Engstrom to return to UM as chemistry professor

Royce Engstrom

By Martin Kidston/Missoula Current

The University of Montana’s former president will be returning to campus this fall, stepping back into the classroom to teach chemistry, the school confirmed on Wednesday.

Royce Engstrom served as university president from 2010 until last December, at which time he announced his resignation. Prior to his tenure as president, he served as provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Engstrom’s move back into the classroom was first reported Wednesday by the school newspaper, the Montana Kaimin, and later confirmed by UM spokesperson Paula Short.

“He’s a tenured faculty member in chemistry department and he’ll be returning the fall,” said Short. “I believe he’s teaching several courses this fall and spring.”

An academic planner listed Engstrom as the professor of Chemistry 104. The honors course is described as “a critical assessment of contrasting epistemological stances expressed in various views.”

Short said Engstrom may also teach in the Davidson Honors College.

Engstrom began his academic career as a chemistry professor at the University of South Dakota before arriving at UM. As president, he often spoke of his fondness for teaching.

During his tenure as president, he implemented the Global Leadership Initiative and a pushed to increase funding for research and scholarship.

At the time of his departure last year, the school had received $87 million in external research funding while the UM Foundation had raised $53.7 million – both marks setting a new record.