|President Kupchella announces 2008 retirement|
University of North Dakota President Dr. Charles E. Kupchella announced today [Thursday, Jan. 25] his intent to retire as UND's tenth president as early as January 2008.
In a letter to the Chancellor of the North Dakota University System and to the State Board of Higher Education, Kupchella set a target date of January 25, 2008 for his retirement, but he also left the door open to continue several months after that date at the request of the Board.
"Because the Board has three searches ongoing at the current time, I indicated that I could be somewhat flexible as to the exact date and would be willing to extend my term through June of 2008. By announcing my intent to retire now, I wish to give the Board of Higher Education at least one full year to conduct a search for my successor. I have a deep and abiding interest in making sure that the transition from my presidency to that of my successor is seamless and smooth," said Kupchella.
The University is in excellent shape, said Kupchella, who applauded the faculty, staff, administrative team, and students for helping to position UND as a top-ranked national University. He also praised the University community for embracing UND's Strategic Plan, developed under his leadership as a campus-wide project in the early years of his presidency and now in its second edition.
"The University of North Dakota is guided by a strategic plan developed with full participation of University stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders. The plan was developed in complete synchrony with the North Dakota 'High Education Roundtable,' which was developed, and has been sustained, by a group of leaders in North Dakota's private sector, the legislature, and higher education," said Kupchella, who has been a member of the Roundtable since its inception.
"Our strategic objective is to move the University of North Dakota securely into the top 100 doctoral research universities in the United States, and to do so in such a way that this is not only sustainable, but that it will enable those who come after us to move the University into the top 50. UND is already deep with in the top 100 by many, many measures," said Kupchella.
But there is still work to be done, he said.
"I intend my last year to be anything but a 'lame-duck' hiatus. Instead, it will be a vigorously active and rousing conclusion to both my presidency and the University of North Dakota's first 125 years, and it will serve as a throttle-up to UND's next 125 years," said Kupchella.
Among other things, Kupchella said that during his final year the University would:
* Continue to develop new and exciting academic programs;
* Search for and appoint UND's next Vice President for Research and expand and enhance UND's research base;
* Continue to move through the transition to Division I athletics;
* Make significant progress toward the launch of a comprehensive campaign and building endowment of at least $500 million
* Plan and begin the celebration of UND's 125th anniversary;
* See through the construction of more than $65 million in new, replacement, and remodeled facilities currently under way; and
* Launch a campus worksite wellness program
"We will, in other words, proceed in full to continue implementation of the University's strategic plan for the future. We look forward to full engagement with the entire UND community in these worthy efforts," said Kupchella.
Kupchella also expressed his deep thanks for the honor of leading the state's largest and most-diverse institution of higher learning: "There are no words sufficiently adequate to express the appreciation that Adele and I feel t the State Board, to the people of North Dakota, and to all of the members of the campus community for the privilege we have had to serve in our respective roles as First Lady and President of the University of North Dakota since 1999. We have had the positive experience of a lifetime here, and we are extremely grateful to the faculty, staff, students, alumni and other UND stakeholders for helping make this so."
Kupchella was praised by leaders of the North Dakota University System. John Q. Paulson, president of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, said "Doctor Charles Kupchella has served with great distinction as the University of North Dakota's 10th president, since first assuming this critically important position in l999.
He is an outstanding educator and scholar. He brought to UND a great passion for growth and accomplishment, and his tenure at the university has been marked by remarkable progress on every front.
His leadership inspired students, colleagues, alumnae and community and contributed mightily, not just to the University of North Dakota, but to the North Dakota University System and to the state of North Dakota and all its people.
We who have been his colleagues have cherished the opportunity, and we wish him and his dear wife, Adele, peace and great happiness as they contemplate leaving the institution they have loved and one which returns that affection and respect."
Eddie Dunn, chancellor of the North Dakota University System, said "President Kupchella's term as president of UND will be remembered as a period of tremendous growth and success for the university. It is important that the great progress taking place under his leadership is sustained and that the university continues its vital role in creating a brighter future for the state and students of North Dakota.
Since Dr. Kupchella became president in 1999, UND has taken great strides in engaging the community in the strategic planning process and in tying the university's strategic plan to the work of the Roundtable on Higher Education. Faculty and staff salaries have improved and research is at a record high.
This advance notice of President Kupchella's intent to retire will give the University System a workable timeframe to recruit and hire a new president. I wish Dr. Kupchella and Adele great success in their future adventures."
Biography: Dr. Charles E. Kupchella
Dr. Charles E. Kupchella was named the tenth president of the University of North Dakota (founded in 1883) on April 20, 1999. His official duties began July 1, 1999.
A native of Nanty Glo, Penn., where he spent one summer in his early years working in the coal mines, Kupchella received his B.S. Ed. in biology with certification to teach biology and general science in secondary schools from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1964) and his Ph.D. in physiology and microbiology from St. Bonaventure University (1968).
Kupchella started his career in 1968 as Assistant and then Associate Professor at Bellarmine College in Louisville, Ky. From 1973 to 1979 he was an Associate Professor of Oncology at the University of Louisville and was Associate Director of its Cancer Research Center. In 1979 he joined the faculty of Murray State University as Chair of the Department of Biology. He served there until 1985, when he went to Western Kentucky College as Professor Biology and Dean of its Ogden College of Science, Technology and Health. From 1993 to June 30, 1999, Kupchella served as Provost and Professor of Biology at Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau. There he led the strategic planning for the university which resulted in a number of clear, focused initiatives to serve students and the region. He also was at the forefront of helping the University reach into communities from Kennett to St. Louis, and was instrumental in establishing program-to-program articulation agreements and specific cooperative programs with community colleges.
In his research, Kupchella studied blood-coagulation adaptation in hibernating animals. He has also studied the effect of aspirin on the gastrointestinal tract and the properties of the extracellular matrix associated with the spread of cancer. Kupchella, who holds the rank of Professor of Biology at UND, has published widely in his field of expertise. He has written three books: Sights and Sounds: The Very Special Senses (Bobbs-Merrill Publishing Co., 1976); Environmental Science: Living Within the System of Nature (third edition, Prentice-Hall, 1993, with Peggy Hyland); and Dimensions of Cancer (Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1987). He also has authored or co-authored more than 50 articles in Cancer, Cancer Research, American Journal of Medicine, Comparative Physiology and Biophysics, Journal of Environmental Education, Archives of Internal Medicine, Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry, Journal of Cancer Education, and other journals. Kupchella also presented at more than 100 statewide, national and international meetings.
Kupchella is a past-president of the American Association for Cancer Education. He is affiliated with several scientific societies and was the author and co-author of various grants for projects in science and science education. He has served as a grant reviewer for the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and other agencies. He is a collaborating partner in the National Dialogue on Cancer.
Since 1999, Kupchella has served as a member of North Dakota's Higher Education Roundtable-- a group of legislators, business leaders, and representatives of higher education in forging a forward-looking description of the expectations of higher education, the legislature and the private sector in partnerships to foster economic development in North Dakota.
Kupchella has received many honors and recognitions, including being named to American Men of Science (1988), Who's Who in Education (1993), Who's Who in the World(1993), and Who's Who in Science and Engineering (1996).
Kupchella and his wife, Adele, both grew up in western Pennsylvania coal-mining towns. He was one of six children, all of whom earned college degrees (including three brothers with Ph.D. degrees). Kupchella met Adele (Kiel), one of ten children in her family, in college while he was playing in a band. They married in 1963. They have three children: Rick (Minneapolis), Michele Adams (Springfield, Va.) and Jason (Bowling Green, Ky.), and six grandchildren. An avid outdoorsman, Kupchella enjoys fishing and black-powder hunting. He also dabbles in art, enjoys singing folk songs, and has even recorded a song.
-- Jan Orvik, Writer/Editor, University Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-3621