Ballantyne, who began her duties at the Bozeman campus on July 28, replaces Lea Acord, who left earlier this month to become dean at the College of Nursing at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc.
"Jean Ballantyne has done an excellent job directing the MSU College of Nursing's largest upper level campus and she will do an excellent job as the interim dean for the college," said David Dooley, MSU Provost, in announcing the appointment.
Ballantyne is a native Montanan who has two degrees from Montana State University -- a bachelor's and a master's degree in nursing. She is a candidate for a doctorate in gerontological nursing from Oregon Health Sciences University.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with a great faculty, administration and staff in carrying forward some major initiatives in the College of Nursing," Ballantyne said.
She said the initiatives include an enrollment expansion of the undergraduate program and the implementation of two clinical nurse specialist options in the graduate program. Ballantyne said she would also strive to support the instruction and programs needed to administer the teaching and research missions of the college.
Ballantyne worked for several small rural hospitals throughout Montana before joining the MSU faculty.
"My background is a strength I bring to the position," she said. "I have a familiarity with the state, particularly the rural areas. I identify with the people of the state and their health-care needs."
Ballantyne said she could not say yet whether she would be a candidate for the permanent dean's position. A national search will soon be underway to find a replacement for Acord.
In the meantime, Ballantyne said she will continue the work of the college, including collaborative and partnership efforts with Montana communities.
"We will continue to address nursing issues, particularly the nursing shortage and the need for a well-educated nursing work force."