Steven Swinford named new vice president for student success at Montana State

BOZEMAN — Steven Swinford, a longtime faculty member and administrator at Montana State University, has been named the university’s new vice president for student success, MSU President Waded Cruzado announced today.

Swinford, who has been serving as interim vice president for student success since July 2023, was selected for the role after a national search. Swinford will assume the permanent position immediately.

“Over the years, Dr. Swinford has displayed an unwavering commitment to our students, and we know they will be in good hands with him at the head of this important part of our university,” Cruzado said.

The MSU vice president for student success provides oversight, management and strategic planning for Student Success’ many services, including Admissions; ASMSU; Campus Recreation; Dean of Students; Disability Services; Financial Aid Services; Leadership Institute; Registrar; Student Engagement; Student Wellness; and Veterans Services. The mission of Student Success is to enhance the learning environment of the university; support students in the attainment of their educational objectives; foster in students a sense of responsibility, self-directedness, community and a positive identity with MSU. The vice president is a member of MSU’s senior leadership team and reports to Cruzado.

Swinford has been at MSU since 1996, when he arrived as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He was promoted to associate professor in 2002 and later, in 2021, was named vice provost for curriculum, assessment and accreditation.

“I am excited to serve as MSU’s next vice president for student success,” Swinford said. “In Student Success we strive to cultivate a supportive environment for our students, one where they experience transformational growth on their journey to a college degree. I look forward to working with all members of the university community to ensure and celebrate the success of our students.”

Among other awards, Swinford was recognized with an Outstanding Teaching Award in 2009; an Outstanding Faculty Award in 2018; and an Academic Advising Award in 2020. His research focuses on adolescents and emerging adults experiencing intimate violence and substance use issues as they transition to adulthood. Swinford also participates in initiatives aimed at enhancing programs for student retention, persistence and graduation at MSU.

Swinford has a doctorate and a master’s degree, both in sociology from Bowling Green State University, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and history from Marian College.