October 2, 2002
MEMBERS PRESENT: Marlow for Gipp, Sherwood for Giroux, White, Kommers,
Schlotzhauer, Linker, Leech, Taylor, Howard, Jones, Nehrir, Conant,
McMahon for Weaver, Levy/Bandyopadhyay, Bogar, Jelinski, Idzerda,
Pratt/McKinsey, Fisher, Lynes-Hayes, Prawdzienski, Kempcke, Knight,
Faculty Affairs Committee Chair Metz.

MEMBERS ABSENT: Young, Morrill, Engel, Anderson, Stewart, Chem Engr,
Comp Sci, Lefcort, Amend, Locke, English, Bond, Lynch, Hoffman.

The meeting was called to order by Rich Howard, Chair, at 4:10 PM.  A
quorum was present.  The minutes of the September 25, 2002, Faculty
Council meeting were approved as distributed.

Chair's report - Rich Howard.
     - Student enrollment has increased this semester.  During brief
     discussion, it was noted that there may be various factors
     influencing the increase.

Discussion of President Gamble's comments regarding the role of
faculty in student retention.
     - The updated report on recruiting and retention is found at
     - The President defined retention as a faculty issue, and it
     appears he is serious about getting faculty input and their being
     proactive.  It is in the best interest of faculty to guide
     students to appropriate disciplines and impact faculty issues
     through this process.
     - Recruitment and retention is differentiated across campus.  The
     university needs to consider which areas have faculty/student
     ratios that have increased and areas where the available
     resources haven't kept pace with enrollment.  Qualitative issues
     need to be addressed.  It appears the administration takes a
     broad brush of the campus when recruitment and retention are
     - What per cent of the top 10% of students don't re-enroll?
     Consideration must be given to why any student leaves, not just
     the top 10%.
     - Retention appears to be a matter of "enrollment management".
     Potentially, there are programs that could absorb more students;
     some have too high of drop out rate; some have gates that can't
     be met by all, and where do those students go?  Students need to
     be redirected before they fail or drop out.
     - Concentrated advising centers in each college may be helpful.
     - There appears to be little data concerning students' reasons
     for leaving MSU.
     - If faculty are interested in working on a retention plan,
     please contact the Faculty Council Chair or Chair Elect.

Faculty Affairs Committee report - Walter Metz.
     - The Committee has finished a draft of a post-tenure review
     proposal and will submit it to UGC Steering Committee.

Enrollment and Retention - Vice President for Student Affairs Allen
Yarnell, Director of Admissions and New Student Services Ronda
Russell, and Registrar Chuck Nelson.
     - Vice President Yarnell addressed the issue of exit interviews
     raised earlier in the meeting.  They are done at MSU, but most
     students, in keeping with national findings, say that they leave
     for personal or financial reasons.  The information is not viewed
     as particularly useful.  It appears that out-of-state students
     who don't pass the academic gates do not choose another
     discipline at MSU but leave.
     - Since tentative enrollment numbers were brought to UPBAC, they
     have been updated and are higher than reported at that time.
     - Officially, MSU has 11,934 paid students this semester.  There
     are 2120 freshmen enrolled, up 225 from last fall.  There is an
     increased number of Montana students, and the projection of
     non-resident students was surpassed.  There is a small increase
     in high school GPA and ACT scores.  The number of transfer
     students was lower than anticipated.
     - An electronic survey is underway to determine why students came
     to MSU or did not come.  Money appears to be a big issue - cost
     and the lack of fee waivers or scholarships.
     - Out-of-state students, particularly, are choosing a university
     at the end of their sophomore year of high school.  Parents are
     playing a decisive role in the choice of school.
     - This year, the entire campus pulled together to make recruiting
     successful, and this appears to have made it a more positive
     experience for students and their parents.  The improvements in
     the efficiency of Financial Aid, with letters sent out much
     earlier, was a key to successful recruiting.  Forty per cent of
     the applications were received electronically.
     - Now, what can be done to retain students?  Many of them who
     leave aren't leaving because of their grades.
     - Royall was contracted by MSU a year and half ago to help
     recruit students from geographic areas where MSU does not
     normally recruit.  Although the company felt it was too late to
     impact this year's class, a targeted mailing was distributed, at
     a cost of $35,000 (including services).  So far, 17 non-resident
     students, paying $11,000 tuition plus room and board, have been
     tracked to Royall's activity.  Royall is now into the second
     cycle of recruitment.
     - A proposal has been made to the President's Executive Council
     that Royall services be expanded to include Montana high school
     students, with focus on Native American populations.  In Montana,
     the recruiting will begin with juniors instead of sophomores,
     because Montanans tend to make a decision about higher education
     later than students do in many parts of the country.
     - Montana high school classes will begin to decline after this
     year.  Traditionally, MSU draws more students from the eastern,
     less populated parts of the state.  The intent is to recruit more
     heavily across the entire state.  All high schools students
     meeting MSU's admission requirements will be included in the
     - Reasons Montana students leave the state for higher education
     include non-competitive honor scholarships, the lack of other
     competitive scholarships, and the fact that many students like to
     get away from home when they graduate from high school.
     - In response to a question, VP Yarnell stated that it is his
     personal bias that the Commissioner of Higher Education's attempt
     to make the smaller units of the University System more
     attractive by making them less expensive has not had an affect
     upon where students enroll.
     - In states on both the east and west coast, tuition and
     board/room are still higher than non-resident tuition and housing
     at MSU.  In some cases, non-residents wonder why it is not
     - UM and MSU are each others' largest feeder schools.

As there was no further, discussion, the meeting adjourned at 5:00 PM.

Joann Amend, Secretary          Richard Howard, Chair