Dear MSU Community,

President Cruzado and I are pleased to announce the launch of a national search for Montana State University’s first Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer. This position was recommended in MSU’s 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Framework Report, which was written after hundreds of MSU students, faculty and staff provided feedback at a series of diversity summits and charrettes.

A search committee has been formed with individuals whose backgrounds and contributions to MSU will help us identify the most qualified candidates. In keeping with direction from the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education regarding the size of search committees for executive-level positions, the committee will comprise seven individuals representing MSU students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Sarah Shannon, dean of the College of Nursing, will chair the search committee, with support from Greenwood/Asher and Associates, a higher education search consulting company, to assist us with the search. Amber Vestal in the MSU Office of the President will provide administrative support.

The committee members, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Taylor Blossom, student and ASMSU president
  • David Claudio, associate professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Norm Asbjornson  College of Engineering
  • Walter Fleming, professor and department head, Department of Native American Studies, College of Letters and Science
  • Mary Miles, professor, Department of Health and Human Development, College of Education, Health and Human Development
  • Abigail Richards, Faculty Senate chair-elect and associate professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering
  • Sarah Shannon, dean, College of Nursing
  • James Tobin, assistant director, Residence Life.

Finalists will be invited to visit our campus after the start of fall term, and we anticipate our new Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer will start no later than Jan. 1, 2019. In the coming weeks, additional information will be communicated about the process and calendar of events. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas for this position with members of the search committee so that they may incorporate your comments into the process. Please also join me in thanking these individuals for their willingness to serve in this important endeavor.



Dr. Robert L. Mokwa

Executive Vice President and Provost

Montana State University