Rocky Mountain College
Rocky Mountain College President Michael R. Mace announced his retirement, effective June 30, at the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, Sept. 21.
“We thanked Mike for his dedicated service and with best wishes to him in his retirement,” said Carl Hansen, chairman of the Rocky Mountain College Board of Trustees. “We hired him for one year and we were fortunate to keep him for five more years. He leaves a solid record of growth with stability.”
Mace, who was named interim president on Oct. 12, 2005, when Thomas R. Oates resigned, was deemed “the right man at the right time,” by William Ballard, a member of the RMC Board.
Mace said he intends to enjoy “spending time with family, traveling, fishing, and relaxing” when he finishes his career at RMC.
“I’ve enjoyed the work I did at Rocky more than any job I’ve done in my life. I’ve been fortunate to work with great people doing meaningful work,” he said. “I feel we’ve accomplished what we set out to do: grow the endowment, the enrollment and maintain a balanced budget.”
Hansen said the college will conduct a national search for a replacement.
“We have Mike for another nine months and he will help with a smooth transition and finding a replacement,” Hansen said.
During his tenure, Mace was praised for leadership in the community, for fostering good relations with the college’s constituents, and for overseeing sustained growth in the college’s finances. The endowment and trusts increased from $17 million to nearly $30 million during his tenure; enrollment increased from 650 to almost 1,000 students. RMC’s annual scholarship fundraisers – Black Tie Blue Jeans – flourished during his presidency, with increases in total funds every year. The college continued to be named one of the best
colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, as well as one of the top five best value colleges in the West. Forbes named RMC the top college in Montana in 2010.
The Masters of Physician Assistant Studies program was also successfully reaccredited for five years, with its graduates testing in the top 10 percent nationally under Mace’s leadership. The 2012 class was in the top 9 percent in national testing with one third achieving perfect scores.
For the past two years and four of the last five years, 100 percent of RMC’s students have passed the PANCE on the first testing, averaging 92 percent.
“We are grateful for how Mike helped turn this college around. His successor certainly will step into a very much better atmosphere than he found when he took over,” said Barb Skelton, a current trustee and immediate past chair.
Mace has a bachelor’s degree in business from Montana State University-Bozeman and has a certificate from the Carlson Graduate School of Management at the University of Minnesota. The program teaches senior executives of Fortune 1000 firms a master’s of business administration curriculum over 14-months.
Married to Karen, a retired elementary school teacher, he has two children: Anne and Joseph.