University Relations and Communications

Technical Education, Continuing Ed Expert Named New Provost at MSU Billings

August 4, 2011


Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Dr. Mark Pagano joins MSU Billings after faculty, administrative role at Purdue University 


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — An expert in engineering and technical education who has also developed strong continuing education and online education programs has been named the new provost and academic vice chancellor at Montana State University Billings. 


Provost Pagano and Chancellor Groseth

Dr. Mark A. Pagano was introduced as the chief academic officer at MSU Billings on Wednesday (Aug. 3) by Chancellor Rolf Groseth.


“Dr. Pagano is the perfect fit for MSU Billings and for our leadership team,” Groseth said at a press conference. “He brings to our university and our community a unique blend of classroom, administrative, outreach and technical skills. His experience, energy and enthusiasm will help guide our academic programs as we continue to evolve as a crucial part of the One Montana State University.”


Pagano was selected for the job after an extensive national search for a new provost, Groseth said. The search committee reviewed dozens of applications and selected three finalists for on-site interviews in early July. Groseth said he felt comfortable during those discussions that Pagano was the right choice for MSU Billings.


“I very much look forward to working with Mark as we move forward on accreditation and academic planning for our unique institution,” Groseth said. “It’s great to have him as part of the Yellowjacket family.”


Pagano is scheduled to officially start his job in late September. His hiring will now go to the Montana Board of Regents for final approval.


Pagano will have oversight of the academic programs at MSU Billings’ five colleges: the College of Allied Health Professions; the College of Arts & Sciences; the College of Business; the College of Education; and the College of Technology. He will work closely with the other vice chancellors — Dr. Stacy Klippenstein, vice chancellor for student affairs and Terrie Iverson, vice chancellor for administrative services — on daily operations and university-wide strategic planning.


“I am delighted to have the opportunity to join such a committed leadership team at MSUB,” Pagano said. “The search committee, faculty, staff, and students — as well as the chancellor himself — all made me feel welcomed and completely comfortable on campus. I knew almost immediately that this was the place for me to serve.”


He noted the MSU Billings’ focus on students, its commitment to student engagement and its connection to a land-grant mission that provides access to higher education for all citizens.


“I can hardly wait to get started,” he told a small crowd gathered at the front steps of McMullen Hall to greet him on Wednesday.

Prior to taking the job at MSU Billings, he was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology and served as Dean of Purdue University’s Extended Campus in West Lafayette, Ind. Pagano also served as the campus liaison for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) regional accreditation body.


 Dr. Mark Pagano

Pagano’s leadership work at Purdue has included oversight of continuing education, college of technology programs and accreditation planning at the university level. He holds bachelor and master’s degrees in engineering from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and earned his Ph.D. from SIUC in Engineering Science.


In his most recent role, Pagano has extensive experience with nontraditional forms of education. Continuing education is centralized at Purdue, and the Distance Learning Division provides both credit and noncredit continuing education and professional development programs to over 15,000 participants annually. The unit also serves approximately 10,000 student enrollments in online courses annually.


Prior to becoming dean in 2003, Pagano served as both associate and assistant dean in the Purdue University College of Technology. His primary area of responsibility was to direct the operation of the 11 statewide technology locations around Indiana. From 2001-03 he also served in the capacity of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the college. Prior to this position, Pagano served for four years as the head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue.


Before joining the Purdue faculty in 1992, he spent nine years on the faculty of the Department of Technology at SIUC. Pagano has received teaching awards at both Purdue and SIUC.


Pagano has been active nationally in several areas of engineering and technology education through the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and ABET, the accreditation organization for applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. He has been involved with ABET and other accreditation activities for over two decades and has authored or co-authored over 70 technical publications and professional presentations.


Currently single, Pagano has three grown children; Joseph and Benjamin, who live in Phoenix, Ariz., and Megan, who is beginning her sophomore year at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.


Located in Montana’s largest city, MSU Billings is a regional liberal arts university with more than 5,300 students. It has nearly 80 programs to serve students who wish to pursue certificates or degrees in two-year, four-year and graduate areas. The Billings university is one of four units of the Montana State University family, serving its land grant mission across the state.