By Tim Leeds
Dr. Terry Roark appointed Montana State University-Northern Provost Roger Barber as chief executive officer of the institution until an interim chancellor can be found.
Roark, interim president of Montana State University-Bozeman, is also establishing a committee headed by Rolf Groseth, his executive assistant and chief liaison to the campuses of MSU, to review comments made during his visit to Havre yesterday. The committee will present recommendations on a search for a new chancellor based on those comments.
Roark was at MSU-Northern yesterday with members of his staff and MSU-Bozeman administration and Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Crofts to collect input on the search.
He said the search would go in several steps, first selecting who is responsible for leading the campus in the short term, then selecting an interim chancellor, then a permanent chancellor.
Roark said filling the permanent chancellor position is closely related to selecting the permanent president of MSU-Bozeman. He said he expects the permanent president to select the chancellor, and to write the official job description for the position.
Dave Dooley, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at MSU-Bozeman, said the presidential search committee would be meeting today to narrow the list of candidates for that search. He said there are currently about 20 candidates for the position.
Roark said they hope to have on-campus interviews for the final candidates for the presidency in September. Crofts said the hope was to have a new president before the next legislative sessions starts on January 2, 2001. He said that could still happen, although it is not guaranteed.
Crofts said the decision for an interim chancellor will not involve a full search like the choice for permanent chancellor will. He said there will not be a large committee formed like there will be for the permanent position, and the campus is "not going to see a parade of candidates come in for the interim chancellor."
Roark said while the choice for the permanent chancellor should involve the permanent president, there is no reason why the initial search for candidates cannot begin sooner.
Crofts estimated that if the MSU-Bozeman president is in place by the beginning of the year, MSU-Northern's chancellor could be selected by next July.
Roark said they don't have any plan for the search in place yet. He said they wanted to collect input from the campus and the community first on what qualities they should look for in a new chancellor before drafting the search proposal. He said he hoped they would have the proposal drafted within a month, then will distribute it for scrutiny and comment. He said the period for comment would be very short, to move the process of searching for new leadership as quickly as possible.
Roark said after the comments are received, the proposal will be revised and they will begin the initial search.
Roark said one of the reasons they were in Havre was to collect any recommendations people have for either interim chancellor or permanent chancellor. He said he wouldn't rule out allowing the interim chancellor be considered for the permanent position. If the interim chancellor is qualified and willing to be chancellor, Roark said, he would probably be allowed to apply for it.
Roark said he and Crofts welcome further input or questions from all people on the issue. He said he can be reached by e-mail, telephone and "snail mail."
Roark can be reached at (406) 994-2341; President's Office, P.O. Box 172420, Bozeman, MT 59717-2420; e-mail email@example.com.
Crofts can be reached at (406) 444-0310; Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, 2500 Broadway, Helena, MT 59620-3101; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.