Mark Kennedy is the next president of UND


Mark Kennedy will be the 12th President of UND when he takes office in July. Photo courtesy of

The director of the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and former Minnesota Congressman Mark Kennedy has been selected as the next president of UND. The State Board of Higher Education chose Kennedy as the best candidate in a highly competitive field of applicants. Nagi Naganathan and Steven Shirley made up the final 3 candidates recommended by the Presidential Search Committee to the SBHE.

Kennedy comes to UND with a background of proven leadership in retail, education and public service. He served a vital role in re-branding Federated Department Stores into Macy’s, one of the largest department stores in the world. He also served as an advisor on international trade during Barack Obama and George W. Bush’s presidency. Kennedy’s financial insight will be put to use with the current budget shortfall at UND.

Inclusion was also listed as a focus for Kennedy, according to the letter accompanying his application. He is perhaps the only Congressman to teach regularly in a Muslim nation. As a Republican congressman, Kennedy often partnered with Democrats to introduce legislation. His focus on diversity inclusion includes all demographics, including American Indians, according to Kennedy’s application letter.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as the next president of UND. It is important to have quality education for students and research that impacts our community, state and nation. As a leader, I will be collaborative, accessible and seek input from all constituents to connect and have a shared vision for UND. We are focused on the future,” Kennedy said in a statement.

Kennedy will replace Interim President Ed Schafer, who will be vacating his position on June 30.

Nick Sallen is the opinion editor for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]