HELENA (AP) — The Montana Board of Regents on Thursday approved University of Montana Provost Royce Engstrom as the school's next president.
Engstrom will take the position Oct. 15, replacing retiring President George Dennison, said Kevin McRae, the board's associate commissioner for communications and human resources.
The board voted in a meeting in Butte to allow Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns to enter into a contract with Engstrom, and the provost immediately accepted, McRae said.
A university spokesman did not have immediate comment Thursday afternoon.
Engstrom was the only finalist after two others withdrew their names at the end of a seven-month search for Dennison's replacement.
Engstrom began teaching in the University of South Dakota's chemistry department as an assistant professor in 1979 and served as department chair from 1984-95. He also served as vice president for research and dean of graduate education at the University of South Dakota, and was a Regents Fellow on the South Dakota Board of Regents in 2003-04.
Engstrom grew up in Nebraska and earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, according to UM's website. In 2005, he completed Harvard University's course in institutional executive management.
Dennison announced in January his plans to retire after 20 years leading the Missoula university. Before 1990, he was provost and vice president for Academic affairs of Western Michigan University. He also has worked at the University of Arkansas, the University of Washington and Colorado State University.
Dennison earned his bachelor's degree and master's degree from the University of Montana, and his doctorate from the University of Washington in 1967.