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.
- Member for
- 2 years 6 months
The governing body of North Dakota's public university system could be reducing its monthly in-person meeting schedule to a quarterly arrangement—a possibility that has "disappointed" the head of a state faculty organization.
Even with the removal of several campus buildings, it's easy to see that University Avenue bustles with activity as it spans the near-entirety of UND. School leaders are now focusing on that kind of traffic—as well as to less-visible corridors and gathering points—as they work through their most recent iteration of a facilities master plan to shape the fate of the physical campus. Mike Pieper, head of university facilities, said the ongoing planning process will extend through winter and will likely be completed on a "chapter basis," with pieces wrapped up in segments.
A group of North Dakota University System faculty has issued a letter of "concern regarding a lack of procedure" surrounding a critical review of system Chancellor Mark Hagerott. Members of the Council of College Faculties unanimously agreed Tuesday to draft the letter stating there was a "failure to distribute" properly the results of a June 2016 staff survey of Hagerott's leadership following an incident in which the chancellor allegedly overreacted to an open records request probing claims of political pressure on his office during last year's primary election.
A truck carrying sugar beets overturned late Friday morning just outside Grand Forks, scattering its haul and sending its driver to the hospital. According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the truck was headed north on County Road 5 on a stretch between 32nd Avenue South and DeMers Avenue when it began to swerve. Trooper Cody Neunthal said it appears the truck first veered toward the east ditch before pulling back across the median. The driver then overcorrected to get back into her lane, causing the truck to skid and eventually overturn nose-first into the east ditch.
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.