Opinions were split between those who wanted to retain interim Chancellor Ron Larsen and those who spoke in favor of launching a national search for the next head of Montana State University Billings.
Montana State University President Waded Cruzado hosted 2 forums Monday afternoon to hear from faculty, staff, administrators, students, and community members.
Cruzado says she admires the eloquence and passion of the comments. Afterward she was left rethinking her next step.
“This was not what I planned right before this meeting,” Cruzado says. “I didn’t know we would find ourselves in this situation.”
During the public gathering, she gave attendees her personal email address and encouraged additional comments.
“Now I like where we arrived together because there is consensus that more people want to be involved in this process,” she says.
After the forums she says she’ll give people about a week to submit any additional comments. She’s looking for comments that answer these questions, “What do you think about this process? What do they think about this moment in time? What is the best possible option for MSU Billings at this possible juncture in our history?”
Afterwards she says she will sit down with advisors, this includes Board of Regents member Martha Sheehy and Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education John Cech to craft a recommendation to the Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian.
Cruzado says not everyone may like her recommendation, but she’s confident in the process.
“What I heard and what I felt today that there is the will that no matter what decision we arrive together the entire community will be united behind it because we have a very pressing task ahead of us and we need to do this to benefit the students,” she says.