Montana Tech Hires New Chancellor

Montana Tech Hires New Chancellor


chancellor les cook An experienced leader who has worked at an institution with a similar focus, mission and community history will be the next chancellor of Montana Technological University.

Les Cook, vice president for strategic university partnerships at Michigan Technological University, will be Montana Tech’s 12th chancellor, the Montana Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education announced today.

“Dr. Cook brings great enthusiasm and a record of accomplishment with him. I’m certain he will put students first, have a commitment to helping faculty grow and engage industry in partnerships that will be good for students, the university and Butte,” said Clayton Christian, Montana Commissioner of Higher Education.

Cook has spent the last 16 years at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan where he has held numerous leadership positions including vice president for student affairs and advancement. There he led alumni engagement, athletics, dean of students, enrollment management, and university marketing and communications. Cook also serves as the chair-elect of the NASPA Foundation—the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession.

“I am deeply humbled and thrilled about the opportunity to lead Montana Technological University,” Cook said. “It’s no secret that Montana Tech is well known for preparing graduates for lives of consequence. Being ranked first in the country for best value engineering schools, the top university in Montana for return on investment and first in the nation for advancing social mobility and America’s economy is significant, but it all comes down to the people that make this happen. I’m inspired by all of those who have made Tech the institution it is today, and the possibilities for the future energize me.”

“My wife and I are looking forward to becoming Orediggers,” said Cook, about the university’s mascot and mining heritage. “Montana Tech and Butte are both gems. The community is so welcoming and passionate about Butte, and the university is top notch. I’m very impressed by the faculty, staff, and students and look forward to working with them and the community and looking forward to working with both to take the school to new heights. I absolutely can’t wait to get started.”

Before Michigan Technological University, Cook held positions at the University of the Pacific, the University of Utah, and Salt Lake Community College. He holds a doctorate in education in educational leadership from Brigham Young University; a master’s in social science and bachelor’s in political science from Utah State University.

Cook will begin his role as chancellor on July 1, 2019 succeeding Don Blackketter who is retiring after serving as the university’s chancellor since 2011.

The university will host an event in Butte for the community to meet Dr. Cook the week following Easter. Please check for further details.