ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES

 

 

DATE:         February 13, 2003

 

PRESENT:    George Benedict                               Doug Brown

                  Sandie Rietz                                    Audrey ConnerRosberg

                  George Madden                               Keith Edgerton

                  Randall Gloege                                 Alan Davis

                  Mark Hardt                                    Connie Landis

                  Matt Redinger

                  Dan Zirker (ex-officio)                       Janie Park (ex-officio)   

                  Nichole Alley (ex-officio)

 

ABSENT:     Paul Bauer – excused

                  John Cech (ex-officio)                        Joe Michels (ex-officio)

                  Randy Rhine (ex-officio)                     George White (ex-officio)

                  Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)                    Curt Kochner (ex-officio)

 

GUESTS:     Kerri Lehman                                  Jessica O’Donnell

 

PRESIDING: Keith Edgerton, Chair

 

 

Keith Edgerton called the meeting to order at 3:32 p.m. on February 13, 2003, in the Chancellor’s Conference Room.

 

The February 6, 2003, meeting minutes were approved.

 

I.       ITEMS FOR INFORMATION ONLY

 

Item 42  Emeritus Nomination – Dr. Ruey-Lin Lin, Professor, Department of History, Native American Studies, Political Science, and Sociology.  For information.

Item 43  Emeritus Nomination – Dr. Janeth Spicer, Professor, Department of Business Academic Programs.  For information.

 

Þ Motion by Matt Redinger, seconded by Randall Gloege to accept Items 42 and 43 for information.

 

Þ Motion carried.

 

 

II.      NEW BUSINESS

 

A.  Update from the ASMSU-B, Nichole Alley.  Ms. Alley, President of ASMSU-B, stated that a situation was developing with Student Regent Christian Hur of the Board of Regents.  She noted that Mr. Hur was chosen two years ago by the Governor from a list of recommendations from the Montana Associated Students (MAS).  He was number three in a ranked list of three.  Governor Martz has extended Mr. Hur’s term for another year, and this has caused a great deal of controversy in MAS meetings.  Some members of MAS—which includes the president of the student government of all the Montana units—want to write a letter of no confidence in Regent Hur.  Ms. Alley stated that she is one of few that are against sending the letter, because Regent Hur has done nothing to directly harm the students, and the Governor is completely within her rights to appoint a student regent for up to four years.  Some members of MAS also want to sue the Governor because this extension of appointment seems illegal, and they are asking that all the student governments donate money to finance the suit.  Most other campuses have given money, but ASMSU-B does not want to donate.  The Montana Attorney General has been consulted, and he was very vague but stated that there was a case.  The main objection of MAS is that they were not consulted about extending Regent Hur’s term.

 

It was noted that the students will probably not win a lawsuit against the Governor, so instead they should go after the headlines.  It was stated that if ASMSU-B passed a resolution concerning these issues, the Academic Senate would lend it’s support and generate some publicity.

 

B.  Report to the University Budget Committee, Sandie Rietz.  Dr. Rietz stated that the UBC did not meet this past Monday, and this coming Monday is a holiday.  The next meeting will likely be February 24.  Keith Edgerton stated that he would like to attend that meeting.

 

C.  Budget Update.  Dr. Park stated that as of last Monday (Feb. 10) the legislative subcommittee has left the University System exactly between the Governor’s budget, which is the best case scenario, and the rollback to 2000, which is the worst case scenario.  That results in a deficiency of about 2.7 million dollars this year and 3.2 million the following year.

 

It was noted that we will not know anything definitively until May.

 

Dr. Park stated Chancellor Sexton is working right now on a budget that will show what cuts will be needed, plus a reasonable tuition increase of four or six percent.  That budget will go to the UBC and the Academic Senate.  Using that budget, we will begin making real cuts.

 

III.     ITEMS – FIRST READING

 

Item 44  Resolution from the General Education Committee Concerning Course Approval.

 

The question was raised as to whether this resolution supercedes the previous motion that the Senate voted on January 30.  It was noted that the first motion failed, and should not have a second reading as previously thought.

 

It was noted that the order of committees and who adjudicates what is not important.  What is important is the structure of Gen Ed.  What does the program do?  After those questions have been answered, it must be decided which departments can submit courses for Gen Ed.

 

Mark Hardt, Chair of the General Education Committee, stated that they are working on a model and mission statement now.  Those will be brought to the Senate later.

 

It was cited that we must use the Regents transferability list as a model, because we must have those requirements fulfilled.

 

It was noted that there are so many courses in Gen Ed that no plan can be seen amongst all of them.

 

It was cited that the Gen Ed Committee must design criteria for what courses will go into Gen Ed, so departments can plan on those criteria.

 

It was also noted that Gen Ed is out of control right now, and the Gen Ed Committee are just the people to reign the program in.

 

It was noted that more representation across the campus is needed on the Committee.  The Committee on Committees will be notified.

 

Þ Motion by Matt Redinger, seconded by Doug Brown to accept Item 44.

 

Þ Motion carried:  7 for, 3 against

 

 

IV.     MORE NEW BUSINESS

 

A.  Brief General Education Committee Status Report.  It was cited that the Gen Ed Committee’s next task should be to develop a model for General Education.

 

Mark Hardt, Chair of the Gen Ed Committee, noted that they have been working on a mission statement.  They also have a new title, which is Academic Foundation.  It was noted that Gen Ed needs to be something students understand, even if they don’t like it.  Dr. Hardt also noted the Committee is discussing such issues as staffing and class size.

 

B.  Courses Offered Exclusively Online – Janie Park.  Dr. Park stated that this issue has taken her off guard.  This year (2002-2003) there are six courses that are required in programs that are only offered online.  This may have been happening last year, but there is no cross-check to catch such problems.

 

Dr. Park noted that the faculty (not the administration) have made good arguments for this approach.  The students in these programs were also taken off guard, as they were unaware that these courses were only offered online.  If faculty want to offer these courses solely online, then it needs to be noted in the catalog, so the students will know well in advance.  There are two options here:  get it in the catalog now—which will involve bringing a course change up through all the regular channels, or Dr. Park will have to tell faculty they cannot offer courses in this way.

 

It was noted that the decision to offer these courses exclusively online has not been approved through the regular committees.

 

It was also noted that students have to pay $40 per credit ($120 for a three credit course) to take it online.  It is unfair to force students to take an online course.

 

It was also noted that online, in some cases, is almost a necessity.  If a highly-qualified instructor is able and willing to teach a course, but is unable to do it on campus, online is the best way to make use of that resource.

 

It was noted that some courses, especially methods courses, are inappropriate for the online setting.

 

It was noted that there are some “hybrid courses” (offered with both online and classroom components) that should also have a notation in the catalog.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:06 p.m.

 

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