ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES

 

 

DATE:            October 19, 2006

 

PRESENT:     Agnes Samples                                            Mark Hardt

                        Rakesh Sah                                                 Bruce Brumley

                        Audrey ConnerRosberg                               Lorrie Steerey

                        Keith Edgerton                                            Gershon Bulgatz

                        Noreen Lee                                                 Matt Redinger

                        Janii Pedersen (student)                                Tasneem Khaleel (ex-officio)

 

ABSENT:       Sandie Rietz – excused                                Johanna Mitchell – excused

                        Craig McKenzie – excused                          Alicia Esteves (student)

                        David Garloff (ex-officio)                             Mary McNally (ex-officio)

                        John Cech (ex-officio)                                  Stacy Klippenstein (ex-officio)

                        Bob Carr (ex-officio)                                   Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)

                        Mary Susan Fishbaugh (ex-officio)               George White (ex-officio)

 

PRESIDING: Audrey ConnerRosberg, Chair

 

 

Audrey ConnerRosberg called the meeting to order at 3:47 p.m. in room B57 of the College of Technology.

 

The minutes of October 12 were approved with corrections.

 

I.          ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

 

Approved by the UCC 10/11/06

Item 9  HIST 312 The American Revolutionary Era, 1750-1789.  Change title and catalog description.

Item 10.b  HIST 332 Ancient History:  Greece.  Change title.

Item 10.c  HIST 333 Ancient History:  Rome.  Change title.

Item 10.d  HIST 336 The Renaissance.  Change title and catalog description.

Item 10.e  HIST 337 Reformation Europe, 1517-1648.  Delete course.

Item 10.f  HIST 338 Baroque Culture, Absolute Monarchy, the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution Europe, 1648-1815.  Change title.

Item 10.g  HIST 340 Industrialization, Nationalism, and Liberalism in Europe, 1815-1918.  Change title.

Item 10.h  HIST 461 The History of Germany, Since 1517.  Delete course.

Item 10.i  HIST 445 Everyday Life and Popular Culture in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe.  Delete course.

Item 10.j  HIST 331 The Ancient Near East.  New course.

Item 10.k  HIST 430 History of European Thought and Culture:  From the Enlightenment to the Present.  New course.

Item 10.Q  HIST 462 Topics in Modern European History.  New course.

Item 10.r  HIST 465 Topics in Modern Asian History.  New course.

 

Ž Motion by Lorrie Steerey, seconded by Bruce Brumley to accept Items 9, 10.b, 10.c, 10.d, 10.e, 10.f, 10.g, 10.h, 10.i, 10.j, 10.k, 10.Q, and 10.r for information.

 

Matt Redinger stated that these changes are mostly due to faculty members leaving and new faculty with new strengths and skills joining the department.

 

Ž Motion carried with one abstention.

 

Item 11  BA Major in English.  Modification of an existing program.

Item 11.a  ENGL 462 Studies in Literature and the Environment.  New course.

Item 11.b  ENGL 356 American Literature II.  Change course description.

 

Ž Motion by Bruce Brumley, seconded by Lorrie Steerey to accept Items 11, 11.a, and 11.b for information.

 

It was cited that there is no one here from English and Philosophy to speak to these changes.

 

Ž Motion by Keith Edgerton, seconded by Janii Pedersen to table Items 11, 11.a, and 11.b until a representative from English and Philosophy comes to a Senate meeting to explain the changes.

 

Item 13  HLTH 250 Health Occupations Terminology II.  Delete course.

 

Ž Motion by Lorrie Steerey, seconded by Keith Edgerton to accept Item 13 for information.

 

Dr. ConnerRosberg noted that the person who taught this course is no longer here, and no program requires the course.

 

It was noted that there is not a representative for this course either, so it should be tabled as well.  It was cited that the English and Philosophy changes don’t need to be tabled—the paperwork is there for Senators to read.  Dean Tasneem Khaleel stated she would be able to explain the changes if the Senate wishes.  It was noted that it is important for faculty to show up to Senate meetings because they are the ones controlling the curriculum.  A simple course deletion can be passed, but a program modification needs people present to explain.  This is a long-standing tradition of the Senate.

 

Ž Motion to accept Item 13 carried.

 

Item 16  Academic Foundations Document and Assessment Matrix.  Modifications made by the Academic Foundations Committee in response to Board of Regents requirement for oral communications.  For information.

 

Ž Motion by Noreen Lee, seconded by Matt Redinger to accept Item 16 for information.

 

Mark Hardt, Chairperson of the AFC, stated that originally oral communication was removed from the Academic Foundations proposal because the BOR did not require it.  Now the BOR is going to require an oral communication course, so the AFC added an oral presentation requirement to the Information Literacy subcategory of Academic Foundations.

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

II.         DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS

 

A.  Sabbatical Committee Nominees: List of those interested

 

The following list of volunteers was read:

Linda Christensen

Farzad Farsio

William Kamowski

Rachel Schaffer

Keith Edgerton

Connie Landis

Judy McEnany

Oliver Chen

James Nowlin

Judy McLaughlin

Neil Jussila

 

Ž Motion by Lorrie Steerey, seconded by Mark Hardt to approve the list and forward it to the Provost.

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

 

B.  Recruitment and Retention Survey, Fall 2005

 

Lorrie Steerey stated at the retreat in August, the Senate talked about picking out some action items from the results of the survey.  However, the Senate cannot fix the problems alone.  Dr. Steerey distributed a memo (below) to Provost White that reports the results of the survey and asks him to take action.  He can call together people from the appropriate areas to get this rolling.

 

The Academic Senate created a task force on Student Retention and Recruitment.  This task force included students and faculty from each college.  A survey was developed and administered to staff, faculty, and administration.  The results were compiled in a Microsoft Access database.  Several reports were prepared.  Attached are the reports indicating the top ten and bottom ten items for each of the groups (staff, faculty, and administration).  Then these reports were examined and compiled into a report showing what was important for all and for the groups.

 

Areas of Interest:

 

A student was asked to examine the reports and to give concerns and questions.  These follow:

 

  • Faculty do NOT think that the MSU-B webpage, catalog, and marketing materials need to be redesigned. 
    • Other than word of mouth, these are the only forms of communication to the “outside world” that MSU-B has.  These forms of media are crucial to the success of the college.  They need to be revised and updated as frequently as possible.

  • Administrators do NOT think that prerequisite checks are necessary when registering for classes.      
    • If the database of the college does not do prerequisite checks on transcripts when the registration process is started, students are going to end up in classes that they are not qualified to be in.  This poses as a huge problem.

  • Administration, staff and faculty do not think they need to change their attitudes toward students.
    • The administration, staff and faculty need to realize that the students ARE the reason they have a job.  If it was not for students, there would be nobody to teach.  Some employees at MSU-B (not all) have the attitude that the students are always wrong and that is simply incorrect.  The students are here to learn and are attending the University to better their future. 

 

  • Administration and staff do not think they need to improve treatment of parents.
    • Parents, for some students, provide financial support for their children while they are attending college.  The administration and staff need to realize that this is where their paycheck is coming from.  This University is viewed as a large business.  Businesses should treat all clients with respect. 

  • Administration and staff do not think transferring of courses is an issue that needs to be dealt with.
    • This is one of the largest issues addressed in the survey.  I have a tough time believing that courses that I take at MSU-Billings will not transfer to MSU-Bozeman or MSU-Northern, even when they have name of Montana State University associated with all of them.

 

The results were also discussed with faculty members.  Some of the concerns indicated:

 

  • Administration does not see the importance of a freshman webpage
  • Faculty do not think they need to examine their teaching practices to determine and to adjust to how students learn today
  • Administration and staff do not think that too many part-time faculty affect the quality of our programs

 

Only a few concerns are listed.  The report needs to be examined and discussed with appropriate groups.  These could include the Senate, the Deans, staff, etc.  The Senate encourages action on these reports so that plans can be implemented to improve not only attitudes but also student retention and the campus community.  Please report back to the Senate, by November 9, on your actions regarding this report.

 

Thank you.

 

Dr. Steerey noted that she tried twice to get the surveys to the ASMSU-B in the 2005-2006 year, and they did not come pick them up.  She stated that she would contact their faculty advisor.

 

C.  Governor’s Budget

 

It was cited that although the governor has a budget of $50 million over the next biennium, the legislature does not have to give the MUS that full amount.  If we agree not to raise tuition, and salary increases are only funded at 80%, we will have to reallocate within our budgets to make up the other 20% in salary increases.  It was noted that if tuition stays stable, more students might enroll.

 

Dean Khaleel noted that we may have to cut $1.4 million from our budgets this year, because we are currently down 200 FTE.

 

 

D.  MUS General Education Core

 

Dean Khaleel stated that the Montana University System General Education Council has been working on revising the general education core to make transfer as smooth as possible.  On the current proposal, which will be approved by the BOR most likely in November, the core is still 30 credits:

 

Natural Sciences

--at least one of the classes must have a laboratory experience

6 credits

Social Sciences/History

 

6 credits

Mathematics

 

3 credits

Communication

--English composition and oral communication

6 credits

Humanities/Fine Arts

 

6 credits

Cultural Diversity

 

3 credits

TOTAL CREDITS:

30 CREDITS

 

They are now asking all the units to submit courses that fit into the categories above.

 

According to BOR policies set last year, students can finish the 30 credit core at one unit and then transfer to another with their general education complete.  Students can also finish 2/3 (20) of the 30 credits at one unit and then transfer to another unit and only complete the remaining 10 credits rather than that unit’s full requirements, which can be 45 credits at some institutions.

 

The Indian Education for All requirement was also debated at length.  The Council agreed that most campuses do not have the resources to offer a course in Native American studies to cover every student.  What will go to the BOR in November is the Core as above, with some operational rules.  First, students must take a course that has “significant” American Indian content in any general education category.  “Significant” was not defined.  Also, students cannot double-count one course in two general education categories.  Further, students transferring to a unit that has a general education capstone will be required to take that capstone even if they have completed the 30 credit core.  Finally, students will no longer be allowed to CLEP any general education courses.

 

D.  Student Satisfaction Survey Explanation – Dean Tasneem Khaleel

 

Dean Khaleel stated that in Spring 2006, the survey was sent to every student.  The survey was conducted through a website.  The main campus had a response rate of 36% and the COT a rate of 23%.  Noel-Levitz, who conducted the survey for MSU-Billings at a cost of $7,500, uses a system where students indicate (1) the importance of an item and (2) their satisfaction with that item, and then (3) the gap between those is figured.  The lower the gap number, the closer we are to meeting that item.  Noel-Levitz also provides figures so we can compare our results with our peer institutions.  NWCCU requires that we do surveys like this, but not every year.

 

Dr. Khaleel noted that, in the past, students had told us they come here because we are cheap, but we are not their first choice.  This survey tells us 65% of respondents said we are their first choice.  When it comes to campus safety, undergrad students tended to say they felt safe, but graduate students did not feel safe.  This is probably because most graduate courses are taught in the evening.

 

As part of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), task forces have been formed to address the four major concerns that came out of this survey:

1.  eLearning

2.  Recruitment

3.  Retention

4.  Advising

 

If any Senators are interested in these task forces, please let Dr. Khaleel know.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:08 p.m.

 

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