On Dec. 3., the University of North Dakota and the State Board of Higher Learning wrapped up their months-long search for the new president. Dr. Andrew Armacost has been named the 13th president of UND and will likely begin on or after June 1, 2020. The Presidential Search Committee had its first meeting on July 24, 2019, with multiple candidates in mind. The candidates were narrowed down to six people before they came to the UND campus and spoke with forums. Another meeting was held after the candidates came to visit, which narrowed the field down to three candidates. The three candidates were then interviewed by the Presidential Search Committee in order to determine the next president. After much deliberation, Dr. Armacost was named to be president of UND.
Armacost was thrilled with the announcement that he will be the next president. In his words, he was overwhelmed.
“I am completely and utterly overwhelmed. Earlier today, I was walking along and wondering what my future would be like at the University of North Dakota. And as we were just hustling back from meeting with the students, I found myself almost sprinting – sprinting with purpose, sprinting with excitement, sprinting knowing that I have this incredible opportunity to lead this fine University for many years to come.” Armacost said.
After Armacost made his initial statement, he thanked Interim President Josh Wynne for his commitment to the university and his efforts to lead the university after the departure of former UND President Mark Kennedy.
“Furthermore, I thank Interim President Josh Wynne for his leadership of this institution. He stepped up in a major way. This is what leaders do when they’re asked to step up and take an important role. He has done that. I know he’s been a real breath of fresh air for the university, and he’s done amazing work. I look forward to following in the footsteps of many great leaders and really making a difference in the lives of people here in Grand Forks. So, thank you.” Armacost said.
Many questions surrounded Armacost’s start date as president. He insisted that he plans to start the move from Colorado Springs to Grand Forks and he’s eagerly waiting to get started as president.
“So it’s my pleasure to be a member of this community, to join the city of Grand Forks. And Kathy and I will make the journey to Grand Forks from Colorado Springs some point in the near future, and we’re eager to get started and eager to get the important work of this University underway,” Armacost said. “We’re building on a proud legacy of many great leaders, great educators, great students who have passed through the doors of the University. I’m proud to be part of it, and to be a member of the Fighting Hawks.”
After the announcement that Armacost had been named president and after his initial statement, the press was open to ask questions. Most of the questions referred to start date and aspects of the university, but some anticipated questions were asked as well. When asked about his first year in office, Armacost explained the process at which he’s going to interact with the community.
“I can guarantee you that it’s going to be a lot of time and effort spent with people individually and in groups to understand the issues they’ve faced, and how they think this University can grow and become even better. And this will consume a lot of time.” Armacost said.
Armacost was also asked about his commitment to the university and how long it will stand. During the community forums, Armacost insisted that this was not a stepping-stone opportunity.
“I can’t pick a number of years; but know that my commitment is a long-term commitment. I do not view this as a stepping-stone to other opportunities, but rather, I will live in the moment of leading this great institution and not looking forward to other opportunities.” Armacost said.
Interim President Josh Wynne is expected to continue his work until Dr. Armacost can begin as president. The search was long but necessary to find the most fitting candidate for the presidency. Congratulations to the 13th president of UND, Dr. Andrew Armacost, and thank you to Interim President Josh Wynne for your commitment to the university.