Email to UM employees from President and Provost re: Instructional Staffing Plans

Nov. 7, 2018


We write to provide an update on the instructional staffing plan process and to share with you why we remain so optimistic for UM’s ongoing and future distinction. While this moment at UM has presented all of us with challenges, and in some cases has required considerable sacrifice, this moment also presents us with many reasons for hope — and confidence — in UM’s rise.

First, thank you to everyone who has worked to develop Instructional Staffing Plan recommendations during the last several months. We want to be clear that these recommendations are a critical part of a broader plan to address our structural deficit, which if left alone is certain to hamstring our future. Identifying and implementing solutions to this fiscal challenge has been postponed for far too long. We will not postpone the tough decisions any longer; we must address the structural deficit and give our campus breathing room to look forward — creatively and with hope. The building of the instructional staffing plans involved many hours of contemplation and an understanding that the outcomes would have real consequences for our community. These months have been full with important, creative and sometimes painful deliberation over our shared future — for our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. We are grateful for the collaborative work of the UPC and our shared governance groups in developing the overall process that guided this journey.

We have encountered bumps along the way, and we acknowledge that any process that evaluates such a complex suite of activities will have shortcomings. But our community has done its best in the face very large and real challenges and has kept the future stability, quality and distinction of our great university and its students at the center of every decision while planning to meet budget targets.

Please visit the Provost's UM On the Rise website for a summary of this process, for key highlights from the instructional staffing plans and for a summary of how we are meeting the budget targets.

We want to emphasize that the thoughtful hours the campus community has invested in this planning process is part of a larger institutional effort to set UM on a course for continued and heightened distinction. UM matters, and the value of the interdisciplinary education we provide is greater than ever. These are points that the president will continue to argue publicly, broadly, loudly and relentlessly. We are reasserting the power of a UM education in a world that requires agile critical thinkers and leaders. As the campus moves forward, the president will turn outward as a visible and tireless UM advocate, working to make the case for UM and to bring new students and new resource to the institution.

We look at UM’s current landscape and at our horizon with hope because we see evidence all across campus of our exciting future already taking shape. We have confidence that our shared work is worthwhile, that we are capable and that momentum is building. Click on the tiles below for just a few examples of this momentum.
Together we are building a platform for UM’s growth and distinction. Meanwhile, our reorganized and renewed efforts to recruit new students are showing impressive results. Applications are up, and our new admissions team is taking shape.

A UM education matters. UM research matters. Our collective impact matters. The "Power of the And" is strong at the University of Montana — not just in efforts to design the UM Core but also in UM exemplifying both an intimate learning experience and a world-class research enterprise. The Power of the And exists in what our students learn in the classroom AND what they learn after class. Students experience this power when they learn during lab AND learn on a dig. They experience it when they study together AND participate in internships at a local nonprofits. They experience it when they interact in classrooms AND work with mentors at local businesses. They experience it when they study abroad AND discover Montana up close.

And while the last few months have been difficult for our community, they have been necessary. The University of Montana is on the rise. And we look forward to working with you to ensure we continue to rise together for our students, faculty and staff.


President Seth Bodnar                   Provost Jon Harbor