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STANDARD FOUR

  

   STANDARD FOUR:

   FACULTY

INTRODUCTION

The faculty at Montana State University - Bozeman (MSU) are its most valuable resource. There are approximately 650 resident full-time faculty, of whom nearly three-quarters hold terminal degrees in their fields, and more than two-thirds hold doctorates. MSU has nearly 200 part-time faculty. Because of the nature of a land-grant institution, many faculty hold joint appointments with affiliated research organizations on campus. Faculty serve as members of numerous campus committees, advisors to undergraduate and graduate students, and as advisors for student organizations and committees. The student/faculty ratio is approximately 19.5 to 1.

Two (2) studies were undertaken to assess faculty opinion on issues related to their ability to achieve MSU's goals and mission. First, focus group interviews were conducted with a representative sample of faculty across ranks and departments [Appendix 4-A, Faculty Focus Group Study]. Four (4) focus groups averaging ten (10) faculty each were surveyed and interviewed. Second, the Office of the Provost surveyed all faculty, [Appendix 1-K, Faculty Survey], with a 49% response rate. Both studies substantially shaped and informed this Standard.

An effort has been made to avoid using the focus group studies as a substitute for data. While faculty opinions about policies and procedures may not agree with the actual intent or practice, these opinions are still useful indicators of the institutional experience of faculty. Data will be included that will comment on these apparent contradictions.

The Faculty Handbook [Exhibit 4.01, Faculty Handbook] will serve as a central reference for faculty policies.

Generally, each topic examined in this Standard will involve four (4) areas:

        Background over the last ten (10) years

        Current discussion of topic

        Areas of concern

        Improvements made or those underway

GROWTH AND CHANGE

In the last decade, a number of institutional changes have occurred that have impacted the role of faculty at MSU. Each change figures prominently into the discussions in this Standard. Following is a list of the most significant changes, and Standards are referenced where detail can be found.

        Institution of the Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) and Long-Range Plan (LRP) (Standard One)

        Restructuring of the Montana University System (MUS) (Standards One and Seven)

        Comprehensive promotion and tenure (P&T) policy changes (Standard Four)

        Signing of the Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes Agreement (PQO) (Standards One and Two)

        Establishment of the Special Review Committee (SRC) (Standards One and Seven)

        Restructuring of University Governance Council (UGC) (Standard Four)

        Reorganization of the SRC into the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee (SPBC) (Standards One, Three, and Seven)

        Tripling of total sponsored grants and contracts (G&C) programs from $17,000,000 in 1990 to over $50,000,000 in 1999 (Standard Four)

        New physical plant changes (Standard Eight) including:

        Engineering and Physical Sciences facility (E/PS) and Ag BioSciences facility

        Campus utilities including information systems infrastructure

        Centennial Mall

        Remodeled athletic facilities

        Comprehensive enhancement of information technology systems (Standard Five)

        Overall decline in academic unit operating budgets (Standard Four and Seven)

        Long-term lack of salary increases for classified staff (Standards Three and Four)


FACULTY SELECTION, EVALUATION, ROLES, WELFARE, AND DEVELOPMENT

FACULTY QUALIFICATIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

MSU continues to employ a professionally qualified faculty, and the focus group survey respondents in all groups perceive that their colleagues are qualified for the positions they hold. Further, 25% of faculty providing written comments on the Faculty Survey cited the collegiality and quality of faculty as a most-liked aspect of MSU.

General faculty profiles and characteristics

Table 4-01 and Table 4-02 reflect instructional faculty as of September 1998. In Table 4-01, instructional faculty at MSU are profiled by academic rank or class, number of terminal degrees, salary, years of experience at MSU, years of teaching experience, and fall 1997 credit hours generated. In this profile, data for forty-two (42) department heads, 402 full time tenurable instructional faculty, and 382 adjunct instructional faculty are presented. All tenurable instructional faculty and department heads hold terminal degrees.

Table 4-01

INSTITUTIONAL FACULTY PROFILE







Rank or Class

Full-Time Faculty





Number



Number of Terminal Degrees





Salary - 9 Months

Years of Experience at Institution

Total Years of Teaching Experience1



Previous Fall Term Credit Hour Load2

Full- Time Part- Time



Dr3


M


B
Prof

Lic

> Bac



Min


Med


Max


Min


Med


Max


Min


Med


Max


Min


Med


Max
Department Heads4 42 0 32 10 1 49,342 72,007 100,148 0 18 33 10 23 33 0 72 852
Tenurable Instructional Faculty
Professor 142 1 120 22 29 37,319 64,221 107,910 1 19 36 8 24 39 0 142 1443
Associate Professor 157 2 140 17 20 35,508 52,473 79,444 0 10 31 2 13 36 0 164 1862
Assistant Professor 102 0 85 17 15 30,000 42,603 60,324 0 2 25 0 5 36 0 176 1744
Instructor 1 0 1 38,035 38,035 38,035 29 29 29 29 29 29 274 274 274
Adjunct Instructional Faculty5
Professor 5 19 2 2 13 42,332 59,231 61,191 2 18 38 23 32 40 8 171 465
Associate Professor 5 8 4 1 2 46,125 56,421 79,247 2 6 16 11 18 33 3 37 1561
Assistant Professor 36 51 2 33 1 39 30,490 40,170 55,840 0 5 18 1 7 29 0 102 1332
Instructor 35 72 2 25 8 16,000 29,940 49,548 0 5 29 0 10 36 0 126 761
Library Faculty 13 0 1 12 31,000 42,566 65,252 0 8 16
Research Faculty 19 9 19 26,475 46,293 99,733 0 4 17
AES/Extension Faculty 102 8 22 44 36 28,566 42,929 87,262 0 10 38
Graduate Teaching Assistants 0 207 1,800 10,500 24,000
Graduate Research Assistants 0 231 1,200 12,000 20,000
1Years since highest degree is used as a proxy for total years of teaching experience
2Student credit hours generated per faculty member
3"Dr" includes PhD, EdD, MD, and JD
4Any administrative component has been removed from the salaries of department heads
5"Adjunct Instructional Faculty" includes the ranks of adjunct, affiliate, emeritus, and visiting

Median nine (9)-month salaries for full time instructional faculty range from $38,035 for an instructor to $64,221 for full professors. The median for years of experience for tenurable instructional faculty - ten (10) years for associate professors and nineteen (19) years for full professors. reflects the fact that many faculty successful in the tenure process, choose to remain at MSU for many years, if not for the duration of their careers. This reflects a high degree of stability in the faculty at MSU. Median credit hour production during fall 1997 ranges from 176 hours for assistant professors to 142 hours for full professors.

In Table 4-02, the institutions awarding the highest degree for full-time tenurable instructional faculty are presented. These data indicate that the faculty at MSU have been educated at a diverse array of institutions of higher education, both nationally and internationally.

Table 4-02

NUMBER AND SOURCE OF TERMINAL DEGREES OF FULL-TIME FACULTY

 

Number of Degrees

Institution Granting Terminal Degree

Doctorate

Master

Bachelor

Arizona State University

4

3

0

Auburn University

1

0

0

Banaras Hindu University, India

1

0

0

Bowling Green State University

2

1

0

Brandeis University

1

0

0

Brigham Young University

0

1

0

Brown University

1

0

0

California College of Arts and Crafts

0

1

0

California Institute of Technology

4

0

0

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

 

0

 

1

 

0

California State University-Hayward

0

1

0

California State University-Long Beach

0

1

0

Case Western Reserve University

1

1

0

City University of New York

0

1

0

Colorado State University

8

1

0

Columbia University

4

3

0

Cornell University

8

0

1

Duke University

2

0

0

Eastern Illinois University

0

1

0

Emporia State University

0

1

0

Florida State University

2

0

0

Fort Hays State University

0

1

0

George Washington University

1

0

0

Georgia Institute of Technology

1

0

0

Harvard University

2

3

0

Idaho State University

1

1

0

Illinois Institute of Technology

0

1

0

Indiana University-Bloomington

1

2

0

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

 

1

 

1

 

0

Institute of Physics-Tart

1

0

0

Iowa State University

6

1

0

Istanbul University

1

0

0

Kansas State University

1

0

0

Kent State University

0

1

0

Leningrad State University

1

0

0

Lincoln College, England

1

0

0

London University, England

1

0

0

Long Island University

0

1

0

Loretto Heights College

1

0

0

Louisiana State University

0

1

0

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

6

1

0

McGill University, Canada

1

0

0

Medical College of Georgia

0

1

0

Michigan State University

4

0

1

Mills College

0

1

0

Montana State University-Billings

0

1

0

Montana State University-Bozeman

21

55

33

Montana State University-Northern

1

0

0

New Mexico State University

4

2

0

New York University

4

0

0

North Carolina State University

3

0

0

North Dakota State University

3

1

0

North Texas State University

1

0

0

Northern Illinois University

0

1

0

Northwest State University, Louisiana

0

0

1

Ohio State University

9

2

0

Oklahoma State University

3

1

0

Oregon State University

12

1

0

Oxford University

2

0

0

Pacific University

1

0

0

Pennsylvania State University

5

1

0

Polish Academy

1

0

0

Portland State University

0

1

0

Princeton University

2

0

0

Purdue University

6

0

0

Queen's University, Canada

1

0

0

Rhode Island School of Design

0

1

0

Rice University

1

0

0

San Francisco State University

0

1

0

San Jose State University

0

0

1

South Dakota State University

0

0

1

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

1

0

0

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

0

1

0

Southern Methodist University

0

1

0

Southwestern College, Kansas

0

0

1

Stanford University

13

1

0

State University of New York-Albany

2

0

0

State University of New York-Binghamton

 

1

 

0

 

0

State University of New York-Stony Brook

 

2

 

0

 

0

Syracuse University

3

0

0

Temple University

1

1

0

Texas A&M University

8

0

0

Tulane University

2

0

0

University of Alabama

0

1

0

University of Alberta

1

0

0

University of Arizona

4

4

1

University of Arkansas

1

0

0

University of Birmingham, England

1

0

0

University of British Columbia

2

0

0

University of California-Berkeley

15

1

0

University of California-Davis

7

1

0

University of California-Irvine

1

0

0

University of California-Los Angeles

8

2

0

University of California-San Diego

4

0

0

University of California-San Francisco

1

3

0

University of California-Santa Barbara

1

0

0

University of California-Santa Cruz

1

0

0

University of Canterbury, England

1

0

0

University of Chicago

5

0

0

University of Cincinnati

0

1

0

University of Colorado

13

5

0

University of Connecticut

1

0

0

University of Delaware

1

0

0

University of Denver

2

1

0

University of Florida

2

1

0

University of Georgia

2

0

0

University of Great Falls

0

1

0

University of Guelph, Canada

1

0

0

University of Hawaii

0

1

0

University of Hull, Scotland

1

0

0

University of Idaho

4

0

0

University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign

6

2

0

University of Iowa

2

3

0

University of Kansas

2

1

0

University of Kentucky

2

0

0

University of Lund, Sweden

1

0

0

University of Maine

0

1

0

University of Mary-North Dakota

0

1

0

University of Maryland Baltimore County

2

1

0

University of Maryland College Park

2

0

0

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

1

0

0

University of Miami

1

0

0

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

6

2

0

University of Milan, Italy

1

0

0

University of Minnesota

15

1

0

University of Mississippi

2

1

0

University of Missouri-Columbia

4

0

0

University of Missouri-Kansas City

1

0

0

University of Montana-Missoula

2

3

2

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

6

3

0

University of Nebraska-Omaha

1

0

0

University of Nevada-Reno

2

1

1

University of New Hampshire

0

1

0

University of New Mexico

1

0

1

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

5

1

0

University of North Dakota

1

2

0

University of Northern Colorado

1

0

0

University of Oklahoma

1

0

0

University of Oregon

3

1

0

University of Pennsylvania

2

2

0

University of Pittsburgh

1

1

0

University of Portland

0

2

0

University of Redlands

0

0

1

University of Rhode Island

1

0

0

University of Rochester

2

0

0

University of Saskatchewan

1

0

0

University of South Florida

1

1

0

University of Southern California

0

1

0

University of Tennessee-Knoxville

4

0

0

University of Tennessee-Nashville

1

0

0

University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio

 

1

 

1

 

0

University of Texas-Austin

6

1

0

University of Utah

5

1

0

University of Washington

18

4

0

University of Wisconsin-Madison

18

4

1

University of Wyoming

8

2

0

Utah State University

4

3

1

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

 

4

 

0

 

0

Walla Walla College

1

0

0

Washington State University

12

1

0

Webster College

0

1

0

West Virginia University

2

0

0

Western Evangelical Seminary, Oregon

0

1

0

Western Kentucky University

0

1

0

Western Michigan University

1

1

0

Western Washington College

0

1

0

Whitworth College

0

1

0

Xavier University

0

1

0

Yale University

2

0

0

Perhaps more indicative of the qualitative results of the faculty's qualifications is the extraordinary breadth and depth of their accomplishments in teaching, research/creative activity, and service as chronicled in part by Exhibit 4.02, The Research Roundup; Exhibit 4.03, Discovery Newsletter; Exhibit 4.04, Research and Creativity Magazine; Exhibit 4.05, Creativity Newsletter; Exhibit 4.06, Staff Bulletin; and Exhibit 4.07, Collected News Articles. Additionally, Appendix 4-B, Notable Examples of MSU Faculty Research/Creative Activity, presents distinguished examples by college of the last ten (10) years. Among the wide array of faculty scholarship achievements, examples of basic and applied research, as well as artistic creation can be found.

Reflections on the faculty are the awards and recognition received by students. MSU has an exceptional record of national student recognition with Goldwater, Truman, and USA Today Scholarships, to briefly mention only the highest profile evidence. In addition, the Undergraduate Scholars Program (USP) stimulates and recognizes exceptional opportunities and achievements by students (see Standard Two, pp. 126-127).

Faculty have the opportunity to engage in enriched teaching opportunities through the offerings of the University Honors Program (UHP) (see Standard Two, pp. 127) including the Texts and Critics Imagination and Knowledge series. Faculty teaching recognition overall has been expanded with many awards from programs such as the Cox Family and Wiley awards programs.

 

Through their qualifications and remarkable capacity to work and excel within varying resource conditions, MSU faculty strongly support the institution's singular position among Montana's institutions as the state's comprehensive public land-grant university. MSU has the distinguished mission of combining research and creative activity as an intrinsic element in learning. Many forms of scholarship are embraced by the faculty as equally valuable contributors to comprehensive integrated learning including applied, basic, and artistically creative endeavors.

Faculty believe their work with students over past years reflects an institution that is of much higher quality than its ranking and reputation indicate in national news magazine surveys. Both research/creative activity competitiveness and output along with individual attention to students are sources of faculty pride. This collective sense is also indicated by strong agreement that the quality of one's colleagues, strong work ethics by faculty and students, and the freedom to pursue the scholarship that interests faculty most, rank among respected qualities of the institution as evidenced in the university Faculty Survey.

 

The annual turnover rate for all tenured and tenure-track faculty during the last decade averaged 5.8% which equates to between twenty-five (25) and thirty (30) faculty per year. Turnover for tenured and tenure-track faculty in the academic colleges was slightly lower, at 5.2% per year, or twenty (20) to twenty-five (25) faculty per year. Of those faculty leaving the academic colleges each year, about fourteen (14) were tenured and nine (9) were tenure-track. For all categories of tenurable faculty, the rates were higher during the first half of the decade than during the second. Two (2) factors may help to explain this trend. First, the legislature offered faculty a generous retirement option during FY93, resulting in a turnover rate between FY93 and FY94 of 8.5%. Second, the PQO gave tenurable faculty annual raises of 6.9% between FY96 and FY99.

Areas of concern

The number of adjunct instructional faculty employed by the university has increased over the past decade, both in terms of headcount and full-time equivalents. Based on a fall snapshot of the employee database, the number of adjunct instructional faculty increased from 111 in fall of 1990 to 205 in fall of 1998, with a corresponding increase of 51.15 full-time equivalent (FTE). Most of the increase, however, occurred during the first part of the decade; the number and FTE of adjunct instructional faculty have been fairly constant since FY94.

The overall rise in the numbers of adjunct/part-time faculty with respect to tenured or tenure-track faculty generates some concern in those disciplines that have become overly-dependent on adjunct faculty to fundamentally shape the curriculum and experience of entering students. In addition, department heads have cited the temptations to rely too heavily on adjunct instruction because of the budgeting flexibility their status offers. On the other hand, the use of adjuncts varies greatly across the university, and many have become proven and dedicated contributors to vital areas of their programs. (See pp. 201-202, Adjunct/Part-Time Faculty.)

FACULTY PARTICIPATION IN UNIVERSITY ACTIVITIES

According to survey results, faculty focus groups (64%) do not feel faculty have effectively participated in the governance of the institution, and follow-up interviews indicated that budget and planning issues were a leading concern. Additionally, focus group department heads and tenured faculty did not feel faculty have effectively participated in academic planning. The listings of the MSU committees [Exhibit 1.09, University Committees], however, partially indicate the extent of faculty participation in the central activities of the campus.

A most noteworthy development has been the re-constitution of the Faculty Council [Exhibit 1.13, Faculty Council] into the UGC [Exhibit 1.12, University Governance Council] and the Professional Council [Exhibit 1.14, Professional Council]. This more representative forum has assisted in strengthening direct committee participation in virtually every area of faculty concern including academic planning, curriculum development and review, institutional governance, and long-range planning.

LRPC, SRC, SPBC, and University Budget Committee (UBC)

The LRPC formulated an LRP for MSU and updated its significant goals, [Appendix 1-C, Long Range Plan, 1994; Appendix 1-D, Long Range Plan (Revised 1998); and Appendix 1-E, Long Range Plan Goals and Strategies (Revised 1998)]. Since the early 1990's, however, no short-range tactical planning has been linked to budgeting. The UBC was a large group that was convened primarily to receive the proposed budget plans for the coming year. Its size of thirty (30) plus members and its charge were not conducive to planning nor critical analysis, let alone meaningful discussion.

During the past few years when low academic unit budgets had been cut further, faculty increasingly signaled a need for an examination of MSU's instructional priorities. This contributed to the creation of the SRC in 1997, which had substantial faculty representation. Among the SRC's recommendations and findings were the endorsement of the Boyer Report on Reinventing Undergraduate Education [Exhibit 4.08, Boyer Report - Reinventing Undergraduate Education] including its principle that all faculty and students must be learners and discoverers. In its most substantial recommendation, the SRC proposed a new institutional planning effort to align the Mission Statement, LRP, and strategic planning and budget. The SRC also recognized the importance of institutional planning combining teaching and research/creative activity as MSU's foremost priority [Appendix 1-I, Special Review Committee Report].

As a result of this re-focus, the SPBC was formed in 1998. Recently convened, this committee was designed to engage in comprehensive planning through meaningful short-term linkages between budgeting and the tactical means to reach our long range planning goals. In the Faculty Survey, 66% of respondents felt that future decision-making should be guided by the LRP. SPBC Faculty Council representatives believe the following objectives reinforce the LRP goals:

        Congruency between MSU's Mission Statement (Standard One, Figure 1-01, pp. 14), the LRP, and the Strategic Plan

        A procedure to allocate funding based on campus-wide program priorities

        An emphasis on instruction as the first funding priority

        Provisions for the rebuilding of academic operating budgets

        Establishment of a secure academic enhancement reserve fund

        A mechanism for moving resources to areas with expanding enrollment

        Meaningful budget linkages between priorities and expenditures

        Re-constitution of faculty development programs

Although the SPBC is very much a work in progress, Faculty Council representatives serving on the SPBC believe this committee holds the single, greatest promise in positive efforts for change and improvement at MSU through linked budget and shorter-range planning. The Faculty Survey, however, shows that only 26% of faculty believe the SPBC effort will achieve meaningful planning and budget linkages. Fifty-six (56%) percent either do not know or feel otherwise. This contrast may be explainable by several factors:

        A low-level of apparent results during its initial year

        Continuing discussions about its charge and the usefulness of linking budget with strategic planning

        Disillusionment with perceived meaningful planning evidence in support of instruction over previous years

Very recent developments in the work of the SPBC, including its draft of Strategic Objectives for MSU [Appendix 1-J, Strategic Planning and Budget Committee Strategic Objectives for MSU - Bozeman - Draft], are currently being reviewed for campus comment. This process is a key effort in which faculty have substantial representation toward the two (2)- to five (5)-year tactics designed to address many of the planning and resource issues cited in this standard.

Planning participation in support of mission and identity

Faculty in the focus groups expressed support for the tripartite mission of the University and feel that future decision-making should be guided by the LRP. As mentioned previously, substantial numbers (81%) of the focus groups, however, believe MSU does not engage in comprehensive planning with a high priority for instruction. A major factor in faculty focus group interviews was the growing uncertainty of how institutional priorities will be affected by a recent statement by MSU's President. The statement was that MSU is a research university, and it will make seeking Carnegie Research II status a high priority. Very recently proposed SPBC objectives signal a resolution to this ambiguity by advocating the shift from a Carnegie Doctoral Institution to a Carnegie Research Institution. The SPBC regards this move as a sustaining element in the overall mission of MSU as a comprehensive land-grant public university.

Faculty representatives are working through governance committees to address significant changes such as the research university designation sought by central administration and the SPBC. Many faculty have responded that the absence of a campus-wide consensus reflects much more than conveniences for research or superficial differences in titles. It perhaps becomes an indicator of deeper uncertainties about the institution's purposes and direction.

Budget data and information

For academic planning to achieve the clarity of purpose and appropriate strategic objectives, MSU must have a clear view of its budgeting choices. To gain public confidence in institutional directions, a recent editorial in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle [Exhibit 4.09, Bozeman Daily Chronicle Article] echoed a call made by some faculty planners to provide a budget description understandable to lay constituencies, accompanied by a narrative description of how this funding reflects institutional priorities. These are commonly available from counties and municipalities in Montana, but as yet no such reflection is available to external and internal observers. Faculty SPBC members feel these tools would be of great benefit to planning such as the SPBC effort. With a $200,000,000 budget, the additional administrative assistance to compile such an effort is believed to be many times worth the effort.

Curriculum development and review

MSU faculty are involved in academic planning, development, and review at the departmental, college, and university levels. Sixty percent (60%) of those responding to the Faculty Survey agreed that they have ample input into the academic policy-making process at the department level. The focus group survey, however, showed split opinions when faculty were asked if they participated effectively in academic planning of the institution. Less confidence appears to exist in the effectiveness of this participation at the college and university levels where academic planning and tight resources may create the impression of limited progress.

The Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGSC) and the Core Curriculum Committee (CCC) are formative in faculty curriculum participation. The UGSC is made up primarily of faculty members and is charged with the review of all undergraduate program and course requests. Members consider academic soundness, impact on library and other institutional resources, duplication, and conflicts of academic interests. The recent addition of a faculty representative from Faculty Council creates a liaison in curriculum planning with formal governance structures. (See Standard Two, pp. 28.)

The CCC is also made up primarily of faculty members. It is charged with articulating core philosophy; setting criteria; setting policy and procedures; and reviewing, approving, and evaluating core courses. This committee also now has a faculty representative from Faculty Council as a liaison. (See Standard Two, pp. 28.)

The Graduate Council (GC), comprised of faculty members from each college, advises the Dean of Graduate Studies on matters of policy and reviews graduate course and program offerings on much the same basis as the UGSC. (See Standard Two, pp. 28).


General education

Since 1996, a small group of faculty have re-invigorated efforts to give greater pedagogical power to MSU's general education offering (see Standard Two, pp. 38-39). With assistance from the Hewlett Foundation, faculty are study-ing more effective ways to enhance the core curriculum and several of these are underway in an experimental form.

Through open forums, group presentations, and campus-wide discussion, faculty and students are debating the pedagogical merits of core proposals. These plans, once again, are exemplary of intentions to advance partnerships in learning at MSU. Many of the enhancements, however, require greater faculty numbers and the support to enable the improved learning models within a potentially new core. These implications and the feasibility of the extensive work already underway by faculty planners remains dependent on new funding.

College of Graduate Studies

While G&C funding as one (1) benchmark for Research II status has seen remarkable growth, the number of doctoral graduate students has not increased in recent years. Even though faculty would see new opportunities in G&C funding with a reliable graduation of more than forty (40) doctoral students, creating the second Research II benchmark, the greatest benefit to learning is the contribution these students make to undergraduate research. (See Standard Two, pp. 97-121).

A number of structural problems contribute to a disconnection between graduate teaching and undergraduate learning. Most of these problems have long been identified by faculty and administration, but funding has been unavailable to remove the obstacles presented such as:  

        State of Montana residency requirements prohibit graduate students from earning residency if taking more than six (6) credits, discouraging a competitive posture for out-of-state students

        Comparatively low stipends currently at $12,000 per year which have been recommended to be raised to $16,000 by the Research Advisory Committee (RAC)

        An underfunded graduate studies office with an operating budget that does not allow generation of reasonable promotional mailing and recruiting efforts for prospective students

        A suspected tendency to hire post-doctoral assistance rather than graduate students in order to gain longer- term project stability and immediately available expertise

        A significant hiatus in hiring a permanent Dean of Graduate Studies, a position which has only recently been filled

Summer semester enhancement

One of the most promising areas of new learning opportunities, coupled with a rare chance to raise university revenue, appears to be an enhanced summer semester program at MSU. Bozeman's summer climate and Northern Rockies scenery are considered an extremely attractive asset to studying. There are further strong indications that a fully supported summer semester at MSU would generate significant dividends for the University. Despite appeals to this effect, necessary seed investments for this encouraging opportunity have eluded the institution. Faculty are currently developing entrepreneurial responses to departmental summer offerings on a smaller scale.

Enriched teaching and learning opportunities

As previously mentioned, faculty are able to participate in two (2) special learning opportunities - the MSU UHP and the USP. Faculty report a high level of enriched learning and student engagement in these two (2) important university offerings.

The UHP solicits faculty participation with highly motivated students in small group settings. Faculty are encouraged to submit ideas for explorations that often take them beyond their current teaching venues. Through seminars, guest speakers, and honors courses, faculty and students are able to come together in circumstances where each is pursuing new and fertile landscapes. Faculty associated with the UHP and its scholarship selections often mention the paucity of scholarship funding that is not commensurate with the number of sought-after students considering honors enrollment.

The USP offers faculty unusual opportunities to collaborate with students who support undergraduate research and creative activity.   Mentoring relationships are fostered in one-on-one environments or in small groups and are centered on student scholarship projects. These activities culminate in the Annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference where faculty and students share recognition of these focused experiences.

Distance learning

The LRPC has undertaken a study of the role distance learning initiatives should play in a campus-wide examination of this emerging force. Many programs which have found a natural "fit" with likely remote or off-campus audiences have already engaged the medium. Further, faculty piloting those programs have widely shared their experiences with others. The important early recognition seems to be that distance learning can be a very effective delivery

system in many cases, and that the most obvious of these have already been recognized at MSU. Nevertheless, distance learning is not believed to be a substantial replacement for the active learning experiences that are an integral part of learning as a community of scholars. The accessibility goals of this type of learning are fundamental to faculty at MSU, and are well-acknowledged in the university's long range plans.

In short, most believe that a highly selective and fiscally aware approach should be taken to the development of distance learning at MSU. This should not preclude innovative possibilities that are often woven into enriched current course offerings including those that are already underway in the Burns Telecommunications Center (BTC). On the other hand, faculty feel that an attempt to compete with the University of Phoenix or a failure to understand the learning limitations of distance practices would be a disservice to an institution that is striving to bring students and faculty closer together in side-by-side learning and discovery. Please refer to Standard Two for more information on distance learning at MSU. (See Standard Two, pp. 133-134.)

Instructional opportunities reserve fund

Faculty that pursue numerous worthy teaching/learning activities are hindered frequently by a lack of resources. In a recurring example, faculty often find themselves with an exceptional opportunity to combine a teaching/learning need with matching funds in support of their learning program. In recent years, the Provost's office has been unable to create a reserve fund for new teaching/learning opportunities. With claims on current offerings stretched so thin, reserves elude those faculty who find even modest matching possibilities or who may see unique potentials with minimal investments in equipment, time, or assistance.

General faculty goals supporting learning

Faculty have expressed specific learning values through the LRPC, SRC, and the SPBC. As remarkable as faculty attainments have been given limited shortages of resources, faculty clearly look forward to continued participation in this record of achievement in the following areas:

        Greater realization of the principle that all faculty and students are learners and discoverers

        Enhanced support for integrated/active learning in undergraduate and graduate programs through new combinations of research/creative activity and teaching

        Broader recognition and understanding of the full range of faculty scholarship activities and their critical contributions to the vitality of teaching and learning

        General enabling of the potential of a dedicated and proven faculty

FINANCIAL RESOURCES FOR ACADEMIC UNIT OPERATIONS, ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT, AND FACULTY DEVELOPMENT

Academic unit operation budgets

Recent large physical construction projects have projected a somewhat misleading public image of robust institutional budgets. Consequently Faculty Council recently compiled an Academic Unit Budget Cut Impact Survey (ABIS) to make the effects of recent academic budget cutting on the classroom, laboratory, and studio more visible [Exhibit 4.10, Academic Unit Budget Cut Impact Survey]. Twenty-four (24) academic departments reported in this informal and anecdotal survey. The survey illustrates the implications of the lack of operational funds for critical equipment for classrooms, laboratories, and studios. This can be very discouraging to faculty as they are urged to create more popular and better synthesized offerings in a "hands-on" environment. The ABIS Survey is currently being introduced to the SPBC in the hope it will illustrate how closely connected funding (or under-funding) can be to learning.

From a faculty viewpoint, it is difficult to over-emphasize the negative impacts to teaching/learning created by these continual shortfalls and consequent under-funding. In some programs, the chief senior capstone synthesis experience has been profoundly undercut due to a simple lack of fundamental equipment normally acquired and maintained by the departmental operations budget. Those teaching/learning experiences that are highly dependent on a hands-on synthesis can be the most affected. Please refer to the case study offered in Exhibit 4.11, Case Study, and the ABIS survey as examples of the serious problem for MSU students and faculty.

Department heads in the focus group interviews expressed deep frustration with departmental budgets that have no assurances of a reliable and planned future. Most academic department heads are also faculty who continue to teach. Their primary administrative motivation is to promote and support the aspirations and potential of their faculty. Instead many report experiences illustrated by a survey interviewee who said, "I am relegated to displacing much or most of my ambitions for teaching/learning initiatives by my faculty and instead lay awake at night hoping the departmental copy machine doesn't choose to fail during this funding period."

In recent developments, the President's Executive Council (PEC) has approved the recommendations of the SPBC to restore amounts lost during academic-unit operation budget cuts invoked in 1998. This is seen as a first step toward improvement of the existing low budget levels.

Faculty development travel funding

The ability of faculty to present their work and explore resources in support of their professional development is vital to the advancement and well-being of their scholarship. Some departments have experienced a sustained lack

of operating budgets supporting professional development. This on-going problem has forced many departments to face elimination of these funds in 1999. These departments tend to be in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, where grant funding is less available. Whether they are junior or senior faculty members, expectations of research/creative activity may be higher than ever. Senior faculty view this deficiency as seriously as those for whom promotion and tenure is a critical consideration. Viewed by some outside the academic endeavor as a frill, faculty at MSU consider travel funding fundamental to the fulfillment of their academic responsibilities, regardless of their seniority.

Accomplishments and turnover in academic administrative resources

In recent years the Office of the Provost has been instrumental in carrying forward many administrative improvements that are related to learning advancement. Those particularly consequential for faculty and students have been:

        Facilitation of campus access to and overall development of information technology systems

        Initiation of a pilot program to enhance resources in academic areas based on increased enrollment opportunities

        Furtherance of faculty discussion on the role of evaluating teaching

        Support for faculty governance in all areas including enhanced communication and access to central administration, information dissemination, expanded faculty access to committee involvement, and curricular committee representation

        Initiating and enabling greater university awareness of student outcomes assessment

        Overall direction and support for accountability among all colleges for strategic planning and equitable budget responsibility

        Continued sponsorship for placing learning and instruction at the top of university priorities

        Support for exploratory core curriculum discussion and experimentation

        Vigilant concern for the viability of student learning interests ranging from enhanced undergraduate scholarship opportunities to encouragement of promising teaching/learning techniques

        Major revision and updating of P&T procedures

        Enabling of the USP

        Support for the UHP

        Cooperation in efforts to incorporate college development officers more fully

In spite of these and the other recent accomplishments of academic affairs during the past ten (10) years, many faculty believe academic planning and direction has suffered deeply from a lack of continuity in the vital administrative resource provided by the chief academic officer's post, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The faculty will see their fifth provost of the decade in 1999. Three (3) of the five (5) provosts have been interim positions. The last two (2) provosts were selected as a result of national searches, and both moved on after approximately three (3) years. Their familiarity with the University was just beginning to put them in a position to foster far-reaching learning initiatives and long-term progressive curricular improvements. Building a strong, integrated, and well-planned academic future may be significantly hampered by this condition, according to some faculty.

Some faculty attribute this rapid turnover to comparatively low administrative salaries at MSU. Faculty Council leadership, through weekly meetings with the Provost's office and participation in provost search committees, speculate that needed budget flexibility is also a factor. They further surmise that frequently denied promising academic opportunities plays some role in the dissatisfaction of this vital position.

Overall funding issues in the colleges

On-going budget shortfalls in the colleges may be the most persistent indicator of intertwined planning, prioritizing, and funding problems in the University. Issues varying from teaching loads, underfunded academic operations budgets, curtailment of faculty professional development travel funds, absence of teaching/learning opportunity funding, and the perceived polarization of research versus teaching all seem to intersect. MSU's biggest college, containing up to 40% of all faculty, has been particularly impacted; subsequently, the budgets of all colleges have been affected.

Deans of some colleges have been reluctant to see shortfalls in other colleges due to instructional funding. As a result, a campus-wide discussion of teaching load equity is currently taking place. See pp. 193-194, Faculty Workloads, for more information.

As MSU heads into its next budget year, faculty feel they have very little information as to how chronic deficits and related issues will be comprehensively resolved in order to reduce the frictions created among colleges.

SHARED GOVERNANCE

With the adoption of a new Faculty Council Constitution in 1996 [Exhibit 4.12, Faculty Council Constitution; and Exhibit 4.13, Faculty Council By-Laws], in combination with Professional Council into a restructured UGC [Exhibit 4.14, University Governance Council Organizational Chart], MSU's faculty governance has reached higher levels of participation and activism in governance. This has been accommodated by gratifying and enhanced communication with central administration.   Faculty Council steering committee members largely view this as a particularly welcome advance coming during a period of increased importance of decision-making at all levels of university governance.

Two (2) unprecedented developments, the creation of the SRC and the creation of the SPBC, have been partly a product of administration's inclusion of more meaningful faculty involvement in governance. This has stemmed from increased faculty activism through its revised council structure. The benefits of this cooperation are promising. Representation by a Faculty Council member from each of the thirty-six (36) academic departments is a major feature of Faculty Council's revised character. This has enabled communication between a member elected to the Council for a department and the Council's executive committee, the UGC steering committee [Exhibit 4.15, University Governance Council Steering Committee].

 

In April of 1998, Faculty Council submitted unprecedented budget recommendations as a result of impending cuts and potential faculty salary increase delays. While these recommendations to fully protect instruction funding, agreed-upon faculty salary increases, research/creativity funding, and university facilities were not fully adopted, this was a welcome and substantial new development in faculty participation at the budget table [Exhibit 4.16, MSU Comparative Table of Budget Reduction Determinations]. The resulting budget reflected a compromise between Faculty Council's recommended budget and administration's original proposal.

 

Additional positive steps in faculty governance and administrative communication have evolved during recent years, including weekly meetings with Faculty Council leadership and central administration leading to:

        Greater awareness of emerging issues

        Consultation on important search criteria and committee memberships

        Improved understanding of employee group relations

        Discussion of common interests concerning:

        Governing board issues

        Legislative developments

        Student government

        Salaries and benefits

        Faculty Handbook issues

        Community outreach

        Central administration presentations to, and open discussion with, the UGC

        Collaborative and informational discussions on:

        Special committee creation

        Institutional statements on teaching/work loads

        Faculty institutional information and budgeting data

        Development of new academic programs

        Information and technology issues

 

In addition, several important standing committees and Council representatives play significant roles, often unseen by university faculty overall. These essential and highly active governance committees are:

        Faculty Affairs Committee [Exhibit 4.17, Faculty Affairs Committee] who craft Faculty Handbook modification proposals and initiate important policy language

        University Governance Nominating Committee who generates all campus-wide faculty nominations for committee participation, fundamental to grass-roots governance [Exhibit 4.18 University Governance Council Nominating Committee]

        University Governance Council Steering Committee, the clearinghouse for issues brought to the UGC and Faculty Council floor

        Academic curriculum committee representative to UGSC, CCC, and Faculty Council on the activity of various curriculum-related committees

While the level of campus-wide participation in extensive committee work is high, faculty members on committees feel there are significant disincentives associated with committee participation:

        Extensive requirements of university, college, and department committee needs

        Demands for membership by women and minorities leading to scarce availability for other vital needs

        Frequent need to react to new resource reductions, as opposed to pro-active opportunities for enhanced activities

        Unrelenting need to conduct demanding searches, often at high levels, in a relatively short time

        Paucity of concrete recognition at annual review, promotion, and tenure junctures

Governing board relations

MSU's Faculty Council chair and chair-elect attend the bi-monthly Board of Regents (BOR) meetings, and participate in a scheduled meeting with faculty representatives in each of the four (4)-year campuses. As with previous boards, these meetings were largely structured in the form of working groups associated with the academic forums sponsored by the BOR in collaboration with faculty representatives. In the past three (3) years, faculty have requested and subsequently received an opportunity to discuss issues largely brought by the faculty representatives themselves.

 

The most recent version of these meetings has been a series of discussions on the nature of the learning experience from the perspective of faculty in the classroom, laboratory, and studio. These sessions have been called "Faculty Issues in Context." Initiated by MSU's delegation in cooperation with the faculty senate leader at the University of Montana (UM), faculty hope to create a greater awareness of how system policies and resource allocations affect the day-to-day teaching/learning at all six (6) Montana campuses.

The degree of inter-campus cooperation and communication has improved considerably in the past few years. An electronic mailing list for BOR members, the Commissioner of Higher Education (CHE), and faculty representatives has been instituted and used extensively between the faculty organizations at each campus. Recently MSU - Bozeman, MSU. Billings, and MSU. Northern faculty representatives made a coordinated presentation at a joint state legislative sub-committee hearing held in Bozeman. Pressing academic issues were communicated to visiting legislators [Exhibit 4.19, Faculty Legislative Subcommittee Hearings Report]. MSU's Faculty Council leadership feels this attitude of cooperation is one of the more promising governance developments between the MSU campuses.

Recent BOR developments update

The BOR recently issued a draft of the MUS Mission Statement and requested comments from system faculty representatives [Exhibit 4.20, Montana University System Mission Statement Draft]. Although responding to the draft initiative was widely discussed and collectively viewed as a precarious and rushed planning experience, the UGC Steering Committee submitted comments, many of which were incorporated into the new draft. To MSU. s UGC Steering Committee, this draft appears to be a much-improved and more inclusive document than the original draft.

The BOR recently voted to adopt a more lenient credit-cap level of 170 credits (previously 150 credits), a position Faculty Council supported along with MSU's student government representatives. A similar position opposing the use of tuition differentials at the campuses was not successfully opposed by Faculty Council. These developments are regarded by Faculty Council leadership as a benchmark for revived and re-invigorated faculty governance relations with the BOR.

Advising

Seventy-one percent (71%) of faculty responding to the Faculty Survey felt they understood university and department degree requirements sufficiently to adequately advise students. Sixty-two percent (62%) said the number of students assigned to them is equitable within their departments. Only 53%, however, feel they have the time to advise.

Faculty are assisted in their formal advising responsibilities with the institutional incorporation of the University Advising Plan [Exhibit 2.03, University Advising Plan]. Although the advising needs of each department varies greatly, the plan includes advising direction and structure for faculty. In addition, the Academic Advising Update published by the Office of General Studies provides faculty with semester-to-semester updates on evolving advising information [Exhibit 4.21, Academic Advising Update].

Informal advising on career choices, employment opportunities, and graduate studies affect students in very substantial ways. Many MSU faculty feel they fill this more obscure advising need in the interest of the institution and its students. This kind of advising is also offered more formally through Student Affairs. Standard Two, pp. 40-41 and Standard Three, pp. 160-161, offer detailed information about advising activities on the MSU campus.


FACULTY WORKLOADS

Background

The 1994 PQO made profound changes in how faculty workloads were measured [Appendix 1-F, Production, Quality, and Outcomes Agreement]. Although Faculty Council representatives were initially consulted about the far-reaching nature of the four (4)-phase project, many of their chief concerns with the measures for calculating workload were not included in the final agreement. The CHE, however, insisted on numerical standards for PQO. The agreement was finalized by MSU's central administration without faculty governance consent during the summer negotiations with the BOR and the Office of the Governor. A narrow course-credit/ FTE measure, 16.4 course credits for the academic year per instructional full-time equivalent (CC/IFTE), was applied, and colleges were assigned differential targets for aiming at this goal.

The Faculty Survey indicated that only 21% of faculty responding agreed that the exchange of increased overall workloads for catch-up salary increases was fair. Fifty-five percent (55%) disagreed. Further, almost two-thirds of faculty respondents disagreed that the CC/IFTE was an appropriate method for measuring teaching loads. [See Appendix 1-K, Faculty Survey.]

Current workload practices

Even for typical faculty having instructional expectations, overall workloads vary widely given the diverse disciplines at MSU. Most faculty have workloads that may break down as 60% teaching, 25-30% research/creative activity, and 10-15% service. For faculty with higher research expectations, the teaching and scholarship percentages might be reversed. These loads also vary based on the time-in-rank a faculty member may have. An entry level professor may be well-advised to minimize her or his service commitment if P&T are looming hurdles. More senior faculty are likely to have increased service obligations at the university, college, department, and/or professional levels.

In terms solely of teaching loads, a typical assignment may parallel the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) suggestion of between six (6) credits per semester under preferred conditions, and nine (9) credits at the high end. Clearly many factors as expressed in the Institutional Statement on Workloads of January 1999 affect these loads such as course repetition, size, and available teaching assistants (TA) [Exhibit 4.22, Institutional Statement on Workloads].

Table 4-03 illustrates the institutional PQO teaching load history, beginning with the 1992-93 baseline used by the OCHE. The numbers reached for each of the four (4) years of the duration of the PQO are indicated. [See Appendix 1-G, PQO Interim Report for FY 1996; Appendix 1-H, PQO Interim Report for FY 1997; and Exhibit 1.10, Teaching Load Reports, for further information.]

TABLE 4-03

PQO INSTITUTIONAL TEACHING LOADS

1992-93 Baseline1

1995-96

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1998-99 Goal

14.3

15.0

16.6

16.2

16.0

16.4

1When the PQO agreement was originally signed, the 1992-93 teaching load baseline was calculated as 14.3 class credits per instructional FTE (CC/IFTE). Later, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and the governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning refined the definitions underlying the PQO calculation. When the new definitions were applied to the baseline data, the CC/IFTE dropped, but the Commissioner required the use of the original baseline and modified the PQO calculation so that the baseline remained 14.3. During the years of the PQO agreement, as classes were discovered that did not meet the PQO definitions, the current year's data were corrected, but this information could not be changed in the baseline data. For example, when it was discovered that two sections listed in the schedule of classes were actually one section meeting at the same time and place, the current year's class was changed to one section but left in the baseline as two. Corrections were made so departmental teaching loads were not overstated, but in doing so the difficulty of meeting the 1998-99 target was increased.

In terms of the PQO mandated CC/IFTE, there is a wide disparity not only among colleges, but also among departments within colleges. This has resulted in a wide distrust of the measure, as evidenced by the Faculty Survey. Each college dean and department head received PQO teaching load data specific to her/his college or department. The Faculty Council Executive Committee expressed concern that all of the assigned differential college faculty PQO teaching load data supporting the mandated university average were not made available by central administration to interested college deans, department heads, and faculty. Faculty Council representatives serving on the SRC who reviewed this data continue to acknowledge the inherent differences of teaching load characteristics of widely varying disciplines. These representatives believe, however, that this information should be available to the colleges, departments, and faculty to facilitate a factual collegial assessment of its applications and impacts on faculty workloads, opportunities for research and creative activity, and related budgets affecting faculty endeavor across the university.

Areas of concern

For most MSU faculty, the time to pursue research/creative activity is as important as the resources required and opportunity to do so. Many faculty are unaware, however, of how differential teaching loads were assigned to colleges as the PQO required in exchange for catch-up salary increases over a four (4)-year period. Further, many faculty feel the differential teaching loads assigned to their college, in order to reach a university average of 16.4 class contact hours per FTE, were not part of a collaborative agreement by the college deans, and consequently may have resulted in inequitable college targets.   These loads have a direct impact on the time faculty ultimately have to pursue the inherent requirement to do research/creative activity. It is worthwhile to note that by contrast, P&T standards are not differentiated at the university level.

 

Improvements

As of this writing, the President has initiated a draft statement on teaching loads and has been encouraged by Faculty Council leadership to include a provision for college deans to arrive at revised, mutually understood, and equitably distributed college targets in support of the university average. Hopes that these agreements will avoid misunderstandings over a critical issue for equity in overall opportunities for research/creative activity are widely held by a capable, accomplished, and aspiring faculty.

FACULTY SALARIES AND BENEFITS

Background

The PQO was the primary regulator of faculty salaries over the last decade. In brief, faculty were accorded four (4) years of 6.9% salary increases beginning in 1995 in exchange for an overall increase in teaching loads of 15%. In 1998, the last year in the agreement, salary increases were delayed five (5) months in order to balance university budget shortfalls. As described earlier, Faculty Council opposed these delays along with accompanying incremental cuts in instructional budgets and offered an alternative budget requiring deeper cuts in non-instructional university budgets. Salary increases were reinstated in February 1999; the increases on average place MSU faculty on par with the effects of inflation over past years.

Policies and procedures

MSU is one (1) of just two (2) units in the MUS which does not have a collective bargaining unit. As a result, the negotiation of salaries for faculty rests primarily with the individual and the unit head. At hiring, salary policies and negotiations are guided by the Recruitment and Hiring Manual [Exhibit 4.23, Recruitment and Hiring Manual, Section 18-6]. The manual describes:

        Policies for determining the range of salary offers

        Approval of deviations from the recruitment anticipated salary range if any

        Salary deviation factors such as market salary, degree, research reputation, academic preparation, teaching ability, and job responsibilities

        Salary relation to applicable salary floors

        Final salary approval process which proceeds from the department head to the appropriate dean and the Provost

Salary deviations from the recruitment range must be also approved by the Office of Human Resources/Affirmative Action (HR/AA) which will not approve deviations of more than 10%.

Faculty Survey participants indicated that faculty generally felt their salary was appropriate when compared with faculty of equivalent standing in their own department. Of concern, however, is the perception that faculty compensation is not sufficient to retain high-quality faculty (66% agree). With regard to other institutions, 80% of faculty who responded did not agree their salary was appropriate. In 1998, MSU faculty salaries averaged 88% of the Academic Year Oklahoma State University (AYOSU) average, and were near the mean for the Montana State Legislature's "peer" institutions, the best performance in over a decade [Exhibit 4.24, Average Faculty Salaries at Peer Institutions]. Nevertheless, faculty agree (50%) that annual increases have been equitably determined by their departments and colleges (33% disagree).

Salary Review Committee

Faculty participate actively in the review of practices and policies affecting salaries through representation on the Salary Review Committee. Although members of the committee do not make recommendations concerning individual salaries, they oversee the processes of the salary reward system in an attempt to ensure the uniform application of policy within departments and across colleges. Recent reviews have addressed improvements such as setting and recommending the raising of salary floors in 1994 and promoting equitable and uniform use of annual review criteria as applied to raises.

Salary increases begin typically as performance ratings given at the departmental annual review process when increases are available. Departmental procedures vary widely, but policy is normally given by the Provost's Office

concerning overall amounts available, and incremental distribution guides across factors of merit, market, and cost-of-living. After reviewing departmental criteria with the department head, faculty are asked to acknowledge that they have seen and reviewed their performance rating. As salary data becomes available for the coming contract period, the salary change is formulated by the department head, reviewed by the college dean, and reviewed for procedural compliance and fairness by the Salary Review Committee. Appeals of this process are subject to the Grievance and Conciliation policy found in the Faculty Handbook [Exhibit 4.25, Grievance and Reconciliation Policy].

Faculty Council leadership believes that the following salary issues may be compromising the equity of the reward system:

        Possible market ratio disparities. The Office of Institutional Research (IR) June 1998 Market AYOSU averages [Exhibit 4.26, Office of Information AYOSU Market Ratios] indicate the following:

        Departments, generally in the sciences, engineering, and professional schools, based on existing salary levels, may have expected higher OSU market averages than departments in the humanities, arts, and social sciences

        The sciences, engineering, and professional schools may also be significantly closer to their averages within MSU's departmental ranges,

Table 4-04 illustrates this possibility for relative MSU units.

 

Table 4-04

AVERAGE MARKET RATIOS OF MSU UNITS

 

Division

Average Market Ratio

(AYOSU)1

Department Heads

.945

Sciences     

       Math, Chemistry, Physics

       Biology, Microbiology

.898

Professional colleges/schools Architecture, Engineering,

       Nursing, Business,

       Agriculture

.893

Humanities and Social Sciences2

Sociology, Psychology,

       English, History and

       Philosophy, Center for

       Native American Studies,

       Education, Health and

       Human Development, Political Science

.861

Arts

       Music, Art, Media and

       Theater Arts

.801

1The delayed salary increases of 1998-99 have not been included in the 1998 market ratios, and would likely compound these differences.

 

2Modern Languages and Literatures @ .982 and Libraries @ 1.053 have not been included because of anomalous market, rank, and time-in-rank conditions in those divisions; however, their inclusion in Humanities and Social Sciences only slightly raises the average.

For most faculty members in the arts, humanities, or social sciences with already lower salaries as determined by market, this internal difference appears to compound the significant market differences with their counterparts in other MSU disciplines or their department heads. Further, this apparent internal inequity does not correspond to any stated institutional salary priorities.

        Department head salaries and the administrative component. This same evidence indicates that department heads are salaried at AYOSU market average ratios significantly higher than their departmental faculty ratio. In addition, those who choose to become department heads receive substantial increases in their base salaries rather than receiving an administrative component increase. As a result, when former department heads return to their faculty, some after only a few years, their salaries are permanently, and often substantially higher, than those on the faculty whose salaries have been determined on the basis of merit, market, and cost-of-living factors. This condition, which appears to exist because of unavailable administrative component program funding, may compromise the performance-based reward system that faculty are asked to uphold.

It is likely more institutional analysis of departmental averages should be done before formulating a remedial policy, or generating an institutional salary priorities statement that reflects areas of salary emphasis. Faculty Salary Review Committee members have requested these investigations.

 

Benefits

MSU faculty continue to experience the erosion of benefits and higher costs endemic to many group plans. Compromises have been made to benefits, including significantly decreasing campus health care benefits, substantially reducing Wellness Program services, and elimination of vision care benefits. Only 44% of respondents to the Faculty Survey expressed satisfaction with their health insurance coverage. Over 50% were dissatisfied. While most feel their flexible spending plan should be continued, only 26% felt the state's Teacher's Retirement System (TRS) was adequate. Surprisingly, MUS has no faculty representation on the state supervisory board for the TRS. For respondents in the newer Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA/CREF) system, 50% reported satisfaction.

Classified salary impacts

Classified staff salaries have fallen behind inflation by 19% in the past ten (10) years [Exhibit 3.07, Classified Staff Salary Increases Compared to Inflation Since AY 1990-91]. These state-funded salaries are determined by the legislature's State Pay Plan. However, these deepening salary issues have affected the classified members of the university community more than any other. The system-wide neglect for this essential support personnel is further apparent when costly effects are realized in the classroom, laboratory, and studio. As these vital contributors have left their university positions, nearly all university departments have had to invest scarce funding into repeated searches and retraining.

This condition has consistently been an indication that profound change is needed in terms of treatment of classified staff. The UGC, with support from the administration, appealed to the BOR to seek funding to raise classified staff salaries substantially above the current offer to all state employees of three percent (3%) over the next two (2) years [Exhibit 4.27, University Governance Council Letter on Behalf of Classified Employees].

Classified staff have accepted a modest two (2)-year increase package which provides for an increase in base wages of three percent (3%) for two (2) years, with an additional twenty (20) cents per hour in the first year and twenty (25) cents in the second year. The hourly increases will come from the MUS budget. The additional pay is a unique gain that will help offset recent losses that occurred due to increases in health insurance.

FACULTY EVALUATION

Faculty are systematically evaluated through three (3) primary methods: annual review, P&T, and student course evaluations. Provisions for these reviews are primarily guided by the Faculty Handbook, Sections 600 - Review of Faculty, 700 - Annual Review, and 800 - Formal Review of Faculty and Academic Administrators.

A strong majority of MSU faculty (81%) view their departments as performing some type of substantive performance evaluation and review of all faculty members at least every third year. At issue is the definition of substantive.. The MSU Faculty Handbook addresses the review process in Section 600. All tenure-track faculty at MSU are subject to annual review. During years in which MSU receives funds for faculty pay raises, merit salary recommendations result from annual review.

Tenurable faculty who start their academic careers at MSU are subject to a three (3)-year or "retention" review at the beginning of their third year at MSU. Tenurable faculty stand for P&T review to associate professor rank at the beginning of year six (6) at MSU. Depending on the conditions of hire, faculty who have worked at other institutions of higher learning may apply some time to the tenure clock, but not more than three (3) years.

The final stage in the promotion process is to full professor, where promotion is normally awarded after the completion of no fewer than five (5) years in academic rank. After receipt of full professor rank, or associate professor if the faculty member does not elect to stand for promotion, annual review provides the only mechanism for substantive review. Post-tenure reviews, beyond the annual review, are uncommon.

Annual review

Input from participants in the four (4) focus groups suggests that the nature of the annual review process differs from college to college and from department to department. In some instances, formulas drive the process and faculty members have limited input beyond providing a list of activities during the review period. Conversely, many departments have annual review committees that oversee the entire review process and carefully consider the accomplishments of individual faculty members. These differences are driven in part by department size and resources, as well as disciplinary differences. In a university as diverse as MSU, it may be impractical or even undesirable to impose a single structure across the board.

Promotion and tenure

In 1992, P&T committees began in-depth reassessment of the P&T criteria in of the Faculty Handbook. As a result of deliberations over the next several years, the Faculty Council and MSU administrators participated in a dialogue that led to the adoption of new standards for faculty evaluation in 1996. Substantial discussion of these new standards for faculty evaluation has taken place each year since 1996. It is anticipated that this dialogue will continue.

The Faculty Handbook, Section 620, specifies "Role, Scope, Criteria, Standards, and Procedures Documents" for MSU departments and colleges. At a minimum the criteria, standards, and procedures documents of the departments and colleges shall contain the following information, as appropriate:

        The criteria and standards used to assess faculty members. contributions to the department, and to evaluate their performance in assigned responsibilities, in teaching, research/creative activity, and service, according to the type and level of review

        Any quantitative and qualitative expectations in terms of job performance, teaching, research/creative activity, and/or service

        The procedures used in selecting the membership of review committees

        The department's designation as to courses and presentations which are to be evaluated using student evaluation forms

        The evaluation instruments to be used

        A description of the methods, in addition to student evaluations, to be used to obtain formal, in-depth assessment of a faculty member's teaching performance

        The type of materials accepted or required in the documentation of research/creative activities and of outreach and public service

        The dates and times of review

        The procedures for obtaining outside peer reviews and soliciting internal letters of support/evaluation

        The methods for designating and handling confidential materials

The MSU Faculty Handbook, Section 632, addresses the university criteria for faculty evaluation. It states:

        "The criteria on which a faculty member with instructional expectations will be evaluated shall be the three areas of responsibility: teaching, research/creative activity, and service. The criteria on which a faculty member with professional practice expectations will be evaluated shall be the area or areas of responsibility in teaching, research/creative activity, or outreach service appropriate to his or her specific assignment."

From the foundation established by the university criteria, individual colleges and departments have established specific criteria for the review of faculty performance consistent with academic standards and expectations in their respective fields.

 

MSU faculty performance evaluation includes review by both faculty and administration at numerous levels; all levels have primary access to raw evaluation data. The process for annual review and for P&T review follow similar though not completely parallel processes. While there is some variation within departments and process, the basic process can be described as follows:

        The first level of review occurs at the individual department where a faculty committee or the department faculty acting as a committee review materials presented by the individual faculty member; the department head represents the administration at this level.

        The second level of review involves a committee, comprised of elected faculty from the appropriate college; the college dean serves as the administrative arm.

        A university committee with members elected from the faculty at large represents faculty interests at the third level of review; the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs consults with the university committee and with the university President.

        The university President acts as a final arbiter when disagreement exists between the university committee and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

        Faculty have the right to grieve instances of perceived injustices in the annual review or P&T process and a well-established grievance process exists.

Figure 4-01 illustrates this process.



 



Faculty Council representatives feel that the current structure of six (6) levels of "independent and substantial review" is redundant, cumbersome, and time-consuming. The validity of substantial review at so many levels above the discipline-specific level of the department has been questioned. Further, the Grievance Policy of the Faculty Handbook, Section 1200.00, does not specifically provide for the opportunity to grieve a negative promotion and tenure decision on the basis of substance. The Faculty Affairs Committee of Faculty Council is currently proposing modifications to this policy to address these difficulties [Exhibit 4.28, Faculty Affairs Committee Draft P&T Modifications].

Student course evaluations and teaching

Many faculty at MSU began using self-generated instruments to receive student feedback on teaching in the 1970's or earlier. By the late 1970's many departments required faculty to use some form of student evaluation of teaching. During fall 1978, an abbreviated instrument with eight (8) questions, locally known as the "Knapp form" became available, although departments or individuals at that time could elect to use other instruments. In the early 1980's Laurence M. Aleamoni visited MSU and presented seminars on student evaluation of teaching. As a result of his visit the "Aleamoni form," abstracted from the University of Arizona Course/Instructor Evaluation Questionnaire (CIEQ) became a common alternative. By the mid-1980's, MSU began to require all teaching faculty to use student evaluation of teaching for all courses.

At the current time, the Knapp instrument and the Aleamoni instrument represent the most commonly used forms for student evaluation of teaching [Exhibit 4.29, Knapp Evaluation Instrument, and Exhibit 4.30, Aleamoni Evaluation Instrument]. Unfortunately, these instruments do not address the assessment needs of all MSU colleges or departments. As a result, a number of instruments have been created that are intended to assess teaching activities in scientific labs, practicums, design labs, and studios. In some instances, academic departments have developed instruments they believe are more appropriate to the teaching enterprise in their own areas; some of these instruments are still in use today. At this time, as many as fifteen (15) or twenty (20) different instruments are employed across campus.

Originally, the evaluation data belonged to the faculty member who could elect to use those data to support annual review and P&T. Today, results of student evaluation of teaching are required supporting documentation for retention review, annual review, and P&T review. The administration has full access to primary and raw evaluation data for all faculty undergoing review. While the administration may have full access, in reality, there is substantial variation in the use of those data. Discussions with focus groups revealed that for the purpose of annual review, some departments rank faculty teaching performance based on differences as small as 0.01 on a scale of 1.00 to 4.00 (despite standard deviations of 1.15 or higher); other departments differentiate among poor, adequate, or excellent teachers (it is possible for a department to consist exclusively of excellent teachers).

Many faculty continue to question administrative use of student course evaluations as the sole or substantially most prominent criteria for determining the merit of teaching. In some cases, overall numerical averages are misused as an all-too-convenient determinant for ranking each member of the faculty for merit pay increases during annual review, including discrimination to one-hundredth of a point. Many faculty agree with recent articles in the Montana Professor that numerical uses of the student course evaluation forms encourage a narrow application that minimizes more comprehensive criteria for teaching evaluation [Exhibit 4.31, Montana Professor Articles on Teaching Evaluations]. A recent 1998 faculty forum on evaluation teaching performance at MSU clearly expressed the importance of diverse criteria in evaluating teaching along with the pitfalls of an over-reliance on numerical indicators.

Procedures for effective teaching evaluation by students appear to be in place, but faculty perceptions of their effectiveness vary dramatically. Thirty-nine (39) percent of focus group respondents did not believe their department's evaluation of teaching included meaningful student assessment. Forty-two (42) percent questioned the value of both collegial assessment, and administrative assessment as presently conducted by their departments.

Attitudes toward teaching evaluations elicited some very strong opinions. Focus group participants split almost evenly as to whether or not student course evaluations dominated the annual review process. Many (58%) believe that the use of teaching evaluation has promoted grade inflation. A large group (64%), argued that narratives provided by students should receive greater weight in evaluating teaching performance than numerical ratings, even though they may believe that the quantitative results dominate the decision-making process. An even larger percentage (86%) contended that scores alone do not provide an adequate basis for evaluating teaching performance.

A clear division separated the department heads from the remainder of the faculty when asked if there was a tendency for administrators to use numerical results with little consideration of their specific, contextual meaning. The focus groups comprised exclusively of faculty agreed that administrators focused on the numbers. The focus group, composed of department heads (line administrators who often have teaching responsibility), largely contended that the numbers were not weighted over narrative comments. A small majority agreed that the money spent on teaching evaluations could be better spent in other ways.

Publication and external funding

For successful P&T, MSU has long required peer evaluations of publications and the generation of external funding. The MSU Faculty Handbook addresses these points in 633.03 B and 813.03. A strong majority (78%) of the focus group faculty agreed that peer review of research/creative activity results figured in their evaluation of faculty for P&T. Surprisingly, a small minority (19%) disagreed with that statement. The cause of this disagreement has not been determined even though the policy has been in place for some time. It is possible that the phrasing of the question elicited some erroneous responses.

Despite the strong agreement that peer review takes place, many question the perceived emphasis on the amount of work rather than the quality of work. These concerns arise often for faculty who describe their scholarship more often as "creative activity" or "aesthetic experience" as opposed to "research." Qualitative review for these faculty often resides most authoritatively among those colleagues, peers, and students who experience their performances and exhibitions on a day-to-day basis.

 

Service evaluation

Evaluation of service has long figured into the review process at MSU. The MSU Faculty Handbook addresses this issue in Section 630 and particularly in Section 633.00. Most faculty polled (72%) believe their departments have established procedures for evaluation of service. In practice, however, few departments have reliable provisions for fully attributing sufficient merit to the extensive departmental, college, and university service many faculty perform for which they receive little recognition. This is particularly true for women, who find themselves substantially oversubscribed in service in order balance committee membership. Professional and national service assignments seem to attract more recognition even when the difficulty of the assignments is often much more intensive within the institution.

Evaluation and remedial action

MSU has instituted several processes that are intended to identify and remediate deficiencies of individual faculty. Under the previous Faculty Handbook, all faculty underwent review during their fourth year on the tenure clock. Some colleges instituted an earlier review that occurred during the faculty member's second year of tenurable service. The intent of the process was to provide tenurable faculty with a clear assessment of their progress toward attaining tenure. In 1996, the burden of biennial reviews led to the adoption of the three (3)-year review as an interim step in the process toward tenure. If the three (3)-year review identifies a faculty member as deficient in one (1) or more of the standard areas of achievement (teaching, research/creative activity, or service), sufficient time exists to make changes that may result in tenure. Departments have attempted to develop mentoring programs that pair new faculty with experienced and successful long-term faculty to ensure the successful integration of the new faculty into the departmental culture. Such attempts at developing mentoring programs have met with varied success.

The MSU Teaching/Learning Committee (T/LC) has instituted a number of teaching forums intended to encourage faculty to participate in a range of assessment activities [Exhibit 4.32, Teaching/Learning Committee]. For those who have participated in the various forums and taken advantage of the assessment processes, there have undoubtedly been positive results. It is doubtful that those most in need of improvement in their teaching have taken advantage of the efforts of the T/LC. Another teaching/learning program on campus is the Big Sky Institute (BSI). This program was created in 1996 to provide additional avenues for faculty to participate in developing experiences with expanded active learning opportunities [Exhibit 2.124, Big Sky Institute Notebook].

Most of those who participated in the focus group study felt that the amount of help available to improve teaching performance (64%) or research/creative activity productivity (53%) is inadequate. Department heads, tenured faculty, and non-tenured faculty were strongly biased in their observation that MSU has failed to commit adequate resources to improve individual teaching performance. The effort to provide support for improved research/creative activity productivity is perceived in a slightly more positive light with a fifty-three percent (53%) negative response.

To conclude, the requirement for the continuing evaluation of faculty performance is accomplished through the joint efforts of faculty and administration. The retention of a competent faculty helps ensure that the mission of a postsecondary educational institution is being accomplished in a manner consistent with its accredited status.

Although there is a T/LC, its level of funding precludes significant accomplishments in terms of support for teaching improvement. Many have suggested that funding a centralized teaching/learning center would assist in organizing all such activities on campus, making the improvement of teaching more accessible.

RECRUITMENT AND APPOINTMENT

For several decades, MSU has relied on national searches for the recruitment and appointment of members of its faculty. The step-by-step process is described in the Recruitment and Hiring Manual, involving the responsibilities of the hiring authority, the screening committee, and the department head. The HR/AA office briefs all participants in the procedural requirements for recruiting and hiring with an emphasis on seeking the broadest qualified pool and observing best practices in equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Two (2) tracks currently exist for appointing faculty, one (1) for faculty with instructional expectations, and one (1) for faculty with professional practice expectations. The second category provides for the appointment of faculty holding at least a bachelor's degree that would be deemed appropriate for the specialized assignments they receive. This track particularly accommodates the appointment of extension specialists, central to the outreach mission. It remains a controversial provision, with several colleges abstaining from its use, primarily in the belief that it creates a second-class faculty with built-in prohibitions against balanced development in teaching and research/creative activity. According to the HR/AA office, these concerns have not been verified in practice. The SRC recommended termination of the professional practice track believing that it discourages well-rounded development which in turn fosters integrated learning.

All faculty are appointed yearly with a letter of appointment which has improved the clarity and consistent expression of faculty expectations. Instituted in the last ten (10) years, this practice has assisted faculty in the description of their responsibilities as they evolve over a career. Further, misunderstandings in the P&T process have been reduced.

There are a number of concerns remaining. Few specific improvements have been suggested and/or implemented to fully reconcile or build consensus around these problems:

        The continuing disagreements about the professional track, with few remedial options for extension faculty.

        The insurance that faculty with dominant research/creative activity expectations demonstrate promise of teaching effectiveness.

        The growing perception, in public and some faculty circles, that there is not enough emphasis placed on the scholarly capabilities of new faculty; also, a perceived inability to effectively integrate these new faculty members into highly successful instruction.

        The practice of "replacement" hiring which fills vacant positions with overly-specialized faculty lacking the broader and more balanced capability to adjust to curricular change and new opportunities.

 

ACADEMIC FREEDOM

According to both the Faculty Survey and the faculty focus group survey, three-quarters of respondents believe MSU provides a climate of academic freedom. This climate is also supported by Section 400 of the Faculty Handbook, including the endorsement in Section 411 BOR Policy for the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the AAUP. (See Standard Nine, pp. 275-276.)

 

ADJUNCT/PART-TIME FACULTY

Background

The number of non-tenurable adjunct instructional faculty employed by the university has increased over the past decade, both in terms of headcount and FTE. Based on a fall snapshot of the employee database, the number of adjunct instructional faculty increased from 111 in fall 1990 to 205 in fall 1998, with a corresponding increase of 51.5 FTE. Most of the increase occurred, however, during the first part of the decade; the number and FTE of adjunct instructional faculty have been fairly constant since FY94, comprising roughly 24% of instructional FTE faculty. Although it is somewhat speculative, it would appear that the research-intensive push of the early 90's has had an effect on the overall numbers of adjunct faculty earlier in this decade.

Adjunct faculty qualifications and character

The Adjunct Faculty Degree Profile describes the qualifications by academic degree held by these faculty. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of adjunct faculty have Ph.D. degrees, while another 30% have the M.S. degree [Appendix 4-C, Adjunct Faculty Degree Profile]. Nearly all others hold master's degrees, with 9% having bachelor's qualifications. The use and character of the qualitative contributions of this group varies widely throughout MSU, but recent Faculty Council Faculty Affairs Committee hearings clearly reveal that adjunct faculty overall are vital contributors to learning at MSU, some in pivotal roles.

For example, adjunct faculty in the College of Nursing represent the greatest number of total faculty, and are considered "permanent" in that they are hired each year for extended accumulated years, and they have significant performance-based professional development expectations. In other departments, the more common situation is that

adjunct faculty typically fulfill teaching requirements with no expectations in service or scholarship. In still other departments, adjunct faculty are often retired faculty, or faculty who are hired year after year and grow into vital roles, frequently in foundation courses of the curriculum. In those areas with heavy G&C-sponsored research, adjunct faculty fill teaching roles for those tenure-track faculty with contract "buy-out" provisions. Again, the performance requirements and quality assurance provisions for adjunct faculty are as diverse as the conditions of their engagement.

Adjunct faculty are hired under the applicable provisions of the Recruitment and Hiring Manual, and adjunct numbers and degree qualifications are periodically reviewed by the office of HR/AA.

Areas of concern

Currently, MSU does not have a formal university policy concerning the appropriate number and use of adjunct faculty. Other than the Recruitment and Hiring Manual policies and processes, very little uniform quality assurance exists concerning their review and performance. Some adjunct faculty are subject to student course evaluations while others are not.

Few university policies, specifically regarding training, orientation of new adjuncts, and general institutional information, exist for adjunct faculty. It is likely, but highly variable, that these policies are covered by informal departmental practices, such as college and department fall retreats, which assimilate adjunct faculty into their discipline-specific responsibilities. All new adjuncts are also invited to attend the one (1)-day, new faculty orientation held each August.

The issues of concern can be summarized as follows:

        There has been a rise in adjuncts from 7% to 24% of all faculty in the past seven (7) years

        There are uneven standards and criteria for professional development by adjuncts

        There is an absence of guidelines on appropriate roles for adjuncts by discipline

        Appropriate contract types are needed that have timely renewal notification

        Salaries need to be equitable and to reflect the scope of responsibilities

        Adjuncts do not have representation in governance

        There is an over-reliance on student evaluations

Suggested improvements

Faculty feel a balanced policy that recognizes the essential contributions made by adjunct faculty must be created. MSU's Faculty Council, through its Faculty Affairs Committee, began this effort in 1998. A product of many hearings and Council debate, the adjunct policy is about to move to the Council floor for approval and forwarding to central administration [Exhibit 4.33, Faculty Council Updated Adjunct Policy Recommendations]. It currently addresses the policies that provide recognition for the contributions for those adjuncts considered 'permanent' and vital to the learning effort (about 20% of the current 125 adjunct faculty).

Developed by cooperating adjunct and tenure-track faculty, the proposed policy addresses the primary concerns:

        Suitable titles acknowledging qualified, long-term adjunct faculty

        Potential for hire with BOR contracts granting improved contract renewal terms

        Criteria for recognizing professional activity, long-term contributions, and continuous positive evaluation

Hopes remain that the viability of tenure can be discussed in a separate more constructive framework and on a wider and more productive institutional basis. In short, faculty and administration have not begun a process to fully address adjunct roles in support of learning at MSU. This issue represents an unaddressed institutional planning factor which may eventually become an element of SPBC discussion.

STUDENT OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT

Faculty directly participate in assessment and outcomes activities at MSU through the activities of the A&O Committee, capstone courses, and through the systematic preparation and update of departmental Assessment Plans and Summaries. Detail of student outcomes assessment activities can be found in Standard Two under the description of each academic program.

While faculty as a whole are in the early stages of structured and sustained student outcomes assessment, most recognize that its fundamental purpose is to assure high quality teaching and learning, a value toward which most faculty are continually seeking improvement. As more formal experience with the assessment process progresses and familiarity increases, faculty express satisfaction with the alliance it creates with on-going teaching/learning goals. Most faculty at MSU are familiar, at a minimum, with the designated capstone experiences in their departments, now a part of all academic-unit curricula (departmental notebooks, Standard Two). The Faculty Survey shows that 66 - 72% of those responding feel that capstone courses provide a valuable senior experience. Departmental curriculum committees work through their faculty to update Assessment Plans and Summaries in coordination with the biennial publication of the MSU Graduate and Undergraduate Bulletin [Figure 2-03, Current Assessment Cycle; and departmental notebooks, Standard Two].

Faculty Council has recently proposed a Faculty Handbook change to insert a statement in Section 600 that encourages assessment activity as an essential part of teaching performance [Exhibit 4.34, Faculty Council Student Outcomes Assessment Change to Faculty Handbook]. Further, the Faculty Affairs Committee of Faculty Council has proposed that a definition of Student Outcomes Assessment be added to section 602 in order to promote it as an element of assessing teaching effectiveness [Exhibit 4.35, Faculty Affairs Definition of Student Outcomes Assessment]. The UGC has also benefitted from appraisals by A&O leaders of overall plans to integrate outcomes assessment into university endeavor.

SCHOLARSHIP, RESEARCH, AND ARTISTIC CREATION

FACULTY INVOLVEMENT IN RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACTIVITY

Background

During the past decade extraordinary growth has occurred in total sponsored programs and in institutional and research centers. This has been a benchmark characteristic primarily of those academic units that are active in G&C sponsored by private, state, and federal participants. In 1990 total sponsored programs received $17,00,000, compared with over $50,000,000 currently [Exhibit 4.36, Summary of Grants from Total Sponsored Programs]. Federal support accounted for nearly 62% of this total.

To fully appreciate the breadth of faculty scholarship achievements and its importance to teaching and learning at MSU, exhibits associated with this standard express this in a qualitative manner that is less defined by overall sponsored dollar amounts [Exhibits 4.02-4.07 and Appendix 4-B]. The exhibit evidence provides a view of how classroom, laboratory, studio, and community environments display the overall learning benefits of research/creative activity.

MSU's definitions for scholarship in the Faculty Handbook include research, basic and applied, and creative activity. Creative activity is additionally defined as activity involving the aesthetic experience which includes artistic creation.

Land-grant institution mission

MSU's institutional Mission Statement (see Standard One, pp. 14) incorporates the integration of research and creative activity into the learning/discovery process. This is an inherent and distinctive characteristic of MSU as a comprehensive public land-grant institution. The Mission includes applied and basic research along with artistic creation as valued and inclusive scholarship. As a basic premise of MSU's institutional mission, the goals of the LRP (Appendices 1-C, 1-D, and 1-E) reiterate the importance of integrated scholarship throughout the curriculum.

Very recently proposed SPBC objectives advocate the shift from a Carnegie Doctoral Institution to a Carnegie Research II Institution. The SPBC regards this move as a sustaining element in the overall mission description of MSU as '... a comprehensive land-grant public university.' Further, faculty active in federally sponsored G&C confirm that Research II status is essential to expanded sponsored research. Many faculty, typically those more involved in applied research and artistic creation, question the specific advantages of this move. The impacts on undergraduate learning, already believed to be underfunded, is most often cited as an area of concern.

 

Expectations and responsibilities

The P&T criteria and standards of the university, colleges, and departments express the importance of faculty development and contributions in scholarship and artistic creation. The university standards in the Faculty Handbook, Section 800, are undifferentiated among colleges in their requirements for faculty engagement in scholarship as an element of advancement.

Three-quarters of the respondents to the Faculty Survey feel their department's research and creative activity expectations are what they understood from their letter of hire. To the same degree, faculty also believe their departments reward excellence in this area. Two-thirds feel their department encourages interdisciplinary collaboration in research.

Communication and development of policies

MSU communicates its policies and procedures concerning scholarship to faculty and staff through the office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity in several ways:

        Discovery newsletter. Published monthly during the academic year, Discovery includes columns on grant and patent issues, an editorial by the Vice President for Research on current research issues, and feature stories on faculty and student creative projects. About 2,200 copies are distributed to faculty, staff, select state and national political leaders, students, members of the media, and owners of high-tech businesses in Montana [Exhibit 4.03, Discovery Newsletter].

        Web site. The office maintains a Web site containing all relevant research policies such as grant regulations, patent and disclosure procedures, variety release policy, etc. Updated news items and MSU research publications are included [Exhibit 4.37, Research Web Site].

        Report on Research and Creative Activities. This annual publication highlights current research projects (in feature format) and shows the breakdown of research expenditures by academic unit, source of funds, and ways research dollars are spent [Exhibit 4.38, Report on Research and Creative Activities].

        Research advisory committee. The Vice President for Research and Creative Activity holds meetings with a ten (10)- member faculty advisory committee, usually twice per month. The committee offers guidance about research policy to the Vice President and informally disseminates information from the Vice President.

        Around Campus. This weekly section in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle regularly reports on student and faculty creative projects. Items are prepared and submitted by communications staff in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity. Topics are typically presented in three in (3) formats: feature stories, cartoons, and activity summaries [Exhibit 4.39, Around Campus].

Institutional policy communications

Formal policies including ethical considerations are communicated to faculty primarily through the provisions of the Faculty Handbook, Sections 900 - Research and Creative Activity, 930 - Intellectual Property Policy, and 1100 - Compensation in Excess of Contracted Salary. In addition, faculty responsibilities in research/creative activity are transmitted in the Principal Investigator's Manual [Exhibit 4.40, Principal Investigator's Manual], and the Hazardous Materials Policies [Exhibit 4.41, Hazardous Materials Policies].

The chief expression of expectations for faculty engagement in scholarship, however, resides in the departmental P&T policy. This policy is created by the academic unit's faculty and is the discipline-specific articulation of expectations in research/ creativity. Departmental P&T policies can be found in the Standard Two departmental notebook exhibits.

Faculty role in developing research/creative activity policies

Several mechanisms involve faculty in the creation of scholarship policies. First, on a campus-wide basis, the Faculty Advisory Committee is responsible for working with the Vice President of Research on all issues relating to research. The vice president uses this mechanism to evaluate current practices, as well as to develop new ones. This process is critical to a complete understanding of the context for policies, as well as their effect. The discussion is open and highly exploratory. In addition, the vice president is invited to Dean's Council where some research policy issues are brought for discussion, evaluation, and dissemination on a weekly basis.

All research policies are discussed with faculty prior to design and implementation. When a group of policies are to be created, a faculty task force may be formed to address the issues involved. An example of this approach is the is the Intellectual Property Committee, which worked with the vice president and the Director of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (IPATNT) for sharing revenue from copyrighted works.

As mentioned under institutional policy communications, faculty are closely involved in the detailed development of the departmental P&T policies which address the most specific aspects of their expectations. The Faculty Handbook requires periodic review of scholarship, as well as teaching and service policies. This is typically done by a departmental faculty committee in conjunction with review by all departmental faculty. It is then reviewed by the department head who forwards it with approval to the college and university review bodies. As a result, faculty are continuously exposed to the formulation, review, and overall communication of expectations for scholarship. The Faculty Survey indicates that 57% of faculty agree these expectations are fairly communicated upon hire, and 68% feel they continue to be clearly communicated thereafter.

Areas of concern

The respondents to the Faculty Survey indicate several areas of scholarship activity that generate concern beyond the discussion of the Research II impacts discussed earlier:

        One-third do not agree that the process of distributing Montanans on a New Track for Science (MONTS) funding is equitable and 40% were either unaware of it or did not feel it applied

        Just over one-third feel that the formula for distributing Indirect Costs (IDC) from G&C is equitable and that the distribution of IDCs encourages ongoing campus research/creative activity

        Nearly one-half do not agree that faculty have ample opportunity to give substantive input into the research/creativity policy-making at the university level with one-quarter not knowing or not feeling the statement applies

RESOURCES AND SCHOLARSHIP

Financial and physical

Although sponsored programs have grown to almost three (3) times their 1990 levels, departments having less access to the large federally funded granting programs continue to struggle for research/creative activity support. The block-grant program from IDC has grown substantially during the last year, but over twice the dollar amount in applications are received for its $170,000 worth of awards. In addition, the dramatic increase in sponsored programs (to $50,000,000) has not yet translated to an increase in graduate student enrollment.

Among significant gains in technology and computing resources provided to support scholarship, as discussed in detail in Standard Five, MSU can count the following over the 90's decade:

        Restructured and upgraded electronic library referencing systems and networked access including instructional library facilities

        Improved faculty desktop computing access with personal computers individually available to nearly all faculty as of the past five (5) years

        Hard-wired Internet communications and distance delivery communications through the BTC available to all faculty

For those faculty with substantially sponsored research funding, vastly improved information technology and computing equipment including software has transformed many faculty scholarship endeavors. As discussed below, however, the demands for continual enhancement for this support remains high.

Concerns about lab maintenance and equipment upgrades remain high as can be seen from the responses shown below. Important gains in physical facilities have been made, however, including the construction of the E/PS in 1995, and the Ag BioSciences facility scheduled to open in late 1999.

Figure 4-02 shows a summary of budgeted expenditures for 1994 through 1998 for research/creativity.


Forecast for the near future is $60,000,000. This figure may also become an anticipated threshold for the sought-after Carnegie Research II status. MSU's success in garnering research dollars in the past decade has resulted in an increased ability to work more closely with the private sector and to provide the private sector with more services and facility access. It is particularly important in a rural state such as Montana that the land-grant university work diligently to facilitate technology-based businesses. MSU, with improved facilities and equipment supported from grants, is very active in partnering with high-tech businesses in the state. Examples of the types of research with an important positive impact on the state's economy, university outreach, and its institutional mission are more fully listed in the Ten Best Projects in Research and Their Impact on the State Economy [Appendix 4-D].

Although the reasons for overall scarcity across the campus for scholarship funding are seemingly contradictory, complex, and perhaps not fully understood, broad faculty opinions about the effects on their opportunities have not been ambiguous:

        As reported in the Faculty Survey, 54% of faculty do not feel they have adequate time to conduct their research/creative activity; over half do not think they have adequate clerical and technical resources in support of these activities; and only 20% believe their department provides adequate funding in support of their scholarship

        From the focus group survey, most faculty (58%) do not agree scholarship is adequately supported across all disciplines including the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences, and professional programs

        Sixty-one percent (61%) in the focus group survey do not feel there is appropriate representation among faculty as to how IDC's are used

With the apparent substantial improvements in physical and financial support for scholarship as cited above, these survey results present contrasting perceptions that require some explanation. Faculty, through their Faculty Council representatives, often express the belief that those faculty with interests in established scholarship programs (particularly those with less access to sponsored G&C funding) and on-going teaching integrations substantially lack the IDC support and departmental operations funding that the newer, higher profile programs and centers seem to generate. Even those with long-recognized scholarship success, access to modest G&C funding, and continued learning integration application, have complained that their labs and studios have been unable to receive simple attention such as new paint for many years. Many of the interviewed focus group faculty from the arts, humanities, and social sciences viewed an absence of financial and physical support troublesome. To some degree, the Faculty Council ABIS Survey demonstrates the spectrum of these perceived shortcomings.

Although many funding support factors are involved, Faculty Council discussions often cite the uses of IDCs as a contributing factor to this perceived widening of the support gap. While the SRC report recommends that IDC's be used only to foster competitive scholarship activity versus routine university operations, Faculty Council leadership encounters faculty belief that integrated instructional and scholarship endeavors should and could benefit from a much wider sharing of these funds without lapsing into routine support uses.

Legislative funding issues for research/creative activity

The success of MSU's efforts in increasing its research/creativity sponsored G&C is remarkable, both in its achievement of $50,000,000 in G&C, largely over the past decade, as well as in its outreach, technology transfer, block-grant augmentation, and extension service to the state and its economy. In a recent report to legislators, the following were cited as contributions from this partial listing of programs:

        Collaborative research efforts with Montana companies

        Montana companies licensing MSU-developed technologies

        Intellectual property and technology transfer administration

        Licensed technologies at-large from MSU research

        Special research/creativity opportunities for faculty through block grants from IDCs

        Business and manufacturing assistance

        Creation of new technologies through research centers

Critical state matching funding for programs that support learning through research and creativity have not enjoyed reliable state support, however, and recent legislative difficulties have been encountered for programs such as the Experimental Program for Supporting Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Faculty rely on this program to seek the federal research grants needed for the fulfillment of the land-grant mission in many areas. The required state matching funding to seek this vital federal support has recently been difficult to secure due to political disagreement in the legislature about how to best create a permanent means of matching research funds. Faculty find that continual jeopardy for their proposals defeats planning for research/creativity opportunities.


Recent developments at the close of the 1999 state legislature indicate state matching funds will be available for scholarship at MSU. Some indicate this may be subject to legal challenge because of the nature of the funding; however, this mechanism may be a signal of fundamental and badly needed support for research/creativity activities.

 

Information resources - MSU library

In the Faculty Survey and in numerous campus discussions, faculty have registered repeated and serious concern about the effects of stagnant funding on the university's central learning resource - the library. Fully three-quarters of respondents to the Faculty Survey feel library resources are inadequate to support graduate instruction, and three-fifths feel so about undergraduate research. Remarkably, 70% do not agree their own scholarship is adequately supported.

Faculty and students are particularly vocal about the impacts of insufficient and declining progress in acquiring adequate holdings. Faculty and students express substantial satisfaction with the operations and assistance available from staff, but are frustrated with the difficulties presented to faculty development through scholarship, access to current research materials, and acquisitions overall. A main library facilities expansion was recently approved by the legislature; however, little state funding progress is foreseen in holdings improvements.

Additional new training facilities, electronic search, access, and inter-library loans are notable improvements.   Unfortunately, even with a flat condition on acquisitions, this is actually the foundation of chronic decline because the need for new materials is escalating at an even greater rate than make-up plans will sustain. On occasion, some IDC support from the office of the Vice President for Research/Creative Activity has been given to improve holdings.

Many faculty, in desperation, are individually attempting to keep up with those journals and materials they must have by using their own scarce funding. This practice, however, defeats the important need for central access and wide availability that hallmark this vital learning resource center. As assignments for research and creative activity expand, this shortage becomes more apparent and contradictory to the higher goals established by proponents of learning excellence, included in the LRP. The abnormally high inflation in library materials and the high cost of electronic delivery continue to add burdens to this central indicator of MSU's well-being.

Detailed discussions on all aspects of the MSU library can be found in Standard Five.

FACULTY REWARDS AND RENEWAL

Performance rewards

Welcome advances have been made during past years for exceptional performance by faculty in research/creative activities. In addition, students have seen increased recognition for graduate and undergraduate scholarship.

Sabbatical renewal

The sabbatical program at MSU is not serving the faculty renewal and development purposes as such programs are designed to advance. In 1999, nine (9) sabbaticals were granted at MSU. This occurred only after faculty requested reinstatement of an additional four (4) out of fourteen (14) applications. This constitutes nine (9) sabbaticals for a tenure track faculty of approximately 580, or a 1:64 ratio.

In recent years the sabbatical program has evolved to resemble a highly competitive internal grant program which has generated consistently less than twenty (20) applications with fewer than twelve (12) sabbaticals awarded. A 1999 study by individual faculty members reveals that the sabbatical program has not been supported to the degree of regional peers or even to that of our sister institution, UM [Exhibit 4.42, Sabbatical Program Data and Petition]. With the surprising and discouraging results of this informal survey, the Faculty Affairs Committee of Faculty Council has prepared a new proposal for the operation of this program [Exhibit 4.43, Faculty Council Draft Sabbatical Modifications to the Faculty Handbook].

Several factors figure heavily in the deterioration of this important support for faculty:

        The absence of an institutional commitment to faculty renewal and development through a planned instructional allocation of dollars to faculty

        Self-limiting program characteristics predicated on "advantages to the institution" rather than as a benefit to qualified faculty

        The lack of a significant factor for the inherent renewal purposes of sabbatical leave supporting qualified, contributing faculty

        The need to provide the selection committee with a ranking system that encourages full use of available and expanded funding

Even with smaller universities in Montana, MSU's sabbatical program compares poorly. It is very likely that the institution will need to take special steps to re-awaken interest in sabbatical applications among a faculty that has become accustomed to low levels of availability and perceptions of overly restrictive award criteria.

CONCLUSIONS

OVERVIEW

Some common threads run through many of the areas of concern in this document, as well as through the successes that faculty and the institution bring to teaching and learning at MSU. Of underlying importance is the evidence in exhibits and text of faculty and student learning achievement. In the spirit of self-assessment, areas needing improvement have also been examined.   Conclusions about both strands are believed to be dominantly based on the surveys and data of the preceding sections, along with the governance experiences of faculty. From this viewpoint the evidence of Standard Four is felt to indicate reason for both optimism and concern.

MSU's faculty overall exhibits a strong willingness to look ahead in its learning endeavors. Faculty turnover has, on average, remained low. In addition, few faculty ultimately fail to reach their promotion and tenure goals after the screening and counseling of the entry years. This suggests the factors faculty identify as positives, taken as a whole, are enough to encourage the perseverance and dedication that is ingrained in the MSU community of learners. Faculty sustain the Mission of MSU. These foundations yield all the more reason for faculty to continue to pursue the improved shared governance with central administration of recent years. With such opportunities in place, faculty look forward to improvement and unifying direction on a broad scale.

 

Over the last decade MSU has put considerable and worthy emphasis on building its commitment to fostering research, new facilities and utilities infrastructure, information technology systems, and the creation of new centers and services. With highly constrained public funding to support these endeavors, however, the price of this expansion has largely been paid by numerous facets of the whole. These include:

        Stagnant or declining existing academic unit operating budgets

        Eroding faculty development opportunities

        Declining library collections

        Surging student tuition and rising graduation debt

        Depleted availability of auxiliary budgets in service of instructional opportunities

        Absence of a reliable instructional opportunities reserve fund

        A growing perception among faculty of unwanted "have" and "have-not" classes of academic endeavor

Current FY 2000 preliminary budget analysis continues to indicate it will be difficult for MSU to support its many programs adequately. Further, it would seem that rebuilding decayed academic operating budgets, providing catch-up pay increases, restoring faculty development programs, and moving ahead with new strategic planning and budget objectives cannot be explored through meaningful phased plans, unless significant university-wide reallocation occurs. It is hoped that through the emerging planning and prioritization of recent years, many of these issues can be addressed.

NOTEWORTHY SUPPORT FOR LEARNING

Positive developments over the past ten (10) years have been cited by faculty as important enhancements of MSU's learning and discovery efforts such as:

        Development of expanded institutional information technology systems

        Expansion of G&C awards for active departments

        Partially delayed catch-up faculty salary program (in exchange for work load increases)

        Development of the E/PS and the Ag BioSciences facilities

        Enhanced opportunities for faculty governance

        Institution of capstone courses in all academic units

        Creation and emerging tangible support for the goals of the LRP

        Recent creation of the SPBC charged with linking short-term implementation and budget strategies serving the LRP

EXPECTATIONS OF FACULTY

MSU's faculty ask much of themselves, and this high level of individual and departmental commitment remains the backbone of learning progress at MSU. In addition, there are overlapping and reinforcing institutional expectations:

        High P&T standards, including procedural and substantial review at six (6) levels, including the screening processes of the entry years

        Increasingly substantial departmental annual performance reviews

        Student course evaluations for every course taught

        Increased emphasis on integrative/active teaching methods with no increase in tenure-track faculty

        Enhanced commitment to student outcomes assessment and related curriculum re-structuring and coordination

        Professional development through participation in regional and national opportunities

        New course development for distance delivery

        Maintenance and elevation of specialized professional accreditation standards

        Increased workloads offered in exchange for catch-up salary gains

        Improved efforts to retain and encourage qualified students

        Economic benefit from applied and basic research through technology transfer and outreach

With these challenges and the high individual aspirations faculty individually bring to their duties, they remain hopeful and active on behalf of teaching/learning improvements. In an effort to make the less visible impacts of budget reductions in the classroom, laboratory, and studio more evident, Faculty Council completed an anecdotal survey of these effects. The ABIS Survey partially reflects the significance of the fundamental learning problems faculty hope to overcome.

Aside from the value faculty place in their shared learning with students, they have collectively embarked on initiatives designed to improve the outcomes of their learning enterprise. Prominently among these are formative faculty roles in the LRPC, the catalyzing SRC, the fledgling SPBC, on-going curricular review and restructuring, and a more active and responsive system of faculty governance. With their many attributes, MSU's faculty are qualified and reliably committed to their role in sustaining and advancing the institution's Mission and objectives.


STANDARD FOUR - LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 4-01

Promotion and Tenure Review Flow Chart

Figure 4-02

Increase in Research/Creative Activity Budgets, 1994-98

STANDARD FOUR - LIST OF TABLES

Table 4-01

Institutional Faculty Profile

Table 4-02

Number and Source of Terminal Degrees of Full-Time Faculty

Table 4-03

PQO Institutional Teaching Loads

Table 4-04

Average Market Ratios of MSU Units

STANDARD FOUR - LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix 4-A

Faculty Focus Group Study

http://www.montana.edu/aircj/faculty/

Appendix 4-B

Notable Examples of MSU Faculty Research/Creative Activity

Appendix 4-C

Adjunct Faculty Degree Profile

Appendix 4-D

Ten Best Projects in Research and Their Impact on the State Economy

STANDARD FOUR - LIST OF EXHIBITS

Exhibit 4.01

Faculty Handbook

http://www.montana.edu/wwwfachb/fc/

Exhibit 4.02

The Research Roundup

Exhibit 4.03

Discovery Newsletter

Exhibit 4.04

Research and Creativity Magazine

Exhibit 4.05

Creativity Newsletter

Exhibit 4.06

Staff Bulletin

http://www.montana.edu/staffbulletin/

Exhibit 4.07

Collected News Articles

Exhibit 4.08

Boyer Report - Reinventing Undergraduate Education

Exhibit 4.09

Bozeman Daily Chronicle Article

Exhibit 4.10

Academic Unit Budget Cut Impact Survey

Exhibit 4.11

Case Study

Exhibit 4.12

Faculty Council Constitution

http://www.montana.edu/~wwwfachb/fc/fcconst.html

Exhibit 4.13

Faculty Council By-Laws

http://www.montana.edu/~wwwfachb/fc/fcbylaw.html

Exhibit 4.14

University Governance Council Organizational Chart

Exhibit 4.15

University Governance Council Steering Committee

http://www.montana.edu/aircj/coms/ugcsteer.html

Exhibit 4.16

MSU Comparative Table of Budget Reduction Determinations

Exhibit 4.17

Faculty Affairs Committee

http://www.montana.edu/aircj/coms/facaffrs.html

Exhibit 4.18

University Governance Council Nominating Committee

http://www.montana.edu/aircj/coms/nominate.html

Exhibit 4.19

Faculty Legislative Subcommittee Hearings Report

Exhibit 4.20

Montana University System Mission Statement Draft

Exhibit 4.21

Academic Advising Updates

Exhibit 4.22

Institutional Statement on Workloads

Exhibit 4.23

Recruitment and Hiring Manual

http://www.montana.edu/wwwaffrm/rhmcopy.htm

Exhibit 4.24

Average Faculty Salaries at Peer Institutions

http://www.montana.edu:80/aircj/facts/PeerSalaries.html

Exhibit 4.25

Grievance and Reconciliation Policy

http://www.montana.edu/wwwfachb/fc/fh1300.html#1300

Exhibit 4.26

Office of Information AY OSU Market Ratios - June 1998

Exhibit 4.27

University Governance Council Letter on Behalf of Classified Employees

Exhibit 4.28

Faculty Affairs Committee Draft P&T Modifications

Exhibit 4.29

Knapp Evaluation Instrument

Exhibit 4.30

Aleamoni Evaluation Instrument

Exhibit 4.31

Montana Professor Articles on Teaching Evaluations

Exhibit 4.32

Teaching/Learning Committee

http://www.montana.edu/aircj/coms/tlc.html

Exhibit 4.33

Faculty Council Updated Adjunct Policy Recommendations

Exhibit 4.34

Faculty Council Student Outcomes Assessment Change to Faculty Handbook

Exhibit 4.35

Faculty Affairs Definition of Student Outcomes Assessment

Exhibit 4.36

Summary of Grants from Total Sponsored Programs

Exhibit 4.37

Research Web Site

http://www.montana.edu/wwwvr/

Exhibit 4.38

Report on Research and Creative Activities

Exhibit 4.39

Around Campus

Exhibit 4.40

Principal Investigator's Manual

http://www.montana.edu/wwwvr/grants/piman.html

Exhibit 4.41

Hazardous Materials Policies

http://www.montana.edu/aircj/policy/hazard.html

Exhibit 4.42

Sabbatical Program Data and Petition

Exhibit 4.43

Faculty Council Draft Sabbatical Modifications to the Faculty Handbook

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