ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES

 

 

DATE:            March 3, 2005

 

PRESENT:     Alan Davis                                                   Lorrie Steerey

                        Sandie Rietz                                                 Audrey ConnerRosberg

                        Mary Susan Fishbaugh                                 Randall Gloege

                        Noreen Lee

                        Tasneem Khaleel (ex-officio)                        Janie Park (ex-officio)

                                                                                          

ABSENT:       Mark Hardt – excused                                Paul Bauer – excused

                        Keith Edgerton – excused                            Bruce Brumley – excused

                        Connie Landis – excused                             Matt Redinger – excused

                        Amanda Mears (student)                              Emily Valenzuela (student)

                        Carl Hanson (ex-officio)                               Joe Michels (ex-officio)

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

                        John Cech (ex-officio)                                  Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)

                        Curt Kochner (ex-officio)

 

PRESIDING: Randall Gloege, Vice Chair

 

 

Randall Gloege called the meeting to order at 3:41 p.m. in the Chancellor’s Conference Room.

 

The minutes of February 24 were accepted as presented.

 

I.          DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS

 

A.  Further Budget Discussion

 

It was noted that the Chancellor’s response to the Academic Senate’s memo regarding budget cut suggestions was that they may or may not take any of the suggestions.  Janie Park, Provost, noted that it’s still too early to tell what we will have to cut.  The Chancellor needs more information about how a 10% cut is going to affect all departments before he makes any further decisions.  Also, we don’t know what the legislature is going to do for our funding for the next biennium—we won’t know until June.

 

It was cited that this isn’t a “regular” budget cut (if there is such a thing); this is an emergency situation for our campus.

 

Dr. Park observed that cutting academic programs that are no longer of interest to students is a healthy thing for a University to do.  However, cutting programs does not immediately save money, because we have contracts with the faculty involved, so they have to be re-settled in some other department.  After that, the campus will begin saving money from the excised program.

 

It was stated that just like cutting a program doesn’t immediately save money, hiring faculty doesn’t immediately grow a program.  The faculty we hired this year need time to grow their programs.

 

It was noted that our targets are always set too high, and we pay for it.  Dr. Park stated that the amount of money we get is based on our past FTE, not our targets.  We would get the same amount of money (based on last year’s FTE), regardless of our FTE target.  Low enrollment equals low funding.

 

It was remarked that the faculty can’t really blame the administration for the budget shortfall.  We are all responsible for our budgetary problems.  It was noted that each department can only do its little part of the puzzle.  Dr. Park cited that she has discussed with the deans the idea of funding high FTE programs and not subsidizing low FTE programs.  It was noted that a blanket policy probably wouldn’t work because programs are so different:  some may have lecture classes with 150 students, while others have a one-on-one setting with only 10 students.

 

The question was raised as to why it is so hard to educate the legislature and the Board of Regents on how badly the current funding model hurts this campus.  Dr. Park noted that many people, including some in the Commissioner’s Office, know that the funding model is harmful, but the two big campuses will lose money if the funding model is made more fair.  Those units have too much power with the legislature and the Board of Regents, to allow that to happen.

 

Another question was posed as to why our enrollment reserve is double what the Board of Regents requires.  Dr. Park stated that Bozeman and Missoula chose the 2% that is now the rule.  The two flagship units have these huge pots of money (grants and such) that are available to them—they don’t even need an enrollment reserve—but the smaller campuses don’t have those pots of money, so they must keep enrollment reserves that are much larger than the 2%.  Dr. Park also agreed that we are trying to do too much.

 

It was noted that we need to think outside the box and we need time for our Recruitment & Retention Task Force to implement their ideas.  Dr. Park stated that it is too late for FY06; the cuts have to be made.  We can, however, make an impact on FY07.

 

B.  Fast Track Program – VTEM Recommends Dissolution

 

Audrey ConnerRosberg noted that the memo from VTEM (Vocational-Technical Educators of Montana) is for the Senate’s information.  The COT Faculty think that the Fast Track program has not been productive enough to warrant its continued existence, and the quality of Fast Track courses is poor.  Dean Cech responded that the quality of the courses needs to be assessed against regular courses to see if they are lower quality.  It was noted that Fast Track is a delivery method, not an academic program, which is why the Senate did not have input on it.  It was noted that the Senate agrees that a new program needs a few years to establish itself.

 

It was observed that the COT faculty must have some data that would prompt them to send this resolution.  We should ask for that information.

 

Ž Motion by Sandie Rietz, seconded by Lorrie Steerey to submit a formal request to VTEM for the information on which their resolution is based.

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

C.  Information Literacy Category in Academic Foundations – What does it mean?

 

Randall Gloege, member of the Academic Foundations Committee, stated that the category is based on a submission by Brent Roberts of the Library, which was distributed to the Senate.  Dean Khaleel agreed to take this explanation to the Arts and Sciences Chairs.

 

D.  Format for New Certificates

 

Ž Motion by Lorrie Steerey, seconded by Sandie Rietz to approve the Format for New Certificates.

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

Ž Motion by Noreen Lee, seconded by Alan Davis to have a second reading of the Format for New Certificates at the next Senate meeting.

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 4:52 p.m.

 

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