September 1, 2010 in City

Top university job has one finalist

Associated Press

MISSOULA – University of Montana officials said Tuesday that Provost Royce Engstrom is the only finalist to replace outgoing President George Dennison, who announced in January his plans to retire after 20 years on the job.

The UM presidential search committee intended to name three finalists after a national search, but two withdrew their names from consideration.

“It certainly had its interesting twist,” said Clayton Christian, state Board of Regents chairman and head of the search committee.

But being the only finalist does not mean Engstrom will automatically become the next president of UM.

Christian said if the students and faculty decide Engstrom is not the right fit, the committee could reopen the search.

Engstrom was hired in 2007 as UM’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. Before that, he held a similar position at the University of South Dakota.

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