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Ed Schafer to serve as interim president at UND

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Ed Schafer has been named University of North Dakota's interim president. Current President Robert Kelley will retire in January, at which time Schafer, a former North Dakota governor, will take over until a permanent replace...

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North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott talks about the two candidates for University of North Dakota interim president as state Board of Higher Education member Mike Ness (from left), student member Brett Johnson and member Kevin Melicher listen Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, at the Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. (Mike Nowatzki / Forum News Service)

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Ed Schafer has been named University of North Dakota's interim president.

Current President Robert Kelley will retire in January, at which time Schafer, a former North Dakota governor, will take over until a permanent replacement is found.

Kelley has been UND's president since 2008, and a search committee is currently working with a consulting firm to find his replacement. The group hopes UND's next president can start on a permanent basis July 1.

At a State Board of Higher Education meeting Tuesday, Chancellor Mark Hagerott recommended Shafer as his prefered candidate, with UND Provost Thomas DiLorenzo as a second choice.

Schafer served as governor from 1992 to 2000 and as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in 2008. Prior to that, he was an executive with the Gold Seal Co., which was founded by his father, Harold Schafer.

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Ed Schafer is a UND alumnus, earning a bachelor's degree there before also receiving a master's degree from the University of Denver.

The board appointed Shafer unanimously after a lengthy discussion. Hagerott will negotiate the terms of Shafer's contract.

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