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MSUB Chancellor Dan Edelman

MSUB's Chancellor Dan Edelman speaks to the crowd after his investiture in Petro Theater on Tuesday.

Montana State University Billings on Tuesday inducted its fourth chancellor, Dan Edelman.

University officials, leaders of other Montana institutions and MSUB community members filled Petro Theater for the event, during which Edelman said he hopes to make a lasting impression on campus.

"MSU Billings has been faced with many unique challenges and opportunities, but I know we can tackle them," he said.

He spoke about joining the Army out of high school. When he finished service, Edelman considered college, even though his parents hadn't gone that far in education.

Edelman ultimately earned his doctorate, and along the way worked as a certified public accountant, a professor and an investigator for the U.S. Department of Justice, among other positions.

He said he owed all his professional opportunities to continuing education, and as chancellor he said he wanted to extend opportunities to groups like veterans, minorities and first-generation students.

Edelman said he sometimes struggled to get through college, and through those struggles he relied on mentors and support systems.

"They do not need to struggle," he said. "We need to do more for our veterans and students to get them the services they need."

Montana State University President Waded Cruzado presided over the ceremony. She said she was confident Edelman would promote a students-first environment.

Cruzado, along with Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian, made it official, presenting Edelman with a medallion and mace.

"I believe that the community has found the right person for the job," Christian said in his remarks.

Edelman succeeds Mark Nook as the fourth chancellor since the university became MSUB in 1994. An interim chancellor, Ron Larsen, filled the role for about a year immediately prior to Edelman, who took over in May.

Edelman made moves in his first few months as chancellor during the summer. He appointed a group of interim administrators and said he identified 20 issues to address right away.

MSUB Academic Senate chair James Barron said he appreciated this style, calling it a "damn-the-torpedoes" way of taking action.

It's a characteristic Edelman accepts.

"As trailblazers, I also expect to kick up some dust along the way," he said.

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General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.