New era to begin at UND

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - A new era is set to begin at UND following yesterday's signing of Dr. Andrew Armacost to be the next president. With a full day passing, the university and its students are looking forward to what's to come.

In December 2015, no one imagined the continuous rotation Twamley Hall would see in the coming years. The story for the UND community is one of hopeful stability.

Since December of 2015, five men have served as UND's President.

Robert Kelley retired at the end of 2015, followed by seventh-month Interim President Ed Schaefer.

In July 2016, Mark Kennedy was introduced as President, a role he would serve for less than three years.

Kaleb Dschaak is the student representative on the State Board of higher Ed, and had a vote and a voice on approving Armacost. He is currently a UND student, and has been under all 5 Presidents.

"I think there are people who would like to see more stability, and I think Dr. Armacost will be able to provide that. The change of perspective has been capable of really helping us shape a university and there's value there,’ Dschaak said.

During an interview exchange, Dschaak questioned Armacost on his priorities.

"You had mentioned some form of steering committee of students for academic purposes. Perhaps this didn't exist with the previous institution, but it certainly does here. What are your interactions with the student government in terms of feedback and making changes on campus?" he asked.

"The student government looks quite different, but I had a close relationship with all of the wing commanders and their staffs," Armacost responded.

While the structure may be different, Armacost said he's ready for the challenge.

"I'm just thrilled to have been selected to lead the institution and really hope to be a strong force for a sense of growth and optimism on-campus, and a sense of discovery and learning, and really pushing the frontier of education for students," Armacost said.

The 13th President of UND, leading a community looking for stability.

Armacost said he has NOT spoken with neither former President Mark Kennedy nor Interim President Josh Wynne after signing the deal. However, he said he spoke with Wynne during the interview process.