College of Letters & Science Dean's Excellence Fund
The L&S Dean's Excellence Fund is a vital source of unrestricted support for the college. It supports students, faculty and academic programming by providing funding for the college’s most pressing needs. Dollars from the fund may be spent to attract and retain first-rate faculty, to provide scholarship assistance to our brightest and most deserving students, and to strengthen our academic programs.
College of Letters & Science General Scholarships
As tuition and living costs for our students continue to increase, the college recognizes the profound need to offer financial assistance to academically gifted students who may otherwise not have the opportunity to attend MSU. The L&S Dean’s Scholarship Endowment meets this need by providing funding for each of the college’s 15 departments to award scholarships to incoming students who declare early majors.
Approved by the Montana Board of Regents and the Montana State Legislature in 2005, the Native American Student Center will fulfill a long-recognized need on campus for a space where American Indian students can gather for learning, support and cultural interaction. In addition, the center will serve the entire university community by providing opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue, learning and sharing.
MSU’s new Center for Western Lands and Peoples, which received Board of Regents approval in spring 2017, enables public stakeholders and members of the academic community to gain a deeper understanding of the many social, cultural, political and economic changes in the North American West. The Center offers a dynamic setting for discussions between the university and the public about issues facing the state and region, while also foregrounding the importance of imagining the North American West from a variety of viewpoints.
The college developed the MSU Writer In Residence program to attract a major author, who is from the western region or who writes on the subject of the North American West, to MSU on a visiting basis for a period of 1 to 3 years. This position, which is housed in the Department of English, will raise MSU’s profile in the field of creative writing and as a research and educational hub in the study of the American West. The college hopes to make the Writer In Residence a permanent position at MSU and is seeking funding for an endowment to support the program.
MSU aims to support faculty members who, through research and teaching experience, want to innovate course curriculum in order to improve student academic performance. The BES²T Stem Education fund will provide seed money for faculty with creative ideas to redesign courses like calculus, statistics and intro to general chemistry. These curriculum redesign efforts are an approach that would continually innovate to maximize value for students by focusing on courses required so that they can continue on a path towards a STEM degree.
This initiative will fund trout conservation in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, research into invasive species and disease threats, and the study of ecology and population dynamics of salmonflies. Funding will also be used to improve the growth and survival of trout in sensitive headwaters, including monitoring the effects of changing water flows and temperatures on Rainbow and Brown trout movement in the Smith River. This initiative also includes the Trout and Coldwater Fisheries Chair in the Department of Ecology, which will strengthen MSU’s offerings and opportunities for undergraduate students of fisheries and research in the face of imminent threats.