University of Montana President Seth Bodnar began his first State of the University address on Friday by presenting a CBS TV report that featured three UM graduates, Emily Graslie, Meg Oliver and Hank Green.

Graslie is now the Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Field Museum in Chicago, while the woman who interviewed her was Meg Oliver, a graduate of UM, and Hank Green, one of the world’s foremost bloggers, who assisted Graslie in starting the website Brain Scoop.

Using that introduction, Bodnar introduced an equation that exemplifies his philosophy of success at the University of Montana.

“So, why am I so confident that we’ll succeed in a time of such challenge,” Bodnar asked. “The answer is a simple equation that sits at the heart of what makes UM such a special institution, Q+A=T, quality plus access equals transformation.”

Bodnar went on to define UM’s overall mission.

“Because our job here is not just to provide an elite education for the select few, but rather an elite education that’s accessible to people from different starting points in all walks of life. This is a critical pillar of America’s long-standing social compact that promises a high quality, affordable education for all who seek it.”

Bodnar went on to list successes from every discipline on campus, from research to biology, the arts and media, the law and business schools in portraying UM as one of the top schools in the northwest for academia.

He said the institution must do a better job of telling its own story to draw more students to the campus, which will in the long run bring enrollment up to past levels.


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