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Inaugural Message to Campus from President Engstrom

October 19, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

It is a lifetime honor to serve as the seventeenth President of The University of Montana.  During the past three years, I have been continually amazed at the quality of the people that make up the University.  Students, faculty members, staff, administrators, friends, and supporters all contribute in their respective ways to the distinctive spirit that exists here.  This is a time of great excitement for the University.  We have much to celebrate and much to do.  Throughout the search process, I was grateful for the encouragement from so many people.  I look forward to working with each of the four campuses of The University of Montana to continue on our trajectory of becoming one of the most effective learning environments in public higher education.

Communication will be a cornerstone of our progress, so here are some of the communications mechanisms we will be putting in place.  Each Friday, beginning on October 22, we will post a short video message on my home page.  These 3-5 minute segments will focus on issues before us, or on examples of our collective accomplishments.  My office will send out an e-mail notice each week letting you know that the next video has been posted and is available to view.

On the Missoula campus, we will establish the University Council, a group that will meet biweekly to promote communication and to exchange thoughts on issues and opportunities.  The Council will not be a policy-making body, but is intended to support our strong tradition of shared governance through communication.  Therefore, it will include representation from the students, faculty, staff, administration, and community, and the meetings will be open.  Stay tuned for an announcement of the meeting schedule.  On some occasions, meetings of the University Council will be combined with “tutorials” on various aspects of the University, such as budget, policies, or special opportunities.

I will ask each of the four campuses—the flagship campus in Missoula, The University of Montana Western, Montana Tech of The University of Montana, and The University of Montana-Helena College of Technology—to host a “UM Day” annually, in which a contingent from the other three campuses will converge on the host campus to learn about that campus and to have dialogue on common concerns and opportunities.  The dates of these will be announced well in advance so that interested people can attend.

I host regular office hours, which are posted on my Web site.  Please free to meet with me then or e-mail me with your comments or questions.

Finally, as do all of you, I love learning.  A few times each semester, I will host “The President’s Classroom,” inviting a group of people to learn with me from one or more of our faculty members.  I will ask a faculty member to provide a Saturday morning, casual classroom with coffee and rolls, to a group of approximately 30 people from on- and off-campus.  There is an endless list of interesting topics!

We have considerable work to do in these upcoming years.  Together, we will address challenges and experience great rewards.

Thank you.


Royce C. Engstrom