Wednesday, January 13, 2021

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Via Webex
Printable Minutes


Waded Cruzado, Kenning Arlitsch, Sreekala Bajwa, Janelle Booth, Michael Brody, Matt Caires, Jason Carter, Leon Costello, Chris Dobbs, Ariel Donohue, Tracy Ellig, Chris Fastnow, Stephanie Gray, Jeannette Grey-Gilbert, Rolf Groseth, Stefani Hicswa, Brett Gunnink, Alison Harmon, Deborah Haynes, Robert Hawks, Whitney Hinshaw, Yves Idzerda, Chris Kearns, Greg Kegel, Chere LeClair, Ilse-Mari Lee, Terry Leist, Bob Mokwa, Chris Murray, Kim Obbink, Craig Ogilvie, Kellie Peterson, Mark Ranalli, Sarah Shannon, Royce Smith, Dan Stevenson, Cody Stone, Michael Trotter, Michael Vasquez, Amber Vestal, Susan Wolff

  1. Call to Order
    President Waded Cruzado

    President Cruzado called meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.

  2. Approval of Minutes for November 4, 2020

    Kenning Arlitsch moved to approve minutes; Chris Kearns seconded and minutes were approved unanimously

  3. University Wide Information/Announcements

    President Cruzado welcomed new University Council member Stefani Hicswa, Chancellor, MSU Billings.  She thanked Rolf Groseth, outgoing Chancellor of MSU Billings, for his readiness to serve once again.  Rolf thanked everyone for the incredible opportunity to serve again.

    MSU Bozeman added asymptomatic testing on Jan. 11 and we hope to extend a few more weeks.  MSU’s College of Nursing is preparing future health professionals and President Cruzado thanked Dean Sarah Shannon for her service.  

  4. Public Comment

    No public comment was offered.
  5. New Item

    A. First Reading of Title IX Policy
         Kellie Peterson, Legal Counsel

         Kellie Peterson provided an update on the emergency policy that was adopted by emergency and valid for 6           months. Much of it is dictated by new laws and Kellie is happy to receive comments. 

         Matt Caires asked if there is a chance of changes with new administration.  Kellie shared it could change, but         unlikely immediately. 

         Craig Ogilvie offered feedback, as well.

          Please use the next 30 days to review and provide feedback to Kellie Peterson.    

  6. Informational Items

    A. 8-Week Advantage update from Great Falls College MSU
         Eleazar Ortega, Institutional Research and Data Analyst; Dr. Leanne Frost, General Studies
         & Academic Director; Troy Stoddard, Director of Advising

         Susan Wolff shared they started semester off and running Monday. She wished everyone a happy new year            and new semester. 

         Dr. Leanne Frost kicked off the presentation.  Goals was to increase retention and completion.  8-week                     advantage – students are taking more credits in an 8-week block. 

         Eleazer shared institutional data.  First time, full time fall 2018 cohort has a 1 yr. retention completion rate             higher than the fall 2014-2017 cohorts.  Matriculated students are completing more credits and have                       maintained proportion of completed credits Spring 2020 despite covid impact. First-time students completed          college level math and writing at a higher rate within one year. Students have completed a higher proportion          of courses with passing grades. In fall 20202. The second 8-week blocks allowed 70 students to in enroll of the        next  semester.

          Troy Stoddard shared it’s allowing students to get through their pre-requisite courses.  Engineering students           have enjoyed this 8-week advantage as well.  Overall, students are enjoying the 8-Week Advantage.

  7. Updates

    • Provost Mokwa shared his gratitude for everyone getting this semester off to a smooth start. Seth Walk kicked off the Provost lecture series. 


    • Stefani Hicswa shared MSU Billings began semester two days ago. She is convening a town hall as well as a virtual coffee and open house on Friday with faculty and staff. 


    • MSU Northern Greg Kegel extended greetings and a happy new year. MSU Northern begins classes next week. The office of teaching and learning excellence is holding workshops.  Chancellor Kegel is receiving first dose of vaccination today. 


    • Susan Wolff shared during break IT team got classrooms wired with new equipment so lectures can be streamed and recorded. They are working with Cascade County on vaccinations.  


    • Dean Ilse-Mari Lee shared an Honors College update on her recent Goldwater Scholars and competition application process.


    • Tracy Ellig thanked Great Falls College for a tremendous presentation. He also shared we lost Jeff Stafford, long time staff member, who helped write “In the Peoples Interest.”


    • President Cruzado reflected we are missing sporting events, musical and cultural events and those lost connections. Let’s keep being thankful for the great impactful work we get to do each and every day.  We are keeping the flame of hope alive.   Let’s support each other during this semester and have a wonderful spring semester.


NOTE:  The next University Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 3, 2021, from 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM via WebEx.