University Relations and Communications

MSUB Chancellor announces retirement

January 9, 2014



Aaron Clingingsmith, University Relations, 657-2243 


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Montana State University Billings Chancellor, Dr. Rolf Groseth has announced that he will retire at the conclusion of the current academic year, his fourth year as Chancellor.


Chancellor Groseth

During Chancellor Groseth’s tenure the university has undergone a number of positive changes.  Groseth worked diligently on behalf of two-year institutions in Montana, culminating with the launch of City College at Montana State University Billings in 2012 and the University System pilot “What’s Your Plan” advertising campaign to raise awareness of the two-year campuses. Under Groseth’s stewardship, MSU Billings was awarded $10 million during the last legislative session for the expansion and renovation of the teaching and research facilities for science and allied health on the university campus.  He also aided in the completion of the Opportunity Campaign, which saw an infusion of over $7 million dollars that went directly towards student scholarships. MSU Billings has also been ranked in the top 100 regional universities each of the last four years by US News.  Groseth will leave behind the blueprint for MSU Billings’ future growth as he and Provost Mark Pagano recently led the completion of the institution’s 2013 – 2018 Strategic Plan.


"Rolf is the reason I came to MSU Billings from Purdue University," commented Provost Pagano. His passion for Montana students and unyielding views on shared governance are unmatched throughout the system. It is now our turn as a campus community to carry the torch forward as he enters retirement."


Groseth formally notified Montana State University President Waded Cruzado of his intent to retire on Wednesday, January 8.  His retirement will officially begin following the 87th MSU Billings Commencement on May 3, 2014.  Cruzado will be in Billings later this month to meet with campus constituents and community leaders to plan the hiring process for Groseth’s successor.


MSU President Waded Cruzado said she wished Groseth, and his wife, Jaynee Drange Groseth who recently retired as president of the MSU Alumni Foundation, the best in retirement following Rolf Groseth’s 37 years of service to higher education in Montana.


"Since coming to MSU in 1977, Rolf Groseth has served at three MSU campuses with dedication, not to mention versatility,” Cruzado said. “For many Montanans, Rolf personifies the qualities of public service, outreach and engagement that are hallmarks of the land-grant mission.  We deeply thank Rolf for his  integrity, wisdom and commitment to MSU and its students.”


In a message to students, faculty and staff, 67-year-old Groseth noted, “I have studied or worked on university campuses for 48 of the last 50 years and I know that having the opportunity to lead one is a rare blessing and a trust.”


Chancellor and Mrs. GrosethIt is important to note that 37 of those years have been spent within the Montana University System (MUS).  Groseth’s leadership assignments during his tenure in higher education have been substantial.  His service to the Montana State University family of institutions included a stint as the Dean of Students and Vice President of Inter-Campus Affairs at Montana State University.  He also served as the Interim Chancellor at MSU Northern.  Most notably, Groseth succeeded Dr. Ron Sexton as the tenth MSU Billings Chancellor.  He is the only Vietnam veteran to have served as CEO of an MUS campus.  He thanked the students, faculty and staff of MSUB for, “partnering (with him) in this extraordinary enterprise of learning, scholarship and community.”


“As a faculty member, I could think of no other individual who so radically transformed the culture of this institution as Chancellor Groseth,” remarked former History Professor, Dr. Matt Redinger.  “His dedication to faculty issues redefined the faculty-administration relationship, and did more to improve faculty morale than anyone in the past 20 years. Rolf will be greatly missed.”


A Chicago-area native, Groseth received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, where he was an NCAA All-American swimmer, in 1969. Following his studies at Michigan State he was drafted into the Army and served two years, including a year in Vietnam.  Groseth went on to attain his master’s degree from Iowa State University in 1972.  He completed his doctoral work in 1978, achieving a PhD from the University of Florida while serving as the institutions Assistant Dean of Students.  He also served as a residence hall director at Georgetown University.


Jaynee Drange Groseth, a Billings native, recently retired as president of the MSU Alumni Association following a 38-year career with the university, serving as the director of MSU alumni activities for more than two decades. She previously served as director of MSU admissions. The couple has two sons, Peder, 31, and Anders, 27. 


Chancellor Groseth’s statement to students, faculty and staff can be viewed on his webpage at


PHOTOS ABOVE: 1) Chancellor Groseth, Commencement 2013; 2) Chancellor and Jaynee Groseth