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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For Megan Berg, a UND junior studying communication disorders, going to class in the freshly renovated Columbia Hall brings a perk unusual on campus—the sound of children. "It's really cool because we have kids walking right past us as we're walking to class—and I just love being around kids," said Berg, who hopes to work with children in her professional career. "It's so fun when you hear them between or during classes, like during a lecture you'll hear one little scream or something."
UND is rolling out a new scholarship pool for incoming aviation students. University leaders, including several from the UND Aerospace Foundation, announced Tuesday the creation of the $1.5 million James C. Ray Memorial Freshman Scholarship Endowment. Ray, a venture capitalist who died in April at the age of 94, was a major benefactor of UND who contributed nearly $25 million to the school, much of that earmarked for aviation.
UND's alumni foundation is honoring a group of five people Wednesday with the Sioux Award, the highest accolade the organization gives. The awards are granted each year by the UND Alumni Association and Foundation as part of the school's Homecoming week to recognize "achievement, service and loyalty" among alumni and friends of the university.
Actor Josh Duhamel's work in the "Transformers" film series never landed him an Academy Award, but he could soon be in for a different kind of accolade. The State Board of Higher Education gave UND approval Thursday to bestow Duhamel with an honorary doctorate degree to celebrate the actor's North Dakota ties. According to a university press release, Duhamel, a native of Minot "has never forgotten his birthplace ... or the state" throughout his Hollywood career.
Disruption is in the air for the entrepreneurs of UND. The university is coming near to launching its search for a new leader—or leaders—to head up its startup-minded UND Center for Innovation and its academic School of Entrepreneurship. Such leaders would likely take the helm in a transitional period for both organizations.
Mayville State University is gearing up to start its search for a new president to replace longtime leader Gary Hagen, who is retiring next summer. Hagen has been president of MSU for more than a decade and will be leaving his post at the end of July 2018. At its Thursday meeting, the State Board of Higher Education gave the university the go-ahead to authorize the head of the university system to hire a search consultant to help guide the process of finding the school's next chief executive.
UND is looking to capitalize on a brand built around leadership. University President Mark Kennedy took to the stage in the ballroom of UND's Memorial Union to deliver his "Wake up to UND: Leaders in Action" address. The event was sponsored by the area Chamber of Commerce and centered around a positive view of the university's progress along its recently enacted strategic plan, an overarching document intended to drive improvement across all areas of the institution.
Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, made an appearance Monday in Grand Forks as part of a tour of his Midwestern district. Kashkari spent much of the day touring the city with local leaders, making visits in an itinerary that included a talking session with public health experts to discuss the opioid crisis and a walk-about of downtown Grand Forks to discuss recovery after the flood of 1997.
BISMARCK—North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott has called for a formal investigation of what he describes as a political attempt to influence his office in the most recent gubernatorial election as well as a subsequent campaign to "discredit my office and myself."
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.