MTPR

higher education

Dr. Sheila Stearns is The University of Montana’s incoming interim president.
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.

MSU-Billings Receives Funding To Increase Retention Rates

Feb 16, 2016
MSU-Billings Chancellor Mark Nook says the money will be invested in recruitment and retention of students.
Jackie Yamanaka

Montana State University Billings is receiving a one-time injection of $760,000. The money is the result of meeting goals set under the Montana University System’s Performance Funding initiative.

Close to a hundred people turned out for a mid-day meeting offering an update on new student recruiting at the University of Montana today. Enrollment at the Missoula campus has dropped for the last six years, and since the fall of 2009 has declined by 18.5 percent.

A Montana researcher says colleges and Universities nationwide aren't doing a very good job at giving students information about preventing and responding to sexual assault.

Jennifer Scroggins, an associate professor at Montana State University says schools appear fearful for their reputations.

Thomas Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor
U.S. Department of Labor (PD)

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez cautions Montana educators against thinking too narrowly about their jobs.

"It's a false choice to suggest we're either training people for the jobs of tomorrow or we're training people to be critical thinkers. Our workforce needs both critical skills and critical thinking."

Flickr User Alachua County

Montana's economic success in the future hinges on the ability to adapt, collaborate and communicate.

That applies to workers, the companies that employ them and the schools that prepare workers to meet Montana's future workforce demands.

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