On October 15, 2010, Royce C. Engstrom became the 17th President of The University of Montana. He joined The University of Montana in 2007 as Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Chemistry. Prior to 2007, President Engstrom spent most of his academic career at the University of South Dakota, first as a Professor of Chemistry and later in a variety of administrative positions, including Department Chair, Graduate Dean, Vice President for Research, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. As a chemist, he taught Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and General Chemistry, and conducted an active research program in electrochemistry and analytical chemistry.
Throughout his career, he has been an enthusiastic participant in undergraduate research, first as a student, then as a mentor, and finally as an administrator working to develop undergraduate research programs. He is a Past President of the Council on Undergraduate Research. He has also been active in the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a federal program designed to help states build their research infrastructure and competitiveness. He served as Chair of the National EPSCoR Coalition and the National EPSCoR Foundation. Engstrom is interested in science policy, higher education public policy, program development, and in building relationships between the various stakeholders in higher education.
Engstrom grew up in Nebraska and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and his Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His wife, Mary, is also an educator and has worked at both the K-12 level and the university level. They have two grown children, Tyler and Carey. In his spare time, Engstrom enjoys building traditional wooden boats and canoeing.