University of Montana hires Bodnar as 18th President - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

University of Montana hires Bodnar as 18th President

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MISSOULA -

The University of Montana has a new president, Seth Bodnar.  

Bodnar is the out-of-the-box choice having never led a university.

News broke just a couple of hours ago but word spread fast on campus.

ABC FOX Montana spoke with some UM staff, including acting President Sheila Stearns who couldn't be happier with the choice for the President.

Sheila Stearns said she'll be spending quite a bit of time with Bodnar prior to his January 1st start date.

“He was number one in his class at West Point in economics, which indicates to us that you are a scholar. Also, that you understand and have values throughout your college career and life. The importance of scholarship. Secondly his military career, leadership in tough times and in tough places,” said UM President Sheila Stearns.  

Bodnar beat out three other candidates who all had prior experience leading universities.

He is currently the Chief Digital Officer at General Electric Transportation.

Bodnar graduated at the top of his class at West Point.

He also was a Rhodes and Truman scholar at Oxford, where he received two masters degrees.

His stellar military career included serving in the 101st Airborne and leading a Green Beret Special Forces Detachment.

It was that out-of-the-box experience that impressed this staff member.

"I think he is a good candidate. I was impressed with his interview and I'm excited. I think it will be great when he comes. I think he has some creative ideas and will move us forward,” said Kathleen Whetzel, UM Assistant to Dean of Journalism.

Sheila Stearns added she will miss certain things about being President, especially the staff, faculty, and students on campus. 

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