Three former administrators and one current faculty member have filed a suit against the University of Montana, accusing it of sex discrimination, the Associated Press reported. The women say the university is operated like a “good ‘ol boys’ club” and specifically pointed to President Seth Bodnar, who they say created a campus where women were belittled. Bodner came to the university in 2018, after working as an executive in General Electric Company, teaching economics at West Point, and serving in the U.S. Army Special Forces Group.
One of the women, Catherine Cole, also started in 2018 as university’s vice president of enrollment management and strategic communication. She was earning $170,000 a year when she started — the lowest salary among the university’s vice presidents, according to the court filing. In her time at the university, Cole said Bodnar “micromanaged, continually altered and changed her goals and job duties and set unreasonable expectations,” according to the suit. He also made remarks on her demeanor and physical appearance, telling her she was moody at times, asking her to smile, criticizing her tone of voice and commenting on her weight. She left the university in 2020, due to the “unprofessional toxicity and discrimination” she faced.
The university and the Montana University System issued a statement denying the allegations.