March 8, 2000
PRESENT:  Vicki Orazem, Jim Manning, Jim Mitchell, Chuck Lindemenn,
          Carol Schmidt, Clyde Carroll.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Vicki Orazem at 2:00 PM.

Discussion with Affirmative Action/Human Resources Director Corky Bush
- What is a Professional Employee?
     - The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ensured a maximum number
     of jobs would pay a livable wage.  The idea was to provide as
     many jobs as possible, so if employers had workers put in more
     than 40 hours/week, the employers paid overtime.  The act created
     "covered" and "not covered" employers and employees, and it
     applied principally to people working in industry and commerce.
     - In 1966, the act was extended to cover employees of schools,
     and in the 1970's, it was extended to cover employees in
     - In about 1978, MSU accepted a pay plan for some workers on
     campus.  If a position was like other positions in state
     government, it was covered by the pay plan, and these positions
     were classified.  If there were not similar employees in state
     government, the pay plan was not used for that position
     (principally research and higher education administration).
     - MSU now has the following employee groups.
          - Classified Employees
               - Classified overtime eligible
               - Classified overtime exempt (classified professionals)
          - Contract Employees (Professional)
               - Board of Regents contract (regularly budgeted
               position) - notice provision
               - Letter of Appointment (not a regularly budgeted
               position - casually budgeted) - notice is end date of
               contract and includes adjuncts, soft money positions
     - Notice of non-renewal of a contract for professional employees
     is determined by the years of employment.
          - If an employee is terminated without adhering to the
          notice of non-renewal guidelines, a reason for the
          termination must be given.  However, an effort is always
          made to adhere to the renewal dates when terminating
          - Even in cases of financial exigency, an effort would be
          made to give appropriate notice, although it's not
          mandatory.- In the 1980's, employees wanted to move from
          classified to professional positions.  Nationally, in the
          late 1980's and early 90's, suits were filed by
          professionals stating that various positions should not have
          become overtime exempt.
     - The Board of Regents budgets raises for faculty, and the state
     pay plan provides money for raises for classified employees, but
     money has not been built into the university's state
     appropriation for professional raises, so this money has come out
     of the local university budget.  In the mid-90's, there was a
     move in the Montana University System to reduce the number of
     professional employees by 10%/year.  The compromise was that
     classified positions won't be converted to professional positions
     without university presidential approval.
     - Now, in the 1990's, with low unemployment, employers are
     wanting employees who can work more than 40 hours/week.
     - The Personnel Procedures and Policies Manual covers
     professional employment issues.  The Manual is available on the
     web.  The Personnel Board decides policies in the manual, and
     they must be approved by the President.

University budget discussion.
     - The Provost's budget is $43 million out of about $79 million in
     state funding. $39 million of the Provost's budget is for
     - A suggestion was made at last Friday's Strategic Planning and
     Budget Committee that there be a base cut in all programs and
     that this money then be reallocated.
     - New charges and surcharges are being added (for example, a $.75
     surcharge on each telephone beginning July 1 to help fund ITC).
     There can't be both budget cuts and additional charges.
     - If there are cuts made and then there is a "windfall" because
     of additional enrollment, will departments receive the windfall?
     - Might salary increases be tied to enrollment increases?
     - It was pointed out that MSU is not actually dealing with a
     decrease in revenue but with a $1.8 million increase from the
     legislature.  Budget shortfalls are caused by inflation,
     additional salary, and new programs.
     - Budget information which is more specific than the 9 pages
     distributed at the February 25 SPBC meeting will be made