University Relations and Communications


April 19, 2017

 Dr. Khaleel in Peaks to Plains Park


After teaching for over 40 years, Dr. Tasneem Khaleel is retiring

MSUB readies to part with long-time Professor Dr. Khaleel

Retirement party in honor of Dr. Khaleel set for 2 p.m., April 26 in the Beartooth Room in the Student Union Building. Food and refreshments will be served.


Retirement party flyer here



University Relations, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Hanging on the wall in Dr. Tasneem Khaleel’s office are the many awards and accolades marking the dedication and service she has given to Montana State University Billings over the past several decades.


Khaleel is retiring at the end of this semester and her presence and legacy will be with the science department and University for years to come.


Dr. Christine Shearer, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said that without the dedication and perseverance of Khaleel, the College and its students would not be where it is today.


“Dr. Khaleel has devoted her professional career to Montana State University Billings in a variety of capacities. She has been a tireless researcher and developer of the internationally-renowned Herbarium, a deeply committed advocate for the sciences and science education, a leader of a complex and diverse unit, and has been a staunch supporter and mentor of female scientists and academic professionals in all disciplines,” Shearer said. “Her tenacity and resilience advanced the College of Arts and Sciences and its programs, including the establishment of the Women’s and Gender Studies Center, which serves the university and the community. Her involvement in Girls-n-Science impacted hundreds of young women planning STEM careers.”


Khaleel has been paving the way for women in STEM since the beginning of her career. She has the honor of being the first woman recipient of a Ph.D from Bangalore University, India, where she graduated with a degree in Botany in 1970.


In 1976, Khaleel would begin her tenure with MSUB, as would her signature project: the establishment, maintenance, and management of the internationally known MSUB Herbarium.


“The Herbarium is one of my professional accomplishments that I am most proud of,” Khaleel said.


Dr. Khaleel in a lab at MSUB with students in 1980Post-retirement, she will continue being involved in the herbarium, which includes some 16,000 vascular plant specimens, some of which date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Herbarium serves as a tool for basic research in plant systematics, ecology, phytogeography, and evolution.


While Khaleel’s career is highlighted by the 11 years she served as dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, from 2004 to 2014, she has no regrets to returning to the classroom before retirement.


Throughout her time on campus, she moved up from an assistant professor to department chair and says coming full circle made her last two years with students, “the best.”


“I wanted to retire as a faculty member,” Khaleel said. “Having that time as Dean allowed me to hear so many perspectives that my focus shifted when I returned to the classroom. My focus shifted from teaching to learning, to becoming a mentor and being more supportive.


These last two years have been very rewarding.”


This year, Khaleel received the Walter and Charlotte Pippenger Excellence in Innovation Award.


For the last eight years the Tasneem and Shafiq Khaleel Endowment for Scholarships to Science has provided $1,000 awards to two students.


PHOTO (insert): Dr. Tasneem Khaleel, center, assists Heidi Carter, left, and an unknown student during a lab experiment. (Photo circa 1980)