On March 19, 2020, University of Montana President Seth Bodner notified students that the remainder of their semester will be completed by remote instruction. UM will continue remote course delivery through the rest of the spring semester due to heightened awareness over the spreading of COVID-19. According to UM History Professor Mehrdad Kia, this was a challenge that all of his colleagues had to confront.

“Everyone had to think of what model of learning and teaching fits his or her students,” Kia said. “In my case, the model that worked the best was doing research and writing, and completing projects that resembled research papers.”

Kia said interacting with students from home has caused him to work much harder than if he was still teaching on campus.

“It has allowed me to spend much more quality time with students, responding to their questions, and responding to their comments, but also interacting with them in terms of deepening our knowledge while we are physically separated,” Kia said. “Students still continue to learn and we are continuing to teach.”

In addition, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education has canceled all in-person spring commencement ceremonies in the Montana University System. As a result, UM will not host its traditional in-person graduation ceremonies.

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