UND President Robert Kelley Is Not An Honest Person

Today the Grand Forks Herald editorial board, which never fails to treat UND President Robert Kelley with kid gloves even when he richly deserves a rhetorical whack upside the head, calls for acceptance of the decision to keep the “North Dakota” nickname option of the list of options for voting later this year.

“In his view, UND’s best interest is served by taking UND/North Dakota off the table, because UND so badly needs a new and future-oriented nickname (not ‘no nickname’) for the university to rally around,” writes Tom Dennis for the Herald.

But there’s a question to be answered here. Did Kelley make this decision, which comes as one last knife in the side of Fighting Sioux nickname supporters who had hoped for the no nickname option, in the best interest of the university? Or the best interest of his own agenda?

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]It’s understandable that the event organizers wouldn’t want a lot of attention. Kelley is, after all, still posturing himself as the fair arbiter of an unbiased process to help UND move on from the old nickname.[/mks_pullquote]

We have a recent example which lays bare Kelley’s bias. At a July event earlier this year, which wasn’t reported anywhere but here on SAB, Kelley quietly was honored by anti-Fighting Sioux nickname activists at the United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck. I say quiet, because the event wasn’t announced to the public, but I was able to obtain pictures and confirmation of the event (at the link).

It’s understandable that the event organizers wouldn’t want a lot of attention. Kelley is, after all, still posturing himself as the fair arbiter of an unbiased process to help UND move on from the old nickname. Fair and unbiased, that is, except when Kelley is putting his finger on the scales to manufacture the outcomes he likes best.

We have a less recent example of Kelley’s duplicitous handling of this process, too.

Specifically, that time back in 2011 when Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple said, publicly and on the record, that Kelley had requested the league come out against the Sioux nickname.

A year and a half later we reported here on SAB that Kelley’s good friend, NDSU President Dean Bresciani whose school was also a member of the Summit League, gave Douple a negative review for outing Kelley’s under-the-radar sabotage of the old nickname.

For most people – including this observer – the battle over the Fighting Sioux nickname has dragged on ad nauseum. But it’s worth remembering that one big reason this process has been so fraught, so acrimonious, is the “leadership” (if we dare call it that) of Kelley who has never a fair or honest dealer.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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