To the editor,
Mark Kennedy was neither the visionary nor advocate for the University of North Dakota that we wanted and needed. He was in Grand Forks for a title on his resume and not much more.
Did he do more harm than good, though? No. As a recent Denver Post article stated, Kennedy made tough decisions when tough decisions had to be made. The budget was slashed; he made cuts. These were decisions any reasonable leader would have made. Kennedy not only made a plan for the university, but executed it as evidenced by the extensive campus renewal now taking place at UND.
While I respect Kris Engelstad McGarry for her generous philanthropy, she seems too willing to pull her funds for personal grievances. I almost want to say she basks in the novelty of it. In April of last year, she pulled her $14 million pledge from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, also in protest of the university's president. Is it fair to blame Kennedy for her spectacle at UND? I'm not sure.
Kennedy brought back research to the university and navigated the turmoil between the aviation faculty and DiLorenzo with minimal drama. While fiascoes such as his chief of staff and personal party planner left North Dakotans with a sour taste in their mouths, I think time will be kind to his legacy at the University of North Dakota.
He was not the best. He was not the worst.