Search for Next UM President Should be National and Include Faculty Input, Says Professor
During his tenure at the University of Montana, President Royce Engstrom faced a lot of scrutiny from faculty. UM History Professor Mehrdad Kia has been a very vocal critic of some of Engstom's decisions and was asked how he believes the search for a new president should proceed.
"This should not be a marching order from the Commissioner's Office," said Kia. "The University of Montana has outstanding faculty, outstanding staff, and outstanding ASUM student body. They should come together and play an essential role in determining the outcome of this search."
If a national candidate is picked, it will be quite different than when Engstrom was selected. Engstrom rose from a provost position to president when George M. Dennision decided to retire.
"It should be the best qualified person in a national search pool," Kia said. "It shouldn't be based on who I like, who he or she likes, who is my friend and who is my buddy. It should be based on a truly transparent and open national search, which will hopefully bring the best possible candidate to the University of Montana."
On Thursday, December 1, Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian released a five point plan to guide UM through the transition process. That plan included involvement from the UM community as well as a national search.