May 7, 2010


Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Search process could take six to nine months


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Fifteen people — representing students, faculty, staff, administration, policymakers and community supporters — have been selected to serve on the search advisory committee for the next chancellor at Montana State University Billings.


The search committee will provide recommendations to MSU President Dr. Waded Cruzado on hiring the successor to Dr. Ron Sexton, who will retire this summer. Sexton has served as chancellor since Eastern Montana College transformed into MSU Billings under a statewide reorganization in 1994. After his retirement, he has agreed to work on a new scholarship campaign for the MSU Billings Foundation.


Cruzado notified the committee members on Friday after reviewing lists of suggested participants in the past few weeks.


“The hiring of the chancellor to succeed Ron Sexton will be one of the most important hiring decisions of my tenure as the president of Montana State and your agreement to serve will add both strength and credibility to our process,” Cruzado said in a letter to committee members.


Co-chairs for the committee are Dr. Stacy Klippenstein, vice chancellor for student affairs at MSU Billings, and Jim Rimpau, MSU vice president of planning and chief information officer.


Other committee members are:

  • Alex Tyson, an MSU Billings alum and director of communications for the Billings Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • Jack Copps, outgoing superintendent of Billings School District 2.
  • Kayla Miller, new president of the Associated Students of Montana State University Billings.
  • Dr. Keith Edgerton, professor of history at MSU Billings.
  • Dr. David Butler, professor of molecular biology and genetics at MSU Billings.
  • Dr. Lorrie Steerey, professor of information systems and representative of the Faculty Senate.
  • Kurt Laudicina, new student specialist for MSU Billings online and representative of the Staff Senate.
  • Terrie Iverson, vice chancellor for administrative services at MSU Billings.
  • Dr. Mary Susan Fishbaugh, interim dean of the College of Education at MSU Billings.
  • Joel Guthals, a Billings attorney who serves on the MSU Billings Foundation Board of Trustees and also serves on the Billings School District 2 Board of Trustees.
  • Todd Buchanan, a Billings financial advisor and member of the Montana Board of Regents.
  • Rob Barnosky, graduate student at MSU Billings and current student representative on the Montana Board of Regents.
  • Dan Villa, education policy advisor for Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

 The committee will begin its work on May 19 when Cruzado comes to Billings to visit with committee and provide its charge. The advisory committee will develop institutional and position profiles and handle the search process as the applicant pool narrows to a group of finalists and interviews are conducted. That process could take up to nine months before the final selection is made by Cruzado.


Rolf Groseth, MSU's vice president of inter-campus affairs, will serve as interim chancellor of MSU Billings until a new chancellor is hired. His tenure begins July 15. He said the search advisory committee will provide invaluable perspective for the university as the next leadership step is taken.


“The makeup of the committee is certainly indicative of the prominent role that MSU Billings plays in the life of the larger Billings community, the Montana University System and in the State of Montana,” he said.