UND President: Campus morale problem due to budget cuts

Mar 20, 2018

University of North Dakota's president said if there is a morale problem on campus it has less to do with his recent interview at a Florida school and more to do with the state legislature forcing the school to make budget cuts.

Mark Kennedy was on a short list of candidates for the Central Florida president’s job. That job went to someone in-house.

In an interview with KNOX Radio of Grand Forks, Kennedy said being on the Central Florida finalist list actually raised UND’s profile. Kennedy also said there’s a normal distribution in any organization of happy and unhappy people.

"You had a 20 percent budget cut the University had to absorb," Kennedy said. "You have no pay increases. The Legislature decided to give no pay increases for two years in a row, yet you're only receiving some complaints about morale, and people being upset."

Kennedy said UND is doing “phenomenal” things despite the cuts.  He said the state should never have put UND in that position.

"The state has invested a lot in this jewel," Kennedy said. "And to undermine that by perhaps losing some of your best talent because you're having a pay freeze for two years is not a responsible thing for the state to have done. I believe we're weathering it as best we can."