Wednesday, February 3, 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, 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
    Provost Bob Mokwa

    Provost Mokwa called meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.

  2. Approval of Minutes for January 13, 2021

    Matt Caires moved to approve minutes; Ilse-Mari Lee seconded, and the minutes were approved unanimously.

  3. University Wide Information/Announcements

    Provost Mokwa shared Dr. Ryan Knutson was recently announced as the new Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer.

    Provost Mokwa shared the ‘Cats swept the Griz recently in women’s basketball. 

  4. Public Comment

    No public comment was offered.

  5. Old Item

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

    Debby Haynes moved to approve the policy; Chris Kearns seconded, and the policy was approved unanimously.

  6. Informational Items

    A. Biweekly Payroll Transition
        Terry Leist, Vice President for Administration & Finance; Jeannette Grey Gilbert,
        Chief Human Resources Officer; Max Thompson, Manager, Payroll Services

    Jeannette Grey Gilbert shared benefits to MSU community more readily: new employees will receive their first paycheck sooner; employees paid timelier in relation to their work; funds deposited into health savings and flexible spending accounts bi-weekly; and retirement plan contribution will also happen bi-weekly.  Examples of Bi-Weekly Paychecks were offered.  Communication across campus has been ongoing.  Special thanks for the important work that has been done to finalize bi-weekly payroll to our four campuses.

    B. Open Educational Resources
        Kenning Arlitsch, Dean, MSU Library

    Kenning shared textbooks are increasingly pricey and can be considered a “second tuition.”  MSU faculty and staff are attending trainings that use Open Educational Resources (OER) to assist students with the burden of costs.  Historically, MSU studens pay $1,400/year for textbooks and supplies.  In the first-year of OER, students were able to save cumulative $140,000.  They expect this next year to save over $500,000.  This initiative is in the best interest of our students. 

    This is a culture change like open access.  If we can get students to talk to faculty to move to OER, this will move along across campus faster. 

    C. Strategic Plan Update: Choosing Promise, Goal: 2.1 Research with Impact
         Chris Fastnow, Director, Planning & Analysis

    Goal: 2.1 Research, creativity and scholarship on the lives around us.  We need to foster the grand challenges: care for our environment, promoting wellness in our communities, food and fuel security; securing the future of Montana.

    MSU will define external outcome measures that reflect successes.

    We are on a good trajectory on the impact on students.  Chris shared there’s been good work across the board. 

  7. Updates

    Chancellor Hicswa shared the first month is under her belt.  MSUB women’s basketball played over the weekend for the first time since COVID.  Student Health Services has a Covid-19 testing lab.  She is participating in weekly legislative conferences and they are hosting faculty excellence awards virtually. 

    Chancellor Kegel shared MSU Northern is off to a great start to spring semester.  Testing is going well and relatively quiet.  They are playing basketball and volleyball games with no crowds. The roof recently blew off the library and repairs will begin quickly.

    Provost Mokwa thanked our affiliate campuses for their excellent leadership.  He also shared Franke Wilmer will provide the Provosts Distinguished Lecture on Feb. 9 at 7:00pm.

    Provost Mokwa adjourned University Council at 9:30am.

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