University Relations and Marketing

Contacts:
Dr. Rolf Groseth, Chancellor, 657-2300
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269

May 12, 2011

Chancellor announces changes at MSU Billings Downtown

Adjustments intended to allow the university to remain effective while becoming more efficient

MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — In an effort to remain effective to its many constituents while being more efficient with resources, Montana State University Billings will be adjusting its footprint in Downtown Billings.

The changes were laid out by Chancellor Rolf Groseth in a conversation with about 50 Billings area business and civic leaders Wednesday morning at the MSU Billings Downtown Campus.  The adjustments, which take place immediately, will increase street-level access to personnel and programs while moving forward with key programs that have an impact on the community and its residents.

The changes come after an extensive review of the MSU Billings Downtown operations that evaluated effectiveness of current programs and possible collaboration with existing academic endeavors that take place across the university, Groseth said.

“It became clear to me that we had more real estate than we did program,” Groseth said.

Noting that “none of us has the resources to do everything we would like,” the chancellor said the need to become more efficient became more clear when it was evident the 2011 Legislature was not going to provide additional funding for the University System.

“We are called upon by our students and the state to stay close to our mission and be good stewards  of our resources,” Groseth said.

The changes, which will save about $280,000 include:

  • Closure of the Jackets and Co. bookstore at 112 N. Broadway.
  • Discontinuation of the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning as a college.  The CPSLL lacks its own faculty and doesn't award degrees, Groseth said. Continuing education — such as the Kids on Campus and Educators on Campus  programs —will continue to have a downtown presence. The operations will be simply MSU Billings Downtown
  • Space will be vacated on the fourth floor of the old Hart Albin building and constituents will have easier access to personnel on the street level of Broadway. Some administrative positions and student entrepreneurial opportunities will be located at the former bookstore location. Important grant-funded projects such as the Pathways program at the Montana Women’s Prison will continue.
  • Conferencing services for meeting space at the corner of Broadway and Third Avenue North will be consolidated under a centralized event management process that will operate out of the main campus. Those services are important to the university and the community, Groseth said.  Contact for that service will be through 657-2387 or on the web at www.msubillings.edu/events.

While some personnel will remain downtown, others will move to different spots at the university to take advantage of collaborative possibilities and programmatic efficiencies.  In addition, a task force will be developed to look at the future of continuing education for a growing community.

Groseth, who has been chancellor at MSU Billings since last November, said he found out early in his tenure how important interactions were between the university and the Billings community. He said the adjustments at MSU Billings will not change that.

“It’s clear to me that the relationships here are stronger than in any of those other communities in the Montana University System,” he said. “They make both our community and our university stronger.”

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