Seth Bodnar, the newly selected President of the University of Montana, along with his wife, Chelsea, met with members of the media at the Payne Family Native American Center on Campus on Thursday afternoon.

The Bodnars will be enjoying Homecoming activities, including climbing and lighting the 'M' on Friday night, being in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday morning, and attending the Football game on Saturday afternoon.

One of the first questions for the Bodnars was about how they met.

"We met on a bus going between Oxford and Cambridge," Bodnar began. "Chelsea and I met and played a game of cards, the outcome of which was somewhat disputed." To which Chelsea Bodnar replied, "In the spirit of transparency, I'll step in and let you know, I won that game," she said. To which he said, "All I can say is, I may have lost a game of cards, but I won a lot more."

On a more serious note, Bodnar, 38, is the third youngest administrator in the history of the Montana University System. He was asked if his youth poses a challenge as the president of a university.

"It's a huge responsibility," he said. "Chelsea and I both feel a huge sense of accountability and gratitude for the trust placed in us by the selection committee, the Board of Regents and this community, and we don't take that lightly."

Asked about the budget challenge facing the university, Bodnar said it's a topic he'll face every day, along with every other individual  on campus.

"We do face some budget challenges," he said. "We have to get to a budget that is sustainable in the near term, as well as for the long term. A budget that will enable the university not just to get by, but to invest strategically in the priorities to chart its success moving forward."

Bodnar said he's looking forward to working with interim President Sheila Stearns, waiting for the Board of Regents to confirm his selection as the 18th president at UM.



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