KGVO News spoke for the first time to newly named President of the University of Montana Seth Bodnar at his home near Chicago on Wednesday afternoon.

Now that he has accepted the presidency, Bodnar said he will take one step at a time when it comes to facing the challenges on the UM campus, starting with listening to the many voices on campus.

"I obviously am in the listening and learning mode right now," said Bodnar. "I had a great call with President Stearns this morning, and she is committed to working together with me to make sure that we have a smooth transition. As I come on board, I am committed to listen and learn from faculty, from staff, from students, from alumni and from community members."

Bodnar, asked about restoring the University of Montana to being the premiere educational institution in Montana, said the challenge is there fr the entire campus community to tackle.

"When I visited the campus, I said that I believe that the University of Montana should strive to be the premiere flagship university in the mountain west," he said. "That's an ambitious goal and we have a lot of work to do, but my challenge to everyone on campus is to ask the question 'why not us'?"

Bodnar said he will move his family, his wife and three children to Missoula after the holidays and assume the presidency on January 1, 2018.

Hear the interview in its entirety by clicking on the YouTube video above.

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