The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education has now entered into its deliberation phase to select UND's next president.

The board spent an hour with each candidate, interviewing them in an open meeting.

The meeting has now entered executive session for an undetermined amount of time as they discuss the finalists. When executive session ends the board will announce who will become the next president of UND in an open meeting.

Here are three takeaways from each finalist's interview:

Andrew Armacost

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UND presidential finalist Andrew Armacost answers a question during an interview with the State Board of Higher Education. (Sydney Mook / Grand Forks Herald)
UND presidential finalist Andrew Armacost answers a question during an interview with the State Board of Higher Education. (Sydney Mook / Grand Forks Herald)

Andrew Armacost, the former dean of the faculty for the U.S. Air Force Academy, was up first before the board.

He spoke about his leadership philosophy is "largely collaborative" and wants input from all areas of campus, including students, faculty and staff. Armacost pointed to his experience helping to start a faculty senate organization at the U.S. Air Force Academy campus.

Speaking about UND's strategic plan, Armacost said he feels the UND plan is "strong" but is missing aspects of community and building community on campus. He said he would consider adding that to the plan if he's selected as president.

Armacost also spoke about the nickname he had earned while at the Academy. He said he views the name "Uncle Andy" as a term of endearment and respect from his cadets. He noted that he likely got that name because he earned those individuals' respect by being present with cadets.

He said he knows that he would not walk into campus with that nickname and would have to earn the respect of the campus community.

Read more about Armacost:

David Rosowsky

David Rosowsky, finalist for UND president, listens as a question is asked of him during his interview for president. (Sydney Mook / Grand Forks Herald)
David Rosowsky, finalist for UND president, listens as a question is asked of him during his interview for president. (Sydney Mook / Grand Forks Herald)

Next up was David Rosowsky. The University of Vermont professor and former provost at the university,

Rosowsky spoke about the importance of campus interaction and being visible on campus. He says the students, staff and faculty know who he is on campus because he and his family are so involved. He added he is a "gregarious" person, who would bring the same energy to UND if selected.

He also spoke briefly about the vote of no confidence as provost at the University of Vermont in April 2018. He said the vote, which came anonymously from a small amount of faculty on campus, had an impact on him. He knows he doesn't always make the popular decision, but does try to give everyone a voice. That situation helped him learn new ways to communicate with campus.

Rosowsky also noted that he "doesn't have all the answers." He said he surrounds himself with smart people to help him make decisions. He added he's "not driven by ego but outcomes."

Read more about Rosowsky:

Laurie Stenberg Nichols

Laurie Stenberg Nichols, finalist for UND president, answers a question during a State Board of Higher Education interview. (Sydney Mook / Grand Forks Herald)
Laurie Stenberg Nichols, finalist for UND president, answers a question during a State Board of Higher Education interview. (Sydney Mook / Grand Forks Herald)

Laurie Stenberg Nichols, former president of the University of Wyoming and current interim president of Black Hills State University, was last to be interviewed.

Nichols said the most difficult situation in her career came when she arrived at the University of Wyoming in 2016. The campus was forced to make huge budget reductions in her first few months in office. She said listening to people became very important to her.

Through those budget cuts came a strategic plan, said Nichols, adding it was important to start that strategic planning process because she wanted to help give the campus hope for the future. She feels listening and problem solving are two of her strongest attributes though those experiences.

Nichols also was able to address a controversy hanging around her. Nichols' contract at the University of Wyoming was not renewed earlier this year by the Board of Regents. Very little is known about the situation and Nichols said, despite asking multiple times, she has never been given a reason why the contract was not renewed. She pointed out that media in Wyoming are suing for the rights to documents about the situation.

Read more about Nichols:

Who would you choose to be the next president of UND?

Thank you for voting!

  • Andrew Armacost

    73%

  • David Rosowsky

    10%

  • Laurie Stenberg Nichols

    17%