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Regents Approve New Montana Tech Chancellor

May 31, 2011

The Board of Regents approved hiring Donald Blackketter to become the next chancellor of Montana Tech of The University of Montana during its Friday, May 20, meeting at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell.

Blackketter currently serves as dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Idaho in Moscow. He will start his new job in Butte on June 27. Blackketter earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Wyoming. After earning his doctorate, he joined UI in 1989 as a mechanical engineering assistant professor and moved through the ranks to become a full professor in 1997. He was assistant director for the National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology from 1998 to 2005, including one year as acting director. In 2005 he was elected chair of UI’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and he accepted appointment as dean of the College of Engineering in December 2008.

Blackketter has been an active researcher for more than 20 years, focusing on solid mechanics and receiving more than $3.7 million in funding from a variety of sources. He has performed research and published in areas that include composite materials, biomechanics, numerical methods and hybrid vehicles.

“Dr. Donald Blackketter’s experience as a mechanical engineer and dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Idaho, coupled with his engaging personality, was just the right combination of traits that the search committee felt would serve Montana Tech well as chancellor,” said Doug Coe, the Montana Tech dean who chaired the 25-member search committee.

Blackketter will replace Montana Tech Chancellor Frank Gilmore, who served for 13 years. The new chancellor will earn $197,000 annually, plus the use of the chancellor’s house and car.


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