Andrew Haffner covers higher education and general assignment stories for the Grand Forks Herald. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied journalism, political science and international studies. He previously worked at the Dickinson Press.
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Fall has officially settled on the Red River Valley—and so too have college students. Official and unofficial enrollment data show an uneven picture across the region. In Traill County, Mayville State University is recording a 1 percent increase to bring the school to a total of about 1,140 students, a number university leaders say is continued evidence of a multiyear pattern of growth.
UND's fall enrollment numbers showing week four headcounts are in, showing a decline in total undergraduates balanced by a rise in first-year students. Overall undergraduate enrollment stands at 14,406, a drop of 1.7 percent from last fall. However, even as that number has fallen, the flow of incoming students has increased. Enrollments of new freshmen picked up by about 1 percent, resulting in a population of 1,939 students.
UND has narrowed its search for a new head of communications to three finalists who will be visiting campus this week. A university press release announced last week a set of candidates vying for the position of vice president for university relations will be meeting with students, staff and faculty in a series of open forums starting Wednesday and ending next week.
The structurally damaged Main Clinic at Altru Health System in Grand Forks is on track to be demolished before year's end. Ken Vein, Altru administrative director of plant and facilities, stood Monday outside a fenced perimeter at the rear of the clinic at 12th Avenue and South Columbia Road. Within the cordoned area, demolition crews already were at work disconnecting the building's water lines.
WATFORD CITY, N.D.—The North Dakota oil boom turned black gold into green for public and private interests over its high-flying run. But now, leaders in Oil Patch cities that invested hundreds of millions of dollars to cope with the crush of boom activity are focused on answering questions about how to pay off the red ink of high municipal debts while anticipating future spending needs.
WILLISTON—It was a quiet afternoon in a downtown Williston art store. A passerby might quickly recognize the point of the QuickDraw Art Studio by the decorative brushes with paint-dipped bristles that hang in front windows. Once inside, one would find supplies lining the walls and easels standing at the ready in the center of the main room, waiting for students to sit before them.
Area universities fared well in the latest edition of the annual U.S. News and World Report college rankings. UND showed improvement for its 2018 rankings among universities overall and public schools specifically, moving up to No. 102 in the former and No. 192 in the latter. Those new spots are respectively eight and 10 positions higher than the university's placement on last year's list.
Larry Nybladh, superintendent of Grand Forks Public Schools, is heading into retirement. Nybladh announced his resignation effective June 30, 2018, in a letter to school board members included as part of their agenda packet for a regularly scheduled Monday meeting. In his letter, Nybladh wrote that the Grand Forks district "is an exceptional school system and one I have been honored to serve in a leadership capacity this past decade."
College freshmen are now a few weeks into their first year on campus at UND and other North Dakota colleges. On the other end of the spectrum, recent graduates who donned caps and gowns last spring are now a few months out—and likely considering the prospect of their first student loan payments.
Autumn might be closing in, but the Grand Forks Curling Club is gearing up for a summer spiel to break in its new digs. The club's freshly constructed, two-story building is opening Friday with a little pomp and circumstance—or at least a 7:30 p.m. first rock ceremony accompanied by a short bagpipe performance, said club member Dan Lindgren. "We're pretty happy," Lindgren said, describing the first rock as the curling equivalent to a ribbon cutting. "I'd say everyone is enjoying (the building) very much."