Search Advisory Committee

Steve Arveschoug
Jim Barron
Jenay Cross
Joy Honea
Vern Gagnon
Bill Kennedy
Bob Mokwa
Martha Sheehy
Brock Tessman*
James Unzaga

Executive Director, Big Sky Economic Development
Chair, Faculty Senate
Chair, Staff Union (University Campus, City College)
Chair, Faculty Union (University Campus)
Chair, Faculty Union (City College)
CEO/President, MSU Billings Foundation
Executive Vice President and Provost, MSU Bozeman
Member, Montana Board of Regents
Deputy Commissioner, Montana University System
ASMSUB President

*Chair

 

Stefani Hicswa selected as MSUB Chancellor

Dr. Stefani Hicswa Stefani Hicswa, Ph.D., has served as the president of Northwest College since 2013. Prior to her arrival at NWC, Hicswa served seven years as president of Miles Community College in Miles City, Montana.

Under her leadership the College has achieved the highest retention rate of all post-secondary institutions in Wyoming; achieved the highest completion rate in the history of the college; completed construction of the College’s largest instructional facility; received one of the best accreditation reports in institutional history; and launched comprehensive strategic visioning, enrollment management, and facilities master plans.

She has assumed state and national leadership roles, including membership on the Higher Education Research and Development Institute national advisory board. In 2018, she was appointed by Governor Matt Mead to co-chair the Wyoming Educational Attainment Executive Council. Governor Mark Gordon appointed her to serve on the Wyoming’s Tomorrow Task Force in 2019.

Hicswa was recognized by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society in 2018 with the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction, Phi Theta Kappa’s most prestigious award for college presidents. She was honored in 2007 as a Distinguished Graduate at The University of Texas at Austin.

She serves as a board member for Forward Cody, and Powell Economic Partnership and Chamber of Commerce and is a past-president of the Rotary Club of Miles City, Montana.

President Hicswa holds a PhD in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin. A first-generation college student, she earned her master’s in adult, community and higher education from Montana State University and a bachelor’s in organizational communication from the University of Montana.

Raised in Dillon, Montana, Stefani is married to Scott Hicswa, a consulting forester. They have two sons.

Hicswa will start her duties on Jan. 11, 2020. Read full announcement here.


 

Dear Campus Community,

On behalf of the MSU Billings Chancellor Search Advisory Committee, I am pleased to announce that we have selected Stefani Hicswa, Ph.D., as the sole finalist for the Chancellor position. Hicswa currently serves as President of Northwest College in Powell, WY; a position she has held since 2013. Under her leadership, Northwest College has achieved the highest completion rate in its history, completed significant capital projects, and launched comprehensive strategic visioning, enrollment management, and facilities master plans. Prior to her service as President of Northwest College, she served for seven years as President of Miles Community College in Miles City, Montana.

Hicswa holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.Ed. in Adult, Community, and Higher Education from Montana State University Bozeman, and a B.A. in Organizational Communication from the University of Montana Missoula. She is deeply familiar with the higher education landscape in Montana, including her time as President of Miles Community College, work as a consultant to Helena College, Flathead Valley Community College, Miles Community College, and Great Falls College, and a term as the Lincoln County Campus Director for Flathead Valley Community College. She has also held leadership positions with the Flathead Valley Community College TRIO and Upward Bound programs. Beyond Montana, she has faculty experience with the University of Wyoming, National American University, and the University of Illinois.

On October 16, Hicswa will participate in a  full-day (virtual)  visit to MSU Billings. There will be dedicated sessions for her to meet with the Chancellor’s Cabinet, the Provost’s Council, student leadership, the Alumni and Foundation Boards, Student Affairs and Administrative Service Directors, Faculty and the Academic Senate, City College faculty, and staff members from University campus and City College. In addition, there will be a virtual lunch with community members and an Open Forum, open to all, at 6 p.m. on WebEx.

See above for additional information on Dr. Hicswa, including her biography, a redacted CV, an online feedback survey, a detailed interview schedule, and login information for the interview sessions on WebEx. Additional details and reminders will be sent to the MSU Billings campus and community next week. We look forward to your continued engagement and we hope that you will be able to join one of the various sessions on October 16th. We understand that scheduling is difficult and we are doing our best to make her available to the widest range of stakeholders possible.

Before I conclude, I would like to underscore my appreciation to so many in the MSU Billings community who have taken the time and energy to meaningfully engage in, and shape the direction of, this important search. Of course, I would also like to thank each member of the Search Advisory Committee. This group continues to be thoughtful, tireless, and innovative in their work. I am grateful for their service, dedication, and insights.

Sincerely,

Brock Tessman, Chair of the Search Advisory Committee

Dear Campus Community,

We wanted to provide you with an update on the MSUB Chancellor search process. The Search Advisory Committee (SAC) has started to review applications and we are excited to see such a strong pool of applicants. We are committed to finding a leader who demonstrates the qualities and commitment necessary to move the institution forward successfully into the future.

We plan to schedule round-one of interviews during the first week of October, and we will continue to keep you posted on our progress and will be in touch again soon once we have more information. As of today, we are still very much on schedule to complete the search later this fall and to have your new Chancellor start on or near January 1, 2021.

As always, we continue to welcome your feedback and input. Please email the SAC at  msubchancellorsearch@msubillings.edu or submit your comments anonymously via  this form. We will also continue to update the  MSUB Chancellor Search webpage with the most recent information.

Sincerely,

Brock Tessman, on behalf of the MSU Billings Chancellor Search Advisory Committee

Dear Campus Community,

Our search for the next Chancellor of MSU Billings is off to a strong start! I was impressed and pleased to see such great turnout at the recent Chancellor Listening Sessions we hosted a couple weeks ago on the MSUB campus. Your comments and insights regarding the MSUB community, its history, and what to look for in a new Chancellor are vital to the success of the Search Advisory Committee (SAC).

The SAC held its initial meeting last Thursday and received our charge from President Cruzado. We are on track to developing a strong pool of candidates with the anticipated start date of January 1, 2021. Your feedback and comments provided an excellent framework for the creation of a robust position description and job advertisement.

The job advertisement will be made public later this week and will be posted on search outlets nationally, throughout Montana, and on the MSUB Chancellor Search website. Please share the advertisement widely and reach out to anyone you know who would be a strong candidate.

Again, thank you for playing a role in this search process and we continue to welcome your feedback and insight throughout the search. Please send comments to  msubchancellorsearch@msubillings.edu or submit comments anonymously via  this form. We will also continue to update the MSUB Chancellor Search website with the most recent information.

Sincerely,

Brock Tessman, on behalf of the MSU Billings Chancellor Search Advisory Committee

As our new semester begins, the search for our next Chancellor is also getting underway. As a starting point, we would like to know your thoughts about what you are looking for in MSUB’s next Chancellor.

We will be hosting three public listening sessions on Thursday, Aug. 27 to get your insights into what experience, qualities, and vision should define MSUB’s next leader. We will also be able to answer some questions about the search timeline and overall process. These sessions are open to the MSUB community and the Billings community more generally. Please, do come and share your thoughts—out loud or in writing.

Montana State University Billings Chancellor Search

Listening Sessions | Thursday, Aug. 27 |10 a.m.-11 a.m. | 12 p.m.-1 p.m. |2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Glacier Room, Student Union Building, 1500 University Drive

Should you prefer to join virtually, please access one of the sessions via the Webex links below:

10 a.m.-11 a.m. session
 
12 p.m.-1 p.m. session
 
2 p.m.- 3 p.m. session

If you would like to submit comments online throughout the entire search process, you can submit them via this form anonymously or via email to  MSUBChancellorSearch@msubillings.edu.

Dr. Brock Tessman, MUS Deputy Commissioner for Academic, Research, and Student Affairs, is the chair of the Search Advisory Committee.

August 27, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

We are happy to announce that the MSU Billings Chancellor Search Advisory Committee (SAC) has been formed. The SAC includes a range of shared governance leaders as well as other key stakeholders from campus and the community. Each member is committed to support the selection of an outstanding next chancellor for MSU Billings. We have kept the committee small by design in order to maximize individual engagement and to allow for in-person meetings that still meet the health and safety expectations during the pandemic.

The Search Advisory Committee members are:

Steve Arveschoug
Jim Barron
Jenay Cross
Joy Honea
Vern Gagnon
Bill Kennedy
Bob Mokwa
Martha Sheehy
Brock Tessman*
Student Leader

Executive Director, Big Sky Economic Development
Chair, Faculty Senate
Chair, Staff Union (University Campus, City College)
Chair, Faculty Union (University Campus)
Chair, Faculty Union (City College)
CEO/President, MSU Billings Foundation
Executive Vice President and Provost, MSU Bozeman
Member, Montana Board of Regents
Deputy Commissioner, Montana University System
Pending

 
*Chair

There will be multiple opportunities and platforms to meaningfully engage the search. Today’s listening sessions (at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. in the Glacier Room on University Campus) are a great way to provide feedback on the qualities, experiences, and vision that you would like your next chancellor to embody. As the search progresses there will be opportunities to provide additional feedback and connect with candidates who reach the finalist stage.

If you prefer to join the listening sessions virtually, use the links to below to access them:

10 a.m.-11 a.m. session
12 p.m.-1 p.m. session
2 p.m.- 3 p.m. session

Throughout the search  process, we hope that you will provide insight and feedback via the  Listening Session Comment Form or via email to msubchancellorsearch@msubillings.edu.

The Search Advisory Committee will have their first meeting next week. The latest information and updates can be found on the MSUB Chancellor Search webpage.