DATE:         September 26, 2002


PRESENT:    George Benedict                               Doug Brown

                  Sandie Rietz                                    Audrey ConnerRosberg

                  Paul Bauer                                      George Madden

                  Keith Edgerton                                Randall Gloege

                  Alan Davis                                     Mark Hardt

                  Connie Landis

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


ABSENT:     Matt Redinger – excused                    


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

                  Randy Rhine (ex-officio)                     George White (ex-officio)         Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)     Nichole Alley (ex-officio)

                  Curt Kochner (ex-officio)


PRESIDING: Keith Edgerton, Chair



Keith Edgerton called the meeting to order at 3:32 p.m. on September 26, 2002 in the Chancellor’s Conference Room.


The September 12, 2002 meeting minutes were approved.


Ronald Sexton, Chancellor, dropped off a memo to the Senate at the beginning of the meeting responding to the memo from the Senate, sent September 13, requesting involvement in the budget process.  The memo stated that discussion is just getting underway concerning the budget and cuts.  Dr. Sexton suggests that the University be prepared to address a much broader scope of fiscal and programmatic challenges.  Any input from the Senate will be welcomed and given every consideration.


I.       Chair’s Report of Board of Regents Meeting


Keith Edgerton reported that the faculty group still meets (the representatives from the Academic Senates of the units).  Also, at the table with the Regents is now another student (from University of Montana) and also a faculty member (from Bozeman).  The faculty member seems to be an agreeable guy who is looking out for all faculty, not just his own unit.


Dr. Edgerton also reported that John Mercer criticized the University System for increasing the salaries of the administrators.  This seems to be exceptionally ill-timed, and Dr. Edgerton stated that he agreed with Regent Mercer.  This was not a good time to give anyone an increase on the heels of a large budget cut.  It was pointed out that there never really is a good time for an increase, especially for administrators, even if they do deserve it.  It was also noted that soon other Regents, besides Mercer, will be out, and more members like Mercer will be appointed.


It was asked as to whether MSU-Billings should send two faculty members to the Board meetings.  Dr. Edgerton responded that Bozeman did bring two representatives, but most other units either didn’t come, or only sent one representative.  MSU-Billings does not need to send two representatives at the present time.


Dr. Edgerton also stated that the faculty group will meet with the Regents every other meeting.  The staff representatives will alternate with the faculty.  However, the students will still meet with the Board at every meeting.  This alternating structure is to help give both the staff and the faculty equal time.  In the past, the faculty were usually last, and not left with much time to meet.




A.  Proposed New Academic Senate System of Approvals, George Madden.  The proposed system document was distributed.  It was noted that the Senate may not get any feedback about these changes, but it ought to be attempted.


It was noted that Senator’s comments should be held until after the document has been sent to faculty.


Ž Motion by Randall Gloege, seconded by Connie Landis to send the document and cover letter via email to all faculty, and a hard copy be sent to Department Chairs.


Ž Motion carried.


George Madden stated that the cover letter should state that the changes, if approved, would not go into effect until the next catalog (Fall 2003).  It was so added to the cover letter.


B.  Update from Dr. Park – Programmatic Cuts.  Dr. Park stated that she is in the process of cutting one program and one minor.  However, more detail cannot be disclosed at this time.  The deletions will be made known at the November Board of Regents meeting.


Dr. Park also stated that Chancellor Sexton wants Dr. Park, and Terrie Iverson, and himself to meet with all departments to discuss cuts.  That way, all faculty are contacted.  However, this has not been done yet.


Dr. Park also spoke of the programs “on notice.”  She applied the Board of Regents graduation requirements, which she stated incorrectly at the Senate retreat.  The Board of Regents requires that over a 5-year (not 3) averaged span, a Master’s program must graduate 3 students per year, and an Undergraduate program must graduate 5 per year.  Dr. Park also stated that the Board will raise these requirements.  The Chief Academic Officers were asked what they would like the requirements raised to.  They recommended raising each category by one.  The Deputy Commissioner said she would present the recommendation, but it would not fly.  The undergraduate requirement may go to 10 students per year.  If that does happen, many programs or departments at MSU-Billings will have to be consolidated to get that many students graduating, because there are many programs not meeting that number.  Dr. Park also noted that the next formal review of graduation rates will be next year, but not much can be done to change the numbers since it is an average of the last 5 years.


Dr. Park stated that we have been able to handle this cut by giving up many one-time funds.  Another cut, which may come when the legislature beings to meet again in January, will be much tougher to endure.




A.  Problem with Independent Study Courses Listed on the Web.  It was noted that if a faculty member does not want his or her independent study listed, he or she must contact Karen Everett and request the course be removed from the web.


It was requested that an email containing this information be sent out to all faculty to ensure all faculty are notified.


B.  Retort – Postings on the “Campus Beat.”  If any Senate member has something she or he would like posted in the Retort, call Rita and she will get it posted in the next issue.


C.  FYI – Implementation Date for the Writing Proficiency Requirement.  Joyce Scott stated (in an email to Dr. Park) that the target is 2004, but it is still being discussed.  Academic year 2004-2005 is also a possibility.


D.  FYI – ASFAC Meets on October 10.  Just a reminder that there is no Senate on October 10 because ASFAC will be meeting with Richard Fisher.


E.  The Environmental Studies Program.  Keith Edgerton stated that the program has been moved from the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning to the College of Arts and Sciences.  Dan Zirker, Dean of Arts and Sciences, stated that there are currently two searches running:  a Director/Geographer and an Ecologist/Zoologist.  Brent Roberts has stepped in for Paula Duffy to manage internships for Environmental Studies.  Dr. Zirker also stated that he sent out a letter to all the Environmental Studies students informing them of the move to Arts and Sciences, and so far none have called with concerns.  Some part-time faculty have been hired because a faculty member resigned at the last minute.


It was then noted that this program was moved with no approval or consultation of the Senate or any other body.  Dr. Park responded that this kind of move has never happened before.  The function of the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning is to incubate programs which will eventually move out of the College.  Randall Gloege, who is involved with the Environmental Studies program, stated that this program was ready to move much earlier than they expected.  Dr. Park stated that from now on, they will form a longer-term plan for such programs.


F.  Revival of a Course, Mary Susan Fishbaugh.  Dr. Fishbaugh stated that they are rolling their two Associate of Arts degrees in Special Education and Early Childhood into one degree.  This degree will be appropriate for Paraeducators.  OPI has recently changed the degree requirements for Paraeducators, so this degree is necessary for many of these workers across the state.  Dr. Fishbaugh stated that they are using many courses they already offer, but infusing more of what Paraeducators may need into the courses.  However, these workers need a reading course, but all the courses in the department are 300 or higher level.  The department wishes to “revive” EDUC 288, which was a foundations of reading course.  This course was deleted at semester conversion.  The Senate responded that if the course was deleted, a new course proposal will have to be brought forward.


It was also noted that the Senate should be very mindful of staffing patterns for the upcoming changes in the catalog.


G.  Report from the General Education Committee.  The official report (2001-2002) for the committee was distributed.  It was stated that the Senate has seen much of this information before.


It was then noted that what can be done with Gen Ed and getting it in the catalog are two different things.  This process has two phases.  The first was the work detailed in this report.  The second will be deciding the content of the Gen Ed program.  The Gen Ed Committee should begin meeting with departments.  It was also suggested that a deadline be established.


The Senate requested that the Gen Ed Committee map out a schedule of what they plan to accomplish and bring it to the Senate.  It was stated that the committee wanted a proposal for assessment to the Senate by December.


Ž Motion by Sandie Rietz, seconded by Mark Hardt to accept the General Education Committee Report 2001-2002 (Item 4) for information only.


Ž Motion carried with one opposed.


The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.


The next Senate meeting will be October 3.