December 19, 2001
PRESENT:  Leslie Schmidt, Clyde Carroll, Jim Manning.
ABSENT:   Jim Mitchell, Becky Ward, Carina Beck.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Elect Leslie Schmidt at 2:00
PM.  The minutes of the November 14, 2001, Professional Council
meeting were approved as distributed.

Definition of professionals - Kathy Attebury, Interim Director,
University Budget Office.
     - A handout comparing Professional FTE for FY98 - FY02 at MSU and
     UM was distributed.  Contract professionals (on Board of Regents
     contracts) are included.  There is also a category "classified
     professional" which includes union-exempt classified employees.
     - The number of contract professionals at MSU is significantly
     higher than at UM.   MSU receives significantly more money in
     restricted funds (research grants) than UM, and this is where
     many of MSU's professionals are employed.
     - A comparison of "classified professional" employees at MSU and
     UM would be interesting.  Would UM have more employees in this
     - During related discussion, it was agreed that to determine
     Professional Council membership, all employees in the category
     61124, except those specifically excluded by the constitution
     will be represented by Professional Council.  (Excluded by the
     constitution are employees on appointments less than .25FTE,
     executives responsible for the direction and management of the
     institution as a whole or of academic colleges and departments.
     Assistant and associate deans and assistants to a dean are
     included in Professional Council representation.)
     - A listserv which will be easier to maintain than the current
     Professional Council e-mail list will soon be ready for use,
     hopefully early in spring semester.

Report from the Chair Elect - Leslie Schmidt.
     - Leslie attended University Governance Council on December 12.
          - Nominations for the Strategic Planning Committee are to be
          submitted to the Provost by several constituencies,
          including Faculty Council and Professional Council.
          - The 10-month AY faculty pay plan was discussed.  During
          this discussion, the issue of receiving paychecks on the
          11th of each month was again raised.
          - Vice Provost for Student Affairs Yarnell and Interim
          Athletic Director Lewis reported on efforts currently taking
          place to deal with the continuing deficit in Athletics.

Nominations for the Strategic Planning Committee.
     - Four individuals have been nominated for the Strategic Planning
     Committee.  It is requested that two names be forwarded to the
     Provost as nominees.   After discussion, it was agreed the names
     of Mary Noll and Gretchen Rupp will be forwarded to the Provost
     as professional employee nominees.  One individual will be
     appointed to the SPC.
     - The Chair Elect will forward the names to the Provost and
     contact the individuals nominated.

Proposed University System Computer Use Policy - Executive Director
and CIO Mark Sheehan.
     - It was decided during summer 2001 that the state of Montana
     needed policies to cover use of computers by state employees.
     They were prepared by the Department of Administration and
     approved.  However, the state policies don't necessarily apply to
     the university system, where 90% of the users are students and
     where there is a need for guaranteed confidentiality, privacy and
     academic freedom.
     - Mark Sheehan and Ray Ford (UM) drafted policies for the Montana
     University System.  It is not known if the state will accept
     these policies for the MUS, but because of issues particularly
     affecting universities, it is hoped they will be.
     - Initial drafts of the policies were distributed at the November
     Board of Regents meeting.  By December 28, comments must be made
     about the policies to be included in the Submission Item draft on
     the January BOR agenda.  There will again be opportunity to
     comment before the policies are included as an Action Item at the
     March BOR meeting.
     - People are encouraged to look at the policies and send comments
     regarding them to Mark.  When the draft policies are accessed on
     the web ( a form for making
     comments is found at the end of each policy.  The equivalent
     state policy is also listed with each draft university system
     - Two policies to particularly note is Policy 002, which makes
     the university system responsible for instructing each employee
     (and student) about the policies and responsible for knowing the
     employees and students understand them; and Policy 003, which
     requires the display of a banner screen on every computer stating
     the user is aware of and consents to the state policies.
     - Because of the passage of SB 131, the Montana Information
     Technology Act, the state now feels more responsible for
     implementing policies and for providing oversight in information
     technology issues within the university system.

Process of mediation for professionals.
     - There is agreement that there needs to be opportunity for
     mediation somewhere between the grassroots level and the
     grievance process.  There currently is no satisfactory process
     for settling legitimate concerns informally.
     - After discussion, it was agreed Leslie will contact Ron Larsen,
     Chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee, to talk with him about
     the proposal for an ombudsman which will be presented to Faculty
     Council Spring Semester.  Faculty have expressed interest in
     having professionals participate in an ombudsman process, if it
     can be established.
     - It was pointed out that an ombudsman does not have the final
     say on the outcome of a conflict, but the person can facilitate a
     - If an ombudsman process is approved by Faculty Council and
     Professional Council, a proposal will have to be submitted to
     UPBAC before becoming part of a mediation process.

As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:15 PM.