Montana State University

MSU names new vice president for student success

April 7, 2014 -- MSU News Service

Chris Kearns is the new vice president for student success at MSU.   High-Res Available

Subscribe to MSU Newsletters

Bobcat Bulletin is a weekly e-newsletter designed to bring the most recent and relevant news about Montana State University directly to friends and neighbors via email. Visit Bobcat Bulletin.

MSU Today e-mail brings you news and events on campus thrice weekly during the academic year. Visit the MSU Today calendar.

MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN – Chris Kearns from the University of Minnesota has been named the new vice president for student success at Montana State University. 

Kearns, 58, will start his new position on July 1, replacing Robert Marley who has been serving as interim vice president since the June retirement of Jim Rimpau.  

“I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity to join the university community. I ’m very impressed by their commitment and their vision,” Kearns said. 

MSU President Waded Cruzado said, “I am delighted that Dr. Kearns has decided to join us here at MSU as we continue our tradition of attracting extraordinary students and helping them succeed. I am confident that Dr. Kearns will do a superb job as he continues to build MSU’s reputation as a student-centered university.” 

Kearns said the fact that MSU is a land-grant institution was the key attraction for him. He has worked at land-grant institutions for much of his career, and said he is excited about MSU’s plans to develop a model that will be important both locally and nationally. 

“I think the land-grant university is something we need to ensure is viable for the 21st century, especially now that affordability and access are such important issues in higher education, with students, families and policy makers concerned about return on investment,” Kearns said. 

Kearns is currently the assistant dean for student services in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, a position he has held for almost 14 years. Before that, he held a variety of positions at Indiana University. He has a bachelor’s, master’s degree, and doctorate in comparative literature from Indiana University.  

Kearns and his wife, Cim (pronounced Kim) are the parents of Luc, who is 14 and will join them in Bozeman. Kearns also has two older sons and three grandchildren by a previous marriage.  

Kearns served in the Air Force, as did his father and now his oldest son, Josh.  Growing up in a military family, Kearns started school in Japan, finished high school in Germany and lived a number of places between the two. He has spent the last 14 years in Minnesota. He is an avid fisherman, who also enjoys hiking, bicycling and playing guitar. 

MSU’s vice president for student success touches nearly every student at MSU by overseeing MSU’s Division of Student Success, which includes the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of Activities and Engagement; Career, Internship & Student Employment Services; Student Health Services, Counseling & Psychological Services, the VOICE Center, the Women’s Center, the Diversity Awareness Office, Fraternity/Sorority Life, the Recreational Sports/Fitness Department, the Parent and Family Association, Financial Aid Services, Admissions; Disability, Re-entry & Veteran’s Services, the Registrar’s Office; the Office of Student Success, the Office of Financial Literacy, and the Bobcat Rodeo team.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or