University Relations and Communications

Montana Native Accepts Chief Academic Position at MSU Billings

May 8, 2015


Aaron Clingingsmith, University Relations and Communications, 657-2243


Dr. Robert Hoar joins MSU Billings after a twenty-year career at UW-La Crosse.


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — A Montana native has been named the new provost and academic vice chancellor at Montana State University Billings.


Dr. Robert Hoar

Dr. Robert (Bob) Hoar was introduced as the chief academic officer at MSU Billings earlier today by Chancellor Mark Nook.


“Dr. Hoar was our top choice to serve as provost and academic vice chancellor,” Nook said in an email to campus. “MSU Billings is excited that Bob and his family have decided to return to Montana. His understanding of Billings, Montana and the Montana University System will allow him to hit the ground running.”


Hoar was selected for the job after an extensive national search, said Terrie Iverson, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services and search committee co-chair. The committee reviewed 83 applications and selected four finalists for on-site interviews in mid-April.


“I look forward to working with Bob as part of the university’s executive team,” Iverson said. “As a Montanan who has worked out of state much or his career he undoubtedly will bring a fresh perspective to MSU Billings.”


Hoar is scheduled to officially start his job July 1. His hiring will now go to the Montana Board of Regents for final approval.


Hoar 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 City College at MSU Billings. He will also supervise other MSUB enterprises including Information Technology & Institutional Research, e-Learning and Extended Campus. Hoar will work closely with the other vice chancellors — Dr. Joe Oravecz, vice chancellor for student affairs and Terrie Iverson, vice chancellor for administrative services — on daily operations and university-wide strategic planning.


“I am honored and excited to be selected as the next provost at MSU Billings, said Hoar. “I am eager to move back to my home state of Montana to get started.”


Hoar noted that the university campus and City College campus offer an inviting climate that is conducive to learning for myriad of students.


“I look forward to joining the dedicated team of deans, faculty and staff as they help students reach their goals, said Hoar.


Hoar is currently the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Hoar’s leadership work includes line management of the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning, Continuing Education & Extension, Graduate Studies, Institutional Research, Research & Sponsored Programs and Undergraduate Research. Since 1995 he has been a professor of Mathematics, teaching a wide-range of mathematics courses while advising students and directing undergraduate research projects.


Hoar also chairs the University of Wisconsin System Learn@UW Executive Committee, which oversees a multimillion dollar budget that selects and supports the academic systems used to foster student success on the 26 campuses in the UW System. He was also the principal investigator on the UW System College Readiness Math MOOC grant, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – the first Massive Open Online Course in the UW System.


He holds doctorate and master’s degrees in mathematics from Montana State University. He earned his bachelor’s degrees in computer science and mathematics from Montana Tech of the University of Montana in 1989 and 1990, respectively.


Hoar has been active nationally in several areas of mathematics, including chairing the Math and Computer Science Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research from 2003 through 2004. He has also facilitated Academic Program Reviews for various mathematics, statistics and computer science departments by pairing external evaluators with institutions seeking evaluation.


Hoar and his wife, Kerrie, have two grown children: Emily and Samantha (Sammi). Sammi will be attending the University of Minnesota this fall. Emily is currently a junior at St. Olaf.


PHOTO ABOVE: Dr. Robert Hoar