The Montana Board of Regents has scheduled a workshop on Feb. 17 to begin the process of finding a new University of Montana president.

UM President George Dennison earlier this week announced plans to retire in August.

The workshop will be held on the UM campus and is open to the public. The agenda for the meeting will include the search process for a new president and timelines. The regents want to hear from the public about the direction of the university.

The exact place and time of the workshop will be announced by Tuesday.

A similar workshop was held in Bozeman in May 2009 to begin the search for a new president at Montana State University. MSU President Waded Cruzado began work in January, replacing former President Geoff Gamble.

The regents have hired an outside consultant to assist the board in identifying challenges in the transition of leadership.

Dr. Stephen Reno, chancellor emeritus of the University System of New Hampshire, will assist Board of Regents chairman Stephen Barrett, regent Clayton Christian and Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns in conducting individual interviews in Missoula on Feb. 16 with university faculty, administrators, state lawmakers and other stakeholders. Reno will submit a report to the regents by March 1.

Following the mid-February workshop, an advisory committee for the presidential search will be formed, headed by Christian.

Reporter Chelsi Moy can be reached at 523-5260 or at


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