Montana State University

Parent/Family Association Advisory Board Spring Meeting
April 28, 2007



Jodie DeLay-MSU, Erin McBride-MSU, Chelsea Schmidt-MSU, Jim and Liz Taflan, Cathy Hammer, Susan Hiedeman, Laura Sweeney, Suzy Yudell.

Jodie DeLay called the meeting to order.  Introductions of attending board members were made.

Election of New Officers:

President(s): Jim and Liz Taflan agreed to continue as co-presidents, with no objections from those present.

Vice President: Sue Hiedeman agreed to continue as vice president, with no objections from those present.

Secretary:  Victoria Stockdale was nominated to the position of secretary.  Victoria was contacted after the meeting and agreed to be the Board secretary.

Old Business

Chelsea presented the new PFA web site, demonstrating some of the features.  Cathy Hammer commented that it is important to keep web site material fresh and relevant.  Jodie, Erin and Chelsea will maintain the web site and keep it up to date.  The board also discussed using the web site as a promotional tool, and also using it for registration for PFA Weekend.  Cathy Hammer and Laura Sweeney expressed interest in finding out how to have students’ tuition bills e-mailed to parents provided the student had signed releases of information.  Jodie and Erin will follow-up on that issue.  The Board also agreed to make a focused effort this year to gain new members and encourage them to be active participants.

New Business

New Student Orientation

The PFA will have a table at all three new student orientations this summer, and a volunteer sign-up sheet was passed around at the meeting. Liz Taflan will make promotional candy bar wrappers and send them to Jodie for the orientations. In addition, Board members were also interested in the possibility of partnering with First Year Initiative on a promotional item for orientation.

The Urban Expedition was also discussed. Due to poor turnout in the past this event will not take place this year.  The Board will explore other opportunities that may be more successful for next year.   


The PFA phonathon raised $66,690 in pledges this year.  A breakdown of phonathon costs was reviewed, including $15,000 paid to Communications and Public Affairs to cover the cost of general office expenses, employee time, postage and copies.  The library also receives an automatic 4.78% tithe for all phonathons, and the MSU Foundation receives a portion of monies raised in order to cover phonathon expenses including paying the wages of student callers. 

Funds requests were reviewed and various allocations were discussed.  While the Board sees the great value of all of the organizations for which requests for funds were made, the Board was unable to meet the requests of each organization due to limited funds.  It is a priority of the Board to fund student scholarships, therefore, $3,000 was given to each of the eight colleges for that purpose.  The Board would like to receive a list of the students who receive these scholarships along with a picture of the student recipient and a letter telling the board about the student and his/her academic goals. 

Jim and Liz Taflan moved to allocate the monies as follows:

              $24,000 to scholarships ($3,000 to each of the eight colleges)

              $1,000 to the library

              $2,000 to the Leadership Institute

              $1,500 to Day of Student Recognition

              $1,500 to Spirit of the West Marching Band

              $1,000 to Museum of the Rockies

              $3,000 to Student Activities

The motion was agreed upon by all who were present.  It was also agreed upon that the meeting minutes outlining the allocation of funds will be sent to all board members who were not present at the meeting, and these members will be given two weeks from the date of the meeting to respond with concerns or request changes.  If the allocation of funds is not disputed, Jodie will notify the above organizations of the amounts they will be receiving on May 14, 2007.

Parent/Family Weekend

The Board discussed using postcard mailers with a magnet on them this year instead of mailing a weekend brochure.  Samples of these mailers were passes around.  Flyers announcing the weekend will be included in freshman orientation packets, and the mailers will be sent out in August.  Cathy Hammer suggested purchasing extra magnets to give out at orientation, but there was some concern that these could get lost in all of the handouts already given out at orientation. 

The Board discussed a weekend promotional item.  A sample water bottle was provided by Cathy Hammer.  Jim Taflan expressed his opinion that a promotional item should be given out that can be used at the football game, such as a bench cushion.  The idea of thunder sticks was also presented.  Jodie and Erin will follow-up to determine potential costs for these items. 

Liz Taflan brought examples of table decorations for the Rendezvous Dinner, and agreed to follow-up with ordering these decorations. 

The Board discussed including a scavenger hunt activity in the weekend activities and having a Museum of the Rockies event on Saturday morning before the football game.  All present were in favor of these ideas. 

Liz Taflan and Susan Hiedeman will begin preparations for the silent auction.  If other parents are interested in participating in this event please contact Jodie DeLay as soon as possible. 

It was also agreed upon that an effort will be made to make the auction more visible and to promote big items on the web site before the weekend.  Suzy Yudell also mentioned posting a description of needed auction items on the web site. 


The Board meeting adjourned at 12:00. 

Meeting Minutes taken by Erin McBride.