Minutes November 9th, 2017
Montana State University Associated Students of MSU Senate Alumni Lounge November 9th, 2017
Minutes called to order at 6:01pm by Senate Speaker, Theodore Grover. Minutes recorded by Madison Thompson
Roll Call: Abbot (excused), Anderson, Baird, Blossom, Driscoll, DuBeau, Eastes, Grover, Heinrich, Juel, Jones, Krone (excused), Killian, Kuehn, Leckie, Lei, Marsh, Orr, Rehal, Swenson, Wheeler
Grover: Asking for unanimous consent about allowing the Dean of College of Engineering to speak about name change.
Jones: So, moved.
Dean: Going to introduce you to Norm Asbjornson and why I believe that he deserves to have his name on our College of Engineering. He comes from very humble beginnings into a very supported family and community. Started college career in 1954 as a Mechanical Engineering, the joined the army and served in North Korea and returned to MSU after. Graduated in 1960. Had a corporate career with Heating and Ventilating manufacturer. In 1988, he decided to buy part of the company in Oklahoma and started the AAOM company. Put himself at the front of the phone book. Had contracts with Walmart and rooftop air conditioning units. Started to diversify product line and customer base to building semi-custom air conditioning units. Emphasized on quality and serviceability. Advanced his product lines in various ways. Still manufactures some air conditioning units but now dabbles in liquid cooled heat pumps. These units much more efficient. Can tap into the use of geo-wells within this unit. Compatible with green energy sources. Asbjornson Hall will have some of these features and showcase AAOMs best products. AAOM has a nontraditional look when you wonder around, they want a diverse workforce. Tells you a little bit about how Norm feels about diversity and inclusion. Norm is doing something that many have given up on in America. Manufacturing HVAC products in a diverse work force. Motivation in company is not to make a lot of money, but to diversify workforce. Relationship between MSU and Asbjornson, his first gift to MSU was in 1992 and was 100$, has gotten a little bigger since then. Became a part of the engineering advisory council for almost 20 years now. Launched, with the help of three other individual, MSU in new direction of philanthropic support. Norm set up scholarships for students from Montana high schools with less than 100 students. Before his first million-dollar donation. This fall, with his help on the advisory board, we enrolled a record number of women studying, more than doubled the number of women within our faculty. Increased our minority represented as well. We are a land grant university, we pride ourselves about access. Being a more diverse college is part of that. Diversifying the college of engineering is what we aspire to do. With the diversifying, we need more space. To maintain open access, I know we needed more space. Engineering was not in the long-term plan for improvement. Asked President Cruzado to ask one person, Norm Asbjornson, for a 100% philanthropic support and see what he says. President and I and development officer for the big ask. President asks for 35 million and Norm says yes. Would
have been the biggest gift in the state of Montana history. Cruzado believes she had left some money on the table, then asks for 50 million dollars. This eventually led to our big gift. In 2014 the offer of naming the College of Engineering after Norm was part of the agreement. A complex gift agreement.
Rehal: Could you please talk about the contribution of 2016 lab facility? Dean: Lab
for evaluating heating and ventilating units.
Juel: Will the name change reflect on our diplomas?
Dean: No, nor on official transcript.
Lei: Why did the money need to come from private donor and not the state considering this is a public institution?
Dean: More reliant on philanthropic donors now.
Leckie: In terms of name change, where any others considered?
Dean: An expression of gratitude offered by President Cruzado 100% supported by myself in sheer gratitude for the largest gift in Montana State history.
Kuehn: Why was Barnard hall changed from EPS?
Dean: Tim and Mary Barnard. Yes, thanked for donations.
Orr: What are your goals about reaching out about the college of engineering students opinions?
Dean: Followed process by board of regents about notification. I don’t believe that the notification process provided enough information about the name change.
Lei: Could we lose the money if the college isn’t named after Norm?
Dean: I can’t answer that question, I quite frankly don’t want to think about that. Gift agreement does say, pending Board of Regents decision.
Rehal: Is there a possibility that we will be receiving more money from the same donor?
Dean: I believe so. Subsequent to 50-million-dollar gift, has funded research and a program in the college of agriculture.
Lei: Why do you believe this donation has been met with opposition?
Dean: Community was not well informed. In hindsight that was a mistake. MSU should have been much more robust with their communication. Some who do not believe we should name
academic units at all. I disagree but I understand. Board of Regents has already crossed this line. Commonplace in higher education. Had some more contentious naming recently. I do believe that it is very unfair that we direct any angst against some other naming events towards his gifts.
Leckie: Could you speak to student reactions about email?
Dean: Became aware of student concerns at meeting about decision. Be aware at this time that it would be a good decision to send out an email. I believe I got about 10ish response to students. Split in 4 categories. One ad-hominem. One, I don’t believe most students care about this. One, thank you for information, no change and other, you didn’t change my opinion.
Orr: Tell me a little more about the timeline of name change agreement. Dena: In initial
agreement in early 2014.
Orr: Any room for student opinion?
Dean: At this point in time, the processes that were in place, didn’t offer as many student input opportunities as now. Significant effort in wording the agreement, completed a few days before it was signed by Board of Regents in 2014.
Marsh: Touch on donor confidentiality.
Dean: Wants to make a donation and needs to go to student senate, see what they have to say and then faculty senate. From here ask for donation again, still interested? Not necessarily, nee more donor privacy.
Dean: “I have been very fortunate. Many people have supported a d helped me in life. I cannot repay those who have helped me because they are no longer here. But I can assist future generations.”
Approval of the Minutes:
Egnew: Student in biological engineering, not opposed to naming of building after Norm. *See attached formal letter
Lewinski: *see attached formal letter
Hoffman: Here to urge you to stand in solidarity with Senators and efforts about gaining student opinion about name change. Been given a lot by this university, I am a presidential scholar. I feel
like I need to stand up for our university when I see something amiss. Not here to contest virtue of Norm. People of state of Montana have contributed more to this university than any donor.
Belkie: Echo the sentiments of previous speakers.
Cox: Montana State has given me the opportunity that parents did not have, being a first- generation college students. Here to ask senators to vote yes in opposition of this resolution.
*see attached formal letter Heinrich: personal privilege
Ruger: Political Science major, computer science minor. More and more with the decreasing of public funding, and reliance on private donors, I believe students will just become numbers on a spreadsheet. My opinion that increased reliance on private donation is foolish. Funding can be secured through tax-payer dollars. Urge all to vote in favor of resolution.
Tracy: Lobbyist of Montana State University. Update on upcoming session. Begin meeting at noon next week. State tax revenue were far below what they expected. Under Montana Constitution, it needs to be balanced. Cut of 4.5 million dollars to university system. One of three arts of his plan. Important to know, 4.5 million dollars cut is our best-case scenario. If legislation does not enact the other two portions, our cuts can increase to 45 million.
Murray: Any great university in our society relies on private donors. Let’s talk about bringing in private money and putting it on top of state money. Should be a time of celebration. Should be a time of joy. We are not funded by our state completely. When we take a gift like this, we enter an agreement. Very clearly lay out what a donor can and cannot do. DO not sign these agreements unless we agree with what the donors has said. 25 of the top colleges of engineering are named. A lot of the time, this becomes a reputation. I truly hope all colleges get named. This means that there is more money in the university.
Budeski: Spent my college fund during the recession to stay a. Nobody here is trying to attest the gracious donation. What happens when another donor comes up? Do we kick out other names and replace them? We are grateful. I’d not believe that we are ungrateful. I hope that the Senate hopes in favor of the resolution.
Campbell: In support of the name change. I feel like I am an informed student. I’m not super jazzed about the name change. Understand concerns. Gianforte name changed happened when senate was not in session so that we were not able to take a stance on it. Recently ASMSU president was just added to board. I don’t believe it is wise to go against saying that something that we are going to do something and the go back on it. Table and say we believe more student input should be involved in the process.
Ray: By labeling our college against one donor, I believe that it gives it a monetary value. I believe all of the other donations will be discredited.
Harland: Read the email very thoroughly, but I take issue with naming the entire college, I believe that if we put a label on the college it does set a precedent. This is a public institution. Thank you, Katie, for bringing up a lot of good points and Taylor for contacting me.
Student: Norm did a really great thing giving us this gift. Setting a dangerous president to donors in order to keep their funding flowing. Dean said basically on a whim Cruzado put this on the table. Would have been better to come to the student body first.
Exponent Digitalization Project
Bonnard: Wanted to give a brief update on the digitization. Very close to everything being done. Michelle has been working with the students to get this done.
Michelle: Attempting to capture the different name changes throughout the year. Neat project to work on and aptly timed with the 125-year celebration. Initially prospected scanned on microfilm, fasted but quality was poor. Scanned from physical copies. Did have to come back for some additional funding. Some years are biweekly some are monthly, hard to get an accurate representation. We are roughly 96.5% completed. 1985-89, gap we are currently digitized.
Bonnard: In library, currently we have a display of interesting stories found in the exponent. A really big deal to have all of this available for students. Searchable but not in a way that we would like it to be. Future project could be to make it widely searchable.
Leckie: Do you know what issue the where’s Waded?
Rehal: Move to recognize Anderson, Blossom and Wheeler.
Killian: Move to have 5-minute recess before admin reports. Motion Passed
University PD Project
Clifton: Finance reserve request coming next week. Mobile safety app. Prototype from app armor. Some of the cool features is walk your friend home. Mobil blue light function, UPD immediately dispatched. Can call UPD right away. Can help report a crime. UPD can jumpstarts your car and unlock your keys from inside. Community resources for safety, Alcohol toxicity information. Going to request 5,000$ for headway, annual cost is about $10,000. More information to come.
Driscoll: Cost for students to download?
Clifton: It would be free for students.
Reconvene at 8:04pm.
Clifton: Just came back from Washington exchange. They have pretty cool swag. Board of Regents meeting next week.
Johnson: Tuesday 2017-JC-221/22, ruling that struck down fiscal policy. Minor correction. Murray: Yield
Grover: Budget oversight committee going to meet next week.
Senator of the Month: Racheal Juel
I think we recognize that people aren’t perfect. I believe that when donors give money to
a university they are thinking about the students. And as Senators, we need to keep this in mind.
Heinrich: Next Friday Undie Run volunteers needed.
Killian: SNOW meeting. Opinion on fashion and the environment. Student contraceptives, covered under Obamacare. Nothing is going to change at MSU. Currently changes only to religious institutions.
Blossom: Going to try and integrate so cool things that they have on campus. I think it would be really good if we could have some sort of phone bank.
Eastes: KGLT gets audited yearly and we just went through it and it went really well. Tell Ellen good job.
Swenson: Space Management Committee met last Friday. Gong over space manage met plan. Topic of Spaces in the SUB came up. All spaces are subject to this policy, with some exceptions.
Kuehn: Been working with EHHD dean, 8 500$ scholarships given out, equivalent 50 miller dining hall passes.
Baird: Met with Ariel, common ground applications have due dates extended. In January on the 18th, there will be an open house on the DISK. Gave 2,520 to rugby for travel.
Grover: Second Reading of 2017-R-18
Blossom: Move to consider in a committee of the whole(seconded)
Enters Committee of the Whole:
Blossom: I would like to begin by requesting that the entirety of this speech be entered into the record. In addition, I would like to sincerely thank Norm Asbjornson for an incredible donation and make explicitly clear that any issues I, or this body, may have with the renaming are in no way issues with Norm Asbjornson personally. This discussion should be about the process of naming generally, and for that reason I request of the senate that his name not be used for the remainder of this deliberation.
With that said, the Associated Students of Montana State University is here to amplify the voice of students. Each of us has been selected by our peers because they trust us and believe we will represent their voice, but we as individuals do not share all the values of our constituency. It is incumbent upon us as representatives of the student voice to engage that voice. It is not always possible to do this as effectively as we might like; our branding issues and internal communications are evidence of this. Still, while students do not need to be bothered by grammatical corrections in the bylaws, there are issues that demand student input. We find ourselves considering one such issue today, the renaming of a college.
There is a conversation to be had about the impact this type of policy has on our state funding; now is not the time for that conversation. There is a conversation to be had about the monetary value that should warrant this type of designation; now is not the time for that conversation. There is a conversation to be had about the benefit to students of large donations; this is not the time for that conversation. There is a conversation to be had about the level of student involvement in the naming process; this is not the time for that conversation. There is a conversation to be had about the reflection upon Montana State University if this naming does not proceed; this is not the time for that conversation. This decision is relevant whole host of other issues that we can talk about for hours, but this is not the time for those conversations. This is a time to consider what is our duty here as senators.
We have an unprecedented snapshot of the student opinion on this matter. Students came to the meeting today and shared their thoughts in huge numbers. Through a generalizable survey of the students of the college of engineering we have shown that the vast majority of students are unaware of this change, and that even with this being the case almost a third of them disapprove of the proposal. Furthermore, students with no opinion, once educated, showed a significant likelihood to disapprove of the proposal. These metrics are by no means perfect, but they provide a strong indication that our constituents, the students, are opposed to this renaming. This enables us to make a decision based not on our own beliefs or preferences, but on the documented opinions of constituents. We have a clear indication of what the students want, far more than any other time in this institutions history that I am aware of. It is our duty as couriers of the student voice to communicate that voice to the Board of Regents. If this body is not capable of taking an action on this issue it causes me to question the very purpose for the existence of ASMSU, and the value of the work we do.
Eastes: Rescinds support of resolution.
Blossom: Sent out document with result of survey within Roberts. All self identifies engineering students.
Baird, Student of Statistics: Sample is a convenience sample. Analyzed using nonparametric method. Looking at whether or not more information changed student’s response to decision. Yielded a low P value, students who are given more information, were more likely to say that they were more likely to reject
Anderson: What information did you provide to students that didn’t know anything about this? Blossom: On the last slide of the power points.
Anderson: That’s very biased. Did you point out some of the things that the alumni foundations said?
Blossom: I do not believe this information is factually incorrect. Anderson: Does this throw people’s opinions one way?
Baird: Phrasing is very important to consider. Whether or not the survey is biased is not for me to determine.
Killian: Keep hearing this thrown around. Where does finding private funding pull the state away from funding us.
Blossom: We are a public land grant university. As we seek more outside funding it.
Killian: Continual budget cuts since 1980. I don’t see the similarities and loosing state funding.
Blossom: Important to taking a state on this, does not have to be in this wording. I believe that we are
Killian: Romney gym to Romney Hall to try and get state funding. Need to put people into office that are going to funding us regardless.
Blossom: If the college is not named, we keep the money.
Anderson: What evidence do you have that the state will continue to defund us if this name is not adapted
Blossom: Systemically, what is the state doing and our trends towards defunding.
Anderson: If renaming this college was a requirement of this agreement gift, would you let the money go because of it?
Blossom: That is not the question were here. Lei: Yield to Kylar
Kylar: Better question for Murray.
Lei: Yield to Murray
Lei: If the college isn’t named after Norm, will we still get the grant?
Murray: Necessity of naming of college is part of this gift, upon the agreement.
Lei: Yield to Cox
Cox: Says that the regents will asked. Not saying that this will determine whether or not this will be the final decision.
Murray: Item on the agenda of the Board of Regents.
Lei: Maybe naming the college is not the right thing to do for a public university. Fantastic that the donor has been so graceful but I do not believe that this option should have been an option.
Jones: Short of seeing reviewed data, based on data I see increased state funding with simultaneous private donor donations. We as an institution receive $60 million dollars, overall, we receive normally 3⁄4 of what the state normally gives us.
Murray: State of Montana has not been able to pass 2/3 vote in both house and senate. In 2013, wanted to see a demonstration a broadened distribution form people other than just the tax payers through donation. Set up donation criteria.
Jones: Record of legislature asking for the private donors. Very risky to alienate donors. Legislature has a different face every two years.
Lei: As appoint of reference, 50 million$ is about 22% of operating budget.
Rehal: Yield to Dean
Dean: Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering and Innovation Gift Agreement *reads form initial agreement*
Rehal: Board of Regents can also un-name the name. Biggest donation in Montana history,
Grover: I really don’t care. Extremely indifferent. Thinking about students and what
this grant affects. I think we are missing the bigger point here. Rise and report
and leave the committee of the whole(seconded)
Blossom: Would request stay in committee of the whole. Have some edits.
Lei: How much can we change this resolution without changing the intent as a whole. Heinrich: Support Senator Grover
Exits Committee of the Whole
Blossom: Move to discuss resolution (seconded)
Blossom: Move to amend the resolution to reflect document sent out (seconded)
Killian: Can I ask ASMSU to be spelled out?
Driscoll: Take out “a” in lead to make it read led.
Blossom: Name spelling change.
Blossom: Changes move from us saying “we are asking the board of regents to directly vote against this but” to “involve more student involvement.”
Anderson: I believe that we have determined that sampling led to students saying this.
Blossom: Probably biased, thrown together very quickly. Not completely random, so may inherently impose on this. Have a duty to communicate what students are saying.
Lei: Not saying that there isn’t wide spread student disagreement. The given data is just biased. Driscoll: Change “disapproval” to “Lack of approval”?
Lei: There are students that feel passionately with re-naming. DO we want to set a precedent of renaming college as a land grant public university?
Rehal: We do value students coming in and giving public comment. Not all students represented. Part of Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.
Blossom: Happy to entertain any friendly amendments.
Eastes: From what I’ve understood is that it gets pretty difficult to amend the meaning of a resolution. Be willing to support a resolution that renamed the college.
Swenson: Echo the statements of both Noah and Ian. I don’t believe that the it is
fair to Mr. Asbjornson.
Leckie: Move to previous question(seconded)
Motion to adopt amendments fails
Kuehn: Do we want someone to have their name on a building because they have done something or because they have bought it.
Orr: Just like to say board of regents meeting next Thursday. If we table this amendment, our voice won’t be heard.
Anderson: Previous question(seconded) Motion Fails
Anderson: Move to approve
Grover: Reading of amendments of 2017-R-18
Blossom: Widespread engineering student disapproval, “student lack of information”
Blossom: The amendments geared towards what I have been hearing.
Kilian: Would feel more comfortable voting on previous resolution.
Heinrich: Just this resolution with the amendments is going 20 different places. Don’t feel comfortable voting on an amendment that isn’t coherent.
Eastes: If we are saying that resolved, it seems more like an internal MSU Rehal:
Eastes: Resend my sponsorship
Marsh: I would be completely ok with renaming the college of agriculture if we got 50 million dollars.
Jones: Donation is overshadowing the 20 years of support. Being part of advisory council, reputation, and other donations including scholarships.
Kuehn: Prior to donation, was his name being considered for the college?
Jones: I don’t have an answer for that.
Jones: The idea of changing the policy, students can talk at the board of regents, but creating this amendment is not going to change anything within the week.
Jones: Move to postpone this indefinitely (seconded)
Lei: If we submit a resolution that is muddled and unclear, we are discrediting the integrity of our voice.
Rehal: Support Lei and Jones feedback on this. Be better to give more time in order to go over. 2017-R-18 postponed indefinitely
Eastes: I move to add my resolution to the agenda(seconded) Grover: First reading
Juel: I move to add my resolution to the agenda(seconded) Grover: First reading of 2017-R-20
DuBeau: Move to add my resolution to the agenda(seconded) Grover: First reading of
Driscoll: I move to add my resolution to the agenda(seconded)
Motion Passes Whyte: I hate you all.
Grover: Requires 2/3 majority vote, so motion does not pass.
Killian: Meeting directly after meeting I will be in the office working on a resolution if anyone would like to help out.
Motion to adjourn by Senator Anderson at 10:05pm.