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On his final day, Kelley writes thank you letter to campus

GRAND FORKS -- On his final day on campus, outgoing University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley sent a message Thursday thanking the community for its support during his 7 1/2 years as the leader of the university.

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GRAND FORKS -- On his final day on campus, outgoing University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley sent a message Thursday thanking the community for its support during his 7 1/2 years as the leader of the university.

"It is with a mixture of sadness and optimism that I write what I suspect will be my last message to campus before I retire," Kelley wrote. "Sadness because Marcia and I have enjoyed our time here at UND; optimism because this great university is poised to become even more exceptional."

Kelley announced in June that he would retire, ending a tenure that has been filled with campus growth and controversy.

In his farewell letter, Kelley thanked UND students, faculty, staff, the community of Grand Forks and his wife for helping make the university "truly exceptional."

"We have enjoyed working with and getting to know some outstanding students; faculty who are widely recognized for their teaching, their scholarship and research and their involvement; our hardworking and dedicated staff; and a wonderful community that our campus can call home," Kelley wrote.

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Ed Schafer, a former North Dakota governor, will take over as interim president today and will serve until June 30.

The UND Presidential Search Committee is in the process of independently reviewing 37 applications for Kelley's position and will meet to discuss and narrow the list Jan. 20.

UND spokesman Peter Johnson said earlier this week Kelley would not conduct interviews with media outlets during his last days as president.

Related Topics: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA
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