Calling his decision to leave USD "very difficult," Engstrom will begin his duties on the Montana campus, which is located in Missoula, this summer.
"Royce has been an integral part of success on the USD campus for three decades. His vision, leadership and commitment have served this institution well," noted James W. Abbott, president of The University of South Dakota. "While we will miss him greatly, this is a very exciting opportunity for Royce and his wife, Mary, and we wish them nothing but the best as they pursue their personal and professional goals."
Engstrom joined the faculty at USD in 1979 as an assistant chemistry professor. Since that time, he has served in several different capacities at USD, including chairperson of the chemistry department; dean of research and graduate education; vice president for research and dean of graduate education; and for two years he was executive director of the South Dakota Math, Science and Technology Council.
Prior to joining the faculty at USD, Engstrom was a teaching and research assistant at the University of Wisconsin at Madison from 1976 through 1979. He received his B.S. from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1975, and his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1979.
Honors he has received include the Burlington Northern Award in Teaching Excellence and the Ernest Buckley Award for Overall Excellence in Research.
"I think the world of USD and always will," admitted Engstrom, whose wife Mary is a member of the USD faculty serving as an assistant professor in the school of education. "It was a great place for me to grow personally and professionally, but I'm looking forward to new opportunities and new challenges at the University of Montana."
In addition to his work on the USD campus, Engstrom has been heavily involved with the National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Program � both at the state and national levels. He was also involved in the formation of the South Dakota Health Research Foundation, now Sanford/USD, which is a partnership between USD's Sanford School of Medicine and Sanford Health of Sioux Falls.
A native of Omaha, NE, Engstrom will oversee a curriculum at the University of Montana that includes offerings in forestry and conservation, and in pharmacy and allied health sciences.