The University of Montana selected a Washington State University professor to serve as the permanent dean for the College of Humanities and Sciences. Dr. Larry Hufford will take over the deanship on July 1. 

“I see considerable strengths in the College of Humanities and Sciences, and I am excited at the prospect as I look ahead,” Hufford said in a UM press release. “The UM faculty in humanities and sciences are incredibly talented and committed, and I look forward to my work with them.”

The largest college on campus has been without a dean since the fall of 2018 after former dean Christopher Comer returned to working as a full-time professor at UM. Jenny McNulty, a tenured mathematics professor, filled the interim dean position. McNulty also appeared as one of four finalists from around the country for the dean’s position. 

McNulty’s departure as interim dean leaves just five women on the 16 person UM academic officer group. Six of the seven permanent academic deans are men.

Hufford first earned his bachelor’s in Botany at the University of California. He has worked on post-doctoral research projects for systematic botany and natural sciences in the western U.S and started teaching at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1989. At Washington State, Hufford held three leadership positions in the last 10 years, including the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in Pullman.

The filled dean position leaves UM with three more colleges searching for permanent deans– the College of Business, the College of Arts and Media and the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation.