Montana State University

Defa chosen as MSU chief human resource officer

November 2, 2011 -- MSU News Service


Dennis Defa   High-Res Available

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Dennis Defa, a human resource professional with almost 30 years in higher education, has been selected as the new chief human resources officer for Montana State University, officials announced Wednesday.

"We are pleased to have Dennis join the team. His extensive background will be a great asset as we move HR forward," said Terry Leist, interim vice president of Administration and Finance, and Defa's new supervisor.

Defa is currently the assistant vice president for human resources and faculty relations at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash.

Prior to CWU, Defa was the associate vice president for human resources at Southern Oregon University from 2006 to 2007; the director of staff labor and employee relations at CWU from 2003 to 2006; and the assistant director and labor and employee relations manager at CWU from 2001 to 2003.

Defa has a bachelors' of arts degrees in anthropology and history from the University of Utah. He also has a master's of arts in history and a master's of science in human resource management in economics from UU.

Defa will start at MSU on Jan. 2, 2012.

Members of the search committee were: Bob Hietala, search committee chair and dean of Gallatin College Programs; Carina Beck, Office of Student Success; Jerry Coffey, retired faculty; Ian Godwin, academics; Laura Humberger, Administration and Finance; Duane Morris, Auxiliaries; Mary Fran San Soucie, Extension; Leslie Schmidt, research; David Singel, academics; and Max Thompson, Human Resources.