it, and explain the alternatives.  He wants State Fund to also present their alternatives to what they now offer MUS.

* Substitute Motion FAILED on 4-3 vote with Regents Hur, Mercer and Taylor supporting

* Original Motion APPROVED on 5-1 vote with Regent Mercer dissenting and Regent Hur abstaining

  Regent Hamilton MOVED for APPROVAL to proceed with the revenue bond financing

* Motion APPROVED on 6-0 vote with Regent Semmens abstaining

Following a ten minute break, the Board reconvened at 1:10 p.m.

Allocation Model

Rod Sundsted provided a variety of scenarios for the Allocation Model based on various assumptions.  Regent Mercer asked when the Board needed to make a decision that staff layoffs were needed, and Mr. Sundsted suggested before the September Board meeting.  Included in each of the scenarios is continuation of the tuition differential at the current rate.  Mandatory fee waivers will be phased in over two years, and enrollment growth will be funded.  Efforts will be made to move to three tiered tuition at the two-year, four-year and university levels.  Campus CEOs will have the flexibility to maintain the quality on each campus and the two large institutions will help the smaller ones.


Fiscal Austerity Measures (Action Item) Student Regent Hur

Item i. was dropped from the Agenda by Regent Hur.


Proposal on Approved but Non-assessed Fees (Action Item) Student Regent Hur

  Regent Hur MOVED for APPROVAL of item j.

Dan Geelan, President of MAS indicated the item was redundant and requested it be removed from the Agenda.

  Regent Hur had no objection to withdrawing the item.

Therefore Policy 506.1 issued February 7, 2003 remains in effect.


Two Year Education Task Force Report - (Discussion Item) Deputy Commissioner Scott/ Chancellor Sexton

Chancellor Sexton gave an overview of the work being done by the Task Force, and noted there are different environments on the various campuses with active work-force training, and successful partnerships with both the private and public sectors.  Dr. Scott provided data on the efforts to seek matching funding for health care, which included St. Vincent�s and St. James with both supplies and clinical support.  She also provided data on the investment made by the Montana University System in the infrastructure of the two year schools, and a variety of collaborative programs.  She noted there is a gap between high school and preparation for higher education in areas such as writing, math and communication skills.


Workforce Development Projects Update (Informational Item) Arlene Parisot

Dr. Scott reported $800,000 in funding is again available in the Governor�s discretionary fund.  She noted that Ms. Parisot was able to obtain a one time grant for $80,000 for development of a health care program, and also brokered a $150,000 proposal with St. Vincent�s for incumbent worker training.


Two Year Education Proposals (Action Item) Student Regent Hur

Regent Hur suggested at least one Regent be appointed to the Task Force for Two-Year Education; that the Presidents of the Community Colleges be seated at the lead table; that the Board create a committee of the whole to focus on two-year education; and that they create an annually rotating Deputy Commissioner position to be filled alternately by each of the three Community College Presidents and the College of Technology Deans.

  Regent Hur MOVED for APPROVAL to ask the Chair to place at least one Regent on the Two Year Education Committee.

* Motion APPROVED on 6-1 vote with Regent Roehm dissenting

  Regent Hur MOVED for APPROVAL to add an area on the Agenda for Two-Year Education

* Motion FAILED on 4-3 vote with Regents Hur, Jasmin and Mercer supporting

  Regent Hur MOVED for the Board to direct Staff of OCHE to prepare a two-year/work force development marketing plan for Board consideration at the next appropriate Board meeting given time considerations and other things going on. 

Regent Semmens indicated the proper body to pursue this issue is the Two-Year Task Force.  Regent Hamilton indicated the Communications Group was also considering this issue at the request of the Two-Year Education Task Force.

  Regent Hamilton MOVED to TABLE Regent Hur�s Motion until Task Force has opportunity to bring a full presentation to the Board. 

* Motion to TABLE APPROVED on 4-3 vote with Regents Hur, Mercer and Taylor Dissenting


ITEM 118-104-R0103 � Amend Policy 320.1, Accreditation; Montana University System (Action Item)   Memo  Deputy Commissioner Scott

  Regent Mercer MOVED for APPROVAL of item. r.

* Motion APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY on 7-0 vote

Following a ten minute break, the Board reconvened at 3:00 p.m.

A progress report on the Search for the Permanent Commissioner was handed out.


ITEM 117-102-R1102 - Proposed New Policy re: Prohibition Against Conducting Board Business Via Electronic Mail (Action Item) Regent Mercer  As amended

  Regent Mercer MOVED for APPROVAL of item. s.

* Motion APPROVED on 5-2 vote with Regents Hamilton and Roehm Dissenting.


ITEM 118-106-R0303 � Proposed New Board of Regents Policy; Montana University System (Submission Item) Resolution  (Jon Swan/Christian Hur)

  Item t. was postponed till the May 29-30, 2003 meeting


Proposed Credit for Participation in Student Government  (Action Item) Student Regent Hur

  Item u. was pulled from the Agenda


Regent Communication Proposal (#1)

Attachment  ( Action Item) Student Regent Hur

  Regent Hur MOVED for APPROVAL of item. w.

* Motion FAILED on 4-3 vote with Regents Hur, Mercer and Taylor supporting.


Regent Hur - Compensation for Postage (Information Item)  Letter   Correspondence


Regent Communication Proposal (#2)  Re-affirmation of existing practice  Attachment (Action Item) Student Regent Hur

  Regent Hur MOVED for APPROVAL of item. x.

  Regent Semmens OFFERED friendly Amendment to change �all shall be reimbursed� to read �that incurred expense and requests reimbursement�

  Regent Hur ACCEPTED the friendly amendment.

  Regent Hamilton offered an alternate SUGGESTION that the Board needs better guidelines from policy standpoint as to how the Board handles expenses and what expenses are reimbursable, and what the expectations of the Board are for communicating with students, visiting campuses, or attending graduations.

Interim Commissioner Krause offered to work on guidelines to be presented to the Board.

* Motion as amended CARRIED on 5-2 vote with Regents Hamilton and Roehm dissenting


Parking Proposal (#3)

Attachment  (Action Item) Student Regent Hur  

  Regent Hur MOVED for APPROVAL of item. y.

  Regent Hur WITHDREW his motion with the expectation that the campuses will update the Board on their efforts.


Sale of Assets to Assist Montana Students and Offset Tuition Increases (#4)

Attachment  (Action Item) Student Regent Hur  

  Regent Hur MOVED for APPROVAL of item. y.

* Motion as FAILED on 6-1 vote with Regent Hur supporting


#5  In May we approved a series of revised Information Technology Policies for the Montana University System Attachment  (Action Item) Student Regent Hur

  Chairman Roehm indicated this item was out of order since there are already two polices that cover it.

  Regent Hur MOVED for APPROVAL for a semi-annual report to the Board of Regents regarding this policy

Regent Mercer indicated that the Budget Committee had requested OCHE staff to bring forward the list of all the budget reports that are required from the campuses with the idea of consolidating and eliminating some of them, and suggested that be expanded to include all reports that OCHE feels are unnecessary, with their recommendation being made to the Board to get rid of some of these reports.

* There was consensus to do as recommended by Regent Mercer

With no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

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