Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education


July 10-11, 1997

Student Center, Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana

1115 North Roberts

Helena, Montana

Approved unanimously as amended at the November 20-21, 1997 meeting.

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


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Chairman Jim Kaze called the regular meeting of the Board of Regents to order at 11:00 a.m. Roll call showed a quorum was present.

Regent Ed Jasmin moved that the minutes from the February 18, 1997 conference call meeting, March 27-28, 1997 regular meeting, and May 22-23, 1997 regular meeting be approved as mailed to Board members. The motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Kaze announced the Regents would recess at 11:45 a.m. to have their photograph taken in Room 209.

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Staff Items:

a. ITEM 96-1000-R0797--Staff; The University of Montana--Missoula

b. ITEM 96-1500-R0797--Staff; Montana Tech of The University of Montana

c. ITEM 96-1501-R0797--Professor Emeritus Status for Professor Thomas F. Lester; Montana Tech of The University of Montana

d. ITEM 96-1502-R0797--Professor Emeritus Status for Professor Frank E. Diebold; Montana Tech of The University of Montana

e. ITEM 96-1500A-R0797--Staff; Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

f. ITEM 96-1600-R0797--Staff; Western Montana College of The University of Montana

g. ITEM 96-1900-R0797--Staff; Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana

h. ITEM 96-2700-R0797--Staff; Montana State University--Bozeman

i. ITEM 96-2701-R0797--Post-Retirement Contract; Montana State University--Billings

j. ITEM 96-2800-R0797--Staff; Montana State University--Northern

k. ITEM 96-2850-R0797--Staff; Montana State University College of Technology--Great Falls

Capital Construction Items:

a. ITEM 96-1003-R0797--Replace Roof, Student Health Services; The University of Montana--Missoula

Chairman Kaze distributed an addendum to ITEM 96-1000-R0797 from The University of Montana--Missoula indicating a title and salary change for Rosemary Keller effective August 1, 1997.

Regent Jason Thielman moved that the Board approve all items on the Consent Agenda (Staff and Capital Construction items), including the addendum to ITEM 96-1000-R0797. The motion passed unanimously.

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Regent Thielman said MAS (Montana Associated Students) had elected new officers, and he introduced Brad Schlepp as the new MAS president. Mr. Schlepp is also the student body president at Montana State University--Bozeman.

Mr. Schlepp introduced Kim Cunningham, student body president at Montana State University--Billings, as the new vice-president of MAS.

Kris Johnson from Western Montana College of The University of Montana announced that Western's arena floor had been completed, and the P.E. floor was also redone. Mr. Johnson introduced Brad Oliver as the new ASWMC president and Ray Graham as vice-president.

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The Academic and Student Affairs Committee met in Room 208 of the Helena College of Technology at 9:00 a.m. Regents present included Pat Davison (chair), Paul Boylan, Jason Thielman, and Margie Thompson. Chairman Kaze asked Regent Davison to present the committee's report to the full Board.


The following Level I changes were approved by the Commissioner's Office (July 9, 1997 memorandum from Stuart Knapp, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs, on file):

a. Montana State University--Northern

Revision of the degree title by deletion of the Interdisciplinary Studies title through restructuring or the degree deletion through restructuring.

b. Montana State University--Billings

Change the name of the Center for Continuing Education, Summer Session and Community Service, to the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning.

Deletions of the following options within the BA in Business Administration:

BA in Business Administration, Accounting Option (Non-CPA, Four-Year Program)

BA in Business Administration, Accounting Option (CPA Four-Year, Pre-Master's Program)

BA in Business Administration, Information Systems Option

c. The University of Montana--Missoula

Extension of the Master's of Education degree from The University of Montana--Missoula to Kalispell, Butte, and Dillon. This is an extension of the current remote offerings of the program in Missoula and Helena.

Provision of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree statewide to provide completion experiences across the state for pharmacists who now hold the B.S. in Pharmacy but wish to have the Pharm.D. as their appropriate credential.

d. Western Montana College of The University of Montana

Addition of a Computer Science minor to the Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education degree.

Deletion of the Associate of Arts degree in Advertising Design.


Regent Pat Davison briefly reviewed the following Notices of Intent:

From Montana State University--Bozeman:

a. Approval of Proposal to Change the Curriculum of the Medical Laboratory Science Option in the Department of Microbiology to a 3 + 1 Program in a Consortium Agreement with the University of North Dakota (UND) at Grand Forks, North Dakota

From Montana State University--Billings:

b. Authorization to Implement Performance Option within the Bachelor of Arts Major in Music

c. Authorization to Offer a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies

d. Authorization to Offer a Minor in Environmental Studies

e. Authorization to Offer a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion

f. Authorization to Establish a Regional Research Center and Cultural Archives titled "The Center for the Northern Plains"

From Western Montana College of The University of Montana:

g. Approval of Proposal to Change the Title of the Bachelor of Liberal Studies (B.L.S.) Degree to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree

Following brief discussion, the Board concurred with the committee's recommendation to move the seven Notices of Intent to the submission agenda at the September 18-19, 1997 meeting in Billings.

Referring to the collaborative degree approved at the May 1997 meeting on wildlife biology, Regent Davison noted the committee had requested the Regents receive an annual report for the next five years that would indicate how the collaborative efforts were working. Regent Thompson suggested that request be made for all collaborative degrees that had been brought forward and any future collaborative degrees.

Regent Davison moved Board approval of the request.

Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Crofts suggested the Board consider expanding that request to incorporate all new degree programs. He pointed out new degree proposals came forward with all types of enrollment projections, need assessments, and budgetary arrangements for either new funding or reallocation. He said it might be a good idea to have those reports for the first several years of all new programs.

Regent Davison agreed to amend his motion to incorporate Commissioner Crofts' suggestion but pointed out the committee's emphasis was to encourage and protect collaborative efforts. He said he wanted to make sure that emphasis was maintained.

Chairman Kaze agreed the emphasis should focus on the collaborative efforts. He said other new programs would still be part of their ongoing program review.

Following brief discussion, Regent Davison's amended motion to request annual reports to the Board for a period of five years for all new degree programs passed unanimously.

Regent Davison referred the Regents to a July 9, 1997 memorandum (on file) from Stuart Knapp, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs, regarding a quantitative review of academic programs. Following the restructuring of the university system, each four-year campus reviewed academic programs with low graduation productivity. Based on data submitted by the campuses and using review categories developed in the Commissioner's Office, reviews had been made and periodically reported to the Regents. The latest review of programs was reported in January 1997. Several academic programs designated for quantitative review were evaluated after spring commencement and were the subject of Deputy Commissioner Knapp's report. Regent Davison briefly summarized the recommendations included in Dr. Knapp's report (see memo for names of programs), which included the following:

-- The University of Montana--Missoula (four programs continued);

-- Montana Tech of The UM (two programs continued);

-- MSU--Bozeman (seven programs continued, one discontinued;)

-- MSU--Billings (one program continued); and

-- MSU--Northern (two programs continued, two discontinued).

Regent Davison moved that the Board approve the recommendations outlined in Deputy Commissioner Stuart Knapp's July 9, 1997 memo regarding academic program review. The motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Kaze thanked Regent Davison for the committee's report.

The Board recessed at 11:45 a.m. for a group photo and luncheon/meeting with student representatives.

The Board reconvened at 1:30 p.m.

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The Administrative/Budget Committee met at 9:00 a.m. in Room 209 of the Helena College of Technology. Regents present included Ed Jasmin (chair), Colleen Conroy, and Jim Kaze. Chairman Kaze asked Regent Jasmin to present the committee's report to the full Board.


a. ITEM 96-1002-R0797--Student Computer Fee Allocation; The University of Montana--Missoula

b. ITEM 96-1503-R0797--Authorization to Expend Student Computer Fees; Montana Tech of The University of Montana

c. ITEM 96-1601-R0797--Authorization to Expend Student Equipment Fee Allocations; Western Montana College of The University of Montana

d. ITEM 96-2001-R0797--Authorization to Expend Student Equipment Fee Allocations; Montana State University--Bozeman

e. ITEM 96-2002-R0797--Authorization to Expend Reverted Appropriations; Montana State University--Bozeman

Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEMS 96-1002-R0797, 96-1503-R0797, 96-1601-R0797, 96-2001-R0797, and96-2002-R0797on the Consent Agenda. The motion passed unanimously.


a. ITEM 71-901-R0691--Rural Physician Incentive Program; Office of Commissioner of Higher Education (940.25 REVISED)

Regent Jasmin said this revision of Board of Regents' Policy 940.25 reflected statutory changes to Section 20-26-1503, MCA, which was amended by the 1997 Legislature in Senate Bill 126. The revision would change the dollar amount from $30,000 to $45,000 and the payback time from four years to five years.

Following brief discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 71-901-R0691. The motion passed unanimously.

b. ITEM 96-1001-R0797--Increase Student Supplemental Medical Insurance Fee; The University of Montana--Missoula

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 96-1001-R0797 would authorize The University of Montana--Missoula to assess an insurance fee of $250.50 per semester for the Student Supplemental Medical Insurance program. The $250.50 included the $247.00 premium charged by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Montana (a 4.2 percent increase from FY97) and a $3.50 administrative support fee to provide direct, campus-based service to students in the administration of the Student Supplemental Medical Insurance program (no increase from FY 97).

Following brief discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 96-1001-R0797. The motion passed unanimously.

c. ITEM 96-1004-R0797--Revised Project Budget, University Theatre; The University of Montana--Missoula

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 96-1004-R0797 would authorize The University of Montana--Missoula to increase the authorization from $2,750,000 to $3,250,000 to renovate the University Theatre on the Missoula campus. The project was previously authorized for the amount of $2,750,000 funded wholly from revenue bond proceeds. Private contributions of $500,000 had been pledged or received, and the private support would permit the university to restore elements that were omitted due to budgetary constraints.

Following brief discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 96-1004-R0797. The motion passed unanimously.

d. ITEM 96-1005-R0797--Miscellaneous Revenue Bond Projects; The University of Montana--Missoula

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 96-1005-R0797 would authorize The University of Montana--Missoula to implement steps necessary to complete five capital projects totaling $484,000: Miller Hall HVAC Improvements ($100,000); Family Housing Curb Cuts for ADA ($30,000); Griz Center Equipment ($150,000); Campus Wiring Network ($80,000); and Relocation of MetNet ($124,000). Interest earnings from existing revenue bond proceeds would finance the five projects.

Following brief discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 96-1005-R0797. The motion passed unanimously.

e. ITEM 96-2702-R0797--Facility Remodel to Accommodate Process Plant Technology Program; College of Technology, Montana State University--Billings

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 96-2702-R0797 would authorize Montana State University--Billings to implement steps necessary to remodel the lab area at the Billings College of Technology campus to accommodate the Process Plant Technology program approved by the Regents at its May 1997 meeting. The estimated cost for the project was $350,000.

Following brief discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 96-2702-R0797. The motion passed unanimously.

f. ITEM 96-1602-R0797--Authorization to Expend Excess Bond Proceeds Interest; Western Montana College of The University of Montana

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 96-1602-R0797 was an addition to the agenda that would authorize Western Montana College of The UM to expend $14,116 of excess Series D 1996 bond proceeds interest on campus food service remodeling.

Following brief discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to approve ITEM 96-1602-R0797. The motion passed unanimously.


a. Authorization for Commissioner's Office Staff to Study Expansion of Vendor List for Optional Retirement Program

Commissioner Richard Crofts said the system currently offered an optional retirement program through a single vendor, TIAA/CREF, and had been approached by at least one other vendor interested in being added to the list. Commissioner Crofts said he was asking the Regents to authorize the Commissioner's Office to study the pros and cons of adding additional vendors to the list. He said the vendors would have some input into the process along with the system's benefits committee. A report and recommendation would be brought to the Regents at their September 1997 meeting.

Following discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee's recommendation to authorize the Commissioner's Office to undertake a study to explore the option of expanding the vendor list for the optional retirement program. The motion passed unanimously.

b. Fee Waivers for National Guard Members

Regent Jasmin said this request from the Montana National Guard resulted from the passage of House Bill 17, which authorized the Guard to be a participant in the Montana University System's fee waivers. The committee heard a presentation from National Guard representatives, and a June 25, 1997 letter (on file) from Major General John E. Prendergast recognized the budgetary limitations the university system may have in granting fee waivers. Regent Jasmin said the committee recommended the campuses participate, at their discretion, in a pilot program for fiscal years 1998 and 1999. They would sunset the program after two years and report back the results of the program.

Chairman Kaze said the committee specifically asked about other educational benefits available to National Guard enlistees and were told two or three additional benefits were available.

Commissioner Crofts said House Bill 17 began as a scholarship bill that died in the appropriations committee. The bill was then rewritten in terms of its purpose to make it a permissive fee waiver bill. The decision was not to fund the scholarship version. Another point made during committee deliberations was that one of the reductions the legislature made in the budget proposed by Governor Racicot was a reduction of the increase in fee waiver funding to cover both new enrollments and tuition increases. Commissioner Crofts said not only by this process did they potentially add a group of people getting fee waivers, but the fee waiver program was underfunded because that was one of the areas the legislature reduced from the Governor's budget.

Chairman Kaze said the campuses reported it was unlikely though not impossible they would have funds available through their existing fee waivers to provide these additional National Guard fee waivers. It depended a lot on the people who applied and were qualified for the fee waivers on the individual campuses. He noted the National Guard asked for a pilot program rather than an absolute commitment.

Western Montana College Chancellor Sheila Stearns clarified the program would be a pilot program and permissive. If they had the funds available, it would be up to each campus.

Governor Racicot said even though it may appear as strictly a funding decision, it would provide an effective means of measuring how much interest there was and how effective the program might be. It could also provide a significant constituency for the university system in the event the demand was high. Even if they were unable to fulfill it, there would be a compelling reason to take this issue back to the next legislative session. He said they would have complied with the legislature's request, and both the system and the National Guard would have been well-served.

Chairman Kaze emphasized the Regents understand they were not opening the doors wide open with the assumption they would in fact fund these fee waivers. Instead, they were making them available to the campuses at their discretion.

Regent Jasmin said they also wanted a report at the end of the two-year period as to how this might work to keep track of the benefits associated with the program and the degree of interest generated by it.

Commissioner Crofts said they needed to approach the issue with care. If they were not careful in how they proceeded, they could undercut the Guard's efforts in the next legislative session to have either the fee waiver or a scholarship program funded.

Chairman Kaze said the committee discussed having the Commissioner's Office summarize the general sense of the Regents' recommendation in a written document. He asked that Commissioner Crofts distribute that for input before it was finalized.

Following further discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the campuses, at their discretion, may implement the National Guard fee waivers as a pilot program, and any pilot program implemented during the current biennium would sunset at the end of the biennium. In addition, any campus that implemented a pilot program would provide a report on the program's results to the Regents. The motion passed unanimously.

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a. Compensation for Service on Outside Governing Boards

Regent Davison said he wanted to reconsider the issue of compensation for the system's top-level executives for membership on outside boards. He said he had spent a great deal of time rethinking the issue, doing more homework, and reflecting on the policy ultimately adopted by the Board. As a result, he thought the issue was worthy of being revisited and moved that the Board reconsider the policy.

Regent Davison said he provided some suggestions to the Regents earlier in the week and encouraged their input. He said he was comfortable in dealing with the issue at that time. If some members wanted more information, however, he would be willing to work with them to accommodate that.

Chairman Kaze said once they decided whether to reconsider the issue, they could either discuss the issue itself or wait until a later meeting to do so, depending on the vote.

Regent Thompson expressed a concern with some "housekeeping" items in the Board's policy manual related to position descriptions not being updated following the university system restructuring.

Chairman Kaze said Regent Jasmin suggested a subcommittee of the Board be established to work with the staff and perhaps the campuses to help identify the types of issues to which Regent Thompson referred. After the subcommittee reviewed those, it would report back to the Board as to whether changes needed to be made. He suggested they set that suggestion aside until they decided whether to reconsider the outside compensation issue.

Regent Jasmin said they had two new Regents who were not included in the original debate. From his standpoint, it would be worthwhile to participate in the debate.

Chairman Kaze said revisiting the issue was a poor idea. He said it brought to the Board and the system a degree of scrutiny that was not only unnecessary but unwarranted. The decision was difficult to reach the first time around, and they debated it throughout a three-month period. Chairman Kaze said raising the issue again at that time was inappropriate, and he felt they should leave the policy the way it was.

Regent Thielman said once the Regents made a decision--even though new Regents may come on board in the interim--they needed to respect that decision and stick by it as an institution if they were to have any level of credibility. For that reason, he did not think it would be in the best interests of the Regents to reconsider the issue.

Regent Davison said while he respected and appreciated the importance of the Board's credibility in making policy and following through with it, he believed there were circumstances and times when policies were made where the event or emotion at the time could influence and detract from good decision-making, although he was not suggesting that occurred in this instance. He said he had researched the issue further and felt revisiting the policy was warranted.

Governor Racicot said the policy was not as strict as what he would have advocated. However, it held people to an extraordinarily high level of expectation that came with the territory. He said they were trying to carry forward an agenda from the higher education community that required great credibility. Regardless of whether the decision went one way or another in the past, he thought it was an object of great discussion and one that called the system's credibility into question. As a consequence, Governor Racicot strongly advised the Regents, for the sake of the system, to avoid resurrecting an issue that simply did not have any winners associated with it. He said it would be a mistake to carry on a different discussion at this point, particularly since not much time had passed since the last discussion.

Regent Conroy agreed with Chairman Kaze and Governor Racicot. She said they had already discussed and voted on the policy, and it was water under the bridge.

Regent Thompson again emphasized that since the position descriptions for the system's top-level executives were not current, she was not sure of the Regents' expectations. The job descriptions did not specifically address any responsibilities subsequent to the restructuring.

Following further discussion, Chairman Kaze called for a roll-call vote on Regent Davison's motion to reconsider the Board's policy on compensation for membership on outside governing boards. The motion passed by a 4-to-3 vote; Regents Thompson, Jasmin, Boylan, and Davison voted for the motion; Regents Conroy, Thielman, and Kaze voted against the motion.

Regent Davison said he would like to have the issue placed on the agenda for the Regents' September 18-19, 1997 meeting in Billings.

Chairman Kaze said in the interim he would establish the subcommittee of the Board to review the issues Regent Thompson brought up in regard to reviewing position descriptions and other documents in the Board's policy manual to see if changes needed to be made. He said the subcommittee could address the position description issue at the September meeting so Regent Thompson would be better informed in discussing the issue on outside compensation. Other issues could be reviewed subsequent to the September meeting. Chairman Kaze said Regents Thompson, Jasmin, and Thielman would sit on the subcommittee.

b. Two-Year Education Committee Recommendations

Commissioner Crofts referred to a July 2, 1997 memo (on file) to the Board from Jane Karas, Director for Workforce Development, regarding the final report of the Two-Year Education Committee. He asked Dr. Karas to review the committee's recommendations.

Dr. Karas said the report included two major items: the degree taxonomy issue and the two-year recommendations. She said the committee had been meeting for the past year to discuss the issues and had reached unanimous agreement on consistent degree taxonomy for all two-year programs within the system and community colleges. All two-year degrees would be named with one of the following two degree titles: (1) Associate of Arts or Associate of Science Degree; or (2) Associate of Applied Science Degree. The committee also agreed on recommendations in the following areas: fee structure/tuition; application of credits to degree programs; telecommunications; subsidized credit hours; single admissions fee for the Montana University System; two-year submission policy; admissions standards; development of incentives to fund customized training programs; student assessment and tracking; 2+2+2 articulation/Tech-Prep; unified career education and training alliance; and enhancement of appropriate utilization of two-year education.

Referring to the degree taxonomy issue, Dr. Karas said Montana State University--Northern requested five to ten years to revise all of its two-year degree titles to meet one of the two titles recommended. The rationale was that MSU--Northern's two-year education programs were developed under unique circumstances and would not be able to comply with the new taxonomy as quickly as the other campuses. The two-year education committee agreed to support the request with the understanding that the Regents would determine the appropriate time period within which MSU--Northern must comply with the recommended taxonomy.

Commissioner Crofts said the committee's recommendations fell into two categories: policy recommendations and those proposing various studies of issues. He said he hoped the Regents would give a general endorsement of this direction. The Commissioner's Office would then begin working on organizing the various studies called for and drafting the policies implied.

Regent Davison suggested any action on the report be deferred to the following day.

Chairman Kaze said some of the items in the report seemed directly related to two-year education but would have a broader possible application across the system. One that came to mind was admission standards.

Concerning the taxonomy issue at MSU--Northern, Montana State University President Michael Malone said five to ten years was unnecessary. He proposed that by May 1998 they could return to the Regents with a recommendation regarding those particular degrees at MSU--Northern they would be recommending as exceptions. The issue was the conversion under this taxonomy to Associate of Science degrees of programs that articulated directly into four-year programs on the Havre campus. President Malone said they had a number of students in these two-year programs who articulated immediately into the corresponding baccalaureate program. When they put the whole core--39 credits in the case of MSU--Northern--into a 60-credit program, it was extremely confining. President Malone said he was asking them to give MSU--Northern until next spring to bring forward those programs for which they would ask an exception.

Montana State University--Northern Chancellor William Daehling said the taxonomy had not been something they embraced throughout the two-year study process. He said it unduly forced MSU--Northern to do some things that went against the principles on which their programs had been built. Nearly all their Associate of Science degrees articulated directly into four-year Bachelor of Science degrees. He said he suggested to President Malone they set a deadline of May 1998 to come back to the Regents to provide a complete analysis of all those degree programs.

Following further discussion, the Board concurred with Regent Davison's request to defer any action on the two-year education report until the following day.


a. Supreme Court Decision on Petition Regarding Land Board

Commissioner Crofts referred to the Supreme Court's decision on the petition regarding the Land Board. He asked Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm to summarize the decision.

Chief Counsel Schramm distributed copies of the Supreme Court's decision (on file). From a legal point of view, he said there was nothing in it that either helped or harmed their case. It was strictly a procedural order, and the matter was now in the hands of the Land Board. Chief Counsel Schramm said there were no specific recommendations for action at that time.

b. Task Force on Foundations

Commissioner Crofts said the initial correspondence had gone out to members of the Task Force on Foundations, and three meetings had been tentatively scheduled. He said Regent Davison was the Task Force chair.

c. National Commission on Teaching and America's Future

Commissioner Crofts said Montana was part of a national effort called the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. Through the involvement of the Governor's Office, Montana was one of 12 states involved. He asked Erik Hanson, Education Policy Advisor for Governor Racicot, to report briefly on some of the Montana committee's activities.

Mr. Hanson said the commission was established in 1994 to address the current state of the teaching profession in America. The commission had met over the course of two years to develop a report that offered criticism and developed ideas and recommendations for the teaching profession. The report, titled "What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future," was released in September 1996. Mr. Hanson distributed and reviewed a brief summary of the report (on file). Shortly after the report was published, the commission asked the states whether they would like to become partner states in looking at the recommendations and trying to implement some of them. Through the Governor's Office, a statewide commission had been formed to examine Montana's teaching profession. Mr. Hanson distributed a list (on file) of the Montana Policy Team's 25 members.

Mr. Hanson said there would be a three-year process to look at Montana's current policies. They would then try to draft recommendations in line with some of the national commission's recommendations. During the third year, they would bring those recommendations before various boards, the legislature, local school boards, and local teachers to try to have some of them adopted. Mr. Hanson noted that higher education played a major role in many of the national commission's recommendations.

Following brief discussion, Chairman Kaze thanked Mr. Hanson for his report.

d. Flathead Valley Community College/Lincoln County Issues

Commissioner Crofts referred to a controversy between Flathead Valley Community College and its board of trustees and representatives of Lincoln County and the Lincoln County Commissioners. He said Lincoln County believed its center was being shortchanged by Flathead Valley Community College's budget process. Commissioner Crofts said he had spoken with both FVCC President David Beyer and the Lincoln County Deputy County Attorney and had urged them to resolve the issue at the local level. Although a request had been made by Lincoln County representatives to appear at the Regents' July meeting, Commissioner Crofts said that was premature and hoped the issue could yet be resolved. When all the operating budgets for the university system and community colleges were brought to the Board in September, both parties could present their cases to the Regents at that time if the issue was not resolved.

In response to a question from Regent Jasmin, Commissioner Crofts said Lincoln County was a center of Flathead Valley Community College located in Lincoln County under the direction of FVCC.

Commissioner Crofts said the Lincoln County representatives had also raised some legal issues, and FVCC President David Beyer asked the Commissioner's Office to provide a legal opinion, which Chief Counsel LeRoy Schramm was preparing.

e. Allocation for Distributed Education/Technology

Commissioner Crofts referred to his July 9, 1997 memo to the Board (on file) regarding "Technology Allocation." When they made the original allocation of general fund to the cost of education methodology, $1 million had been withheld. At the May 1997 Regents' meeting, he had indicated he was strongly committed to a technology/distributed learning initiative from the system perspective. In the interim, he had been urged to either eliminate the entire notion or at least reduce its impact. Since May, Deputy Commissioner Stuart Knapp had worked with representatives from both the universities in distance-learning and information technology to provide some recommendations. Commissioner Crofts said he had announced to the presidents at a Policy Committee meeting held the previous week that he was prepared to release $600,000 of that $1 million for distribution to the campuses. The remaining $400,000 would be retained for the technology/distributed learning initiative.

Commissioner Crofts reviewed the central concepts of the initiative, which included:

-- a focus on convenience for students and needs-based programs

-- requiring provision of the full range of student support services and appropriate library and instructional learning materials

-- products of the initiative to be fully developed, electronically deliverable courses that could be used on all campuses

-- an RFP process to solicit proposals from faculty and departments throughout the system

-- preferences given to proposals from two or more faculty on two or more campuses

-- partnerships encouraged between faculty experienced in electronic distance education and faculty new to the endeavor

-- encouraged use of a variety of distance-learning technologies, with an emphasis on asynchronous delivery

-- phasing from a synchronous, video-based delivery to an asynchronous, web-based delivery

-- support for development and delivery of ongoing sets of courses and programs that provide the people of Montana with meaningful professional development and degrees as the end product

-- major expenditure of funds for faculty released-time from teaching or summer fellowships awarded to individuals who were successful in the RFP process

-- faculty supported by the initiative provided with the best available computer hardware and software as incentive to participate in the program

-- support services provided to faculty from experts in information technology

Commissioner Crofts said Deputy Commissioner Knapp would work with the chief academic officers and representatives from information technology and distance education to try to complete the following tasks by the end of the summer:

-- determine courses and programs needed to be delivered throughout Montana

-- establish an RFP and mechanism by which proposals would be evaluated

-- determine requirements for application, criteria to be used in evaluating proposals, and budget guidelines for applicants

-- recommend to the commissioner the specific allocation of the $400,000

Commissioner Crofts said it was important they have the process in place so faculty would be able to devote time in the spring and summer semesters of 1998 to developing these courses. The newly developed courses could be offered during fall semester 1998, and they could report the initiative's success to the 1999 Legislature. Commissioner Crofts also suggested some of the $400,000 be spent on a systemwide conference on technology and distributed learning.

Commissioner Crofts said the smaller campuses were having difficulties in budgeting for the targeted salary increases involved in the collaborative agreements. This situation was due in part to the fact these campuses had not met enrollment projections. The Bozeman and Missoula campuses were able to hit their resident enrollment targets more accurately and benefited from the fact they were better able to recruit nonresident students. Commissioner Crofts said his intention was to try to reach an agreement with the two presidents on distribution to the smaller campuses of the remaining $600,000 of the $1 million. He proposed they allocate $600,000 to the presidents divided proportionately based on faculty salaries within the smaller units. This distribution would provide partial and temporary relief to them as the current allocation model was reviewed to determine whether it provided too much advantage to the Bozeman and Missoula campuses because of their greater ability to recruit nonresident students.

Discussion followed on allocating money outside of the funding model; the option of putting the $600,000 into the allocation model and letting it flow in that fashion; and using some of the money as a budget for the Montana Academic Forum. Referring to the latter, Commissioner Crofts said he had been assured by Deputy Commissioner Knapp that the budget for the Montana Academic Forum recommendations was not a significant issue. He also felt the systemwide faculty development conference would be responsive to some of those recommendations.

Following further discussion, Chairman Kaze suggested they defer action on Commissioner Crofts' recommendation until the following day.

Continuation of Commissioner's Report

The Board recessed at 4:15 p.m. for a meeting with faculty representatives.

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FRIDAY, JULY 11, 1997

The Board reconvened at 8:45 a.m.


a. Montana Roundtable

Commissioner Crofts distributed a handout titled "Western Policy Exchange." He said Montana was one of four states in WICHE that had been given the opportunity to participate in a project funded by the Kellogg Foundation. The objective was to assist states in efforts to transform their higher education systems to better achieve state priorities. He said they would like to gather together the Regents, business leaders, campus leaders, and legislators to try to develop some ideas to help the state focus on future higher education priorities. He said they would like to have several Regents sit on a steering meeting to begin planning for the roundtable. They would probably hold two or three roundtables before the next legislative session began. Commissioner Crofts said he and Representative Emily Swanson would be co-conveners of the first roundtable.

Chairman Kaze said he, Regent Davison, and Regent Thompson would be interested in serving on the steering committee.

Chairman Kaze said the Board would continue its business with the two-year education item deferred from the previous day.

b. Two-Year Education Committee Recommendations (continued)

Chairman Kaze said the recommendations could be divided into two broad categories: policy decisions that could be made fairly quickly and items that would require additional study over some period of time.

In response to a question from Regent Thielman concerning the taxonomy issue, Dr. Jane Karas said any new programs brought forward by MSU--Northern would fall under the taxonomy recommended in the two-year report. Dr. Karas said MSU--Northern would be examining their existing programs to bring them into the taxonomy within whatever timeframe was determined.

Lengthy discussion followed on the taxonomy issue and MSU--Northern's request for a delay in complying with the taxonomy recommendation.

Chairman Kaze said his biggest concern about the taxonomy proposal was that they actually tell the truth to the students so when a student completed an Associate of Science degree at MSU--Northern, for example, the only institution to which that student may matriculate would not be MSU--Northern. He said students ought to be able to make that move to any institution in the system and have the reasonable expectation those credits would be acceptable at the receiving institution within the same general categories they were acceptable at MSU--Northern.

Chairman Kaze said he understood the Commissioner's Office staff would come back to the Board with policy revisions or adoptions associated with the two-year recommendations. They would also establish the necessary task forces or whatever was needed to complete or continue the studies that were recommended.

Regent Davison moved that the Board accept the report presented by the Two-Year Education Committee with the revision of the timeframe language for MSU--Northern to comply with the recommended taxonomy. The "five to ten years" stated in the report would be changed to "until May 1998". MSU--Northern will review its curriculum during the 1997-98 academic year and submit a report on this issue for a decision by the Board of Regents at its May 1998 meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

c. Education Commission for the Nineties and Beyond

Commissioner Crofts introduced the following members from the Commission: Jean Hagan from Bigfork, Jack Dietrich from Billings, Charlene Loge from Dillon, Mike Kadas from Missoula, and Dennis Burr from Helena.

Commissioner Crofts distributed a document titled "Summary of Recommendations" (on file), which listed the Commission's recommendations from 1990 and responses concerning higher education's progress toward meeting those expectations. Commissioner Crofts suggested the Regents and Commission members discuss each recommendation and response in general terms. If the Commission members had any questions or needed additional information, those could be addressed at a follow-up meeting within the next month or so between the Regents and Commission members.

Lengthy discussion followed between the Regents and Commission members on the recommendations that were presented in the Commission's 1990 report titled "Crossroads: Montana Higher Education in the Nineties."

Following the discussion, Chairman Kaze thanked the Commission members for coming to the meeting and said Commissioner Crofts would be in touch with them to schedule an additional meeting.

d. Allocation for Distributed Education/Technology (continued)

Chairman Kaze said he asked that action on this item be deferred from the previous day. He said he was now satisfied with the Commissioner's recommendation.

Regent Davison moved that the Board accept the recommendation for allocation and use of the $1 million that was set aside as outlined in Commissioner Crofts' July 9, 1997 memo to the Board.

Regent Thielman asked that they vote separately on the $600,000 and $400,000 recommendations.

Regent Davison said he would amend his motion to only approve the Commissioner's recommendation for the $600,000.

Regent Davison suggested they discuss in more detail at future Board meetings how they might deal with deciding whether they would withhold money in the future and a process for maintaining the integrity of their entire allocation process. He thought that would be helpful and suggested it be on the September agenda. In the interim, he would work with Associate Commissioner for Fiscal Affairs Rod Sundsted and Commissioner Crofts to come up with some ideas to bring to the Board.

Regent Thielman said he had some reservations about making a decision on the $600,000 to the campuses. He was not certain of the decision's impact on all the campuses since the overall budgets would not be presented to the Regents until September.

Regent Thielman added an amendment to Regent Davison's motion that a study be made ofthe funding model in light of problems experienced by the system's smaller institutions, and a report be presented to the Board at its November 1997 meeting. The amendment passed by a 6-to-1 vote; Regent Boylan voted against the amendment.

Regent Davison's motion (as amended by Regent Thielman) to approve the Commissioner's recommendation for the $600,000 allocation to the campuses as outlined in his July 9, 1997 memo passed by a 6-to-1 vote; Regent Boylan voted against the motion.

Regent Jasmin moved that the Board approve the Commissioner's recommendation for the $400,000 allocation to the technology/distributed learning initiative as outlined in his July 9, 1997 memo. The motion passed by a 6-to-1 vote; Regent Boylan voted against the motion.

Regent Thielman said he agreed with expending the $400,000 for the technology initiative. However, he was somewhat disappointed they had found resources to put money toward that particular proposal but had not been able to find money to help students out with the tuition assistance program (MTAP).

Following further discussion, Chairman Kaze thanked Helena College of Technology Dean Alex Capdeville and his staff for hosting the Regents' meeting.

With no other business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m.

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