March 28-29, 1996
Office-Classroom Complex 114A-B
Western Montana College of The University of Montana
|BOARD ACTION: Approved unanimously May 16, 1996 (Havre).|
REGENTS PRESENT: Jim Kaze (Chairman), Paul Boylan, Colleen Conroy, Pat Davison, Mike Green, and Kermit Schwanke; Commissioner of Higher Education Jeff Baker
REGENTS ABSENT: None
THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 1996
Chairman Jim Kaze called the regular meeting of the Board of Regents to order at 3:00 p.m. in Office-Classroom Complex 114A-B. Roll call showed that a quorum was present.
Regent Pat Davison moved that the Board approve the minutes from the January 25-26, 1996 regular meeting and the March 4, 1996 conference call meeting as mailed to Board members. The motion passed unanimously.
a. ITEM 90-1000-R0396--Staff; The University of Montana--Missoula
b. ITEM 90-1500-R0396--Staff; Montana Tech of The University of Montana
c. ITEM 90-1500A-R0396--Staff; Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology
d. ITEM 90-1600-R0396--Staff; Western Montana College of The University of Montana
e. ITEM 90-2000-R0396--Staff; Montana State University--Bozeman
f. ITEM 90-2001-R0396--RETIREMENT of Virginia Hunt, Director of Women's Athletics; Montana State University--Bozeman
g. ITEM 90-2300-R0396--Staff; Agricultural Experiment Station
h. ITEM 90-2700-R0396--Staff; Montana State University--Billings
i. ITEM 90-2701-R0396--RESOLUTION upon the Retirement of Dr. Anneke-Jan Boden, Professor, Communication Arts; Montana State University--Billings
j. ITEM 90-2702-R0396--RESOLUTION upon the Retirement of Dr. Elia G. Nickoloff, Professor, Rehabilitation Counseling Education; Montana State University--Billings
k. ITEM 90-2703-R0396--RESOLUTION upon the Retirement of C. Randy Howard, Professor, Accounting and Information Systems; Montana State University--Billings
l. ITEM 90-2704-R0396--RESOLUTION upon the Retirement of Dr. Roland L. Grant, Associate Professor, Earth Science; Montana State University--Billings
m. ITEM 90-2705-R0396--RESOLUTION upon the Retirement of Dr. Beal Mossman, Professor, Psychology; Montana State University--Billings
n. ITEM 90-2706-R0396--RESOLUTION upon the Retirement of JoAnn Meide, Assistant Professor and Reference Librarian; Montana State University--Billings
o. ITEM 90-2707-R0396--RESOLUTION upon the Retirement of John B. Mueller, Associate Professor, Mathematics; Montana State University--Billings
p. ITEM 90-2800-R0396--Staff; Montana State University--Northern
q. ITEM 90-2850-R0396--Staff; Montana State University College of Technology--Great Falls
Capital Construction Items:
a. ITEM 90-1001-R0396--Install Air Conditioning, McGill Hall; The University of Montana--Missoula
b. ITEM 90-1002-R0396--Construct New Chemistry Stores Building; The University of Montana--Missoula
c. ITEM 90-1003-R0396--Construct New Elevator to Press Box, Washington-Grizzly Stadium; The University of Montana--Montana
d. ITEM 90-1004-R0396--Construct Graphics Lab, McGill Hall; The University of Montana--Missoula
e. ITEM 90-1005-R0396--Renovate Science Complex 212 and 221 for the Center for Biotechnology; The University of Montana--Missoula
f. ITEM 90-2002-R0396--Authorization to Improve and Repair Parking Lots; Montana State University--Bozeman
Collective Bargaining Agreements:
a. ITEM 90-002-R0396--Approval of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Statement of Intent, and Plan for Improving Quality, Access, and Productivity at Montana's Colleges of Technology with the Vocational Technical Educators of Montana #4610, MFT, AFT, AFL-CIO
Regent Mike Green moved that the Board approve all items on the consent agenda (staff, capital construction, and collective bargaining agreements). The motion passed unanimously.
The Academic and Student Affairs Committee met at 1:30 p.m. in Office-Classroom Complex 114A. Committee members present included Regents Pat Davison (chairman), Kermit Schwanke, 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 (March 27, 1996 memorandum from Richard Crofts on file).
a. The University of Montana--Missoula
The name for the master's and doctoral degrees in Guidance and Counseling will be changed to Counselor Education. The name of the division, major, and minor in Business Education will be changed to Business and Information Technology Education, with minor curricular modifications.
b. College of Technology, The University of Montana--Missoula
Program change in Medical Office Technology, which currently prepares medical secretaries and medical transcriptionists, to Medical Office Technology with three options: Medical Secretarial Technology, Medical Transcription, and Medical Assisting. All three options will have a total of 40 credits in common. Only four new courses are required to offer to teach the option in medical assisting. Existing courses from the Medical Office Technology and Practical Nursing programs are used with these four courses.
c. Dawson Community College
Add the option of an AAS degree titled Medical Administrative Assistant to the currently approved Administrative Assistant degree (AAS).
d. Miles Community College
Rename AAS program in Data Processing, change two existing option titles, and add a third option in the program. Also, rename one AAS program option in Medical Administrative Assistant.
Previous Program Name:
Data Processing-- Computer Graphics, Small Computer System Management, (new option)
New Program Name: Computer Technology--
Graphics, Business Applications, Multimedia & Telecommunications
Previous Program Name:
Medical Administrative Assistant
New Program Name:
Medical Administrative Systems
e. College of Technology, Montana Tech of The University of Montana
The College of Technology has decided to place the program of Civil Engineering Technology, and the option in Small Business Programs within the Business Department, into moratorium. Both areas are in need of thorough program review, and a moratorium will affect very few students.
2. CONSENT AGENDA -- SUBMISSION
The Board concurred with the committee's recommendation to move the following nine items on the consent agenda to the submission agenda at the May 16-17, 1996 meeting in Havre:
a. ITEM 90-401-R0396--Approval of Proposal for Certificate and Associate of Applied Science Degrees in Building Technology; Miles Community College
b. ITEM 90-1006-R0396--Approval of a Proposal to Offer a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major in Native American Studies; The University of Montana--Missoula
c. ITEM 90-1007-R0396--Approval of Proposal to Initiate a Doctoral Degree in Pharmacology/Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences; The University of Montana--Missoula (REVISED cover sheet)
d. ITEM 90-1501-R0396--Approval of Proposal to Offer a Two-Year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Geographical Information System/Global Positioning System (GIS/GPS); Montana Tech of The University of Montana, College of Technology
e. ITEM 90-1901-R0396--Approval of Proposal to Offer a Two-Year Associate of Science Degree; Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana
f. ITEM 90-1902-R0396--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
g. ITEM 90-2003-R0396--Authorization for the College of Graduate Studies to Offer a Master's Degree in Science Education; Montana State University--Bozeman
h. ITEM 90-2708-R0396--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
i. ITEM 90-2851-R0396--Approval of Proposal to Award the Associate of Science Degree in Business; Montana State University College of Technology--Great Falls
3. SUBMISSION AGENDA
a. ITEM 90-1601-R0396--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
Regent Davison briefly reviewed ITEM 90-1601-R0396. He noted that the "Information Processing Track," page 11 of the item, had been withdrawn. After brief discussion, the Board concurred with the committee's recommendation to move ITEM 90-1601-R0396 to the action agenda at the May 1996 meeting.
4. ACTION AGENDA
a. 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 Davison said this item was on submission at the January 1996 meeting. At that time, The University of Montana--Missoula raised a question concerning overlap. Regent Davison said the question had since been addressed to everyone's satisfaction.
Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 90-2001-R0196. The motion passed unanimously.
In regard to an item on the consent agenda, ITEM 90-2003-R0396--Authorization for the College of Graduate Studies to Offer a Master's Degree in Science Education; Montana State University--Bozeman, Regent Davison suggested that the Regents listen to a report on the program since it dealt with some of the topics they would be discussing as they proceeded with phase two of the restructuring and the advent of technology in learning.
Regent Davison introduced Dr. Jack Drumheller, Interim Provost at Montana State University--Bozeman, and Dr. Elisabeth Charron, Director of the STEP project, who provided the Board with a brief summary of the program.
Chairman Kaze thanked Drs. Drumheller and Charron for their reports.
The Administrative/Budget Committee met at 1:30 p.m. in Office-Classroom Complex 114B. Committee members present included Regents Colleen Conroy (chair), Paul Boylan, and Jim Kaze. Chairman Kaze said he would present the committee's report to the full Board at Regent Conroy's request.
1. SUBMISSION AGENDA
The Board concurred with the committee's recommendation to move the following three items on the submission agenda to the action agenda at the May 1996 meeting:
a. ITEM 2-015-R1073--Consulting Services; Faculty (REVISED 401.1)
b. ITEM 21-003-R0778--Appeals (REVISED 203.5.2)
c. ITEM 26-016-R0380--Employment Contract; Professional and Administrative Employees (REVISED 711.1)
2. CONSENT AGENDA -- ACTION
a. ITEM 90-1502-R0396--Authorization to Expend Student Computer Fees; Montana Tech of The University of Montana
b. ITEM 90-1503-R0396--Authorization to Expend Equipment Fee Allocation for Instructional Purposes; Montana Tech of The University of Montana
c. ITEM 90-1602-R0396--Approval of Final Terms and Conditions for Construction of Stadium; Western Montana College of The University of Montana
d. ITEM 90-1603-R0396--Approval of Final Terms and Conditions for Construction of Arena Floor; Western Montana College of The University of Montana
e. ITEM 90-2709-R0396--Authorization to Expend Computer Fee Funds, Fiscal Year 1996; Montana State University--Billings
f. ITEM 90-2004-R0396--Authorization to Allow the Construction of a Temporary Research Facility for the Study of Whirling Disease; Montana State University--Bozeman [addition to the agenda]
After brief discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee's request to approve ITEMS 90-1502-R0396, 90-1503-R0396, 90-1602-R0396, 90-1603-R0396, 90-2709-R0396, and 90-2004-R0396 on the consent agenda. The motion passed unanimously.
3. ACTION AGENDA
a. ITEM 90-003-R0396--Amendment to Board of Regents' Policies 940.23 (Computer Fee) and 940.26 (Equipment Fee); Montana University System
b. ITEM 90-001-R0396--1996-97 Inventory and Validation of Fees
Chairman Kaze said the revisions to policies 940.23 and 940.26 would bring those policies into compliance with the fees included in the 1996-97 Inventory and Validation of Fees. In the past, the fees were identified in the policies. The fee amounts would now be taken out of the policies so they could be included in the inventory and validation of fees.
Chairman Kaze noted that no additional tuition was included beyond above that approved a year ago. He said the increases in mandatory fees were set forth and highlighted in Rod Sundsted's March 20, 1996 memorandum to the Board (on file). The average increase in tuition and fees for a student (weighted by institution and number of students) would be 5 percent.
Chairman Kaze noted there may be slight modifications in the mandatory fee schedule and a modification in the super tuition programs of pharmacy, law, and physical therapy. Those would come forward at the May 1996 meeting.
After brief discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEMS 90-003-R0396 and 90-001-R0396. The motion passed unanimously.
c. ITEM 90-1001-R0196--Property Acquisition, Sheehan Majestic Building; The University of Montana--Missoula
Chairman Kaze said ITEM 90-1001-R0196 had been withdrawn from the agenda at the request of The University of Montana--Missoula pending resolution of negotiations with the seller.
Chairman Kaze said the items under "Other" on the committee's agenda had not been discussed by the committee but instead were forwarded to the full Board's agenda.
a. Enrollment Update
Associate Commissioner for Fiscal Affairs Rod Sundsted distributed a handout (on file) titled "Montana University System, FY96 Enrollment Summary." Mr. Sundsted said he wanted to highlight some of the enrollment numbers. In looking at all the units except the community colleges, resident students were down about 374 FTE from 1996 projections. On the WUE side, they were down about 65 from where they thought they would be, but they were up on nonresidents by 74 if all campuses were combined. The nonresidents were fairly close, but the residents were below the projections coming into this year. He said if the colleges of technology were pulled out, there was some concern because of the 374 shortfall in residents, about 227 of those were in the colleges of technology and below projections. He noted a significant shortfall also in the community colleges. They did not do projections, but in comparison with their budgeted number, which came out of the legislative session with their actual number, they were about 206 below on resident students.
Commissioner Baker distributed a May 9, 1995 memorandum (on file) from him to the Board of Regents that was prepared after the last legislative session. He pointed out that not only did the system make commitments about what they were going to do with tuition last year, but they also made commitments about what they would do with enrollment. They presented to the legislature and to the governor the guidelines that would be used this year and next in terms of the system's overall shortfalls or overages. He said the purpose in doing this was to try to put some consistency into what they said they would do and what they actually did. He pointed out that a number of incentives and penalties were built into the guidelines. According to the guidelines (last paragraph on page one):
(a) For in-state students: If we fall short of the established enrollment targets for the system [referring to in-state students], we will refund general fund to the state based on the budget office's marginal cost per student, $1,650. If over the established system target, we will retain in-state tuition up to 2% above the projected resident enrollment with budget management subject to the provisions of (1) above. Tuition revenue exceeding 2% will result in a reversion of general fund dollars to the state. (b) For out-of-state students: If over by 1% or less, the university may retain the additional tuition revenue. If over by more than 1%, the university will remand all out-of-state tuition revenue above the projected number to the Board of Regents.
In reviewing the enrollment figures, Commissioner Baker said it was interesting to note that (excluding the community colleges) at every four-year campus and every college of technology, they went up in enrollment overall except for the campuses at MSU--Northern and the Missoula College of Technology. As a system, they had projected a 776 increase in the number of students, while they had an actual increase of 432. They fell short of the projections but were up as a system by 432 students. Commissioner Baker said that was important to keep in mind as a framework. Now they would have to decide how to deal with the 1% and 2% guidelines. In looking at MSU--Bozeman, for example, the number of nonresidents in terms of the projections was up more than the 1% allowed. According to the guidelines, if the 1% were exceeded, all tuition revenue from the nonresident students would go to the Board for distribution. Commissioner Baker also pointed out the difficulties involved and the challenges facing campus managers to make accurate projections in light of national nuances such as such as financial aid packaging, students who change enrollment and application patterns, decreases in applications, and increases in commitments.
Following discussion, Chairman Kaze thanked Mr. Sundsted for the enrollment update.
b. EPP & Budget Presentation
Rod Sundsted explained the EPP (Executive Planning Process) in state government, noting that it was the process developed by the Executive as budget recommendations were prepared for the next biennium. Agencies were asked to come forward with new proposals or identified needs and significant budget changes that would result. He said the Commissioner's Office had worked with the Executive to participate in the process and try to get ideas into the Executive early for consideration with the rest of the recommendations in state government. The proposals needed to be submitted in May, and the Executive had agreed to accept the system's proposals after the Board of Regents' May meeting. At that point, the priorities needed to be systemwide. For the current meeting, however, the campuses would be presenting their priorities and before May would put them together into a systemwide priority package for presentation to the Executive.
Mr. Sundsted said since one of the current law adjustments was for enrollment, he handed out updated enrollment projections (on file) from the campuses for 1997-2002 based on their 1996 actuals. Mr. Sundsted said he had not made any adjustments to the figures and noted they were still projecting some fairly aggressive early growth.
George Dennison, President of The University of Montana, showed a series of overheads to supplement the "1999 Biennial Budget Request: The University of Montana" dated March 18, 1996 (on file).
Chairman Kaze thanked President Dennison for the presentation. The Board recessed at 5:00 p.m. for a meeting with faculty representatives.
FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 1996
The Board reconvened at 8:35 a.m. in Office-Classroom Complex 114A-B.
b. EPP & Budget Presentation (continued)
Michael Malone, President of Montana State University, reviewed Montana State University's "1999 Biennium Proposed Initiatives and Base Adjustments" dated March 28, 1996 (on file). The Board also heard remarks from Montana State University--Billings Chancellor Ronald Sexton and Montana State University--Northern Chancellor William Daehling specific to their respective campuses.
Concerning the funding of agency salaries, Commissioner Baker noted that before they approached the Executive, they needed to have a discussion among themselves and come to some conclusion about what the policy coming from the Regents ought to be.
Regent Davison agreed that it was important to hold that discussion.
Following further discussion, Commissioner Baker suggested that for the next meeting his office present an outline of the issues and the possible alternatives and decide on a recommendation.
c. MSU--Northern Funding Issue
Commissioner Baker said the material mailed to the Regents (on file) was fairly self-explanatory. The issue was the allocation of some of the revenue that, as mentioned the previous day, was above the 1% for nonresidents that came back to the Regents. The question was what the Regents wanted to do with it. He said he was recommending that $330,000 be transferred within Montana State University from the Bozeman campus to MSU--Northern to help bridge the college's fairly severe financial situation.
MSU President Malone said this represented what consolidation meant and what it could do. He said the basic proposal was that nonresident tuition from MSU--Bozeman that was now classified as excess tuition under the Commissioner's guidelines and Board's policy be transferred to another MSU campus that was having difficulties. Some of that money also would stay on the Bozeman campus to keep a marginal cost of education for students already there.
MSU--Northern Chancellor Daehling reviewed his March 7, 1996 memorandum (on file) to the Board concerning the restructuring of MSU--Northern. He pointed out that the change in policy of reverting general fund during a year in which students did not show up was what had caused the problem because of the size of the enrollment decrease. In the past, that would have been taken care of in the next biennium. Because those resident students did not show up, there was a $262,000 reversion of general fund. To compound that, after two years in which they had retirement buyouts, two long-term faculty decided to retire at a cost of $91,000. Chancellor Daehling said it was important to keep those factors in mind. He said other factors affecting enrollment were a loss of elasticity in price, a late harvest on the Hi-Line, and a drop in graduate enrollment. He referred the Regents to Attachment H in his memo, which highlighted specific planning elements for MSU--Northern's future, along with a proposed process for restructuring the college.
Commissioner Baker said the Regents now had to decide how to distribute the funds. He also pointed out that he had made a bad judgment call in not going out and soliciting a list of systemwide priorities. However, he pointed out that the issues involved with the requests from MSU--Northern and MSU--Bozeman were extremely important. He was recommending the marginal cost financing of students who were on the Bozeman campus that year--89 students at the rate of $1,650. The second part of the recommendation was to allocate $330,000 of the nonresident tuition revenue to MSU--Northern within Montana State University to be used the purposes described earlier by Chancellor Daehling.
Lengthy discussion followed on issues such as the House Bill 2 intent that the mix of residents/nonresidents remain at 78/22; financial hardships other campuses were experiencing and the ways in which they were handling cuts, specifically Western, Montana Tech, and the Helena College of Technology; dealing with the consequences of the policy of not taking state dollars for students the system did not have; living within the limits of the enrollment targets; and not having a systemwide list of priorities available for the money.
In response to a comment by Montana Tech Chancellor Lindsay Norman concerning the feasibility of changing the policy, Commissioner Baker noted that he felt the policy should not be changed, not only for management reasons but because of the credibility issue. Because of the policy, they did not have to explain to the legislature why they ended up with funding for students who did not show up.
Regent Davison moved that the Board approve the transfer of $330,000 to MSU--Northern and $146,000 to the MSU--Bozeman campuses.
After further discussion, Regent Davison said he would withdraw his motion and agree to wait until the May meeting to make the decision.
Regent Green asked how waiting until May to make a decision would affect the MSU campuses. President Malone said if the decision were positive, it would have no effect. In the interim, however, they would have to curtail any expenditures because they could not anticipate what the vote in May would be, and it was late in the fiscal year.
President Dennison pointed out that budgets on The UM campuses had already been reduced by $1.3 million.
Concerning an earlier comment on adjusting the policy, Chairman Kaze disagreed. He said the only issue before them was how to allocate the money. Did they want to wait until May to allocate the money, or did they want to allocate some or all of it at the current meeting? The argument against allocating it at that time was that not everyone had a chance to make a request. The argument for allocating it at that time was that the process needed to move forward on those campuses, and they needed the money immediately. They could not anticipate what the decision would be in May.
Concerning a comment that the decision was viewed as precedent-setting, Regent Davison said he did not consider it precedent. Regent Green and UM President Dennison disagreed, noting that the Board would be setting precedent.
President Dennison said he was not arguing that the proposed recommendation was not a good use of the money. However, a vote at that time on that use was a precedent that said exceed, come in, and use it for another purpose within that university.
The Board took a 20-minute break and reconvened at 10:35 a.m.
After further discussion among the Regents, Regent Conroy moved that the Board accept the Commissioner's recommendation to approve the transfer of $330,000 to MSU--Northern and $146,000 to the MSU--Bozeman campus.
Before the vote, Regent Davison again emphasized that he did not believe the Board's action was precedent-setting.
Chairman Kaze agreed, noting that no future decision would be bound by the decision made that day.
The motion to transfer $330,000 to MSU--Northern and $146,000 to MSU--Bozeman passed unanimously.
a. ITEM 89-001-R1195--General Education Transfer Policy; Montana University System (NEW)
Chairman Kaze noted that ITEM 89-001-R1195 was one of four "phase two proposals" on the agenda for action at that time.
Dr. Richard Crofts, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs, noted that this policy had been discussed since September 1995, yet the policy remained a concern to faculty on several campuses--most significantly to The UM--Missoula faculty. Dr. Crofts pointed out that although this type of action was supported nationally, concern remained on several campuses.
Chairman Kaze noted that UM President Dennison had provided the Regents with a March 12, 1996 memo (on file) expressing his concerns about the proposal.
President Dennison said he did not have anything to add to the memo. He said it outlined his concerns, which were shared by many faculty. President Dennison said he also wanted to reiterate that it was not an opposition to transfer, nor an opposition to welcoming transfer students and helping them get through. He said The UM--Missoula did design a baccalaureate curriculum with a general education component as a critical part of it, and they did not believe that prerogative should be taken away.
Dr. Randy Bolton, president of the faculty senate at The UM--Missoula, said he would again emphasize that this was at the heart and soul of the faculty's concerns.
Discussion followed among the Regents, Dr. Crofts, Commissioner Baker, and President Dennison.
After further discussion, Regent Davison moved that the Board approve ITEM 89-001-R1195. The motion passed unanimously.
b. ITEM 89-002-R1195--Undergraduate Degree Requirements; Montana University System (NEW)
Dr. Crofts said the tough decisions surrounding this policy would come in subsequent meetings when the Board would have to deal with exceptions. He said he wanted to make them aware that the movement toward a basic standard of 120-hour undergraduate degrees was occurring in other states throughout the country. At the time they were considering exceptions, he would share with them the actions taken in at least two of those states. Dr. Crofts referred the Regents to the second paragraph under "Procedure." He said units seeking exceptions to the 120-hour maximum were asked to submit formal requests to the Regents for approval at the Board's May 1996 meeting. He said there might be some difficulties in meeting that deadline.
Regent Davison suggested the deadline in question be changed to "not later than September 1996." The Board concurred with the change.
During the discussion that followed, the Regents heard comments on the policy from Lindsay Norman, Chancellor of Montana Tech of The UM; Diane Wolfgram, Chair of the Faculty Senate at Montana Tech of The UM: and Michael Malone, President of Montana State University.
After further discussion, Regent Davison moved that the Board approve ITEM 89-002-R1195 as amended with the language concerning the deadline for exceptions changed to "not later than September 1996." The motion passed unanimously.
c. ITEM 78-001-R0393--Tuition; Montana University System (940.27 REVISED)
The Regents heard comments on this policy change from Dr. Jack Drumheller, Interim Provost at MSU--Bozeman, who distributed a handout (on file) concerning credits at graduation in the Montana University System; Dr. Robert Kindrick, Provost at The University of Montana--Missoula; Stephanie Hampton, a single parent who was attending Western Montana College of The UM as a freshman; and Lee Howard, a student from Western.
Regent Green moved that the Board change 144 to 152. He said the quality issue had been brought up frequently, along with factors beyond a student's control. Regent Green said he was concerned about the number of students who would be forced to enter into some type of appeal process during the policy's early stages. He was advocating a two-tiered system, pointing out that seniors now graduating were coming from the same system from which he had graduated. They would be affected by the 144 policy, and there was no adjustment period for those students. He said learner responsibility was extremely important, but he was not convinced that the policies the system was putting into place were ready for those students. For those reasons, he would rather support a number of 152, which could probably be decreased three or four years down the road.
Regent Schwanke asked for the presidents' comments.
Both Presidents Malone and Dennison felt Regent Green's comments made sense, and they considered the 152 number as reasonable.
Discussion followed on Regent Green's motion.
Regent Green said he would amend his motion to include a transition period. Beginning in Fall 1996, the number would be 150 hours. Beginning Fall 2000, the number would fall to 144 hours.
After further discussion, the Board voted 4 to 2 in favor of Regent Green's amendment to ITEM 78-001-R0393. Regent Conroy and Chairman Kaze voted against the amendment.
Regent Green moved that the Board approve ITEM 78-001-R0393 as amended. The motion passed unanimously.
d. ITEM 89-003-R1195--Approval of "Proficiency Admission Requirements and Developmental Education in the Montana University System"
Dr. Crofts said some interest had been expressed in the number of students they were dealing with in developmental education. He distributed a report (on file) of Fall 1995 enrollment for the six four-year units in math and English courses that probably would be considered remedial or developmental. He said if ITEM 89-003-R1195 were adopted, they would develop some systemwide definitions and measures of what is or is not remedial or developmental education. Since they did not have that at the present time, the individual campuses were determining the level and what they viewed as remedial or developmental education.
Regent Davison asked for the implementation timeframe.
Dr. Crofts said he thought it might take them the better part of a year to move forward, perhaps by summer or fall 1997 to get everything up and running.
Regent Davison said he felt they should have a specific implementation date.
After further discussion, Regent Davison moved that the Board approve ITEM 89-003-R0195, and that an implementation date be adopted at the May 1996 Board of Regents meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm noted that Scott Edward Dion had appealed a decision by the Commissioner rendered January 31, 1996. Chief Counsel Schramm explained that the Regents could either entertain the appeal and hear oral arguments at a future meeting, or they could deny the appeal and thereby uphold the Commissioner's decision.
After brief discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board deny the appeal and thereby uphold Commissioner Baker's decision. The motion passed unanimously.
b. Administrative Services Review
Rod Sundsted said the campuses were asked last fall to examine all administrative functions with an eye toward improving efficiency and to come up with recommendations on how things might be done better. The campuses looked at all administrative functions as a general rule. Mr. Sundsted said that even though some did not have systemwide implications, the reports include a lot of good ideas. Some recommendations did have systemwide impacts and/or may require statutory or administrative rule changes.
The Board heard presentations from UM President Dennison, MSU President Malone, and MSU--Bozeman Director of Budget Craig Roloff, who reviewed the administrative services review documents (on file) distributed to the Board.
Mr. Sundsted said it was important to talk about the process. Concerning the number of issues with systemwide implications or those requiring statutory changes, they had met with people from both universities to try to reach a consensus in areas where they had differences. They were trying to work through those differences to come up with the best alternative that would suit everyone and one that would be attainable. He said they had also been meeting with state agencies that might be affected to get their reactions, concerns, feedback, etc. They had narrowed the issues to 12 to 15 and were preparing legislation that would be required for those. Mr. Sundsted said this process would dovetail with the EPP. As part of the system's EPP submission, they would submit these ideas along with the statutory changes through the Executive to secure their support to the extent possible.
Chairman Kaze asked Mr. Sundsted to clarify the Board's role in the process.
Mr. Sundsted said at that point they were letting the Board know where they were. If some issues were going to be controversial, he would let the Board know about those at the May 1996 meeting.
Chairman Kaze thanked Mr. Sundsted and the universities for their reports and for providing the information to the Regents.
c. Board Resolution Opposing CA 30
Before he had to leave the meeting, Regent Davison distributed a resolution (on file) to the Board that voiced the Board's opposition to Constitutional Amendment 30, which proposes eliminating the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Higher Education and replacing them with a department of education headed by a director appointed by the governor, along with an eight-member state education commission appointed by the governor.
Regent Davison said CA 30 would be placed on the November 1996 ballot, and he felt strongly that this change would significantly alter the system's successes and would damage higher education. He read the resolution aloud and moved that the Board adopt it.
The motion to approve the Board of Regents resolution' opposing CA 30 passed unanimously.
Regent Davison asked the presidents to make sure the resolution was distributed publicly from their campuses as the action of the Board of Regents.
d. Appointment of Interim Commissioner
Chairman Kaze said the Regents needed to decide what to do to replace Commissioner Baker, who will leave in mid-June to take a job as president of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
Regent Davison suggested the Board solicit names for someone to serve as an interim commissioner. He said they needed to keep in mind that the system was implementing a number of new policies as part of the restructuring, CA 30 would be up for a vote in November 1996, and a new legislative session would begin in January 1997. Those considerations were important in deciding on an interim commissioner.
Chairman Kaze said it was late in the year to conduct a national search, especially in light of the uncertainty of the position because of CA 30. He agreed they should seek an interim commissioner.
After further discussion, Chairman Kaze suggested that names of potential applicants be submitted either through Rose Bond, Secretary to the Board of Regents, or Chairman Kaze. He said the names would be kept confidential.
e. Financial Aid Task Force
Mick Hanson, Director of Financial Aid at The University of Montana--Missoula, reviewed the March 15, 1996 "Preliminary Draft Report" (on file) that was sent to the Regents March 19, 1996. He said the report was the result of five months of work from the task force that was appointed by Commissioner Baker in November 1995. The task force represented a broad range of people, including several financial aid directors from private, public four-year, community, and tribal colleges. The group also included representatives from the Governor's Budget Office, The Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program, and the Montana Higher Education Student Assistance Corporation, along with two student representatives. The report focused on the task force's investigation into the impact of the rising cost of higher education and the future status of financial aid. Mr. Hanson said the task force made several recommendations that the Board should seriously consider for future directions by the state in pursuing continued access to higher education by its citizens. He also encouraged the Regents to examine the appendices and accompanying statistics. Mr. Hanson said they would move toward preparing a final report that could be used for creating action items to be presented to the state legislature next year.
Mr. Hanson reviewed the report and noted that the Board could submit comments to him or through the Commissioner's Office. He said the task force was anxious to move forward on the recommendations within the next two to three months so they could prepare some type of an action plan for the legislature in 1997.
Commissioner Baker agreed they should move forward with an action plan. When the task force was formed, he said he made the commitment that the report would not be prepared just to sit on a shelf but that they would explore ways to get the resources to support it and make it happen. He said the task force had demonstrated its sincerity in the thoroughness of its work, and now they should move proactively to find the funds.
Regent Green asked whether the report could be completed earlier than fall. Mr. Hanson agreed to see if they could do that.
After further discussion, Chairman Kaze thanked Mr. Hanson and the task force for their hard work and efforts.
f. Wrestling at Western
A member of the audience from Wise River, Montana, said he was there concerning the decision to discontinue wrestling at Western. He said he was not challenging Chancellor Sheila Stearns' decision but instead was concerned with the consequences of not having the program. He said he would appreciate it if the Board would look into the issue.
Chairman Kaze said he appreciated the concern but did not feel the Board should be challenging decisions made on the campuses by the campus leadership. He said the Regents had spent the past two days discussing serious financial problems on the campuses and pointed out that the system simply could not offer all things to all people.
Regent Green said that he and Regent Davison (who had left the meeting earlier) were concerned about the issue and would like to bring it up at the May 1996 meeting.
After further discussion, Chairman Kaze said a discussion possibly could be framed concerning Title IX issues, but he would not entertain any discussion to challenge Chancellor Stearns' decision.
Chairman Kaze suggested that Regent Green, Regent Davison, and Commissioner Baker discuss the issue and decide what they might want to offer for discussion by the Board.
Before adjourning, Chairman Kaze thanked Chancellor Stearns and her staff at Western Montana College for hosting the Regents' meeting.
With no other business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 1:50 p.m.