UND President Mark Kennedy declined to answer Tuesday when asked if the university plans to fill open leadership roles, including the dean's office at the university business college.

"We have no announcement for anything definitive," Kennedy said, adding that he wasn't yet ready to announce "where we're going on that."

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The president was responding to a question regarding the status of a search to fill UND's top communications post, the position of vice president for university relations.

The university hosted three finalists for the job in early April but has yet to announce a final decision for a hire to replace retiring spokesman Peter Johnson. Kennedy said the university would release more information on the search this Thursday in a post on the school blog.

"We're going to speak to other outstanding positions" in that same release, he said, "whether that be the business college dean or at the Center for Innovation."

UND had been winding down search campaigns for both offices, hosting finalists for each in the past two months. Three prospective business deans were on campus in April, and a single finalist for the director position at the entrepreneurial Center for Innovation visited in March.

Both the college and the center have been without permanent leaders for about a year now.

Kennedy declined to speak to the status of any single position, saying he'd "just as soon have those all communicated in one block so that it all makes sense together."

North Dakota University System leaders have watched in recent weeks as Gov. Doug Burgum signaled the possibility of future budget cuts in his first set of funding guidelines. Such a reduction would continue a trend from the last legislative session that left many institutions making difficult choices about where to direct state dollars.

Kennedy said Tuesday that writing a state budget is a yearlong process with "multiple steps on the way" before any decisions are made final. The process is early enough that NDUS institutions have yet to receive budgeting direction from the State Board of Higher Education, the system's governing body.

Still, Kennedy said his upcoming University Council address will focus on the campus five-year strategic plan as well as "other actions we can take that can help us weather through whatever rough winds the budget might throw at us."

The address is scheduled for today at 3 p.m. in room 7 of the campus Education Building.