About the President

President Seth Bodnar

Photo of Seth Bodnar

Seth Bodnar was appointed in 2018 as the 19th president of the University of Montana, where his primary objective can be captured by two words:  inclusive prosperity. Together with UM’s faculty, staff, and students, President Bodnar works to make a high-quality education widely accessible and to help every member of the community reach their unique, full potential.

During President Bodnar’s tenure, UM has significantly improved rates of student retention and persistence, created new and innovative workforce training programs in partnership with employers across the state, launched the largest infrastructure renewal ever at UM, and completed the most successful fundraising campaign in campus history. After multiple years of record-setting research growth, UM was reclassified in 2022 as an R1 research university, the highest of the Carnegie Classifications, representing less than 4% of universities nationwide.

Before joining the University of Montana, President Bodnar was a senior executive at the General Electric Company, serving as its first-ever Chief Digital Officer and leading GE Transportation’s Digital Solutions business. Prior to GE, President Bodnar served on faculty at West Point, where he taught economics. 

President Bodnar graduated first in his class from West Point, received both the Rhodes and Truman scholarships, and earned two master’s degrees from the University of Oxford. President Bodnar had 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.

President Bodnar is the son of two educators and the husband of a fifth-generation Montanan. He is proud to be raising three kids in Montana, and he considers it a great honor to be working on behalf of public education in such a special place.

Read a more expansive biography of President Seth Bodnar.