Montana State University

Meeting Minutes for October 5, 2011

Professional Council Meeting Minutes
10/5/11, 415 Reid

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 am by Chair Jeanne Wilkinson. Present were Jeff Littlefield, Pat Lane, Carolyn Plumb, Adam Edelman, Betsey Pitts, Pat Lane, Julie Tatarka, Erika Swanson. Others present: Jake Dolan

Minutes from September 17, 2011 were unanimously approved.

Professional Council Website Update II –Jake Dolan, University Communications – At the behest of PC, Dolan highlighted changes he made to the PC website: redesigned the graphic presentation, improved site navigation by cleaning up the front page and placing timeless documents to the side bar; added quotes from professional employees across campus about how their job affects students; added the student video; emphasized meeting/event dates (Board of Regents meetings, professional development seminars, etc .). Dolan informed PC that he is moving away from PDF documents (unless they were specifically used for printing) into html, when possible, to accommodate web content, formatting, and mobile accessibility. Dolan will upload all information onto the PC website as soon as it is sent to him (agenda, announcements, etc.). Dolan suggested that group photos/individual photos of the PC members might be posted on the site.

Announcements – Chair Wilkinson reported that the Tobacco-Free policy was passed at University Council. Smoking will be banned on campus, but must be allowed on the public property bordering campus property.

September 2011 BOR Meeting Report: Pat Lane - Expenditures that are related to student tuition show there is a decline in completions on all campuses, but expenditures/completions had increased on all campuses, except Great Falls. All campuses are encouraged to spend 70% of their Operating Budget on student services/academic support/instruction. The Bozeman campus is at 66% but including $3M to be spent on classroom upgrades and other campus improvements, MSU is closer to this target. President Cruzado gave an overview of what was transpiring on the Bozeman campus: Enrollment numbers are up 500 from last year; incoming freshman have marginally higher ACT scores than the national average; there are 10% more Native American enrollees and 3% more transfer students; the 6-year graduation rate has increased; the freshman to sophomore retention rate has increased from 72% - 74% which is an indication of how new programs are working (e.g., Office of Student Success initiatives); and that dorms need to be upgraded. Terry Leist presented information about new dorm construction near north Hedges, and other dorm renovations. Academic Research and Student Affairs Committee presented a proposal, which was subsequently passed, to establish a family medicine residency in Missoula. It will be funded by government programs and physicians who see paying patients. The Director of U of M Student Success gave a presentation about a new program they began last year for online freshman orientation registration. In an attempt to control class availability and size, academic advisors may register new freshmen students into CORE classes based on how they score on placement tests and what their major declaration is. Lane spoke to Regent Buchanan and informed him that her office, is working on the advisory presentation for the November BoR. It was reported that students from Montana owe more money after graduating than any other US students. It is not clear whether these are Montana university students or Montana students at other universities. Wilkinson stated that there were no rooms in the SUB available for the November BoR event. Alternative suggestions included setting up tables outside ballrooms (southwest corner) during the noon hour or sponsorship of a refreshment table in the ballroom where the BoR are meeting.

The search committee for the VP of Admin & Finance is beginning; Wilkinson is representing PC.

Wilkinson will be traveling to Missoula on October 11 to hear an author speak on “The Reallocation of University Resources.”

Plumb announced that she and Nora Smith are on the newly formed Strategic Planning Committee.

Pure Gold Program - Nora Smith is the PC rep and currently there are 20 nominations.

Professional Employee Salary Increases – PC is not clear on how the raises will be distributed and Wilkinson will make inquiries. When clarification is forthcoming, Wilkinson will communicate.

Professional Development WG: Julie Tatarka – Tatarka will consult last year’s survey to find topics of interest for professional development. Wilkinson researched what other campuses do for professional development and discovered that some offer scholarships to professionals for development (e.g., training off site). Pitts brainstormed about how professional development might specifically target professional employees’ day-to-day jobs. Leadership Montana was suggested as a vehicle for professional development. Swanson suggested inviting a former regent to speak about how individuals (professionals) could make a positive difference for the university.

The meeting was adjourned at noon.

Jeanne Wilkinson, Chair
Gale Gough, Secretary