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University of Montana Western in Dillon, Montana
Date Posted 02/01/2021
Executive-President and Chancellor
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA WESTERN seeks a confident and perceptive individual to serve in the executive leadership role of Chancellor. With the abilities to balance and prioritize, the Chancellor will possess the discernment to assess, modify, and define a path on which Montana Western can pursue its mission and goals. This executive administrator is responsible for effectively building on Montana Western’s steadily growing enrollment, leading-edge learning technology, and outstanding academic programs, while strategically strengthening and positioning the institution for further success.

Review complete information in the Search Profile at https://myersmcrae.com/skins/userfiles/files/UMW-Chancellor.pdf

About the University

The University of Montana Western (UMW) (https://www.umwestern.edu) is a comprehensive, four-year, regional university offering certificates, associate’s, and bachelor’s degrees. UMW is an affiliate campus of the University of Montana.

UMW is the first and only public four-year university in the nation to offer a unique block scheduling system known as Experience One, or X1 for short. The innovative system offers students the benefit of taking one course at a time for 18 days, taking a short break, and then moving on to their next course, all while earning the same number of credits over a semester as in traditional models. Sixteen years after its implementation, Experience One continues to provide students a remarkable educational experience.

Experience One provides students with hands-on learning opportunities and real-world experiences within the student’s specific discipline which often involves participation in undergraduate research, attending and presenting at conferences, internships, and engagement in other High Impact Practices (HIPs).

X1 encourages a serious commitment to learning while teaching organization, responsibility, and productivity resulting in increased attendance, bolstered academic confidence, and improved performance. Graduation rates have increased by 15 percentage points since 2006—increasing from a 6-year graduation rate of 40% in 2006 to 55% for the most recent graduating cohort.

The University has just completed a new strategic plan for 2020–2026 titled “Building on the Promise of Experience One.” As a leader in innovative experiential education, UMW has designed this plan to build on its remarkable student success of offering experiential learning one course at a time. The plan can be reviewed at umwestern.edu/wp-content/uploads/UMW-Strategic-Plan-20-26.pdf.

Founded in 1893 as a teacher training college, the University of Montana Western has a long-standing legacy in state higher education. Highly innovative in the way students are taught, the University has a rich tradition of providing individualized attention for a variety of students across all of its disciplines.

Known for being a tight-knit, caring community, UMW faculty, administrators, and staff emphasize the success of every student and place great value on degree completion. The University strives to maintain the highest standards possible and places significant emphasis on attracting and retaining quality faculty and staff.

UMW has 68 full-time faculty members with 79% possessing a doctorate or other terminal degree, and 22 part-time faculty members, resulting in a student/professor ratio of 15:1. The average class size is fewer than 20 students.

The University offers 10 certificates, including 5 specifically designed to serve post-baccalaureate students seeking teaching credentials; 8 associate degrees; 29 bachelor’s degrees; and 42 minors from 10 different academic departments: business and technology; biology; education; English; environmental sciences; equine studies; fine arts; health and human performance; history, philosophy, and social sciences; and mathematics. UMW also offers two-year associate degrees in more than 20 areas of interest.

The University campus of shade trees, walks, and historic, picturesque buildings has an unsurpassed panoramic view of mountain ranges. Situated on the main campus are 15 major buildings. The first campus building was constructed in 1897, and the most recent building was completed in 2003.

The Main Hall complex, including the first building on the Montana Western campus, underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to restore historic architectural features and improve the safety of the building.

Montana Western Bulldog athletics compete in the NAIA Frontier Conference. Sports programs include football, men’s and women’s teams in basketball, cross country, track, and rodeo, as well as women’s volleyball. UMW’s rodeo team is a member of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

From successful athletic programs to an impressive list of campus clubs and organizations, there is no shortage of engaging activities at Montana Western. Brimming with activities, organizations, student groups, clubs, and solid support networks, students enjoy an enriching extracurricular life to help students along their educational journeys.

The Chancellor

Working closely with the President of the University of Montana, the Chancellor sets the vision and priorities of the University of Montana Western, ensuring that all are reflective of the institution’s mission of meeting the educational needs of its students.

The Chancellor will have the leadership skills, administrative experiences, and management abilities to effectively oversee the personnel, facilities, and operations of the University that serves a diverse population. In concert with the faculty and administrative staff, the Chancellor will set the goals, priorities, and direction of the institution, ensuring that all are reflective of Montana Western’s distinctive mission and strengths of serving the educational needs of southwest Montana, while remaining committed to academic excellence and broad student accessibility.

A confident and perceptive administrator who is able to make difficult decisions and to pursue strategic courses of action, the new Chancellor will work collaboratively with others. Together with the abilities to balance and prioritize, the Chancellor will possess the discernment and judgment to assess, modify, and find a coherent path on which Montana Western can pursue its mission and goals.

The executive officer’s leadership style will help preserve and enhance the connectedness of each part of the campus community. The Chancellor will embrace the role as Montana Western’s chief ambassador and excel in representing the University.

Regarded as a leader in the state, region, and local community as well as in academia, the Chancellor must have proven experience in developing partnerships and connections that benefit the institution’s goal to increase and extend its visibility and its reputation as a high-quality four-year state institution in Montana, the Nation, and the World.

Using imagination, perspective, and commitment, this leader will develop new channels of support. The executive officer will have responsibilities in developing and sustaining relationships with foundations, corporations, alumni, and friends to advance the University’s fundraising efforts.

A priority for the next Chancellor will be to ensure continuing improvements to the university’s recruitment, retention, and graduation rates.


An earned terminal degree is preferred. Extensive academic and administrative experience at the level of Dean or higher is required. An essential quality in the incoming Chancellor is the ability to connect, collaborate, and building positive relationships with stakeholders in order to advance and complete capital campaigns.

The next Chancellor also will:

  • Foster a vibrant and empowered community through a proven leadership style that evokes trust, welcomes collaboration, reflects confident decision making, and effectively engages the talents and experiences of the administration and faculty
  • Recruit, develop, and lead faculty, staff, and administration effectively
  • Oversee a sound budgetary and fiscal planning process that sustains and enhances the institution’s long-term financial strength and utilizes its resources to their fullest
  • Develop and implement short- and long-term strategic goals and plans that are aligned with the University of Montana Western’s strategic plan
  • Provide a progressive vision for the future growth of the University in terms of teaching, scholarship, service, enrollment, finance, technology, and facilities
  • Work effectively with the Montana University System in advocating the needs and plans of the institution

A Spectacular Setting—Dillon

Recognized as one of “America’s Prettiest Towns ” by Forbes magazine, Dillon, Montana, sits in the beautiful Beaverhead Valley, surrounded on three sides by the Continental Divide and seven mountain ranges. Yellowstone National Park is just 2.5 hours away. Less than 2 hours away is Bozeman, Montana, with an international airport, excellent shopping and restaurants, and more outdoor recreation opportunities. Dillon’s residents have access to premier healthcare and education.


Confidential inquiries are welcomed, and nominations are invited.


1) Application packet must include: a) A letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and qualifications of the position, b) Current curriculum vitae, and c) At least five references with full contact information including e-mails (References will not be contacted without consent from applicant.)

2) Submit application packet (preferably as PDFs) to UMWestern@myersmcrae.com. Additional information will be requested upon receipt of application.

Review of applications begins immediately. For best consideration, submit applications by March 12, 2021. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Submit nominations to UMWestern-nominate@myersmcrae.com with complete contact and e-mail information for the individual being nominated.

Kenny Daugherty, President, and Emily Parker Myers, CEO, of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting are assisting The University of Montana Western with this search.

The University of Montana Western is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from qualified women, minorities, Vietnam-era veterans, and people with disabilities.

*Please mention academicjobs.net to employers when applying for this job*
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