University Relations and Communications

Chancellor outlines opportunities, challenges for coming year

August 25, 2011


Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Faculty and staff urged to make strides in diversity, outreach to local school districts


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — His first academic year as chancellor behind him, Dr. Rolf Groseth on Thursday told faculty and staff that the past several months have been good for Montana State University Billings, but even greater opportunities lie ahead.


Chancellor Rolf Groseth

Groseth, who started the 2010 school year at MSU Billings as interim chancellor and was named chancellor in November, told about 300 faculty and staff at the university’s annual back-to-school meeting that MSU Billings continues to prove it is an “important cog” in the economic, educational and social machinery of the city.


The university continues to grow and as such faculty and staff need to think about new opportunities to remain relevant to its various constituencies, he said.


While fall 2011 numbers won’t be finalized until late September, enrollment at MSU Billings continues on record pace. Enrollment could top 5,500 students this fall, said Dr. Stacy Klippenstein, vice chancellor for student affairs.


While Groseth applauded those gains, he challenged the faculty and staff to do more to engage in new ways to increase the university’s visibility and effectiveness this year and beyond. He called on faculty and staff to:

  • Develop a more formalized approach to showcase faculty and students in area high schools so that programs at the university can connect more directly high school students’ aspirations.
  • Formalize a broader partnership with Billings School District 2 that could ultimately lead to the sharing of specialized talent and new ways to allow advanced high school students to earn university credit.
  • Find new ways to attract, serve and graduate more American Indian students.

Chancellor Groseth“We live near Indian Country and our student body and our campus should be more reflective of that” he said.


A focus on enrollment will be important, Groseth said, because state funds are becoming more limited.  A revised funding model adopted this spring by the Montana Board of Regents shifted state general fund dollars to the University of Montana side of the Montana University System and less to Montana State University campuses. That was done because the UM campuses are growing faster proportionally than the MSU schools, he said.


“We have a somewhat limited ability to impact what our state funding will be,” he said, “but we can impact that one part of our financial model that brings us more tuition.”


A part of that formula lies with growth in international students.


Dr. Kirk Lacy, executive director for international outreach, said MSU Billings currently has 147 international studies representing 19 countries registered for fall classes. That is a big step forward from the 38 students from 14 countries who attended in 2009 and double the 63 who registered last year, he said.


Also Thursday, the MSU Billings Foundation awarded the Pippinger Award for innovation in undergraduate education to the Department of Communications and Theatre. The department was given a $5,000 grant to split among the seven department members as recognition of its collaborative work to redesign curriculum to serve student needs.


See the lists below for faculty and staff changes for the year.




College of Allied Health Professions

  • Mr. Tom Dell – Rehabilitation & Human Services, Lecturer to Tenure Track Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Kathe Gabel – Health & Human Performance, Fixed-Term Instructor to Tenure Track Professor
  • Mr. Patrick Hughes – Health & Human Performance, Part-time Faculty to Tenure-Track Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Patricia A. Nichols – Rehabilitation & Human Services, Part-time Faculty to University Lecturer

College of Arts & Sciences

  • Dr. Amaya Garcia-Costas – Biology, .50 Faculty in Biological & Physical Sciences
  • Dr. Ana K. Diaz – Philosophy, Fixed Term faculty to Tenure Track Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Shanna Fliegel – Art, Lecturer to Tenure Track Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Marie Schaff Gallagher – Psychology, New Tenure track, Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Jennifer Lynn – History, New Tenure Track Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Michele Taylor McMullen – Nutrition, .50 Faculty in Biological & Physical Sciences
  • Mr. Don (Gayan) Wilathgamuwa – Mathematics, New Tenure-Track Assistant Professor

College of Business

  • Dr. Adrian Robertson – Accounting, New Tenure-Track Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Emil Erhardt – Finance, New Fixed-Term Assistant Professor

College of Education

  • Ms. Janet Alberson - Department of Educational Theory & Practice, Licensure Official to Fixed Term Assistant Professor
  • Dr. David Snow - Department of Educational Theory & Practice, New Fixed Term Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Rachael Waller - Department of Educational Theory & Practice, New Tenure-Track Assistant Professor

College of Technology

  • Ms. Joy Barber – Writing, New Tenure-Track Instructor
  • Mr. Del Brumley – Computer Desktop Network Support, Fixed-Term Instructor to Tenure Track Instructor
  • Mr. Terry Hoffer – Computer Systems Technology, Part-time Faculty to (RNTTA) Renewable Non-Tenure Track Instructor
  • Mr. Terry Madtson – Construction - Carpentry, New Tenure-Track Instructor
  • Mr. Eric Mayer – Welding/Metal Fabrication, New Fixed Term Instructor
  • Ms. Sona Westerlund – Medical/Surgical Nursing, New Fixed-Term Instructor
  • Susan Floyd – Interim Director of Nursing, College of Technology



  • Ms. Jennifer Burns, Licensure Officer, Educational Theory & Practice, College of Education
  • Mr. Nathaniel Harris, Assistant. Coach, Women’s Basketball
  • Ms. Vanessa Cherrey, Program Assistant, Disability Support Services
  • Mr. Justin Wiebe, Retention Specialist, Academic Support Services
  • Ms. Julie Nicolaas, Accounting Associate, Business Services
  • Ms. Deena Richter, Administrative Associate, Student Opportunity Services
  • Ms. Susan Healy, Financial Aid Specialist, Financial Aid
  • Mr. Alexandre Balog, Assistant Coach, Men's Soccer 
  • Ms. Kari Foreman, Interim AssistantCoach Women’s Soccer
  • Ms. Catherine Losett, Assistant Coach  Volleyball
  • Ms. Frankie Malmstrom, Accounting Associate, Business Services
  • Ms. Linda Shaver,Desktop Support, Information Technology
  • Mr. Andy Kittson, Desktop Support, Information Technology
  • Ms. Sonya Leon, Computer Specialist, Information Technology
  • Ms. Jill Brown, Mail-Travel Clerk/ Purchashing Agent, Business Services
  • Ms. Louise Barman, Accounting Associate, College of Technology
  • Mr. James Stevens, Head Coach, Men's Basketball
  • Ms. Angela Glassing, Research Assistant, Biology/Physical Sciences Dept
  • Mr. Brian Kmec, Service Learning Coordinator, Office of Community Involvement
  • Ms. Elizabeth Bell, Textbook/tradebook buyer, Jackets & Co.
  • Ms. Tiffini Gallant, Administrative Associate, Admissions & Records
  • Mr. Shaun Hoover, Cite 2 Project Coordinator, MSUB Downtown
  • Ms. Elissa Baker, Custodian, Facilities Services
  • Mr. Jacob Samuelson, Academic Advisor, Advising Center
  • Ms. Amy Bruce, Adult Learner Enrollment Specialist, Advising Center
  • Ms. Courtney Mabry, Purchasing Supply Associate, Facilities Services
  • Ms. Amanda Green, Administrative Associate, Admissions & Records
  • Ms. Amy Davis, Administrative Associate, Health Services
  • Ms. Carrie Klippenstein, Event Management Systems implementation coordinator, Student Union
  • Ms. Susan Sauers,  Administrative Associate, College of Technology
  • Mr. James Nichols, Director-Technical/Chief Engineer, KEMC/Yellowstone Public Radio
  • Ms. Christie Rambin, Financial Aid On-Line Specialist, Financial Aid
  • Ms. Jennifer Belcher, Program Coordinator,  Montana Center on Disabilities
  • Mr. Aaron Murrish, Program Assistant, Upward Bound
  • Mr. Kevin Krenzer, Custodian, Facilities Services
  • Mr. Ryan  Endres, Police Patrol Officer, University Police
  • Mr. Duane Hobbs, Security Guard ,  Residence Halls
  • Ms. Kimberly Marraffino, Administrative Associate II, College of Professional Studies
  • Ms. Carol Jestrab, Library Technician , Library
  • Ms. Megan Thomas, Reference Librarian, Library
  • Mr. Evan Slagsvold, SUB Manager
  • Ms. Vicki Stenberg, Administrative Associate , MSUB Downtown
  • Ms. Shelly Ovalle, Administrative Associate, MSUB Downtown
  • Mr. John Kosich, Head Tennis Coach
  • Ms. Michaela Nielsen, Cashier, Jackets & Co.
  • Ms. Janet Thornburg, Administrative Associate, Admissions & Records
  • Mr. Christoph Martin, Assistant Coach, Men’s Baseball
  • Ms. Ruth French, Assistant Director, Human Resources
  • Ms. Geraldine Miller, Custodian, Facilities Services
  • Robin Rush, Custodian, Facilities Services
  • Ms. Olivia Vacca, Administrative Associate, Library
  • Mr. Paul Bickel, Server Support, Information Technology
  • Ms. Leslie Olson, Office Manager, Career Services 
  • Tami Eller, Administrative Associate, Sociology, Political Science, Native American Studies and Environmental Studies

PHOTO ABOVE: MSU Billings chancellor Dr. Rolf Groseth makes remarks Thursday at the university’s annual back-to-school meeting.