MTPR

University of Montana

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.

'Beer and Poetry'

Dec 6, 2016
Beer: Paul Downey

by Maddy Irwin

Poetry reminds me of beer. More specifically it reminds me of Cold Smoke, a favorite of Missoula brew enthusiasts. I always pick up the cold pint glass thinking this will be the time I finally gain appreciation for the dark ale that my friends consume generously on our nightly excursions. However, my response is found to be the same puckering of lips and slight crinkling of my nose in an unattractive grimace, immediately followed by a mouthful of my usual vodka-cran to wash down the taste of the dark ale.

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.

Tobin Miller Shearer teaches history at the University of Montana
Mike Albans

A University of Montana professor who’s been put on a conservative “watchlist says he’s wary, but won’t be intimidated.

Tobin Miller Shearer teaches history and is director of African American Studies at UM. A couple of weeks ago a colleague emailed him to let him know he’d been put on an online list with dozens of other academics nationwide.

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.

About 100 people gathered in a circle on the University of Montana campus Tuesday afternoonAbout 100 people gathered in a circle on the University of Montana campus in Missoula on the afternoon of Nov. 15 to protest  to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Edward O'Brien

Demonstrators across the nation today rallied against the Dakota Access Pipeline. About 100 people gathered in a circle on the University of Montana campus Tuesday afternoon to protest.

"This is history right now. This is civil rights history repeating itself in 2016," says University of Montana senior Lauren Small Rodriguez, who just returned from North Dakota’s Standing Rock Reservation.

People show solidarity with the Standing Rock protesters, during a September event in Missoula, Montana.
Cole Grant

Sydney MacDonald is not a conflict journalist. But she felt like one this weekend while covering the ongoing protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

"There were two tanks and lines of probably a dozen sheriff's department cars and authorized vehicles behind them, and then barbed wire and cinder blocks," MacDonald said.

Nearly 1,000 people came to UM to see Patrisse Cullors of Black Lives Matter,  Nov. 2, 2016
Cole Grant

Last night, nearly 1,000 people came to the University of Montana to hear a key player in the Black Lives Matter movement speak. Patrisse Cullors was invited for UM’s annual “Diverse U” conference.

Radiolab Co-Creator Jad Abumrad speaking in Missoula Oct. 23, 2016.
Freddy Monares

Jad Abumrad, co-host and creator of Radiolab, visited Missoula for a couple reasons.

"I was especially psyched to be here because I passed through here about 20 years ago, and it was an amazing time. And I have some really good friends here. So I’m here just to talk about the process of making radio, but also just to catch up with a few people,” Abumrad said.

The University of Montana campus, Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham

Hot on the heels of a recent record-setting financial gift, the University of Montana has announced it’s received another multi-million-dollar award.

University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

In the midst of budget cuts and falling student enrollment, the University of Montana finally had some good news to spread today. 

Paula Short, a spokeswoman in the office of the president at UM said today is a "great day at the University of Montana. We are pleased to announce the largest single gift received at the University of Montana. In fact a $24 million pledge to benefit our College of Forestry and Conservation and our Global Leadership Initiative.”

Throughout the week, students can write their biggest fails on graffiti boards set up all over campus, and they don’t have to sign their name. It’s a safe, anonymous, yet public space to share their experiences.
Mike Albans

College students are usually encouraged to talk about how much they’re able to juggle and achieve, how well they’re doing, and how much fun they’re constantly having. The result is that many end up suffering from stress and anxiety in silence, alone. But what if it were okay to talk about failure too? What if it were normal and healthy, even?

Part of the homecoming celebration at the University of Montana this weekend included a $1.5 million gift to the Davidson Honors College.

University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

A charitable foundation has established a major endowment with the University of Montana.

The Haynes Foundation has provided scholarship funds to UM before, but Monday's announcement of a $4 million permanent endowment is particularly significant.

Tom Crady, University of Montana vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, at a press conference announcing enrollment numbers at UM, September 23, 2016.
Eric Whitney

The University of Montana’s new Vice President for Enrollment Tom Crady announced the preliminary headcount for school this fall today.

"The bottom line is, we’re down."

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.

Jon Krakauer asked for a specific student-athlete’s records while writing the 2015 book, "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town."
courtesy

Montana’s Supreme Court ruled today on author Jon Krakauer’s request for University of Montana student records related to an alleged 2012 sexual assault. Krakauer asked for a specific student-athlete’s records while writing the 2015 book, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.

Griz football game at the University of Montana
flickr user MuddyRavine (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

A new report by University of Montana economists examines the impact of Grizzly athletics on Missoula’s economy. The study by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research says that between 2013 and 2015, UM athletics brought nearly $23 million a year into the university.

Flickr user, Jason Hollinger (CC-BY-2.0)

Recently, the work of lichenologist Toby Spribille, a research professor based part-year at the University of Montana-Missoula, has upended the idea that lichen are an alliance between just one fungus and one algae. In many lichens, a mysterious yeast is the third player in this symbiosis. 

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.

Assistant Director Tom Bansak leads a tour through research laboratories at the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station on Wednesday.
Nicky Ouellet

The new director of the Flathead Lake Biological Station says the station is poised to become the leading freshwater research station in the country.

Jim Elser can’t physically contain his excitement at being put in charge of the station, which he showed off at its annual open house Wednesday.

Students and staff from the UM Journalism School traveled to Berlin in early summer of 2016
Missoula To Berlin / University of Montana School of Journalism

Montana is often called “the last best place,” but for whom? In the last few months, Montana’s identity as a state of sanctuary has been complicated — some people say necessarily so — by Missoula’s agreement to resettle around 100 refugee families fleeing violent conflict.

Robin Selvig (right) announces his retirement as coach of the Lady Griz Basketball Team at a press conference in Missoula Thursday July 28. UM athletic director Kent Haslem looks on.
Mara Silvers

Robin Selvig is a veteran of many press conferences, but he knew that Thursday’s was going to be tough to get through.

"I’m a crier, so expect it. I couldn’t get through a "Little House of the Prairie" episode when I was younger."

UM enrollment official talks SCOTUS affirmative action ruling
YouTube

Thursday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of University of Texas at Austin’s affirmative action plan.

Staff in the admissions office at the University of Montana say that at least in the immediate future, not much will change.

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. 

Pages