Greg Kegel, dean of technical sciences at Montana State University-Northern, has been named interim chancellor.
Kegel will replace James Limbaugh, who announced his resignation Thursday and will leave office at 5 p.m. today.
According to a press release this morning from MSU offices in Bozeman, the decision to place Kegel in the temporary position was made this morning. He will assume the position Saturday.
“I’m humbled and honored to be asked to lead Northern,” Kegel said in the press release. “I love Northern and have made it my home. I look forward to working with our faculty, staff and proud community members to make Northern the best it can be for our students.”
MSU President Waded Cruzado commented about Kegel’s taking the position.
“Dean Kegel’s extensive experience at MSU-Northern — both as a faculty member and as a dean — will serve the Northern community well,” Cruzado said in the press release. “Greg is a tireless and effective advocate for MSU-Northern. He has ample experience building partnerships with academic and business entities alike.”
The press release quoted Cruzado as saying that Kegel will serve in the position for the “foreseeable future.”
Kegel has been working at the university since 1982 and was named dean in 2001.
Montana State University-Northern Chancellor James Limbaugh’s announcement of resignation Thursday brought mixed reactions from the community and college.
Thursday morning, Limbaugh sent an email to faculty and staff announcing that he was to vacate his position today.
Kegel said Thursday, before being named interim chancellor, the situation Northern finds itself in is unfortunate.
“When you go through this, everybody bleeds one way or another,” Kegel said. He added that there has been instability at Northern for the last six or seven years and this brings more instability.
“The big thing we need to do is recollect ourselves,” Kegel said. “Rally with the community and the people of the region.”
Kegel said what the university needs to do now is rebuild the confidence between the institution and the surrounding area.
Mike Tilleman, owner of Tilleman Motor Co., had a petition to remove the chancellor from his position earlier this week. He said Thursday that though he thought change needed to happen, it is a bad situation for all.
“It’s nothing to gloat about,” Tilleman said. “ … It’s sad for the community and the school. It’s nothing to gloat about, but I think it was necessary.”
Tilleman said he thinks the university needs to sell what it has to offer students instead of cutting programs when there aren’t enough students interested.
“They need to spend more money recruiting instead of cutting different disciplines. They need to go out and sell those disciplines,” Tilleman said.
“Northern is a business endeavor for the town of Havre,” Tilleman said. “If it goes, we go. It’s very important to the community that we have a healthy Northern.”
Tilleman said that Northern has meant a lot for this town, and there are many in both the community and the university to whom Northern means a lot.
“We all do a ton for this school,” Tilleman said. “We’re passionate for the town, we’re passionate for the school and we want to see the best things happen here.”