Parent/Family Association Advisory Board Fall Meeting

October 29, 2006



Jodie Delay - MSU, Lana Crabtree, Cathy Hammer, Steve and Sherri Hansen, Susan Heideman, Lynn Johnson, Bear McKinney, Victoria Stockdale, Steve and Laura Sweeney, Jim and Liz Taflan, Susan Ullmann

Liz Taflan called the meeting to order. Introductions of attending board members were made.

Old Business:

The cell phone fine was reviewed for all members.

The minutes from the spring meeting were reviewed by attending members. A deadline of April 21st was noted from the spring meeting for any corrections or objections. No issues were noted. Moved to approve minutes by Steve Sweeney, seconded by Victoria Stockdale. All in favor.

Action item from spring minutes: Jodie will write a thank you letter to Jan Bosch and the student callers for the phonathon.

Jodie presented the preliminary financial figures from the fall weekend. She also presented a list of the approximate number of attendees for each event. The final count for everything was not in. Added expenses for this year were the bandanas=$1300 and paid parking=$660. It appears there will be approximately $411 overage for expenses. Jodie stated that the silent auction and airline raffle is advertised as being used for scholarships so it was felt that money should be used strictly for scholarships.

New Business:


The goal for the 2006-2007 phonathon was discussed. The goal has been $65,000 in pledges for the past two years. There are incentives for the students to make the goal so it should be high enough they have to work to attain it but not so high it is out of reach. There are some automatic payments for expenses based on the collected money at a certain point in the campaign such as library tithe and expenses. Jodie stated that some pledges take a while to be returned. Moved to leave the goal the same by Steve Sweeney, seconded by Susan Ullmann. All in favor.

Laura Sweeney suggested an appreciation for the students who make calls for PFA phonathon. Some suggestions offered were coffee, donuts, cookies, and mugs. There are approximately 15 students assigned to PFA over 5 weeks. Laura offered to be the liaison for provision of treats and will check with Jan Bosch to see what might be appreciated.

The suggestion was made to email parents in January to announce the February phonathon. All in favor.

Web site upgrade:

Jodie discussed the current PFA web site. It currently contains one page that addresses the parent weekend and the function of the board. Her goal for improvement is to pull resources together on one site (with links) as a quick reference for parents. A discussion centered on what parents might want on that page. Suggestions were made to look at web sites from other universities to look at formats, what might fit, and gather commonly asked questions. Susan Ullmann offered to look at websites in conjunction with Jodie. Jodie will then send out a survey via email.

Fall Weekend Wrap Up

Refunds: 11 people did not show up for the float trips. Refunds were requested by some no shows. The board agreed refunds would only be allowed for emergency situations. One family had a family emergency just after arriving for the weekend and had to make emergency travel arrangements to fly back out of Bozeman.

Parking: Discussion around how people reacted to the paid parking. The board wondered about having parking fees waived. Jodie shared that everyone who works on campus or visits pays for parking. It is a self supporting auxiliary and parking is not waived even for the president. The board decided that covering parking was a necessary evil and it should be covered to the extent we can. It was agreed to continue to cover parking.

Sponsorship: The value of sponsorship was discussed. This year's sponsorships were not finalized until 8 weeks before Parents' Weekend. Jodie stated the goal for next year is to have the major details done by June before the orientations. There were 3 levels of sponsorship this year: 1) $500, 2) $250 3) $100. Each level up involves increased exposure to the parents and families. Board members agreed to continue soliciting sponsorships. Suggestions made included mailing a Presidential letter to current sponsors, increasing the levels to include $1000, which would include earlier advertising at orientation, emailing board members in January to remind members of sponsorships in the hopes of soliciting more participation. Action plan: Jodie and Cathy Hammer will compose a letter to a company Cathy has contact with to solicit a sponsorship, earlier mailings to current sponsors, increase products/exposure to higher level of sponsorship.

$200 for the 4 $50 gift certificates given in drawings at orientations needs to be covered. Victoria Stockdale moved to cover the amount out of the $2000 new initiative fund. Steve Sweeney seconded. All in favor.

At meeting time, it appeared that there might be an overage in associated costs for Parent/Family weekend. At meeting time, Jodie gave the figure of $411, although the final accounting was still to be determined. Lynn Johnson moved to cover the overage out of the new initiative fund. Seconded by Laura Sweeney. All agreed in favor.

PFA Fall Weekend 2007

Tentative dates will be October 19th through October 21, 2007. Will be confirmed once the football schedule is finalized.

Possible cost reductions were discussed. Jodie stated that the cost of printing and mailing of the brochures constitutes a large portion of the cost of the weekend. This year's costs were approximately $6700 to print and mail to 9500 families. Since all but 40 registrations were done online, ways to distribute the information were suggested. It was suggested that having the "meat" of the weekend be included in the summer orientation packets for freshmen and new students. The suggestion was made to mail to freshmen parents only since they comprise the majority of the respondents. Other suggestions were to send a postcard only with the dates, the purpose, and the site to view the schedule online. It was also mentioned that the format of the trifold schedule online was difficult to read. Susan Ullmann moved to use postcard mail outs only with the full schedule in orientation as well as online in text format. Steve Sweeney seconded. All in favor.

Suggestions for changes were discussed. Suggestions included offering other Montanan activities such as fly casting, Yellowstone trip (Steve Sweeney offered to guide), opening up the faculty lectures to the public, guided tour of the Museum of the Rockies by Jack Horner, soliciting hotels to advertise the parent weekend, incorporate the community into the weekend more. It was also suggested to change the door prizes to raffle tickets for the President's Breakfast and soliciting silent auction items from others besides the board members. Decisions on suggested changes will be discussed at the spring meeting.

Jodie mentioned that the alumni director was requesting an article on the board for the Collegian.

The tentative spring meeting is set for Saturday, March 24, 2007.

Susan Hiedeman moved to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Liz Taflan. All in favor.