July 1-2, 1996
Conference Room 102
Montana Higher Education Complex
|BOARD ACTION: Approved unanimously September 19, 1996 (Butte).|
REGENTS PRESENT: Jim Kaze (Chairman), Paul Boylan, Colleen Conroy, Pat Davison, Mike Green, Kermit Schwanke, and Margie Thompson; Interim Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Crofts
REGENTS ABSENT: None
MONDAY, JULY 1, 1996
Chairman Jim Kaze called the regular meeting of the Board of Regents to order at 10:30 a.m. in Conference Room 102 of the Montana Higher Education Complex at 2500 Broadway in Helena. Roll call showed that a quorum was present.
Regent Pat Davison moved that the Board approve the minutes from the May 16-17, 1996 regular meeting as mailed to Board members, with the addition of the words "or more" after "$10,000" in the last line on page 21 (as noted by Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm). The motion passed unanimously.
Chairman Kaze said action on the Consent Agenda would be deferred until later in the meeting because of some information in several of the items that had been inadvertently omitted.
Interim Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Crofts introduced Arlene Hannawalt as Interim Director of the Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program. Subject to Board approval, Ms. Hannawalt's appointment would begin July 1, 1996, and extend through December 30, 1996. Interim Commissioner Crofts also introduced Dr. Stuart Knapp as Interim Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs. Subject to Board approval, Dr. Knapp's appointment would begin July 1, 1996, and extend through June 30, 1997.
Chairman Kaze welcomed Ms. Hannawalt and Dr. Knapp and congratulated them on their appointments.
The Regents heard brief remarks from Jim McCray, student body president of Montana State University--Bozeman, and Jason Thielman, student body president of The University of Montana--Missoula.
The Academic and Student Affairs Committee met at 9:00 a.m. in Conference Room 102A of the Montana Higher Education Complex. Committee members present included Regents Pat Davison (chairman), Kermit Schwanke, Margie Thompson, and Mike Green. Chairman Kaze asked committee chairman Regent Davison to present the committee's report to the full Board.
The following Level I changes were approved by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (June 24, 1996 memorandum from Richard Crofts on file).
a. College of Technology, The University of Montana--Missoula
Change the name of the Associate of Applied Science program in Office Administration to Administrative Assisting and create options in Human Resources and Office Administration.
Create options in Network Support and Software Support in existing Associate of Applied Science program in Microcomputing Technology.
b. Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana
Create options in Computer Systems and Biomedical Electronics in existing Associate of Applied Science program in Electronics Technology.
Create options in Microcomputer Applications, Programming, and Networking in existing Associate of Applied Science program in Computer Technology.
c. College of Technology, Montana Tech of The University of Montana
Remove the Associate of Applied Science degree in Civil Engineering Technology from moratorium status and rename it as Engineering Technology.
d. Western Montana College of The University of Montana
Create an additional option in the Liberal Studies degree (BLS): Literature and Writing.
Change Science option in Liberal Studies degree (BLS) to Environmental Science.
e. MSU College of Technology--Great Falls
Utilize distance-education technologies to deliver the Health Information Technology program to three sites: Billings, Bozeman, and Missoula.
CONSENT AGENDA--NOTICES OF INTENT
a. Approval of Proposal to Offer an Associate of Applied Science Degree and Certificate in Human Services; The University of Montana--Missoula
b. Approval of Proposal to Offer an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Welding Technology, College of Technology; The University of Montana--Missoula
c. Approval of Proposal to Offer an Associate of Arts Degree in Computer Layout and Design; Western Montana College of The University of Montana
d. Authorization for the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to Offer a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering; Montana State University--Bozeman
e. Authorization to Offer a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration at Montana State University--Billings; Montana State University--Billings [withdrawn from agenda at request of MSU--Billings]
f. Authorization to Offer a Master in Health Administration (MHA) at Montana State University--Billings; Montana State University--Billings [withdrawn from agenda at request of MSU--Billings]
g. Approval to Convert the Approved Certificate Program in Practical Nurse to an Associate of Applied Science Degree Program in Practical Nurse; MSU College of Technology--Great Falls
h. Approval to Develop a New Educational Program to Award the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Bioscience Technology; MSU College of Technology--Great Falls
i. Approval of Proposal to Implement the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Professional Goldsmithing; Flathead Valley Community College
Regent Davison said the committee addressed questions on agenda items "a." and "c." Also, items "e." and "f." were withdrawn at the request of Montana State University--Billings.
The Board concurred with the committee's recommendation to move the seven remaining notices of intent on the consent agenda to the submission agenda at the September 19-20, 1996 meeting in Butte.
NOTICES OF INTENT
a. Approval of Proposal to Offer a Bachelor of Technology Degree; The University of Montana--Missoula
b. Approval of Proposal to Offer a Two-Year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Emergency Services; Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana
c. Authorization for the College of Arts and Sciences to Offer a Bachelor of Science Degree in Liberal Studies; Montana State University--Billings
d. Authorization to Offer a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree at Montana State University--Billings; Montana State University--Billings
e. Approval to Implement Associate of Applied Science Degree in Emergency Services/Fires and Rescue Technology with an Option in Paramedic; MSU College of Technology--Great Falls
Regent Davison referred to Richard Crofts' June 28, 1996 memorandum to the Board (on file) concerning the two proposals from Helena College of Technology of The UM and the MSU College of Technology--Great Falls (items "b." and "e.", respectively).
In regard to the two independent offerings, Interim Commissioner Crofts indicated in his memo that he would "not support the approval of two independent offerings until I am sure every reasonable effort has been made to develop a cooperative, collaborative approach." He said he would appoint "a committee to develop a comprehensive proposal for consideration on the submission agenda at the Regents' September 19-20, 1996 meeting in Butte."
After further discussion, the Board concurred with the committee's recommendation to move the five notices of intent to the submission agenda at the September 19-20, 1996 meeting.
a. ITEM 92-2005-R0796--Authorization to Establish the Big Sky Institute: A Center to Promote Excellence in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education; Montana State University--Bozeman
This proposed center would promote and facilitate excellence in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) education for all students at MSU--Bozeman and for citizens statewide through MSU's outreach efforts. The center would be located in the Provost's Office and guided by MSU faculty and administrators representing many disciplines.
After brief discussion, the Board concurred with the committee's recommendation to move ITEM 92-2005-R0796 to the action agenda at the September 19-20, 1996 meeting.
a. ITEM 91-2005-R0596--Authorization to Establish the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center; Montana State University--Bozeman
This item (on submission at the May 1996 meeting) would establish a center to be funded by a combination of federal, university, state, and partner funds. As one of 60 such centers in 43 states, the center would provide extension services (engineering, technology, managerial) to Montana's manufacturers.
Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 91-2005-R0596. The motion passed unanimously.
Regent Davison noted that a draft titled "Associate of Applied Science Degree Program Approval Process" was presented to the committee. At the May 1996 meeting, some concerns were voiced by the two-year institutions that the Board's three-meeting approval process for academic programs (notice of intent, submission, and action) often caused problems because of the length of time involved for program approval. They requested that some guidelines be developed to allow quicker approval for certain types of programs.
The guidelines were stated as follows:
1. Certificate or Associate of Applied Science Degree Programs may be submitted as Level I proposals when they are offered in cooperation with and/or at the request of private or public sector partners and the decision point to offer the program is not consistent with the regular Board of Regents program approval process. Level I approval for programs under this provision will be limited to two years. Continuation of a program beyond the two years will require the normal program approval process.
2. All other Certificate or Associate degree programs must be submitted through the regular approval process for new academic programs.
Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve the guidelines outlined in ITEM 92-001-R0796 [number assigned after meeting]. The motion passed unanimously.
President George Dennison of The University of Montana distributed additions to Consent Agenda ITEMS 92-1500-R0796 and 92-1600-R0796. He said these were the faculty salary increases recommended in accordance with the approved agreements. They had been sent to the Missoula office but were inadvertently left out of the original items. President Dennison noted that Western Montana College's increases would take effect January 1, 1997.
Chairman Kaze said the Regents would take action on the Consent Agenda items following their lunch with student representatives.
The Administrative/Budget Committee met at 9:00 a.m. in Conference Room 102B of the Montana Higher Education Complex at 2500 Broadway. Committee members present included Regents Colleen Conroy (chair), Paul Boylan, and Jim Kaze. Chairman Kaze asked Regent Conroy to present the committee's report to the full Board.
a. ITEM 26-016-R0380--Employment Instruments; Professional and Administrative Employees (REVISED 711.1)
b. ITEM 92-002-R0796--Drug and Alcohol Testing; Montana University System (NEW)
c. ITEM 92-003-R0796--Repeal of Certain Board of Regents' Policies from the Montana University System Policy and Procedures Manual; Montana University System
After brief discussion, the Board concurred with the committee's recommendation to move ITEMS 26-106-R0380, 92-002-R0796, and 92-003-R0796 to the action agenda at the September 19-20, 1996 meeting.
a. ITEM 92-1003-R0796--Grant of Easement to Missoula Electric Cooperative for Utility Easement at Lubrecht Experimental Forest; The University of Montana--Missoula
b. ITEM 92-1004-R0796--Certificate of Completion, Campus Drive Renovation, Series A 1993 Facilities Improvement and Refunding Revenue Bonds; The University of Montana--Missoula
c. ITEM 92-2002-R0796--Authorization to Expend Student Equipment Fees; Montana State University--Bozeman
d. ITEM 92-2003-R0796--Authorization to Expend Student Computer Fees at Montana State University--Bozeman; Montana State University--Bozeman
Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEMS 92-1003-R0796, 92-1004-R0796, 92-2002-R0796, and 92-2003-R0796. The motion passed unanimously.
a. ITEM 2-015-R1073--Consulting Services; Faculty (REVISED 401.1)
Regent Conroy noted that action on this item had been deferred from the May 1996 meeting.
After brief discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 2-015-R1073. The motion passed unanimously.
b. ITEM 92-1002-R0796--Increase Student Supplemental Medical Insurance Fee; The University of Montana--Missoula
This item would authorize The University of Montana--Missoula to assess an insurance fee of $240.50 per semester for the Student Supplemental Medical Insurance Program. The fee included the $237.00 premium charged by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Montana (no increase from FY96) and a $3.50 fee to develop an administrative support position to provide direct, campus-based service to students in the administration of the Student Supplemental Medical Insurance Program.
After brief discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 92-1002-R0796. The motion passed unanimously.
c. ITEM 92-1007-R0796 (REVISED)--Authorization to Proceed, Series D 1996 New Money Issue; The University of Montana
Chairman Kaze noted that The University of Montana had withdrawn the $7 million portion of this series that related to renovating academic facilities in order to allow students the opportunity to have input on the issue. The revised item excluded the $7 million. President Dennison said they also intended to seek an uninsured rating on the issue so they would have a good comparison of where they stood.
After brief discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 92-1007-R0796 (REVISED). The motion passed unanimously.
d. ITEM 92-1008-R0796--Revision, Voluntary Termination Incentive Program; The University of Montana--Missoula
This item would authorize The University of Montana--Missoula to redefine the purpose of the fund established November 12, 1993, as follows: to fund the Voluntary Termination Incentive Program and costs associated with the retirement of tenured faculty for Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and Optional Retirement Program (ORP) members from net pledged auxiliary revenues at The University of Montana, and with repayment not to exceed ten years not to extend beyond December 31, 2005. (New language underlined.)
After brief discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 92-1008-R0796. The motion passed unanimously.
e. ITEM 92-2004-R0796--Resolution Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of Revenue Bonds; Montana State University--Bozeman
Chairman Kaze said MSU--Bozeman was asking the Board for authorization to proceed with this issue subject to obtaining student approval of the academic projects portion of the issue that would involve student fee increases. The campus' commitment to the students was that the campus would not move forward with the projects if the students voted against them.
President Malone said the students were going to hold a student referendum on the issue. If the students voted against the building fee increase, that vote would be honored and the administration would go back to the students to continue discussions.
In response to a question from Regent Davison, President Malone said they were talking about the last two projects on Schedule A of the item: Instruction, Research & Tech Building for $16 million, and Academic Building Maintenance & Improvements for $6 million. A large component of the $22 million total would be based on increasing the student building fee over two years.
After further discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 92-2004-R0796, with preliminary approval given to the projects in Schedule A titled "Instruction, Research & Tech Building" ($16 million) and "Academic Building Maintenance & Improvements" ($6 million) subject to student approval of increases in building fees associated with the two projects. The motion passed; Regent Green abstained from voting.
a. Report on Gender Equity
Rebecca Bird, Gender Equity Coordinator in the Commissioner's Office, reviewed the report mailed to the Board titled "Gender Equity in Montana Vocational Education Programs: 1995 Annual Report" (on file). Ms. Bird provided a summary of the report and said she would be glad to answer questions.
In response to a question from Chairman Kaze, Ms. Bird said the program was funded through the Carl Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act of 1990. She administered two sections: a section that provided funding for services for displaced homemakers, single parents, and single pregnant women; and a gender equity category that addressed eliminating sex-role stereotyping and sex bias in vocational education.
In response to a question from Regent Conroy, Ms. Bird said the number of participants they were serving had increased slightly, particularly at the secondary level.
After brief discussion, Chairman Kaze thanked Ms. Bird for her report.
The Board recessed at 11:50 a.m. for its lunch with student representatives.
The Board reconvened at 1:15 p.m.
a. ITEM 92-100-R0796 (REVISED)--Staff; Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
b. ITEM 92-1000-R0796--Staff; The University of Montana--Missoula
c. ITEM 92-1001-R0796--Resolution Concerning the Retirement of Earl S. Ganz, Professor of English, College of Arts and Sciences; The University of Montana--Missoula
d. ITEM 92-1500-R0796--Staff; Montana Tech of The University of Montana [including the addition of faculty salaries distributed at meeting]
e. ITEM 92-1501-R0796--Professor Emeritus Status for John L. Sonderegger; Montana Tech of The University of Montana
f. ITEM 92-1502-R0796--Professor Emeritus Status for Professor Lindsay L. Hess; Montana Tech of The University of Montana
g. ITEM 92-1503-R0796--Professor Emeritus Status for Professor Irving G. Studebaker; Montana Tech of The University of Montana
h. ITEM 92-1500A-R0796--Staff; Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology
i. ITEM 92-1600-R0796--Staff; Western Montana College of The University of Montana [including the addition of faculty salaries distributed at meeting]
j. ITEM 92-1900-R0796--Staff; Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana
k. ITEM 92-2000-R0796--Staff; Montana State University--Bozeman
l. ITEM 92-2300-R0796--Staff; Agricultural Experiment Station
m. ITEM 92-2400-R0796--Staff; Extension Service
n. ITEM 92-2700-R0796--Staff; Montana State University--Billings
o. ITEM 92-2800-R0796--Staff; Montana State University--Northern
Regent Green moved that the Board approve all items on the Consent Agenda, including the amendments to ITEMS 92-1500-R0796 and 92-1600-R0796 . The motion passed unanimously.
OLD BUSINESS (continued)
b. American Indians in Higher Education--Graduation and Academic Performance: A Summary of The University of Montana 1990-1995 Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Data
Ellen Swaney, Director of American Indian/Minority Achievement in the Commissioner's Office, said this report was prepared by Dr. Rod Brod, Consultant/Researcher, Department of Sociology, The University of Montana--Missoula; and Raymond Carlisle, Director of the Educational Opportunity Program at The University of Montana--Missoula. The March 1996 report was prepared for the Montana TRACKS Program and the Educational Opportunity Program.
Ms. Swaney said the goal of the TRACKS project was to increase the number of American Indian students who graduated with baccalaureate degrees by four different efforts: (1) designing and implementing a comprehensive database; (2) developing a tracking and reporting mechanism to provide a statistical profile of the participation and achievement of American Indian students from kindergarten through postsecondary education; (3) formation of local community follow-up committees for the purpose of tracking all American Indian transfer and drop-out students; and (4) publication of a report that included not only a statistical profile of American Indian students in Montana but recommendations to address the situation as well. She said they were able to develop a database, which was the basis of Dr. Brod's and Mr. Carlisle's report. Ms. Swaney said they would continue during the summer with the data analysis by including data from MSU--Bozeman. Ms. Swaney distributed some information on demographics (on file) and asked Dr. Brod to provide a summary of the report's findings.
Dr. Brod supplemented his remarks with a handout (on file) that included two tables: Table 1: Logistic Regression Predicting Graduation, and Table 2: Reduced Logistic Regression Predicting Graduation. Brief discussion followed Dr. Brod's review of the report's data. Chairman Kaze thanked Ms. Swaney and Dr. Brod for their reports.
c. ITEM 91-002-R0596--Service on Outside Governing Boards; Montana University System (NEW)
Chairman Kaze said this policy was first brought to the Board at its May 1996 meeting. At the suggestion of the Regents, the initial draft policy was amended at the submission level in May and was now being presented for action.
Ian Davidson suggested to the Board that service on outside boards should be allowed and that normal compensation for those positions was acceptable. Mr. Davidson said all service should be done with the approval of and in consultation with the Board of Regents and the Commissioner. He said service on boards provided numerous, positive benefits to the university system--both direct and indirect.
Ross Best, after being asked by Chairman Kaze and Governor Racicot to focus his remarks on the policy in question rather than specific individuals, said the policy should prohibit the holding of directorships or trusteeships on outside boards, whether profit or non-profit. He said they should also be prohibiting financial compensation for service on such boards.
Nadir Shooshstari, chair of the Faculty Senate at The UM-Missoula, said faculty members saw first-hand the benefits that students received from these types of outside activities, including internships. He said it was also important to note that state universities were generally moving in the direction of relying on greater cooperation with outside organizations, whether profit or non-profit. As long as the memberships were carefully reviewed by the Regents and legal counsel, it would not be in the best interest of the system to keep presidents and other high-level administrators from serving on boards, whether for compensation or not. Dr. Shooshstari said they needed to trust the professional and personal integrity of these individuals.
Jim McCray, speaking on behalf of the students at MSU-Bozeman, said this was a student issue and concern because students were the consumers and direct beneficiaries of education. He said they supported the presidents' decisions to sit on outside governing boards. Mr. McCray said students recognized the importance of financial support that outside boards offered to the students, such as career opportunities and stronger ties between the public and private sectors.
Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm said no one could deny that in current times the campuses needed close links with industry. However, he questioned whether those links needed to be at the highest policy-making levels.
President Dennison said the difficult part about the proposed policy was that people were being told to go ahead and serve on a board and make a difference by interacting with people who could help their institutions. However, if any compensation were received, those persons were viewed as having sold their souls. He urged the Regents to consider all the issues when they made their final decision. Though it may not make a difference for the people in those jobs today, it would make a difference for the system as it moved into the next century.
President Malone said he knew when it was appropriate to abstain from voting on an issue because of a conflict of interest. He said he found the fixation on income troubling, particularly the implication that one is felonious if one serves on a corporate board. He said if they were to take a position that was so contrary to what the rest of the United States was doing, it would severely affect future recruitment efforts.
Montana Tech Chancellor Lindsay Norman said it was important that they be intimately involved in the state's future economy and with the private sector. He said he was concerned about the connection of dollars to decision-making, integrity, and professionalism. He said the Board should rely on the professionalism, integrity, and the elements of trust that existed when the administrators were hired.
Chancellor Stearns agreed that the Board should keep the issues of integrity and fairness in mind.
Interim Commissioner Crofts said although he strongly supported involvement with business and economic development, that involvement did not need to be dependent on board service. One could occur in the absence of the other. With respect to the specific policy, he said it set out the possibility that the Board might approve a president or chancellor serving on a corporate, for-profit board, but that such approval was dependent on reaching the conclusion that no apparent real or perceived conflict of interest was involved. He said he found it difficult at that point to conclude why normal compensation would not be applicable for that person's expertise or service. Interim Commissioner Crofts said he expressed some degree of caution at the May 1996 meeting about approaching this subject by means of a policy. He said they had an extensive list of outside boards that administrators sit on, and only three of those had been questioned. He said they needed to consider three factors: (1) what was happening nationally; (2) the impact on students; and (3) the Montana climate and public opinion. He suggested they proceed instead on a case-by-case basis and decide whether service would pose a conflict of interest. He noted that dealing with the policy would exclude a lot of service that had been unquestioned.
Governor Racicot conceded that his position on the issue was very cautious because he did not want to enter into a danger zone. He said he did not want to spend hours at meetings dissecting whether people of significant credibility and reputation had somehow violated a principle that had been articulated and whether in these given circumstances they had somehow crossed an inappropriate boundary. He said he would never suggest that anyone had done something felonious or sold their soul, and those arguments were not relevant to the discussion. He said he was not convinced that somehow service on a corporate board for compensation would increase the number of internships and benefits to an institution. Governor Racicot said he had seen these people work diligently without being on boards and be just as successful with companies whose boards they did not serve on as with those they did. He realized they had a public responsibility to engage with private business to have close relationships and opportunities to carry on discussions and further the best interests of their institutions. He urged them, however, to consider the thoughts, impressions, and intuitions of those outside the context of the university system. Governor Racicot felt the policy did not go far enough. He said no appearance of conflict should be allowed.
Regent Thompson said she felt they were straying from the Board's mission, which was to supervise, coordinate, manage, and control the university system and supervise and coordinate other public educational institutions assigned by law. She said one of the presidents' job requirements was to demonstrate the ability to attract financial support from the public and private sectors and to demonstrate the ability to establish effective partnerships with business, industry, community, and governmental organizations and other postsecondary institutions. Regent Thompson said if these people were serving on their own time, should the Board have a say over whether they were compensated? She said they needed to arrive at something simple, or they would create more problems. The focus of phase two of the restructuring was the students. Regent Thompson asked how the students would find jobs if there were not some type of interaction between the university system and the marketplace. She said the Board should be careful not to micro-manage.
Regent Davison pointed out that public ownership was quite different from private ownership and had much deeper ramifications. He said when public ownership came into play, it was difficult to take the same procedures and policies that might be used in private industry and apply them to public ownership. Regent Davison said he felt it was a money issue with most Montanans and suggested they adopt the policy as written.
Regent Green said he agreed with the policy up to Section 4. He said he had the most trouble with the compensation issue and agreed it was a major concern of the public.
Regent Boylan said he was in favor of compensation but with full disclosure.
Chairman Kaze said he supported public/private partnerships in today's world but found it difficult to support the policy as written. He said if they were going to suggest this type of activity was appropriate for the presidents and other administrators, it was inappropriate to suggest they engage in it without regular compensation.
Following lengthy discussion, Regent Green moved that Section 2(d) of the policy be eliminated; Section 5 be eliminated; reference to full disclosure of compensation received be added to Section 3; and an effective date of July 1, 1997, be added to Section 7. The motion failed by a roll-call vote of 4 to 3. Regents Conroy, Davison, Schwanke, and Kaze voted against the motion.
Regent Conroy then moved that the words "or for-profit" be deleted in Section 2; all the language after the semicolon be deleted in Section 2(c); Section 2(e) be eliminated and a new section added stating that covered officials may not serve on a governing or policy-making board for a for-profit entity; and an effective date of January 1, 1997, be added to Section 7. The motion failed by a roll-call vote of 4 to 3. Regents Boylan, Davison, Green, and Thompson voted against the motion.
Regent Davison then moved that the policy be approved as submitted, with an effective date of January 1, 1997, added to Section 7. The motion passed by a roll-call vote of 4 to 3. Regents Boylan, Conroy, and Kaze voted against the motion.
d. Administrative Budget Priorities; Montana University System
Rod Sundsted, Associate Commissioner for Fiscal Affairs, reviewed his May 16, 1996 memorandum to the Board (on file) and said they needed to establish budget priorities for submittal to the Executive Branch. The Board also needed to decide whether to include the $1.6 million estimated unfunded cost of agency salaries as a high priority on the list.
President Malone spoke specifically about the Cooperative Extension Service and the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station. He distributed a June 28, 1996 letter addressed to Richard Crofts (on file) that discussed various options for funding the $1.6 million. President Malone reviewed the options of user fees, using tuition to pay agency salaries, and dealing with a $1.6 million shortfall. He concluded by asking the Board to include the $1.6 million for agency salaries as a high priority in its formal request to the Executive Branch.
Chairman Kaze said they had discussed the issue in depth at the May 1996 meeting and now needed to identify for the system how they wished to approach the issue and how it related to the other initiatives on the priority list.
Regent Davison reminded the Regents they had entered into some agreements and made some commitments. By doing so, those automatically become a priority and responsibility.
President Dennison pointed out that commitments had been made at Western but were being delayed because they did not have the money to pay them.
Interim Commissioner Crofts said the Joint Committee on Postsecondary Education Policy & Budget had charged them with determining whether alternative ways could be found to fund the salaries. He said they had some reasonable obligation to attempt to identify alternatives and realized preliminary efforts had been made in that regard.
Chairman Kaze said he believed they could address the priority issue at that time while continuing to seek alternative mechanisms.
Governor Racicot said they were talking about .75% of their budget and suggested they look at it as a system.
After further discussion, Regent Green moved that the Board approve the list of budget priorities proposed in Rod Sundsted's May 16, 1996 memorandum, with the stipulation that $1.6 million for agency salary contracts be included in priority #1 with the other collaborative agreements.
Since the Regents were scheduled to meet with faculty representatives, they agreed to postpone action on Regent Green's motion until Tuesday morning.
The Board recessed at 4:55 p.m.
TUESDAY, JULY 2, 1996
The Board reconvened at 8:30 a.m. in Conference Room 102.
d. Administrative Budget Priorities; Montana University System (continued)
Interim Commissioner Crofts noted that a motion had been passed by the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee during the last legislative session to essentially take the agencies out of the lump sum. As a result, the university system was funded with one lump, and the five agencies were viewed separately. He said Senator Greg Jergeson had made a motion at the time to provide additional general fund to meet the agency salary increases but the motion failed.
Interim Commissioner Crofts read the following statement from MSU--Bozeman's Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes (PQO) agreement:
We have identified one-time assistance to the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, Cooperative Extension Service and Fire Service Training School in the FY 1996/97 biennium for salary increases not funded by the 54th Legislature. These funds are shown under Fund Transfers on the third page of the budget projections. We anticipate that we will seek legislative appropriations to fund the base obligations of these future salary increases for faculty in these organizations.
Interim Commissioner Crofts recommended the Regents proceed along the lines outlined in Mr. Sundsted's memo, with the understanding that approximately $1.6 million would be included in priority #1 as the general fund requirement to fund faculty salary increases in all the agencies. He said he would also expect the agencies to continue to pursue actions similar if not parallel to what happened on the campuses in regard to instructional faculty salary increases--that is, a reallocation, a programmatic adjustment, or efforts to generate additional revenue in whatever ways possible, appropriate, and legal.
After further discussion, Regent Green re-stated his motion from the previous day that the Board approve the list of budget priorities proposed in Rod Sundsted's May 16, 1996 memorandum, with the stipulation that $1.6 million for agency salary contracts be included in priority #1 with the other collaborative agreements. The motion passed unanimously.
e. Two-Year Education
Interim Commissioner Crofts referred the Regents to his May 2, 1996 memorandum (on file) regarding two-year education in the Montana University System. He said the Board could use the draft report to provide some direction on how to proceed. He pointed out that some of the measures outlined in the report had already been undertaken. Others may require either policy action or some type of fiscal arrangement.
Chairman Kaze said the policies listed on page 3 could be considered to address how they might provide incentives for increasing enrollment in two-year institutions. He asked whether the Regents would be interested in having some of those brought forward in policy form.
Following discussion, Regent Green moved that the Board adopt in principle the recommendations included in Interim Commissioner Richard Crofts' May 2, 1996 memo to the Board on two-year education to investigate the policies identified in the memo along with other policies that might properly effect the direction originally intended in the university system restructuring. The motion passed unanimously.
f. Discussion of Tenure Policy (706.1)
Chairman Kaze referred the Regents to Interim Commissioner Crofts' March 22, 1996 memo to the Board (on file) regarding tenure for administrators. Attachments included Board Policy 706.1, Board minutes from December 13-14, 1990; a December 13, 1990 memo to the Board from Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm outlining policy options; Board minutes from January 31-February 1, 1991; and the results of a survey on the issue conducted by the Georgia university system.
Chairman Kaze said he had originally voted against tenure for administrators and asked that the policy and/or issue be brought back before the Board. He felt they had a policy stating they would not grant academic tenure to administrators but had in fact done so. He suggested they reexamine the policy.
Presidents Malone and Dennison reviewed the process used on their campuses concerning academic tenure to administrators.
Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm said the rationale for the Regents' refusal to adopt an explicit policy allowing this in 1990 was apprehension that it would become the norm. He said that while it may not have posed a problem for the larger campuses, the Board felt it would cause problems on the smaller campuses.
Following discussion, Chairman Kaze said it might be appropriate at a later meeting to have some type of policy statement brought forward in draft form-- perhaps placed on submission to begin the process again. This would give people time to consider all the issues. The Board agreed to proceed with that approach.
a. ITEM 92-004-R0796--Approval of Project Priority List, Long-Range Building Program; Montana University System
Interim Commissioner Crofts referred the Regents to Rod Sundsted's June 26, 1996 memo to the Board (on file) regarding the long-range building program. He said former GSL Director Bill Lannan had worked with the campuses in this area in the past, and Associate Commissioner for Fiscal Affairs Rod Sundsted had now assumed those duties.
Mr. Sundsted explained the long-range building program and said he had worked with the campuses to develop a single list that represented the system's priorities. He reviewed the list briefly and said he would like to add an eighteenth priority to the list that dealt with technology. In examining the various campus proposals, he felt they could pull together various pieces of technology infrastructure for about $1.5 million to help upgrade the campuses.
Following discussion, Chairman Kaze voiced a concern that the priorities on the list could be shifted for them during the legislative session, and he emphasized that the system not change its list once adopted.
Following discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board approve ITEM 92-004-R0796with the addition of $1.5 million for systemwide technology infrastructure as priority #18 on the list. The motion passed unanimously.
Chairman Kaze asked Interim Commissioner Crofts to introduce the five requests for exceptions to the 120-credit-hour undergraduate degree requirement.
b. ITEM 92-1005-R0796--Request for Exception to the 120 Credit Hour Undergraduate Degree Requirement for Teacher Education Programs; The University of Montana--Missoula
c. ITEM 92-1601-R0796--Request for Exception to the 120 Credit Hour Undergraduate Degree Requirement for Teacher Education Programs; Western Montana College of The University of Montana
d. ITEM 92-2001-R0796--Request for Exception to the 120 Credit Hour Undergraduate Degree Requirement for Teacher Education Program; Montana State University--Bozeman
e. ITEM 92-2701-R0796--Request for Exception to the 120 Credit Hour Undergraduate Degree Requirement for Teacher Education Programs; Montana State University--Billings
f. ITEM 92-2801-R0796--Request for Exception to the 120 Credit Hour Degree Requirement for the Teacher Education Programs; Montana State University--Northern
Interim Commissioner Crofts said the requirement was part of phase two of the restructuring and was written in a way to provide the opportunity for units desiring so to seek exceptions. He said there was considerable concern that the criteria for granting exceptions be clearly and publicly stated. As the exceptions were considered, he said it was important to keep those criteria in mind. The other part of the policy was a follow-up provision, which stated:
The burden of proof will be on campuses requesting exceptions to document that any or all of the above conditions [the three criteria] are present. Programs approved for over 120 credit hours will report to the Board of Regents by March of 1997 the results of a thorough curricular review. The Regents anticipate that the review will result in a reduction of credit hours required for the degree. Failure to achieve that goal will have to be justified to and approved by the Regents at the March 1997 meeting of the Board.
Interim Commissioner Crofts said the language suggested that initially the burden of proof was on the campuses to document the existence of issues meeting those criteria, and that any request for an exception to the 120-hour rule granted would result in an additional review during the coming academic year. The policy approved by the Regents expressed their anticipation that if an exception was approved at that point, some further reduction would occur within the coming academic year.
Don Robson, Dean of the School of Education at The University of Montana--Missoula, said The University of Montana--Missoula had joined with the other units of the university system to express support for an exception to the 120-credit-hour undergraduate degree requirement for reasons outlined in a May 1996 document prepared by the Montana University System Council of Deans of Education, School Administrators of Montana, Montana Education Association, Montana School Boards Association, and the Montana Rural Education Association. He said they were seeking Board approval to require students in teacher education programs to take 128 credit hours in order to graduate, effective Fall 1997, and had documentation in terms of that joint proposal along with individual proposals from each campus.
Dr. Robson said he thought they addressed all the criteria: the academic need within the baccalaureate program; state licensure and accreditation-type requirements; and employability and quality-type issues in terms of professional training. He pointed out that teacher education was a professional training program that differed to some extent from what was viewed as a core degree. What made it unique was that it essentially served three masters: (1) the academic issues, to which they were subject to the same restrictions and mandates associated with an academic degree; (2) a governmental function in terms of state licensing--graduates from schools of education were recommended to the state of Montana for teacher licenses for certification; and (3) the profession even beyond the state licensing function. Dr. Robson said it was their responsibility to take students and move them from the learning side of the curve to the teaching side. That had to do with employability and quality--turning people into professionals. He said they were asking that the program be left as is--that they continue with a 128-credit baccalaureate degree.
Following lengthy discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board approve ITEMS 92-1005-R0796, 92-1601-R0796, 92-2001-R0796, 92-2701-R0796, and 92-2801-R0796 subject to compliance with existing Board Policy 301.11, which states: "Programs approved for over 120 credit hours will report to the Board of Regents by March of 1997 the results of a thorough curricular review. The Regents anticipate that the review will result in a reduction of credit hours required for the degree. Failure to achieve that goal will have to be justified to and approved by the Regents at the March 1997 meeting of the Board." The motion passed 4 to 2; Regents Boylan and Kaze voted against the motion.
a. Update on Legal Issues
Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm said the Land Board had requested a response from the Board of Regents to the Attorney General's report concerning the Regents' authority to dispose of real property. The Regents had authorized the hiring of legal counsel at their May 1996 meeting, and Chief Counsel Schramm said that had been done. He said the Regents' response would not be ready in time for the July 15 Land Board meeting and that he was not sure when it would go before the Land Board.
Chief Counsel Schramm said the Regents had also discussed the fiscal statement for CA-30 at the May meeting. The Board agreed the statement was misleading and authorized Chief Counsel Schramm to go to court on the Board's behalf to seek a judicial change in the statement. He said they had been working with the Attorney General and the Governor's Office and hoped to resolve the issue without litigation.
b. Western Governors' University
Interim Commissioner Crofts said his office had been working with the Governor's Office to find some ways in which Montana might be a clear and accepted player in the further development of the Western Governors' University. Each state had been expected to contribute $100,000 in the first year and create at least one of the local centers, which were critical parts of the project's design. The Governor had indicated to his colleagues the willingness and eagerness of Montana to participate at some appropriate financial level, which had been suggested as $40,000. Interim Commissioner Crofts said $10,000 had been identified by the Governor, and each of the two universities committed $15,000. He said they would continue to pursue Montana's role in the project.
a. Montana State University--Bozeman
President Malone distributed an article from the June 30, 1996 Bozeman Daily Chronicle (on file) that focused on the campus' building projects.
With no other business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 12:00 noon.