On Thursday, May 6, I addressed the University Senate about the nickname and logo transition process and structure. The text of that talk is below. You can watch the address at http://nickname.und.edu/logo/?p=261 You can find more information about UND nickname and logo transition process at http://nickname.und.edu/logo/
Address to University Senate, May 6, 2010:
Today, I want to provide you with an update on the issue of the UND nickname and logo.
First, though, I want to state that, as the Spring semester draws to a close, the University of North Dakota continues to focus on its core mission…teaching and learning; research, scholarship and creative work; and service to the state and nation. In addition, I reported last month at the University Council meeting on the status of UND’s budget and the NDUS budgeting process. UND is financially sound, and for that I want to thank the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, the North Dakota Legislature, and the people of North Dakota for their continued support of the university.
As UND addresses its core mission, we continue to build community and we are enhancing connections, within the University, as well as across the state, the region and the nation. UND is in the middle of a University-wide planning conversation on those very topics: building community and developing connections.
And we are adding to the UND alumni family. This weekend, we will graduate students in the School of Law. Next weekend, UND will conduct the general university Spring commencement, with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano as our main speaker. Graduation for students in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences will also be that weekend. UND will graduate some 1,500 students – which makes about 2,700 new UND graduates this academic year.
As you know, on May 14, 2009, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education unanimously passed a resolution directing the University of North Dakota to retire its nickname and logo. On April 8, the president of the State Board of Higher Education instructed Chancellor William Goetz to direct the president of UND to start the process of retiring the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. As your president, I am fully committed to the implementation of the board resolution, following the instructions contained in the Chancellor’s letter, which I received on the morning of April 9. You may recall that I spoke with the University community that same day, and promised that the leadership of the university would develop a transparent and inclusive process for appropriately retiring the nickname. The Chancellor’s letter, in its entirety, is published on the UND website.
In addition, at that time, I announced that I had appointed Dr. Robert Boyd, UND Vice President for Student and Outreach Services, as the Transition Officer. I have great confidence in Dr. Boyd. He has served UND with distinction and with great integrity. He is a highly respected leader on the UND campus and across the state.
Since April 8, Dr. Boyd and I have had many conversations on how best to approach the retirement of the nickname that UND has used for 80 years. We agree that the process must be inclusive, thoughtful, and deliberate. We have received e-mail, phone calls and letters about what we should do– and should not do. The consistent message has been: Go slow. Take your time. Do it right.
And that is what we intend to do.
To that end, we have developed the following structure:
We have identified three Task Groups that will help us work through the process.
* The first Task will be to plan and implement the process of honoring the history and traditions of the Sioux name and logo. The group will be co-chaired by Bruce Smith, dean of UND’s Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, and Kris Compton, chief operating officer of Alerus Financial. Bruce and Kris will build a Task Force Group that will plan the appropriate steps for honoring UND’s traditions connected to the name and logo; they will help us think through how UND will document and retire 80 years of institutional tradition.
* We also are putting in place a Communications Task Group. The University has many stakeholders. UND wants to reach out to students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends — all of our constituencies. And we want to use all of the tools at our disposal: the media, e-mail, the Web — Twitter, and other social media. To that end, I have named Dr. Joshua Riedy, UND’s chief information officer, and Kathryn Rand, dean of the School of Law, as co-chairs. This Task Group will certainly include others, but as of now, task group members include Peter Johnson, UND’s chief communications officer; DeAnna Carlson Zink, UND Alumni Association and Foundation associate executive vice president and chief development officer, and Jayson Hajdu, Athletics media relations coordinator.
These two task groups have been formed and they are at work addressing their respective charges. One of the first tasks of the co-chairs will be to recommend additional task force members for my consideration.
A third Task Group has not yet been appointed. This one we are calling the New Directions Task Group, which, when and, I might add, if activated, will help us think through the process of selecting a new name and logo for the university.
Next Monday, May 10, I will report on UND’s progress in the transition to the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education. The letter I received from Chancellor Goetz instructs the university to begin the process of retiring the name and logo immediately, and also recognizes that it may be difficult, if not impossible, to meet the August 1, 2010 deadline as stated in the board resolution of May 14, 2009. If needed, the Chancellor has made it clear that the board has discretion to extend the deadline to August 15, 2011, as stated in the settlement agreement with the NCAA. I interpret this caveat to be practical recognition that the university must honor and protect its contractual obligations and interests as the directive from the SBHE is implemented.
Let me provide a couple of practical examples that speak to this last point. First, UND’s Department of Athletics may require several months to transition their uniforms and equipment, especially if these items have already been ordered for the coming season. In addition, the company that assists UND in licensing the copyright and mark used on university goods and services will require some time to stop production, distribution and sale of merchandise as the business cycle is completed.
Addressing the issue of a name and logo for the immediate future, and with the guidance and permission of the State Board of Higher Education, I will request that UND simply use its name…the University of North Dakota…and that our athletic and academic teams use the term “North Dakota” or the interlocked ND…as an outward identity for activities that require such designation.
Finally, for want of a better term, a Transition Cabinet, made of representative stakeholders — students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the local and state community — will be critical in helping me consider the recommendations that come from the Task Groups.
Ultimately, the UND president will be responsible for decisions about how UND retires the current nickname and logo and the manner by which the University identifies new traditions and a new name when it is both timely and appropriate to do so.
I know there will be questions about timelines. As I said earlier, we plan to go slow…to take our time…and to do it right. I expect our Task Groups to make progress, to move ahead. But I also expect them to be deliberate and to take whatever time is necessary to ensure that we are inclusive and, ultimately, successful in honoring UND’s great traditions as the Fighting Sioux name and logo enters retirement.
At this time, I would be happy to take questions.
At that time, I provided the following bios to the media and subesquently shared them with the campus community via e-mail:
Dr. Robert Boyd, UND Vice President for Student and Outreach Services
Dr. Robert Boyd is UND’s vice president for student and outreach services. Boyd has been with UND for more than 30 years, starting out as the director of extension and professional services, next as dean of outreach programs, and, for the past 12 years, in his current position.
During his time at UND, Boyd has often been the “go-to” leader for UND presidents. In the late 1990s. then President Baker tapped Boyd to run the “virtual” University set up by UND in the immediate aftermath of the Flood of ‘97. He then asked Boyd to chair the Exigency Task Force on Enrollment to help return UND to its pre-flood headcount. A year later, he turned to Boyd to lead the newly reconstituted Division of Student and Outreach Services. Four UND presidents asked Boyd to lead the recruitment of high-level positions to campus and appointed him co-chair of the task group that guided UND in its move to Division I Athletics.
During his career at UND, Boyd has been active in the Grand Forks community, a fact that earned him the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Henry Havig Award in 2008.
History and Traditions Task Group Co-Chairs:
Kris (McConn) Compton, Chief Operating Officer, Alerus Financial
A 1977 graduate of the University of North Dakota, Kris (McConn) Compton launched her banking career at First National Bank North Dakota immediately after graduation. In 1999, she helped lead First National Bank North Dakota through a process that resulted in a new name and a new brand, Alerus Financial. Compton is now the Chief Operating Officer of Alerus Financial, an $8 billion diversified financial services company headquartered in Grand Forks, N.D., with offices in Grand Forks, Fargo, N.D., Minneapolis, and Phoenix. She has been, and continues to be, very active in numerous civic and industry organizations, including her current service with the Altru Health Systems board, UND Foundation and Alumni Association board, and College of Education and Human Development Advisory Board. In 2003, Compton was awarded the region’s first annual Athena Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions to the community, proactive development of women, and personal success in the field of business.
Dr. Bruce Smith, Dean, UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences
Since 2000, Dr. Bruce Smith has served as Dean of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota. A standout football player at UND 1966 to 1969, Smith was All North Central Conference in Football, Honorable Mention, in 1968, First Team in 1969, and Associated Press All American in Football in 1969. He was twice named to the UND Athletic Hall of Fame, in 2001 as a member of the 1966 team and in 2003 as an individual. He also lettered in track in 1970. Smith earned his master’s degree from Arizona State in 1975 and the Ph.D. from Florida State in 1984. Prior to returning to UND, Smith served as Director of Training for Delta Airlines in Atlanta, Ga. A former Air Force officer and pilot, he served on the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Smith is widely published and internationally known in the areas of large aircrew training systems and simulation research.
Communications Task Group Co-Chairs:
Kathryn R. L. Rand, UND Dean and Floyd B. Sperry Professor of Law
Kathryn Rand is the Dean and Floyd B. Sperry Professor of Law at the University of North Dakota School of Law. A native of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, she is a graduate of the University of North Dakota and the University of Michigan School of Law. Before joining the School of Law faculty in 2000, Rand was a federal prosecutor in Wisconsin. She is widely published and nationally known as an expert on Indian gaming law and policy. Her first book was featured on C-SPAN’s /Book TV/, and she has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. At the School of Law, Rand teaches in the areas of constitutional law, civil rights, and Indian gaming.
Dr. Joshua Riedy, UND Chief Information Officer, Associate Vice President for Outreach Services, and Dean of Outreach Programs
Dr. Joshua Riedy is at the forefront of creating educational opportunities and methodologies to meet the diverse and rapidly evolving needs of traditional students and non-traditional learners at the University of North Dakota. Prior to his current appointment, he served as Director of the Electronic University Consortium with the South Dakota Board of Regents. Riedy earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from South Dakota State University and the doctoral degree in education administration from the University of South Dakota.