Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269
January 28, 2010
New MSU president makes most of visit to Billings
One month into new job, Waded Cruzado says others in university system could learn from MSU Billings
On her inaugural visit to Billings this week, new Montana State University President Waded Cruzado made the most of her time, holding three separate listening sessions, meeting with academic leaders and students and getting to know more about the impact of Montana State University Billings.
“MSU Billings has been adept at showing not only MSU, but the university system how to build meaningful partnerships in the community,” Cruzado said to a group of about 80 faculty, staff and students on Wednesday. “For that, I am very proud and congratulate you.”
Cruzado, 49 and a native of Puerto Rico, started her new job as president of MSU in earlier this month. She is not only president of the Bozeman campus, but heads the four-campus MSU system that includes MSU Billings, the MSU Great Falls College of Technology and MSU Northern in Havre.
Her trip to Billings was her first and she used her time in the city to meet with community leaders, legislative leaders and businessmen at a breakfast, toured the three different campuses of MSU Billings and held small-group meetings with faculty leaders, student leaders and listened to concerns and ideas of faculty and staff.
The new president takes control of MSU and the four-campus system at a time when state revenues are faltering. MSU Billings and other educational units of the Montana University System are working on plans that would address that shortfall and making plans for budget cuts that amount to 5 percent of their general fund budgets. While noting that there will be no easy solutions, Cruzado said she will work to address those issues in collaboration with campus leaders to be as efficient as possible while also being creative and attuned to the mission of bringing higher education opportunities to the children of the working class families of Montana.
She also heard of the many ways that MSU Billings has a positive effect on the community and its citizens. For example:
- Collaborative research efforts between MSU Billings and MSU biology scientists.
- The annual “Chicks in Science” event, which promotes careers and education in science and technology fields for girls and young women.
- The outreach efforts and partnerships at the old Garfield Elementary School in Downtown Billings, especially addressing the needs of underprivileged families.
- Service learning, internships and other valuable partnerships with local businesses and social service entities.
- Education and workforce training efforts with inmates at the Montana Women’s Prison.
- Student leadership development.
Cruzado will be making similar visits to Great Falls and Havre in the next few weeks.
PHOTO ABOVE: MSU President Waded Cruzado speaks to Billings community leaders during one of many sessions she had during a three-day visit to Billings and Montana State University Billings.