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Frozen4sioux

Kennedy vs donors... again?

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https://www.grandforksherald.com/news/education/4555637-self-inflicted-wound-und-faces-backlash-over-ray-richards#.XDtP-nOIs5w.twitter

 

Fargo Forks Heraldo taking another shot at an arguably deserving Kennedy.

Seems to have a common thread of pissing off donors.... however... golf and the course seem to be not in the best interest of the university anymore... so a tough situation.

it appears Kennedy again placed himself into this difficult situation and bungled it horribly. 

 

"IIn a Nov. 28 email, committee co-chair Pat Traynor told Shivers "we have requested multiple meetings with President Kennedy. We were told that he would not meet with us until sometime next year. We have other documented instances where President Kennedy simply never responded to our requests. This is disappointing."

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Closing the course was a tough decision to make because it really isn’t critical to the academic mission of the University. If they are losing money keeping it open then it had to be closed to prevent cuts in other more important places. UND is now going to use it for drones and be able to justify the golf course with aligning with the acedemic use.

The quote you posted from Traynor was about the donors who are trying to fund the men’s golf team. They want a meeting with Kennedy but he won’t respond to them. IMHO if they have to scramble for donations every year to fund the men’s golf team then maybe they should just cut that too. You cant operate a team like that.

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Housing and feeding students isn't critical either. The free market could do that. And Kennedy would probably even tell you can do it better. 

Sell the dorms and dining services.

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1 hour ago, Sioux>Bison said:

Closing the course was a tough decision to make because it really isn’t critical to the academic mission of the University. If they are losing money keeping it open then it had to be closed to prevent cuts in other more important places. UND is now going to use it for drones and be able to justify the golf course with aligning with the acedemic use.

The quote you posted from Traynor was about the donors who are trying to fund the men’s golf team. They want a meeting with Kennedy but he won’t respond to them. IMHO if they have to scramble for donations every year to fund the men’s golf team then maybe they should just cut that too. You cant operate a team like that.

Thats a pretty sticky situation considering donor money is involved. Plus with Kennedy not giving the players involved the time of day is not a good look.

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2 hours ago, Sioux>Bison said:

Closing the course was a tough decision to make because it really isn’t critical to the academic mission of the University. If they are losing money keeping it open then it had to be closed to prevent cuts in other more important places. UND is now going to use it for drones and be able to justify the golf course with aligning with the acedemic use.

The quote you posted from Traynor was about the donors who are trying to fund the men’s golf team. They want a meeting with Kennedy but he won’t respond to them. IMHO if they have to scramble for donations every year to fund the men’s golf team then maybe they should just cut that too. You cant operate a team like that.

Disagree.  Using that logic, how are student housing and dining halls "linked to the academic mission of the university"?  Kennedy completely butchered his handling of this whole situation.  Did not take into consideration the desire of the donor, nor confer up front with them.  Plus, now it will cost a cool $1/4M to re-open the course minimum.  And Kennedy had the gall after this whole debacle to say it was not a mistake?  Not handled well at all. 

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8 minutes ago, TheFlop said:

Kennedy is the definition of pompous.  Kudos to the family of Ray Richards for standing up to him and exposing him.  It would be very interesting to "follow the money" on this one and see who stood to benefit the most if Ray Richards would have been developed with apartments/commercial.  

Exactly, he's a moron.  He handled this so poorly. 

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44 minutes ago, GDPritch said:

Exactly, he's a moron.  He handled this so poorly. 

Needs to be sent on his way to Florifa before he causes irreparable damage to our University.

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1 hour ago, TheFlop said:

Kennedy is the definition of pompous.  Kudos to the family of Ray Richards for standing up to him and exposing him.  It would be very interesting to "follow the money" on this one and see who stood to benefit the most if Ray Richards would have been developed with apartments/commercial.  

Exactly.

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7 minutes ago, bison73 said:

Exactly.

Bison fan in complete agreement with fellow Bison fan on UND message board about UND President and his decisions.  :blink:

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1 hour ago, UND1983 said:

Bison fan in complete agreement with fellow Bison fan on UND message board about UND President and his decisions.  :blink:

Hes a bison fan?

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4 hours ago, TheFlop said:

.  It would be very interesting to "follow the money" on this one and see who stood to benefit the most if Ray Richards would have been developed with apartments/commercial.  

THIS !!!!!! Bingo.

It was starting to smell a bit like the "Hawks Point"  scheme at Dickinson state... (also Hawks.. coincidence?)

Although, I do see a point.. the massive donation many years ago was probably not benefiting the University anymore... in fact costing. So what to do... return the donation?... (land)... Walk away or dispose of a gifted asset contrary to the donors intent?...

Its a very delicate situation actually. And in the eyes of future donors... what will be done with their donations into the future...

How would UND handle full ownership of the REA after the twakward troupe of trouble at twamley stumbled and bumbled its administration for a few years and started being a sinkhole of money... sell it off???

There are a lot of optics here that are way more visible than I think the administration wants... and it seems the process has been led quite poorly.

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44 minutes ago, Frozen4sioux said:

THIS !!!!!! Bingo.

It was starting to smell a bit like the "Hawks Point"  scheme at Dickinson state... (also Hawks.. coincidence?)

Although, I do see a point.. the massive donation many years ago was probably not benefiting the University anymore... in fact costing. So what to do... return the donation?... (land)... Walk away or dispose of a gifted asset contrary to the donors intent?...

Its a very delicate situation actually. And in the eyes of future donors... what will be done with their donations into the future...

How would UND handle full ownership of the REA after the twakward troupe of trouble at twamley stumbled and bumbled its administration for a few years and started being a sinkhole of money... sell it off???

There are a lot of optics here that are way more visible than I think the administration wants... and it seems the process has been led quite poorly.

I just think it's a poor idea to sell off land when economic times are tough. There will be a time when UND will have a need for that land, and it wouldn't have to be for a golf course at that time. 

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1 hour ago, BarnWinterSportsEngelstad said:

I just think it's a poor idea to sell off land when economic times are tough. There will be a time when UND will have a need for that land, and it wouldn't have to be for a golf course at that time. 

Yes. Agreed.

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9 hours ago, GDPritch said:

Disagree.  Using that logic, how are student housing and dining halls "linked to the academic mission of the university"?  Kennedy completely butchered his handling of this whole situation.  Did not take into consideration the desire of the donor, nor confer up front with them.  Plus, now it will cost a cool $1/4M to re-open the course minimum.  And Kennedy had the gall after this whole debacle to say it was not a mistake?  Not handled well at all. 

That's a ridiculous comparison.  It's a damn golf course that was losing money.  Financially, during a difficult budget situation due to decisions from previous presidents it was a good decision to close it and sell off the equipment.  The handling of the reaction to donors was crap and now UND is scrambling to abide by the wishes of angry donors, even if it costs the university money.

But, which is worse?  Closing a golf course and trying to sell it or keeping it open and cutting another educational program?

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1 hour ago, southpaw said:

That's a ridiculous comparison.  It's a damn golf course that was losing money.  Financially, during a difficult budget situation due to decisions from previous presidents it was a good decision to close it and sell off the equipment.  The handling of the reaction to donors was crap and now UND is scrambling to abide by the wishes of angry donors, even if it costs the university money.

But, which is worse?  Closing a golf course and trying to sell it or keeping it open and cutting another educational program?

It's not a ridiculous comparison at all.  Someone stood to benefit from Ray Richards no longer being a golf course.  When the course was initially closed the good old "vibrancy" term was being thrown around.  Start there I suspect. 

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I'm not a golfer.....actually can't stand the sport...but "ridiculous" is pointing to a fully paid off mature golf course as more of a budget issue then all of the administrative bloat at UND (that does not help the students or the larger community).  Also when they first announced the potential closure, the GM of the course said the course always turned a profit.  

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3 hours ago, southpaw said:

That's a ridiculous comparison.  It's a damn golf course that was losing money.  Financially, during a difficult budget situation due to decisions from previous presidents it was a good decision to close it and sell off the equipment.  The handling of the reaction to donors was crap and now UND is scrambling to abide by the wishes of angry donors, even if it costs the university money.

But, which is worse?  Closing a golf course and trying to sell it or keeping it open and cutting another educational program?

I belive it’s incredibly disingenuous to try to say that Ray Richards was hemorrhaging money.  To my knowledge there was some years that they finished 5k to 15k in the positive after everything was paid.  Which was then siphoned away by Twamley. And there was some years that it finished behind 5K to 15k. Then Twamley would be like”where is our money?”  Honestly, it could’ve been a lot worse, considering some of the other golf courses out there.  In fact it seemed to me that the course was trying to be as good of steward as possible, by not costing the University huge sums.  Let’s not forget the 80s and 90s when the University was actually raking anything the golf course made to pay for a U PD position.  Please explain how that even makes sense? We don’t know if the GFCC loses money, we wouldn’t know...unless your are member and get a year end assessment indicating you need to make up the difference.  And there have been some years I have gotten one... so yes we’ve been short at years end. And we will never know about Kings Walk, as the Park District can supplement if need be.  So it sounds to me Ray Richards within the context of what it was adding tothe university was a nice perk.

When talking to a former University employee, he said... in today’s day and age it’s important to have things that add to the experience. What does your university that others around you, may not? Maybe not all students and faculty will play golf, but some do.  Other institutions manage courses across the country, it can be done. And it appears to me that it was being done.

Sadly, this is an optics nightmare.  But secondly, these people who have been making these decisions, seem so utterly inept at business acumen they should inquire about enrolling in some remedial business courses, at the business school.  If they applied at my business, they wouldn’t get an interview as their track record in this instance has been alarmingly bad.

 

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3 hours ago, southpaw said:

That's a ridiculous comparison.  It's a damn golf course that was losing money.  Financially, during a difficult budget situation due to decisions from previous presidents it was a good decision to close it and sell off the equipment.  The handling of the reaction to donors was crap and now UND is scrambling to abide by the wishes of angry donors, even if it costs the university money.

But, which is worse?  Closing a golf course and trying to sell it or keeping it open and cutting another educational program?

Rumor has it the next program to be cut is Bracketology.

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You can donate, you can make your wishes known, ...

But what if in 1890 someone donated a bunch of horse-buggies for campus shuttles for "perpetual" use by the University as the shuttle system? Would UND still have to be using them, even if the cost of ownership (horses!) becomes more than the value? 

Times change; needs change. 

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I would like to read these emails.

"At one point, emails indicate the Richards family was comfortable with the sale of the land if it set up an endowment for men's golf (the endowment was estimated at $4.1 million), with potential excess funds going to indoor golf space attached to the proposed High Performance Center's Phase 2.

Last summer, however, the university pivoted on the length of time the endowment covers—telling the Richards family that even the sale of the land wouldn't guarantee permanent protection for the men's golf program."

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24 minutes ago, The Sicatoka said:

You can donate, you can make your wishes known, ...

But what if in 1890 someone donated a bunch of horse-buggies for campus shuttles for "perpetual" use by the University as the shuttle system? Would UND still have to be using them, even if the cost of ownership (horses!) becomes more than the value? 

Times change; needs change. 

I actually don't disagree. Needs do change.  And in the end, if that was the end of the golf course 2 years ago, although sad, I made my peace with it.  My kids played there quite a bit up until the end(Because it was easy to get there) , but things and needs change. But now the University will be greatly having to re-invest to get the course up and running. Their own decisions are to blame for that.  They could have operated it as a golf course for 2 years right up until they poured concrete for the first bit of "vibrancy".  Things may have in this instance...not necessarily the "need"..but things changed and now with a tough state budget outlook coming...UND looks like they will be having to sink an unnecessary amount of money just to get things up and running, when if they just would have kept in running until the apartments went up, they would have been laughing all the way to the bank.  Sure hindsight can be 20/20 but I tend to believe that there was absolutely no sight used when this initially went down, by several high up decision makers on campus.  Unfortunately, one of them is now retired.  She should be called back to respond to her ineptitude.  Heck she should have been fired for the REAC embarrassing debacle, and then she would have never been around to lead the point on these misguided decisions.  

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1 hour ago, The Sicatoka said:

You can donate, you can make your wishes known, ...

But what if in 1890 someone donated a bunch of horse-buggies for campus shuttles for "perpetual" use by the University as the shuttle system? Would UND still have to be using them, even if the cost of ownership (horses!) becomes more than the value? 

Times change; needs change. 

Yeah but whose needs changed that justified closing Ray Richards in the first place?  Developers that are running out of room downtown?

I'd say a more accurate example in this case would be if virtual golf/golf sims ever became much more popular than traditional golf.  At that point it would be reasonable to repurpose part of the course. I think that's still a ways off in the future. 

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Wasn't the area around the Ralph supposed to be a mini University village at one point?  Outside of Jimmy John's and a few expensive apartments how has that plan worked out for students? 

If Ray Richards hadn't been saved it would have turned into McEnroe Place bldgs 5-10. 

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