Wednesday, March 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
    President Waded Cruzado

    President Cruzado called the meeting to order at 8:30am.

  2. Approval of Minutes for February 3, 2021

    Minutes were moved to approve by Terry Leist; seconded by Royce Smith.  The minutes were approved unanimously. 

  3. University Wide Information/Announcements

    President Cruzado shared we are mid semester and planning for our in-person commencement ceremonies at Bobcat Stadium on May 1, 2021. 

    We concluded the Vice President and Chief Information Officer search for University Information Technology and Ryan Knutson from South Dakota will join us on July 1. 

    Great Falls College MSU has launched the search for their Dean and CEO. The search is being chaired by Deputy Commissioner Brock Tessman.    President Cruzado thanked Dr. Susan Wolff for a job well done. 

  4. Public Comment

    No public comment was offered.

  5. New Item

    A. University Leave of Absence and Retroactive Withdrawal Policy Revision
        Jennifer Glad, Associate Legal Counsel; Matt Caires, Dean of Students

    The proposed revisions create two options — in addition to a retroactive withdrawal — for students who are in need of time away from their studies, including a voluntary medical leave of absence and an involuntary leave of absence. The proposed revisions have been developed based on requirements for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as guidance from the Department of Education and national leadership of the nonprofit JED Foundation, which works to protect emotional health and prevent suicide among teens and young adults.  Jennifer and Matt plan to share with more institutional groups and stakeholder’s campus wide. 

    Overall, this is a very compassionate policy to consider. The goal is to have this policy go into effect for our upcoming academic year 2021-2022.

    President Cruzado encouraged everyone to please review and visit with colleagues in the coming weeks, so we have time to consider this important policy. 

  6. Informational Items

    A. Strategic Plan update: Choosing Promise, Goal 1.1, Student Accesss and Success
         Chris Fastnow, Director, Planning & Analysis

    Metric 1.1.1 Enrollment for economically disadvantaged. First generation, veterans, adult learners.

    Metric 1.1.2 – 80 % of student financial need will be met by 2024.  

    1.1.3 increase the number of 1-yr and 2-yr degrees and certificates awarded  (to 360) by 2024. 

    1.1.4 increase the number of dual enrollment students by 40% (to 700) by 2024. We saw a big drop in the fall and in the spring, we had a trend upward to rebound the fall decrease. 

    1.1.5 MSU will increase developmental education and corequisite course completion rates to 75% by 2024.

    1.1.6 increase retention (from 72% to 85%) rates for all incoming students and reduce disparities for students in the below categories by 2024 – incoming graduates, economically disadvantaged, retention – first generation, graduation – veterans, adult learners, disability accommodations and underrepresented race/ethnicities.

    1.1.7 – Increase the number of students who receive national and international awards, honors, and prestigious scholarships.

    Ariel Donohue and Dr. Chris Kearns identified ways we are diversifying across campus, including DISC and tribal partnerships. Ariel shared Academic Deans are diversity partners identifying existing gaps and diversifying their students. Admissions and DISC offices have been connecting with prospective students.  There is now a diversity development certificate on campus. 

  7. Updates

    Provost Mokwa shared the next Provost Distinguished Lecture is Dr. John Sherwood. 

    Chancellor Hicswa shared MSU Billings received a grant from Murdock Charitable Trust for their Neurodiversity Institute.

    Susan Wolff shared enrollment is up this spring and their 8-week courses are in finals this week.

    Chancellor Kegel echoed MSU Northern’s enrollment is also up for their spring semester.

    Chris Murray thanked everyone for Giving Day participants and for the support and contributions. 

    President Cruzado share in February, MSU hosted two Covid 19 vaccination clinics.  These were the largest interdisciplinary events in MSU’s history. 

    University Council adjourned at 9:35am.

NOTE:  The next University Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, 2021, from 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM via WebEx.