University Hires New Honors College Dean

May 08, 2019

Tim NicholsMISSOULA – After a competitive national search, the Davidson Honors College at the University of Montana has a new dean.

Dr. Tim Nichols will join UM in July. He most recently taught honors courses at the University of Wyoming, where he was the “first gentleman” spouse to UW President Laurie Nichols.

“'I am thrilled to be named dean of the Davidson Honors College and look forward to working with its students, faculty, staff – and partners across the University, community and country – to build on its strong foundation for an even brighter future,” he said.

From 2008 to 2016, Nicols led the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College at South Dakota State University through a period of unprecedented growth. He holds degrees in general agriculture (B.S.), adult and continuing education (M.A.) and sociology (Ph.D.). He was president of the Upper Midwest Honors Council and has been active in the National Collegiate Honors Council.

“Dr. Nichols presented a compelling vision for the future of public honors education during the interview process,” UM Provost Jon Harbor said. “I am confident that the Davidson Honors College will flourish under Dr. Nichols’ direction and that the DHC will continue to contribute significantly to the outstanding reputation of the University of Montana.”

Nichols grew up in Washington’s Yakima Valley. His great-grandparents settled in the Flathead Valley in the 1890s, and his late mother was a 1953 UM graduate. He worked with Native American students and communities in South Dakota and Wyoming and has facilitated study abroad experiences in Greece, the Galapagos Islands, Mexico, Costa Rica and Bolivia. He and his wife are the parents of two young adult daughters.

A college within the University, the Davidson Honors College offers an intellectual and social hub to exceptional students from across Montana and the nation. It builds adventurous, engaged citizens with critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as a healthy dose of Montana grit. Learn more at


Contact: Paula Short, director of communications, UM Office of the President, 406-243-2311,