Royce served as University of Montana president for six years and provost for three. Previously, he was a member of the USD community for 28 years, holding positions as a faculty member and chair in the Department of Chemistry, vice president for research, dean of the graduate school and provost. During his tenure, he was known for his staunch advocacy of student engagement, interdisciplinary learning and research growth.

Royce has been actively involved in the national agenda for higher education serving in leadership roles on the Council on Undergraduate Research, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Royce is married to Mary Engstrom, who holds a doctorate from USD and who also served as a faculty member. They have two children.

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