The President’s Perspective

A message from Main Hall


Categories: Alumni , Campus , Academic , Athletics , History , Research , Arts

UM President Seth Bodnar finishes the Missoula Marathon
UM President Seth Bodnar finishes the Missoula Marathon

Greetings Griz Faithful,

Fall semester is in full swing, and the campus is buzzing with energy from our students, faculty and staff. We are all tremendously excited for this new year. Just a few weeks ago, I and the leaders of our faculty, staff and student senates presented the annual State of the University – my first as president. We broke from tradition by sharing the stage with our shared governance leaders because this University is not about one individual – we sent a strong message that our great University is the result of our entire team and the talents each of us brings to the important work we do each day.

In our State of the University address, three key themes emerged. First, our University is poised to respond to the challenges facing higher education today. We provide a high-quality education to students from all walks of life and starting points. We prepare these students for an uncertain world that will require their agility and creativity. I noted that our new students showed up on the Oval for Orientation not just with their duffel bags, laptops and the supplies to outfit their residence hall rooms. They came with hopes and dreams – their most precious possessions – and they’re entrusting them to us. We are, and we must continue to be, worthy of that trust.

Second, our work is worthwhile. Simply put, we transform the lives of our students, and they transform their communities and the world. We do that through an incredible array of exceptional programs, many highly ranked in the region and the country. We have challenges, of course. Enrollment, student retention, difficult decisions around how best to allocate our resources. But as we put students at the center of all we do – every decision, every plan, every story we tell – we will meet these challenges and maintain a course forward while offering our students extraordinary experiences.

Lastly, we are capable of this important work. We’ve built a solid foundation upon which to act with the UM2020 plan, the Strategic Vision and our work last spring with the University Planning Committee. We have our blueprint for success, and our task now is to implement our good ideas. The University of Montana must be clear not only in our values and principles, but also in the concrete and measured steps we will take to live up to them. When we do this, we will be worthy of our students, and we will make good our promise to provide access to a high-quality Montana education.

Our new provost, Dr. Jon Harbor, often remarks that our University is “on the rise.” We have an incredibly important mission, exceptional people and the resolve to write the next chapter for the University of Montana.

What an inspiring chapter it will be.

Seth Bodnar, UM President

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