Montana State University

Meeting Minutes for January 4, 2012

415 Reid Hall

Minutes from Professional Council Meeting, 1/4/12, 10:00 am

Present: Erika Swanson, Nora Smith, Jeanne Wilkinson, Julie Tatarka, Jeff Littlefield, Adam Edelman, Pat Lane

Absent: Carolyn Plumb, Betsey Pitts, Chancey Ringer

Guests: Nancy Filbin, Donna Negaard

Chair Wilkinson called the meeting to order, and the minutes from 12/21/11 were approved. Jeanne had just come from University Council, where Bill Van Horn had done an informational presentation on the MSU Organizational Initiative (MSUoi). Jeanne reported that MSUoi is Bozeman-focused and has to do with improving efficiency and delivery of non-academic services here. It will entail a four-year process of discovery, recommendation and decision-making. There will soon be an on-line suggestion box for employees to contribute ideas.

Dean of Students Matthew Caires was introduced. Matt started his new position here at MSU in August, 2011, coming to us from the University of Wyoming. We described to Matt what Professional Council is and what role we play in representing over 800 professional employees. We showed him the video that was made in 2010 to illustrate the impact staff have on the student experience. This fits in well with Matt’s vision of his job as coaching faculty and staff to engage in the life of our students. He observed that MSU is one of the most student centered campuses he has seen and while that is good, sometimes it is necessary to say no to student requests. He views the University’s job not necessarily as just providing customer service, but as developing the student. He hopes to encourage faculty and staff to help counsel students and sees mentoring within the professional ranks as one way to accomplish this. Our group can help with this cultural shift. Dean Caires would like to “ramp up” student participation in campus clubs and organizations, and encourages professional staff to explore opportunities to lead or mentor clubs.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 10:00 am in Reid 415.

Nancy Filbin, Chair Emeritus on behalf of:

Gale R. Gough
Administrative Associate