Standard 6.A.1 - Governance Systems
Montana State University Billings is part of the Montana State University (MSU) structure of the Montana University System (MUS). Under the Montana Constitution, the governance and control of the Montana University System are vested exclusively in the Board of Regents of Higher Education. The BOR possesses full authority and responsibility for supervision, coordination and management of state public higher education. The Montana Board of Regents (BOR) sets policy for the MUS, with administrative oversight the responsibility of the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE).
Evidence: 6.4 BOR Policy and Procedures Manual
MSU Billings operates in accordance with BOR policy. The BOR Policy and Procedures Manual furnishes rules of operation that are public and readily available. The manual contains detailed information in the following sections: (200) Governance and Organization; (300) Academic Affairs; (400) Research and Public Service; (500) Student Affairs; (600) Planning; (700) Personnel; (800) Compensation; (900) Financial Affairs; (1000) Physical Plant; (1200) Athletics; (1300) Information Technology; (1900) Miscellaneous. The BOR meets on a different campus bimonthly with advance public notice.
Evidence: 6.4 BOR Policy and Procedures Manual (http://mus.edu/borpol/ default.asp); 6.12 MSU Billings MUS Level I and Level II AY 2004-2005 through AY 2008-2009
MSU Billings governance is shared by faculty, staff and students through several venues. The faculty Academic Senate (AS) reviews all curricular changes throughout the University. The AS has impact throughout Academic Affairs through its subcommittees:
- Academic Computing and Allied Technology Committee
- Academic Standards and Scholastic Standing Committee
- Budget Committee
- Research and Creative Endeavor (RACE) Committee
- Library Committee
- Graduate Committee
- Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
- Academic Foundations Committee
- Commencement Committee
The MSU Billings East Campus Faculty Association conducts formal negotiations addressing working conditions with the Administration every two years in synchronization with the Montana legislative sessions. Collaborative negotiations result in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). In the two years between formal negotiations, representatives of the association and administration meet as the Faculty Administration Collaborative Committee (FACC) to interpret contractual issues that arise. Recent negotiations resulted in formation of four ad hoc study groups focusing on online delivery, salary compaction, position descriptions and Academic Support Center instructors. Reports from each of these study groups will be used to inform discussion during formal contractual collaborative negotiations. The University also maintains close contact with staff and leaders at OCHE and MSU in these processes. Their expertise is used for labor relations and personnel relations at various levels.
West Campus faculty negotiate the VTEM contract. Between formal negotiation years, West Campus faculty meet with administration as the Union Management Committee, which since fall 2006 has included the Chancellor and beginning with fall 2007 the Academic Vice Chancellor.
Staff meet as the Staff Senate and the Associated Students of Montana State University Billings (ASMSUB) meet as the Student Senate to deliberate and take positions on campus issues. The contract between the Montana Public Employees Association and the MUS affords staff representation “when in the best interest of the institution or . . . with nonacademic staff interests.”
The CQI Steering Committee, Standards subcommittees, and Partners for Change task forces involve faculty, staff and student representation. CQI focuses on overall campus quality review and accreditation efforts. Standards subcommittees focus on one, part of one, or more than one of the NWCCU accreditation standards. The Partners for Change ad hoc task forces focus on issues resulting from analysis of data of the spring 2006 Noel-Levitz student satisfaction survey. The summer 2007 Provost Council Retreat continued deliberations through four ad hoc discussion groups addressing creative scheduling, programs, revenue streams and community college.
Outcomes of the Academic Senate and the three groups conducting collaborative negotiations must be approved by the Montana Board of Regents.
- 6.9 Academic Senate By-laws, Committee Structure and minutes,
- 4.4 CBA, 6.9 Staff and 3.9 Student Senate organizational structures and meeting minutes
The division of authority is clearly delineated through the BOR and OCHE.
Evidence: 6.4 BOR Policy and Procedures Manual