Skip Navigation Links
O'Connor Center Advisory Board
Non-University of Montana Members
James Scott (past Center board chair)
Jim is Vice Chairman of First Interstate BancSystem (FIB) and President of the FIB Foundation. FIB is a regional bank with branch offices throughout Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. FIB Foundation is a charitable foundation supporting regional economic development. Jim resides in Billings, MT, with his wife Chris.
John Fields
John is a brother of Nancy Fields O’Connor and a graduate of UM (B.S., Forestry, 1951, John’s career with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management included  assignments in Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington, D.C., including as District Manager in Missoula and in Lewistown.  He currently resides in West Hills, CA.

Michael Gulledge
Mike is Publisher of the Billings Gazette and Vice President of publishing for Lee Enterprises, the parent company of the Gazette. Mike oversees 15 Lee newspapers throughout the western U.S. He is past chair of the Billings Chamber of Commerce board and the Montana Meth Project. He and his wife Susan live in Billings
Robert Nystuen
Bob is a native of North Dakota and graduated from North Dakota State University in 1975 (agricultural economics). His banking career spans over 36 years, the last 15 with Glacier Bank in Kalispell, MT, where he serves as President.  Nystuen is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Flathead Valley Community College and serves on the board of Montana Ambassadors.  He and his wife Kimberlee live in Lakeside, MT.
Earl Old Person
Earl Old Person has served as tribal chief of the Blackfeet Nation since 1972 and served on the Blackfeet tribal council for over 40 years.  He worked for the development of a tribal community college, industrial park, and community center and received the Jeanette Rankin Civil Liberties Award from the ACLU of Montana in 1998 for his leadership. He lives in Browning, MT.
Robert Rowe
Bob is President and CEO of NorthWestern Energy (NWE), a utility serving Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. He served as commissioner of the Montana Public Services Commission from 1993 to 2004 and was President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. He holds degrees from the University of Oregon (J.D.) and Lewis & Clark College (B.A., history, political science) and lives in Helena, MT.
Larry Simkins
Larry is President and CEO of Washington Companies and provides leadership and direction to individual Washington companies by serving as a member of the board of directors of each company. Larry also is a former Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and its Helena, MT, branch. He lives in Missoula, MT.
University of Montana board members

Royce Engstrom
Royce became the 17th President of The University of Montana in October, 2010, after serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at UM since 2007.  He also is Professor of Chemistry. 
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he served as a professor and administrator at the University of South Dakota. He has worked nationally in building university research infrastructure, educational reform, science policy, and undergraduate engagement.
Whittenburg Scott Whittenburg
Scott is the Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship at the University of Montana. Dr. Whittenburg received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Oregon State University in 1974 and a Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from the University of Utah in 1979. Prior to coming to UM in January, 2013 he was a faculty member at the University of New Orleans for 34 years, eventually becoming the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
George Dennison
After serving as UM's 16th President for 20 years, George is now UM President and Professor Emeritus with an office at the O’Connor Center. He previously served in academic positions at Western Michigan University, Colorado State University and in Arkansas and Washington. In recent years he has been an avid proponent of education reform and re-invention.