University of Montana President Seth Bodnar says the country is facing very "challenging" times, and not just because of the pandemic. He believes universities can play a key role in fashioning an inclusive and cooperative future.
Bodnar made those comments today in a pre-recorded State of the University address, shared across campus in keeping with coronavirus safety measures. He said everyone had drawn on the "reservoir of what's best about us."
But he also acknowledged the divisions in the U.S., saying universities need to help solve challenges "beyond the pandemic."
"We see economic growth that has unfortunately left many behind," Bodnar said. "We see laid bare the damaging impact of systemic racism in our institutions. But it is in times of great challenge, that opportunity for hopeful renewal emerges. And at the heart of the renewal of this country must be public institutions like the University of Montana. Why? Because at its core, UM exists to foster inclusive prosperity."
Bodnar said UM is making progress in areas such as student recruitment and retention, but says the pandemic will have financial impacts.
You can watch the full address here.