The state of Montana has brought forth an official request to be regionally realigned from NIRSA Region V to Region VI. In early September, the NIRSA leadership of Montana submitted the regional realignment proposal to the NIRSA Member Network in accordance with NIRSA’s new Regional Composition Policy.  The policy was adopted by the NIRSA Board, after the 2017 membership voted to approve removing the regional make-up in the NIRSA bylaws.

Montana’s rationale for the change of regions is primarily geography, given their proximity to other universities and colleges. Most of the colleges and universities in Montana are near the western boarder of the state, therefore several Region VI schools are much closer than those within their current region. Travel, networking, and student engagement would be more accessible with schools in Region VI rather than Region V.

Read the full Montana proposal.

All current Montana professional members support the proposal.  NIRSA Region V Representative, Chris Denison, and Region VI Representative, Brian Smith, are also in favor of the change.

The NIRSA Member Network has reviewed the proposal to verify the change will meet all requirements outlined in NIRSA’s Regional Composition Policy. During the September meeting they also examined the proposal for the following impacts to the association: NIRSA strategic plan, business operations, relationships, and member engagement. After review and discussion, the Member Network endorsed the proposal.

The next step, as outlined in the policy, is to solicit NIRSA member comments. Members are invited to provide feedback on the proposed change via email to a Member Network representative, in person at a regional or state conference, or via the member comment form available on in the announcement section of NIRSA Connect.

The member comment period is open through November 8th. In mid-November, the Member Network will submit the Montana proposal, Member Network commentary, and member feedback collectively to the NIRSA Board, who will consider all materials and make the final decision.

For questions about the proposal or to provide comment, contact Member Network Chair Jessica Gentry.