January 16, 2002
PRESENT:  Young, Sherwood, Engel/McDermott, Kommers, Leech, Benham,
          Howard, Stewart, Larsen, Jones/Lewandowski, Ross, Nehrir,
          Amend for McClure, Locke, Lansverk,  Bogar, Jelinski,
          Idzerda, Lynch, Fisher, Lynes-Hayes, Butterfield, Kempcke.

ABSENT:   Hatfield, Morrill, White, Anderson, Peed, Linker, Mooney,
          Lefcort, Weaver, Levy, Henson, Pratt, Griffith, Carlstrom.

The meeting was called to order by Chair John Sherwood at 4:10 PM.  A
quorum was present.  The minutes of the December 5, 2001, meeting were
approved as distributed.

Chair's report - John Sherwood.
     - The MSU-Bozeman FY03 Strategic Priorities (attached to agenda)
     were approved by the Strategic Planning Committee.  They focus on
     recruitment, retention, and quality enhancements.   They will be
     used for the coming fiscal year, allowing time to develop
     longer-range priorities.
     - The 10-month pay period for AY faculty will go into effect with
     the 2002-2003 academic year.
          - The 10-month pay period will be the default for AY
          faculty.  Faculty with summer salaries may choose a 9-month
          pay option for the academic year by requesting it through
          the faculty's academic department.
     - Proposed information technology policies for the Montana
     University System will be discussed at this week's Board of
     Regents meeting.  (The policies may be viewed at
          - Generally, comments received by Chair Sherwood have
          mentioned the policies are overly-restrictive for a
          - The message to be taken to the Board of Regents meeting is
          that employee and student groups at MSU are not happy with
          the proposed policies.
          - Rufus Cone, a member of the committee that developed the
          policies, has some IT policies from other universities that
          appear to be better suited to the MUS.
     - University Governance Council Steering Committee will meet with
     the President's Executive Council January 31.
          - Issues the President wants to discuss include university
          planning, financial health of MSU, preparation for the next
          legislative session, and integration among the four MSU
          - Faculty and professionals have some agenda items they
          would like to bring to the meeting, also.

Discussion with Marilyn Wessel, Dean and Director of the Museum of the
Rockies (MOR).
     - The Museum of the Rockies was founded in 1957 by Dr. Merrill
     Burlingame and Dr. Caroline McGill.  It began as a museum of
     western history.
     - In 1965, a Board of Trustees was established.  The board
     includes students, faculty, two deans, and community members.
     - All MOR employees are employees of the State of Montana.  The
     present building, dating back to 1972, is owned by the state and
     leased  to the Museum for $300,000/year.
     - The Museum's operating budget for 2002 is $2.7 million.  The
     university contributes a little less than one-third of the total,
     and the remainder comes from memberships, entry fees and Museum
     store sales, endowments and contributions.
     - The Museum of the Rockies is the only university museum in
     Montana, although there are about 9,000 of them nationwide.  The
     MOR is the largest of the four fully-accredited museums in
     - The purpose of any museum, including the MOR, is to present
     information, much as a library does, but to present it in
     three-dimensional form.
     - About 3,000 MSU students per year are assigned work in the MOR.
     - Students at MSU may receive a minor in Museum Studies.  It is a
     collaboration between the Museum, the Department of History and
     Philosophy, and other departments.  The current cost of the minor
     is less than $10,000/year.
     - Curatorial staff at the Museum teach in several departments.
     Support for graduate students is available, especially in
     Paleontology.  Last year, the five curators published eight
     articles in juried journals and one book.  The Museum is involved
     in joint grant proposals with departments.
     - Looking ahead, a substantial expansion of the paleontology
     exhibit is anticipated.  Greater emphasis on showing the public
     how research is conducted is planned.
     - The Museum is looking for sponsorship so MSU students would not
     have to pay an admission fee to visit.
     - The goal for admissions is 150,000 - 170,000 each year.  The
     number of admissions was down somewhat in 2001, probably
     indicating the downturn in the economy.
     - The MOR works with the American Computer Museum and the Pioneer
     Museum, borrowing and loaning items for various exhibits.
     - New exhibits are developed during the year to provide new
     information for visitors.
     - The possibility of a paleontology graduate program at MSU is in
     early discussion.
     - The Museum views itself as the front door to the university and
     as an important recruiting tool for MSU.

Faculty Affairs Committee report - Ron Larsen.
     - Sabbatical applications have been reviewed, and recommendations
     have been forwarded to the Provost.  Final decisions are expected
     by the end of January.

Proposed Change to the Course Drop Policy - Vice Provost Joe Fedock.
     - A recommendation to allow students to drop a course on-line or
     in person at the Registrar's Office was made by the Recruitment
     and Retention Task Force.  The change would ease the amount of
     paperwork to be done early in the semester by not requiring the
     instructor or advisor's signature.
     - As written, the change would allow the dropping of courses
     during the first 10 instructional days of the semester.  Course
     adds will still require the signature of the instructor and the
     - The instructor will have to check the class list on-line
     regularly during the first two weeks of class to know when
     openings in the class occur.  Would there be a way to notify the
     instructor when a student drops the course?
     - It was pointed out that a "wait list" feature appears on
     Banner, and activating it would help instructors keep track of
     vacancies in classes.
     - It was pointed out that when students make unilateral decisions
     about dropping courses, the decision can have serious
     consequences, including delaying graduation by a year.  Input
     from the instructor and advisor are important to students.
     - The issue of misconduct by a student with no consequences was
     discussed by the Recruitment and Retention Task Force.  Any
     significant misconduct would most likely occur later in the
     - A number of instructional days other than 10 can be considered,
     if it seems appropriate.
     - If there are significant concerns for the proposed change,
     please contact Provost Fedock or Faculty Council Chair Sherwood.
     - It was pointed out that currently, if a student does not attend
     the first three class periods in a class, the instructor has the
     option of dropping the student to make space for students on a
     waiting list.

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

Joann Amend, Secretary              John Sherwood, Chair