It appears from Wednesday’s announcement that Jim Limbaugh won over the search committee for Montana State University-Northern’s open chancellor position and MSU President Waded Cruzado, but what do Limbaugh’s current colleagues at Angelo State University think of him?
Judging their reactions, their impression, backed by more than three -years of experience, is largely the same as those who just met him.
“He has done a great job, and he will do a great job for you, ” ASU President Joseph Rallo, Limbaugh’s current boss, said. “When I was one of his references, I looked at Northern’s needs. I think the types of skills in his background and personality, I think you will be pleasantly pleased with how he works out for you. ”
Rallo created a new vice president position for Limbaugh in 2008 and has been impressed with his performance in that role.
“He filled it ably and wonderfully and gained a lot of experience, and I think that’s why your campus is so fortunate, ” Rallo said.
Among the accomplishments that impressed him were Limbaugh’s work on retaining accreditation, turning around programs with declining enrollment, bringing summer school from the red to the black and, along with his wife, Trish, being “forceful advocates for the university and visible in the community. ”
The president is not alone. Many other administrators at ASU enjoyed working with Limbaugh over the past few years.
“He’s a very hard worker, a good analyst. He’s out and about and highly energetic on campus, ” Nolen Mears, executive director of ASU’s Student Life office, said. “He got to know everybody really quickly, got himself used to the inter-workings of the university when he first got here. ”
Mears said he used to report directly to Limbaugh when he was the interim provost and has worked with him since.
What impressed Mears most was Limbaugh’s willingness and ability to take on additional duties, and do it well.
He said that Limbaugh, as interim provost “helped bring us along in some key areas. ”
“We had been lacking in some areas, in terms of coordinating review of academic programs, ” Mears said. “He brought us to speed to where we need to be with that.
“It was not an easy task, in addition to his regular work load, and he did a great job. ”
Similar praise came from the school’s Alumni Association Director Erin Whitford, who also admired how “heavily invested in the community” Limbaugh and his wife had been since moving to San Angelo, Texas.
“I know he takes higher education very seriously, but doesn’t lose sight of the students, faculty, alumni, the people that make up the university base, ” Whitford said. “And that’s something we really appreciated.
“He’ll be a great contribution to the Montana community up there. ”
A blog in San Angelo, called “State of the Division, ” has been following Limbaugh’s career in its coverage of ASU news.
Limbaugh himself acknowledged their portrayal of him as one of ASU President Joseph Rallo’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” team of vice presidents in battling budget deficits.
That same blog, when learning of Limbaugh’s move to Havre, called a report of the appointment vandalism, “egging Angelo State University. ”