September 25-26, 2003
ITEM 120-2009-R0903 Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Physics upon Robert J. Swenson; Montana State University-Bozeman
THAT: Upon the occasion of the retirement Robert J. Swensonfrom the faculty of Montana State University, the Board of Regents wishes to express its appreciation for his service to the University, the Montana University system, and the people of the State of Montana.
EXPLANATION: Robert J. Swenson received his baccalaureate degree from Montana State University in 1956, and his doctoral degree from Lehigh University, completing the Ph.D. program in Physics in 1961. After postdoctoral research as a National Academy of Sciences Fellow at the Free University of Brussels, and at the University of Colorado, he joined the physics faculty of Temple University, where he served as Assistant and Associate Professor and Chair of the department. He joined the faculty of the College of Letters and Science at Montana State University as Professor and Head of the Physics Department in 1970, which he led until 1990. Professor Swenson subsequently served as the Vice President for Research, Creativity, and Technology Transfer at Montana State University from 1990 B 1998.
It was during Professor Swenson’s leadership as Department Head that MSU’s Physics Department was transformed into a nationally recognized center of research and graduate education, building the doctoral program while maintaining the historically strong bachelor's degree program. The connections between education and research were emphasized at all levels.
Professor Swenson received numerous honors for his teaching and research that have reflected credit on Montana State University, including two MSU Alumni and Chamber of Commerce Excellence awards for teaching, and being elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He led the growth
Professor Swenson has provided truly remarkable service to the state of Montana in his career. He received a citation from the Governor for his service on the state Science and Technology Council in 1985. He has played crucial roles in the development of the EPSCoR program, both at MSU and nationally, having served as the State Director of the Montana EPSCoR office from 1991-98, and having served as Chairman of the Board of the national EPSCoR Coalition 1995-1998.
For these and other contributions, the Board of Regents of Higher Education is pleased to confer Robert J. Swensonthe rank of Professor Emeritus of Physicsat Montana State University and wishes him well for many years in the future.