Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education


March 27-28, 1997

Conference Room 102

Montana Higher Education Complex

2500 Broadway

Helena, Montana

Approved unanimously by the Board of Regents at its July 10-11, 1997 meeting.

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)



Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)

REGENTS PRESENT: Jim Kaze (Chairman), Paul Boylan, Colleen Conroy, Mike Green, Ed Jasmin, and Margie Thompson; Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Crofts

REGENTS ABSENT: Pat Davison (Excused)

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)


Chairman Jim Kaze called the regular meeting of the Board of Regents to order at 11:45 a.m. Roll call showed a quorum was present.

Chairman Kaze introduced Ed Jasmin from Bigfork as Governor Marc Racicot’s appointee to the Board of Regents to replace former Regent Kermit Schwanke, whose term expired February 1, 1997.

Regent Jasmin said he was happy to serve on the Board and looked forward to working with everyone.

Regent Conroy moved that the Board approve the minutes from the January 23-24, 1997 regular meeting as mailed to Board members.Themotion passed unanimously.

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)


Staff Items

a. ITEM 94-1000-R0397—Staff; The University of Montana—Missoula

b. ITEM 94-1500-R0397—Staff; Montana Tech of The University of Montana

c. ITEM 94-1600-R0397—Staff; Western Montana College of The University of Montana

d. ITEM 94-1601-R0397—Professor Emeritus Status for Professor Dona J. Wallace; Western Montana College of The University of Montana

e. ITEM 94-1602-R0397—Professor Emeritus Status for Professor Eve Malo; Western Montana College of The University of Montana

f. ITEM 94-2000-R0397—Staff; Montana State University—Bozeman

g. ITEM 94-2001-R0397—Retirement of Ms. Patricia Anderson, Assistant Dean of Students; Montana State University—Bozeman

h. ITEM 94-2300-R0397—Staff; Agricultural Experiment Station

i. ITEM 94-2400-R0397—Staff; Extension Service

j. ITEM 94-2700-R0397—Staff; Montana State University—Billings

k. ITEM 94-2800-R0397—Staff; Montana State University—Northern

Capital Construction Items

a. ITEM 94-1001-R0397 (REVISED)—Replace Roof, Turner Hall; The University of Montana—Missoula

b. ITEM 94-1002-R0397 (REVISED)—Replace Boilers at Craighead/Sisson, University Villages; The University of Montana—Missoula

Chairman Kaze noted that ITEMS 94-1001-R0397 and 94-1002-R0397 under "Capital Construction" had been revised. He reminded the Board they were voting on the revised versions, which included a change in funding sources.

Chairman Kaze also noted that ITEM 94-1600-R0397 from Western Montana College of The University of Montana was being amended to delete the entries for Robert G. Cashell and Arlene H. Tustin.

Regent Green moved that the Board approve all items on the Consent Agenda (both Staff and Capital Construction), including the revised versions of ITEMS 94-1001-R0397 and 94-1002-R0397, and the amended version of ITEM 94-1600-R0397.The motion passed unanimously.

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)

Regent Green moved that the Board appoint Interim Commissioner Richard Crofts as Commissioner of Higher Education, effective immediately, and set his salary at $500 higher than that currently paid to the two university presidents, with an additional two-year term to begin July 1, 1997.The motion passed unanimously.

On behalf of the Board, Chairman Kaze said Richard Crofts had done an outstanding job for the university system under difficult circumstances, and the Regents believed he deserved the recognition of receiving the permanent job. Chairman Kaze said there was no further reason for delaying the decision, and the Board was ready to move forward with Commissioner Crofts.

Regent Green pointed out that Commissioner Crofts was originally hired into the university system as Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs after a national search.

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)


Regent Green introduced Brad Schlepp as the newly elected student body president at Montana State University—Bozeman.

Noting that student affairs issues had been discussed at the January 1997 Regents’ meeting, Mr. Schlepp said MSU—Bozeman was trying to find ways to improve advising. He summarized discussions underway that focused on a type of developmental advising system.

Chairman Kaze said it would be helpful if Mr. Schlepp reported periodically back to the Board on the status and progress of their efforts and discussions.

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)

The Board recessed at 12:00 noon for its luncheon/meeting with student government representatives.

The Board reconvened at 1:30 p.m.

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)

Chairman Kaze called on Governor Marc Racicot for some comments on the status of the budget during the current legislative process.

Governor Racicot summarized the legislative budget process beginning with his office’s preparation of the executive budget. He said while it did not reflect the wants and desires of everyone, it did represent the best effort of all involved. At that time, Senate Finance and Claims was making its determinations with alterations from House deliberations, and action was expected on the Senate floor. Governor Racicot said the budget to that point did not embrace the recommendations made in reference to the university system, corrections, or human services.

Governor Racicot noted they had learned a lot during the process. For instance, they were able to offer a number of different reductions because the numbers they had used throughout the course of the budgeting process had been further refined by the time the budget was considered. Pursuant to their own initiative and throughout the process of discovery, Governor Racicot said they were able to put on the table between $25 and $30 million in cuts to their own budget. Although they had not yet come to the same understanding with the legislature about corrections, higher education, and human services, they were continuing to address some gaps. At that time, higher education was $14.4 million below the executive budget recommendation and $4.4 million below what the system had during the last biennium in terms of general fund allocation. Governor Racicot said they would present their case to the next decision-making body, which he expected to be a conference committee between the House and Senate.

Governor Racicot said the executive continued to believe in its recommendations and could possibly discover some further possibilities for adjustment that would be acceptable to the university system. He said while they would make any adjustments they thought acceptable without compromising the performance of their legal responsibilities, they would not compromise anything that would disallow their ability to carry out legislative directions.

Governor Racicot also discussed research and development and commented on some concerns with House Bills 5 and 14.

Chairman Kaze thanked Governor Racicot for his remarks.

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)


Jim McCray, ASMSU and MAS president, announced that MAS had met the previous evening and was recommending to Governor Racicot that Jason Thielman (current MAS vice-president and ASUM president) replace Mike Green as the new student regent effective June 1, 1997.

Mr. McCray said the students also met with Governor Racicot in regard to student concerns about the legislature’s handling of the university system’s budget and long-range planning in House Bills 5 and 14.

Chris Veis, ASMT president, introduced Chad Huffman, the new student body president at Montana Tech.


a. 120 Credit Hour Undergraduate Degree Requirement for Teacher Education Programs

Sheila Stearns, Chancellor of Western Montana College of The University of Montana, distributed an outline (on file) titled "Credit Hours in Teacher Education Programs, Presentation to the Montana Board of Regents, March 1997." Chancellor Stearns called the Board’s attention to a document (on file) titled "Request for Exception to the Board of Regents 120 Credit Requirement for Undergraduate Degree Programs" first presented to the Board in May 1996. At that time, the education programs were asked to return to the Board to explain and justify, according to criteria set out in Board policy 301.11, the necessity for teacher education programs to continue requiring 128 credit hours instead of being limited to 120 credits. Chancellor Stearns said she was representing the deans of the schools of education and added that the deans of the three private colleges (Carroll College, Rocky Mountain College, and The University of Great Falls) agreed that a reduction in the 128 credits would compromise quality.

Chancellor Stearns said a reduction from 128 to 120 credits would jeopardize accreditation, diminish quality, and harm employability, and those would be the primary issues addressed during their presentation. She then presented and reviewed a series of overhead transparencies.

The Board heard additional remarks in support of retaining the teacher education programs at 128 credits from Heidi Vestman, first-year teacher and graduate of Montana State University—Bozeman; Kirk Miller, Havre Public Schools Superintendent and Board of Public Education member; Wayne Buchanan, Board of Public Education Secretary; and Randy Hitz, chair of the Montana Council of Deans of Education and dean from Montana State University—Bozeman.

Regent Thompson asked how the 128 credits compared with surrounding states.

Dean Randy Hitz said surrounding states had been surveyed a year ago and updated this year. South Dakota and Idaho were at 128. Oregon’s programs were almost exclusively fifth-year programs, but their few four-year programs were at 128. Nevada had nearly all fifth-year programs, and California did not have any undergraduate programs. Wyoming’s programs ranged from 136 to 150 credits.

Chairman Kaze asked whether a member of the Board of Public Education would be able to determine whether teacher education standards had been met based on the number of credits a student received.

Board of Public Education Secretary Wayne Buchanan said a student could have any number of credits, and a member of the Board of Public Education could not be assured the subjects had been covered. He said they do review the programs at the various teacher preparation colleges to determine whether those indeed were being taught.

Chairman Kaze said he did not believe the number of credit hours would make someone a better or lesser teacher. The issue was what a student learned. Whether that could be done in 128 or 50 credits, the issue was what the student learned rather than the number of credits.

In response to a question from Regent Jasmin, Chairman Kaze said one of the components in phase two of the restructuring was to require the system to take a hard look at reducing the number of credits to graduation to 120 in an effort to encourage students to get through the system in a shorter period of time. He said since a reduction in tuition was unlikely for the future, one thing they could do was reduce the time to degree and thereby reduce the cost to the student.

Regent Thompson asked how close they were to proficiency-based degrees.

Dean Hitz said progress had been made both at the state and national levels. However, they were a long way from changing the system to the point where credit hours did not matter.

Commissioner Crofts asked what had been done since May 1996 in terms of trying to come to grips with this issue as opposed to working on some strong arguments against lowering the requirement.

Dean Hitz said they had done a lot. Every dean had spoken at length with faculty in the colleges of education and arts and sciences. The conclusion among those groups had not changed since May 1996, which was why the document the Board received in May 1996 had not changed. They had received new letters of support for the exception and had spoken at length with representatives from the Montana Education Association; Certification Standards & Practice Advisory Council; Board of Public Education; School Administrators of Montana; and the School Boards Association. All those individuals and groups said the 128 credits had to be retained because it meant students would have more time to develop the competencies required for accreditation and employability.

Following lengthy discussion, Regent Green pointed out these people were having huge impacts on students. They said they needed at least 128 credits, and Regent Green thought they should be granted the exception.

Chairman Kaze said he again wanted to emphasize that competencies were not measured in credits. He said that was not the issue.

Regent Green moved that the Board approve the requests for exceptions to the 120 credit hour requirement for the teacher education programs at Montana State University—Bozeman, Montana State University—Billings, Montana State University—Northern; The University of Montana—Missoula, and Western Montana College of The University of Montana. Following further discussion, the motion passed by a 4-to-2 vote; Regent Conroy and Chairman Kaze voted against the motion.

The Board recessed for a 10-minute break and reconvened at 3:40 p.m.

Return to Top

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)



The Academic and Student Affairs Committee met at 9:00 a.m. in Conference Room 102A of the Higher Education Complex at 2500 Broadway in Helena. Committee members present included Regents Margie Thompson (acting chair), Ed Jasmin, and Mike Green. Chairman Kaze asked Regent Thompson to present the committee's report to the full Board.


The following Level I changes were approved by the Commissioner's Office (March 26, 1997 memo to Board of Regents from Interim Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs Stuart Knapp on file):

a. The University of Montana—Missoula

Add emphasis in Instructional Design for Technology within the Master’s of Education degree.

b. Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana

Expand the existing one-year certificate program in Carpentry to a two-year Carpentry/Construction Trades Associate of Applied Science degree. Continuation of the program beyond the two years would require submission of a complete Level II proposal to the Board of Regents in January 1999.

Change the name of the Industrial Electronics program to Electronics Technology.

c. College of Technology, Montana Tech of The University of Montana

Drop the Environmental Technology AAS program and add two emphases to the current Engineering Technology AAS program: Environmental Technology and Petroleum Technology.

d. Western Montana College of The University of Montana

Approval to deliver the same Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education Degree that is offered on the Western campus to the Salish-Kootenai College campus beginning fall 1997.

e. Montana State University—Billings

Addition of a teaching minor in Computer Science.

f. Montana State University—Bozeman

Departmental title change from Department of Electrical Engineering to Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

g. MSU College of Technology—Great Falls

Restructuring of Respiratory Care curriculum to eliminate the one-year certificate exit option and strengthen the two-year Associate of Applied Science degree exit option in Respiratory Therapist.


a. ITEM 94-2002-1501-R0397—Authorization for the College of Engineering, Montana State University—Bozeman, and Montana Tech of The University of Montana to Offer a Master’s of Project Engineering and Management

b. ITEM 94-2701-R0397—Approval of Proposal to Implement the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Process Plant Technology—Montana State University—Billings, College of Technology

Regent Thompson said ITEMS 94-2002-1501-R0397 and 94-2701-R0397 had been moved from the consent agenda/submission to the submission agenda.

The Board concurred with the committee’s recommendation to move ITEMS 94-2002-1501-R0397 and 94-2701-R0397to the action agenda at the May 22-23, 1997 meeting in Great Falls.

c. ITEM 94-1003-R0397—Approval of Proposal to Create a New Doctoral Degree in Wildlife Biology; The University of Montana—Missoula

d. ITEM 94-2006-R0397—Authorization to Reinstate the Doctoral Program in Fish and Wildlife Biology—Montana State University—Bozeman

Regent Thompson said the committee discussed these two items together, and the provosts from Missoula and Bozeman agreed to come back to the Board in May with a joint degree.

Regent Green added that the committee recommended moving both these items forward to action at the May 1997 meeting as written but with the understanding they would come back with a degree with a title that looked more similar to Item A. on the Consent Agenda (the joint degree between MSU—Bozeman and Montana Tech of The UM).

The Board concurred with the committee’s recommendation to move ITEMS 94-1003-R0397 and 94-2006-R0397 to the action agenda at the May 1997 meeting.

e. ITEM 94-1502-R0397—Approval of Proposal to Initiate a New Instructional Program Leading to a Master’s Degree in Technical Communications—The University of Montana—Missoula and Montana Tech of The University of Montana

The Board concurred with the committee’s recommendation to move ITEM 94-1502-R0397to the action agenda at the May 1997 meeting.

f. ITEM 94-2003-R0397—Authorization for the School of Architecture to Replace the Current 5-Year 150 Semester Credit Bachelor of Architecture Degree with (1) a 4-Year 120 Semester Credit Bachelor of Arts and Environmental Design Degree and (2) a Subsequent 1-Year 30 Semester Credit Master of Architecture Degree; Montana State University—Bozeman

Chairman Kaze said he had some questions about this proposal and during the interim between the submission and action phases would appreciate hearing from MSU—Bozeman for some clarification.

Paul Gleye, a member of the architecture faculty at MSU—Bozeman, said he was the principal author of the proposal and responded to several questions from Regents. Professor Gleye said if the proposal were approved, they would need to go back and establish a policy for previous graduates. In response to whether the proposal would dilute graduate education, he said in many fields it was accepted that a bachelor’s degree was a four-year program and a subsequent fifth-year program led to a master’s degree. He said their intent was to bring architectural education in Montana in line with overall expectations for four- and five-year programs and did not believe it would cause any dilution of graduate education.

In response to a question from Chairman Kaze, Professor Gleye said licensure was not affected by this. To become a licensed architect, a student must go through a five-year program and a three-year internship in an architect’s office.

Regent Jasmin asked why someone would leave the program after four years.

Professor Gleye said some of their students were not interested specifically in becoming a licensed architect. Some were interested in the business or marketing aspects of architecture. With the four-year degree, they could continue toward a master’s degree in business, marketing, or another field. He said this also allowed students to withdraw from the program early if for some reason they should not be there.

Following further discussion, the Board concurred with the committee’s recommendation to move ITEM 94-2003-R0397to the action agenda at the May 1997 meeting.

g. ITEM 94-2004-2702-R0397—Authorization to Offer a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration—Montana State University—Bozeman and Montana State University—Billings

h. ITEM 94-2005-2703-R0397—Authorization to Offer a Masters in Health Administration—Montana State University—Bozeman and Montana State University—Billings

Regent Thompson noted that The University of Montana—Missoula would be coming forward in July with a health administration option in their MBA program.

George Dennison, President of The University of Montana, said he understood it would be a Level I change because it was simply a track within the MBA.

Regent Green said Provost Bob Kindrick from The UM—Missoula raised the issue as a heads-up to the committee.

Montana State University President Michael Malone said they were making no claim to exclusivity. These were different types of degrees that could address health care administration. He said they were not meant to be preemptive.

Following further discussion, the Board concurred with the committee’s recommendation to move ITEMS 94-2004-2702-R0397and94-2005-2703-R0397 to the action agenda at the May 1997 meeting.

i. ITEM 94-301-R0397—Proposal to Establish the Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree to Replace Both the A.A. and the A.S. Degrees; Flathead Valley Community College

The Board concurred with the committee’s recommendation to move ITEM 94-301-R0397 to the action agenda at the May 1997 meeting, at which time they would receive a recommendation from the two-year committee in regard to the names of two-year degree programs.


a. ITEM 94-2005-R0197—Authorization to Establish the Bison and Wildlife Health Center; Montana State University—Bozeman

Regent Thompson said the committee recommended changing the title of the item to "Authorization to Expand and Rename the Existing Center for Bison Studies to the Bison and Wildlife Health Center" at Montana State University—Bozeman.

Regent Green said they were not establishing a new center, but this was a refinement of the title to reflect what they were doing.

Regent Thompson moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 94-2005-R0197 as amended. Themotion passed unanimously.

Regent Thompson said the committee also heard two reports: (1) an update on student services issues in distance-learning from Dr. Allen Yarnell, Vice Provost for Student Affairs at MSU—Bozeman; and (2) a brief update from the two-year education committee on how they were striving for more uniformity in two-year degrees systemwide.

Return to Top

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)


The Administrative/Budget Committee met at 9:00 a.m. in Conference Room 102B of the Montana Higher Education Complex at 2500 Broadway in Helena. 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. Competition with Private Enterprise (draft policy for discussion purposes only)

Chairman Kaze said the committee was presented with a draft policy (on file) from Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm titled "Competition with Private Enterprise." The policy was drafted in response to House Bill 500, which addressed the university system’s competition with private business in a variety of enterprises. The policy discussed areas such as standards for potentially competitive activities, exceptions, primacy of academic and campus community uses, consideration of potential harm, preservation of campus discretion, allowance of supplementary campus policies, appeal procedures, and creation of no new legal rights. Chairman Kaze said the committee discussed these issues at length and also heard comments from several members of the public, including Alan S. Newell from Historical Research Associates, Inc. in Missoula (written comments from Mr. Newell on file). Following discussion, the committee asked the Commissioner’s Office and the campuses to come up with some type of method that would incorporate as many constituencies as possible into development of a policy so that it did not come from the top down. A policy would be brought back to the Regents at some point, but they were considering the draft policy discussed during the committee meeting as an information rather than submission item.

Regent Thompson asked when the issue might come back to the Board.

Commissioner Crofts said it would likely be subsequent to the May meeting, perhaps in July.

Chairman Kaze said Commissioner Crofts would seek additional input to make sure the policy that came back to the Board would be the best they could develop.

b. ITEM 39-001-R0683—Computer Fee; Montana University System (940.23 REVISED)

Regent Conroy said ITEM 39-001-R0683 was placed on the submission agenda at the request of Regent Green. He suggested Board Policy 940.23 be revised to change student representation on computer fee advisory committees from 25 to 50 percent.

The Board concurred with the committee’s recommendation to move ITEM 39-001-R0683 to the action agenda at the May 1997 meeting.


a. ITEM 94-001-R0197—Tuition; Post-Baccalaureate Students; Montana University System (NEW)

Regent Conroy said ITEM 94-001-R0197 had been on submission at the January 1997 meeting. Following discussion, the committee recommended deleting the first sentence in the policy along with the first word in the second sentence, which was "therefore." With the changes, the new policy would read: "Residents of Montana who take additional courses afer earning a baccalaureate degree will be charged 120% of the resident undergraduate rate. Nonresident students will pay the resident assessment plus a nonresident fee equivalent to the nonresident graduate incidental fee."

Chairman Kaze said this policy had been embedded in the overall tuition policy. However, because of the issue related to 120% for postbaccalaureate degree coursework, some confusion had resulted, and they were setting this part aside as a separate policy. Following discussion, the committee recommended stating in the policy they were going to charge 120% tuition for residents taking coursework after they had completed one baccalaureate degree.

Regent Green said he opposed this policy because it seemed to be sending a message that the Regents were providing a disincentive to continuing learners. He said it would impact teachers and other educators because of legal requirements they had to seek continuing education.

Following further discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 94-001-R0197 as amended (first sentence and first word of second sentence deleted). The motion passed by a 5-to-1 vote; Regent Green voted against the motion.

b. ITEM 94-2007-R0397—Authorization to Purchase and Erect a Modular Laboratory Building at Marsh Laboratory; Montana State University—Bozeman

President Malone said this was a support facility to the Marsh Lab and would be funded entirely with federal and private funds. He said the project would require approval by Governor Racicot before they could proceed.

Following brief discussion, Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 94-2007-R0397. The motion passed unanimously.

c. ITEM 94-2704-R0397—Authorization to Change Projects on Previously Approved Construction Projects; Montana State University—Billings

Regent Conroy said this was a request from MSU—Billings to complete a plumbing repair/replacement project in Petro Residence Hall.

Chairman Kaze said this switch from the elevator to the plumbing problem at MSU—Billings was approved as within the constraints and bounds of the bond documents by bond counsel.

Regent Conroy moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 94-2704-R0397. The motion passed unanimously.


a. Community College Audits

b. Performance Audit—WICHE, WAMI, Minnesota Dentistry and Rural Physicians

Associate Commissioner for Fiscal Affairs Rod Sundsted distributed these audit documents (on file) and noted the results of all the audits were positive.

c. Workers' Compensation Insurance—Potential Changes

Rod Sundsted distributed a March 27, 1997 memo (on file) to the Board to provide some information on changes being considered for the university system’s workers’ compensation coverage. He said they were required by statute to purchase workers’ comp insurance through the state fund. Through the administrative services review, they had tried to have the statute changed. However, House Bill 98, which would have allowed private and self-insurance, failed to pass in the legislature. They did make some progress and were negotiating with the state fund to set up an alternative financing schedule for the system’s workers’ comp coverage. Mr. Sundsted said that over the past five years, they had paid about $8.4 million in workers’ comp premiums. With $3.6 million paid out in claims, approximately $4.75 million of the system’s money was being held from as far back as 1992. Under a retrospective premium plan, the system could maintain that money, earn interest on it, and take advantage of the cash flow. With a positive experience, that money would stay with the system. Mr. Sundsted said a lot of work remained, but they were hopeful the change could be made as soon as Fiscal Year 1998.

d. Enrollment/Revenue Update

Rod Sundsted distributed a handout (on file) to the Board that updated enrollments for the current and last fiscal years. He said the numbers on top were resident enrollments—what was projected coming out of the last legislative session, the actual enrollments, and the difference. For every student they funded who did not show up, $1,650 would be returned to the state. As a result of that commitment, they would be returning about $1.3 million to the general fund at the end of this fiscal year. The numbers at the bottom of the handout showed nonresident students. Again, the commitment was that if nonresident enrollment was exceeded by more than one percent over the biennium, that amount would be remanded to the Regents. The second two pages of the handout included WUE students. Mr. Sundsted said those pages included more detailed information but should be tied to the first page.

Following discussion, the Board recessed at 4:45 p.m. for a meeting with faculty representatives.

Return to Top

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)

FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 1997

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)

The Board reconvened at 8:40 a.m.


a. Diversity Reports

The University of Montana

President Dennison provided the Regents with a report (on file) on the implementation of the policy approved by the Regents in 1990, which indicated the Board was interested in minority achievement and asked that each president and chancellor develop a plan to address the issues. As indicated in the policy, those issues were (a) to enroll and graduate larger numbers of American Indians in particular but also other minorities; (b) increase the employment of those same groups in administration, faculty, staff, etc.; and (c) enhance the curriculum by introducing multicultural awareness and understanding. Diversity action plans were approved in 1991. The report provided to the Regents would give the Board a sense of how the campuses had implemented those action plans.

President Dennison said although they had not successfully achieved all their goals, they had made progress. Enrollment and graduation of Native American students had increased. Since Native American students who began in the tribal colleges tended to graduate in larger numbers or higher rates when they went on to the four-year schools, the four-year campuses were forming close relationships with the tribal colleges. President Dennison said it would take additional resources to accomplish what they had outlined in terms of enrolling and graduating more minorities, along with employing more minorities. In terms of overall curriculum change and curriculum development, they were introducing multicultural awareness into the curriculum. In summary, they were making progress where they could and were beginning to address other areas as resources became available.

Montana State University

President Malone referred to the executive summary in the report (on file) provided to the Regents and noted that all the MSU campuses had plans in place and were making progress. However, they were still short of where they would like or ought to be. He noted four "bullets" in the report: (a) most units had shown modest increases in the enrollment of American Indian and other minority students; (b) all units had difficulty attracting, hiring, and retaining American Indian and other ethnic minority faculty and staff; (c) all campuses needed to improve the retention and graduation of American Indian and other ethnic minority students; and (d) all campuses needed to foster a campus climate that celebrated cultural diversity and promoted tolerance. President Malone noted that while they were not where they would like to be, the goals were a high priority on all the campuses.

Chairman Kaze wondered they could make the information included in the reports more meaningful.

President Dennison said they had discussed trying to develop a process that would be more informative and would focus on the relationships that were going to be important if they were to succeed in these vital efforts. He said they ought to be experimenting and thinking hard about the next report and said they should be presented annually. The numbers needed to be associated with real people.

Chairman Kaze said he felt the Board should play an active or proactive role in the process.

Commissioner Crofts said they needed to make it clear this was a system issue and find ways to encourage interest at a level equal to that in other issues such as restructuring, budgeting, and enrollment management.

President Malone said the Regents would meet in Bozeman in November 1997, which coincided with a meeting with tribal college presidents. Perhaps that type of interaction could be part of the agenda for the November Regents’ meeting.

Following further discussion, Chairman Kaze thanked the campuses for their reports.

OLD BUSINESS (continued)

b. Reallocation of Remanded Tuition

Commissioner Crofts distributed his recommendation on the reallocation of remanded tuition (March 26, 1997 memo on file). According to the memo, the remanded tuition from MSU—Bozeman totaled $412,830, which required adjustment because the numbers from one the campuses needed to be reduced. Referring to page 2 of the memo, Commissioner Crofts noted that $212,830 would be returned to MSU—Bozeman to help cover the marginal cost of educating additional nonresident students. Of the remaining $200,000, $75,000 would be distributed to MSU—Northern and $125,000 to Western Montana College of The UM. In addition to the remanded tuition, OCHE would have approximately $200,000 remaining at the end of the biennium that could be moved under the lump-sum appropriation to address critical campus needs. Those funds resulted from expenditures lower than budgeted in a number of areas, with the major contributors being the WICHE/WAMI program and Perkins matching funds. Instead of reverting this $200,000 to the general fund, they were exercising their option to use those dollars where they were most needed. Therefore, he was recommending that $200,000 be distributed as follows: $25,000 to MSU—Northern, $150,000 to MSU—Billings, and $25,000 to Western. Commissioner Crofts asked that the Regents also give his office the authority to make the necessary adjustments in the numbers, which would be $60,000 to $65,000 less than the $412,830 originally anticipated. The numbers on the recommendations would have to be adjusted downward by that amount.

In response to a question from Regent Thompson, Commissioner Crofts said the critical needs for the funds related to enrollment shortfalls throughout the biennium at MSU—Northern and Western, and this year at MSU—Billings.

Regent Jasmin moved that the Board accept Commissioner Crofts’ recommendations outlined in his March 26, 1997 memo and grant his office the authority to adjust the figures based on the actual numbers of remanded tuition.

Regent Green said he felt the student assistance dollars should stay in student assistance programs.

Commissioner Crofts said his office was convinced the three campuses in question had serious fiscal problems that would have an impact on students if some type of financial assistance were not received.

Following discussion, Regent Jasmin’s motion to approve Commissioner Crofts’ recommendations passed by a 5-to-1 vote; Regent Green voted against the motion.

c. Legislative Update

Commissioner Crofts reviewed the status of the university system’s budget and briefly summarized several bills. He said his office would prepare a written summary of all the bills it was tracking and provide that to the Regents the following week.


a. Update on Negotiations with Land Board

Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm said the Regents had filed suit with the Supreme Court in early January to have the authority question answered in regard to university land sales. In late January, the Attorney General and Land Board filed a response in opposition, saying they did not think it should in the Supreme Court. A legislative committee was formed and urged the parties involved to enter into some type of negotiations. As a result, Chief Counsel Schramm said they had asked for a 30-day delay jointly with the Attorney General’s office in late February. The 30 days ended March 27. Several days before that, the Attorney General asked if they would agree to extend that another 30 days. Chief Counsel Schramm said he agreed to that because the Regents had originally agreed to a 45-day delay. He said negotiations were ongoing, and they were attempting to cooperate in developing some type of settlement.


a. The University of Montana—Missoula

President Dennison distributed a brochure (on file) on the QAC-II conference that would be held in Missoula June 8-10, 1997. He hoped all the Regents could attend and noted that Regent Thompson would be a major participant in the conference.

President Dennison said a Native American health care conference was scheduled in Missoula April 21-22, 1997, with participants from the Indian Health Service and others, followed by a cultural conference and the usual Pow-Wow. The focus of the conference was on traditional health care from the Native American’s perspective and how that integrated with the typical type of health care.

President Dennison said the "America Reads" challenge was in the process of organizing locally as well as throughout the state. President Dennison said he was serving as member of the steering committee appointed by the President to secure participation from all the schools that will receive an increase in their student financial aid work study money next year. The President has asked all the institutions to devote half of that money to pay tutors who will work with third graders in the public schools. They were trying to go beyond that and tie it in with volunteerism, which was the focus of the upcoming President’s Summit in Philadelphia chaired by Colin Powell. President Dennison said he would attend that conference as Montana’s representative since he was chair of the Governor’s Committee on Community Service.

b. Montana State University—Bozeman

President Malone announced that three MSU—Bozeman students had been selected as Goldwater Scholars.

President Malone said a USA Today article listed the seven Division I-AA schools that were in compliance with Title IX. To pass the test, the percentage of female athletes must exceed or be within five points of the percentage of its female undergraduates. President Malone noted that MSU—Bozeman, at 44 percent, was sixth on the list.

c. Montana State University—Billings

Kris Copenhaver, outgoing student body president at MSU—Billings, introduced Kim Cunningham as the new president of ASMSU—Billings.

With no other business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 10:15 a.m.

Return to Top

Green and Black Stripe.gif (1558 bytes)

Return to Regent's Home Page