The second finalist in the search for the University of Montana’s next president got his chance to speak with the campus community Wednesday in an open forum held at the UC Theater at UM.
Andrew Hale Feinstein is currently the provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at San Jose State, a large public university in California. He’s had an 18 year career in higher education, and was in the hospitality industry before that.
"I have significant experience in budgeting, which may come in handy here I think," Feinstein said. "What do you think?"
He said that skill set, along with his experience with enrollment management, would help UM make hard decisions around declining enrollment and budget cuts, and he laid out a preliminary path for the school going forward.
"First, I would focus on building and growing the image and the relationship with the university, with the community. I would focus internally on addressing the morale issues with faculty, staff and students," he said.
He praised UM’s research achievements, and advocated for expanding research here as well as creating a more interdisciplinary curriculum by combining the humanities with science. He said he wants to see UM become the premier liberal arts public research institution in the country.
"I think there are some wonderful opportunities to create something novel here, that would be appreciated not only in Silicon Valley, but nationally. Something very special. That’s something that excites me about being a part of this university."
Each of the four candidates are on campus this week and Monday, visiting with faculty, staff and students.
An open forum with the next finalist, Seth Bodnar, will be held on Friday, September 22.