The new president of Montana State University assured students at Montana State University-Northern Tuesday that she wants to hear their ideas and suggestions and will try to find ways to promote and improve all units of the MSU system. “We are one university system, and every par t i s impor tant , ” President Waded Cruzado said. Cruzado was hired last fall to replace President Geoff Gamble, who retired after nine years as head of the MSU system. She is spending most of this week in Havre in listening sessions at Northern, talking to faculty, students and staff members as well as members of the community and the region. In her self-introduction to the students, with whom she met after a day of meeting with other groups at the university, Cruzado said she is a believer in the value of public universities. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she said she took advantage of the opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez in her hometown. After receiving a graduate degree from the University of Texas- Arlington, she returned to teach at her alma mater because she wanted to give back, she said. “I am passionate about land-grant universities,” Cruzado said, adding “Since their inception they have been devoted to educating the sons and daughters of working families.” Cruzado took the job in Montana after spending the last seven years at New Mexico State University, where she was provost and executive vice president. She said in an interview before the student forum that since she arrived in Montana, she has spent much time discussing the roles of the units of the system. “One of the main topics of conversation that we have been having over the last seven weeks is the fact that we should feel very proud about being one univers i ty sys tem, ” Cruzado said. “There are so many opportunities that we can identify if we come together and talk about the power of one university, always Keeping in mind the reason we are here. That is, we’re to serve our students and to serve our communities.” Northern student Dixie Geer told Cruzado during the forum that she is concerned about what Northern has lost over the years. It used to have a music program, high-quality tennis courts, a swimming pool and a day care, she said. “If we keep losing these things, what are we going to have?” Geer asked. “What will we have to entice students to come here?” S h e a d d e d t h a t t h e Bozeman campus doesn’ t seem to have those kinds of problems and asked if it could send some help the Havre university’s way. Cruzado said one of the reasons she is holding listening sessions is to find what problems and opportunities exist, and how to create or seize opportunities or find solutions to the problems. “We’re all in this together,” she said, adding that she will pay the same attention to problems and opportunities in Havre as she will in Bozeman. “We want to have the best university so our students feel very proud, our faculty feels very proud,” Cruzado said.
MSU president assures local students of support
Published: Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
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