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By Tim Leeds 

Cruzado: New Northern chancellor in place by January

 


The president of Montana State University said Thursday she wants a fast search for new leadership at Montana State University-Northern, and that the search will begin in earnest at the start of the fall semester.

"I want to use the fall semester to conduct the search and have the new chancellor in place by the first of January, " President Waded Cruzado said in an interview at Northern Thursday.

The Montana State University system announced Tuesday afternoon that Chancellor Frank Trocki, appointed in June 2009, would be leaving Northern at the end of June.

Joe Callahan, who retired as Northern's provost in June, will come back as interim chancellor while the search takes place,

The announcement came one day after a story broke that Cruzado said she and Trocki had agreed that a review should be done over two searches being conducted. One search was for a new dean of the College of Nursing, Arts and Sciences, and Education, and one for a director of field experiences.

Trocki said Tuesday morning that the review would find nothing had been done improperly in the searches.

That decision to review the searches came after Cruzado met with Northern faculty who had requested a discussion of concerns they said they had about the overall direction and leadership of the campus.

After his departure was announced Tuesday, Trocki said in an interview Wednesday morning that he had not resigned, but was leaving his post over a difference in vision for the future of the university and how to get there.

Cruzado said she came to Havre Thursday at the request of faculty and staff members at the university.

"They all wanted to know what is the big picture and where we are going from here, " she said, adding that they seemed to appreciate her plans to actively involve the campus community in the search.

She said she plans to come back at the start of the fall semester to start conducting meetings with students, faculty and staff from Northern as well as alumni of the university, community members and others associated with the campus.

"We want all people from Northern involved, " Cruzado said.

That is the reason for waiting until the start of the fall semester to begin the process, she added. She said she does not want to distract the faculty and students from the close of the semester — finals week is May 2-6 — and many will not be available over the summer.

Once the initial meetings are done, a national search firm will be hired and a search committee appointed, she said.

She said that, although the goal of having a new chancellor selected by January is ambitious, she is confident it can be done.

"I am sure Northern has the will and the level of energy to bring this to fruition, " Cruzado said.

"I'm very committed to moving this campus forward … Northern plays a very prominent role in the Montana State University System, " she added.

 

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