HELENA (AP) - A series of public meetings in Bozeman, Missoula and Helena this week will give Montanans a chance to meet and question the two finalists to become the next commissioner of higher education.
The state Board of Regents plans to meet next week to make its selection.
That meeting will include a 90-minute closed-door discussion of the two candidates before the regents vote in public.
The finalists are Sheila Stearns, president of Wayne State College in Nebraska and former chancellor at the University of Montana-Western, and Warren Fox, scholar in residence at the University of California-Berkeley and former executive director of the California Postsecondary Education Commission.
The meetings this week will provide the pair with time to talk with government leaders and higher education officials, but anyone can attend the gatherings.
Stearns will be on the Montana State University-Bozeman campus Tuesday morning. On Wednesday, she will be at the higher education offices in Helena beginning at 9 a.m., followed by lunch at the college of technology in Helena, meetings with Gov. Judy Martz and higher education officials, and a public forum at 4 p.m. in the higher education offices.
Fox will be on the UM-Missoula campus Wednesday morning beginning at 9 a.m. On Thursday, he will be at the higher education complex for a pair of public forums at 7:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. He will be at the Helena college of technology at 11:30 a.m.
The chosen person will succeed Carrol Krause, who was named interim commissioner in January after Richard Crofts announced plans to retire. Crofts held the job for 6 years.