November 1, 2000

PRESENT:  Sherwood, Kommers, Linker, Leech, Benham, Stewart, Larsen,
          Jost, Nehrir, Mooney, McMahon, Amend for McClure, Lansverk,
          Levy, Bogar, Jelinski, Kirkpatrick, McKinsey, Lynch, Fisher.

ABSENT:   Young, Hatfield, Morrill, Miller, White, Anderson, Peed,
          Howard, Harkin, Lefcort, Locke, Bond, Prawdzienski,
          Butterfield, Scott, Griffith, Carlstrom.

The regularly-scheduled meeting was called to order by Chair Ron
Larsen at 4:10 PM.  It was determined a quorum was present.  The
minutes of the October 25, 2000, Faculty Council meeting were approved
as distributed.

Chair's report - Ron Larsen.
     - A forum for local legislative candidates will be held this
     evening at 7:00 PM in SUB Ballroom C.  Faculty are encouraged to
     attend and to ask candidates if they support the $500/student
     additional funding requested for the Montana University System.
     - A Faculty Council website has been established at  Membership, meeting agendas
     and minutes, and handouts such as Faculty Handbook revisions are
     posted there.
     - The Hewlett Committee will not meet with University Governance
     Council next Wednesday.  They have asked to meet with the Council
     at a later date, after they have gathered more information.

Faculty line policy - Interim Provost Dooley (Discussion continued
from last week)
     - The criteria for implementing the policy, as adopted by the
     deans, were discussed.
          - "Opportunities" is one of the most difficult categories
          about which to make judgements without a university-level
          strategic plan.  In the interim, college strategic plans
          will be used for that purpose.
     - A handout indicating how the policy has been applied this year
     was distributed.  The policy could have been applied to 24
     faculty and professional lines.  To date, the number of faculty
     lines authorized to be filled is 16.  The number of vacant
     faculty lines not subject to the policy is one, and the number of
     professional lines allowed to be retained is two.
          - The total set aside because of lines not filled is
          $740,000.  One-half of this is retained by the affected
          colleges, one-half reverts to the Provost's Office.  Of the
          Provost's half, $310,000 has been returned to colleges to
          make sure classes are covered and other obligations made
          during the implementation of the new policy are fulfilled.
     - Deans are given flexibility in using money retained by or
     returned to colleges for purposes other than funding faculty
     lines, if they feel it is in the best interest of the college.
     - In response to a question, Provost Dooley stated it is
     understood that there may be an unintended consequence of
     reducing tenurable positions and increasing adjunct faculty
     lines, but deans and the Provost are sensitive to the issue and
     would not want to weaken the research/scholarship mission of
     colleges by a substantial reduction in tenurable faculty lines.
     He also stated he would consider adding a statement to the
     policy, with the deans' agreement, that everything possible will
     be done not to reduce the current number of tenurable lines.
     - A vacant faculty line will be discontinued in a college if a
     dean does not need it.  The money returned to the college may be
     used for purposes other than a tenurable faculty position if the
     dean makes a case for it.  The discontinued faculty line may go
     to another college or be completely terminated.
     - It was suggested during discussion that all sources of income
     within the university be considered in order to provide
     flexibility.  The Budget Director now reports to the President,
     and this may be a step in the direction of looking at all
     university budgets and making allocations across boundaries of
     vice presidents.  It was affirmed that the SPBC is responsible
     for planning related to all University budgets, not just the
     instructional budget.
     -Chair Larsen distributed for comment a proposed data sheet for
     faculty line reversion (attached for members absent).

Enrollment and its budget implications - Craig Roloff.
     - Information regarding enrollments and revenue implications was
     distributed.  This information indicates that the MSU budget is
     very sensitive to minor enrollment changes.
     - Factors that have affected enrollment this fall include:  a
     slightly lower rate of enrollment in freshman who submitted
     applications this year in comparison to the past, a slight
     decrease in student credit hours carried by the average student,
     and a slight drop in retention.
     - At issue is whether this is a one-year happening or the
     beginning of a trend.
     - There are factors that need to be considered in projecting
     future enrollment.
          - MSU traditionally has strong student enrollment from
          counties in eastern Montana (which tend to be losing
          population) and UM tends to have strong student enrollment
          from counties in western Montana (which tend to be gaining
          - Recruitment efforts may need to change.  Determine where
          out-of-state students who would be compatible with MSU are
          and do more recruiting in those areas.
          - Consider reasons why students are carrying less credits:
          Are they deciding to take five years to graduate, are they
          needing to work more to pay for school?
          - Continue to work toward increased retention of students.
     - MSU tries to be as accurate about enrollment projections as
     possible.  This is particularly critical because the university
     contingency fund is so small.  A 200-student contingency fund
     would require over $1 million.  Base commitments would have to be
     eliminated to have that much in reserve.
     - The shortfall in budgeted income is covered for this semester.
     However, attention needs to be given to improving the conversion
     factor (the relationship between student headcount and FTE) so
     additional funding is available.

As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:10 PM.

Joann Amend, Secretary                         Ron Larsen, Chair