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Some of the protesters at the state capitol Wednesday
Corin Cates Carney

State lawmakers started taking up the challenge of Montana's $282 million budget shortfall in the first of two days of hearings in Helena today.

Seth Bodnar


The man who was named the University of Montana’s new president Tuesday, Seth Bodnar, has packed a lot into his 38 years.

Montana Department of Corrections

Tough decisions about state budget cuts are on the table before lawmakers in Helena Wednesday and Thursday. They’re facing a $282 million revenue shortfall.

A state agency facing some of the steepest budget cuts is Corrections, which stands to lose about $40 million.

Montana Capitol
Eric Whitney

Wednesday and Thursday will see a lot of debate over the state budget in Helena as an interim legislative committee takes up spending cuts proposed by Governor Steve Bullock.

University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

A faculty spokesman says he’s optimistic about the new University of Montana President.

Late this afternoon Seth Bodnar was named to the post and will take office, starting January first.

Bodnar is a Rhodes scholar with two masters degrees from Oxford University and currently an executive at General Electric. He is a West Point Graduate who also taught there and was chosen over three other finalists.

Lee Banville, the University Faculty Association’s spokesman, says the union is optimistic and this could be a new era for UM.