Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education


November 20-21, 1997

Rooms 275/276, Strand Union Building

Montana State University—Bozeman

Bozeman, Montana



These minutes were approved as amended by the  Board of Regents at the January 29, 1998 meeting held at the Montana Higher Education Complex Building, Helena, Montana


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




Chairman Jim Kaze called the regular meeting of the Board of Regents to order at 11:30 a.m. Roll call showed a quorum was present.

    Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Crofts noted a correction on page 14 of the July 10-11, 1997 minutes. The replacement language for the motion concerning approval of the two-year education committee’s report would read as follows:

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. 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.

Regent Davison moved approval of the minutes from the July 10-11, 1997 regular meeting (as amended), the September 18-19, 1997 regular meeting, and the October 14, 1997 conference call meeting as mailed to Board members. The motion passed unanimously.


Staff Items

a. ITEM 97-100-R1197—Staff; Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education

b. ITEM 97-1000-R1197—Staff; The University of Montana—Missoula

c. ITEM 97-1500-R1197—Staff; Montana Tech of The University of Montana

d. ITEM 97-1600-R1197—Staff; Western Montana College of The University of Montana

e. ITEM 97-1900-R1197—Staff; Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana

f. ITEM 97-2000-R1197—Staff; Montana State University—Bozeman

g. ITEM 97-2001-R1197—Retirement of Leroy Casagranda, Department of Education; Montana State University—Bozeman

h. ITEM 97-2002-R1197—Retirement of Warren P. Scarrah, Department of Chemical Engineering; Montana State University—Bozeman

i. ITEM 97-2003-R1197—Retirement of Dr. Eric Strohmeyer, Department of Education; Montana State University—Bozeman

j. ITEM 97-2300-R1197—Staff; Agricultural Experiment Station

k. ITEM 97-2301-R1197—Retirement of Earl O. Skogley, Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Experiment Station; Montana State University—Bozeman

l. ITEM 97-2400-R1197—Staff; Extension Service

m. ITEM 97-2700-R1197—Staff; Montana State University—Billings

n. ITEM 97-2701-R1197—Post-Retirement Employment Contract for Dr. Alan F. Bentley, Professor of Biological and Physical Sciences; Montana State University—Billings

o. ITEM 97-2800-R1197—Staff; Montana State University—Northern

p. ITEM 96-2850-R1197—Staff; Montana State University College of Technology—Great Falls


Other Items

a. ITEM 97-001-R1197—Approval of the 1997-1999 Collective Bargaining Agreement with Butte Teamsters Local No. 2; Montana University System

b. ITEM 97-002-R1197—Approval of Tentative Agreement with Montana State University—Billings Faculty Association; Montana University System

c. ITEM 97-101-R1197—Appointment of Myron "Mick" Hanson and Dale Oberlander to the Student Loan Advisory Council; Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program

d. ITEM 97-004-R1197—Approval of Tentative Agreement with Montana Nurses Association; Montana University System [ADDITION TO AGENDA]


Amendments to Consent Agenda:

ITEM 97-1000-R1197: Pages 4 through 17 withdrawn.

ITEM 97-2700-R1197: Page 5 replaced to correct entry for Oliver E. Barfield; salary in last column changed from $62,500 to $66,181.

ITEM 97-2800-R1197: All entries in Section (3) withdrawn.

ITEM 97-004-R1197: Addition to agenda.

Regent Jason Thielman moved approval of the Consent Agenda items (Staff and Other) as amended. The motion passed unanimously.


ASMSU and MAS President Brad Schlepp reported MAS had met the previous night and developed a standing legislative committee that would be part of MAS and chaired by a MAS member. Mr. Schlepp said the committee would encompass two students from each campus and would meet along with MAS prior to Regents’ meetings to discuss student and university system issues for legislative sessions. He noted the committee was still in the conceptual phase as to its goals.

    Regent Davison asked whether MAS was looking at student debt issues.

    Mr. Schlepp said the issue was an important one, but they needed to develop a way to address it most effectively. He said any input from the Regents would be appreciated.

    Regent Davison said the Regents would help in any way they could, but student debt was an issue the students could communicate better than the Regents, and he hoped MAS would make it a higher priority.

    Chairman Kaze said an effort was being made by the Commissioner’s Office and the campuses to put together information that dealt with debt load numbers that would hopefully address to some extent the issue of reasonable rates of return in certain curricula and disciplines. Chairman Kaze agreed students would listen more to MAS than the system’s administrators.

    Kim Cunningham, student body president at Montana State University—Billings, said she and Troy Bruce had begun working on a cost of education model they were trying to develop to be used both in paper format and in an Excel spreadsheet so that students could make changes to their model and develop that over the long term to look at its long-term impacts. Ms. Cunningham said they would discuss the issue further at the students’ luncheon meeting with the Regents.

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Academic and Student Affairs Committee

The Academic and Student Affairs Committee met at 9:00 a.m. in Ballroom D of the Strand Union Building. Members present were Regent Davison (chair), Regent Boylan, Regent Thielman, and Regent Thompson. Chairman Kaze asked Regent Davison to present the committee’s report to the full Board.



Regent Davison noted that Montana State University—Bozeman’s six items had been withdrawn from the November 20, 1997 memorandum (on file) from Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs Stuart Knapp. The following Level I changes were approved in the Commissioner’s Office:


a. Montana Tech of The University of Montana

Change available options from 3 to 2 under BS in Society and Technology:

Rename "Technology and Public Policy" and "Human Values and Technology" options to a single option titled "Liberal Studies"; and

Leave "Professional and Technical Communications" name the same.


b. Montana State University College of Technology—Great Falls

• Rename AAS degree in Medical Office Assistant as "Medical Assistant."

• Addition of AAS degree program in "Computer Technology" to the offerings currently approved for distance delivery to the Bozeman community.


c. The University of Montana—Missoula

• Proposal to offer the Master of Education degree in Kalispell. This will not compete with other institutions of the Montana University System and will be based on the cost-recovery model—i.e., no state funds.


a. ITEM 18-002-R1077—Admission Requirements: General Policies; Montana University System (Policy 301 REVISED)


b. ITEM 27-009-R0680—Transfer of Credits; Montana University System and Community Colleges (Policy 301.5 REVISED)

Regent Davison said all items on the action agenda had been fairly well covered during their notice of intent and submission phases. He reviewed each one briefly, noting the committee had received revised versions of ITEMS 18-002-R1077 and 27-009-R0680.

    Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve the revised version of ITEM 18-002-R1077. The motion passed unanimously.

    Regent Davison said action on the revised version of ITEM 27-009-R0680 was being deferred to the January 29-30, 1998 meeting in Helena due to questions raised during the committee meeting.


c. ITEM 18-006-R1077—High School Honor Scholarships (Policy 501.1 REVISED); ITEM 18-006-R1077—Community College Honor Scholarships (Policy 501.2 REVISED); and ITEM 18-005-R1077—Fee Waivers; Montana University System (Policy 940.13 REVISED)

Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEMS 18-006-R1077(2) and ITEM 18-005-R1077. The motion passed unanimously.


d. ITEM 96-1604-R0997—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; Western Montana College of The University of Montana

Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 96-1604-R0997. The motion passed unanimously.


e. ITEM 96-2001-R0997—Authorization to Change the Curriculum of the Medical Laboratory Science Option in the Department of Microbiology to a 3 + 1 Program in an Affiliation Agreement with the University of North Dakota (UND) at Grand Forks, North Dakota; Montana State University—Bozeman

Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 96-2001-R0997. The motion passed unanimously.


f. ITEM 96-2701-R0997—Authorization to Implement the Performance Option within the Bachelor of Arts Major in Music; Montana State University—Billings

Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 96-2701-R0997. The motion passed unanimously.


g. ITEM 96-2702-R0997—Authorization to Offer a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies; Montana State University—Billings


h. ITEM 96-2703-R0997—Authorization to Offer a Minor in Environmental Studies; Montana State University—Billings

Regent Davison said ITEMS 96-2702-R0997 and 96-2703-R0997 raised the question of duplication. He said Western Montana College of The UM and The University of Montana—Missoula had existing environmental programs that dealt primarily in the alpine study of environmental sciences, which was not the focus of MSU—Billings’ proposals. He said while there were some similarities, there were also some distinct differences in the programs. All three campuses had put forth a collaborative effort and were recommending approval of the Billings’ proposals. Regent Davison said resources would be shared among the campuses. He also noted that committee member Regent Boylan was not recommending approval of the proposals.

    In response to a question from Chairman Kaze, Regent Davison said the committee had discussed finances. The campus recognized the cost involved would have to be addressed. In the early stages, they would not be adding faculty but would redirect existing faculty to accommodate the program.

    Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEMS 96-2702-R0997 and 96-2703-R0997. The motion passed by a 6-to-1 vote; Regent Boylan voted against the motion.


i. ITEM 96-2704-R0997—Authorization to Offer a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion; Montana State University—Billings

Regent Davison reviewed an addendum to ITEM 96-2704-R0997, which was an authorization to offer a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion at Montana State University—Bozeman, which was primarily a name change. The Bozeman campus had the program in place, and the Billings campus came forward and demonstrated a need because most of the students who would be taking the course would be place-bound in Billings. Regent Davison said the committee agreed the duplication would be appropriate in this instance.

    Following brief discussion, Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 96-2704-R0997, including the addendum from MSU—Bozeman. The motion passed unanimously.


j. ITEM 96-2705-R0997—Authorization to Establish a Regional Research Center and Cultural Archives, entitled "The Center for the Northern Plains"; Montana State University—Billings

Following brief discussion, Regent Davison moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 96-2701-R0997. The motion passed unanimously.

Continuation of Academic/Student Affairs Committee

The Board recessed at 12:05 p.m. for its luncheon/meeting with student government representatives. Chairman Kaze said they would continue the committee’s report when they reconvened.

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The Board reconvened at 1:35 p.m.


Chairman Kaze said the agenda would be modified slightly to accommodate some members of the Montana Education Commission for the Nineties and Beyond. He said the Commission had prepared a follow-up to its original 1990 report.

    Commission Chair Jack Mudd introduced Vice-Chair Jean Hagan. He said they had the good fortune seven years ago to participate in a year-long citizens’ study of higher education. The group was formed by former Governor Stan Stephens, who asked 14 citizens throughout the state to take a year to examine higher education in Montana and present some recommendations about its future. Mr. Mudd said the group conducted more than 100 public hearings and meetings, commissioned a statewide poll, spoke with experts from other parts of the country, talked with representatives from every campus in Montana, and visited with students, employers, and citizens. At the conclusion of that year, the Commission issued a report titled Crossroads, which pointed out a number of areas that would allow Montana the opportunity to move into the next century with a strong, affordable, high-quality higher education system.

    Mr. Mudd said the Board of Regents recently asked the Commission to reconvene and examine how far higher education had come during the past seven years and what recommendations the Commission might suggest for moving forward. Mr. Mudd said the Commission had done that, and he presented the Regents with an updated report (on file).

    Mr. Mudd highlighted and discussed the following areas: (1) student performance and assessment; (2) a single system; (3) enrollment; (4) state appropriations; and (5) planning and coordination among state agencies. In conclusion, he said the system had made major efforts toward achieving greater coordination and unity. However, the Commission believed the state could better address future developments and needs if it had in place a single planning effort involving representatives of state government, higher education, and the private sector. He said the Commission repeated its earlier recommendation that the Board of Regents and elected officials work together to develop and implement the "Montana Assessment Project." With the rapid changes in educational technology, it was even more important to anchor educational efforts with clear expectations of student performance and to have in place appropriate methods for assessing that performance. Finally, the Commission recommended that political leaders reevaluate the recent practice and consequences of increasingly relying upon student tuition to replace a decreasing percentage of state appropriations for higher education. Mr. Mudd said adequate public support would form the bedrock for public higher education in the future no less than in the past. In facing the challenges of a new century and an information-based economy, they must provide for the next generation of Montanans a higher education system that was accessible, affordable, and of the highest quality. Mr. Mudd said that was both their challenge and responsibility.

    Discussion followed regarding the change in public support for higher education from seven years ago compared to the present; the focus of the future of higher education at the Montana Roundtable held in October 1997; and a long-range planning group for higher education. Chairman Kaze thanked Mr. Mudd and Ms. Hagan for attending the meeting and for all the Commission’s efforts in putting together the follow-up report.


a. Montana University System Management Information System

Commissioner Crofts asked President Malone to present a brief summary of Montana State University’s plans for a future management information system. Commissioner Crofts would follow by reviewing recommendations he had prepared from the perspective of the university system. President Dennison would then provide an update on where The University of Montana was in the implementation of its approach to management information systems. Commissioner Crofts also noted Dave Ashley was in attendance. Mr. Ashley, who made a presentation to the Regents at their September 1997 meeting, was responsible for managing the MT PRRIME project for the state.

    President Malone said Montana State’s University’s recommendation was to purchase and implement SCT Banner 2000 software for MSU’s human, financial, and student information systems, and he outlined the project impetus: (1) The four MSU campuses use different and incompatible information systems; (2) Each campus needs to improve information services provided to students in order to be competitive in attracting and retaining them; (3) Three MSU campuses face imminent Year 2000 problems in current systems; (4) All campuses must prepare for the impending change of the state’s data processing system; and (5) MSU, in conjunction with The University of Montana, must develop an integrated information system to satisfy the needs of the Commissioner’s Office and the Board of Regents.

    President Malone said the planning approach included (1) identifying the campuses’ specific client needs for information systems; (2) limiting evaluation to the vendors of new systems for the state and UM; (3) comprehensively comparing and contrasting system features and costs; and (4) selecting a single, integrated system for human, financial, and student information among the four MSU campuses.

    President Malone said vendors had been invited to interview campuses to evaluate needs and present the capabilities of their systems. Both SCT and PeopleSoft visited Billings, Bozeman, and Havre, and both made formal presentations in Bozeman and Billings. Information technology staff recorded administrative clients’ comments and evaluations of the two systems. Finally, both vendors submitted detailed proposals detailing capabilities and indicating license costs, implementation, consulting and training costs, and ongoing maintenance fees.

    President Malone said Montana State University was recommending SCT Corporation’s Banner 2000 system as its integrated information system for all four campuses. He said MSU proposed to implement the financial, human resource, and student information systems for all four campuses, using the Oracle system as the database platform. They would support alumni and other data functions available from SCT as desired by individual campuses. President Malone said MSU reaffirmed its commitment to provide the state the timely information it required and to provide the Commissioner’s Office and Board of Regents an information base integrated across all of the Montana University System.

    President Malone said factors supporting the recommendation were: (1) The initial capital cost difference between the two systems favored SCT/Banner by approximately $2.7 million; the operating cost difference over a projected ten-year life cycle favored SCT by approximately $2.2 million; the total difference in cost, including amortization, would exceed $5 million over the ten-year life span. MSU estimated that the differential cost of a joint UM/MSU implementation of PeopleSoft rather than SCT Banner would exceed $10 million over a ten-year life cycle. (2) Evaluations by MSU administrative staff showed a sharp preference for the more complete and comprehensive capabilities of the SCT Banner system. (3) Acquiring the same system as The University of Montana would permit more rapid development of a comprehensive MUS system.

    President Malone said implementation of the SCT Banner system would address the needs of students and faculty, state agencies, the Commissioner’s Office and Board of Regents, and would support the MSU Business Procedures Redesign effort now underway that would result in consolidation and improved quality of campus services.

    President Malone said MSU considered both PeopleSoft and SCT Banner as excellent products, but the university’s evaluations identified tremendous differences in costs of the systems, proven and more mature systems from SCT Banner, and SCT’s extensive experience with and knowledge of the public higher education environment. For the reasons he had outlined, MSU was recommending SCT Banner.

    Commissioner Crofts referred to the document titled "DRAFT Presented to the Board of Regents at Its November 20-21, 1997 Meeting" (on file). He said he would not go through all the recommendations in detail but wanted to make a few observations. The Commissioner’s Office approached the subject by considering several criteria. (1) Any decision they recommended to the Regents for adoption would have to be soundly based on an analysis of the cost of the information system to be implemented and the quality of the product, especially as it related to meeting their needs. (2) They had to place a great deal of emphasis in their evaluation and analysis on the fact that half of their computing work dealt with student records and the relationship between student records and the rest of the management information systems, an issue not shared by state agencies. (3) They took the position, argued before the legislature, and were supported with testimony from Lois Menzies, Director of the Department of Administration, that the university system should remain outside the scope of the contract of the MT PRRIME project. (4) They must end up with a system that would meet the database management information system needs of the Commissioner’s Office and Board of Regents. (5) Whatever they did, they would need to end up with a system that—as far as anyone from a state agency could determine—would be transparent as to what system they were operating and what vendor product was being used.

    Commissioner Crofts said they considered three options: (1) a single implementation of PeopleSoft in conjunction with MT PRRIME; (2) separate implementations of the PeopleSoft product for the university system; and (3) implementations of SCT Banner for the university system.

    Commissioner Crofts said for each option they tried to indicate the benefits both to the university system and the state and ultimately decided to recommend Option 3, which was to move forward systemwide with implementation of SCT Banner. He referred the Regents to the tables on pages 10-11 that provided comparative information on what the two products could deliver. A summary of the cost analysis estimated that implementation of SCT Banner for both universities was $6.1 million. In addition, annual maintenance costs for the adoption of PeopleSoft over SCT Banner would mean an additional expenditure of almost $320,000.

    Commissioner Crofts said the two areas they needed to be responsive to in terms of information needs were (1) the Regents and the Commissioner’s Office, and (2) the state. He said they had pledges from information technology people at both universities to cooperate. They essentially would develop the database definitions and structure of the data needed for management of the system from the perspective of the Commissioner’s Office and the Regents. They were also assuming the strategic planning process going on at The University of Montana and the business procedures redesign project underway within Montana State University would result in determination of best administrative practices. The single implementation of the Banner product would prove helpful in implementing those administrative efficiencies.

    With regard both to the Regents’ information system and that of the state, Commissioner Crofts said they again needed to emphasize the July 1, 1999 deadline for implementing everything. The driving force behind that deadline was the year 2000 problem, and they needed to have these systems up and running. He said the state had already determined MT PRRIME would have its finance and accounting system up by then. Once SBAS, the system presently used on four campuses, was turned off, something needed to be running to replace it.

    Commissioner Crofts referred to the university system’s commitments to the state:

    (1) The Montana University System would reach agreement with the central state agencies with regard to the state’s information needs, including the level of detail required and the frequency of reports. (2) The information needed by state agencies would be delivered in an efficient and acceptable format and medium and in a manner that could be compatible with and integrated into the MT PRRIME management information system. (3) There would be no unnecessary duplication of effort between MT PRRIME and the development of the university information systems. (4) Staff at state agencies would not be required to learn the information system adopted by the Montana University System in order to carry out their responsibilities. (5) The implementation of the Montana University System management information system would allow for efficient movement between state and university systems. Central state users who so desired would be able to extract data from the university information systems with the establishment of appropriate security measures and protections.

    Commissioner Crofts said because of the demands of the timetable, the development of a management database for use by the Regents and the Commissioner’s Office, and the need for workable interfaces with MT PRRIME by July 1, 1999, the Regents’ Information Technology Committee would meet as needed—at least monthly—to monitor the progress of each recommendation. The committee would report at each Regents’ meeting.

    Commissioner Crofts emphasized that an integrated system was not necessarily achieved by buying products. Information systems were integrated by agreeing on what data needed to be collected, how that data was defined, and how that data and information could be brought together. He said the Regents could decide on PeopleSoft, and there would be no guarantee whatsoever the end result would be an integrated system unless they went through the process of agreeing with the state agencies on what those data elements were and what pieces of information were needed.

    President Dennison distributed a binder of information (on file) to the Regents that included a series of questions related to an information technology system, an executive summary, and some information on SCT products.

    President Dennison said when UM was looking for a student information system in 1988 they wanted something that could possibly be integrated into one suite to automate the processing of routine operations, whether those related to students, human resources, finances, or alumni development. They also wanted a system with a rich capability for data query—extraction, analysis, and reporting through an independent industry standard relational database. In that first search, Oracle was the database manager that surfaced. They also wanted a comprehensive decision support system that would cross multiple integrated functional areas. President Dennison said not only were they concerned about preparing reports, but they wanted a system that would provide the management information they needed to make good decisions. They were also looking for a system with a strong track record in the field. An RFP process was conducted, they had three respondents, and selected the Banner student financial aid system. President Dennison said a subsequent analysis was made in 1993 when they were looking for a human resource system. Thirty people from the campuses were involved in making that determination. Of six respondents, Banner was clearly the best product. Another review undertaken in 1996 when they were looking for a finance system produced the same conclusion.

    President Dennison said The University of Montana—Missoula, including the college of technology, had purchased nearly all the Banner system modules. They had also requested and had authorization to proceed with the web interface for those systems as well because that would make the difference for the students. In all, they had spent $3.76 million in acquiring and implementing the systems. Though most had been implemented more thoroughly on the Missoula campus, inter-campus groups were working on implementation for all the campuses. President Dennison noted that Banner cost them $146,000 annually. If they went to PeopleSoft, the cost would be roughly twice that—plus they would not have a proven product.

    President Dennison said a major advantage of going with SCT Banner was preservation of The University of Montana’s investment. Also, SCT Banner had the largest installed client base of any product in the market—a 45 percent market share in higher education. The web interface was a major advantage, and SCT Banner was the only comprehensive integrated product that included enrollment management, which was an increasingly important issue. President Dennison added that SCT Banner was layered on Oracle, which was also an advantage.

    Commissioner Crofts referred to a November 17, 1997 letter (on file) from Greg Petesch, Director of Legal Services, in response to a request from Clayton Schenck, Legislative Fiscal Analyst. The bulk of the letter cited the university system’s statutory obligations, which Commissioner Crofts said the system had never denied and would continue to meet.

    Commissioner Crofts again emphasized that if the Board of Regents accepted the recommendations under consideration, the university system would provide all the information into the state’s accounting system that it needed and wanted. He said there had never been a notion to operate separately from the state’s information environment.

    Commissioner Crofts also referred to a second letter (on file) dated November 19, 1997, to Jim Kaze from Senator Mack Cole, Chair of the Joint Oversight Committee on State Management Systems. Commissioner Crofts said they had testified before the Joint Oversight Committee, and this letter was the committee’s response. In paragraph 2, the committee suggested it had a significantly enhanced understanding of the issues and the cost/benefit analysis but still had some concerns. Commissioner Crofts said the commitments the university system was making and would continue to make were responsive to the committee’s concerns. He said the letter concluded by stating that if the university system should choose to implement a system separate from MT PRRIME for Montana’s universities, the Joint Oversight Committee on State Management Systems wished to be kept apprised of the progress and updated on a regular basis.

    Commissioner Crofts said the university system was not saying it would not be part of MT PRRIME. Instead, they were saying the SCT product better met their needs, of which nearly half involved student records. They realized the state had legitimate information needs, and the system would help define those data elements and commit to give the state what it wanted. Commissioner Crofts said to do that did not require the purchase of the same product as the state. The university system believed SCT Banner better met the system’s needs, was less expensive for the system, and would have no negative impact whatsoever on the actions and ability of state agencies to carry out their work.

    Lengthy discussion followed among Governor Racicot, the Regents, Commissioner Crofts, Presidents Dennison and Malone, Dave Ashley from MT PRRIME, Amy Carlson from the Governor’s Budget Office, and representatives from PeopleSoft and SCT Banner.

    Following discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the Board approve the recommendations presented by Commissioner Crofts in the Cost/Benefit Analysis document. The motion passed unanimously.

Continuation of Old Business

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Following a 15-minute break, the Board reconvened at 3:50 p.m.



Chairman Kaze said they would continue with the committee’s report.



a. Access to Required and Core Classes

Regent Thielman said the committee had discussed taking a look at how they were doing in providing students access to the classes they needed. Although significant progress had been made at the freshman and sophomore levels, they also needed to consider the upper levels. Had they raised the number of students they were letting into those courses? What else had they done to help alleviate access to core and general education courses? Regent Thielman said most of the campuses indicated that by the March 1998 Regents’ meeting they could likely examine the issue from a more refined point of view following the release of reports from the collaborative processes.

    Commissioner Crofts said what they really needed were some measuring devices. They had commitments in place to provide access but needed ways to know whether they were succeeding in providing students access to the classes they needed at the time they needed them.


b. Northwest Association Accreditation Plan for The University of Montana

Regent Davison said The University of Montana was working on a Year 2000 coordinated accreditation effort. He said it embraced the discussion of how reorganization would relate to the accrediting entities. The discussions would focus more on a systemwide or affiliation-wide accrediting certificate. Several campuses emphasized the importance of maintaining the identities of individual campuses and their separate missions.


c. Fire and Rescue Technology

Patricia Kercher, Associate Dean at the MSU College of Technology—Great Falls, and Butch Weedon, Director of the Fire Services Training School, provided a report (on file) to the Regents on "Fire and Rescue Technology," a cooperative program between the MSU College of Technology—Great Falls and the MSU Fire Services Training School.

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The Administrative/Budget Committee met at 9:00 a.m. in Rooms 275/276 of the Strand Union Building. Regents present included Ed Jasmin (chair), Jim Kaze, and Colleen Conroy. Chairman Kaze asked Regent Jasmin to present the committee’s report to the full Board.



a. ITEM 15-001-R1276—Registration, Simultaneous; Montana University System (Policy 305.1 REVISED)

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 15-001-R1276 had been withdrawn from the agenda and would receive more discussion and review before it was brought back to the Board.



a. ITEM 97-1001-R1197—Certificate of Completion, Lubrecht Forest Dormitory Building, Series B 1995 Facilities Improvement and Refunding Revenue Bonds; The University of Montana—Missoula


b. ITEM 97-1002-R1197—Certificate of Completion, Student Health Service Renovations, Series B 1995 Facilities Improvement and Refunding Revenue Bonds; The University of Montana—Missoula

Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEMS 97-1001-R1197 and 97-1002-R1197 on the Consent Agenda. The motion passed unanimously.



a. ITEM 18-005-R1077—Fee Waivers; Montana University System (Policy 940.13 REVISED)

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 18-005-R1077 was an amendment to Board of Regents’ Policy 940.13 that would include the surviving dependents of Montana National Guard members in the list of fee waivers. The policy revision implemented the provisions of Chapter 41, Laws of 1997, which was passed by the 1997 Legislature with the support of the Montana University System.

Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 18-005-R1077. The motion passed unanimously.


b. ITEM 96-002-R0997—Employee Travel; Montana University System (NEW)

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 96-002-R0997 was a new Board policy that would allow university system agencies to reimburse employees for the actual cost of out-of-state (or foreign) lodging if one of two criteria had been met and employees received prior approval for reimbursement at the higher rate.

Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 96-002-R0997. The motion passed unanimously.


c. ITEM 96-003-R0997—Use of Interest Earnings in Excess of the Anticipated Level; Montana University System

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 96-003-R0997 stated that any interest earnings during either FY98 or FY99 on current unrestricted and current designated funds that exceeded $1,090,762 at the campuses of Montana State University and $646,011 at the campuses of The University of Montana would be placed in a designated account to be used to fund the Montana Tuition Assistance Program (MTAP) or for other student assistance as determined by the Board of Regents. Regent Jasmin said this item was brought to the Board at the request of Regent Thielman and had been revised since the November meeting to address concerns raised by the committee.

Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 96-003-R0997. The motion passed unanimously.


d. ITEM 96-004-R0997—Repeal of Certain Policies from the Montana University System Policy and Procedures Manual; Montana University System

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 96-004-R0997 would repeal the following outdated or obsolete Board policies: 920, 940.14, 940.17.2, 950, and 1003.1.

Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 96-004-R0997. The motion passed unanimously.


e. ITEM 96-011-R0997—Conflicts of Interest; Montana University System (NEW)

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 96-011-R0997 was a new Board policy that would provide a general policy for the university system. Following brief discussion, the Regents agreed to amend the policy to include the following revisions suggested by President Dennison following his discussions with campus faculty:

• Section 2, Sentence 1 — Delete " . . . and the appearance of conflicts of interest . . ."

• Section 3a, Sentence 1 — Delete " . . . embarrass the university system or . . ." and delete all of Sentence 2.

• Section 3b — Delete the last sentence and replace with: "Upon receiving a report that a conflict of interest may exist, the responsible administrative officer will undertake a careful, timely examination of the facts of the case to determine whether such conflict does exist or is likely to arise out of the activity at issue. The administrator will inform the affected employee of the judgment reached in the matter, subject to appropriate appeal."

Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 96-011-R0997 as amended. The motion passed unanimously.

Continuation of Administrative Budget Committee

The Board recessed at 4:35 p.m.



The Board reconvened at 8:45 a.m.




f. ITEM 97-1901-R1197 (REVISED)—Purchase of Property, 2300 Poplar Street, Helena Montana, Sky Supply Building, Owned by the Helena Airport Authority; Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 97-1901-R1197 (REVISED) would authorize the Helena College of Technology of The UM to purchase property at 2300 Poplar Street in Helena, including the building—currently leased as a lab area—and land for $42,000 to be financed from unexpended proceeds of the Series D 1996 Revenue Bonds of The University of Montana. Regent Jasmin noted they were being asked to approve the revised version of the item that had been distributed to Board members.

Following brief discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 97-1901-R1197 (REVISED). The motion passed unanimously.


g. ITEM 97-2004-R1197—Resolution Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of Revenue Bonds; Montana State University—Bozeman

Regent Jasmin said ITEM 97-2004-R1197 provided authorization for Montana State University—Bozeman to proceed with the Series of 1997/98 Facilities Improvement Revenue Bonds to be issued for the university and also authorized the Commissioner of Higher Education and MSU to proceed with planning for the Phase 2 Stadium Renovation project in a total amount of $8.0 million.

    Athletic Director Chuck Lindemenn made a brief presentation to the Board with regard to the Phase 2 renovation of the stadium. He said the structural elements in Phase 1 were pretty much in place. In Phase 1, they tried to bring the stadium to a level where they could meet today’s required health, safety, and access standards. Phase 2, which the Board was being asked to consider, would complete the process of bringing the stadium up to equity standards in terms of accessibility and health and safety and would begin to provide the revenue streams necessary to meet their debt service requirements for the project. Mr. Lindemenn provided some project diagrams (on file) and explained the work that would be done during Phase 2 of the stadium renovation.

    In response to a question from Regent Jasmin, President Malone said the revenue streams for the bonds were articulated in the third paragraph of the item, which included athletic tickets, expanded concessions, leases of the skyboxes, sale of the seats themselves, contract sponsorship and, in a sort of underwriting role, auxiliaries—though they did not intend to use any auxiliary funding for it.

    Regent Thielman said he appreciated that President Malone was not interested in using other auxiliaries to fund the stadium. As a student, he said he was somewhat concerned in seeing the potential of other auxiliary funds being used to help pay off the stadium bonds. He wondered whether they could look at some language that would provide some level of confidence to the students that if it were necessary at some point to take money from residence life or something similar it could be repaid.

    President Malone said he would be happy to state for the record that he viewed the auxiliary funding as a sort of underwriting. He said if any auxiliary funding were to be drawn upon for the project, it would be repaid on a timely basis.

    In response to a question from Regent Thielman, President Malone said they had assured the students they were not raising an athletic fee to help redress those bonds and were not raising rates anywhere to do that.

    Following further discussion, Regent Jasmin moved that the Board concur with the committee’s recommendation to approve ITEM 97-2004-R1197. The motion passed unanimously.



a. Consolidation of Safety & Risk Management Operations

Regent Jasmin said the committee received an information item (on file) from Montana State University—Bozeman to make the Board aware that the university was planning to proceed with preparation of a lease for use by MSU—Bozeman of 9,300 square feet for consolidation of the Safety & Risk Management operations, subject to final approval by the Commissioner of Higher Education.

    President Malone said they were talking about the disposal of toxic waste. For years, it had been stored at various locations on the campus. He said they were under federal and other constraints to deal with that waste, which was a difficult proposition. They now had the possibility of acquiring a laboratory high-tech building in their Advanced Technology Park to the west of the campus at a favorable rate. The ATI, a fully owned subsidiary of the MSU Foundation, would purchase the building at the university’s request and lease it back to them for $80,000 a year. President Malone said they were making every assurance they were not buying or leasing into any kind of toxic problem in that area. The facility would not dispose of the waste directly but would serve as a transferring station for the waste to be sent to a larger disposal site.


b. Family Education Savings Program

Regent Jasmin said RFPs had been sent out, and the Commissioner’s Office received five bids that were under evaluation at that time.

    Regent Davison wondered whether there was any way the program could be implemented in 1997. He said he understood that was not going to happen.

    Rod Sundsted, Associate Commissioner for Fiscal Affairs, said that by looking at the bids they received it appeared the one that could be set up and running the soonest would need at least four months after entering into a contract before it could be ready.

    Regent Davison said it would be a good idea to get some information on that out to the public, even if the program could not be implemented in 1997.

    Regent Jasmin suggested they do a press release when the vendor was selected.


c. Legislative Incentives for Educational Assistance

Regent Jasmin said the committee received an update from Laurie Neils, Director of Accounting & Budget in the Commissioner’s Office, and Dianna Wojtowicz, Controller at Montana State University—Bozeman. A brochure (on file) was distributed that provided information on the Hope Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credits, Education IRAs, Student Loan Interest Deduction, and the Montana Family Education Savings Act.

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a. Appeal Procedures

Chief Legal Counsel LeRoy Schramm said he received a request from an individual that the Board vary its appeal procedures for this individual’s particular appeal. Chief Counsel Schramm provided the Regents some background information on the Board’s appeal procedures. Within 30 days after the Commissioner’s decision on any appeal, the appellant could appeal to the Board. Once an appeal reached the Board level, the Board could either deny or entertain the appeal. By denying the appeal, the Board was upholding the Commissioner’s decision. If the Board entertained the appeal, it would be set for hearing at the next meeting, at which time the appellant or his/her attorney could make a presentation to the Board. Chief Counsel Schramm would do the same on behalf of the Commissioner’s Office, and the Regents would make the final decision.

    Concerning the appeal in question, Chief Counsel Schramm said the Commissioner issued his decision November 4, 1997. The appellant was requesting the Regents skip the first step and set the appeal for hearing at the January 1998 meeting. Chief Counsel Schramm said he had received material from the appellant via fax on Wednesday, November 19, and had told the appellant’s attorney he would bring the request to the Board.

    In response to a question from Regent Davison, Chief Counsel Schramm said his recommendation was that the Regents handle the appeal in the normal course of events.

    Following discussion, the Board agreed to accept Chief Counsel Schramm’s recommendation.

Continuation of New Business


a. ITEM 97-003-R1197—Position Descriptions: Executive Officers; Montana University System (NEW)

Commissioner Crofts said a draft position description for the presidents was discussed at the September 1997 meeting. That position description had been revised and brought back to the Board along with position descriptions for the Commissioner, the chancellors, the Deputy Commissioner for Academic and Student Affairs, the Associate Commissioner for Fiscal Affairs, and the Chief Legal Counsel. They had also discussed a policy that would focus on position descriptions for the system’s executive officers, and that policy was now on submission. Instead of placing elaborate position descriptions in the policy manual, the policy would state the Commissioner had them, and they would be reviewed periodically by the Regents.

    Regent Jasmin said he would add to the Commissioner’s position description a statement that the Commissioner "propose each year a statement of long- and short-term goals and objectives for review and approval by the Regents."

    To the Chief Legal Counsel’s position description, Regent Jasmin said he would add that the position be responsible for overseeing the Montana University System Policy and Procedures Manual to make sure it was kept up to date by periodically getting rid of outdated policies.

    Regent Davison, temporarily chairing the meeting in Jim Kaze’s place, said ITEM 97-003-R1197 would be moved to the Action Agenda at the January 1998 meeting.

NEW BUSINESS (continued)

McCarthy Coyle from Missoula made a statement to the Board with respect to information technology and the role of the university system in expanding its distribution of information. Mr. Coyle said he wanted to call the Board’s attention—in its capacity as both the licensee of Montana’s university-affiliated public radio and television stations and in its capacity as overseers of the university system’s community outreach—to a list of points that were outlined in his three-page statement (on file).

    Regent Jasmin said Chairman Kaze asked him and Regent Thompson to work on an evaluation process for the Commissioner, which they had done. He distributed a draft to the other Regents for comments. Once they were satisfied with the format, they would proceed with the Commissioner’s evaluation.

    Chairman Kaze said they had not been very structured in how they evaluated the position in the past. He recently attended an AGB (Association of Governing Boards) meeting where a good deal of discussion had taken place about the relationship between Boards and Board CEOs. In addition to the evaluation’s content, they also needed to establish some type of process for conducting the evaluation.


Commissioner Crofts said he recently visited with some people from ACT. Of the students who were tested, ACT probably tested about 70 percent. Montana students again had proven themselves excellent when ranked with other students throughout the country. For the 1997 summary report, ACT tested 6,200 of 11,399 graduates. The national average was 21.0, and Montana’s average was 21.9. In western states where students were at least half using ACT as opposed to SAT, Montana had the highest average. For all of the west, Montana was ranked third. Oregon was first at 22.4, Washington was second at 22.3, and Montana third at 21.9. Commissioner Crofts said ACT had studied the performance of students who had completed a high school core curriculum, which ACT defined as four years of English, three years of math, three years of science, and three years of social studies. They compared the scores of students who had completed the core in high school with those who had not. Montana’s total average was 21.9. If that were broken down to students who completed the core, Montana’s average score was 23.2. For students who did not complete the core, the average was 19.9.

    Commissioner Crofts said the Board of Education (the Regents and the Board of Public Education) was scheduled to meet via METNET on December 11, 1997. He thought they might have some discussion as to what, if anything, they wanted to do with regard to their core based on overwhelmingly clear evidence that students who took the core did much better, at least on the ACT test.


a. The University of Montana—Missoula

President Dennison said the America Reads challenge was an effort to assist in all schools to ensure third graders were reading at grade level. According to the national statistic, 40 percent of third graders could not read at grade level. Although the statistic was much lower in Montana, there was a need for assistance. The program was not meant to supplant the teaching of reading that was occurring in the schools but instead to provide assistance through tutoring.

    When the program was initiated by President Clinton, one of the provisions was that institutions agree to commit half of their new work study money to pay tutors who would work in the schools. That requirement had been lifted, primarily because many schools could not make that type of commitment. President Dennison said pilot projects were going on throughout the state and were working very well. He noted a statewide steering committee was bringing in the teaching faculty along with people from the public schools and virtually all sectors.

    President Dennison said a second project was still moving forward, which was the state equivalent of the National President’s Summit held last year in Philadelphia. Commitments were made by national corporations that at least two million more young people would have access to five critical resources needed in order to help them do well in life: (1) a relationship with a caring adult; (2) a healthy start; (3) a safe place, (4) an education that made a difference for the child in terms of preparing him/her for the workplace and a more productive life; and (5) an opportunity to give back. The model that came out of that summit was "two million by 2000." A delegation from Montana was there and was now organizing a state Governor’s Summit, with the current and former governors agreeing to participate. President Dennison said people throughout Montana would be attending the summit. The plan was to secure similar types of commitments from corporations, etc., and make certain Montana received its share of commitments at the national level. He said the summit would be held in Billings, and Lieutenant Governor Judy Martz was chairing the steering committee.


b. Montana State University—Billings

Chancellor Ron Sexton announced that MSU—Billings had just been notified of the reaccreditation of its teacher education programs.

    Regent Davison said he wanted to thank President Malone and his staff for hosting the meeting and related activities.

With no other business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.

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