UM Hires New Research Vice President

Nov. 21, 2012


The University of Montana has hired Scott Whittenburg as its new vice president for research and creative scholarship.

Whittenburg currently is vice president for research and economic development at the University of New Orleans. He will start his new duties at UM on Jan. 2.

Whittenburg has worked at UNO since 1979, starting as an assistant professor of chemistry and eventually serving as dean of the graduate school before taking over as vice president for research and economic development. He received a physical chemistry doctorate from the University of Utah and completed his undergraduate degree at Oregon State University.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Whittenburg join us at UM,” President Royce Engstrom said. “Research is a central aspect of UM’s mission, contributing to fundamental knowledge, improved quality of life and economic development. Scott understands all of those areas, bringing to the position tremendous productivity as a researcher, himself, and as an experienced administrator in a research-intensive environment. UM is definitely on the move as a research institution, and Scott will accelerate that trajectory.”

Whittenburg was chosen for the position after a national search that brought four finalists to campus for interviews.

“I am excited about the opportunity to help UM grow its research enterprise and expand its nationally recognized creative and academic programs,” Whittenburg said. “I look forward to working with President Engstrom, the leadership team and the students, faculty and staff to reach the vision outlined in the UM strategic plan.”

Upon Whittenburg’s arrival, Interim Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship Dave Forbes will return to his position as dean of the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences.

“We thank Dave for his good work,” Engstrom said. “He has helped chart the path for the future of research at UM.”

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship supports the educational and research mission of UM through advocacy and advancement of basic and applied research, creative work and academic scholarship. In recent years the University has garnered $60 million to $70 million in external funding to support its research mission. For more information visit