UND president’s search narrows to six

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The UND presidential search is down to six candidates.

The names of the candidates are protected by state law and had not been publicly announced as of Thursday afternoon, Oct. 24. By agreeing to visit UND, the candidates are acknowledging their name could go public at any time, committee members said. However, arrangements will be made for the candidates to visit campus later in November for about two days each.

Those visits should begin on or around Nov. 12.

The candidates will meet in open meetings with a number of interested parties, including students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members.

Denny Elbert, search committee co-chair, could not comment on where the applicants are from, but he feels the candidate pool is strong. The search committee spent two days this week interviewing 12 candidates for the job. The original application period netted about 60 candidates.


“I think the committee was very impressed and is very enthused about the individuals we’re going to invite in,” he said.

The next UND president will replace Mark Kennedy, who left UND earlier this year to become president of the University of Colorado system. Interim President Joshua Wynne has been leading the university since mid-June.

Wynne is technically not eligible to be the permanent president unless he resigns his position as interim president. Wynne, who is also dean of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, has previously stated he’s not interested in the job full time, as he’d like to return to his duties at the medical school.

There has been much debate about what type of person should lead the university in the future, whether the individual needs to have ties to UND and North Dakota directly; if they are a career academic, business person or politician; and what other qualifications they may have.

The next president could be named Dec. 3 during the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education’s scheduled meeting. That meeting is slated to be held on the UND campus.

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at or call her at 701-780-1134.
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