The University of Montana recently presented a ZOOM Town Hall meeting with alumni to provide an update on the COVID 19 situation, and the plans for in-person fall classes starting in August.

President Seth Bodnar spoke of some of the actions taken to help students and staff be safe and healthy as the fall semester approaches.

“We established the UM Health Advisory Committee,” said Bodnar. “It’s composed of faculty members from our School of Public Health and Community Health Sciences and other experts. Our chief medical officer here on campus and other operational leaders are also on the committee. We’re working through those plans right now, but it is very important to us that we have a safe healthy return to in-person instruction.”

Bodnar also praised the scientific community on campus for its efforts to find a COVID 19 vaccine.

“You’ll also be pleased to know that the University of Montana is having an impact on this at the global level,” he said. “Some of you may have heard about our Center for Translational Medicine that is led by Dr. Jay Evans and he’s at the cutting edge of vaccine development for COVID 19. They frankly are involved in all of the vaccine testing for COVID. They’ve got some multi-million dollar grants from the National Institutes of Health, and it’s really exciting to see the way that our faculty here on campus are not just helping our local community, but playing a key role in the global response to this pandemic.”

Bodnar also told alumni that his administration is looking to the future to help shape the university for years to come.

“We’ve stood up a team called the University Design Team that’s asking the question ‘what does a flagship of the future look like?” he asked. “What does our society and our community, our state and our nation need from the University of Montana, and how are we adapting to meet that need?”

Bodnar then took questions from UM alumni on a variety of topics.