BUTTE — He moved to a bigger city but a smaller campus.
Dr. Les Cook became Montana Tech’s 12th Chancellor in July.
Dr. Cook joined Montana This Morning’s Chet Layman live Thursday morning as part of a regular series looking at the Butte university.
Dr. Cook spent the past 16 years at Michigan Tech in Houghton, Michigan a town of 7,500 people. Dr. Cook says he was interested in Butte because of its rich history and Montana Tech is much like his former school. Dr. Cook also says living on campus allows him to always feel a part of the life that is Montana Tech. He says everyday he learns something new about the campus or Butte itself and he’s been walking around with a smile on his face since arriving in July. What follows is his bio provided by Montana Tech.
"As the 12th chancellor of Montana Technological University, Dr. Les Cook is focused on advancing Montana Tech while listening, learning, and engaging with all Montana Tech constituents.
Before his appointment as chancellor on July 1, 2019, he spent 16 years at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) in Houghton, Michigan. At Michigan Tech, he held numerous leadership positions including vice president for strategic university partnerships, vice president for student affairs and advancement, vice president for student affairs, and vice provost and dean of students. He led advancement, alumni engagement, athletics, dean of students, enrollment management, student affairs and university marketing and communications. Under Cook's leadership Michigan Tech experienced significant increases in enrollment, student success and fundraising. Cook was named a NASPA Pillar of the Profession in 2016.
Prior to Michigan Tech, Dr. Cook held positions at the University of the Pacific, University of Utah, and Salt Lake Community College.
Dr. Cook holds a doctorate of education in educational leadership from Brigham Young University; a master’s degree in social science and a bachelor of science in political science from Utah State University. Dr. Cook also completed Harvard University’s Institute on Educational Management.
Cook is actively involved with a number of professional and student service associations. He is chair-elect of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Foundation Board and former region IV-East vice president, and NASPA national board member. Cook served as chair of the chief student affairs officers group for the Michigan Association of State Universities and is on the board for Student Affairs Today. Cook has long served as a lead faculty member for the LeaderShape Institute, is a lifetime member of the National Orientation Directors Association, has been an active member of the Association for Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Cook was actively involved in his community in Michigan serving on the Houghton Downtown Guidance Team, Dial Help board of directors and the Keweenaw Community Foundation Board.
Les and wife, Stephanie, have two grown children: Cole, who lives in Phoenix, AZ; and Adison, a senior at Michigan Tech."