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The inauguration of

President Royce Engstrom

T

he 17h president of The University of Montana, Royce Engstrom brings to his position a strong belief in the value of higher education. Wanting to prepare students for their role in the global century, Engstrom advocates for an education that ‘’prepares one to think broadly, deeply, and critically about complex issues.” He adds, “In today’s education, that means several things: strong twenty-first century skills in communications, quantitative fluency, and information literacy. In addition, today’s graduates need to bring in-depth disciplinary expertise to inter disciplinary topics, and they need to have had the experience of putting their education to work beyond the classroom.”

The son of a mechanic-turned-businessman and a homemaker, Engstrom was born in Michigan and raised in Nebraska. He was the first in his extended family to go to college. He attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha down the road from his childhood home where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. For graduate school, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin -Madison, where he completed a Doctorate in Analytical Chemistry in 1979. That same year, Engstrom married his wife, Mary. The couple moved to Vermillion, South Dakota, where Engstrom began his teaching career at the University of South Dakota (USD) and Mary worked in K-12 education and then higher education. At USD, Engstrom served as Professor and Chair of Chemistry, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. As a faculty member, he taught Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and General Chemistry and conducted an active research program in electrochemistry and analytical chemistry. He came to Missoula in 2007 to serve as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Montana. He and Mary have two grown children, Tyler, a graduate student in physics, and Carey, a physician’s assistant. Throughout his career, President Engstrom has been an enthusiastic participant in undergraduate research, first as a student, then as a mentor, and finally as an administrator working to develop undergraduate research programs. He is a Past President of the Council on Undergraduate Research and had been active in the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a federal program designed to help states build research infrastructure and competitiveness. He served as Chair of the National EPSCoR Coalition and the National EPSCoR Foundation. In addition, Engstrom brings a strong belief in shared governance to The University of Montana. Engstrom is a consensus builder and has spent much of his first few months in office visiting with employees from all of UM’s campuses. Regarding his leadership style, he said, “I try to bring clear definition to a situation, listen carefully, integrate the input I receive, and then come to a decision.” Engstrom plays the guitar and the mandolin and is an avid boat builder, having built 10 boats by hand over the past 30 years. He has also taken up playing keyboard since moving to Missoula and possesses a pilot’s license. His wife, Mary, said, ‘at heart, he’s kind of an explorer. He loves learning about everything.” He clearly hopes to share this passion for learning about the world with University of Montana students. His goal is to guide The University of Montana into a leadership position regarding student success, education at all levels for today’s world, high impact research and creative scholarship, a learning environment second to none, and operating principles that are planning and assessment driven. Engstrom stated, “I believe there has never been a more important time for higher education, whether you think in terms of impact on an individual or on our society. What an exciting time for The University of Montana! I am proud to be a part of its future.”

PG 3

Crown of the Continent  

University of Montana's Crown of the Continent

Crown of the Continent  

University of Montana's Crown of the Continent

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