UND will have a temporary leader for about six months next year.

In June, President Robert Kelley announced his intention to retire as of January 2016. After a new chancellor for the State Board of Higher Education came aboard in July, a presidential search committee was appointed in August.

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Meeting minutes from a Sept. 3 UND University Senate meeting show committee co-chairman and dean of the UND College of Engineering and Mines Hesham El-Rewini said Kelley's replacement won't take office until July 2016, creating a six-month vacancy.

SBHE spokeswoman Billie Jo Lorius said SBHE Chancellor Mark Hagerott will recommend candidates for the interim position to the full board for approval, but a timeline isn't set yet because the focus right now is on appointing a Dickinson State University president.

Lorius said the process will be the same as it has been for DSU and Valley City State University, which have both had leadership changes in the last year.

"(Hagerott) would consider a wide range and variety of people as he looks at the process of preparing to look for an interim president at UND," she said.

Jim Ozbun, the former president of North Dakota State University, has been serving as DSU's interim president since early August. He was chosen by the board over two other candidates forwarded by Hagerott: Larry Skogen, Bismarck State College president and former SBHE chancellor; and Cynthia Pemberton, DSU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

VCSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Margaret Dahlberg served as interim president there for five months until December 2014 when Tisa Mason was chosen to fill the position permanently.

Executive Vice President David Clark was interim president Bismarck State College while Larry Skogen served as SBHE chancellor from 2013 to 2015.

Lorius said candidates for UND's interim president position will most likely have a connection to the school and the community. She said Hagerott told her he doesn't have any specific names in mind yet.

Under board policy, the SBHE may appoint one of Hagerott's recommendations, ask for more or appoint someone else directly.

The consulting firm AGB Search recently held information-gathering sessions at UND for the selection of Kelly's permanent replacement, and the committee will meet for the first time in October.

AGB Search will eventually compile and vet a list of candidates for the committee to narrow down. El-Rewini said the goal is for off-campus interviews to take place in early February followed by on-campus interviews.

Names of finalists would be given to the SBHE Chancellor Mark Hagerott in March, and a selection would be made that month so the new president could start work July 1, 2016.

UND has had 11 presidents, including Kelley, and two interim presidents and since 1884, according to Herald archives.