Statement from UND President Mark Kennedy

President Kennedy named sole finalist for position of President at the University of Colorado

Mark Kennedy

UND President Mark Kennedy (above) says it is with mixed feelings that he announces that he has been named the sole finalist to be the next president of the University of Colorado and its four campuses. He and First Lady Debbie Kennedy are excited for the new opportunity, but sorry to leave UND. Photo by Jackie Lorentz/UND Today.

Today, the Regents of the University of Colorado unanimously voted to name me as the sole finalist for their next President to lead its system serving 67,000 students and conducting $1 billion in research on four campuses in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.

While I will be visiting the CU campuses later this month prior to the Regents making a formal appointment, I remain devoted to my role in leading the University of North Dakota through the academic year and the legislative session.

I will work closely with the finest legislative delegation in the state and our strong partners with Team Grand Forks – including the city, chamber and economic development corporation – to conclude this session in a manner that supports UND priorities, as I am hopeful it will.

The UND leadership team and I are focused on seeking approval for a 4% merit pool to make up for past pay freezes; investing more attention and resources to career pathways, faculty support, and staff training; continuing to advance our strategic investments in expanding student success, elevating our research, embracing diversity and our military partners; and concluding a strong year for fundraising.

Debbie and I thank you for your making us feel welcomed and encouraged. My nomination wouldn’t have been possible without the progress we have achieved together at UND. With our partners in the community and the state, we navigated fiscal challenges and embraced shared goals in our One UND Strategic Plan.

Together, we have brought about a remarkable transformation – a ten-percentage point improvement in our four-year graduation rate in just three years, a jump in research expenditures, hundreds of millions invested in campus renewal, and being named by US News as one of the nation’s 25 most innovative universities.

With mixed feelings, excited for this new opportunity, but sorry to leave UND, we look forward to keeping in close contact with our many friends in North Dakota and returning to witness UND’s continued progress.

Mark R. Kennedy
University of North Dakota