University Relations and Communications

College of Business professor picked to guide university's focus on strategic planning, accreditation, accountability

February 4, 2011



Barbara Wheeling, Interim Associate Provost, 657-2338
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Dr. Barbara Wheeling takes on role of interim associate provost


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Fresh off of leading efforts to gain international accreditation for the Montana State University Billings College of Business, Dr. Barbara Wheeling will be helping guide the entire university on strategic planning, accreditation and accountability efforts.


Barbara WheelingWheeling, an associate professor of accounting at the College of Business and an expert in agricultural accounting, has been appointed interim associate provost for MSU Billings. She will lead the effort to develop strategic plans for all five academic colleges and the university.


With increased national, regional and state attention on accountability and data-based assessment, Wheeling’s task will be an important one, said Dr. Rolf Groseth, chancellor at MSU Billings.


“The Office of the Provost is the focal point for academic programs that are heart of our university,” he said. “Dr. Wheeling’s contributions to the accreditation efforts of the university and the College of Business make her a logical choice for the position of interim associate provost. She will lead all of our institutional accreditation and assessment efforts, which are now a continuous process.”


Dr. Gary Young, the interim provost for MSU Billings, said Wheeling will serve as accreditation liaison for MSU Billings with various institutional and specialized accrediting bodies. Those entities, such as the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, have revised standards and process that require more frequent and detailed internal assessments, he said, and Wheeling will be invaluable in communicating new expectations and guiding university responses to those expectations.


“The role and scope of the provost position has become more complex given the financial challenges and increased expectations on all levels. The interim associate provost position will be of significant assistance to the university,” Young said. “We’re extremely fortunate to have Dr. Wheeling, who is already an exceptional asset to the university and I know she will continue to be so in the future.”


A native of North Dakota, Wheeling is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of Pacific Northwest Farm Business Management Instructors. She has been widely published, including the articles “Alternatives to GAAP for the Agricultural Industry” in Today's CPA and “Accounting for Agricultural Producers,” a monograph for Bureau of National Affairs in Washington, DC.


She has been at MSU Billings since 2004, and in 2007 published “Introduction to Agricultural Accounting,” published by Delmar Publishers. It is a 336-page textbook that offers an approach for compiling and analyzing accounting information specific to agricultural operations.

More recently, she helped guide the College of Business to successful accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.  She said she learned in that process about the importance of data-based assessment and accountability.  What used to be a once-in-a-decade review has evolved and requires constant attention.


“The process has changed from a singular event to a continual process,” Wheeling said, “and that’s true with the Northwest Commission and the Board of Regents as well.”


She said her focus will be on helping the different colleges develop strategic plans that help the university fulfill its mission.

“Strategic plans are so important, especially when there is an emphasis on allocation of scarce resources,” she said. “The biggest challenge is addressing concern that we’re trying to do so much with so little resources.”


She noted that the university has received many positive programmatic and college-level reviews in recent years — Department of Music, College of Education, College of Business — and it will be important to continue in that direction. That will mean reaching out to all constituents (including students, faculty, staff and community members) so that everyone can contribute.


“I want to keep people involved, but not overwhelmed,” she said. “We can’t shove this (assessment and planning) to the back burner, but we also can’t make it the only thing going at the university.”


Wheeling‘s office will be located at McMullen Hall, Room 205. She can be reached at 657-2338 or at


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