Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The newly appointed chancellor of Montana State University-Northern visited the campus Thursday, saying he was looking forward to being at a campus of “a college that’s really ready to rumble.” Frank Trocki, who was selected by Montana State University President Geoff Gamble as the new chancellor at Northern, came to Havre Thursday with his wife, Joan, and spoke to some 75 people at a forum in the Hensler Auditorium at the Applied Technology Center at 12:30 p.m. While introducing Trocki, Gamble said the new chancellor would work well in moving the university forward and facing the challenges of the future. “His commitment to this campus is, I think, already pretty solid,” Gamble said. Trocki, the vice president of busines s development for Lincol n Educational Services, said he is hopeful he can be permanently on the Northern campus by July 20 or 21, and said he will be at the university no later than Aug. 1. He will take the place of Rolf Groseth, who was appointed interim chancellor after Alex Capdeville announced his retirement effective the end of December 2007. Gamble thanked Groseth for leaving his home and family in Bozeman to steer Northern for 18 months longer than was planned. “I asked Rolf to come here for six months,” Gamble said. Trocki said that, while he has no immediate plans on what should be Done differently at Northern, he wants to promote the university’s strengths and make it more visible. Trocki said all high school graduates in Montana should at least look at Northern as a possibility. “We should make sure that at least MSU-N is on their radar,” Trocki said. “They should have other options than Billings or Bozeman sorry, Geoff or Missoula.” He said when he arrives he will first start talking to people to learn Northern’s history and where it is now, to get a firm understanding of its strengths and problems. “My priorities are to talk to as many people as possible, to formulate a vision, a strategy, that will be acceptable to the whole community,” Trocki said. That will include discussions with the university faculty, staff and students, members of the community, business owners and the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, he said. He said a primary focus for him will be addressing the number of students at Northern. “Probably one of our biggest issues is enrollment,” Trocki said. “Getting them here, but, once they get here, we need to get them to stay.” As well as using the experience and expertise of Northern’s faculty and staff, he intends to talk to students to find ways to address that, Trocki said. He said anyone, including students, with a problem, idea or suggestion, is welcome to talk to him. “The door is open,” Trocki said. He also will regularly walk around campus on what he called his “howdy rounds,” Trocki said, and also might ask to visit and watch in classrooms. Part of that is getting to know the students, he said. “Just so they know who I am and I know who they are,” Trocki said, adding that he likes to visit while walking around the campus. “In my howdy rounds, I like to be engaged,” he said. Trocki said part of his plans for Northern include showcasing i t s strengths, like its technical programs and the cutting-edge research it is doing in renewable energy. But, he added, he will not ignore its other programs. Strong mathematics, science and humanities programs are crucial to successful technical programs, Trocki said. “So I’m here to develop the whole university, not just a segment of it, and I will do that tirelessly,” he said. He said that once he gets his bearings he intends to waste no time in working to strengthen the university. “I want to identify goals and create solutions very quickly,” Trocki said.