GE, military veteran takes helm at UM
MISSOULA – Seth Bodnar will be the next president of the University of Montana.
Fran Albrecht, chair of the Montana University System Board of Regents, said board members reached consensus in confidently supporting Bodnar as the type of transformational leader UM needs now and well into the future.
She said Bodnar’s vision for UM and his proven leadership skills are the right fit for a university that has begun the process of refining its program relevancy and is repositioning for institutional growth and strength.
“Seth has a remarkable record of excellence in his academic achievements, public service and visionary leadership, and is someone who uniquely understands the critical importance of a liberal arts education across disciplines,” Albrecht said. “As the so-called ‘non-traditional’ candidate, Seth inspired and generated confidence across the community, alumni, students and the University community in his ability to champion and re-envision a University that addresses the challenges facing students and higher education today.”
Bodnar and Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian both indicated Bodnar’s view of education’s role in transforming individual lives and strengthening communities contributed strongly to the presidential job offer and acceptance.
Bodnar, a Rhodes and Truman scholar, earned two master’s degrees at Oxford University. He graduated first in his class at West Point and later taught classes as a faculty member at the military academy.
Bodnar completed a distinguished military career, serving in the 101st Airborne Division and the U.S. Army’s First Special Forces Group. As a member of the Army’s elite Green Berets, he commanded a Special Forces detachment on multiple deployments around the world and later served as a special assistant to the commanding general in Iraq. He was promoted early to the rank of major.
Bodnar is a senior executive at General Electric Co., where he is responsible for long-term strategy and business transformation at GE Transportation, a global company with over 10,000 employees and approximately $5 billion in revenue. Previously, he was president of GE Transportation’s Digital Solutions business and was GE Transportation’s first-ever chief digital officer.
He will be the University of Montana's 18th president.