University of North Dakota president Mark Kennedy says he realizes that his job interviews for the University of Central Florida job caused anxiety with many UND boosters.

Kennedy was one of three finalists for the post. The school on Friday named Central Florida provost Dale Whittaker as its new president.

Kennedy, a former Minnesota congressman, says he felt compelled to pursue the Central Florida job because it is "one of the largest and best universities in the nation." He says he will "continue to work hard for the benefit of UND."

Kennedy took over the UND position in 2016.