Not everyone is happy about the hiring of GE executive and West Point graduate Seth Bodnar as the new president at the University of Montana.

History Professor Mehrdad Kia, an outspoken critic of the UM administration for the past several years, said the hiring of Bodnar fills him with ‘astonishment and anxiety’.

“We have selected an individual who has never run anything as small as even a department at a university,” Kia began. “He does not have a PhD, does not have any academic research record of recognition either nationally or internationally.”

Kia said the Board of Regents is ‘rolling the dice’ with the hiring of Seth Bodnar.

“So, we are rolling the dice, and bringing in perhaps the riskiest candidate of the pool of four,” he said. “I need to reiterate, as you have probably read in my ‘op-ed’, none of the four were really top-notch candidates, but at least two of them had credentials which were sufficient for becoming the next president. The man we have chosen as the next president does not have any academic research credentials that would make me very excited for his arrival as our next president.”

Bodnar was chosen from a field that began with 99 individuals, narrowed to 13, and eventually to four, all of whom made campus visits in the last two weeks.

During their visits, they made public and private presentations to the faculty, students and the Missoula community.

Bodnar accepted the job when it was offered on Tuesday afternoon, and will take office on January 1, 2018. His compensation has not yet been finalized for release by the Board of Regents, however, former President Royce Engstrom was paid $303,145 before he was asked to step down in December of 2016.

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