|22nd President of the University of Colorado|
July 1, 2019
|Bruce D. Benson|
|12th President of the University of North Dakota|
July 1, 2016 - June 15, 2019
|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
January 3, 2001 - January 3, 2007
|Constituency||2nd district (2001-03)|
6th district (2003-07)
Mark Raymond Kennedy
April 11, 1957
Benson, Minnesota, U.S.
|Residence||Grand Forks, North Dakota|
|Alma mater||St. John's University|
University of Michigan
Mark Raymond Kennedy (born April 11, 1957) is an American businessman, politician, and administrator currently serving as the president of the University of Colorado (CU) system. Previously he served as 12th president of the University of North Dakota, and before that he led the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. A Republican, he served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota from 2001 to 2007. Kennedy did not seek reelection in 2006, instead running in the 2006 election for U.S. Senate. He lost to Democratic-Farmer-Labor nominee Amy Klobuchar.
Kennedy graduated from Pequot Lakes High School in 1975 and St. John's University in 1979. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant and went on to receive his M.B.A. with distinction from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in 1983.
Kennedy's business career included working for the Pillsbury Company, assisting with its acquisition of Häagen-Dazs and arranging for financing to support its international expansion. As a senior executive at Federated Department Stores, he helped the company position itself for growth to become, as Macy's, the world's leading department store. He was profiled in May 1992's Institutional Investor Magazine, which featured him on its cover as one of "America's top CFOs". At ShopKo Stores, he was responsible for merchandising, marketing and store management.
In 2000 Kennedy won the Republican nomination for the 2nd district and faced four-term Democratic incumbent David Minge. He had never run for political office before. In the closest congressional race of that cycle, Kennedy defeated Minge by 155 votes.
Leading up to the 2002 elections, although Minnesota didn't gain or lose any districts, Kennedy's 2nd district--an enormous 28-county district stretching from the southwestern corner of the state to the fringes of the Twin Cities—was dismantled. Its territory was split up among four neighboring districts. Kennedy's home outside Watertown was just inside the reconfigured 6th district, in the Twin Cities' northern suburbs.
In 2002 Kennedy initially expected to face the 6th district's three-term Democratic incumbent, Bill Luther. But the new 6th was somewhat more Republican than its predecessor, and Luther opted to move to the reconfigured 2nd district, where he eventually lost to John Kline. Kennedy instead faced Janet Robert, a lawyer and longtime Democratic activist. In one of the most expensive congressional races in Minnesota history, Kennedy was elected with 57% of the vote.
Kennedy did not seek reelection to the House in 2006. Instead he ran against DFL nominee and Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by DFL incumbent Mark Dayton. Also in the race were the Independence Party nominee, Robert Fitzgerald; the Green Party nominee, Michael Cavlan; and the Constitution Party nominee, Ben Powers.
Klobuchar won the election, receiving 58% of the vote to Kennedy's 38%.
Kennedy's support of the proposed surge in the Iraq War during the 2006 Senate election was described as "bold and smart" on the Brit Hume show on Fox News (Fox News, Brit Hume Show, 12-27-06). Anderson Cooper, an anchor on CNN, said that "Kennedy doesn't ignore the elephant in the room. To the contrary, he looks it straight in the eye" (CNN, Anderson Cooper 360°, 10-25-06).
Kennedy supported the Bush tax cuts and voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. His reputation as a reformer was further enhanced by his sponsorship of the line-item veto, a lifetime ban on all members of Congress becoming lobbyists, full deductibility of medical expenses, no parole for sex offenders, and Medicare Plan Enrollment Fraud Protection.
Kennedy's record of bipartisanship included partnering with 20 Democrats to lead legislation and having more than half the Democrats in the House co-sponsor bills he introduced. Such bills included:
Kennedy called himself "100% pro-life". He voted in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. He voted to sustain Bush's veto of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005.
In 2007 Kennedy was appointed to the President's Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiation (ACTPN). Part of the Office of the United States Trade Representative, ACTPN considers trade policy issues in the context of overall national interest.
In 2008 Kennedy, along with former Representatives Tim Penny and Bill Frenzel of Minnesota, founded the Economic Club of Minnesota (ECOM), a nonpartisan platform for national and international leaders in business, government, and public policy to present their ideas on how Minnesota can better compete in an increasingly globalized economy.
Kennedy became a member of the Economic Club of Washington in 2013 and Chatham House in 2014.
In 2015 Kennedy was elected to the Council on Foreign Relations.
From 2007 to 2010 Kennedy served as the Global Retail Business Development Lead for Accenture, a global management consulting, technology, and outsourcing services firm. In 2010 he formed Chartwell Strategic Advisors LLC. Kennedy's activities through Chartwell include speaking on applying 360° Vision to bridge differences between business and society; the political left and right; the United States and the world.
From 2011 to 2013 Kennedy served as an Executive in Residence at Johns Hopkins University's Carey Business School in Baltimore, Maryland, teaching MBA courses on Corporate Statesmanship, Global Economic Systems, as well as global immersion courses in Brazil and Turkey.
In January 2012 Kennedy accepted the position of Director and Professor at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. During his tenure the school launched two new master's programs--one in Spanish with a Latin American focus and one focused on advocacy in the global environment--and was designated as the PR Education Program of the Year by PR Week.
Since 2012 Kennedy has also been an adjunct faculty member at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey.
Kennedy introduced the concept of "Shapeholders" to the field of business strategy--the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that shape a firm's opportunities and risks. Kennedy teaches how to effectively engage shapeholders both at home and abroad to profitably advance business strategies while benefiting society.
On March 15, 2016, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education announced that Kennedy had been selected as the twelfth President of the University of North Dakota. Kennedy, who had filed his application on January 2, 2016, was in February the third of six finalists to visit the school. He succeeded president Robert Kelley, who retired in January 2016, and Ed Schafer, who served as interim President until Kennedy took office on July 1. He was inaugurated on October 10, 2016.
Notable achievements by UND during Kennedy's tenure include being ranked by U.S. News as one of the 25 Most Innovative Schools and being awarded the 2017 Big Sky Conference Presidents' Cup for outstanding student-athlete academic achievement while winning four conference championships in one year.
On May 9, 2017, Kennedy's book Shapeholders: Business Success in the Age of Activism was published by Columbia Business School.
Due to government shortfall, multiple cuts were made during Kennedy's tenure:
In March 2019 it was announced that the Engelstad family will withhold all donations to the University of North Dakota while Kennedy is president. Frustrations over the $110 million foundation led to this decision along with Kennedy's staffing choices.
In Kennedy's last year with the University of North Dakota, he attempted to promote his personal assistant to chief of staff. Opposition from faculty and students ensued when it was announced that the chief of staff would be working remotely from Texas. She would receive a $30,000 raise and be given a $25,000 yearly allowance to work remotely from Texas. Kennedy had drawn mass criticism when he implemented the budget cuts at UND and was still willing to pay his staff to commute from Texas to Grand Forks. Kennedy told Colorado media that the objection to her employment at the university was due to racism and sexism. He said, "I fear that part of the reason that that article got as much attention as it did is some people couldn't understand how a young African-American woman from the South could be as qualified and worthy" to do the job as others, Kennedy told the Daily Camera. "I'm quite confident it is about more than remote working." Kennedy later apologized, claiming that he did not mean to offend or to give a negative impression of North Dakota.
|Semester||Enrollment||Percent Decline Since Assuming office|
|Fall 2016||14,648 ||N/A|
|Fall 2017||14,406||Decline 1.65%|
|Fall 2018||13,847 ||Decline 5.47%|
|Spring 2019||13,112||Decline 10.49%|
Amid massive budget cuts, Kennedy declined the offer from the designer of the 1999 Fighting Sioux logo, Native American UND alumnus Bennet Brien, to design a new logo for free. Kennedy also declined offers for the logo to be designed locally. Settling for outsourcing for the Fighting Hawks logo, the full cost of drafting the new logo was $49,500.
In May 2019, amid much controversy and opposition, the University of Colorado Board of Regents elected Kennedy, on a 5-4 party-line vote, as president of the four-campus University of Colorado system. Kennedy started as an employee on June 15 for a transition period with outgoing president Bruce Benson and became president on July 1.
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|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd congressional district
January 3, 2001 - January 3, 2003
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 6th congressional district
January 3, 2003 - January 3, 2007
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for
U.S. Senator from Minnesota (Class 1)
| President of the University of North Dakota
July 1, 2016 - June 15, 2019