January 29, 2003

Members Present:  Young, Gipp, Sherwood for Giroux, White, Kommers,
Schlotzhauer, Metz for Linker, Leech, Howard, Taylor, Stewart, Jones,
Yoo, Nehrir, Conant, Weaver, Amend, Locke, Levy, Cherry for Bogar,
Bond, Jelinski, Pratt, Fisher, Lynes-Hayes, Prawdzienski, Kempcke.

Members Absent: Morrill, Engel, Anderson, Chem Engr, Lefcort, Engl,
Idzerda, Lynch, Knight, Hoffman.

Others Present: Bandyopadhyay, Dooley, Fedock.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Rich Howard at 4:10 PM.  A
quorum was present.  The minutes of the January 22, 2003, meeting were
approved as distributed.

Chair's report - Rich Howard.
     - Members of the Joint Sub-Committee on Education were on campus
          - The Faculty Council Chair and other members of UGC
          Steering Committee, presented concerns of the faculty that
          are relevant to the legislature.
          - The page of information shared with the Sub-Committee was
          distributed to Faculty Council members present.
          - Concerns highlighted include erosion of salary and
          benefits and the need for continuing state support for the
          Extension Service and the Agricultural Experiment Station.
          - The university's role as one of the state's major economic
          engines was also highlighted.
          - Jim Mitchell, Director of the Student Health Service,
          spoke to the concerns of professional employees regarding
          inadequate salaries and the difficulty this creates in
          hiring and keeping employees.
          - Richard Stafford, Chair of CEPAC , addressed concerns of
          classified employees, which also center around inadequate
     - A proposal from a sub-committee of the Inter-Units Benefits
     Committee was discussed.  The proposal recommends that university
     employees making more than $50,000 receive less money for health
     insurance than they do now, and that this money be added to
     health insurance premiums for staff who make less than $25,000
     and who have dependents.
          -It was asked why this proposal does not appear to be
          negotiated through union representation when that appears to
          be a common route for changes to benefits.
          - During discussion, it was pointed out that this proposal
          allows the underlying problem of inadequate funding to be
          disguised.  There need to be long-term strategies to address
          Montana's non-competitive benefits.
          - Faculty are encouraged to e-mail their comments to Don
          Mathre (, Chair of the MSU Benefits
          Committee and a member of the Inter-Units Benefits
          Committee.  Doug Young is a faculty representative on the
          Benefits Committee and may also be contacted with comments.
          Doug will summarize comments from Faculty Council and
          forward them to Dr. Mathre.
     - A search firm has been hired to identify candidates for the
     Commissioner of Higher Education.
     - Doug Young, Professor in the Department of Ag Econ/Econ, will
     present information about the economic outlook for Montana and
     Montana taxation issues on Wednesday, February 12, at 4:00 PM,
     probably in the SUB.
          - The presentation will take the place of the regular
          University Governance Council meeting.
          - It will be advertised not only to the campus but also to
          the community.

Graduate Studies issues - Bruce McLeod, Dean of Graduate Studies.
     - Dean McLeod updated the Council on the progress of the
     electronic dissertation task force.
          - It is anticipated the option of a paper or electronic
          dissertation will be available by Fall Semester 2003.
          - If electronic dissertations work smoothly, electronic
          Master's theses will be considered.
          - The positive result of electronic dissertations is that
          the knowledge presented will be available worldwide.  This
          brings with it an increased responsibility level by the
          university, faculty, and students to make sure the quality
          of dissertations continues to be high.
          - Still to be considered by the task force are library
          issues such as copyright and long-term storage; ITC issues
          such as server, backup space, and additional personnel
          needs; student issues such as formatting and word
          processing; faculty issues such as advising; and issues that
          need to be worked out with publishers in cases where
          chapters of the dissertation are published before its
          - Electronic submission and electronic distribution will not
          necessarily occur at the same time, especially in cases
          where it is in the interest of the student and advisor to
          delay distribution of information.
     - As viewed by Dean McLeod, Graduate Council is a policy making
     body.  Course proposals are no longer reviewed by the Council but
     are reviewed within the Graduate Office.
          - To increase communication, Dean McLeod recommends that a
          Graduate Council liaison sit on Faculty Council and that a
          Faculty Council liaison sit on Graduate Council.
          - After brief discussion, Craig Stewart agreed to serve the
          role of liaison since he sits on both Councils until a more
          formal arrangement can be made.
          - In response to a question regarding dissemination of
          information, Dean McLeod stated that all policy changes from
          the Graduate Office are sent to deans and department heads
          and should be distributed to faculty from there.

As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:05 PM.

Joann Amend, Secretary              Richard Howard, Chair