ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES
DATE: November 5, 2009
PRESENT: Dan Yazak Don Larsen
Sandie Rietz Paul Bauer
Rakesh Sah Lorrie Steerey
Keith Edgerton Doug Brown
Mark Hardt Steve Coffman
Michael Barton (student) Diane Duin (ex-officio)
Mary Susan Fishbaugh (ex-officio) John Cech (ex-officio)
Karen Heikel (ex-officio) Sue Balter-Reitz (ex-officio)
ABSENT: Craig McKenzie Bruce Brumley
Jeff Sanders* Tasneem Khaleel (ex-officio)*
Gary Young (ex-officio) D’Ann Campbell (ex-officio)*
Terrie Iverson (ex-officio) Stacy Klippenstein (ex-officio)
GUEST: Patricia Vettel-Becker
PRESIDING: Lorrie Steerey, Chair
Lorrie Steerey called the meeting to order at 3:41 p.m. in the Chancellor’s Conference Room.
The minutes of October 29 were accepted as presented.
It was noted that the informal style of the recent Senate meetings is no longer working. The Senate will return to formal Robert’s Rules, so any person wishing to speak first has to get the attention of the chair, and only Senators will sit at the table.
I. ITEMS – FOR INFORMATION/APPROVAL
Item 12 BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Art. New program.
̃ Motion by Steve Coffman, seconded by Sandie Rietz to take Item 12 up from the table.
̃ Motion carried.
̃ Motion by Steve Coffman, seconded by Dan Yazak to approve Item 12.
Patricia Vettel-Becker, Chair of Art, stated that this program is a result of student requests for a BFA. The BA in Art currently has five areas of specialization and the Studio Art area was basically all the work of a BFA. NASAD, the art accrediting body, said the BA Studio Art area of specialization is inconsistent and we need to call it what it is: a BFA. This is a Level II BOR change, and Bozeman and Missoula are in support of MSUB offering a BFA. There is nothing the Art Department needs to offer this course, no staffing, no additional funds. Dr. Vettel-Becker also noted that about 2/3 of their majors are the non-teaching majors, and a majority of them will go for the BFA. This will result in about 10 to 12 BFA graduates per year.
̃ Motion carried.
̃ Motion by Steve Coffman, seconded by Dan Yazak to waive a second reading of Item 12.
̃ Motion carried.
II. DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS
A. Procedure for New Program Approval
It was noted that the Deans, even as ex-officio members of the Senate who do not sit at the table, are still members of this body.
It was stated that in the past, the Senate has tried to do a parallel process for campus and BOR approval of new programs. This has not worked because the two processes do not stay in parallel.
It was cited that what the Senate really needs is the exact BOR procedure: deadlines, proposal information, etc. It would be terrible to have faculty do extensive work to develop curriculum for a program, get Senate approval, and then be denied by the BOR because of some missing or incorrect part of the proposal.
The question was raised as to whether there are any new programs coming down the line any time soon. It was noted that the COT will be proposing a Certificate of Applied Science in Wind Energy/Alternative Energy in March, 2010.
It was stated that the process beginning with approval of the curriculum on campus before going to the BOR is fine, but we need to have it documented. Currently, our practice in this area is not written down anywhere. We also need to clarify that “the wish list,” our list that tells the BOR what we may be putting forward in the next couple years, cannot be considered approval of any program.
It was noted an alternative to the current process of campus approval first would be an idea for a new program could be presented to the Senate as an information item prior to it ever going to the BOR. No curriculum would be developed at that time. When the Senate receives the information item, it would automatically trigger the campus curriculum process to begin. Then, if a program proposal goes to the BOR without notice to the Senate, the Senate asks to have it pulled from the BOR agenda. If it is not pulled from the agenda, the Senate must go to the Regents and inform them of the situation.
It was noted that this “information item” idea is basically what just happened to the Senate with the BFA. The Senate’s biggest concern is that a program will receive BOR approval and then an administrator will say the Senate must approve the curriculum regardless of any problems because the BOR have already approved it and students are waiting. It was stated that the budget and staffing for any new program is included in the BOR paperwork.
It was cited that the Chancellor’s Office is the contact point for sending Level I and II items to the BOR. The Senate could simply ask to receive a copy of any and all items sent to the BOR.
It was noted that our campus curriculum process is to protect faculty ownership of the curriculum. The Senate having exclusive approval of a new program proposal does not allow the departments, colleges, and the UCC to have a say or even be informed. It was cited that we don’t want to lose out on a new program because of our timing with the BOR.
It was stated that really the Senate needs to know the BOR approval process, how much paperwork is involved, how long it takes to get BOR approval, and how much lead time we really need. If our campus process causes a six month delay in a new program, that’s terrible. It was countered that faculty still need the opportunity to be involved in the process, and speeding up the process may diminish that opportunity. Perhaps instead we should use the CPSLL to develop programs that need fast approval and are not intended to last over time. The programs meant to last would still go through the regular process.
It was noted that the BOR accept new programs in January and July. It can take up to two years for a program to make it through the Senate and then the BOR. Having a parallel approval process is more efficient, but due to breaks in the academic year, this situation comes up where the BOR approve before the Senate has seen the program.
It was suggested that the Senate could request periodic updates from the Deans about what new programs are beginning the approval process.
The question was raised as to whether there will be curriculum changes associated with the China program. Will the Chinese universities ask us to change our curriculum, and will our administration ask for approval on short notice? There is a concern that we will have to restructure our programs to meet the demands of the Chinese universities. The International Studies Office will be consulted on this issue.
It was suggested that we ask the BOR if they could make a transmittal form a part of their proposals, just like the Senate uses, so the BOR can see who has actually approved a new program.
Dr. Steerey stated that she will contact the BOR and the Deputy Commissioner of Academic & Student Affairs to learn the proper procedures and timelines for a new program. She will also consult with other units’ faculty representatives at the BOR meeting in two weeks to learn what other units do in proposing new programs. The next Senate meeting will be in December and we will have a draft policy for review.
B. Program Advisory Boards
Dean Fishbaugh stated that the College of Education is currently working on forming an advisory board. They had thought about a board for each program, but that seemed to be too many groups and too much time devoted to meetings. Instead, they are working toward meeting with the Montana Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) as a means to develop a two-way discussion about all programs in the COE. This advisory board would not be a part of shared governance and will not be a governing board.
It was noted that the faculty concern is that there is already good communication with the community and colleagues outside the University. This will likely develop into more work for the faculty to prepare presentations and information for this board.
It was cited that some boards are strong and make a good complement to a program, while others are weak and are mainly a means for fundraising. Advisory boards can be helpful in accreditation and grant writing. Dean John Cech noted that the College of Technology has 15 program advisory boards and an overall advisory board for the College. They are helpful in providing advice for program areas. It was stated that the key to an advisory board is that they only advise; they do not make policy. The University benefits in two ways, because we learn the pulse of the workforce and the board members are out in the community talking about MSUB programs.
It was stated that the problem is when faculty are asked to add to their already full plate to prepare research or presentations for an advisory board. In a small program, it will fall to the same faculty member every time. The meetings need to have structure, and who is to decide that structure? The Deans?
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.