Message from President Cruzado marking her first 100 days at MSU

Message from President Cruzado marking her first 100 days at MSU

Dear Colleagues:

This week marks my first 100 days at Montana State University. What a wonderful experience it has been for me to come to this university and to work for the people of such a spectacular state! Once again, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve Montana's land grant university.

As I reflect on this period, a crucial element has been the information that I received through the Listening and Learning sessions. More than 30 sessions were conducted with different groups of faculty, students, staff, alumni and constituents in Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls, Havre, Missoula and Kalispell. These sessions provided me rich input and an invaluable transition into my new role at MSU.

During the last 100 days, I learned about the sense of pride and identity that people throughout the state feel about MSU. I heard about many accomplishments that constitute points of pride for all of us. And, clearly, I listened and learned about the great people that called MSU "their" university.

During the last 100 days, you brought to my attention many opportunities before us---to increase our visibility and the recognition of our great achievements, to enhance transparency and participation in our decision-making and policy development processes, as well as to foster more efficiency and effectiveness by increased coordination amongst our campuses and agencies.

A major theme that ran through the sessions and meetings of the last 100 days is the need to significantly enhance our communications so that everyone knows of our plans and decisions, understands why and how they were developed, and what we are trying to achieve with each new initiative.

In an effort to be responsive to these recommendations, last week I convened a working session with a group of more than 70 university leaders that included department heads, deans, vice presidents, faculty, staff, students and a community member; I also shared this information with members of the Faculty Senate. Understandably, people want to know what I am going to do with the lessons I have learned. From my part, I am eager to incorporate your recommendations as we move MSU to its next level of excellence, honoring our values of shared governance, transparency and communication.

Today, I would like to ask for your help as we explore the role, functions and responsibilities of five crucial areas for MSU's success: Governance, Academics, Research, Budget, and Planning. In order to fully study the viability and responsibilities of these councils, I am proposing the formation of five working groups. Because it will be important to have ample representation, in addition to position appointments, I am respectfully calling for volunteers to serve. The proposed working groups, with their initial charge and composition, is listed as follows:


Governance Working Group–To explore ways in which we can optimize our institutional policies, processes and practices, while enhancing institutional coordination and communication.

President
Provost
Vice Presidents
Deans
Legal Counsel
* Faculty Senate representative
* Faculty representative
* ASMSU representative
* Staff Senate representative
* Professional Council representative


Academics Working Group–To explore ways in which we can optimize academic policies, procedures and practices that will guide and implement MSU's academic agenda.

Provost
Deans
VP Student Affairs
VP Research
* Faculty Senate representative


Research Working Group–To explore ways in which we can optimize policies, processes and practices that will guide and implement MSU's research agenda.

VP Research
* Three Directors of Sponsored Research Centers/Institutes
* Two faculty members from each college: Agriculture, Engineering,
   and Letters and Science
* One faculty member from each college: Arts & Architecture,
   Business, Education Health and Human Development, and Nursing
* ASMSU representative
* Staff Senate representative
* Professional Council representative


Budget Working Group–To explore ways in which we can regularly formulate an institutional budget proposal that, incorporating effective representation, will help implement MSU's strategic plan, based on specific measurable objectives.

VP for Administration and Finance
Provost
* Faculty Senate representative
* Faculty representative
* ASMSU representative
* Staff Senate representative
* Professional Council representative
Community Member representative


Planning Working Group– To explore how we can formulate a new strategic plan that, based on specific measurable objectives, can be tied to our budget allocation processes and guide the future of MSU.

VP Planning
Associate Director Planning and Analysis
Community Member
* Faculty representative from each college
* ASMSU representative
* Staff Senate representative
* Professional Council representative
Deans Council's representative


As mentioned before, the goal of these working groups will be to help define the configuration that will assist us in expanding representation, promote effective shared governance and foster genuine accountability and good institutional communication inside and outside MSU.

I kindly invite volunteers from faculty, students, and staff who would be interested in serving in these working groups (again, please note the slots designated with an asterisk). Depending on the number of volunteers, the working groups will determine the best way to include their participation. We can use the next few months to work on these groups and to present a plan for the fall semester.

If you would like to volunteer to serve in one of these groups, please send me an e-mail to president@montana.edu by Friday, April 16, 2010. If you have questions or recommendations, please do not hesitate to write to me using the same e-mail address.

I look forward to working with you as we continue to build an even better and stronger MSU.

Waded Cruzado
Waded Cruzado,
President