|Today, UM serves 3,000 more students than it did 10 years
ago, with fewer resources from the state. Student tuition rates have increased faster than
inflation, and as a result, students expect and deserve more and better services.
The situation has affected staff employees and called for action by President
Dennison. He has responded by arguing for higher staff pay increases, implementing a staff
sabbatical program and endorsing the Quality
of Worklife initiative to improve working conditions for all UM employees.
He worked actively with staff members to boost compensation,
after years without pay increases. The collaboration helped the Missoula campus create the
prototype that led to the development of the Montana Achievement Project, a progressive
personnel system being piloted on campuses statewide.
The new system values development of employee expertise and
rewards teamwork, resourcefulness, communication, leadership and service.
In 2000 the Dennisons contributed personal funds to establish
new awards that recognize UM employees for outstanding service to the University.