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Montana University System Names Dr. Mary Sheehy Moe Deputy Commissioner for Two-Year Education

May 20, 2008View for printing

Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns announced today that she has appointed Dr. Mary Sheehy Moe, the Dean and CEO of MSU–Great Falls College of Technology, as the Deputy Commissioner for Two-Year Education in the Montana University System.

The Board of Regents increased the responsibilities of this position after the retirement of Dr. Arlene Parisot, Director of Two-Year Education and Workforce Development. The upgrade highlights a commitment to more affordable college access through two-year education. Nationally, two-year colleges are utilized as low cost entry points to higher education, with nearly 50% of America’s college students enrolling in two-year colleges. In Montana, two-year enrollments account for only 21% of the total number of students enrolled in higher education.

“Current trends and future projections demonstrate that postsecondary education is vitally important to individual opportunity and economic competitiveness in the Montana of the 21st century,” Commissioner Stearns observed. “The facet of postsecondary education that is most directly connected with those trends, but is woefully under-utilized by Montanans, is two-year education. We need a leader in higher education with a passion for the two-year college model and a vision for how to bring its advantages to Montanans of all ages. Mary Moe is that leader.”

Dr. Moe brings 36 years of experience to the position, 18 years of which have been in Montana’s colleges of technology. As the CEO since 2001, Dr. Moe led the College of Great Falls to the largest enrollment increases in its history, significant facilities and program expansions, and innovations in distance learning, healthcare partnerships and dual enrollment. Her contributions as a leader in higher education were recognized in 2005 when the Governor and the Montana Ambassadors gave her the Michael P. Malone Award for Outstanding Educator. As a high school English teacher, Dr. Moe also received the state’s highest honor in the K-12 setting when she was named Montana Teacher of the Year in 1987.

“It is very difficult to leave a job and a campus that I love, but this position calls me to a greater challenge and, I hope, a greater good,” Dr. Moe said. “I want to ensure that all Montana citizens, businesses, and communities have access to the benefits of two-year education and, more importantly, that they make use of that access.”

Dr. Moe will begin the transition into the new position immediately and assume it formally on June 16.

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