New Higher Education Leadership in Montana
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We the undersigned urge Governor Bullock to conduct an open, transparent, and national search to hire a new Commissioner of Higher Education.
1 - The campus community increasingly has lost confidence in the Commissioner of Higher Education to act in the best interest of the University of Montana and properly conduct a national search for the new University President. The commissioner has improperly structured the hiring process, wherein he essentially used the committee to make a recommendation to himself. The search did not require require a proper terminal degree, and the finalist candidates lack a sufficient background in the liberal arts.
2 - The University of Montana Suffers from six years of administrative and financial mismanagement. The ravaging of the University's good name and excellent reputation have choked off our revenues and caused enrollment to decline rapidly. The Commissioner and the Board of Regents have failed to provide a plan or remedy for recovery. Instead the Commissioner has led a misinformation campaign that inappropriately places the blame for the University's decline on the faculty and our academic programs. He proposes further program cuts and employee layoffs in the context of "rightsizing" that would only cause the continuation of the University's demise. We need new leadership with a vision to rebuild our University.
3- The University requires a new team of leaders with a new vision of the future and with significant experience and accomplishment in the field of higher education. We urge you to adopt a culture of accountability, transparency, and of due diligence, and place the search underway for Provost in the hands of the representatives of the faculty, staff, and students, while at the same time initiating an immediate search for a new Commissioner of Higher Education.
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