MTPR

higher education

Montana State University-Northern awarded a professor $50,000 to settle a racial discrimination complaint she filed against the school. The University did not admit guilt, but nonetheless agreed to pay the professor.

Adjunct professor Yvonne Tiger, who’s Native American, filed the complaint in July 2016.

St. Charles Hall at Carroll College in Helena, MT.
Dngvandaele (CC-BY-SA-4)

The president of Carroll College is leaving to take a new position in Texas. Dr. Thomas Evans assumed the helm of Carroll in 2012.

Carroll is a private, four-year, Catholic college in Helena with an enrollment of nearly 1,500 students.

Two Montana campuses will be allowed to have the public sample the wares from their brewing science and brewery operations programs, so long as the tasting rooms are off campus.

Flathead Valley Community College and Montana State University Billings are the two campuses with this program. But the Senate amended the bill to only recognize FVCC. Representative Don Jones, R-Billings, wanted MSU Billings to be recognized, as well.

The University of Montana.
Josh Burnham

University of Montana student Hunter Losing’s message to lawmakers was simple- 

“We cannot balance the budget on the backs of students. We need to tell them we need courage, not cuts,” he said.

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.

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.

Flathead Valley Community College
Flathead Valley Community College

The deadline passed this week for Flathead Valley residents who want to earn a Bachelors of Arts degree in elementary education without leaving the area. The partnership between FVCC and the University of Montana means students can study at FVCC but their coursework and degree will come from the University of Montana.

Employer Tax Credits For College Tuition Contributions On Wednesday's Legislative Agenda

Apr 14, 2015

Wednesday at the Montana Legislature, lawmakers hear a bill to give employers a tax break if they help pay for their employees' college tuition.

Denise Dowling

College-bound high school seniors are hearing back from their chosen schools this week and they’re finding out which universities want them and how much they’re willing to offer in scholarships and financial aid.

Montana Tribal Colleges Seek Equality In Funding

Mar 31, 2015

Montana has the most tribal colleges in the country, and it’s the only state with one on every reservation. But together, all seven tribal colleges educate hundreds of non-tribal students as well, many of them white students.

Laura John, a tribal analyst with the Montana Budget and Policy Center says non-Tribal student enrollment in tribal colleges is growing.

"The tribal colleges have seen, overall, a 25 percent increase between 2009 and what’s projected for 2016-2017," according to John.

courtesy of Deep Springs College

Nearly one hundred years ago, L.L. Nunn, an electrical pioneer and the manager of a Colorado power company, founded a two-year college for young men in California's Deep Springs Valley. Deep Springs College isn't the typical American junior college: it's tiny, with just twenty-six students. No one pays tuition or fees.  It's located on a remote cattle ranch and alfalfa farm. The student-faculty ratio is 5:1.

Josh Burnham

Democratic U.S Senate candidate Amanda Curtis presented a six-point plan today that she says would help Montanans who are struggling with student debt.

The high school math teacher from Butte visited the University of Montana's mountain campus in Missoula to outline the plan she says would serve as an investment in students.

Curtis told the crowd of about 30 people that rising student loan debt has become an economic crisis that's deterring young people from furthering their education and saddling graduates with insurmountable debt.

5/20/14: This week on "Home Ground:" Evergreen State College was founded to offer integrated, flexible and reasonably-priced education. Its academic approach is unorthodox; instead of following pre-programmed curricula, students design their own programs of studies. Outgoing president Les Purce answers the question: in an age of specialization, how is Evergreen doing?

Aaron Parrett

Nov 27, 2013

10/22/2013 - We live in a culture of commerce, where even higher education is judged in commercial terms:  Will it help get a better-paying job?  Aaron Parrett has a different, old-fashioned view:  It is education i the arts and literature that really counts.