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> Office of Planning & Analysis
PQO FY 1996 Report

Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes Agreement
Interim Report for FY 1996

September 1996

Contents



Executive Summary

Background

"15 Percent Increase" Goals

Goal 1. Increase Access to Undergraduate Education

Goal 2. Enhance the Quality and Availability of Advising

Goal 3. Increase Quality of Undergraduate Education Through Smaller

           Classes and Through Active and Alternative Modes of Learning.

Goal 4. Increase the Quality of Undergraduate Education Through

           Expanded Involvement of Undergraduates in Research and Creative Work.

Goal 5. Increase Quality of Education Through Greater Access to

           Information Technologies.

Goal 6. Reward and Further Develop Teaching Excellence.

Goal 7. Continue Growth in External Funding Support for Student

           Learning and Education.

Goal 8. Expand Off-Campus Access to Classes and Educational Resources

           Throughout Montana.

Goal 9. Enhance Access to the Intellectual and Physical Resources of

           the University to Support the Economic Development of Montana.


Executive Summary

This report summarizes the progress Montana State University-Bozeman has made toward fulfilling the specific goals and objectives described in the Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes (PQO) Agreement. In particular, the report describes the University's achievements during the past year in developing implementation strategies and meeting the outcome measures associated with all of the major goals articulated in the Agreement. In general, significant progress has been made in most areas toward fulfilling the letter and spirit of the Agreement.

The University's efforts related to the major items of the Agreement are as follows:

  • Class credits per instructional FTE for tenurable faculty have increased from 14.3 in FY 1993 to 15.0 in FY 1996. This progress represents approximately one third of the 15% total increase required by FY 1999.

  • MSU-Bozeman has exceeded the target of $37.7M in funded research for FY 1996 by more than $1M.

  • The University has met or exceeded all spending objectives for FY 1996 with the exception of the percent of the institutional budget allocated to the instructional program, which has decreased slightly since FY 1993.

  • The University has shown substantial progress in meeting all outcome measures associated with involvement of undergraduates in research and creative work, information technology enhancement, funding support for student learning, off-campus access to educational resources, and economic development activities.

  • Less progress has been achieved towards fulfilling the goals that relate to access to undergraduate education, enhancement of the quality and availability of advising, and rewarding and developing teaching excellence. The University is committed to focusing increased attention in these areas in the future.

An Implementation Task Force of faculty and administrators has been established to recommend strategies to meet the goals of the Agreement. All constituencies of the University community have joined together in support of this Agreement in order to improve the quality of the educational experience at MSU-Bozeman and to serve the public interest of Montana.


Background

On September 29, 1995, the Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes (PQO) Agreement was signed by the Governor of Montana, the Chairman of the Board of Regents, the Commissioner of Higher Education, and the President of Montana State University. This interim report documents MSU-Bozeman's progress to date in meeting the terms of the Agreement. Overall, the report is positive. Most outcomes measures reveal significant progress, and some targets have already been achieved or exceeded. Others need further attention. Implementation of the Agreement is now under the direction of MSU-Bozeman's new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Joseph A. Chapman, who joined the University on July 1, 1996.

The Implementation Task Force is chaired by Joseph Fedock, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and is comprised of nine faculty and administrators, each representing one of the nine major goals outlined in this document. The members include:

  • Ramona Marotz-Baden - Professor and Chair, Long Range Planning Committee
  • Margaretha Wessel - Director, General Studies
  • Adele Pittendrigh - Associate Dean, Letters and Science
  • Greg Young - Associate Professor and Director, Undergraduate Scholars Program
  • David Todd - Executive Director, Information Services
  • Tom Roll - Associate Professor and Department Head, Sociology
  • Elizabeth Charron - Associate Professor and Director, Science/Math Resource Center
  • Kim Obbink - Director, Burns Telecommunications Center and Extended Studies
  • Robert Taylor - Professor and Director, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center

The Implementation Task Force has been charged to recommend strategies for meeting the goals established in the PQO agreement.

This report is organized by goal, with highlights of the implementation strategies undertaken to date and a progress summary for each outcomes measure.


"15 Percent Increase" Goals

Two goals calling for 15 percent increases in instruction and research were specified in the letter of transmittal from Commissioner Jeffrey Baker to the Board of Regents. Although these goals do not appear in the body of the PQO document, they are considered part of the Agreement by its cosigners.

  1. The AY 1993 baseline of 14.3 class credits per instructional FTE for tenured and tenure-track faculty will be used as the benchmark for the 15% increase in undergraduate teaching.

    Class credits per instructional FTE for tenurable faculty increased from 14.3 in FY 1993 to 15.0 in FY 1996. Targets have been established for FY 1997 to bring the University average to 15.6. Subsequent targets for the remaining years of the Agreement will bring the University average to 16.4 in FY 1999.

  2. Funded research will increase 15% annually, non-compounded, with 1993 as the benchmark. This yearly increase will extend through 1997. Funding targets for 1998-99 will be determined as federal and state fiscal priorities are specified.

    MSU-Bozeman's FY 1993 year-end expenditures in grants and contracts totaled $25,976,344. According to the terms of this goal, MSU-Bozeman must increase funded research by $3,896,452 annually through FY 1997. MSU-Bozeman exceeded the FY 1996 target of $37,665,700 with $38,984,370 in research expenditures. The target for FY 1997 is $41,562,152.


Goal 1. Increase Access to Undergraduate Education

Implementation Strategies:

  • By fall of 1995, MSU-Bozeman's Four-Year Graduation Guarantee was in place. It is described in the catalog, presented as an option to students during Freshman Orientation, and discussed by departmental advisors. The guarantee commits participating students and the University to a process which will enable the students to complete their undergraduate degree work in eight semesters.

  • MSU-Bozeman has established several mechanisms to improve student throughput. The Department of Mathematical Sciences revised the system for placing new students in appropriate entry-level mathematics courses. Improved placement has resulted in a much higher level of course completion than occurred previously. Students with an ACT English score of 27 or higher or an SAT verbal score of 640 or higher are no longer required to take the introductory writing course.

  • Students with prior learning experience in certain subject areas can obtain credit toward graduation by passing an examination rather than having to take a specific course. During the last two years, MSU-Bozeman has substantially expanded the list of courses for which students can obtain challenge credits. Many academic programs also require demonstrated competence for admission to upper division courses to ensure that students are adequately prepared to progress toward graduation in a timely fashion.

  • During FY 1996, all academic departments developed plans to assess the discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills of their majors; these plans will be implemented during FY 1997. During FY 1997, the Core Curriculum Committee will design assessment plans for the University's general education curriculum.

  • In Table 2 of the PQO Appendix, MSU-Bozeman pledged $175,000 in FY 1996 to guarantee course availability. The Provost earmarked $114,000 to create extra sections of courses which were filled, and allocated $65,000 to the College of Letters and Science to fund additional courses and sections. Thus, the University spent $179,000 in FY 1996 to increase course availability.

Outcomes Measures:

A. Reduce Time to Degree Completion.

  1. Through FY 1999, demonstrate continuous increase in the number of students who successfully complete the Four-Year Contract, as well as decrease in the amount of compensation paid by the University to fulfill the contract.

    MSU-Bozeman implemented its four-year graduation guarantee program for fall semester of 1995. By the end of FY 1996, 79 students had signed graduation guarantee contracts. Most of these students are scheduled to graduate at the end of spring semester, 1999. Despite the publicity, most students and their parents have expressed little interest in the guarantee.

  2. Through FY 1999, demonstrate continuous declines in the average total number of credit hours taken by first-time, full-time, undergraduate students beyond their program credit requirements.

    The baseline figure for this goal was originally calculated as 150.45; however, this number included students who had obtained both bachelor's and master's degrees sequentially at MSU-Bozeman. Omitting the master's students yields an average of 145.56 credits at graduation in FY 1993. The comparable figure for FY 1996 was 143.67, showing a decrease of almost two credits. Targets prorated on the original baseline are 142.22 for FY 1997 and 135.45 for FY 1999.

  3. Maintain or increase the percent of the institutional budget which is allocated to the instructional program, insofar as fixed institutional costs (e.g., utilities) permit.

    The baseline measure in the original agreement was derived from July 1 budget figures, but fiscal year-end expenditures less fixed institutional costs are a better measure of University-controlled funds available for instruction. In FY 1993, instruction expenditures of $32,153,763 were 60.6% of the year-end $57,029,441 less fixed costs of $4,007,553. In FY 1996, instruction expenditures of $34,029,040 were 60.2% of the year-end $62,512,578 less fixed costs of $5,955,588.

B. Increase Access to Academic Offering for Nontraditional Students

  1. Increase by 20% the availability of course sections for students who are unable to attend during traditional schedules by FY 1999.

    This outcome is measured by the number of course sections offered after 4:00 p.m., on weekends, or via telecommunications. The number of sections decreased slightly from 272 in FY 1993 to 266 in FY 1996 as the University began to emphasize offering courses through distance delivery rather than at nontraditional hours. The distance delivery program was developed through Extended Studies and has been expanded to courses offered through the Registrar's Office.

  2. Increase by 20% the number of students enrolled in course sections offered during nontraditional times and formats by FY 1999.

    Enrollment in courses offered during nontraditional hours decreased from 5,278 in FY 1993 to 4,610 in FY 1996, reflecting a decrease in the number of evening sections as well as a decrease in the average number of students per section. The Implementation Task Force will investigate the demand for courses during evenings, weekends, and through telecommunications and recommend strategies for increasing course offerings in these areas.


Goal 2. Enhance the Quality and Availability of Advising

Implementation Strategies:

  • The Assessment and Outcomes Committee is collecting information about current and proposed advising strategies from all academic departments. This information will be used by the Implementation Task Force for their FY 1997 study of the models of advising used across the University.

  • The On Course system, a computerized advising aid which enables faculty to review a student's progress toward satisfying curricular requirements for graduation, is now available to all faculty. This system is regularly updated with graduation requirements for the University's core curriculum and the academic majors, providing faculty with the most current curricular information available.

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix of the PQO agreement, MSU-Bozeman pledged $1,000 to train faculty in advising skills and technologies. The Registrar's Office spent $10,000 in FY 1996 to train faculty and staff to use the Student Information System (SIS) and the On Course advising system.

  • Freshman seminars have been established by General Studies, the College of Business, and the College of Letters and Science. These seminars are designed to increase interaction between students and faculty, and to prepare students to derive maximum benefit from their advising sessions.

Outcomes Measures:

A. Increase Quality of Advising.

  1. By January, 1996, each academic department will have reviewed and modified its annual review/merit pay process to include assessment of advising as an integral part of faculty evaluation (in place by Fall 1996).

    Assessment of advising is one of the criteria specified in the new promotion and tenure standards approved by Faculty Council. These standards are used for annual faculty reviews as well as in promotion and tenure decisions. By agreement with Faculty Council, these standards become effective July 1, 1997.

  2. By FY 1997, all faculty and advisors will have access to "On Course," the online academic advising system, and they will have the ability to produce electronic academic progress reports for students, which will substantially reduce the use of paper and the length of waiting lines.

    During FY 1996, the On Course advising system described above was fully operational. All faculty have access to the system, although not all faculty offices are connected through MSUnet. The Registrar's Office provides updated On Course printouts for students and faculty upon request.

  3. By FY 1996, a new advising assessment instrument being developed at Kansas State University will be piloted on the MSU-Bozeman campus. The instrument requests information in six specific advising areas.

    MSU-Bozeman received the instrument from Kansas State University and decided that it was unnecessarily complicated and needed to be adapted to our campus. Modifications were made by the Assessment and Outcomes Committee, and the instrument will be pilot tested during fall of 1996. The information gathered from this pilot will be used by the Implementation Task Force to design University guidelines for advising.

  4. Student satisfaction with the quality of academic and career advising, as demonstrated through survey data and focus groups, will show continuous improvement through FY 1999.

    MSU-Bozeman's annual survey of graduating seniors asks seniors to report their satisfaction with academic and career advising provided by faculty in their majors. In FY 1993, 72% of the seniors were either satisfied or very satisfied with academic advising; by FY 1996, the figure had risen to 74%. Questions on career advising were added to the FY 1995 survey; at that time, 62% of seniors expressed satisfaction with career advising, and that figure increased to 68% in FY 1996. Several focus groups on advising are planned by the Implementation Task Force for FY 1997.

B. Enhance Access to Advising.

  1. Access to advising will also be reflected in the academic progress of students, as indicated by declines in time to graduation measured in 1.A. above.

    Please see Goal 1, A.2.

  2. By Fall 1996, each academic department will have a plan developed and in place to enhance the quality and accessibility of advising.

    Plans to improve advising are being collected this fall by the Assessment and Outcomes Committee from all academic departments with undergraduate majors. Information pertaining to student satisfaction is also being collected, and the combined information will be used by the Implementation Task Force to plan their recommendations for advising.

  3. Student satisfaction with the accessibility of academic advisors will show continuous improvement through FY 1999, based upon survey and focus group data.

    MSU-Bozeman's annual survey of graduating seniors asks seniors to report their satisfaction with accessibility of academic advisors. In FY 1993, a remarkably high 84% of the students were satisfied or very satisfied with advisor accessibility. In FY 1996, 78% of the seniors indicated that they were satisfied. Departments have been asked to address the issue of advisor accessibility in their plans to improve advising.


Goal 3. Increase Quality of Undergraduate Education Through Smaller Classes and Through Active and Alternative Modes of Learning.

Implementation Strategies:

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix of the PQO Agreement, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $78,000 in FY 1996 to increase funding for smaller classes. The Provost allocated $50,000 for freshman seminars and $60,000 for additional small-enrollment sections, bringing actual expenditures to $110,000.

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $2,000 in FY 1996 to track academic progress in writing and math skills. The Provost allocated $10,000 to establish the University's Assessment and Outcomes program, which will include tracking entering freshmen to show their progress in developing writing and mathematics skills.

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $500 in FY 1996 for faculty training seminars and symposia. The College of Letters and Science spent $700 on several programs which involved faculty discussions of teaching issues, including a series of college-wide forums, a fall reception orienting new faculty to undergraduate teaching, and several Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) forums on pedagogical issues.

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $500 to recognize faculty efforts in awards and evaluations. The College of Letters and Science created a new awards program in FY 1996, funded at $1000, to recognize outstanding teachers in the college.

Outcomes Measure:

A. Provide Access to Small, Seminar-style Classes.

    Through FY 1999, the number of small enrollment, seminar-style [core curriculum] course sections available to lower division students will increase by 100%.

    Between FY 1993 and FY 1996, the number of low-enrollment core sections increased from 113 to 166. The FY 1997 target is 181, an increase of 60% over the FY 1993 baseline.

B. Provide Active Learning Environments Which Promote Life-long Learning Skills.

  1. By FY 1999, the amount of active learning components included in course syllabi for all lower division courses will increase 15%.

    The Teaching/Learning Committee has been charged to develop a list of "active learning components" and a system for counting them in lower division course syllabi.

  2. By FY 1999, faculty skills and abilities in the application of active learning techniques will be enhanced as described in 6.C,D below.

    Please refer to Goal 6, C and D.


Goal 4. Increase the Quality of Undergraduate Education Through Expanded Involvement of Undergraduates in Research and Creative Work.

Implementation Strategies:

  • MSU-Bozeman's Undergraduate Scholars Program was designed to encourage, facilitate, and support undergraduate research and creative activity in collaboration with faculty. The Undergraduate Scholars Program hosts an Undergraduate Scholars Conference each spring, where students present their research results to the public. Awards are presented for the best projects in several categories, and the proceedings are published and widely disseminated on campus.

  • The Undergraduate Scholars Program, the University Honors Program, and academic colleges and departments recognize outstanding research and creativity in undergraduates by nominating them for Goldwater Scholarships, USA Today Scholarships, Truman Scholarships, Phi Kappa Phi Scholarships, and others appropriate to the interests and achievements of the students.

  • During FY 1996, the University established a new undergraduate seminar in which students enrolled in undergraduate research projects discuss their research with faculty and students involved in similar projects. This course is offered in most academic disciplines and also through the Undergraduate Scholars Program.

Outcomes Measures:

A. Increase Students' Opportunities to Engage in Independent Research and Creative Work.

  1. Have in place and fully operational an Undergraduate Scholars Program with the purpose of working directly with faculty and students to enhance research and creative opportunities for students.

    The program was implemented during FY 1994 and has grown substantially since that time. Students receive academic credit for working with faculty on research projects and in some cases are eligible for scholarships or project support grants.

  2. By FY 1999, there will be a 20% increase in the number of students engaged in independent research and scholarly activities.

    The original FY 1993 baseline figure was 2,196, but that figure includes all independent course work, such as student teaching and internships. Enrollment in undergraduate Individual Problems and Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity courses, a more accurate measure of independent research activities, was 1,063 in FY 1993. By FY 1996, enrollment had risen to 1,175.

B. Develop Additional External Resources to Support Students' Research and Creative Projects.

    Secure $50,000 in additional external funding to support undergraduate research and creative activities by FY 1999.

    The Vice President for Research, Creativity and Technology Transfer has agreed to contribute indirect cost funds to the Undergraduate Scholars Program. His contribution was $25,000 in FY 1996 and will increase in future years to meet the target of $50,000 by FY 1999.

C. Increase Opportunities for Capstone Educational Experiences.

    Increase to 90% the number of graduating seniors engaged in capstone courses available to undergraduates by FY 1999, and thereby facilitate the work of the Assessment and Outcomes program.

    A capstone course is required for graduating seniors, has a communications component, and involves a synthesizing project. MSU-Bozeman offered 16 capstone courses in FY 1993 and 30 in FY 1996. In FY 1993, 27% of the graduating seniors were enrolled in capstone courses; by FY 1996, the figure had increased to 45%.


Goal 5. Increase Quality of Education Through Greater Access to Information Technologies.

Implementation Strategies:

  • President Malone appointed an Information Services Task Force to address the future of information systems and services at MSU-Bozeman. The Task Force recommended major changes in the mission and structure of information services, greater faculty representation in decision making, and migration to a non-proprietary, non-vendor-dependent desktop computing environment.

  • The Information Services Task Force recommended hiring a chief information officer to lead the restructuring of information services and enhance the University's academic programs with educational technology. In Table 2 of the Appendix of the PQO Agreement, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $40,000 in FY 1996 to further these efforts. These funds were used as partial salary support for the new position of Executive Director of Information Services.

  • Over the last decade MSU-Bozeman has been migrating from a centralized mainframe computer environment to a networked system of decentralized nodes. The University is implementing a multi-year plan which will ultimately connect all of its buildings to MSUnet, the campus computer network.

Outcomes Measures:

A. Provide Students Greater Access to Computing and Information Technologies

    Through FY 1999, MSU-Bozeman will demonstrate continuous improvement in the quantity and quality of computing facilities available to students, including access to the Internet and local World Wide Web clients. By FY 1999, 25% more access to computers and terminals will be available to students at various on-campus sites.

    The FY 1993 baseline of 195 public access terminals and computers available in the student laboratories had increased to 250 by FY 1996, exceeding the FY 1999 target of 244. Not only has MSU-Bozeman increased the number of machines available to students, but existing machines have been upgraded to higher performance standards.

B. Extend Access to Information Technologies in Classrooms

    MSU-Bozeman will increase the number of advanced technology classroom facilities that use state-of-the-art information technologies, including multimedia and computer-assisted instructional equipment by 133% by FY 1999.

    In FY 1993, there were three classrooms on the MSU-Bozeman campus equipped with multimedia technology. During the summer of 1996, five more classrooms were upgraded and are being used for classes this fall. These eight multimedia classrooms exceed the FY 1999 target of seven.

C. Enhance Access to Library Resources and Data via Information Technologies.

    By FY 1999, the Libraries will show a 25% increase in the volume of information sources accessible via electronic means.

    MSU-Bozeman has increased the number of machine readable files available through the libraries from the baseline number of 288 in FY 1993 to 847 in FY 1996, exceeding the target of 360 set for FY 1999.

D. Integrate the Use of Information Technologies into Class Assignments.

  1. To meet the growing student demand for computer access generated by class assignments, which will increasingly include computer-related components, the University will increase by 50% the number of microcomputers available in the student computer labs by FY 1997. This outcome focuses on student computer use which transcends simple word processing and calls for mainframe and networking capabilities.

    MSU-Bozeman has increased the number of personal computers available in student laboratories from 152 in FY 1993 to 235 in FY 1996, exceeding the target of 228 set for FY 1997.

  2. The use of microcomputers provided in student computer labs will continue to increase, as measured by the average percent of computers in use during all hours of lab operation.

    Percent usage of the machines in the student PC labs, averaged over all hours, increased from 52% in FY 1993 to 70% in FY 1996.


Goal 6. Reward and Further Develop Teaching Excellence.

Implementation Strategies:

  • During FY 1995, Faculty Council undertook a major revision of the University's promotion and tenure policies. One objective was to modify the traditional emphasis on teaching and research to offer more rewards for teaching excellence. Academic departments and colleges are currently developing criteria and standards to implement these policies, which become effective July 1, 1997.

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix of the PQO Agreement, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $5,000 in FY 1996 to expand opportunities for faculty development for teaching and advising excellence. The Burns Telecommunications Center selected ten Burns Fellows, who were granted $5,000 each to implement telecommunication projects within their disciplines.

Outcomes Measures:

A. Elevate the Importance of Teaching Effectiveness in the Promotion & Tenure Process and in the Distribution of Merit Salary Awards.

    By FY 1997, MSU-Bozeman will have in place and operational a new promotion and tenure process which incorporates standards which more directly elevate and reward excellence in teaching and which require multidimensional measures of teaching effectiveness.

    The new promotion and tenure policies, which become effective July 1, 1997, allow some faculty to achieve tenure, promotion, and salary increases on the basis of teaching excellence and incorporate more departmental measures of teaching excellence, such as internal and external peer review.

B. Minimize Faculty Committee Work.

    By FY 1997, the administration and Faculty Council will review all existing committee structures and determine which can be diminished, merged, or eliminated with the intent of reducing demands on faculty time for committee work.

    In FY 1996, Faculty Council voted to reincorporate itself as a new University Council, comprised of a Faculty Council representing faculty and a Professional Council representing professional staff. When reorganization of governance is complete, University Council will undertake a study of the campus committee structure.

C. Expand Opportunities for Faculty Development for Teaching and Advising Excellence.

  1. By FY 1999, funding for faculty development in instruction will increase by 200%.

    In FY 1993, $10,000 was allocated to the Teaching/Learning Committee to promote faculty development in instruction. In FY 1996, the budget for that committee was $4,500. The committee has been directed by the Provost to focus on faculty development, particularly in the areas of active learning strategies and classroom assessment techniques, and its budget was raised to $20,000, consistent with the FY 1997 target.

  2. A formal program for increasing the skills of the faculty in the use of educational technology will be established and implemented by FY 1997.

    The Burns Telecommunication Center has established the Teaching and Technology Leadership program, which introduces faculty to new technologies for distance delivery and multimedia materials development for on- and off-campus instruction. By FY 1996, the Center had presented workshops and seminars to 45 faculty.

  3. By FY 1997, 75% of the faculty will have received training on the use of the online advising system.

    The Registrar's Office sponsors workshops to train faculty and staff to use the Student Information System (SIS) and the On Course advising component. During FY 1997, the Implementation Task Force will determine how many faculty have received training and how many have yet to be trained.

  4. An Early Careers program for all new faculty which provides mentoring and development opportunities in teaching, advising, and scholarship will be designed and implemented by FY 1999.

    This program was implemented in the College of Letters and Science, the University's largest college, during FY 1996. The Implementation Task Force will study the results of this program and make recommendations for incorporating it into the other colleges.

D. Emphasize High-Quality Teaching in Hiring Practices.

    By FY 1997, all departments will have in place mandatory procedures which require all candidates to be assessed as rigorously for teaching ability as for research skills and which require candidates to demonstrate their teaching ability during the interview process.

    The revised Recruitment and Hiring Manual requires search committees and hiring authorities to evaluate the teaching abilities of all candidates for positions with instructional assignments. It recommends that students be involved in this evaluation process.


Goal 7. Continue Growth in External Funding Support for Student Learning and Education.

Implementation Strategies:

  • The Office of Research, Creativity and Technology Transfer encourages faculty to include support for students in grant proposals and actively assists faculty in identifying funding opportunities from a wide variety of sources, including state and federal agencies and private foundations.

  • The Montana Space Grant Consortium, the Center for Biofilm Engineering, MONTS (Montanans On a New Track for Science), the Mountain Research Center, and the Geographic Information and Analysis Center collaborate with the Undergraduate Scholars Program to pair students with faculty researchers and provide funding support for student research projects.

Outcomes Measures:

A. Seek Additional External Funding for Equipment, Instrumentation, and Facilities for Students.

    External funding for the acquisition of equipment, instrumentation, and instructional facilities will increase by 25% through FY 1999.

    Annual expenditures for equipment and instrumentation funded by grants and contracts increased from $1,816,819 in FY 1993 to $2,373,614 in FY 1996, exceeding the FY 1999 target of $2,271,024.

B. Increase External Support for Faculty-student Collaboration in Research and Creative Activities.

    Through FY 1999, direct support for students in the form of salaries, stipends, materials, and fees coming from externally funded projects will increase by 25%.

    Annual expenditures for salaries for undergraduate and graduate student employment funded by grants and contracts increased from $3,267,051 in FY 1993 to $5,651,528 in FY 1996, exceeding the FY 1999 target of $4,083,814.

C. Keep Faculty Nationally and Internationally Competitive.

    MSU-Bozeman will increase by 54% the volume of competitive, externally funded instructional and research awards through FY 1997.

    Total annual expenditures from grants and contracts increased 49% between FY 1993 and FY 1996, from $25,976,344 to $38,684,370. The FY 1997 target is $40,000,000.


Goal 8. Expand Off-Campus Access to Classes and Educational Resources Throughout Montana.

Implementation Strategies:

  • MSU-Bozeman has extended its undergraduate degree program in nursing to the MSU-Billings campus. Beginning fall of 1996, students can complete their course requirements for a Bachelor of Nursing degree in Billings without having to spend two semesters in residence on the Bozeman campus, as was previously required.

  • Two new graduate programs offer Master's degrees to place-bound students via interactive video and Internet communication. Students in the Great Falls area can obtain an M.S. in Computer Science, and students throughout the state can pursue an M.S. in Science Education.

  • MSU-Bozeman and MSU-Northern are collaborating in the delivery of educational programs using interactive video through the NorthNet system.

Outcomes Measures:

A. Increase Course Offerings Available Through Telecommunications.

    Courses, programs, and professional development classes offered through telecommunications technologies to place-bound students will be increased by 100% by FY 1999.

    In FY 1993, 26 credit courses, noncredit courses, meetings, and demonstrations were offered through Extended Studies. By FY 1996, the number had increased to 53, exceeding the FY 1997 target of 39 and the FY 1999 target of 52. Beginning in fall of 1996, credit courses are being offered via telecommunications through the Registrar's Office as well as through Extended Studies.

B. Assure That Extension and Outreach Educational Programs Focus on the Critical Needs of Montana.

    The satisfaction of participants in outreach education programs will demonstrate continuous improvement through FY 1999, based upon opinions of advisory groups and data collected through surveys and focus groups.

    Telecommunications courses offered or supported through Extended Studies are continuously evaluated by students, instructors, and program managers through surveys, key-contacts, focus groups, and in some cases, an outside professional evaluator, and appropriate changes are made to address student satisfaction issues. During FY 1997, Extended Studies will develop an instrument that can be used in all programs to evaluate student satisfaction.


Goal 9. Enhance Access to the Intellectual and Physical Resources of the University to Support the Economic Development of Montana.

Implementation Strategies:

  • The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, established by the Board of Regents in FY 1996, provides on-site engineering, technology, and managerial services for small businesses in Montana. The Center serves as a statewide resource for companies lacking staff with specialized knowledge of processes, equipment, and management practices required to compete effectively.

  • The Montana Extension Advisory Council helps to identify economic development opportunities in the state and provides recommendations for addressing them. This Council, which includes representation from county agents and commodity organizational leaders, advises the MSU Extension Service in its public outreach programs.

Outcomes Measures:

A. Increase Technology Transfer.

    The number of patents, licenses, and sponsored research projects which negotiate technology transfer from the University to the private sector will grow 20% by FY 1999.

    The number of patents, licenses, and technology transfer projects sponsored by the Research Development Institute rose from 45 in FY 1993 to 53 in FY 1996, exceeding the FY 1997 target of 49 and approaching the FY 1999 target of 54.

B. Enhance Public and Private Access to Faculty Expertise to Promote Economic Development.

    Student and faculty assistance to Montana businesses provided by such University centers as Small Business Institute, University Technical Assistance Program, and Center for Biofilm Engineering, measured by number of clients served, will increase by 25% by FY 1999.

    In FY 1993, the College of Business, the Center for Biofilm Engineering, and the Outreach division provided Montana businesses with 58 major and minor client contacts, workshops, and seminars. By FY 1996 the number had increased to 224, exceeding the FY 1999 target of 73. If contacts for the University Technical Assistance Program/Montana Manufacturing Extension Center are included, the FY 1996 figure is 301.



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