MTPR

Royce Engstrom

(PD)

Sheila Stearns is barely three months into her interim position as president of the University of Montana.  The former Commissioner of Higher Education and UM alumna freely admits that she has plenty to learn about what’s happening on campus.

University of Montana President Sheila Stearns
Courtesy the University of Montana

University of Montana President Sheila Stearns presented her mid-year update to faculty and staff today. The address to the standing-room-only crowd of about 300 was peppered with optimistic messages that the university’s best days are ahead of it.

But it also contained a sobering reality check.

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.

UM President Royce Engstrom speaks about UM's handling of sexual assaults at a July 10 press conference in Missoula, MT.
Eric Whitney - MTPR

The statement below was issued by Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian Thursday, December 1 at 8:50 am. 

Christian issued an additional statement at 10:00 am, which is below as well.

We'll have more on this story later today.

Bill and Carolyn Franke and their family visit the UM campus to celebrate their gift with the University community.
Courtesy University of Montana

Today the state board of regents approved re-naming  a school and an academic program at the University of Montana in honor of a major financial contributor.

Antonio Moresette addresses a crowd of demonstrators at the University of Montana who want UM officials to limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities, Nov 16, 2016.
Edward O'Brian

The University of Montana is being asked to limit its cooperation with federal immigration authorities. But UM officials are in no hurry to comply with that request.

Surbhi Jain is teaching the beginning and intermediate Hindi classes at UM this year. Brandon Fullbrook pictured front right. Adelheid Cassidy, rear left.
Edward O'Brien

Only five students are taking the University of Montana’s intermediate Hindi language class. Three others are in the beginning section.

Debra Magpie Earling at an honoring ceremony in the Payne Family Native American Center on the University’s Missoula campus, September 21, 2016.
Mike Albans

Debra Magpie Earling, a Bitterroot Salish tribal member, is now director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Montana. She is the first Native American to serve as director of the 96-year-old program. Earling is thrilled by the appointment, but also a little nervous.

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.

The gay pride rainbow was projected on UM's Main Hall last night
Mara Silvers

Organizers are expecting more than 1,500 people to attend the Big Sky Pride celebration in Great Falls this weekend.

But following the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando this past weekend that left 50 people dead and 53 more injured, Big Sky Pride President Kev Hamm of Helena says he hopes the event that starts this afternoon will draw a much bigger crowd.

 

Close to 5,000 people attended last year's parade in Missoula.

The weekend celebration includes meals, entertainment and dancing, along with a bike ride, parade and rally on Saturday.

It is open to all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and those who support them.

 

In Missoula, nearly 100 people gathered in front of the University of Montana’s Main Hall last night to see a rainbow.

The plain brick building was lit with the colors of the gay pride flag to support the victims of last Sunday’s massacre in Orlando.

UM President Engstrom (file photo)
Josh Burnham

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom received an award today from the Montana Associated Students. 

Recruiters representing over 70 employers from across the region visited the University of Montana this week.
Alyssa Grant (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

Hospitals and clinics across Montana have long had a hard time recruiting doctors and nurses to serve the state’s needs. That can be true of other healthcare professions, too, like therapists, pharmacists and technicians. A new analysis this year says demand for healthcare workers in Montana is going to grow by 40 percent in the next 10 years.

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom. File Photo.
Josh Burnham

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom says he’s not keeping the $6,000 a year raise he was recently awarded.

UM President Engstrom (file photo)
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana will need to cut its budget by 2 - 2.5 percent in the next fiscal year to reconcile expenses with income. That’s in addition to the job cuts happening now. University President Royce Engstrom made that announcement this afternoon at his annual mid-year update address on campus.

Budget Stabilization Plan Outlines State's Response To Future Revenue Shortfalls
Reynermedia.com (CC-BY-2.0)

Legislative audits released today of the Montana University System came up clean and without criticism. After reviewing data for the fiscal year ending in June 2015, auditors saw no need for adjustments in how the universities handle their cash flow.

Mark Burnham (L) and Erick Sprunk (Center) announce a $2 million donation to The School of Business Administration along with UM President Royce Engstrom (R), Friday, January 29, 2016 at UM.
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana announced a pair of $1 million private donations today. The gifts will establish the University’s first endowed dean position. It will be in The School of Business Administration.

The University of Montana.
Josh Burnham

Montana University officials are condemning accusations of unfair hiring practices at the University of Montana. The charge is leveled by a group of community members and UM faculty.

Layoffs Begin At UM

Jan 22, 2016
University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

University of Montana president Royce Engstrom says the school will lay off 27 employees by July. In a letter to colleagues today Engstrom said that, in total, 192 full-­time positions are being eliminated. Besides layoffs, the cuts will come by attrition, reducing adjunct positions and not renewing contracts.

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom. File Photo.
Josh Burnham

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom says he’s expanding his cabinet, in response to comments from — and dialogue with — people in recent weeks.

Fiscal Year 2004, 2013, 2015 UM Employee FTE by employee classification
UM/Office of the President

In response to faculty criticism of his plan to cut 201 jobs at the University of Montana, school President Royce Engstrom today said it does not constitute an attack on the humanities or liberal arts.

Engstrom announced the job cuts November 17. He says they’re necessary following several years of declining enrollment at UM.

A sign seen at last week's meeting for faculty feedback on UM President Engstrom's plan to cut 201 jobs because of declining enrollment.
Eric Whitney

The majority of faculty and staff comments on proposed job cuts at the University of Montana are, “painful, fearful and anxious.”

That’s according to a summary of more than 120 emails that was sent to University President Royce Engstrom today.

University Hall at The University of Montana
Josh Burnham

A prominent University of Montana professor says that faculty needs to look outside campus for help in the face of a budget crisis that will cut 52 faculty jobs, and 149 University staff positions. UM President Royce Engstrom says the cuts are necessary because several years of declining enrollment mean the school is overstaffed for the approximately 11,000 full time students it now has.

A sign seen at last week's meeting for faculty feedback on UM President Engstrom's plan to cut 201 jobs because of declining enrollment.
Eric Whitney

Today is the deadline University of Montana President Royce Engstrom has set for public comments on his proposal to cut 201 jobs because of declining enrollment. Those comments are due at 5:00 p.m. But last night, the UM Faculty Senate met and voiced some of their concerns.

University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana needs to cut 201 full-time jobs to make its expenses align with revenue.

UM President Royce Engstrom made that announcement this afternoon, saying the University needs to be “right-sized” to meet a declining number of students.

UM President Royce Engstrom said the University needs to be “right-sized” to meet a declining number of students.
Saxon Holbrook

UM President Royce Engstrom addressed the campus community today to talk about UM administration's plan for dealing with the budget deficit. Read the full text of Engstrom's speech here.

Enrollment Declines Continue At UM

Oct 2, 2015
UM's Vice President for Integrated Communications, Peggy Kuhr, says 13,044 students are attending UM this fall semester, a 6 and one half percent drop from last fall.
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana announced today that enrollment is still declining, with this fall semester's headcount down nearly 600 students since last fall. Total current enrollment is now at just over 13,000.

Gov. Steve Bullock speaks about the benefits of the Montana University System Research Initiative, Tuesday, August 18, 2015 on the UM campus.
Edward O'Brien

Two University of Montana programs will share over $3.5 million in state research funds. UM's traumatic brain injury and water quality monitoring programs are among the first to benefit from the "Montana University System Research Initiative". That's a $15 million program that passed out of the last session of the Montana legislature.

UM President Royce Engstrom speaks about UM's handling of sexual assaults at a July 10 press conference in Missoula, MT.
Eric Whitney - MTPR

The University of Montana Police Department has met federal requirements to improve its response to reports of sexual assault on campus.

The University agreed to the requirements two years ago, following a 2012 investigation into reports of sexual assaults at the school by the U.S. Departments of Justice, and Education.

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