Vice president of external relations at The University of Montana Jim Foley has decided to leave his position. The news comes after weeks of confusion from both Foley and The University of Montana as to why Foley stopped functioning as the university’s media point-man. Foley’s announcement follows announcements of  three recent retirees, namely vice president Bob Duringer, the chief legal counsel for the university David Aronofsky and dean of students Charles Couture. The flood of leadership leaving The University of Montana has many people wondering if the retirements are connected to the recent sexual assault investigations and the controversy involved. Below is the full press release sent to media outlets by associate commissioner of higher education for communications and human resources, Kevin McRae:

Vice President Jim Foley is stepping down from his position as Vice President for External Relations.  He will continue his work in university licensing and federal relations particular to research funding for the next year.  “My family and I are honored by the opportunity to serve the State and the University of Montana these last seven years,” he said.  “Both Julie and I believe we got far more out of the relationship with UM than we have been able to give back.  We are grateful for the friendships we have made with the many students, student athletes, and staff over the last seven years.  We look forward to our next chapter.”

President Royce Engstrom said that in his ongoing work to make cabinet-level adjustments, he is reconfiguring the position of Vice President for External Relations into a standard public university communications model to be led by a Vice President for Integrated Communications.  A national-level search for the Vice President for Integrated Communications will commence soon and be chaired by journalism Dean Peggy Kuhr.

President Royce Engstrom discusses Jim Foley’s new role and the university’s goals going forward: