The University of Montana has named the new dean of the School of Business Administration, and he is Christopher Shook of Auburn University.

UM President Royce Engstrom said Shook was the most outstanding candidate from several finalists from across the country.

"He holds an endowed professorship at Auburn," Engstrom said. "We had a search committee that did an outstanding job and came in with a group of exceptional finalists. We had a hard decision to make because they were all so good, but we chose the person who brings tremendous talent, energy and enthusiasm to the position, and so we're set for the next era in the School of Business Administration."

Engstrom went on to describe the qualities that set Shook apart from the other finalists.

"First, he was an outstanding professor of business and administration there at Auburn," he said. "He brings a great deal of knowledge and experience from the faculty point of view and the administrative as well. He has a creativity and an energy that we will really put to good use designing programs for the future and making sure that we're offering a business curriculum that is among the best in the nation."

The Board of Regents just approved a new Master of Science in business analytics and the program will enroll its first students this fall. The school recently awarded a record 147 scholarships totaling more than $386,000 at the annual scholarship banquet. That same week, participants in the John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge received over $50,000 in awards. And earlier this month, the school celebrated the opening of Harold and Priscilla Gilkey Building.

Engstrom said Shook will assume his position as dean on August 1.