By Tim Leeds
HELENA The Board of Regents of Higher Education selected Dr. Geoffrey Gamble, 58, as the new president of Montana State University-Bozeman in a meeting Friday, Oct. 6.
Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Crofts said they are currently negotiating when Gamble's start date will be.
"Excellent person," Crofts said about Gamble. " We're very happy; got a wonderful new person."
Crofts said they want to wrap up the process as quickly as possible and get Gamble emplaced as president. He said Dr. Terry Roark, interim president of MSU-Bozeman, is going on a trip with the alumni association in November, and arranging his departure from his position and the entry of Gamble is part of the negotiations they are undergoing.
The University of Vermont named Gamble provost and senior vice president in 1998. At U of V he was in charge of the annual budget and academic operations.
Gamble was at Washington State University until he started at U of V. He started there in 1976, and in his final position was vice provost for academic affairs, supervising personel, planning and program implementation and fiscal matters.
Gamble, who grew up on a cotton farm near Fresno, Calif., has a degree in English from Fresno State College, a master's in linguistics from Fresno State and a doctorate in linguistics from the University of California in Berkeley.
n a press release from the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE,) Crofts said that Gamble's experience working with legislatures and agricultural interests in Washington state and experience with branch campuses and American Indians are all assets which will be of great value as MSU-Bozeman president.
Gamble, who spent some time working in the insurance industry, helped develop outreach campuses for WSU which are similar to the MSU system, and is a specialist in American Indian linguistics.
The OCHE release states that Gamble expressed enthusiasm for the relationship between MSU and the state's tribal colleges, and the importance of developing relationships that would supplement state funding of higher education.
Gamble was selected from a field of three finalists. The other finalists were A. Larry Branen, dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Idaho, and Ann Weaver Hart, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Claremont Graduate University in California.
he three finalists were selected from dozens of applicants by the 20-member presidential search committee chaired by Dr. Joyce Scott, deputy commissioner of higher education. In the OCHE release, Margie Thompson, chair of the board of regents, said the quality of the applicants speaks well for MSU and the Montana University System. She praised the work of the search committee, and thanked the four campuses and communities of MSU and individuals who contributed and provided input in the search.
Crofts also thanked Roark for the wisdom and stability he provided in his tenure as interim president.
Roark was appointed interim president last January, following the death of former MSU-Bozeman President Michael P. Malone in December.