Montana State University

Meeting Minutes for November 2, 2011

415 Reid Hall

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 am by Chair, Jeanne Wilkinson. Present were Pat Lane, Carolyn Plumb, Betsey Pitts, Nora Smith, Julie Tatarka, Erika Swanson, Adam Edelman. Others present: Donna Negaard, Cheryl Johnson, Nancy Filbin

Minutes from October 19, 2011 were unanimously approved.

MSU Research Council (RC) Update –Cheryl Johnson – Enhancing graduate education/research discussions continued from the April RC meeting. Goals: Set target/range/goal for Ph.D. production (i.e., currently 50 Ph.D.s conferred, double in 5 years) Need to keep improving quality of educational rigor; need to enhance quality and quantity; Support for more GTA's; facilitate interdisciplinary research with the MUS and other entities. Successful examples of interdisciplinary research have included OpTeC started in 1993 with BOR approval and EPSCoR funds. The collaboration between the Center for Biofilm Engineering and Thermal Biology Institute is another good example. Other criteria might include:

  • Use Best Practices: cultural buy-in
  • Include in Letters of Hire for new faculty -
  • Need better defined review/evaluation/reward for Interdisciplinary Research work - Annual evaluation and P&T should be split appropriately between academic department and Center/Institute/large Interdisciplinary grant director
  • Establish Interdisciplinary Research criteria in Promotion and Tenure process
  • Faculty have split appointments, across departmental/interdisciplinary centers
  • Must get credit in Promotion and Tenure for interdisciplinary research and mentoring graduate students
  • Recognize co-PIs in Promotion & Tenure/evaluations
  • Funding helps cultural change
  • Encourage new, young faculty towards interdisciplinary research

Chair McCoy broke out the RC into three subcommittees:

  • Awards Review Subcommittee: Carl Fox, Chair, gave summary of proposals received in response to new RFP, Enhancement of Graduate Education. The Subcommittee will present recommendations to Provost and VP for Research.
  • Interdisciplinary Research Subcommittee: members have met, but Chair not present today.
  • Strategic Planning Subcommittee: Robert Marley, Chair, indicated the members have not yet met, will meet toward end of October.

Additional compensation was also discussed, and if employee (faculty or professional) is funded 100% from grants/contracts, then revised institutional base salaries must accurately reflect time and effort.

Pitts queried about the existence of a campus research philosophy regarding sharing information about equipment and how research entities might collaborate/communicate with each other. Johnson will bring it to the RC's attention at the next meeting.

Announcements – Chair Wilkinson reported that the Budget Council did not meet in October and reminded PC members to read their email from Terry Leist about a call for investment proposals. This call will allow the university community an opportunity to submit investment ideas that will help MSU achieve its strategic priorities. Chair-elect Smith reported that Strategic Council (SC) will meet tomorrow and prioritization of the objectives will transpire at tomorrow's meeting. Plumb remarked that some of the strategic priorities are not strategic; educating undergraduates is something MSU does, as a matter of course, regardless of our strategic cycle. Something "strategic" would be goals that we don't currently engage in. Johnson queried whether someone from the RC was on the SC. Wilkinson reported that Jim Rimpau brought forward a mission statement and is being elevated to the BoR level for review. Engineers without Borders will present a video to the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities in San Francisco as one of four finalists. Jim Rimpau spoke about how the MSUii initiative is completed. The MSU Integration Initiative is charged with improving the MSU experiences of our students and communities overall while integrating efforts in ways that more efficiently deliver on our mission. Students from across the institution were participating in this initiative, from providing feedback to serving on the Oversight Committee. This concept was originally spearheaded with improving the efficiency of ITC and branched out to other areas of the MUS community. The new HR director is Dennis Defay from Washington State. A search firm for the VP of Administration & Finance search will be been hired. Chair-elect Smith reported on the meeting with President Cruzado and her interesting ideas on ways PC might continue their communications efforts. She suggested having internal/external facilitators for employee meetings. The internal facilitator would tell employees about what is going on at MSU. The external would be informing employees about events outside of MSU. The president asked staff senate to consider conducting an inventory about training and professional development transpiring on campus. Filbin noted that MSU Today highlights copious professional development opportunities. Wilkinson referenced the accreditation survey sent to professionals in 2009: The Status of Women Commission is looking at the data from that survey and noted that the results indicated staff was neutral about PC and professional development opportunities.

PC Fact Sheet/Pg 8 w/PE Quotes; Pg 2/Input – Last month, a PC member mentioned he would like to negate "..PC is not an advocacy group" as he believes the PC mission is very clear without this verbiage. Pitts would like the word "advocacy" retained. Swanson will wordsmith the language to retain "advocacy" with a codicil about how PC operates within the communications realm.

Meeting with President Cruzado, 11/7/2011 – Since there is no agenda, it is assumed that the president is looking for feedback from constituent groups. Smith would like to know what strategic leadership is. Wilkinson would like to ask about communications across campus: is there too much information being disseminated, or do people want to know more?

The meeting was adjourned at noon.

Jeanne Wilkinson, Chair
Gale Gough, Secretary

Gale R. Gough
Administrative Associate

Professional Council