MTPR

University of Montana

Book Cover

Master storyteller Kevin Canty returns with "The Underworld," a lyrical, haunting novel about a hardscrabble small town in Idaho and the disaster that comes to define it. Inspired by a disastrous mine fire in the early 1970s, "The Underworld" gracefully imagines a community shattered, and ultimately altered and rebuilt, by tragedy.

Overview of tourist spending in Montana.
University of Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research

Montana’s budget to entice tourists to the state is about to take a multimillion dollar hit. Next week, budget reductions triggered by lower than expected state revenue will make Montana less competitive, officials say.

Last year, tourists spent about $3.5 billion in Montana, according to the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation.

Jade Johnson at work in a UM chemistry lab.
Courtesy Matt Roberts

While Native Americans may be underrepresented in the "hard sciences," Jade Johnson would argue that now, more than ever, Native scientists are needed to make sure environmental issues don’t get swept under the rug or forgotten.

Johnson, a member of Navajo Nation, is an undergraduate chemistry student at San Diego State University. This summer, she’s doing research at the University of Montana. It’s not the first time she’s done something like this.

Taif Salam and Carez Zozik are two of the 25 students participating in the Iraqi Young Leaders Program at UM.
Rachel Cramer

A group of 25 college students from Iraq is visiting Missoula. They arrived on July 10,  just as Iraqi forces were reclaiming the city of Mosul from Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

The students are part of an exchange of Iraqi Young Leaders arranged by the U.S. State Department and the University of Montana with a focus on international peace building.

A group of 25 college students from Iraq are in Montana, as part of a Young Leaders Exchange Program arranged by the U.S. State Department and the University of Montana.
Natalie Dawson, director of the Wilderness Institute

A group of 25 college students from Iraq are in Montana, as part of a Young Leaders Exchange Program arranged by the U.S. State Department and the University of Montana. The three-week tour is focused on international peace building through studies in environmental and cultural preservation.

The Wolf Point School District is facing a complaint of discrimination against its Native American students for the second time in the past 15 years. Last week, the Fort Peck Tribes filed what’s called a Title VI complaint with the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education on behalf of their children.

Yellowstone Public Radio’s Brie Ripley and Montana Public Radio’s Nicky Ouellet team up to bring us this story.

A group of students from Big Sky High School in Missoula is hosting a symposium to encourage action to end climate change next week at the University of Montana.
Flickr user, UN (cc-by-2.0)

A group of students from Big Sky High School in Missoula is hosting a symposium to encourage action to end climate change next week at the University of Montana.

<p>Panelists share their research on climate change in Montana
Beau Baker

A panel of Montana scientists laid out their findings on climate change in the state yesterday at the University of Montana (A video of the event is available at Clean Air Montana's Facebook page). That included addressing President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement last week.

Wheat prices in Montana have declined by 38 percent since 2014.
(PD)

New U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is in Montana today and tomorrow for an agriculture summit being put on in Great Falls by Republican Senator Steve Daines.

Greg Gianforte (L) and Rob Quist (R) are running for Congress in a special election to fill Ryan Zinke's seat.
MTPR News

Candidates and outside groups are dumping more than $12 million into Montana’s short special election race for the U.S. House, surpassing the spending in last year’s race by $3 million. That’s according to the latest federal campaign reports filed this week.

University Hall at The University of Montana
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana will be presenting its voluntary early retirement plan to eligible faculty Friday.

UM President Sheila Stearns says early retirement will be offered, “exclusively to a subset of full-time tenured faculty at the university’s main campus and Missoula College.”

University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana this week unveiled the first draft of its new, long-range strategic vision.

The plan is designed to show how UM distinguishes itself from other regional and national campuses. It does that in a number of ways, including reexamining its core curriculum and its relationships with faculty, staff and students.

The University of Montana’s academic budget will decrease by about $3 million heading into the next school year, UM President Sheila Stearns announced at UM on April 3, 2016.
Edward O'Brien

The University of Montana’s academic budget will decrease by about $3 million heading into the next school year. UM President Sheila Stearns made that announcement today. This year’s budget amounts to about $146 million.

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.

While a fly-fishing tour-operator might know the best place to catch the big fish, they may get a little lost in the complexities of digital marketing. That’s where a new software company based out of Missoula aims to provide guidance, helping tour-operators and guides find new clients they need to grow their businesses.

The House Appropriations committee unanimously approved a bill to pay for some capital improvement projects for numerous state facilities.  The committee’s action came after several lawmakers criticized building projects at the University of Montana.

House Bill 5 includes a myriad of projects, including for several life/safety repairs and maintenance at state facilities. The committee approved an amendment to give the Montana University System the authority to spend money raised privately by some of the campuses.


Researchers working at Sapphire Ranch near Lolo, MT, are trying to find out how deforestation affects bird alarm calls, February 25, 2017.
Rachel Cramer

In recent years, biologists have learned that birds use a variety of signals to communicate life-saving information about predators. Researchers from the University of Montana are trying to find out how development affects these signals and what this could mean for bird populations.

University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

Enrollment at the University of Montana has dropped slightly, but university officials say they are hopeful that trend will reverse.

The Missoulian reports that enrollment of full-time students fell nearly six percent from this time last year. Current enrollment stands at 11,615 students.

Recruiters At UM Say They're Looking For Talent And Ready To Hire
flickr user Neetal Parekh (CC-BY-NC-2)

Recruiters representing over 70 employers from across the region visited the University of Montana this week. They were interviewing students for jobs and internships. According to Steve Arveschoug of Big Sky Economic Development, there’s no shortage of good jobs available right now in the Billings area.

Panel Tackles Questions Of Race With 'Ask A Black Person' Event At UM
Ray Fanning

If you had a chance to ask a black person a sensitive question in a safe space, what would it be?

That was the premise of a panel discussion at the University of Montana Thursday afternoon that drew a crowd of about 50 people.

(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.

Bill Would Provide Matching Funds For Infrastructure Projects In Montana

Feb 6, 2017

Lawmakers in Helena will be considering a bill that would offer grants to local communities to fund infrastructure projects. Senate Bill 162 would divide the state into four quarters, based on population, to distribute up to $40 million for projects.

The Montana University System used the $15 million dollars it received from the 2015 Legislative session to solve Montana problems with Montana based solutions, add jobs, and grow the economy.

The funding was for the Montana Research & Economic Development Initiative, or MREDI.


Last spring, Barnes took home the gold in a national culinary competition.  The 23-year-old is now setting her sights on another big win: This time at the American Culinary Federation’s Student Chef of the Year competition.
Mike Albans

Katie Barnes is a big deal at the Missoula College culinary arts program. Her cooking skills have earned her national recognition.

Those who know her say Barnes is, without doubt, going places in the industry. But just over two years ago her professional future was anything but certain.

Larry Abramson is dean of the University of Montana Journalism School
Eric Whitney

Montana’s U.S. senators are split on the Trump administration’s temporary ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Montana Hall, MSU Campus, Bozeman, MT
Flickr User Tim Evanson (CC-BY-2)

As Montana lawmakers debate which infrastructure projects outlined in the bonding bill should get state funding, the presidents of two of Montana’s public universities asked state lawmakers to invest in public education.

'Things We Hold On To'

Jan 20, 2017
National Geographic

by Mari Hall

When I was a child, my mom never understood why I seldom played with the toys she bought.

“Why don’t you play with that Bratz swimming pool I bought you?”

I always tried to make it seem like I played with it more than she thought, or that the times I did play with it, she wasn’t in the room. But that wasn’t true. It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the toys my parents bought me; I was just often seen with a pencil in hand and paper sprawled out in front of me. In my stories, there were boxy figures, exaggerated clouds, smiling suns, and clashing colors of reds, blues and purples. My handwriting looked just like it does now, but larger and shakier. I would staple papers together to make small booklets and my mom would buy me bound journals from the dollar store. She always said that was one of the gifts I was the most excited about. At a young age, I wanted to be a writer.

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.

The University of Montana’s longest serving president, George Dennison, died Tuesday morning.
Courtesy University of Montana

The University of Montana’s longest serving president, George Dennison, died Tuesday morning.

Those who worked alongside Dennison during his record 20-year tenure at the University of Montana say his impact cannot be overstated.

University of Montana President Emeritus George Dennison, in an undated photo from the University of Montana
University of Montana

George Dennison, the University of Montana’s longest serving president, died today at age 81.

University of Montana Interim President Sheila Stearns issued the following statement just after 1:00 p.m. today:

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