March 1, 2000
PRESENT:  Sherwood, Burgess, Kommers, Peed, Neff, Leech, Benham,
          Larsen, Jost, Harkin, Nehrir, Mooney, Weaver, Amend, Locke,
          Lansverk, Levy, Bogar, Bond, Jelinski, Francis, McKinsey,
          Lynch, Butterfield, Scott, Griffith.

ABSENT: Ag Econ, Hatfield, O'Neill, McDermott, Anderson, Howard,
          Duncan, Fisher, Prawdzienski, Carlstrom.

The meeting was called to order by Chair John Amend at 4:10 PM.  A
quorum was present.  The minutes of the February 23, 2000, meeting
were approved as distributed.

Chair's report - John Amend.
     - Deadlines for input on the university budget are:
          - For sabbaticals - March 15
          - Recommendations to PEC regarding the rest of the budget -
          March 30

MSU's CATconnect Internet service - Mark Sheehan, Director, ITC.
     - Four years ago, MSU's modem access was outsourced to MCI, and
     CAT connect was created.  It has been a fairly successful
     program, with 2000 subscribers (3/4 of them students).
     - The CATconnect contract expires in May 2000.  Should ITC
     continue to devote resources (1/4 FTE) to facilitate this
     service?  Or- is the internet service marketplace now mature
     enough so other means of providing the service makes more sense,
     allowing ITC to devote the time and energy necessary to manage
     CATconnect to something else?
     - Should CATconnect or a similar service continue, or should
     something else be considered?
     - Possible options are DSL and wireless service.  If MSU put its
     support behind DSL service, it could be offered for about
     $50-$75/month, which includes basic telephone service.  At this
     time, it's available to residences within a three-mile radius of
     the US West central office, but within 2-3 years the entire
     valley will probably be serviced.  It was suggested a map be made
     available to show where DSL is currently available.
     - If there were enough subscribers, a wireless company might set
     up transceivers in most parts of the valley.  Laptop computers
     with this service could be used anywhere and used for internet
     - It was suggested a virtual domain be set up so names would not
     have to be changed each time a provider is changed.
     - Some departments still subsidize the service for faculty, but
     the subsidy varies.
     - This information should be shared with your departments.
     (Mark's handout is attached for members absent.  Please contact
     him with your comments.)

Faculty Affairs Committee report - None.

Report from SPBC and budget issues.
     - It is anticipated there will be an increase in funding of about
     $1.8 million next year (FY01) because of increases in tuition
     collected and state support.
     - There are line items that were known before budgeting began:
          - Sabbaticals, raises for faculty, raises for contract
          professionals, raises for classified staff, GTA/GRA pay plan
     - There are unforseen expenses:
          - Utility cost increase, athletics expenditures, President
          search, Banner consultants
     - There are proposals to improve academic quality:
          - Summer school, core curriculum, Big Sky Institute match,
          Graduate Studies, Library, Museum, and Others
     - There are about $73 million for FY01 for the benefits pool,
     computer costs (ITC not-for-fee services), audit membership,
     physical plant, VP for Administration and Finance, VP for
     Research, VP for Student Affairs, Provost, and the President.
     - Increases in one area create decreases in other areas, if the
     increases total more than the $1.8 million additional revenue

     - It was suggested sabbaticals be discussed first, because a
     decision is to be made about them by March 15.
     - A resolution from Billy Smith and supported by other faculty in
     Letters and a memo from Michael Peed were distributed.  Last year
     220 faculty returned a survey to support and to actually increase
     sabbatical funding.
     - During discussion, the following points were made.
          - The reputation of MSU around the country is not improved
          by cutting sabbaticals.
          - Although concern was expressed that sabbaticals appear to
          be singled out first for a cut, there was agreement that the
          issue must be decided first as a courtesy to faculty who
          applied for the sabbaticals and to the places where these
          faculty will be working if they receive the sabbatical.
          Sabbaticals have been neither singled out nor privileged.
          The campus is a community, so everything must be equally
          - Last year, it was said raises wouldn't be used again to
          balance the budget, if faculty were willing to wait several
          months at that time to receive them.
          - Sabbaticals are a small part of the budget, but they
          greatly affect the morale of the faculty.
          - What principles is the administration using to prioritize
          cuts?  That is still not clear.
          - What principles will Faculty Council use to make
          recommendations?  Some principles for setting the budget
          were determined by Faculty Council in the spring of 1998.
          - Jack Jelinski stated that the issue of sabbaticals and
          raises is being put in the context of "if faculty get
          sabbaticals and raises, it's harming the rest of the
          university".  It doesn't appear there has been an effort to
          manage the budget.  Faculty don't have a moral
          responsibility to balance the budget, but the people who
          made the budget do have a responsibility to manage it.
          - Adding new programs and initiatives and delaying raises
          moves the problem of balancing the budget into the next
          year.  If the budget has to be balanced, it should come from
          new initiatives and programs.
          - John Miller stated he took the opposite viewpoint.
          - John Sherwood said that if faculty raises are always
          delayed to balance the budget, nothing will happen in
          strategic planning.
          - Delaying salaries doesn't deal with the underlying
     - Peter Kommers listed the principles outlined in the April 1998
     memo to the President and the Provost:
          - Try to put the university on a more stable platform.  Talk
          about what's important, using the Long Range Plan and the
          Mission Statement as guides.
          - There needs to be some meaningful reallocation.
     - Ed Mooney pointed out that additions to the area of the
     Provost's budget would more than off-set the cost of sabbaticals.
     - Jack Jelinski moved the following: Faculty Council strongly
     objects to any curtailment or elimination of sabbaticals for next
     year or in the future.  Council realizes that the university is
     facing financial problems but does not believe that limiting the
     sabbatical program is a desirable or acceptable solution to the
     problems.  The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 PM.

Joann Amend, Secretary