Keila Szpaller

Keila Szpaller

Keila Szpaller is deputy editor of the Daily Montanan and covers education. Before joining States Newsroom Montana, she served as city editor of the Missoulian, the largest news outlet in western Montana.

UM announces interim leadership at Blewett School of Law

By: - October 19, 2021

The University of Montana provost announced Tuesday the interim leadership at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law will be a trio of professors: Monte Mills, Sara Rinfret and Cathay Y.N. Smith will serve as acting deans as of Oct. 25. “I’m grateful to Professors Mills, Rinfret, and Smith for stepping forward at this critical […]

UM: Gender discrimination claims ‘false and inflammatory’

By: - October 18, 2021

Four women alleging gender discrimination at the University of Montana made “improper, false and inflammatory accusations” against the campus, and their complaint appeared to be “‘designed to provide quotations for newspaper stories,’” according to the response Monday from UM and the Montana University System. In court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Missoula, UM […]

Judge grants preliminary injunction in lawsuit against NorthWestern Energy

By: - October 14, 2021

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters granted this week a preliminary injunction on enforcement of a bill that aimed to help the coal-fired Colstrip power plant stay open — but legislation that the plaintiffs argue is unconstitutional. In the complaint, four of the Colstrip owners from Oregon and Washington alleged Senate Bill 266 impaired their contract […]

MSU holds grand opening for $20M American Indian Hall

By: - October 13, 2021

Montana State University will hold a grand opening Saturday for its new $20 million American Indian Hall, with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland among the dignitaries who plan to be in attendance. Walter Fleming, head of the Department of Native American Studies at MSU-Bozeman, said it’s exciting to host Haaland, a Pueblo of […]

PSC rejects NorthWestern’s request to increase base power costs

By: - October 12, 2021

The increase in July that many Montana power customers saw on their bills won’t be permanent — at least just yet. The Montana Public Service Commission denied last week NorthWestern’s application to increase its base power costs. In an earlier interim order, the commission had granted a request for a temporary adjustment, which NorthWestern had […]

UM: Computer Science faculty member put on leave

By: - October 12, 2021

A University of Montana Computer Science faculty member who had posted disparaging remarks about women, LGBTQ+ people and Muslims on his blog is on leave pending an investigation, UM said Tuesday. “That action was made last night,” said UM spokesperson Dave Kuntz in an email. “Mr. (Rob) Smith will no longer be teaching and he […]

UM: Computer Science faculty member under investigation

By: - October 11, 2021

An investigation of University of Montana Computer Science faculty member Rob Smith is underway following reports of derogatory statements about women and LGBTQ people he made on his blog, “Upward Thought,” a UM spokesperson said Monday. The Montana Kaimin reported this week that Smith had written posts that disparaged women, Muslims, and members of the […]

UM: Paul Kirgis to be ‘strong addition to the law faculty’

By: - October 10, 2021

An independent review of the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law will begin as soon as possible, and UM plans to launch a national search for a new law school dean. “The search committee for a new dean will include students, faculty, staff, administrators and community leaders,” said Dave Kuntz, UM spokesperson, […]

Law students feel relief at resignations, sadness at experiences of women

By: - October 7, 2021

News of resignations by the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana dean and associate dean of students elicited “widespread relief” from many students Thursday, some sadness the situation had to reach a boiling point, but also hope for a fresh start. “There’s healing to be done,” said Kirsten Gerbatsch, a […]

Paul Kirgis steps down as dean of UM School of Law; Sally Weaver also to resign as associate dean

By: - October 7, 2021

Paul Kirgis stepped down late Wednesday afternoon as dean of the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana. “I have come to the conclusion that the School of Law and its students would be best served by a change in leadership,” Kirgis said in a brief resignation letter. “Consequently, I have […]

Sidney law firm sues over vaccination prohibition

By: - October 6, 2021

Asserting Montanans’ constitutional right to “a clean and healthful environment,” the Netzer Law Office is suing Attorney General Austin Knudsen and Commissioner of Labor and Industry Laurie Esau over House Bill 702, which prohibits discrimination based on vaccination status. “Netzer Law has a duty to provide a clean and healthy environment to its employees, potential […]

UPDATED: Law students say, ‘Pack it out, Paul’

By: - October 5, 2021

Everett Johns stood on the steps of Main Hall on Tuesday at the University of Montana and called on President Seth Bodnar to ask for the resignations of Alexander Blewett III School of Law Dean Paul Kirgis and Associate Dean of Students Sally Weaver. “At best, they are incompetent leaders, and at worst, they have […]