University of North Dakota — President

The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education and the University of North Dakota community invite nominations and applications for the position of president of the University of North Dakota. The successful candidate will succeed President Mark Kennedy, the University’s 12th president, who served from October 2016 to June 2019. The new president will assume office on or before July 1, 2020.  

Established in 1883, six years before North Dakota was granted statehood, UND is the oldest research university in North Dakota. It is the state’s flagship university and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Research University (high research activity) with a research- and sponsored-programs expenditure of more than $107 million per year. UND offers degrees in more than 225 fields of study; the university’s student population numbers about 10,500 undergraduates and 3,200 graduate and professional students in graduate, law or medical programs, including 39 doctoral programs, supported by more than 2,400 faculty and staff. The University’s total revenue for FY2018 was $460 million, of which 22 percent came from state appropriation. The remaining revenue comes from tuition and fees, grants, contracts and other University activities.

Known for its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, UND sustains its strong core in the liberal arts and sciences while offering world-class programs in aerospace, business, education, engineering, law, medicine and health sciences, and nursing disciplines. The College of Arts & Science’s annual Writers Conference has hosted some of the most influential writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including four Nobel laureates and 33 Pulitzer Prize winners; the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences has the largest nonmilitary training fleet of aircraft in the world; the College of Business & Public Administration’s accreditation places it as one of the top 5 percent in the world; the College of Education & Human Development offers programs leading to over 20 different areas of educators licensure; the Energy & Environmental Research Center, with more than 1,300 clients in 22 states and 13 countries, and the College of Engineering & Mines are among the world’s leaders in energy research and technology; the School of Law is considered among the best values in the nation; the School of Medicine & Health Sciences has one of the top rural medicine programs in the country; and the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines is home to the Recruitment/Retention of American Indians into Nursing Program, which has graduated the most American Indian nurses in the country. UND also has seen major growth and positive change in recent years, including dramatically expanded research; increased enrollment; an award-winning “Essential Studies” general education program; high-quality, intellectually rigorous, novel online education programs in almost every college; an upgraded campus technology infrastructure; an endowment of nearly $279 million as of FY2019; and an expansion of the campus with several new buildings, and significant renovations of academic learning environments and student service spaces. Student athletes compete in 17 NCAA Division I sports, and UND boasts eight national championships in men’s hockey.

This is an exciting opportunity for an inspiring and innovative leader to build upon the traditional strengths of UND to help the University take its place among the leading institutions in the nation and beyond. The successful candidate must exhibit a commitment to lifelong learning, teaching, research, and creative and scholarly activity. The new president should have the skills to foster consensus and shape a compelling, strategic vision for UND’s immediate and long-range future. The community expects a transformational leader, a vigorous advocate and a staunch supporter.

Preferred applicants will possess the following attributes (in no particular order):

  • Proven success as an educator, scholar and senior administrator, along with an understanding of undergraduate and graduate learning and the role of professional education and economic development within a research university.
  • Demonstrated leadership, including excellent spoken and written communication skills. 
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in an effective, inclusive visioning and strategic planning process with specific goals and the means to achieve them. 
  • Demonstrated ability to be the voice and face of UND when interacting with its internal and external communities, including the state Legislature, tribal leaders, business community, foundations, K-12, the statewide higher education sector and constituents from all parts of the state, nation and world. 
  • A commitment to student-centered learning and devotion to access and success in all areas of student academics and activities, including Student Affairs and Division I intercollegiate athletics.
  • Demonstrated ability to promote research, innovation and scholarly and creative activities. 
  • A deep knowledge of financial management and resource generation across the diverse disciplines comprising a flagship research university, with a track record of success in fundraising pursuits.
  • Demonstrated ability to assess, strengthen and develop a cohesive senior team with the ability to advance the University.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster and work effectively within a system of collaborative governance, using a consultative style and supporting professional development for faculty and staff. 
  • Demonstrated ability to create an inclusive environment to recruit and retain a diverse and representative population of faculty, staff and students. 
  • An appreciation for an influential, active alumni base in the state, country and world.
  • Demonstrated personal and professional honesty, integrity and fairness, along with a commitment to foster a culture of openness, transparency and cooperation among the various constituencies of the University and the greater Grand Forks and North Dakota community.
  • Demonstrated ability to address challenging issues through assimilating varied opinions and inputs and making and communicating complex decisions.
  • An understanding of the opportunities that new advances in technology bring to the current and future learning environments.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the University of North Dakota, the North Dakota University System and the state of North Dakota. 

Minimum Qualifications: Post-baccalaureate degree, work experience. 

Candidates with an earned doctorate/terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education will be highly preferred. The successful candidate should be committed to working effectively in a statewide system of higher education (North Dakota University System) and with a statewide governing board (State Board of Higher Education). 

For best consideration, applications should be received by September 15, 2019. The application should include a letter of interest specifically addressing the applicant’s background in relationship to qualifications described, including any connections to the University, system or state, (not more than three pages); a current résumé (or curriculum vitae); and the names of five professional references with each reference’s position, office or home address, email address and telephone numbers. References will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant. The new president will assume office on or before July 1, 2020.  

The UND Presidential Search Committee is being assisted by Jim McCormick,, 651-238-5188, and Janice Fitzgerald,, 717-580-0663, Executive Search Consultants, AGB Search. Nominations and applications should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to Additional University information may be found at

EEO Statement
UND is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Veterans Preference
Veterans claiming preference must submit all proof of eligibility by the closing date. Proof of eligibility includes a DD-214 and, if claiming disabled status, a current letter of disability from the VA dated within the past 12 months.

Confidentiality of Application Materials; Records Retention
Pursuant to NDCC 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications that identify an applicant are confidential, except records related to the finalists for the position, which are open to the public after the search committee has identified the top three finalists who will be invited to campus. Pursuant to the North Dakota University System’s General Record Retention Schedule, all records related to this search will be maintained for a minimum of three years, and all applications and related materials shall be retained for a minimum of six years, though the application materials of non-finalists shall remain confidential.

Successful completion of a criminal history background check on the finalists is required.

Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States. The North Dakota University System does not provide sponsorships.

Anyone needing assistance or accommodations during any part of the application or interview process should contact Terry Meyer, Chief of Staff, at email:, phone: (701) 328-2963 or (701) 400-7025, fax: (701) 328-2960, or TTY: 1 800 366 6888.