Saturday, February 09, 2008

New man on campus

It's official. UND's next president has been named.

The next leader of the University of North Dakota will be Dr. Robert Kelley who was formerly the dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wyoming. Kelley will start at his new post on July 1, succeeding the retiring Dr. Charles Kupchella who has led UND for the past nine years. Kelley will be the 11th president of the state's oldest public institution of higher learning.

Kelley should have a full plate of issues to deal with. UND's enrollment has been slipping as of late - Kelley will need to deal with this quickly and decisively. UND also is lagging when it comes to salaries and Kelley has indicated he will need to work on this. UND has big plans for fundraising and for increasing its research portfolio. Kelley will be very busy with these and other issues...oh yes...and then there is athletics...

Many of the issues facing Kelley in some way are connected to athletics. UND is moving all of its teams up to NCAA Division I. In addition, a new athletic director must be chosen to lead UND's athletic programs. Perhaps the most controversial issue facing Kelley is the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo debacle. If UND is unable to gain tribal support for the continued use of "The Fighting Sioux" imagery and moniker (which now seems unlikely), Kelley will need to transition UND to a new logo and nickname and retire the Fighting Sioux.

What do you hope to see Dr. Kelley do when he takes the helm at UND? What issues do you want him to deal with? Do you see any particular strengths or weaknesses? How about Dr. Kupchella...how would you rate his time at UND? Please share you thoughts.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a staff member of UND I would love to see Kelley work on raising the salaries.

vcsuvike said...

Fix the problems in the School of Communications. Push marketing and research more, and remove any enrollment caps. UND needs to grow, plain and simple.

ec99 said...

The Taj Mahal parking ramp is symbolic of Kupchella's head: big, empty, and useless.

As for Kelley, he will soon find out that he has no authority to make the big decisions. The SBHE, alumni, boosters, and politicians will all want to run the place. Remember: Governor Eddie declared universitiy presidents as "operating managers." Both Baker and Kupchella found that out. My bet is he's out of here in two years, either of his own will or that of others.

Anonymous said...

Which would be a shame... outside direction is sometimes a GOOD thing.

Anonymous said...

Quickly and decisively decapitate the Sioux logo. That would be a good start.

I like the logo and the name, but it's been getting in the way of progress for a lot of years. The university needs someone to stand up to all of the above named interests and fall on their sword to get UND through the name change. This guy is perfect--he's a short timer, and an old timer. Good luck, Dr. In all sincerity, I hope you piss off a *lot* of people, and accomplish some great things for the University of North Dakota!

Orator said...

I'd like to see the focus of UND return to the students. Yes, the alumni has helped out the university in many ways, but I question how many strings are attached to these gifts. The are a few classrooms in desperate need of repair, and a few departments that need to regain their certification (The School of Communication, for example). I hope the new president works to show students that they are important, not just walking checkbooks that shouldn't even have the ability to stand up at home basketball games. There are many disgruntled students who have no problems going home and telling 10 prospective students to go elsewhere for their education. Eliminate some of their concerns, and perhaps enrollments will begin to climb again.

ec99 said...

If you want to know what the real priorities of UND are, you don't listen to the platitudes of the empty suits in Twamley Hall (whose numbers have increased under Kupchella), but you follow the money. Condos, a parking ramp, a useless suit against the NCAA, and the intention to go Division I. None of this has anything to do with students or education. Communications will never be reaccredited; classrooms will never be fixed up. The money has been earmarked for other things: a stadium with a retractible roof, an enclosed practice field, competitive salaries for coaches. Those are UND's priorities.

Whistler said...

I absolutely think we should have fought to keep the logo rather than surrendering.

However that came from the Attorney General and the Governor appointed Board of Higher Education.

In my opinion Kupchella should announce a change in the nickname as his last official act (And after he's packed up to leave town.)

I don't like the idea, but it would give this new guy a chance to do his job rather than being involved in a no win emotional issue when he first gets on the job.

It sucks but blame those in Bismarck.

Anonymous said...

Whistler, Kupchella has no power to change the name (and has reneged on whatever influence he has to do so). That power was taken away from him several years ago by the Board of Higher Education. Kelly will also be subject to their power/whims. I do agree that it will probably be a great relief for him not to have to be the most responsible person in that mess when he takes the reins in July.

Anonymous said...

I wish they would just change the damn logo...it's going to happen someday.

Whistler said...

Kupchella has no power to change the name

You're right. I had forgotten about that little letter from Uncle Ralph and the subsequent action by the board.

Still perhaps Kupchella can do something to take the heat off of him, perhaps advance the idea that since the tribes have said no we should change it sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

I love how these moron have all the solutions for solving UND's percieved problems. I think the college should tell the NCAA to stick it. What the hell did they waste all that money for to get this worthless settlement. It was a joke.

To the staff members looking for higher wages I suggest looking for a new job. The wages at UND are horrible and I don't see them changing in this decade. The only way is to increase tution and that isn't going to happen to pay your wages.

Typical liberal look to the government for all of your solutions. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

This blog is on a one way ticet to suckatude. Oh, when are we getting a Olive Garden.