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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Dennis Bona, president of Northland Community and Technical College, started his Thursday presentation of the 2017 State of the College by focusing on the positives.
In the basement auditorium of a Grand Forks retirement community, UND professor Albert Berger was giving a crash course on communism in the western hemisphere. Not a how-to by any means, but an explainer of the Cuban Missile Crisis set in the political context of its day. The broad outline of those tense days in 1962 was a living history for many in the audience, a fact that couldn't be said about many who attend classes at UND.
The UND steam plant was alit with activity Wednesday as boilers fired, coal dropped and heat radiated to the far reaches of campus. Like the machines within it, the plant too has been in motion over the course of its long life, said facility manager Craig Machart. The facility has expanded above the earth as its underground lines do the same below, and now an ongoing process gathering steam of its own could see a major, campuswide shift in operations for the UND heating network. Facilities head Mike Pieper said the scope of the effort is more than just hot air.
A pair of of nationally known musicians were arrested on marijuana offenses earlier this year after their tour buses were stopped at the Canadian border crossing in Portal, N.D. Grammy Award-winner Melissa Etheridge and rock musician Todd Rundgren were both stopped at the border on separate occasions while returning to the U.S. from engagements in Canada. Both musicians were accused of possessing hash oil, and Rundgren was also accused of possessing drug paraphernalia. Both offenses are Class B misdemeanors.
WALHALLA, N.D.—Choice Financial bank contributed $100,000 toward the June purchase of the Frost Fire ski area in Walhalla by the Pembina Gorge Foundation, according to a foundation release. Foundation spokeswoman Kristi Wilfahrt said the bank's gift went toward paying the ski area's $1 million-plus price tag when the group bought the recreational site from Judith and Richard Johnson, who had owned Frost Fire for more than 40 years.
UND's total fall enrollment sits at one of its lowest points so far this decade, but a university admissions leader says there's more to the number than meets the eye. Even at an apparent ebb, UND director of admissions Jason Trainer said the school is still within its average range of students. The institution is also posting evidence of some modest growth over the past 10 years as it watches the outflow of its largest enrollment year on record, a 15,250-student total headcount in 2012 that marked a peak both in the past decade and in the history of the institution.
The leader of the Grand Forks County social services office has rejected claims that the local Child Protective Services office mishandled cases of possible child abuse or neglect.
UND's search for a new head of communications is starting over. The university hosted three finalists for campus visits in September as it narrowed its search to fill the vice president of university relations position now filled on an interim basis by retiring UND spokesman Peter Johnson. But, according to a university release, the committee handling the search effort "was unable to complete the search to its desired outcome" and will now continue its work to produce a new set of candidates.
The UND Petroleum Engineering Department has a tight industry focus, which means instructors push students to get hands-on experience in the field. Normally that would mean a trip west to the Bakken oilfields. But after a series of major investments in the department's home in the university's Collaborative Energy Complex, a piece of the oilfield can come to students right in Grand Forks.
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.