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The University of Montana earned a record $87 million in research dollars in the last school year, President Royce Engstrom said Friday in his annual state of the university address.

"Through research, we are supporting innovation and entrepreneurship with several centers for excellence in innovation," he said.

The president also noted other successes and a couple of challenges, including enrollment, in the address given in the Montana Theatre on campus.

In a presentation that ran roughly an hour, the president highlighted faculty achievements, such as biology professor Doug Emlen's election to the national Academy of Arts and Sciences. Emlen is the first Montanan to hold the honor.

The president also outlined steps UM was taking to prepare for the future, including work on a strategic plan and launching new majors and programs to "prepare people for specific professions and opportunities."

UM has suffered an ongoing enrollment decline, some 20 percent since 2010 on the main campus, and in his address, Engstrom reiterated his philosophy about recruiting students to the university: "Enrollment is everyone's job."

This summer, UM brought on a new vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, Tom Crady. In a news conference after the address, Engstrom identified a couple of the goals he wants to see in boosting the number of university students in Missoula.

Currently, UM is "a few percentage points" away from enrolling 50 percent of high school graduates in Montana, he said. He said the goal is to be at 50 percent for students who choose to stay in the state.

An estimated 25 percent of UM students come from out of state, and Engstrom would like the non-resident student population to hit the 30 percent to 35 percent range, "a pretty significant increase over where we are now."

Watch Missoulian.com for updates to this story.

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