ACADEMIC SENATE RETREAT MINUTES
DATE: August 25, 2005
PRESENT: Mark Hardt Lorrie Steerey
Sandie Rietz Paul Bauer
Audrey ConnerRosberg Keith Edgerton
Bruce Brumley Noreen Lee
Craig McKenzie Matt Redinger
George White (ex-officio)
ABSENT: Randall Gloege – excused
PRESIDING: Keith Edgerton, Chair
Keith Edgerton called the meeting to order at 10:36 a.m. in the Missouri Room of the SUB.
I. Welcome – Keith Edgerton, Chair
Dr. Edgerton welcomed the Senators back to another year, and
noted that two Senators have left: Alan
Davis moved on to another university and Mary Susan Fishbaugh is now the
Interim Dean of the
II. Discussion with Interim Provost White
Dr. Edgerton invited Interim Provost George White to speak a bit on himself and how he hopes to manage the job of Provost.
Dr. White stated that he will have some terms that come up
again and again, such as CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement). We are always doing CQI, but we need
reliable, valid measures. The Board of
Regents has mandated that all academic programs will have a cyclic review every
seven years, beginning with this fall.
Fall 2008 is our next
Dr. White also noted that he finds it important to celebrate every milestone and also have fun at work. He does not want to suffer a “death by meetings.”
Several Senators stated that, with the previous Provost, many decisions were already made before the Senate was ever asked for input, if it was even asked. The Senate would like to re-establish an open dialog—collaboration rather than confrontation. The Senate also wants to be involved in the national search for Provost (which will begin this fall).
Sandie Rietz noted that as Dean of the
Dr. White also noted that he will not make promises he
cannot keep. He is putting together a
task force to begin the three years of work preparing for the
It was also requested that the Senate begin a year-long dialog with Provost White about our business and marketing plans.
III. Other Discussion Items
A. ASMSU-B Survey: Advising Center
It was noted that this survey does not state how many students took the survey, and whether COT students were included. Lorrie Steerey stated that she would talk to the student senators involved and find out more information.
B. New Board of Regents Policies
Keith Edgerton stated that the BOR seems to be headed for uniformity across the University System. Those changes include minimum course grades, use of the plus/minus grading system by all units, a university system GPA in addition to a institution GPA, and evaluation of student transfer credits.
It was noted that our administration has said that MSU-Billings faculty do not have to use plus/minus grading. When students who have pluses and minuses on their transcript transfer in, those notations will be reflected on their MSU-Billings transcript. However, we do not have to use plus/minus for our courses if we don’t want to. It was noted that the Senate cannot dictate how faculty will grade. The question was raised as to whether use of plus/minus will be an individual, department, discipline, or college decision. It was observed that faculty need information on this, and Vice Chancellor Curt Kochner will most likely be supplying some at the Opening Meeting.
It was noted that we are already calculating both an institutional and university system GPA for all students.
It was stated that the evaluation of student transfer credits, which has taken years in some unfortunate instances, will be done in 10 days as mandated by the BOR.
The BOR also approved a modified general education policy, which states (among other things) that students who have completed less than 20 credits of gen ed when transferring must complete their current schools’ gen ed requirements. Students transferring with 20 or more credits of gen ed completed will have a choice between completing their current school’s requirements or the MUS Core, which is only 30 credits. The BOR is also starting a system-wide General Education Council, which only has four faculty representatives. Faculty must be nominated for this council.
C. Chair Elect
Þ Matt Redinger nominated Lorrie Steerey for the position of Chair Elect, and Sandie Rietz seconded.
Þ Mark Hardt nominated Audrey ConnerRosberg for the position of Chair Elect, and Noreen Lee seconded.
Votes were taken by ballot. Audrey ConnerRosberg won the vote. Her term begins immediately.
D. Update on Academic Foundations status
Mark Hardt, Chair of the Academic Foundations Committee
stated that they are getting ready to implement. They will start meeting the second week of
classes to begin reviewing the submissions.
Also the Committee still needs one member from the
E. Recruitment & Retention Survey
The survey is ready to go and will be distributed at the Opening Meeting next Thursday. Also the Task Force will need a replacement for Alan Davis. Keith Edgerton volunteered to join the task force.
F. Response from Chancellor Sexton: Budget & Communication Issues
Dr. Edgerton stated that the Chancellor did respond to our various issues last spring, but classes had ended. He responded on the number of lecturers and LOAs, but only for the main campus. The COT was not included in the numbers. He also responded about the fitness center and the baseball program.
It was noted that lecturers have to be reappointed every year—every spring they worry if they will have a job. Some of our lecturers have been here 8 to 10 years. After a certain point, they should become permanent. It was further noted that losing faculty leads to poor program quality, so this is also and assessment issue.
It was cited that at the COT, there are many programs with 40 students in them and no full-time faculty to run the program. Several programs are run by part-time faculty, and the administration has no plans to hire full-time/permanent faculty. Many issues have arisen because the COT Faculty have a different contract, and the administration has taken advantage of that fact. It was suggested that the Senate get a report of the working conditions out at the COT, or at least get the numbers for the COT that the Chancellor has already supplied for the main campus.
The meeting adjourned at 1:45 p.m.