In the recent news, members of the State Board of Higher Education, some search committee members, and several newspaper editorials have talked about the characteristics that UND’s next President should have.

Unfortunately, perhaps because they do not want to make UND look bad, nobody has mentioned the most important thing. The number one thing accomplished by President Kennedy and some others in his administration was damage to academic programs. They eliminated many faculty positions and some of the best faculty left. There was no strategy, planning, or thought, and today many departments and programs lack key personnel needed to provide good educations for students.

So, the top priority for the next president should be to restore academic quality. This means that the incoming president must have an academic background and experience in university administration.

President Kennedy met neither qualification and the result was disastrous. We must hope that the State Board and Search Committee do not repeat the mistake, but some recent comments are cause for alarm.

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