Cruzado will become MSU's 12th president. She will also be the first woman and first minority to hold the presidency in the university's history.
Though her salary is still being finalized, Cruzado has indicated she will assume the presidency around the first of the year, said Clayton Christian, vice chairman of the Montana Board of Regents.
"MSU's new president will be a tremendous leader for the university, the community and the state," Christian said.
Cruzado, 49, is currently executive vice president and provost of New Mexico State University. She holds a bachelor's in comparative literature from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez; a master's in Spanish from the University of Texas, Arlington; and a doctorate in humanities from the University of Texas, Arlington.
"I am honored to be the next president of such a superb institution," Cruzado said. "MSU is deeply dedicated to its students and to the state. I look forward to continuing its tradition of excellence."
Christian, Stephen Barrett, chairman of the Montana Board of Regents, and Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns met with Cruzado on Wednesday in Las Cruces, N.M.
"She was our first choice," said Stearns. "She will bring great leadership to MSU and to Montana. This is a very good day."
Cruzado was selected from a pool of more than 60 candidates who applied for the position and was one of three finalists who visited the MSU campus in late September and early October.
"The feedback we received from her campus visit was glowing," Christian said. "Students, faculty and staff, as well as community members, were all very positive in their comments about her. We have a new president who is really going to do great things for our students and our state."
Cruzado will succeed MSU President Geoff Gamble, 67, who announced his plans to retire in March after leading the university for nine years.