MISSOULA — A university dean says only one female permanent dean remains at the University of Montana, creating a gender balance issue.

The Missoulian reported last week that Dean of Libraries Shali Zhang was left as the lone female permanent dean after two other female leaders left their posts.

Christopher Comer, who leads the College of Humanities and Sciences, says the departures have created an issue that cannot be ignored.

Women currently outnumber men on the president’s cabinet, but ratio will change after President Shelia Stearns and interim Provost Beverly Edmond leave the university.

University leaders say the institution is committed to diversity in its hires.

The university is also working to groom existing faculty to take on leadership roles.

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