Members Present: Members Present: Others Present:

Michael Brody for B. Wilson

Rebecca Koltz

Becca Belou
Cati Carmody Terry Leist Miranda Bly
Jason Carter Rob Maher Ariel Donohue
Jason Clark Bob Mokwa
Tami Eitle
Tracy Dougher JoDee Palin Ian Godwin
David Eitle
Susan Raph Craig Ogilvie
Chris Fastnow
Logan Schultz Richard Rudnicki
Stephanie Gray Michael Trotter  
Chris Kearns Chelsey Wilson  


  1. Introductions
    1. Everyone introduced themselves.
    2. Planning Council still has two vacancies:  The Research Council liaison, which Jason Carter has been filling in for, and a Gallatin College representative.
  2. Welcomed new members – Rebecca Koltz, Bradford Watson, Cati Carmody, Chelsey Wilson, and Susan Raph
  3. Announcements
    1. Two updated policies which affect Planning Council, the Open Meeting and Public Participation Policies, were presented before University Council.
    2. Call for other announcements - none
  4. Minutes from 7/22/20 – approved and adopted
  5. Discussion
    1. Council charge and member responsibilities:
      1. Promote alignment between Strategic Plan and resource allocation;
      2. Advise President on priorities in the Strategic Plan and progress of its goals;
      3. Facilitate some flexibility or adaptation of the plan to accommodate external and internal environmental changes;
      4. Serve as two-way communicators between Planning Council and members’ units;
      5. Know the Strategic Plan and read it again before the next meeting; and
      6. When making decisions, members should put the university’s needs above their unit’s needs.
      7. Planning Council makes decisions by consensus, rather than official votes, but we can hold and record votes if a member asks.
      8. This work is going to be the best, most fruitful work when members all drive the council and participate.
    2. Work plan for 2020-2021
      1. This last spring was unique, and it carried into the fall. The emphasis on short-term, more reactive work can now shift back to the long-term planning we have done in the past.
        1. We may need to revise the timelines in the Strategic Plan due to the pandemic. We will recommend whether to amend or eliminate goals or push back deadlines.
        2. Our task is to look at why we didn’t achieve a goal rather than just whether we met the goal.
        3. Amending goals incudes continued environmental scanning.  For example, we need to consider student demographic trends and how that affects Strategic Plan goals.
      2. Get back to prioritization process for FY22, which we missed last spring.
        1. We should go through the same process, but we need to get back to the schedule where we plan budget priorities a year ahead.
        2. Strategic Plan should guide us in good times and bad. It is meant to protect our values.
        3. FY21 is heavily supported by reserves. If there are budget cuts from the state next year, we may have to re-prioritize.
        4. We may need to update the Strategic Plan with reference to shifting priorities due to COVID. E.g. how we bring in and engage students under COVID is far more demanding than under other circumstances.
        5. We will be reading the Strategic Plan more closely with an eye to adapting in our current circumstances and to whether there are other units we should bring into the discussion.
    3. Report on other universities’ strategic planning activity in COVID – did other universities make similar Strategic Plan pivots due to COVID? (Carter)
      1. Some universities said they had no time to think about it.  Some are at the end of their Strategic Plan cycle and will address it in their next Strategic Plan. Some said they have been having the same types of conversations. Universities that are early on in their Strategic Plan cycle are discussing amending it, but they haven’t done anything concrete yet.
      2. Not much guidance from our peers – we are all inventing specific wheels.
    4. Research expenditure reporting (Carter)
      1. One Strategic Plan goal is to increase externally funded research and creative activity.
      2. Jason Carter presented MSU’s prior Higher Ed Research and Development (HERD) Survey submissions in context.
      3. MSU has not kept up with changing NSF guidance/definitions for HERD reporting.  In updating our practices, MSU will see a jump in research expenditures captured in HERD starting in FY19.
        1. Budgeting separately for TT faculty’s time on research on state funds
        2. Tuition remission to grad students working on research
        3. Already began including MAES funds (per explicit NSF language)
      4. FY21 looks good, but federal dollars are going to tighten up by FY22 or FY23, so we need to diversify and tap into industry-sponsored research and foundation grants. We underperform in both. VPREDGE will help with training.  Academic Analytics can identify potential sources.
      5. Plan language focuses on grants and contracts expenditures – diverse portfolio can help us meet that.
    5. Accreditation assessment structures (T. Eitle) – circling back to subsets and general organization of the NWCCU accreditation process.
      1. Focus on teaching and equity, per NWCCU
      2. Next report due: 9/3/20. Next (virtual) visit dates: 10/15/20-10/16/20. They may want to meet with Planning Council.
      3. One thing they mentioned was a lack of communication between councils. To remedy this, chairs of councils will meet once a year as the Institutional Effectiveness Council.
      4. Strategy Effectiveness Oversight Team will also meet once per year, with committees for each of the Intentional Focus areas developing assessments and making recommendations re: mission fulfilment.
      5. Maher pointed out the Council on Councils, and Brody pointed out that the Faculty Senate President or President-Elect sit on every council, and this enhances cross-communication of councils and committees and planning-assessment loop. Eitle noted we can do more to convince accreditors.
    6. Open discussion on first 10 days – feedback or outstanding questions
      1. Faculty facing danger and doing so much to adapt, deal with technology, accommodate quarantine
      2. Hardware needs persist, even with additional investments and infrastructure to bring in the asymptomatic quarantiners
      3. Set up time costs
      4. Can we have a list of hardware purchasing options
      5. Planning for spring term delivery based on ongoing feedback and experiences.
      6. UHP also heroic, receptionists, testing center, so many front-line staff.
      7. Students value ability to be on campus and all the work faculty have put in, including keeping classes going online.
      8. JJCBE email 33% response to broad email, mostly positive
        1. need space to study and attend online
        2. want unified platform
      9. Desire for more clarity of expectations, even when to wipe desk
      10. What happens outside of class?  Spending more time at home, hard to accommodate switch between modalities in passing period, finding good spot with bandwidth and participation opportunities.
      11. What to do about BSD7 schedule, kids at home?  Policy?  HR working with OCHE for solutions.
      12. Uncertainty impacted NTT hiring.
      13. Loosen internal search requirements?  For Spring.
      14. Eerily quiet in office on schedule/advising – speaks well to orientation and processes.
    7. Public Comment
      1. Status of Hamilton Hall’s roof. Terry Leist said there were supply-chain issues getting the gutters, and the gutters have to go on first.
      2. Question about yesterday’s police activity:  Terry Leist answered that the speakers weren’t wearing masks and were being too loud. There were complaints from people inside buildings.

Next meeting:  September 23, 1:00-2:00 p.m., via WebEx


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