Montana University System leaders announce new director of Bitterroot College

Bitterroot College in Hamilton, Montana.

HELENA, MT – Montana University System officials announced today that Dr. Angela McLean will serve as the interim director of Bitterroot College at the University of Montana, effective Aug. 2, 2022. Dr. McLean currently serves as the Director of American Indian/Minority Achievement and K-12 Partnerships in the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education in Helena. OCHE staff will support her continued leadership in this role as she steps in to lead Bitterroot College.

“I’m incredibly pleased that Angela is stepping in to lead Bitterroot College,” said Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian. “In addition to being a strong leader, Angela is a dedicated advocate for education at all levels. Angela also understands the importance of working with the community and key stakeholders to meet the needs of students and the community.” 

Located in Hamilton, Bitterroot College connects a diverse rural community to a wide array of learning opportunities to prepare students for future success and support workforce development. Offering more than 30 college credit courses, students at Bitterroot College can earn an associate’s degree, complete prerequisite courses for leading fields, earn credits that are transferable across the MUS and obtain certificates in business, computers and industrial trades – all while staying close to home.

Seth Bodnar, president of the University of Montana said, “I’m excited to welcome Dr. McLean to the UM family. She brings the right mix of experience at the local and statewide level to lead the next chapter of Bitterroot College. She has a strong history of putting students at the center of everything she does, which is core to the UM experience whether at Bitterroot College or our main campus in Missoula.”  

McLean began her teaching career in the Arlee Public Schools and has two decades of experience in the classroom. McLean has been a leading voice for Montana’s education community, having served on both the Board of Public Education and the Board of Regents. As Montana’s 31st lieutenant governor, she continued her strong advocacy for Montana’s schools, teachers and students.

Upon being appointed, McLean said, “I’m very excited for this opportunity. My priority is connecting with local leaders and stakeholders to ensure the programs and opportunities available through Bitterroot College align with community needs. Many in the community have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this institution, and I’m looking forward to engaging and learning how we can work together going forward.”


Contact: Dave Kuntz, UM strategic communications director, 406-243-5659, Helen Thigpen, Montana University System deputy commissioner, 406-449-9167,