The fourth and final candidate under consideration for the presidency at the University of Montana is Charles 'Chuck' Ambrose, the current President of the University of Central Missouri.

Before taking the post at Central Missouri, Ambrose was the President of Pfeiffer University in North Carolina.

Ambrose spoke to hundreds of people at the University Center Theater on Monday afternoon.

Ambrose, who has dealt with enrollment issues many times in his long career as a college administrator, said Montana should not look to the state for a solution.

“Many publics (public universities) put themselves in the position of thinking that the state should be our solution,” Ambrose began. “If we only had more money, if we only had more support. It’s really the inverse. We must look at ourselves as being the solution for the state, and if we have the creative energy that helps to answer those most important questions, many of the resource challenges will take care of themselves.”

Ambrose said there’s no way around the fact that UM must be more competitive in recruiting internationally.

“We’ll have to be globally competitive for students,” he said. “On the basis of a set of outcomes and value propositions that set the University of Montana apart. I think your mission and your scale and the personality of your faculty and your research agenda give you something to offer of distinct value to students, and then, in a very competitive environment, we must compete to win for those students to make the University of Montana their choice.”

Ambrose said an important piece of the puzzle is economic viability.

“To compete globally is one of those elements to reach the objective of our vision, to create an economic model that presents long-term viability for the future of the university,” he said. “I would commit to you to advocate every day for the support required, the resources that you deserve, and the reputation you demand for what is a great University of Montana.”

In early October, the Board of Regents and Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian will personally interview the finalists, and then the president-elect will be announced.

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