MTPR

higher education

On this episode of "Capitol Talk": The Legislature debates a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's anti-discrimination law; should teachers carry guns in schools; proposed university cuts and how they could raise tuition; the delay in Zinke's confirmation hearing; and a new poll shows Rob Quist and Amanda Curtis are the front-runners on the Democratic side to replace Zinke in Congress.

Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the state Board of Regents to adopt a policy on accepting money or other gifts for the state’s colleges and universities.

Both the University of Montana and Montana State University have benefited from multi-million dollar gifts that resulted in naming rights.


The amount of money a campus in the Montana University System receives from the state for a full-time resident student varies, sometimes widely.

The high is about $11,000 for a student at MSU-Northern to a low of $6,500 at Great Falls College MSU, according to data gathered by the Legislative Fiscal Division.


Public lands advocates flooded the state capitol this week and won a victory against privatization in Congress. What's fueling their increased intensity of late? With Ryan Zinke as Interior secretary, is development on public lands a bigger threat than privatization?

Faced with a revenue shortfall and an unwillingness to raise taxes, Montana's University System and other state agencies are preparing for some painful funding cuts.

And the Legislature spent time this week debating a ban on Sharia law in Montana courts. Find out why in this episode of "Capitol Talk".

Students, campus officials, and others urged lawmakers to resist the up to $25 million budget cut proposed for the Montana University System (MUS) budget. They said it would reverse a decade of gains made to keep higher education accessible and affordable for low- and middle-income students.

Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian told the joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, officials are considering increasing tuition; cutting programs, faculty and staff; or a combination of the two.

“Any of those scenarios has dramatic impacts to students,” he said.


University of Montana President Sheila Stearns
Courtesy the University of Montana

The University of Montana’s incoming interim president, Dr. Sheila Stearns, is stepping out of retirement and back into academia. Stearns will lead UM as it conducts a national search for a new permanent leader.

Outgoing president, Royce Engstrom, has held that position since late 2010. Engstrom’s stepping down at the end of this month amid an ongoing enrollment decline.

University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana is wrapping up a tumultuous week. State education officials yesterday announced UM’s president will step down at the end of the month.

Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian predicts history will smile on Royce Engstrom’s six years at the helm, but says change is necessary.

 Comissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian
Edward O'Brien

The University of Montana was blindsided with today's announcement that UM President Royce Engstrom was stepping down from his position in four weeks.

Sen. Llew Jones (R) SD9
Montana Legislature

At a conference for farmers in Great Falls today, state lawmakers gave a preview of the budget fight to come in the upcoming legislative session.

Conrad Republican Llew Jones chairs Montana's Senate Finance Committee. He says he expects budget cuts to be the big issue during the 2017 legislative session:

University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom didn’t mince words today about enrollment during his annual State of the University address.

"No doubt about it, enrollment is our biggest challenge and our biggest opportunity. Put simply, we need more students," Engstrom said.

Pages