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> Office of Planning & Analysis
PQO FY 1997 Report

Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes Agreement
Interim Report for FY 1997

October 1997

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:

  • Both "15 Percent Increase" goals were exceeded in FY 1997, with 16.6 class credits per instructional FTE for tenurable faculty and $41,593,733 of funded research expenditures.

  • MSU-Bozeman strengthened its focus on educational effectiveness by expanding the freshman seminar program and establishing capstone courses for all graduating seniors in the 1998-2000 catalog.

  • Students now have secure Web-based access to many of their academic and financial records, enabling them to take greater responsibility for tracking progress in their majors. Web-based access to student records will be extended to faculty for advising purposes during FY 1998.

  • The PQO Task Force on Advising surveyed students and departments to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of advising at MSU-Bozeman and collected plans from all academic departments for improving advising at the department level. The Task Force report will be released early in 1998 and will include recommendations for campus-wide improvements.

  • During FY 1997, all academic departments implemented programs to assess the discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills of their undergraduate majors.

In general, the University has shown significant progress in meeting all outcome measures associated with involvement of undergraduates in research and creative work, information technology enhancement, off-campus access to educational resources, and economic development activities.


Background

On September 29, 1995, the 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 toward meeting the terms of the Agreement. Overall, the report is positive. Most outcomes measures reveal significant progress, and many targets have already been achieved or exceeded.

Implementation of the Agreement is under the direction of MSU-Bozeman's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Joseph A. Chapman. Provost Chapman has charged existing committees and appointed task forces to address specific issues that require in-depth study.

This report is organized by goal, with highlights of the implementation strategies undertaken 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 then-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 16.2 in FY 1997, approaching the target of 16.4 set for 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. In every year since the PQO agreement was established, MSU-Bozeman has exceeded the 15% annual increase target of $3,896,452. MSU-Bozeman exceeded the FY 1997 target of $41,562,150 with $41,593,733 in research expenditures. No target has yet been established for FY 1998.


Goal 1. Increase Access to Undergraduate Education

Implementation Strategies:

  • Departmental plans for assessing the discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills of undergraduate majors were implemented during FY 1997. Summaries of the assessment results are being reviewed by the Assessment and Outcomes Committee and will be posted on the campus assessment Web site (http://www.montana.edu/opa/assess/).

  • During spring of 1997, the Core Curriculum Committee conducted an on-line survey (http://www.montana.edu/misc/survey/) of all faculty involved in teaching core curriculum courses. The committee is analyzing the survey results for a report that will be available during FY 1998. The results will be used to design assessment plans for the University's general education curriculum.

  • Entering students now have the option of using their ACT scores for math placement rather than taking the departmental placement exam. The exam is still available to students who feel that their ACT score does not reflect their math ability, and students can take the departmental exam multiple times.

  • 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 composition course.

  • The Department of Computer Science has established a challenge exam for CS150, a computer literacy prerequisite for many classes on campus. By taking this exam, students with prior computer experience can progress toward graduation in a more timely fashion.

  • In Table 2 of the PQO Appendix, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $200,000 in FY 1997 to guarantee course availability. These funds were used primarily to create additional sections to satisfy heavy course demand. In addition, the University spent $220,000 to support core curriculum courses.

  • Student access to classes was facilitated by a new University policy of removing from class rolls those preregistered students who had not paid fees by the published due date.

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 1997, 69 students were participating in the program. Since the guarantee has only been in effect for two years, no students have yet graduated under the program. Although the guarantee is well publicized at freshman orientation, most students and their parents have shown little interest.

  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 1997 was 134.49, showing a decrease of over 11 credits. This figure is already below the FY 1999 target of 135.45 credits, and we attribute much of this change to the Regents' decision to decrease the number of credits required for graduation.

  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 1997, instruction expenditures of $37,311,703 were 60.0% of the year-end $68,151,116 less fixed costs of $6,004,281.

B. Increase Access to Academic Offerings 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 has sections increased from 272 in FY 1993 to 320 in FY 1997. This figure approaches the FY 1999 target of 325.

  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 increased from 5,278 in FY 1993 to 5,335 in FY 1997. Enrollment in these sections has not kept pace with the increase in the number of sections. The fact that courses delivered by telecommunications tend to have low enrollments contributes to this disparity. Also, many students who might otherwise take courses at nontraditional times elect to take Extended Studies courses, and those enrollments are not included in these figures.


Goal 2. Enhance the Quality and Availability of Advising

Implementation Strategies:

  • During FY 1997, the University developed "On-Line Student Information" to give students Internet access to some of their academic and financial records. Students are guaranteed secure access through encrypted Social Security numbers and passwords.

  • "MSU Course Transfer Equivalency" (http://www.montana.edu/wwwtrans/equiv.html) enables students to evaluate the tranferability of courses among the campuses of Montana State University. This Internet-accessible program allows a student to input a course taken at one campus and determine its equivalency at another.

  • The Provost appointed a PQO Task Force on Advising to evaluate the status of advising on the MSU-Bozeman campus and make recommendations for improvement. The task force surveyed undergraduates and academic departments to determine perceived strengths and weaknesses. Their report will be released in spring of 1998.

  • The University hired a part-time retention coordinator to identify students at risk for dropping out. Administered during Freshman Orientation, the College Student Inventory provides an academic and personal profile of each student. The coordinator meets with dropout-prone students to discuss problems that may be obstacles to their educational goals.

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix of the PQO agreement, MSU-Bozeman pledged $1,000 to train faculty in advising skills and technologies. Those faculty who use the mainframe computer to access On Course, the University's computerized advising aid, were trained during FY 1996 when the system was made available. To increase faculty use, the University is developing a Web-based interface, which will provide improved, user-friendly access to On Course.

  • Enrollment in freshman seminars increased 10% between FY 1996 and FY 1997, with current enrollment exceeding 1000 students annually. Preliminary studies show increased retention of students who successfully complete a freshman seminar. The College of Business has won national recognition for their program.

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, which became effective July 1, 1997. All academic departments have been developing plans to implement the new standards, which are used for annual faculty reviews as well as in promotion and tenure decisions. Departmental and college plans will be posted on the MSU-Bozeman Web site by the end of FY 1998.

  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.

    The On Course advising system was made fully operational in FY 1996. 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. The Web-based interface to On Course is expected to provide increased faculty utilization of this advising feature.

  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's Assessment and Outcomes Committee adapted the KSU instrument to our campus and administered the survey to a sample of 800 undergraduates, 200 from each class. Results of the survey were analyzed by the PQO Advising Task Force and will be presented as part of their report on the status of advising on campus.

  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 students 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% and remained at that level in the FY 1997 survey. Questions on career advising were added to the FY 1995 survey; at that time, 62% of seniors expressed satisfaction with career advising; in FY 1997 65% expressed satisfaction. This issue was also addressed by the PQO Task Force on Advising.

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 were collected by the Assessment and Outcomes Committee from all academic departments with undergraduate majors. Summary information from these department plans is available on the Student Outcomes Assessment Web site (http://www.montana.edu/opa/assess/advplans.html.)

  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 1997, 84% of the seniors again indicated that they were satisfied.


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

Implementation Strategies:

  • The Provost's Office sponsored a faculty workshop on Oral Communication Across the Curriculum (OCXC) led by nationally-recognized experts and established a laboratory to assist departments in adding oral communications components to their course offerings. The $3,000 expended for the workshop exceeds the $500 pledged for faculty training seminars and symposia in Table 2 of the Appendix.

  • In FY 1997, the Department of English decreased the maximum size of freshman composition classes from 60 students to 33, enabling faculty to provide more individualized instruction. This reduction in class size was facilitated by the University's policy of waiving the freshman composition requirement for students with an ACT English score of at least 27 or an SAT verbal score of at least 640.

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix of the PQO Agreement, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $78,000 in FY 1997 to increase funding for smaller classes. The Provost allocated $50,000 to the College of Letters and Science and $28,000 to General Studies to continue their freshman seminar programs.

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $1,000 in FY 1997 to track academic progress in writing and math skills. The Provost allocated these funds to the departments of English and Mathematical Sciences to assess the effectiveness of their entry-level placement examinations.

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $500 to recognize faculty efforts in awards and evaluations. The Teaching/Learning Committee selects winners of the Presidential Teaching Awards ($3000), and colleges sponsor various awards to recognize excellence in their faculty.

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 1997, the number of low-enrollment core sections increased from 113 to 188, exceeding the FY 1999 target of 181.

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%.

    Departments teaching lower division courses are moving to incorporate more active learning components. For example, the Department of History redesigned their introductory history sequence to include recitations in addition to the traditional lecture mode of instruction. The Undergraduate Studies Committee will compile information about the extent of increase in active learning components.

  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 University Honors Program offers Great Expeditions, a semester course focusing on the culture of another country. The course culminates in a two-to-three-week visit to that country, and each participating student gives a presentation on some aspect of the experience at a University-wide forum.

  • Student and faculty involvement in the Undergraduate Scholars Program (http://www.montana.edu/opa/usp/), which facilitates undergraduate research and creative activity in collaboration with faculty, continues to increase. Participation in the spring Undergraduate Scholars Conference, where students present their research results to the public, has also increased. Awards are presented for the best projects in several categories, and the proceedings are published and widely disseminated on campus.

  • Capstone courses will be required for all undergraduate majors in the 1998-2000 MSU-Bozeman catalog. These senior-level courses require students to complete a project which synthesizes material presented in other undergraduate courses in the major. Results of the project are communicated orally and/or in writing. Descriptions of the capstone courses are available at http://www.montana.edu/opa/assess/CapstoneCourses.html.

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 1997, enrollment had risen to 1,172.

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 $64,406 in FY 1997, exceeding the FY 1999 target of $50,000.

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 defined by the University as one which is required for seniors, has a communications component, and involves a synthesizing project. In FY 1993, 27% of the graduating seniors were enrolled in capstone courses; by FY 1997, the figure had increased to 58%.


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

Implementation Strategies:

  • During FY 1997, The Libraries began the process of updating their on-line catalog service. They selected software with a more intuitive user interface, improved accounting and statistical information, and access to other University administrative software. The new system will be available for student and faculty use in January of 1998.

  • On July 1, 1997, David Todd joined MSU-Bozeman as Executive Director of Information Services, a position specifically recommended by the Information Services Task Force appointed by President Malone. Dr. Todd has responsibilities not only for information services at MSU-Bozeman, but also for coordinating information technology efforts among the MSU campuses.

  • In Table 2 of the Appendix of the PQO Agreement, MSU-Bozeman pledged to spend $40,000 in FY 1997 to restructure the delivery system for information technologies. The University spent $5000 to create a Unix laboratory for students in Roberts Hall, $30,000 to implement Web delivery of information, and $149,000 for "smart podiums" to facilitate multimedia presentations in classrooms.

  • The University continued to implement its multi-year plan to connect all buildings to MSUnet, the campus computer network, by rewiring Wilson Hall and Roberts Hall and extending network wiring to the Engineering/Physical Sciences complex and Taylor Hall. The University also has a multi-stage plan to network the student residence halls. Three halls were wired during FY 1997, and the pilot project for access will commence in January 1998.

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 293 by FY 1997, exceeding the FY 1999 target of 224. 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 used for classes during FY 1997. 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 1196 in FY 1997, 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 266 in FY 1997, 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 1997. Although this is below the target of 75% established for FY 1997, this is attributable to the fact that MSU-Bozeman has increased the number of machines available for student use.


Goal 6. Reward and Further Develop Teaching Excellence.

Implementation Strategies:

  • During FY 1997, each department in the College of Letters and Science gave an award to their best teaching assistant, based on teaching evaluations, classroom visits, and supervisor reports. The College is expanding this program to include recognition of the Dean's Outstanding Teaching Assistant.

  • The Teaching/Learning Committee sponsored "Reading the Ruines," a campus-wide forum to address the question of declining standards in higher education. Two nationally-known speakers gave public presentations on the topic, and two campus forums gave faculty and students the opportunity to voice their opinions. A student essay contest was held, with awards presented for the top five entries.

  • The College of Graduate Studies conducts an all-day training workshop for graduate teaching assistants to better prepare them for instructional interactions with students. Faculty from different disciplines describe various teaching techniques, including lesson preparation, communication skills, and classroom management. Cultural and gender differences are also discussed.

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 became 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 1997, Faculty Council was reincorporated as University Governance Council (http://www.montana.edu/msuinfo/gov/ugc/), comprised of a Faculty Council representing faculty and a Professional Council representing professional staff. During FY 1998, University Governance Council is undertaking 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 1997, the budget for that committee was $20,000. The committee has been charged by the Provost to focus on faculty development, particularly in the areas of active learning strategies and classroom assessment techniques.

  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. During FY 1997, the Center demonstrated distance-delivery techniques at a series of seminars attended by approximately 75 faculty, which exceeds the FY 1997 target of 50.

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

    MSU-Bozeman is developing a Web-based interface to the existing On Course advising system. Currently, On Course requires knowledge of specific computer commands on a mainframe computer, but the new interface provides "point-and-click" access to the same information through a Web browser; thus, little user training is required.

  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.

    MSU-Bozeman offers an orientation program for all new faculty prior to the beginning of classes each fall. Some colleges have implemented variations of an Early Careers program, and the Teaching/Learning Committee is exploring ways to consolidate these college programs at the University level.

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 Recruitment and Hiring Manual (http://www.montana.edu/~wwwaffrm/rhmcopy.htm) requires search committees and hiring authorities to evaluate the teaching abilities of all candidates for positions with instructional assignments, and recommends that students be involved in the 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 Office of Research, Creativity and Technology Transfer conducts classes for undergraduate and graduate students to teach them the basics of grantsmanship and to help them identify funding sources. The office also employs one undergraduate and one graduate intern to assist faculty in computer searches for funding sources.

  • 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 $2,881,140 in FY 1997, 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 $6,013,236 in FY 1997, 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 from $25,976,344 in FY 1993 to $41,593,733 in FY 1997, exceeding the FY 1997 target of $40,000,000.


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

Implementation Strategies:

  • In FY 1997, MSU-Bozeman proposed and the Board of Regents approved three instructional programs involving intercampus collaboration: the Master of Project Engineering and Management with Montana Tech, the Master of Health Administration with MSU-Billings, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Wildlife Biology with UM-Missoula.

  • MSU-Bozeman's Master of Science Education (http://www.montana.edu/btc/sciedmasters.html) enrolled its first cohort in FY 1997. This program provides Internet-based coursework to place-bound students.

  • During FY 1997, MSU published "MSU from a Distance," describing distance education courses offered by all MSU campuses. MSU's System Distance Degree Program Plan, developed through collaboration by the MSU campuses, was distributed at the May meeting of the Board of Regents.

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. Beginning fall of 1996, credit courses were offered via telecommunications through the Registrar's Office as well as through Extended Studies. By FY 1997, the number of courses and programs offered had increased to 92, exceeding the FY 1997 target of 39 and the FY 1999 target of 52.

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, a 95% response rate on a student satisfaction survey indicated that Extended Studies courses had met or exceeded the student's expectations for the course.


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

Implementation Strategies:

  • The MSU campuses jointly participated in a study of MSU's economic impact on the state and the economic impact of each campus on its county. The study showed that in FY 1995, the MSU campuses brought $95.8 million into Montana from outside the state. The indirect spending effects raise the total economic impact to $189.0 million.

  • MSU-Bozeman licensed safflower varieties developed by University researchers to Sheridan Electric in northeastern Montana. Not only do these varieties provide alternative crops for growers in the area, but the license has enabled the Culbertson grain processing plant to remain open and productive. Prior to licensing, the plant was closed and about to be dismantled; it currently employs 30 people.

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 61 in FY 1997, exceeding the FY 1997 target of 49 and 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 1997 the number had increased to 335, exceeding the FY 1999 target of 73. If contacts for the University Technical Assistance Program/Montana Manufacturing Extension Center are included, the FY 1997 total is 604.



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