I am proud to present you with the 2010 President’s Report, the first such report of my presidency. The features inside illustrate academic challenge, exciting campus life and tremendous accomplishment on the part of the people who work and learn at The University of Montana. I hope you enjoy their stories.
It didn’t take me long to learn that the most interesting part of being president is interacting with the people who make up this exceptional University, beginning with our students, who come from all walks of life and from around the world. Whether from a small town in Montana, a large city on the coast or some other country, our students bring curiosity, ambition and a strong work ethic. I marvel, too, at the outstanding faculty members who are dedicated to UM. They bring a high level of expertise along with passion for their disciplines and for teaching. Staff members are also vital to the University, and our staff shows an intense interest in carrying out the University’s mission. The administration is made up of energetic leaders who are committed to leading an effective institution that serves Montana and beyond. And of course, there are the alumni, friends and donors who generously contribute their time, advice and resources to make the University among the best in public higher education.
Among the first and most important tasks we undertook in these first months of my presidency is the articulation of strategic directions for the University. We recently released “UM 2020: Building a University for the Global Century.” The plan is built around five Strategic Issues, with a foundation of Core Values that underlie all that we do. In the next few pages, these concepts are summarized. The remainder of this report goes on to illustrate those issues with real examples of accomplishment and focus.
During the recent Inauguration, we had the opportunity for vigorous dialogue on the distinguishing characteristics of the Global Century. You may have your own ideas as to what the Global Century means for higher education, but one thing is certain: Colleges and universities will be more important than ever. The opportunities and the challenges before us will require graduates with exposure to interdisciplinary problem-solving and educational experiences both in and beyond the classroom. The Strategic Plan will help focus our efforts on the kind of education needed for today’s responsibilities. It will focus our attention on the need for additional college-educated citizens through better retention and graduation rates. It will focus our efforts on high-impact research and creative scholarship. We will develop an even more dynamic and effective learning environment by attracting great people, by providing them with a strong infrastructure and by nurturing a campus atmosphere of exciting cultural, academic and athletic events. Finally, we will operate in a more planning-driven and assessment-driven mode, ensuring that our resources support our key directions as effectively as possible.
Every day I serve as president, I learn of new programs and accomplishments at the University. The campus is rich in tradition, but focused on the future. In these next decades, we have a responsibility to help shape Montana, the country and the world. It will require a team effort, beginning with innovative education and scholarship, a supportive environment and a clear dedication to excellence in all that we do. We will need the help of everyone associated with the University.
I hope the stories included in this President’s Report will illustrate to you the importance of what we do and the effectiveness with which we approach our work. Thank you for your support!
Royce C. Engstrom
The University of Montana