Students speak up at UND

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The University of North Dakota took a major step forward in finding a new permanent president.

The North Dakota University System announced the list of members on the Presidential Search Committee for the University of North Dakota.

With about a month until the first meeting for the Search Committee, students are making their voices heard regarding what they want to see in their next president.

With UND now looking for a new president after Mark Kennedy's move to Colorado, the Grand Forks community is preparing for another administration change. Before the meetings begin, students are listing what they want in their next leader.

“Even beyond the students, I think what I've heard as the general consensus, I grew up in Grand Forks, and so amongst students within the Grand Forks, the general consensus has been that we want to see someone who has roots in North Dakota; has roots at UND," UND Student Body President Gracie Lian said.

Lian is the sole student representative on the search committee, and wants to make this process as time efficient as possible.

"I know some people who will be attending UND as their fifth year, and it'll be their fourth of fifth president of the university that they'll be seeing, and I would like to avoid that for future students," Lian said.

Rachel Cox graduated a month ago and has a parent who works at UND. She, like many others, wants a significant shift in Twamley Hall.

"Someone who's not just using the job title as a resume builder,” Recent UND graduate Rachel Cox said. “Someone who actually cares about the students, the staff, the faculty. Someone who's easy to walk up to and talk to, and will actually listen to what the students have to say."

Cox has lived in Grand Forks her entire life, and says the next President will have an impact on and off campus. For her, communication is what she wants to see improved.

Cox: "When we have no idea what the president or the administration is thinking, a lot of questions are being asked, a lot of paranoia is kind of happening, and people have no idea where they stand,” Cox said. “Whether it's with their jobs, with their majors, or what."

Changes are on the horizon, and students want to play a role.

Dean of the UND School Of Medicine And Health Sciences Joshua Wynne was named interim president on May 30th. Since January 2016, UND has had 4 permanent and/or interim presidents.