Bodnar looks to firm up UM strategy this spring - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Bodnar looks to firm up UM strategy this spring

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MISSOULA - University of Montana President Seth Bodnar says it’s time to take all the analysis and study of the past two years and boil it down into a single strategic plan by this spring. 

And he’s challenging members of the University Planning Committee to help develop a plan to reshape UM’s entire approach to future learning.

The goal of that strategic plan is center in the presentation Bodnar is making this week to faculty, staff and students as he aims to reset the university’s focus. On the practical side, that’s driven by a drop of nearly 4,000 full-time equivalent students in the past half-dozen years, forcing a $17 million-drop in tuition revenue. 

Bodnar says the school is already making short-term adjustments. But beyond that, he wants to kick start efforts to boost enrollment, retain students and help them learn skills needed for a rapidly changing world. 

That starts with taking all the work done by previous committees, and having the University Planning Committee distill it down to an action plan by May.

“Great organizations are continuous learning organizations that make a plan," Bodnar said. "They align a budget that supports that plan, they implement it and they assess it. And I think what’s really important for the University of Montana is that we institutionalize a continuous assessment and learning process. So that we adapt. That we learn and we change over time to best meet the needs of our students, the State of Montana and the nation.”

Bodnar is also challenging university faculty and staff to look at ways of “simplifying” and streamlining what they do every day in response to the cuts that have already been made, including the loss of 84 people to voluntary buyouts this winter.

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