This summary provides a synopsis of the significant findings associated with the nine (9) Standards of this Self- Study document. The report is organized such that at the end of each section the major conclusions associated with that Standard are presented. In addition, the institutional response or planned action related to the findings is discussed within each section of the document.
The University's Mission and planning documents have been appropriately reviewed and revised due in large part to the restructuring of the Montana University System. Assessment of institutional effectiveness has been integrated into the planning processes of the institution. University-level planning efforts are broadly based and are focused on linking strategic planning with budget allocations.
Montana State University - Bozeman has focused its educational program efforts on the following mission-related goals: emphasizing the centrality of the liberal arts and sciences to undergraduate education, integrating instruction with research and creative activity, promoting interdisciplinary educational opportunities, increasing the quality of undergraduate education through smaller classes and active learning, enhancing the quality and availability of the advising process, and increasing the quality of education through greater access to information technologies. The University has developed and implemented a decentralized model of assessment which demonstrates the effectiveness of its educational programs.
Departments within the Division of Student Affairs are well-organized and have set appropriate goals. Significant advancements have occurred in the areas of financial aid distribution, on-line registration, and other student-related financial services. The lack of knowledge by many campus constituencies of the programs and services available to studentshas limited the overall effectiveness of some initiatives.
Faculty at Montana State University - Bozeman are qualified and committed to their role in advancing the institution's mission and goals. Notable developments related to faculty issues which have occurred over the past ten (10) years include: enhanced faculty salary raises tied to work load increases, expansion of grants and contracts activity for most academic departments, implementation of capstone courses in all academic programs, significant revision of promotion and tenure processes, and improvements in shared governance. Faculty continue to face substantial challenges associated with limited academic unit operating budgets, underfunded faculty development programs, and expectations for instructional development using current information technology systems.
Montana State University - Bozeman has embraced advancing technologies to positively impact access to information resources throughout the institution. Development of a comprehensive electronic infrastructure has been the most notable advancement in the past decade. Collections, particularly those associated with research programs, remain an area of weakness due to funding issues. Building and physical space issues are problematic, but plans are being developed to address this concern. The Information Technology Center has evolved from a relatively isolated unit to an integrated component of the campus infrastructure.
Restructuring of the Montana University System has had significant impact upon the governance and administration of Montana State University - Bozeman. Additional responsibilities have been placed upon many campus administrators due to this restructuring. This institution's organizational structure is solid and functions satisfactorily. The Montana Board of Regents continues to maintain clear authority over the University. Campus administrative structures, including faculty and student governance bodies, remain functional and effective.
The University has developed standard practices which enhance management of its debt service obligations. Enrollment projections have become more accurate, and subsequent adjustment of budgets which are heavily dependent upon tuition revenues have become more refined. Substantial increases in fundraising activities associated with the Montana State University Foundation have occurred over the last decade. Concerns exist regarding the openness of the budget process and the lack of a longer-term strategic financial plan.
Major capital construction projects, including the Engineering/Physical Sciences Building, the Ag BioSciences Building, fieldhouse and stadium renovations, Centennial Mall construction, and the utility tunnel have greatly impacted the physical appearance and function of Montana State University - Bozeman since 1990. Facilities Services has improved the efficiency of its operations. Significant challenges exist with respect to inadequate budgets associated with building maintenance and other physical resources operations. Deferred maintenance projects remain problematic. Space utilization issues are necessitating increased attention, and physical resources design guidelines need to be better coordinated with academic development efforts.
Montana State University - Bozeman institutes appropriate policies and procedures for fair and equitable treatment of its students and employees. Policies are directed towards assuring institutional integrity. Communication of these policies to campus constituents could be improved.
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