Former UND President Mark Kennedy has brought one former staff member with him to Colorado.
Angelique Foster, Kennedy’s chief of staff and assistant who worked for him during the three years he was president at UND, will be joining the strategic planning team as the presidential transition process continues in Denver.
In February, while still president at UND, Kennedy walked back a decision to allow Foster to work remotely from Texas. Under the original arrangement, Kennedy suggested that Foster could work from Texas and receive $114,000 per year salary and up to $25,000 in travel expenses.
But a week later, after public outcry, UND announced it would find a new chief of staff.
Kennedy was asked about the decision during an interview with the Boulder Daily Camera after it was announced that he was the sole finalist for the president’s position at the University of Colorado.
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"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, he told the Daily Camera.
"I'm quite confident it is about more than remote working," he said.
When asked for clarification by the Grand Forks Herald, UND spokeswoman Meloney Linder said Kennedy was not available to speak further, but said Kennedy “understands there were many factors that people considered” about the Foster controversy.
Before controversy surrounded her position in February, leaders across UND praised Foster’s work on the UND strategic plan and its implementation. She will have a similar role in Denver, where she will serve as assistant vice president for strategic initiatives.
One of her primary responsibilities is to serve as project manager for the strategic planning process, according to a press release issued by CU. Foster started July 1 and reports to Leonard Dinegar, senior vice president and chief of staff.
“Angelique has a demonstrated track record of facilitating successful strategic planning processes, from development to follow-through, which will be an advantage to CU as we embark on our effort,” Dinegar said. “She also has worked closely with President Kennedy at UND and George Washington University, which will give her a headstart on what promises to be a wide-ranging planning effort.”
Kennedy started his job at the University of Colorado on July 1.
The strategic planning process will get into full swing in September in Colorado, when the formal process begins. Until then, Kennedy said he wants to engage with internal and external groups to get perspective on how CU can best serve its community, and the role each campus plays in that effort.
Foster said she is excited about joining the CU team.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to join such a dynamic university and to work with a variety of people and groups to develop a sound strategic plan that will help CU effectively meet the needs of the state and beyond, as well as guide the university’s efforts,” Foster said.