Royce C. Engstrom - 2010--2016

Royce C. Engstrom

October 2010-December 2016

"The most moving moment as president was presiding over Commencement and watching the students graduate, seeing their parents, friend and families there with them. Everyone is excited about the future."


  • B.S., University of Nebraska, 1975
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1979

Accomplishments as President

During Engstrom’s tenure, academic quality continued to remain high, research funding set records and the University received an historic $24 million donation. This donation, from the William A. and Carolyn Franke family, led to the naming of the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation and Franke Global Leadership Initiative. Engstrom launched the Global Leadership Initiative soon after becoming president to prepare students to serve as global citizens. He also launched the Women’s Leadership Initiative in 2015. In 2012, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano appointed Engstrom to the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council. The new council, composed of prominent university presidents and academic leaders, was charged with advising the department on several key issues, including research and recruitment. Engstrom also served on the executive committee of the board of directors for the Association of American Colleges and Universities. In 2014, UM received a $45 million cooperative agreement award from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The five-year research award was the largest in UM history.


Background History

Prior to serving as UM’s 17th president, Engstrom served for three years as UM provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, a role that included the position of tenured full professor in the Department of Chemistry. Engstrom came to Montana from the University of South Dakota, where he served for 28 years in various positions, including assistant professor, chair of the chemistry department, graduate school dean, vice president for research and provost.


Following the Presidency

Engstrom returned to teaching and research as a chemistry professor in at UM.


Royce C. Engstrom

Landmarks Erected

  • Fallen Soldier Memorial, 2011
  • Biomechanics Laboratory, 2012
  • Neural Injury Center, 2014
  • Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute, 2014
  • Grizzly Softball Complex, 2015
  • Renovations to UC Commons, 2016
  • Renovation of Davidson Honors College, 2016
  • Renovation of Student Organization Suite, 2016
  • The Harold and Priscilla Gilkey Center, 2016
  • Missoula College, 2016

Programs Established

  • Global Leadership Initiative
  • Women’s Leadership Initiative
  • Master’s and doctorate degree in systems ecology
  • Master’s degree programs in athletic training and business analytics
  • Doctorate in public health
  • UM ScholarWorks
  • Blackstone LaunchPad
  • Minors in Arabic studies and global public health