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Offline Sal Atticum

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State of the University Address
« on: November 20, 2008, 10:56:03 am »
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Text of Kelley's speech
Grand Forks Herald
Published Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Good Afternoon.

Professor Jackson, Members of the University Council, the UND community and guests:

It is a great personal pleasure to present my first State of the University address to the UND community. Marcia and I have been warmly welcomed by all of you and, as a result, we have very quickly come to feel that we are an integral part of the University and all that UND represents to our city and our new state of residence. Thank you for welcoming us.

As Marcia and I have traveled the state, we have come to understand that North Dakota is UNDís campus. And we have also come to understand how much North Dakotans care about UND and how much UND means to them. As the new president, I feel that much more than an institution has been entrusted to my care and my leadership. I have been charged with caring for a community, a family -- of students, faculty, staff, retirees, legislators, concerned partners in the city and state -- all willing to work together to nurture this great institution.

UND has transformed generations through its mission of education, learning, research, scholarship and creative works, and has prepared its graduates for leadership in Bismarck, Washington, throughout the United States and the World, and, most recently, to the International Space Station in Earth orbit.

The University of North Dakota is a great University, poised to be an exceptional one, blessed with a creative, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

Our goal is, quite simply, to be exceptional in all that we do, to be the very best in the arts and humanities and the professions, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which I will refer to as ďSTEM,Ē and athletics. And we will continue to conduct our programs in exceptional facilities, facilities that are sensitive to our environment and to the economies of our city, state and nation.

Since arriving on campus on July 1, I have observed that there are at least four core values, unspoken but clearly present, shared by every member of the University family: an emphasis on quality; a willingness to take advantage of offered opportunities; an atmosphere that I can only call ďlearner-centeredĒ; and a strong sense of public engagement. I believe that sharing these core values will help us move from Great to Exceptional.

I would like to spend just a few moments at the beginning of this address highlighting some of the outstanding achievements within the institution. Clearly, I wonít be able to speak to every accomplishment, and there should be no attempt to read between the lines if a favorite program or achievement is not mentioned. But I would like to showcase a sample of what the faculty, staff and students of the University have achieved as a reflection of where we are at the moment, and why we should be justifiably proud of the University.

UND has a remarkable faculty and staff. The University has recruited well over the years, and we will continue to put priority emphasis on allocating resources into faculty and staff compensation and professional development. The efforts of UNDís faculty and staff have resulted in new centers and institutes; new advances in science and technology; creative new performances in music and the visual and performing arts; and development of innovative new technologies, like the AgCam that was recently delivered to the International Space Station by NASA on the Shuttle Endeavour.

Faculty have developed centers that focus on such diverse themes as digital humanities, sustainable energy, human rights, digital archiving, neuroscience, natural resource law, human behavior, regulation of the gaming industry, and the list goes on and on.

And last week, UND staff leadership hosted the first North Dakota University System Staff Leadership Conference on campus. In addition, itís important to note that UND enjoys unprecedented leadership across the North Dakota University System: Halee Cripe is the student member on the State Board of Higher Education; Jon Jackson is the faculty representative to the State Board; and Janice Hoffarth, administrative assistant in the Department of Music, is the newly elected (and first) president of the University System Staff Senate.

UND enjoys remarkable students, too. Enrollment is up. We have nearly 12,750 students at the University this Fall. And among those students is a freshman class that, from the standpoint of grade point averages and ACT scores, is possibly the most prepared incoming class in the institutionís history.

The Graduate School continues to grow. Students working on advanced degrees now number 2,135. The professional schools continue to have stable enrollments. Some colleges, such as the School of Engineering and Mines and the College of Nursing, have seen significant growth, thanks in part to our distance education programs. And the best news is that there is every reason to believe that enrollment will again be up next Fall. It will take a great deal of hard work by a lot of people -- faculty, staff, and students -- but if we all pull together, we should exceed our near-term enrollment goal of 13,000.

I just mentioned distance instruction. I learned the other day of one remarkable student who is a truck driver based in North Dakota. Her work takes her from Alaska to Texas -- sort of the opposite of the ďplace-boundĒ student. Along the way, she visits Internet connections so she can pursue her degree, online, through UND.

The University currently offers 31 distance degree programs and certificates administered by Continuing Education. Enrollments stand at 3,161 and, in my judgment, there is considerable capacity for growth in online and distance education. And driving a long-haul 18 wheeler is not a prerequisite for accessing UNDís on-line programs. We have students on campus who are taking UND courses through distance education to supplement on-campus courses or to overcome a scheduling conflict.

Students of the future, as well as many enrolled now, will come to expect choices in how they receive their education. This clearly is an area where UND can do more, and we will.

I believe that this kind of dedication to study at UND reflects exceedingly well on our academic programs and the opportunities for learning that these programs provide. Accreditation for professional programs is always an issue, and it is an index of UNDís excellence that programs in the College of Law, College of Education and Human Development, School of Nursing, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Engineering and Mines and the Odegard School all continued to achieve high ratings from accrediting and licensing agencies.

UND recently hosted a very successful Higher Learning Commission site visit focusing on program and learner outcome assessment. Because of the hard work of our faculty and staff, UND received high marks on our response to the Higher Learning Commission about learning outcome assessment and how we use the results of assessment to continually strengthen our educational programs.

Let me mention just a few of UNDís many areas of programmatic excellence.

Recently, I was introduced to the Integrated Studies Program, an opportunity for students entering the University to explore how multiple disciplines -- for example, economics, political science, the intersection of technology with society, music and the arts -- all come together to frame solutions to contemporary issues. That was an enjoyable morning for me, because this is the way I learn, and, of course, I think others should enjoy learning this way, too.

UND rolled out its new nationally recognized Essential Studies Program, providing a roadmap for students to navigate through the University and obtain a general education that benchmarks against the curriculum of other exceptional universities.

And Iíve had a great deal of satisfaction watching students in the College of Business and Public Administration manage Americaís only student-run venture fund, the Dakota Venture Group. A similar group of UND students manages an Investment Fund portfolio of some $800,000 that continues -- at least, I think it continues in todayís financial climate, Dean Elbert -- to outperform the S&P 500.

National rankings are a somewhat fickle index of an institutionís quality, but I would be remiss if I didnít state that it gives a president a great set of talking points to be able to highlight areas with national recognition -- like UNDís entrepreneurship program (top 15 nationally); UNDís programs in aerospace sciences and aviation education (uniformly ranked No. 1 nationally); national standing for UNDís community-based program in medical education, in partnership with health care systems in the state; nationally recognized academic programs for Native American students (INMED (Indians into Medicine) and RAIN (Recruitment-Retention of American Indians into Nursing)); and nationally recognized programs administered by the National Center for Hydrogen Research, the Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies in the School of Law, and the recent success of the AgCam associated with the Northern Great Plains Center for People and the Environment.

The UND Graduate School has also enjoyed signal achievements in recent weeks. Neville Forlemu, a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry, became the first UND student to ever receive a UNCF/Merck Predoctoral Fellowship. Peter Reis, a Ph.D. student in physics, and Daniel Theis, a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry, were selected to be among only 60 invitees from around the world to attend the 58th Annual Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students in Lindau, Germany. And, two weeks ago, the State Board of Higher Education approved a Ph.D. Program in Scientific Computing to add to the graduate programs available to students at UND.

Also, this past summer, the four telescopes at the UND Internet Observatory were brought into operational status. Three optical telescopes and a radio telescope are now available for use over the Internet. Observers can be at home, in different states, in different countries and make observations. How cool is that! A telescope for the southern hemisphere is the next goal of this group. Also this summer and Fall, UND enjoyed events associated with the 125th anniversary of its founding -- commencements; convocations awarding honorary doctorates; Great Conversations with Salman Rushdie, Phil Jackson and Stephen Bloom; an inauguration ceremony; An Afternoon of the Arts; a day of memory for President John F. Kennedy; Travis Roy; performing arts productions in the Burtness Theatre; musical performances and concerts by the Pride of the North Marching Band, the 12 OíClock Jazz Band, and the Steel Drum Band. If you havenít had the opportunity to attend a performance of this last group, you should. Theyíre a creative blend of the CaribbeanÖBob Marley, Trinidad and Tobago, and JunkanooÖright here on the Red River of the North.

UNDís research enterprise continues to grow. Awards for research and sponsored programs have been at or around the $100 million mark for the past two years. And many people have contributed to this growth. Faculty and staff efforts have played a major role through their competitive ideas and innovation. UND has a very productive, supportive congressional delegation that assists in providing funding for new ideas that will be the nucleus of economic development for the state and nation.

As an example, Sen. Byron Dorgan founded the Red River Valley Research Corridor, and provided funding for a number of centers and institutes that have contributed to the success of the Corridor. And Gov. John Hoeven, by recommending funding for North Dakotaís Centers of Excellence Program, supports programs like the Center of Excellence in Unmanned Aerial Systems and the Center of Excellence in Life Sciences and Advanced Technologies.

The University's work through the Red River Valley Research Corridor -- which includes collaborations with North Dakota State University, the two tech parks at both institutions, and with businesses and local communities included in the Research Corridor -- has helped UND reach an overall economic impact of more than $1 billion.

And UNDís facilities are supporting the expectations of faculty, staff and students in their respective activities. In September, we dedicated the new National Center for Hydrogen Technology at the EERC. A month later, we dedicated the Northern Plains Behavioral Research Center, which will house research activities in nursing and psychology. Soon we will dedicate the new REAC 1, the first building in our Research, Enterprise and Commercialization Park next to the Hilton Garden Inn. Housing the Center of Excellence in Life Sciences and Advanced Technologies, its tenants will include businesses and programs like Alion, Avianax, Ideal Aerosmith, Laserlith, NovaDigm and SUNRISE Renewables -- affectionately known as ďWayneís World" -- where Prof. Wayne Seames and his team of students from the School of Engineering and Mines and the College of Arts and Sciences investigate the development of biofuels.

I would be remiss if I didnít mention the new University House where Marcia and I have the privilege to live. Itís another example of the impact of our growing UND Foundation. Through a generous gift from William and Jane Marcil, administered through the Foundation in partnership with the UND Office of Operations and Finance, UND has a new venue for greeting guests to campus and a gracious home that adds value to an already handsome campus.

The Foundation has assets of nearly $220 million, thanks to many generous alumni and friends. True, we are now in turbulent economic times -- and how the global downturn impacts our future remains to be seen -- but the Foundation Board is composed of accomplished alumni who are dedicated to the success of UND and will continue to work with all of us to assure a successful future for the University in the years ahead.

The new Student Wellness Center remains one of the jewels in UNDís crown. Just yesterday, the center was awarded the American Heart Association Platinum Level Fit Friendly Company Award and the Workplace Fitness Innovation Award -- awards given to organizations that achieve the highest levels of physical activity in the workplace.

And the Chester Fritz Library continues to be an integral component of teaching, learning and scholarship on campus. Digital Collections have grown; historical records and manuscripts have been archived; and the library has partnered with the College of Law to obtain important international documents from the Nuremberg Tribunals and the period of the Ethiopian Red Terror to supplement research collections critical to UNDís Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies.

Let me also share with you the status of UNDís transition to Division 1 in the NCAA. Under the very capable direction of UNDís new Director of Athletics, Brian Faison, UND is in the first year of transition to full D1 membership status. In July, our first month of the transition, we took our first big step as a D1 program when we were invited to join the Great West Conference. This provided almost all of our sports programs with a conference home. In this regard, womenís soccer, womenís volleyball, football, menís basketball and womenís basketball have all enjoyed wins over Division 1 opponents this. We have dramatically increased the marketing reach of UND Athletics through a marketing partnership with the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Iím sure that you have seen the advertisements for our teams as you travel around the city and state -- ĒWe are One, We are North DakotaĒ

Also, as I ďStand Up and CheerĒ for our teams, Iím impressed that these outstanding young athletes are also outstanding students. At the close of the Spring semester of 2008, seven graduating seniors held a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or better. Eighteen student athletes held a 4.0 GPA through the Fall 07 and Spring 08 semesters; and coming into competition this semester, 55 student athletes hold GPAs of 3.5 or better. Fourteen of our 20 teams were represented in NCAA post-season play. Six Student athletes were named to Academic All-District teams and four were named Academic All-Americans. And three earned individual event NCAA Championships.

Clearly, UND is a great university -- creative, innovative and entrepreneurial.

So, what do we do next? Where are we going, and how will we get there?

As I indicated in my inaugural address to the University family a few weeks ago, there is a great deal to be learned from the 125 year history of our institution. Weíve had good times and bad. Significant challenges have confronted the University, and we certainly have some significant ones ahead of us.

Going forward, the following challenges will provide the working foundation for UNDís specific priorities as outlined in the current academic plan for UND:

We will be challenged by the increasing costs of higher education. These costs are driven by the need for competitive compensation, competitive benefits like healthcare, construction costs for new facilities, regulation and compliance with government mandates and oversight, and campus security. All are necessary and must be managed thoughtfully. Effective allocation of fiscal and human resources will be an ongoing process to assure that UND reaches its goals.

We will continue to be challenged to provide access to new generations of students. We will continue to work with the Chancellor and North Dakota State Board of Higher Education to promote increased contributions from the state to UNDís revenues. We have no wish to raise tuition if that can be avoided, because that action simply places a greater burden on students and families, and makes higher education less accessible.

And we will continue to be challenged by the need to maintain and improve educational quality, along with the need to be accountable for that quality.

There are five specific areas that I wish to emphasize for the coming year: the global financial landscape in which we live; enrollment; leadership; academic priorities and synergies; and UNDís athletic transitions.

First, all of us are aware of the major economic downturn that has had ripple effects around the world for the past several weeks and months. Although UND and the State of North Dakota appear to be relatively stable at the moment, we may have challenges ahead with institutional finances. In this regard, UND supports the budget recommendations advanced by the Chancellor of the NDUS and approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education.

UND has explained its portion of that budget to the Executive Branch in Bismarck and we will learn where UND will stand in the Governorís Budget as it is rolled out in early December. We are also discussing UNDís priorities with members of the North Dakota Legislature as opportunities permit. The legislature has supported UND by acknowledging the recommendations of the State Roundtable for Higher Education and through the recommendations of the Interim Committee on Higher Education. I wish to thank the Legislature for its continued support for UND and for North Dakotaís University System.

UNDís budget relies on several major related components: about half of our operating revenues are derived from state appropriations and tuition and fees, both about equally divided. The remaining revenues come from grants, contracts, the auxiliary enterprises of the University, and our modest, but growing endowment. And we thank our friends and alumni for helping grow that endowment.

As we apportion our revenues, we will continue to focus on faculty and staff compensation; UNDís academic programs, with special priority on arts and humanities, the professions, and STEM initiatives, including the national Science and Math Teaching Initiative (SMTI, affectionately known as ďSmittyĒ); and we will continue to work to increase scholarships and other forms of support for students. Likewise, we will place a high priority on the creation of more endowments for professorships and chairs, which will continue to enhance the stature of UND through enhanced competitive recruitment for faculty and development of new programs.

And we will continue to target resources for improvements to our facilities. We anticipate that a new Information Technologies and Computing Center will be funded during the next session in Bismarck. This building will house IT for the North Dakota University System and will provide space for UNDís further development of technologies that will support computational science on campus. An additional top priority is the renovation and build-out of the building housing the College of Education and Human Development.

I wish to add that UND will be challenged to provide stewardship of resources which we must earn -- and I emphasize earn. Whether they are appropriations from the state legislature, tuition and fees from enrolled students, grants and contracts from state and federal agencies, or gifts from friends and supporters of this great University, these resources are being competed for by many sectors. UND must compete at the highest levels to earn the resources that are assigned to us. I believe that these resources will be earned, by all of us, through our creativity, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

Another ongoing priority will be building UNDís enrollment. We had increases this year, but it will take a lot of hard work to continue that trend. We will step up activities in recruitment through strategic marketing and advertising. This will require additional resources, but equally important it will require a clear set of goals that are both challenging and realistic. We will work with staff in the Office of University Relations, and also extramural expertise, in UNDís marketing and advertising initiatives. Success in this area will require all of us to contribute to a university environment that will be welcoming, stimulating and safe for students; a culture that is conscious of, and places a priority on, multicultural diversity; and one in which this diversity is coupled with critical thinking through UNDís curriculum. In brief, an exciting place for all of us to learn, live, create, innovate and advance our respective goals and ambitions.

We will enhance our international student presence on campus. And weíve already had some very good success in this area. UND is the number one destination campus for Norwegian students studying in the United States. Programs in the Odegard School bring in students from literally all over the world. The Department of Chemistry has created a pipeline for students from Cameroon. And students from Somalia and Malawi enroll at UND to study educational leadership in the College of Education and Human Development. Among students, faculty and staff, more than 60 countries are represented on campus.

In addition, I believe that we must engage more actively in exchanging UND students with other universities and institutions beyond the borders of the United States. Clearly, the goal of these efforts is to add value to the UND experience through the creation of an enhanced international and multicultural environment. It is only through such enhancement that UND will be able to educate fully our students for their roles in an increasingly connected, complex global community.

More and more students are requesting the opportunity to enroll in courses and programs offered in part or totally online. We will need to review our program and course-offering culture. To succeed, in some cases it will be necessary to examine how and when courses are scheduled and how they are delivered and funded. We must become more nimble in addressing this cohort of our students.

In addition to recruiting more students, we must find more ways to retain those who do come, and to find ways to assure their progress to a degree. We have a wealth of academic programs for a university of our size. But we need to utilize this strength to retain students. We lose far too many students after they get here. The retention rate for the freshman class has improved over the past two years, which may be a direct result from increased admissions standards implemented in 2005. But we need to do more to keep students from leaving us after their first, second and third years. In this regard, finding more compelling ways to engage students in the life of the University may have the most immediate impact on meeting this goal. And retention, time to graduation and UNDís graduation rate must become metrics by which we gauge institutional success.

UND has one of the most comprehensive curricula of any university of comparable size. The newly launched ďCurriculum Master Planning Initiative,Ē administered by the Deanís Council and the Office of Academic Affairs, will continue to assess issues of quality, identification of important new program initiatives, and in some cases, revisions to existing programs, to assure maintenance of the highest quality education at the University.

As UNDís future begins to unfold under a new administration, I wish to state that shared governance is alive and well at UND. We have an engaged group of senates -- faculty, staff and students -- all with dedicated, capable leadership. The Presidentís Cabinet and I participate with each of these groups and have listened to the respective issues that have been brought to the administration to be addressed. In this regard, it is my position that the leadership of the University is responsible for nurturing the UND family.

UND has a tradition of caring for members of the family, and that tradition will be continued. The administration of the University will strive to communicate its deliberations and decisions wherever possible, and to permit input into those decisions that impact the UND community. Thatís not to say that hard decisions will not have to be made, but it is to say that the business of the University isnít just business. Itís also about how students, faculty and staff are affected.

In addition, UND will continue to partner with the City of Grand Forks and will seek new avenues to participate in the economic development of our city and state. A downtown presence for some of UNDís academic programs may be both desirable and feasible in the immediate future. In addition, we will seek new ways to partner with the Grand Forks Air Force Base in areas of immediate return, most notably by providing courses needed by Airmen to advance their careers, and in developing the facilities and programs needed for the new Center of Excellence in Unmanned Aerial Systems. Furthermore, UND will continue to achieve new collaborations with North Dakota State University for purposes of education and research advancement. The immediate priority will be to advance a joint degree program leading to a Masters in Public Health.

There has been some reorganization within the Presidentís Cabinet. I have asked Brian Faison, Director of Athletics, to join the cabinet; and I have eliminated the position of Vice President for General Administration. Robert Gallager, Vice President for Finance and Operations, has announced his retirement starting in December, and I have asked Alice Brekke, UNDís Budget Director, to serve as interim vice president. Provost Weisenstein will chair the search committee for that position.

In addition, Gary Johnson, interim Vice President for Research, has resigned to take a position with the South Dakota University System, and I have asked Dean Hesham El-Rewini to chair a search committee to recommend candidates for the position of Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Barry Milavetz has stepped up to the interim vice presidency as the search progresses.

I wish to personally thank each of these individuals for their service to UND.

The respective portfolios of each vice president and the provost will continue to be examined to best serve a growing, evolving university so that they will reflect added emphasis on meeting goals in equity, multicultural and international issues, and informational technology utilization for the campus.

I mentioned earlier in this address that priorities for academic programs would reside in the arts and humanities, the professions, and the STEM initiatives on campus.

I believe that UND has done an excellent job in building and strengthening the research enterprise. We will continue to do so. But, in addition, we must renew our commitment to the liberal arts and to scholarship in the arts and humanities.

We can do that in several ways. First, we will find ways to continue the Great Conversations that have been so popular. These were special events associated with the 125th anniversary celebration of UND. We need to continue these instructive and entertaining events. I would like to see UND host at least two or three ďGreat ConversationsĒ during the course of an academic year.

I also suggest that UND establish an Arts and Humanities Council to help focus attention on the liberal arts and humanities. Among its charges would be developing and organizing conferences and symposia, much like the ďJohn F. Kennedy History, Memory, LegacyĒ event held this past September. This excellent conference represents the focus on scholarship and knowledge that characterizes an exceptional University like UND.

An additional priority will be placed on the development of connections among campus resources, both human and fiscal capital, to create synergies. UND already has some excellent examples. The School of Nursing, the Department of Psychology, and UND Aerospace have teamed up to lead a nationwide study of human factors that affect aircrew performance, and to examine how differences such as personality and communications styles may affect pilot training. Such synergies contribute to excellence in academic programs and to competitiveness in obtaining extramural funding to support the synergy.

Another opportunity resides in the development of an exciting new field, digital humanities, that is being explored in the Department of English and other units across campus. By using computational technologies, one can study the development of the thought and creative reasoning that goes into a creative work -- a poem, a concerto, a novel, and a public address. By adapting these methods to assess the creative process, and to extend that line of creativity and reasoning beyond the completed work, an investigator may then able to develop paradigms that predict how further work in that area might be framed. The applications to public policy, business planning, legal issues, and even health diagnostics and human behaviors are limitless.

And Iíve already mentioned UNDís AgCam, another example of multidisciplinary activity creating a ďsuperclusterĒ to advance ideas into realities. This instrument will capture on-demand images of land and other earth surface features across the upper Midwest, and will be used by farmers, ranchers, tribal resource managers, and researchers to assess hydration, nutritional content, and other properties of soils, in addition to biological resources like forests and crops within the range of the sensors and analytic instruments contained in the camera.

Students and faculty involved in this project came from four UND colleges --Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Administration, Aerospace Sciences, and Engineering and Mines -- and from eight departments: electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, space studies, earth systems science and policy, business and public administration, physics and theatre arts.

An obvious opportunity for multidisciplinary synergy is the potential of developing an academic unit at UND dealing with alternative and sustainable energy resources. The goal would be to provide an undergraduate and, eventually, a graduate degree program focused on understanding current energy sources and their management and utilization. Clearly, UND has existing strengths in this area as evidenced by the activities in the EERC, the SUNRISE Initiative, the new department and degree program in Petroleum Engineering, and the Jodsaas Center in the School of Engineering and Mines.

Connecting existing strengths in several colleges and schools across the campus -- a new, exciting synergistic curriculum dealing with natural resource law and policy, executive management, languages and cultures in energy producing regions of the world, as well as the technology behind development, recovery and production -- would provide opportunities for students to enter the energy industry with knowledge and tools not available through programs at other universities. And we currently have our best and brightest from a variety of disciplines working on recommendations for curriculum development in these important areas.

These are examples of activities in which we need to do more. Iíve asked Prof. John La Duke, Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, to work with UNDís faculty and staff to identify existing multidisciplinary groups that have potential, with added resources, to attain national prominence. I have asked La Duke to take the same approach to identifying possible new groups that -- through collaboration, expertise and synergy not before realized -- can also be taken to national prominence.

And fifth, UND will continue the transition into NCAA D1 competition. Our goal of full Division 1 membership for all of our sports programs will involve the following priorities during the next five years:

* Administer the athletics program in full compliance with all D1 membership requirements;

* Continue to lead the mandated process for reclassification, continually engaging all constituencies of UND in the progress of the process;

* Continue to build and maintain competitive athletic teams;

* Aggressively grow the financial resources needed to operate a competitive Division 1 athletics program, including the continued partnering with the City of Grand Forks and the UND Foundation for development of competitive facilities for training and game-day competition;

* Expand the presence of UND athletics in the local, regional and national media;

* Work in partnership with the University to maintain the departmentís commitment to diversity and gender equity;

* And ensure the continuation of the tradition of academic success by our student-athletes.

I have asked Sue Jeno to continue to be the faculty representative to the NCAA and will ask the Athletic Director, Brian Faison, to continue to work with his coaches and staff to assure appropriate progress towards completion of these priorities.

In closing, as I indicated in my inaugural address, UND will continue to demonstrate a shared set of values -- academic freedom; academic integrity and honesty; inclusiveness; understanding of cultural, ethnic and racial diversity in our society; respect for individual differences and beliefs; a genuine commitment to advancing knowledge through teaching, research and scholarship; and a commitment by the University to serve our society at every level. Leading universities, and UND is one, exhibit focus, passion, courage, wisdom and integrity in coupling multicultural and international awareness with the critical thinking that students gain from participating in the curriculum of that leading institution.

Strategic Positioning of a university comes from a lively, robust institutional conversation. From these conversations will come ďthe Big Ideas" -- and a more complete understanding of the institutionís mission and goals. I believe that UNDís ďBig IdeaĒ is the realization that we are educating our students for ďcomplexityĒ -- to prepare our students to participate in a global community and to address complex questions for which there are no simple, or even correct, answers. And it is to this end that we must renew our commitment to the University and to its success in moving from Great to Exceptional.

We will go there together.

Thank you.
JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P

 

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