Tribute to Dr. Robert O. Kelleyby Senator Heidi Heitkamp
Posted on 2015-12-10
HEITKAMP. Mr. President, after 7 and a half years of
leadership educating the best and brightest minds not only in North
Dakota, but from around the world, University of North Dakota, UND,
president, Dr. Robert O. Kelley, is retiring. I want to take the time
to thank him for his service and send my best wishes to President
Kelley, his wife, Marcia, and his family for their commitment to the
students, faculty, and families served by the university.
President Kelley joined the University of North Dakota in 2008, serving as the school's 11th president and providing the university, its students, the city of Grand Forks, and the State of North Dakota the steadfast direction needed to strengthen the legacy and leadership of the institution.
As an alumna, the University of North Dakota will always hold a special place in my heart. The University of North Dakota is where I gained knowledge and skills that helped me in both the private and public sectors. So I am proud President Kelley similarly ensured that students continue to receive the skills they need to succeed. Under his steady guidance, the University of North Dakota has grown significantly.
Nearly $225 million in building projects are underway at the university, including the school of law building addition and renovation and the new school of medicine and health sciences building, which will open in the fall of 2016. Each and every time I return to the campus to visit with students and faculty, I see firsthand the exceptional college experience UND offers. I know these accomplishments are in large part attributed to Dr. Kelley's direction and will be an element of his legacy for years to come.
Since the university's founding in 1883, it has been an academic center for North Dakota, where young minds have had the opportunity to learn and grow to become the leaders of the State and the country. President Kelley's leadership has worked to navigate the university through sometimes controversial reforms including the process to change the school's nickname and logo. Under his guidance, the school worked to ensure a smooth transition.
As UND looks to the future, I recognize that President Kelley's work over these last 7 and a half years has strengthened the institution's foundation for excellence and will help those who follow in his stead to maintain the school's legacy. On behalf of the students, families, and citizens of North Dakota, I wish him and his family the best and thank them for their hard work and service to the University of North Dakota and our great State.