I don't understand the board's obsession with it either. By all accounts, K is demanding, can be an asshole (several do not forgive him for how he "went public" to get what he wanted with the Lakers saga) and (understandably) difficult to get to know on a personal level, but very generous with his time and generally speaking, does the right thing.
One thing everyone agrees on there is how proud they are of the program itself and the majority of the students/people it produces. Like ndroman mentioned, there are occasional d-bags, but ND has those guys too.
He spoke to our class and is also a fantastic public speaker.