Scott Harris Receives GNAC SAAC Faculty Mentor Award
Harris, shown here with 2017 MSUB men's soccer player Niklas Schregel, retired this spring after 31 years at Montana State Billings.
Harris, shown here with 2017 MSUB men's soccer player Niklas Schregel, retired this spring after 31 years at Montana State Billings.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – After completing a 31-year career on the faculty and a 15-year tenure as the school’s faculty athletics representative, Montana State Billings associate professor of economics Dr. Scott Harris has been selected to receive the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s (SAAC) 2018-19 Faculty Mentor Award.

A member of the Montana State Billings faculty since 1988, Harris retired from the university in 2019. During his tenure, Harris was active in advocating for student-athletes not only on campus but also at the national level.

“Dr. Harris has always had an open-door policy for student-athletes, general students and colleagues and has always respected their situation,” said the nomination completed by the MSUB SAAC. “He challenged students and colleagues to think critically and introspectively and was always honest and fair with each one.”

In his role as faculty athletics representative, Harris was named an NCAA FAR Fellow and was an invited participant in the first NCAA Advanced Leadership Institute. At that event, he was a member of a team that developed the NCAA Division II Model FAR document. He has also been active on a number of other conference and NCAA committees.

Harris was active in working with numerous MSUB student-athletes in attaining NCAA Postgraduate and Degree Completion scholarships. “Thanks to Dr. Harris, this scholarship opportunity was on my radar early in my career and I was able to set goals and maintain my athletics and academic status to be considered when the time came,” said MSUB men’s basketball student-athlete Sven Jeuschede, who received an NCAA Degree Completion Scholarship. “Without this scholarship, it would have been very difficult for me to finish my student teaching. I am so grateful that I will be able to do so without having to worry about financial hardship.

“Dr. Harris goes above and beyond for the students of MSUB,” said Jeuschede, who is on track to graduate with his degree in education in fall 2019. “I will forever be grateful for him and his thorough work in helping me with the application process.”

Before becoming FAR, Harris served as president of the MSUB Faculty Association and served one year as the interim dean of the university’s College of Business. On multiple occasions, Harris accompanied MSUB students to Japan as part of an exchange with the Prefectural University of Kumamoto.

Within the community, Harris has served on the board of directors for Parents Let’s Unite for Kids, a statewide organization that assists children with special needs and serves as a resource and network for parents. He serves as a district administrator for Little League of Montana, is a Little League umpire and has been a Little League softball coach.

Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Davis in 1971. He completed his master’s in economics at UCLA in 1975 and his Ph.D. at UCLA in 1985. Before arriving at MSUB, Harris taught at Cal State LA, Pepperdine, Chapman, the Western State University College of Law and UCLA.

Presented annually by the GNAC SAAC, the Faculty Mentor Award honors faculty members at member institutions that demonstrate exemplary support to student-athletes both on and off the field of competition while representing the NCAA Division II core values of learning, passion, service, resourcefulness, sportsmanship and balance. Award recipients should have a strong commitment to preparing student-athletes to excel in their endeavors after their careers have ended.

Past recipients of the GNAC SAAC Faculty Mentor Award include Laura Reid of Simon Fraser University, Amy Cooper of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kevin Bartlett of Seattle Pacific University and Emily Vela-Haynes of Western Oregon University.

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