Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education


January 25-26, 1996

Montana Higher Education Complex

Conference Room 102

2500 Broadway

Helena, Montana


Approved unanimously at the March 28, 1996 meeting in Dillon.

Academic and Student Affairs Committee


Administrative/Budget Committee


REGENTS PRESENT: Jim Kaze (Chairman), Cordell Johnson (Vice Chairman), Paul Boylan, Colleen Conroy, Pat Davison, and Mike Green; Commissioner of Higher Education Jeff Baker

REGENTS ABSENT: Kermit Schwanke (Excused)



Chairman Jim Kaze called the regular meeting of the Board of Regents to order at 10:30 a.m. Roll call showed that a quorum was present.


Regent Pat Davison moved that the Board approve the minutes from the October 17, 1995 conference call meeting and the November 17, 1995 regular meeting as mailed to Board members. The motion passed unanimously.



Staff Items:

a.   ITEM 90-1000-R0196--Staff; The University of Montana--Missoula

b.   ITEM 90-1500-R0196--Staff; Montana Tech of The University of Montana

c.   ITEM 90-1600-R0196--Staff; Western Montana College of The University of Montana

d.   ITEM 90-2000-R0196--Staff; Montana State University--Bozeman

e.   ITEM 90-2300-R0196--Staff; Agricultural Experiment Station

f.    ITEM 90-2301-R0196--Retirement of James R. Sims, Professor; Plant, Soil and Environmental Science; Agricultural Experiment Station

g.   ITEM 90-2400-R0196--Staff; Extension Service

h.   ITEM 90-2700-R0196--Staff; Montana State University--Billings

i.    ITEM 90-2800-R0196--Staff; Montana State University--Northern


Capital Construction Items:

a.   ITEM 90-1002-R0196--Renovate Science Complex 212 and 221 for the Center for Biotechnology; The University of Montana--Missoula

b.   ITEM 90-1003-R0196--Miscellaneous Parking Improvements; The University of Montana--Missoula


Collective Bargaining Agreements:

a.   ITEM 90-2002-R0196--Approval of the 1995-1997 Collective Bargaining Agreement with Montana Nurses Association; Montana State University--Bozeman

Commissioner of Higher Education Jeff Baker noted that ITEM 90-1000-R0196 from The University of Montana--Missoula was being amended. Phillip West had been appointed as the director of the Mansfield Center from his former position as acting director with no change in salary.

     Regent Mike Green moved that the Board approve all items on the consent agenda (staff, capital construction, and collective bargaining agreements), including the amendment to ITEM 90-1000-R0196. The motion passed unanimously.


Jennifer Obie, President of MAS, presented a gift to Regent Cordell Johnson on behalf of the students and said they wanted to thank him for his years of service and dedication as a member of the Board of Regents.

     Referencing the phase two proposals, Ms. Obie said regardless of their final form once approved, the students wanted to emphasize that strong advising was encouraged on the campuses because of all the changes education was undergoing. She said the students needed to understand the policies and become aware of their implications. Ms. Obie said the students would continue the discussion during the lunch meeting with the Regents.

     Chairman Kaze agreed that strong advising was crucial. Because phase two focused on trying to deliver education to the student in a way the student wanted to receive the education, he said they had an obligation to do that through strong advising. Chairman Kaze thanked Ms. Obie for her report.

     Commissioner Baker said the presentation from Jack Copps, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, had been canceled because of Mr. Copps' illness.

Return to Top


Academic and Student Affairs Committee


The Academic and Student Affairs Committee met at 9:00 a.m. in Conference Room 102A. Committee members present included Regents Cordell Johnson (chairman), Colleen Conroy, and Mike Green. Chairman Kaze asked committee chairman Regent Johnson to present the committee's report to the full Board.


1. Announcements

The following Level I changes were approved by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (January 23, 1996 memorandum from Richard Crofts on file).

a.   Montana State University--Bozeman

      The Psychology major will be divided into three options: Psychological Science, Applied Psychology, and Communication. The major currently has two options of Psychology and Communication.

b.   Montana State University College of Technology--Great Falls

      Eliminate the Respiratory Therapy Technician program, which grants a certificate, and make changes in the Respiratory Therapist Associate of Applied Science curriculum to allow a more efficient curricular design.

c.   Montana State University--Billings College of Technology

Program name changes as indicated below. Programs remain substantially as originally approved.

Previous Program Name-- Executive Secretary

New Program Name-- Administrative Assistant

Previous Program Name--Microcomputer Applications

New Program Name--Microcomputer Operations

Previous Program Name--Information Processing

New Program Name--Computer Assistant

Previous Program Name--Office Secretary

New Program Name--Office Assistant

Previous Program Name--Accounting Technology-Small Business

New Program Name--Small Business Fundamentals

Previous Program Name--Data Entry Clerk

New Program Name--Accounting Assistant

Previous Program Name--Office/Records Clerk

New Program Name--Delete (combined with Office Assistant)

d.   The University of Montana--Missoula

      The Classics major will be divided into two options. Currently, the major places emphasis on mastery of the classical languages with readings of authors in those languages. The new options will be Classical Languages and Classical Civilization.

e.   Montana Tech of The University of Montana

      Addition of a Minor in Occupational Safety and Health. A major in Occupational Safety and Health already exists.


2A. Consent Agenda -- Notices of Intent

Regent Johnson said the committee recommended moving the following nine notices of intent on the consent agenda to the submission agenda at the March 28-29 meeting in Dillon:

a.   Approval of a Proposal to Offer a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major in Native American Studies; The University of Montana--Missoula

b.   Approval of Proposal to Offer a Two-Year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Metals Technology; Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana

c.   Approval of Proposal to Offer a Two-Year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Geographical Information System/Global Positioning System (GIS/GPS); Division of Technology, Montana Tech of The University of Montana

d.   Authorization for the College of Graduate Studies to Offer a Master's Degree in Science Education; Montana State University--Bozeman

e.   Approval of Proposal to Award the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Bioscience Technology; MSU College of Technology--Great Falls

f.    Authorization of Proposal to Implement Certificate in Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic and/or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Emergency Medical Services; College of Technology, Montana State University--Billings

g.   Approval of Proposal for Associate of Applied Science Program in Telecommunications and Information Technology; Miles Community College

h.   Approval of Proposal for Certificate and Associate of Applied Science Programs in Farm and Ranch Operations; Miles Community College

i.    Approval of Proposal for Certificate and Associate of Applied Science Degrees in Construction Technology; Miles Community College


2B. Notices of Intent

Regent Johnson briefly reviewed each of the following notices of intent:

a.   Approval of Proposal to Offer an Entry-Level Doctor of Pharmacy Degree in Pharmacy in Addition to the Present Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy; The University of Montana--Missoula

b.   Proposal to Offer a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree at Western Montana College of The University of Montana and Montana Tech of The University of Montana

c.   Approval of Proposal to Offer a Two-Year Associate of Science Degree in Technology; Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana

d.   Approval of Proposal to Award the Associate of Science Degree in Business; MSU College of Technology--Great Falls

In reference to the proposal from The University of Montana--Missoula, Regent Johnson distributed a handout (on file) the committee received titled "Entry-Level Doctor of Pharmacy Degree."

     Following discussion on each of the items, Regent Johnson said the committee recommended the four notices of intent be moved to submission at the March 1996 meeting.


3. Submission Agenda

a. ITEM 90-1501-R0196--Change of Name, Division of Technology; Montana Tech of The University of Montana

     Regent Johnson said the committee recommended moving ITEM 90-1501-R0196 from the submission to the action agenda. The item would change the name of the current Division of Technology to the College of Technology to bring it in line with the other four colleges of technology (formerly vo-tech centers).

     Regent Johnson moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 90-1501-R0196. The motion passed unanimously.

b.   ITEM 90-2001-R0196--Authorization to Establish the Northern Plains and Rockies Center for the Study of Western Hemisphere Trade; Montana State University--Bozeman

Regent Johnson said the committee recommended that ITEM 90-2001-R0196 be moved to submission at the March 1996 meeting.

     Chairman Kaze thanked Regent Johnson for his report.

Return to Top

Administrative/Budget Committee


The Administrative/Budget Committee met at 9:00 a.m. in Conference Room 102B. Committee members present included Regents Pat Davison (chairman), Paul Boylan, and Jim Kaze. Chairman Kaze asked committee chairman Regent Davison to present the committee's report to the full Board.


1A. Consent Agenda -- Action

a.   ITEM 90-1502-R0196--Authorization to Expend Federal and Private Funds for Completion of Laboratory Space Related to the Chemistry Building Project; Montana Tech of The University of Montana

b.   ITEM 90-2701-R0196--Authorization to Grant a Right of Way Easement to the Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative, Inc., The Montana Power Company and Tri Touch America, Inc., Montana Dakota Utilities, U.S. West Communications, and Billings Tele-Communications, Inc./TCI Cablevision of Montana for Installation of a Fiber Optic Link; Montana State University--Billings

c.   ITEM 90-2702-R0196--Authorization to Build an Additional Parking Lot; Montana State University--Billings

Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEMS 90-1502-R0196, 90-2701-R0196, and 90-2702-R0196. The motion passed unanimously.


1B. Action Agenda

a.   ITEM 89-2851-R1195--Authorization to Apply for a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) License and to Enter into a Partnership with Big Sky Wireless; MSU College of Technology--Great Falls

Regent Davison noted that ITEM 89-2851-R1195 had been withdrawn from the November 1995 agenda for further review by Montana State University--Bozeman. He said the item presented a licensing action to provide additional access in the area of the College of Technology at Great Falls into rural communities.

     Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 89-2851-R1195. The motion passed unanimously.

b.   ITEM 90-1001-R0196--Property Acquisition, Sheehan Majestic Building; The University of Montana--Missoula

      Regent Davison said ITEM 90-1001-R0196 had been withdrawn from the agenda at the request of The University of Montana--Missoula.

Regent Davison said the committee also heard a presentation from Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm concerning current regulations dealing with ethics in the public arena stemming from a new ethics law passed by the legislature. Chief Counsel Schramm distributed a handout (on file) that focused on the use of public resources (2-2-121, MCA); work for non-state organizations (2-2-125, MCA); double dipping (2-2-105, MCA); and electioneering (2-2-125, MCA). Regent Davison said Chief Counsel Schramm would provide a more-detailed presentation to the full Board at the March 1996 meeting.


The Board recessed at 11:30 a.m. for lunch with student representatives, followed by a 1:00 p.m. meeting of the Board of Education (Board of Regents and Board of Public Education).


Return to Top



The Board of Regents reconvened at 8:40 a.m.


Chairman Kaze said the Board would hear remarks from the presidents of the three community colleges concerning a 

full merger of the colleges into the Montana University System.

     Don Kettner, President of Dawson Community College, distributed a December 11, 1995 merger resolution (on file) passed by the Dawson and Miles community college boards of trustees. President Kettner noted that the resolution to merge was signed by the Dawson Community College Board of Trustees on December 18, and by the Miles Community College Board of Trustees on December 11. He said the resolution was not necessarily cast in stone but instead was a paper from which they could continue discussions. In closing, President Kettner emphasized the advantages of being a complete system. In light of cooperative agreements, sharing of resources and expertise, course and program articulation, and a new emphasis on two-year education, he said Dawson Community College was interested and enthusiastic about merging into the university system.

     Frank Williams, President of Miles Community College, reviewed discussions underway at Miles Community College. He said they had looked at advantages and disadvantages and considered the possible ramifications. Though they still had some concerns, after weighing all the issues the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to support the merger with the university system within the conditions outlined in the resolution. President Williams said regardless of the final outcome, the community colleges were dedicated to continuing to collaborate with the rest of the public institutions in the state.

     David Beyer, President of Flathead Valley Community College, said Commissioner Baker had met last fall with the FVCC Board of Trustees and staff and noted that further merger discussions would not take place unless brought forward by the community colleges. President Beyer said FVCC decided as an institution not to come forward with anything, which was still their position. He said FVCC wanted to become more involved in the university system and look at new ways of doing things. President Beyer said FVCC's position on the merger was not a funding issue but rather an issue of the college's role and mission.

     Commissioner Baker said the reason for bringing this issue to the Regents again was to decide on how to proceed. He said the price tag of the unsuccessful merger proposal submitted to the last legislature was about $3 million. The price tag now was estimated between $4 and $5 million. From a system perspective, Commissioner Baker said there was not widespread enthusiasm to go forward with a cost that high because it probably would have to come from the system's budgets instead of being received as any new funding. Commissioner Baker said he still felt the merger made sense for Montana and could work in the state, but they needed to be aware of the funding issue.

     Rod Sundsted, Associate Commissioner for Fiscal Affairs, distributed a handout (on file) that listed the system's current unrestricted operating funds for fiscal year 1995, including those for the community colleges.

     Regent Johnson said he continued to support integrating the community colleges into the system, whether through a merger or through a series of collaborative agreements. Regent Conroy agreed.

     Regents Davison and Boylan raised concerns about the cost involved to bring the colleges into the system and said that needed to be a foremost consideration in any ensuing discussions.

     Lengthy discussion followed on issues such as funding, the differences among expenditures per student at different institutions, budgetary concerns at the community colleges, tuition differentials, the scenario of Miles and Dawson merging and FVCC not merging, and level playing fields, e.g., putting everyone on the same enrollment management plan.

     Commissioner Baker suggested they continue to pursue ways of collaborating with the community colleges and expand discussions in areas such as enrollment management, funding, etc. He pointed out that two colleges were interested in a formal merger and one was not, and even to consider a merger they needed to talk about additional dollars and support as opposed to resources that would be redirected out of the system to pursue a merger. Unless they talked about some type of external funding, the response to the resolution was to continue to pursue collaborative activities but not negotiate the resolution or pieces of the resolution that might need retooling.

     The Board agreed with that approach, and Chairman Kaze thanked Presidents Kettner, Williams, and Beyer for their comments.

After a 20-minute break, the Board reconvened at 10:15 a.m.



Submission Agenda


a.    ITEM 89-001-R1195--General Education Transfer Policy; Montana University System (NEW)

Dr. Richard Crofts, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs, said the MUS core referenced in ITEM 89-001-R1195 was an already agreed-upon set of general education courses that all campuses would accept. This policy would move beyond a course-by-course transfer by moving in an entire program completed by the student at one of the campuses. He said the major concern on some campuses was one of campus distinctiveness or uniqueness in terms of a general education program. Dr. Crofts said what this policy was actually putting forth was more of a sense of colleagueship and collaboration among the campuses. He noted that some of the campuses felt more strongly than others in that they wanted to retain their general education distinctiveness.

     Dr. Randy Bolton, chair of the Faculty Senate at The University of Montana--Missoula, said the general education program was important to the faculty at UM. In their view, a distinctive general education plan had been developed through extensive compromises, debates, intellectual expectations, and standards. He said that after 10 or 12 years they were going back to revisiting that general education plan and literally working for some outcomes-based standards and criteria. Dr. Bolton said one of the dilemmas he saw in accepting 35 to 40 hours from any other institution was that there was no assurance a student was meeting the same outcomes that a student educated at UM was going to meet.

     The University of Montana President George Dennison said there may be some areas where breadth rather than a particular skill was an important consideration. Though they probably had some of that in their general education program, he was not sure where they were in development of the assessment. President Dennison pointed out the distinction on any campus about the baccalaureate offered was the combination of the general education component, the structure of the major, and the free electives available, which was particularly the case on a liberal arts campus such as UM. He said if the ability were taken away to structure the general education component so that it related to the major, perhaps they were homogenizing education rather than improving it.

     Chairman Kaze said he agreed to the extent that they should not use it as a way to be exclusive.

     Dr. Bolton said the faculty at UM was not interested in exclusivity.

     Chairman Kaze said he was talking about exclusivity from the student's point of view, not the faculty's. He said they needed to develop policies to address both sides.

     In response to concerns raised by Regents Johnson and Davison, Dr. Crofts said the idea of the policy was not to transfer course by course and not to assess but to say, for instance, if MSU--Bozeman said a general education program was a good one, then UM-Missoula would accept that judgment. The objective was to move beyond course-by-course evaluation to alleviate some of the difficulties with transfer issues.

     Chairman Kaze said the broader issue was trying to address the cost of education to students, and one of the best ways under discussion was to move students through a program more quickly.

     After further discussion, the Board agreed to move ITEM 89-001-R1195 to the action agenda at the March 1996 meeting.

b.    ITEM 89-002-R1195--Undergraduate Degree Requirements; Montana University System (NEW)

Dr. Crofts said he would provide the Regents with a report on the campuses' efforts to move undergraduate baccalaureate programs to 120 hours. He said at least 75 percent of the programs had already found ways to meet the 120-hour goal but noted that areas such as teacher education, engineering, and nursing would likely come forward for exceptions to the policy if it were adopted.

     The Board heard comments from Jack Drumheller, Interim Provost at MSU--Bozeman; Bob Kindrick, Provost at The UM--Missoula; and Lindsay Norman, Chancellor at Montana Tech of The UM, in regard to programs that already had gone to 120 credits and programs likely to come forward for exceptions. Chancellor Norman added that the policy as proposed talked about exclusions but suggested it might be helpful to develop some criteria that were going to be used to decide whether a program would be granted an exclusion. He said he would like to see something along those lines at the March meeting.

     Chairman Kaze said perhaps that was not where they should be in March. He said they may want to talk about general criteria and then allow the commissioner's office and the campuses to come forward with a procedure that made sense.

     Dr. Bolton said the faculty's primary concern was the time frame. He said faculty were experts in designing curricula and learning experiences, and discussions about changing the amount of hours represented a re-design and a re-thinking of curriculum.

     Chancellor Bill Daehling from MSU-Northern also agreed the time line was too short.

     After further discussion of the concerns raised, the Board agreed to move ITEM 89-002-R1195 to the action agenda at the March 1996 meeting.

c.    ITEM 78-001-R0393--Tuition; Montana University System (940.27 REVISED)

In regard to the revision of ITEM 78-001-R0393, Dr. Crofts said the fiscal rationale had been the primary focus. However, trying to find ways to limit time to degree was also a major consideration. He said the average time to graduation throughout the system was 150 hours. This policy change focused on trying to reduce that average.

     Regent Davison suggested that instead of implementing this change by fall 1995 they approve fall 1996 as the implementation date.

     Commissioner Baker noted that the change was a price change, which they did every year. Also, even if it were implemented effective fall 1995, the first ramifications would more than likely not be seen until 1999.

     Regent Davison asked about the process of giving notification to students that they had reached a limit or were approaching a limit that would cost them more. Why was this a campus notification rather than a systemwide notification? If one campus came up with an effective way to do that, Regent Davison suggested it be used on all the campuses.

     Dr. Crofts said the campuses were using a variety of means at the current time to do that. He said the best means any of the campuses developed was to incorporate the notification directly on the fee statement each semester. He said campuses not proceeding along those lines should be encouraged to do so. He pointed out, however, that the implementation depended on computer technology.

     Regent Davison voiced a concern about the current policy that a student could take more than the stated number of credit hours and not be penalized. He said they should eliminate that loophole and cut it off at 144.

     Regent Green noted that the way the policy was written, a student with 143 credits could take another semester and have 159 credits at the subsidized cost. He said if they did not have that loophole, he felt the 144-hour figure was too low. Regent Green suggested that the policy be changed before the March 1996 meeting to encompass the Board's concerns.

     Dr. Crofts said they could draft alternative language to address those two points and bring it forward to the March meeting so the Board would have a choice.

     After further discussion among the Regents, Chairman Kaze asked Dr. Crofts to bring forward the alternative language to the March meeting.

d.   ITEM 89-003-R1195--Approval of "Proficiency Admission Requirements and Developmental Education in the Montana University System"

Dr. Crofts distributed a handout (on file) to clarify what they were trying to achieve with ITEM 89-003-R1195. He said it encompassed a significant change from the proposal's initial presentation in July 1995, which suggested getting rid of remedial education and eliminating state support. Dr. Crofts said the current proposal outlined the ways in which certain campuses would continue to offer developmental education. They were trying to get a little closer to defining what that meant. With those definitions met, state support would be granted for those enrollments subject to an after-the-fact documentation that the tuition dollars and state support dollars generated by developmental education courses were indeed expended.

     President George Dennison said the proposal looked fine to him with the recent revisions because it took account of the mission of the colleges of technology and other institutions. He said it provided the possibility for delivering services to students where they were rather than requiring them to go somewhere else.

     The Board agreed to move ITEM 89-003-R1195 to the action agenda at the March 1996 meeting.


Action Agenda

a.   ITEM 89-004-R1195--Role and Scope Statements and Academic Program Development in the Montana University System

Dr. Crofts said one of the questions raised in ITEM 89-004-R1195 was its potential impact on accreditation. In his January 24, 1996 memo to the Board (on file), Dr. Crofts said he provided the standard from the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges on mission statements. He said he did not believe that the standard requiring mission statements was in conflict with any language in ITEM 89-004-R1195.

     Montana State University President Michael Malone said this issue came up during the five-year interim visit to MSU--Bozeman. He said the first sentence of the policy that said phase two eliminated campus role and scope statements was the only part of the visit that triggered a major negative reaction. President Malone said he could foresee some concerns with institutional accreditation.

     President Dennison suggested using the phrase "substitutes mission statements for role and scope statements" in the first sentence.

     After further discussion, Regent Johnson moved to approve ITEM 89-004-R1195 with an amendment to the first sentence that would replace "eliminates campus role and scope statements" with "substitutes mission statements for role and scope statements." The motion passed unanimously.


Return to Top




Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm noted that the Board had been mailed the background information on the residency appeal of Kimberley E. Burris. He said the Regents had the option to entertain the appeal and hear an oral argument from Ms. Burris and her legal counsel at the March meeting. The other option was to deny the appeal and thereby uphold the Commissioner's decision.

     Regent Johnson asked what option Ms. Burris had if the Board voted to deny the appeal.

     Chief Counsel Schramm said she would receive a letter from the Commissioner's Office stating that the Board had chosen not to entertain her appeal, which was the final administrative action that would be taken. At that point, Ms. Burris would be free to go to court if she chose, which would be the same option available if the Board heard her appeal at the March meeting and denied it at that time.

     After further discussion, Regent Johnson said he had reviewed the material and moved that the Board not entertain the appeal of Kimberley E. Burris, thereby upholding the Commissioner's decision. The motion passed by a 5 to 1 vote; Regent Green voted against the motion.



The University of Montana--Missoula

President Dennison distributed a final report dated January 25, 1996, from Smith Barney Inc. titled "Facilities Acquisition and Improvement Revenue Bonds, Series C 1995 Transaction Highlights" (on file).

     President Dennison said the university had received notification that the Pharmacy program had been accredited for the full term.

Montana State University--Bozeman

President Malone announced that Jennifer DeVoe of Helena, a graduate of MSU--Bozeman, had been awarded a Rhodes scholarship from Montana State and Harvard Medical School. He said Ms. DeVoe was a previous winner of a USA Today All American and a Goldwater scholar.

Chairman Kaze acknowledged that this was Regent Johnson's last meeting and thanked him for his years of service on the Board.


With no other business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

Return to Regent's Home Page