University Relations and Communications

MSU Billings announces City College dean

February 20, 2015


Aaron Clingingsmith, Director University Relations & Communications, 657-2243 


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — After conducting a national search, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Mark Pagano announced Dr. Clifford P. Coppersmith as the new dean of City College at Montana State University Billings.


Dr. Clifford Coppersmith

“Dr. Coppersmith brings a wealth of administrative experience to City College,” commented Dr. Pagano.  “We look forward to his leadership as we continue to position City College as one of the premiere comprehensive two-year institutions in our region.”


Coppersmith said he is excited about the opportunity to return to the West and looks forward to the challenges ahead.


“It is an honor to accept the invitation to continue the development of City College and embrace its mission of providing career focused training and education for the citizens of this region of Montana,” said Coppersmith.  “I look forward to working with local business and industry, college staff and faculty, and City College students in this great endeavor.”


Coppersmith is currently the dean of the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications at Pennsylvania College of Technology.  He has held that position since 2008 and has worked for the college since 2004.  Before joining Pennsylvania College of Technology he served in several administrative positions at the College of Eastern Utah.  Coppersmith also taught history and anthropology at both institutions.


Coppersmith received an associate in social science from Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, New York.  He went on to attain a bachelor’s in political science and Latin American studies from Brigham Young University, a master’s in history from St. Bonaventure University, and a doctorate in history and anthropology from Oklahoma State University.


Dr. Diane Duin, dean of the College of Allied Health Professions and Mr. Richard Pierce, department chair of General Education at City College led the 14 member search committee that selected Coppersmith.


“The search committee had some tough decisions to make as the quality of applicants was very impressive,” said Duin. “I am extremely proud of the work performed by my colleagues on the committee.  We believe Dr. Coppersmith will be a great addition to MSU Billings and City College.”


Interim City College dean, Dr. Rita Kratky, introduced Coppersmith to the campus community earlier today.

“I am excited to start working with Dr. Coppersmith,” remarked Kratky.  “City College and MSU Billings are at a pivotal point and with his leadership the sky is the limit.”


Cliff and his wife, Kathleen, have three children, Cory, Kate and Caroline.


Dr. Kratky will continue to serve as interim dean until Coppersmith joins MSU Billings on July 1, 2015.  Coppersmith’s appointment is currently pending Board of Regent approval.