Missoula Current

In a letter to the University of Montana campus community on Friday, outgoing President Royce Engstrom said he'll be leaving the position with warm feelings toward the school and urged supporters to back interim President Sheila Stearns, who takes over on Jan. 1.

The Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education announced that Engstrom would be stepping down from the position, effective Dec. 31.

On Friday, Engstrom issued the following letter:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As Mary and I begin our transition out of the Presidency, I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you for these past six wonderful years. UM is an extraordinary institution and one that is so important in today’s world. The people who make up this University – students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, and friends – collectively comprise the most passionate group with whom I have ever worked. I will leave the office with nothing but warm feelings for the entire University. Thanks to so many of you who have sent a message of support and encouragement.

I ask that you give your support to Interim President Sheila Stearns and Commissioner Clay Christian, who are good friends and colleagues, during the transition period. Many important decisions and opportunities lie ahead and I am confident that, working together, UM will continue along its path to greatness, a path that focuses on providing students with the best education possible, that produces some of the most impactful research and scholarship anywhere, and that contributes to the strengthening of our communities locally and world-wide.

Mary and I love this institution and we wish only the best for UM and for all of you. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Go Griz!