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Chancellor's Corner - January is an exciting time at Northern


January 12, 2018

Happy New Year from Montana State University-Northern! One of my resolutions is to re-institute the Chancellor’s Corner in the Havre Daily News. I will be using this space to share newsworthy happenings taking place on our campus with our community, and to thank you for your continued support of our great university.

January is always an exciting time at MSU-Northern as we welcome both new and returning students to campus. The break was pretty exciting, too, as we used that time to make some facility improvements, including painting in our Student Union Building and getting 284 new mattresses to install in our residence halls. Nothing says “welcome home” like a comfortable mattress!

The New Year also brings some exciting changes to our athletics program. We recruited Andrew Rolin as our new head football coach, and he has jumped in with both feet, traveling all over the state to recruit an outstanding team for the fall. Andrew is passionate about supporting our student athletes in both their athletic and academic endeavors, and we are proud to have him on the team.

MSU-Northern continues to pursue a number of strategic initiatives, each designed to help meet the workforce needs in the state of Montana and to stabilize the enrollment at MSU-Northern at 1,500 students by 2021. Our strategy includes aggressively seeking private support for each initiative in order to move it into project status. These initiatives include the construction of the new Diesel Technology Center, which is nearing completion and will be in use this summer; establishing the College of Health Sciences, which will help meet the growing needs of rural health care providers; pursuing an Equine Studies minor and supporting facilities, with strong support from students and community members alike; building an American Indian Cultural Center, which will celebrate the rich American Indian heritage in our region; and developing an Athletics Complex and Football Field, which will serve as a community event center and the home for our football team, cross country team, Physical Education, and Health Promotion programs.

I will address the details of each of these projects in future Chancellor’s Corner articles. In this article, I want to focus on the Sports Complex and Field.

The Sports Complex and Football Field is about winning, both on the field and in the classroom. In order to recruit the best, brightest and most talented students to MSU-Northern, we need excellent faculty, outstanding coaches, enthusiastic supporters — and great facilities.

By building this complex, MSU-Northern will gain a competitive edge. According to a recent report from the Montana Department of Labor, the average salary of Northern graduates is already higher than any other four-year institution in the state. Northern can also boast a near perfect placement rate. With this facility, we will be able to offer incredible student life experiences in one of the most unique places in the world, thus attracting more students into our stellar programs.

Additionally, MSU-Northern educates some of the best student athletes in the country and has one of the most envied fan bases in the state. Our students not only appreciate this support, they are role models and take an active part in their community, strengthening the city that supports them. This new facility will provide community event space that will allow us to bring people together on MSU-Northern’s campus in ways we have never been able to do before. Home games will become all-day events, not to be missed. This project has the potential to energize our entire region in exciting ways.

Pursuing this project is an indicator that we are not just playing the game: we are changing it completely. MSU-Northern cannot be static and survive. We cannot simply do what we have always done before. Instead, we must continually strive to meet the needs of our students, our community and our industry partners across the nation. Every initiative we are pursuing has been vetted by our campus leadership, community partners, and vested industry partners to ensure we are moving forward and building a university that provides an education that works, in every aspect.

A great university deserves great athletics. In fact, a great university needs great athletics. Similarly, great athletes deserve a great education — the kind they can only receive at an institution able to strike the balance between academics and sports. With this project, that is exactly what MSU-Northern intends to do.

Gregory D. Kegel

Chancellor, MSU-Northern


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