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President of The University

The University of Montana

Dr. Royce EngstromAt the conclusion of their meeting on 23 September 2010, the Board of Regents voted to approve the hiring of Royce C. Engstrom as the next President of The University of Montana.  Dr. Engstrom will assume his duties on 15 October 2010.

Dr. Engstrom has served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University since 2007.  Born in Michigan and raised in Nebraska, he came to Montana from the University of South Dakota where he served as the Professor and Chair of Chemistry, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Dr. Engstrom and his wife Mary have two grown children.

“I am excited and deeply honored to take on this responsibility,” Engstrom said. “The University of Montana is truly a special place. The four campuses enrich the lives of students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members. The University is an engine of competitiveness for the state of Montana. I am ready, with the help of the campus community, to engage the challenges and embrace the opportunities the future holds.

Read more about Dr. Engstrom's vision for The University of Montana here.


Dr. George DennisonOn 25 January 2010, George M. Dennison, The University of Montana's longest serving President, announced his retirement from the presidency on 15 August 2010, 20 years to the date he assumed the role.  This announcement set before the Board of Regents and the Campuses of The University of Montana an important process and significant decision, the selection of a new president for The University of Montana.

Presidential Search Advisory Committee

Dr. Sheila M. Stearns, Commissioner of Higher Education outlined the steps of the process in a memorandum to the Board of Regents and the Campuses of The University of Montana on 28 January, stating that a Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) will be established as soon as possible, led by Regent Clayton Christian, chair of the staff and compensation committee and vice-chair of the Board.  According to Commissioner Stearns the PSAC shall be comprised of representatives of major stakeholders and constituent groups of The University of Montana and the affiliated Campuses.  Nominations for the PSAC are being collected by Chair Christian, the Commissioner, and OCHE staff until 10 February.

Board of Regents' Search Workshop

On Wednesday, 17 February, the Board of Regents will meet on the campus of The University of Montana for a workshop to discuss the search process, timelines, and goals of the PSAC.  The meeting takes place in the UC Ballroom (North) from 8:30 AM-12:00 PM and the agenda includes opportunity for public comment from 10:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.  A similar workshop was held this past May at MSU to commence the MSU presidential search.   

Presidential Transition Assessment

Based on Commissioner Stearns's recommendation to the Regents, Dr. Stephen J. Reno, Chancellor Emeritus of the University System of New Hampshire, has been invited to assist the Board in this important process.  An experienced leader from outside the Montana University System, Dr. Reno will conduct an assessment on behalf of MUS and participate in meetings with key constituencies to identify challenges of a the leadership transition following President Dennison's successful 20-year presidency.   The first step of the assessment involves individual interviews conducted by Dr. Reno, Chair Christian, and Commissioner Stearns with University, Community, and State leaders as well as other stakeholders.  As a second step, Dr. Reno will draft and submit to the Board of Regents a Presidential Transition Assessment report to help guide the work of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

Once the membership of the PSAC is identified and confirmed, Committee Chair Christian will schedule the organizational meeting of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

University Hall 109
The University of Montana
Missoula, Montana 59812
(406) 243-2311; (406) 243-2797 (Fax)