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UFA Statement on the Selection of a New UM President

The University Faculty Association wants to congratulate Seth Bodnar on his appointment as the 18th president of the University of Montana.

Throughout his public appearances and during conversations with UFA officials, Mr. Bodnar impressed us with his stated interest in transparent decision-making and commitment to making shared governance a real thing as opposed to a stated objective. While we understand some of our members’ concerns about Mr. Bodnar’s lack of academic leadership experience or doctoral degree, we also heard his commitment to creating a team of academic and administrative experts to help him guide a new UM. We are committed to helping the leadership of a new UM guide the university in a collaborative way that takes advantage of President Bodnar’s management experience and combines it with the academic experience with the faculty.

We also encourage President Bodnar to reach out to faculty, staff and student leaders to create a transition process that ensures short-term decisions based on budget reductions align with critical strategic efforts and we stand ready to help him during this period.

The UFA hopes that new management at Main Hall will work with faculty, staff and student leaders to create a new team to build a leadership team at UM, one that can create a new and effective group to design a University of Montana for the 21st Century.

We also want to thank President Sheila Stearns for stepping into the leadership role at the University of Montana and for guiding us these past 10 months. Her commitment to a strong University has been critical during this interim period to ensure we could navigate the immediate budget concerns while attempting to create a strategic approach to decision-making and we wish her and her husband Hal all the best.


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