Montana State University

Meeting Minutes for October 19, 2011

Professional Council Meeting Minutes
10/19/11, 415 Reid

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 am by Chair-elect, Nora Smith. Present were Jeff Littlefield, Pat Lane, Carolyn Plumb, Julie Tatarka, Erika Swanson. Others present: Donna Negaard, Bill Clinton, Bill Hansen

Minutes from October 5, 2011 were unanimously approved.

Space Management Committee (SMC) Update –Bill Clinton – Clinton presented a quick overview of the SMC, chaired by Terry Leist. The committee meets once a month, or as needed. He discussed how university space is not owned by departments and that the committee has oversight of space allocation with existing buildings, but not in new buildings. Requests for space are usually made by departments, who submit criteria for space based such items as FTE, student credit hours. Clinton stated that the committee is grappling with its role and whether it should help establish campus space priorities or just assist in administering priorities already set in place by administration. Clinton announced that a virtual cadaver lab is in the works for sometime in the future. The Writing Center will also expand. Notification of available space is sporadic; usually vacant space is discovered and notification is through word of mouth.

Announcements – Chair Wilkinson and Chair-elect Smith will be meeting with President Cruzado and Provost Potvin next week, and they asked for topics of discussion from PC members. Plumb would like Wilkinson and Smith to thank the President and Provost for the Pure Gold Program and allowing PC’s involvement. In reference to Regent Buchanan’s visit to PC last year and, because the BoR seem to be focusing on advising this year, Swanson would like Wilkinson and Smith to speak to Cruzado and Potvin about customer service and how PC might become involved. This discussion might also be taken a step further by including the new HR Director, whenever he/she is hired. Swanson announced that there would be a dance in the gym on Halloween; MSU is vying for a world record for the most people performing the “Thriller Dance.” The recent trip to Missoula was to hear author, Robert Dickeson, speak to the MUS about participating in an exercise of program prioritization. He highlighted how the only realistic source of funding for universities is to systematically prioritize resources. That would entail a year long process approved by all participants (BoR, deans, and all campuses) to collect data on all MUS campuses to determine the prioritization of all programs. Mr. Dickeson’s philosophy is in line with the findings and presentation by Dennis Jones, a consultant hired by the BoR and who visited campus last year to present his data, at the behest of Faculty Senate. Plumb reported on the listening session, hosted by Sheila Stearns; the state budget will not increase and universities will have to figure out how to do more with less. Criteria for the new CHE hire were also requested, as commissioner Stearns will retire in the spring, 2012. Swanson reported that the idea of student mentoring PC entertained is a huge undertaking and that PC might re-focus efforts on a professional-to-professional mentoring program instead. Guest attendee, Bill Hansen, cited his experience a s a newly hired professional where he would have welcomed a dialog with a peer employee about being an employee of MSU; how does payroll work, perspectives on professional employee work and accomplishments, etc.

November 2011 BOR Meeting – Chair-elect Smith will Tweet information about the meeting, which is to be held on the MSU campus.

Professional Development – Tatarka perused the professional employee survey from last year and surmised that most favor Webinars and some type of student mentoring experience. Tatarka queried what skills PC members might bring to a professional development seminar. Lane cited a website on the MSU domain, “Expert List” that Tatarka might reference, which highlights skills all MSU professional have. Tatarka will email her ideas to PC for feedback. Swanson suggested working through the Office of Community Involvement by educating the community about what the university does via professional employee interaction. Pitts is still interested in meeting with past PC members to discuss how they envisioned the professional employee experience on campus. Professional development is counted favorably in evaluations.

PC Fact Sheet/Pg 8 w/PE Quotes; Pg 2/Input – Littlefield would like to negate “..PC is not an advocacy group” as the PC mission is very clear without this verbiage. Under 2011-2012 PC Projects, simplify the sentence to “Promote professional employees as valuable….”; delete the word “expectation.”

Working Groups – ASGL has not met yet. There is a Strategic Planning meeting tomorrow, October 20, 2011, and Smith and Plumb will be attending. Lane has nothing to report from UFPB, as the last meeting was cancelled.

The meeting was adjourned at noon.

Nora Smith, Chair-elect
Gale Gough, Secretary