April 2, 2003
Members Present: Sherwood for Giroux, Kommers, Schmidt for
Schlotzhauer, Leech, Taylor, Seymour, Jones, Nehrir, Conant, Weaver,
Amend, Levy, Bogar, Bond, Jelinski, Pratt, Fisher, Lynes-Hayes,

Members Absent: Young, Gipp, Morrill, McDermott, White, Anderson,
Linker, Howard, Stewart, Yoo/Mumey, Lefcort/Bradley, Locke, English,
Idzerda, Lynch, Prawdzienski, Knight, Hoffman.

Others Present: Bandyopadhyay, Dooley, Fedock.

Joe Seymour is the new representative to Faculty Council from Chemical

The meeting was called to order at 4:10 PM by Chair Elect Warren
Jones.  A quorum was present.  The minutes of the March 26, 2003,
meeting were approved as distributed.

Chair's report - Chair Elect Warren Jones.
     - Chair Howard is attending a special session of the Board of
     Regents in Helena.
          - The regents are discussing and voting on taking advantage
          of the Montana University System's allowed exemption from
          the state workmen's compensation insurance plan.  A task
          force studied the issue thoroughly and project the
          university system could save $500,000 per year by becoming
          - The regents are also considering items that were not
          discussed at the March Board of Regents because of time
     - The University Planning, Budget and Analysis Committee is
     meeting weekly.
          - During yesterday's meeting, budget amendments which are
          highest priorities were discussed and ranked.
          - If money is available, three faculty lines will be added.
          - UPBAC is expanding the contingency reserve.  Much of the
          it would be an enrollment reserve to use to fund sections if
          there is a significant increase in students next year.
          - Buying the student recruitment services of Royall Company
          is a high priority, as is
          additional money for WebCT.
     - John Sherwood has been named head of the Department of Plant
     Sciences, effective May 1.

University Governance Council Nominating Committee report.
     - Nominations for faculty positions on university-wide committees
     may be submitted to Vicky York, Chair of the Nominating
     Committee, by April 4.
     - Nominations may also be submitted for Chair of the Faculty
     Affairs Committee and Chair Elect of Faculty Council.

Faculty Affairs Committee report - none.

Professional Development Task Force report  - John Sherwood.
     - Information regarding definition, rationale, and
     recommendations was distributed.
     - The task force is co-chaired by John Sherwood and Dean of
     Education, Health and Human Development Greg Weisenstein.
     Members of the task force include Anne Camper, John Hermanson,
     Mike Meyers, Greg Olson, Jay Schmidt, and Greg Young.
     - The report of the committee will be presented to the Provost by
     the end of the semester.
     - Deans were asked to describe the professional development
     opportunities available in their colleges.  From the responses
     (included in the distributed information) it is apparent there
     are many opportunities in addition to sabbaticals.  However, the
     opportunities across the campus are very uneven.
     - A survey of sabbatical programs among peer institutions was
     done.  The availability of sabbaticals at MSU is substantially
     lower than any of the peers, including UM.
     - Recommendations of the committee are:
          - Make professional development opportunities a priority.
          - Develop a web page listing the professional development
          opportunities at MSU.
          - Regularly evaluate existing professional development
          programs and distribute funds depending upon need and
          perceived benefits.
          - Establish a standing committee to perform these functions.
     - During discussion by the Council, several points were made.
          - The value of professional development in the university
          setting appears to be viewed differently across campus,
          because some departments address professional development in
          annual reviews and some do not.
          - It seems that the philosophy of sabbaticals has changed
          from an opportunity for renewal granted all faculty to a
          competitive research-oriented process based on a proposal
          similar to a grant proposal.  What are the sabbatical
          criteria for other institutions? A discussion of the
          appropriate philosophy to use at MSU may be in order.
          - The Buy-out for Enhancing Scholarship and Teaching (BEST)
          and the Scholarship and Creativity Grants are useful
          professional development tools, but they serve a different
          purpose from sabbaticals.
          - If more MSU faculty apply for sabbaticals, the need for
          funding additional sabbaticals may be more immediate.
          However, there appeared to be agreement that the current
          sabbatical form and its requirement for external review
          letters is a  deterrent to faculty's applying.  It is viewed
          as an imposition on colleagues to request a letter of
          review, particularly to substantiate a sabbatical proposal,
          so many faculty appear to be hestitant to do so.
          - Increasing expertise and effectiveness should be one of
          the main rationales for funding sabbaticals, and the
          external letters are not necessary to address this.
          - There was agreement by the Council and the Provost that a
          group - Faculty Affairs Committee, the standing committee
          proposed by the Professional Development Task Force, or some
          other group - should review the criteria for funding
          sabbaticals, and that this should be done before a call for
          sabbatical applications is made Fall Semester, if possible.
               - Chair Elect Jones will communicate this information
               to UGC Steering Committee at tomorrow's meeting.
               - Peter Kommers volunteered to serve on such a task

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

Joann Amend, Secretary         Warren Jones, Chair Elect