Montana State University - Bozeman(MSU) has undergone significant changes related to its institutional mission and goals since the time of the last full-scale visit by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC) Commission on Colleges [Exhibit 1.01, October 1990 Institutional Self-Study Report].  The context for these changes was the restructuring of the Montana University System (MUS), formally approved by the Montana Board of Regents (BOR) in 1994 [Exhibit 1.02, BOR Approval of MUS Restructuring].  This restructuring resulted in the designation of two (2) comprehensive universities of the MUS, and consequently, this institution changed its title from "Montana State University" to "Montana State University - Bozeman".  Additionally, the Bozeman campus became the administrative center for Montana State University with affiliated units of MSU. Billings, MSU. Northern, and MSU College of Technology, Great Falls.

Restructuring has brought forth significant opportunities and challenges for MSU which will continue well into the future.  As described in Phase One of the Restructuring of the MUS [Appendix 1-A, MUS Restructuring Phase I], institutions which comprise the MUS are to function as part of an integrated whole, seeking to achieve maximum cooperation and interdependency while recognizing the uniqueness and importance of all campuses to the unified system. Administratively, substantial progress has been achieved towards this goal.  Less progress has occurred with respect to academic, student affairs, and other university-wide issues.

Prior to the restructuring of the MUS, role and scope statements served to define the mission and goals of each campus, while the MSU Long Range Plan (LRP) served as the implementation guide for the MUS role and scope guidelines.  In Phase Two of the Restructuring of the MUS [Appendix 1-B, MUS Restructuring Phase II], several policy items were approved by the BOR in 1995-96, and campus role and scope statements were eventually repealed [Exhibit 1.03, BOR Repeal of Role and Scope Statements].  This repeal, designed to create a competitive environment with respect to educational providers, resulted in the mandate to develop new campus and university mission statements.


Given the Regents' mandate to develop campus and university mission statements, a representative task force was charged in 1996 to create a mission statement synthesizing appropriate information from the LRP and MSU's former role and scope statement [Exhibit 1.04, MSU Repealed Role and Scope], and to address relevant restructuring issues.  Prior to crafting a new institutional mission statement, the task force solicited input from all major constituent groups seeking to develop a consensus mission which would be supported by all.  After this period of campus input and review, the resulting Mission Statement was submitted to the BOR and approved in January 1997.  The Mission of Montana State University. Bozeman is stated in Figure 1-01.


·         Montana State University­. Bozeman, the state's land grant institution, is a comprehensive public university serving Montana and its people through a tripartite mission:

  • providing quality undergraduate and graduate educational programs;
  • conducting research and creative activity, both basic and applied;
  • providing service through outreach to the state, region, and nation.

·         MSU - Bozeman is the administrative center of Montana State University, which also includes MSU. Billings, MSU. Northern, and MSU College of Technology. Great Falls. Administratively, MSU - Bozeman is committed to maintaining the identity and autonomy of the affiliated campuses so that each may effectively contribute to the overall mission of Montana State University.

·         MSU - Bozeman provides a comprehensive array of high quality instructional programs in the sciences, liberal and creative arts, and selected professions, particularly agriculture, architecture, business, education, engineering, and nursing. The University gives top priority to maintaining full national accreditation of its professional programs. Through its many educational programs, MSU - Bozeman is committed to:

emphasizing the centrality of the liberal arts and sciences to undergraduate education;
  • integrating instruction with research and creative activity;
  • fostering interdisciplinary educational opportunities;
  • developing critical and creative thinking, effective communication, and multicultural and global awareness.

·         As the state's leading creator of research-based knowledge, MSU - Bozeman is committed to:

exploring, discovering, and disseminating new knowledge;
  • enhancing its educational programs by its research and creative activities;
  • applying research findings to meet the social, cultural, and economic needs of the state, region, and   nation.

·         Through a century of public service in the land grant tradition, MSU - Bozeman is committed to: providing outreach to Montana citizens that draws upon the University's strengths in teaching and research;

  • facilitating wise stewardship and utilization of the state's resources by forming effective and creative partnerships with business, government, educational, and service organizations;
  • enhancing educational opportunities through distance learning programs using appropriate electronic delivery systems.

·         In addition to its many on-campus programs, Montana State University - Bozeman serves constituencies throughout the state via the Montana Extension Service, the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Extended Studies Program. MSU - Bozeman is committed to enhancing educational and professional opportunities for all protected classes and has a special dedication to developing progressive options for Montana's Native American population.

Figure 1-01 Montana State University - Bozeman Mission Statement

The Mission Statement is published in the MSU Bulletin [Exhibit 1.05, Montana State University 1998-2000 Graduate and Undergraduate Bulletin], on the MSU Web site, and is linked to the BOR Web site. The Mission Statement serves as the guiding principle for MSU, giving direction and guidance to all institutional activities, including, but not limited to, the work of the 1997-98 Special Review Committee (SRC), the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee (SPBC), and the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC).  The charge and function of each of these planning bodies is described in detail later in this Standard.


As part of the Regents' approval process of the MSU - Bozeman Mission Statement, it was stipulated in Board policy that mission statements shall be reviewed by the Regents every three (3) years.  Such BOR review has not taken place since the formal adoption of the campus mission statements, and it is presently unclear as to when or how such review will occur.   

Consistent with the representative nature of the mission creation process, recent survey results of both faculty and professional staff (see Planning and Effectiveness, pp. 16) indicate widespread agreement that the mission is appropriate, and that the activities of the University are directed by, and consistent with, the tripartite mission.

The President's Executive Council (PEC), consisting of the President and the four (4) vice presidents, assess MSU's Mission on a periodic basis to ensure consistency with long-term goals and objectives.  Other campus organizational

entities, such as academic colleges, utilize the Mission Statement in the development and assessment of

programmatic goals and objectives.  Through administrative units such as the Extension Service (ES) and the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station (AES), the off-campus constituents of MSU are informed and partake in examination of the institution's mission.  


As the state's land-grant institution, MSU is committed to accomplishing the institutional mission of research, teaching, and public service, and to sharing these accomplishments through the dissemination of information to its constituents.  The Office of Institutional Research (IR) coordinates the institutional documentation related to accomplishment of the University's mission and goals. IR maintains data histories which are used throughout the institution to support the planning and assessment of institutional performance.

IR maintains trend databases of student and employee data to produce official university statistics.  IR provides these statistics for a wide on-campus constituency, including the following on-campus and off-campus requesters:

·         Students writing class reports for Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU) proposals

·         Faculty developing grant proposals or trend studies for particular courses

·         Administrators planning resource allocation

·         Local news media

·         The Office of the Commissioner for Higher Education (OCHE)

·         The Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning

·         Federal agencies

·         Other colleges and universities

Many of the statistics produced by IR are available to the campus and the general public through MSU's Web site under MSU Info, the informational resource for faculty, staff and students developed by IR. IR played a key role in developing the university's first Web site in late 1994 and has given high priority to placing data and documents on-line. IR's first on-line publication was Quick Facts [Exhibit 1.06, MSU Quick Facts], a basic institutional profile based on the printed brochure "MSU - Bozeman at a Glance."  IR's oldest collection of institutional data, the Blue Book, dates from 1976-77 and reports five (5) years of productivity indicators for instructional departments, with data aggregated by college [Exhibit 1.07, MSU Blue Book].

IR provides data for over 100 surveys sent to MSU annually. Some are federally mandated, such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. The Director of IR serves as the campus IPEDS coordinator and completes all surveys except Finance and Libraries. IR completes other surveys for state and federal agencies and for private enterprises, many of which collect comparative student data for college guidebooks. The Common Data Set (CDS) , a format developed by four (4) major guidebook publishers that has become the de facto standard for basic college data reporting, is available on-line [Exhibit 1.08, Common Data Set].

IR provides data and analysis support for numerous campus departments, including the following:

·         The Registrar's Office. IR handles requests for ad-hoc reports that can be generated from the trend  databases

·         Employee Relations and Services. IR answers questions concerning the count and composition of the workforce, and completes many of the surveys requesting this information

·         The Affirmative Action Office (AA/EO). IR produces the annual federal compliance reports  including the workforce analysis, the utilization analysis, and the termination study

·         Career Services. IR assists with its annual employment survey of graduates by analyzing the data and producing on-line reports

·         Athletics. IR prepares the NCAA graduation rate survey and the report required by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act

·         New Student Services. IR developed a report detailing the high school background and college persistence of entering freshman cohorts that is prepared for and shared with any high school counselor in the state

·         University Relations. IR has provided the design, data, and analysis for two (2) economic impact studies

IR developed and maintains the University Committees Web site [Exhibit 1.09, University Committees], which is based on a database of membership and organizational information for committees with a campus-wide focus. IR provides the data and analyses for conducting the annual faculty salary review, prepared in conjunction with Faculty Council to ensure that merit raises reflect performance evaluations and market raises are commensurate with national market salaries by rank and discipline.

Each semester, IR prepares department and institutional teaching load reports based on course instructor information collected from and verified by each academic department, using definitions developed with the OCHE and the Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning [Exhibit 1.10, Teaching Load Reports]. The director also serves as a member of the Banner Implementation Team for the student records module and is responsible for coordinating student reports among the MSU campuses. She/he will serve as the primary MSU contact for the MUS data-warehousing project during the next two (2) years.

IR reports to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and provides data and analytic support for that office. As MSU's first assessment coordinator, the Director of Institutional Research helped develop the university's student outcomes assessment program and the Web site where Assessment Plans and Summaries are published.  IR also conducts the annual surveys of graduating seniors and alumni in conjunction with the assessment program.

The Assessment Plans and Summaries and surveys of seniors and alumni are discussed in Standard Two. IR tracks student retention, both overall and for particular institutional retention programs such as freshman seminars, the challenge course, and outreach efforts based on results of the College Student Inventory (CSI) as described in Standard Three.


Planning efforts at MSU focus on achievement of the institutional mission and goals.  The planning processes and structures are well defined and are appropriately representative of all constituencies.  Details of the planning structures in place at MSU are provided in Standard Six in the description of institutional governance structures.  

The planning and governing structure of the University is hierarchical with the President of the University providing leadership and direction.  The President works in concert with a variety of representative bodies including the PEC [Exhibit 1.11, President's Executive Council], University Governance Council (UGC) [Exhibit 1.12, University Governance Council], Faculty Council [Exhibit 1.13. Faculty Council], Professional Council [Exhibit 1.14, Professional Council], and the Classified Employees Personnel Advisory Committee (CEPAC) [Exhibit 1.15, Classified Employees Personnel Advisory Committee].  Groups devoted specifically to institutional planning, goal setting, and strategy formulation include LRPC and the SPBC.  An overview of the major planning outcomes and the functions of these groups is provided below.


The genesis of the present Mission Statement was the development and approval of the MSU LRP [Appendix 1-C, Long Range Plan, 1994].  This planning effort began by the LRPC [Exhibit 1.16, Long Range Planning Committee] in 1991 with a broad representation of campus constituents and culminated in a campus-endorsed document in 1994.  A detailed description of the updated LRP is provided below.

With the adoption of the Mission Statement of January 1997, the MSU LRP of February 1994 was revised, and the new plan was adopted in 1998 [Appendix 1-D, Long Range Plan (Revised 1998)].  The plan includes nine (9) university-wide goals and strategies that, collectively, provide a comprehensive framework for improving the product of MSU.  While broadly stated, the goals and strategies (based on surveyed responses and reports by academic and non-academic units and others) are intended to suggest the direction MSU should take in fulfilling its mission.  The goals and strategies are also accompanied by an action plan for implementation and a plan for setting measurable objectives to support goal attainment.  

In undertaking strategic planning, the LRPC considered how political, economic, and social factors would affect the University, and, in turn, how the University should respond.  Specifically, the committee attempted to develop goals that foster the knowledge, skills, and attitudes MSU graduates will need in order to function effectively in the workplace.  Also sought was the establishment of strategic directions in research, creative activities, and outreach consistent with MSU's heritage as a land grant institution and as the leading provider of research-based knowledge in the state.  The goals were designed to improve the quality and promote the integration of teaching, research/creative activities, and outreach efforts at MSU, and to create an environment that enhances the fulfillment of the University's mission.

The goals toward fulfilling LRP implementation are listed by priority under two (2) headings:  

·         Program Goals

·         Process Goals

The Program Goals and accompanying strategies address the three (3) major components of the University in carrying out its educational mission.  The Process Goals and strategies pertain primarily to improving the integration of the three (3) components through a better use of resources and infrastructure of the university, and are essential to the attainment of the program goals and the University's mission.  The strategies for attainment and effective measurement of these goals are described in the Long Range Planning Document: Goals and Strategies - Revision 1998.  The nine (9) goals of the LRP are specifically called out in Appendix 1-E, Long Range Plan Program and Process Goals.

Much progress has been made towards achieving the intent of the LRP with many strategies continuing to receive attention.  A recent review of the state of LRP goals and strategies was conducted, and the referenced review provides substantial analysis of progress achieved towards meeting these goals, as well as identification of issues remaining to be addressed.  Many of these remaining issues are tied to limited monetary resources available to address remuneration and development of staff and faculty, infrastructure issues, and operational support for the University's programs.


In 1994, the Governor engaged higher education officials in discussions regarding efficiency, enterprise, and productivity within the MUS.  The result of this initiative was the development and adoption of the Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes (PQO) Agreement [Appendix 1.F, Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes Agreement]. By execution of this agreement, the Governor's Office, the BOR, the Commissioner of Higher Education (CHE), and MSU pledged their commitment to enhancing educational quality and efficiency, as well as raising faculty salaries to competitive market levels.  The agreement established specific goals and objectives identifying the areas where the University and its faculty would focus their efforts and resources. [PQO Interim Reports can be found in Appendix 1-G, PQO Interim Report for FY 1997; and Appendix 1-H, PQO Interim Report for FY 1998.]

The PQO Agreement, which can be viewed as a subset of the University's LRP, has served as an influential, albeit controversial, planning document since 1995.  Because the agreement called for a 15% increase in a specific faculty teaching load measure over a four (4)-year term, as well as other outcome measures, the document has served as a focal point of campus discussion in recent years.  Faculty have expressed significant disagreement with the PQO teaching metric as being an appropriate measure of teaching loads.  Through discussions in various campus representative bodies such as Deans Council and Faculty Council, the PQO measures, particularly those related to faculty workload, continue to be evaluated and assessed on a regular basis.


Because of pressing budgetary issues, the 1997-98 SRC [Exhibit 1.17, Special Review Committee] was formed to examine all aspects of University operations.  The committee was charged with identifying potential ways to resolve acute budgetary problems, as well as to prevent these problems from becoming chronic.  The final report of the SRC  highlighted the need to change the strategic planning and budgeting process at MSU [Appendix 1-I, Special Review Committee Report].  Given current budgetary realities, the committee recognized that either the University must expand revenue enhancement activities or face the reality of programmatic reductions and re-allocations of existing resources.  A major outcome of this Committee was the recommendation for the formation of a strategic planning and budget committee.   


The SRC report resulted in the formation of a single committee, designated the SPBC, with representation from all major campus constituent groups [Exhibit 1.18, Strategic Planning and Budget Committee]. The SPBC replaced the University Budget Committee (UBC) and serves as the primary advisory entity to the President on budgetary and shorter-term planning issues.

The primary charge to the SPBC is to make strategic planning and budgeting recommendations to the President that are relative to funding priorities that fit the academic mission and institutional goals of MSU. The SPBC examines the total University budget picture and assesses potential areas of revenue enhancement and resource allocation. The SRC envisioned the SPBC's charge to include working with existing programmatic review committees; providing recommendations concerning all university program revisions, enhancements, reductions and/or eliminations; and analyzing existing or proposed resources to support the university's programs.

The SPBC's activities to date have served to provide the framework for future short term planning efforts, including the preparation of a draft report of its objectives [Appendix 1-J, Strategic Planning and Budget Committee Strategic Objectives for MSU­. Bozeman - Draft]. Given the short history of this Committee's existence, assessment of its effectiveness and its ultimate impact upon the planning at MSU will likely require a perspective of several years into the future.


A December 1998 survey of faculty [Appendix 1-K, Faculty Survey], classified staff [Appendix 1-L, Classified Staff Survey], and professional staff [Appendix 1-M, Professional Staff Survey] provided information on the internal perspective of mission and goal attainment.  Agreement exists for future decision making to be guided by the current LRP.  The survey results, however, indicate that many constituent groups are not aware of the process undertaken by the 1997-98 SRC in assisting the University in its planning efforts.  Those that are aware are in agreement with it.  Similarly, many respondents are not aware of the process undertaken by the SPBC towards the resulting implementation of more integrated budgetary and planning decisions.  


MSU clearly defines its evaluation and planning processes, and develops and implements procedures to evaluate the extent to which it achieves its goals.  In 1996-97, the LRPC evaluated the effectiveness of the 1994 LRP by assessing the progress MSU had made toward reaching each established goal in the plan.  The extent, however, that the PEC has incorporated the findings of the LRPC review into the decision-making process at MSU has been questioned by some constituencies.

Though there has been progress in the direction of meeting goals in the LRP, there has been little evidence of its direct use to systematically plan, nor of any concerted effort to verify that current activities are in agreement with the institutional goals in the LRP.  The SPBC appears inclined  to use the LRP within a limited focus.  At present, however, it is uncertain whether the specific inititiatives of the SPBC will be totally consistent with goals of the LRP.

The results of MSU's systematic evaluation activities and ongoing planning processes appear to some constituents to have marginal influence on resource allocation and improvement of its instructional programs, institutional services, and activities.  The impact that the SPBC has already had upon budgetary decisions, however, is early evidence that MSU is beginning to use the results of its systematic evaluation activities and ongoing planning processes to influence resource allocation.

MSU is beginning to more fully and effectively integrate its evaluation and planning processes to identify institutional priorities for improvement.  It can be argued that this is precisely what was done when the LRPC, at the President's request, reviewed progress in 1996, followed by formation of the SRC.  The beginnings of this happened years ago, and today this task rests with the SPBC which is now actively engaged in the process.

The University systematically reviews its research efforts, evaluation processes, and planning activities. These activities exist primarily at the Vice President for Research level.  Assessment and review of these efforts to ensure integration with institutional planning occurs through the PEC, Dean's Council, and appropriate committee structures.

MSU clearly recognizes the need to effectively use information from its planning and evaluation processes to communicate evidence of institutional effectiveness to the public.  The results of the work of the LRPC and other planning efforts have been made widely available on campus, though more public exposure of these results  would have improved the effectiveness of these activities.

In summary, MSU has much of the appropriate infrastructure in place to engage in effective planning and evaluation.  The institution has also made progress toward achievement of institutional goals, though much of it appears incidental rather than strategically planned.  The institution appears to be appropriately positioned to go forward in confidence - resources permitting.


·         The institutional Mission Statement as stated, adopted, and promoted by the institution is appropriate and                     


·         The LRP and its Goals/Objectives as stated, adopted, and promoted as the long-term future guiding vehicle for

       the institution are appropriate and supported.

·         The activities of the LRPC, the SRC, and the SPBC, working toward the long-term and short-term guidance of

       the institution's activities, have been well directed.

·         Assessment of institutional effectiveness has been integrated into the planning processes of the University.

·         The planning process at MSU is participatory, involving constituencies appropriate to the institution (board members, administrators, faculty, staff, students, other interested parties).  In this respect, the institution has done an excellent job.  The membership of the LRPC was specifically designed to incorporate administrative,  faculty, classified staff, and student input.  Each of these constituencies has a voice in the planning effort.

·         It would appear from these results that the LRP and Mission Statement are well directed and supported from inside the institution.  It would also appear that integration of budget and short-term strategic planning activities through the SPBC to achieve LRP goals would be better supported if people inside the institution knew more about the SPBC and its work.


Figure 1-01

Montana State University - Bozeman Mission Statement


Appendix 1-A

MUS Restructuring Phase I

Appendix 1-B

MUS Restructuring Phase II

Appendix 1-C

Long Range Plan, 1994

Appendix 1-D

Long Range Plan (Revised 1998)

Appendix 1-E

Long Range Plan Program and Process Goals

Appendix 1-F

Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes Agreement

Appendix 1-G

PQO Interim Report for FY 1996

Appendix 1-H

PQO Interim Report for FY 1997

Appendix 1-I

Special Review Committee Report

Appendix 1-J

Strategic Planning and Budget Committee Strategic Objectives for MSU - Bozeman - Draft ml

Appendix 1-K

Faculty Survey htm

Appendix 1-L

Classified Staff Survey

Appendix 1-M

Professional Staff Survey


Exhibit 1.01

October 1990 Institutional Self-Study Report


Exhibit 1.02

BOR Approval of MUS Restructuring


Exhibit 1.03

BOR Repeal of Role and Scope Statements


Exhibit 1.04

MSU Repealed Role and Scope


Exhibit 1.05

MSU 1998-2000 Graduate and Undergraduate Bulletin


Exhibit 1.06

MSU Quick Facts  

Exhibit 1.07

MSU Blue Book

Exhibit 1.08

Common Data Set

Exhibit 1.09

University Committees

Exhibit 1.10

Teaching Load Reports ports.html

Exhibit 1.11

President's Executive Council

Exhibit 1.12

University Governance Council

Exhibit 1.13

Faculty Council

Exhibit 1.14

Professional Council

Exhibit 1.15

Classified Employees Personnel Advisory Committee

Exhibit 1.16

Long Range Planning Committee

Exhibit 1.17

Special Review Committee

Exhibit 1.18

Strategic Planning and Budget Committee

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