Robert Johns - 1963-1966

Robert Johns

September 1963 - August 1966

"That society is made great which recognizes the right to disagree and the right of the individual to decide what is relevant."


  • Ph.D., Stanford University, 1950

Accomplishments as President

Johns felt it was important to cooperate with other Montana institutions.  In 1964, in conjunction with the School of Mines, UM received a government grant to fund the Montana University Joint Water Research Center.  Johns transformed the Endowment Foundation of McFarland into The University of Montana Foundation, which supported in excess of 30 programs and studies.  By 1965, UM offered a B.A. in 50 programs, a B.S. in ten, an M.A. in 38 fields, and doctorate studies in nine departments.  During Johns' administration, the campus saw many structural changes.  The old gymnasium, Cook Hall, and the Alumni House were torn down.  Building began on several structures, although many were finished after Johns' resignation.  The faculty also benefited under Johns, who increased the travel budget to allow for faculty members to attend educational meetings.

Background History

After positions as a teacher, counselor, and assistant dean of students, Johns became Director of the Illinois Commission of Higher Education in 1958.  Before being appointed President of The University of Montana, he also served as Executive Vice President at the University of Florida.

Following the Presidency

Johns accepted a position at Sacramento State College.  He served as president there from 1966 to 1969.  Johns resided in Corrales, New Mexico, until his death in 2007.

Robert Johns

Landmarks Erected

  • Knowles Hall, 1963
  • Miller Hall, 1965
  • Addition to Harry Adams Field House, 1965

Programs Established

  • Physical Therapy Program
  • Courses in Linguistics, Communications, and Resource Conservation
  • Upward Bound
  • Regional School Facilities Planning Center
  • U.S. Forest Service Experimental Laboratory