Anna Burleson is the higher education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of South Dakota's Mass Communication program and is originally from Watertown, S.D. Contact her with story ideas or tips by phone, email or Twitter, all of which are listed below. Examples of her work can be accessed here.
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With more students enrolling in online courses every year, UND is trying to stay ahead of the curve. Interim Vice President for University and Public Affairs Peter Johnson said the university plans to increase its offering of "enroll anytime" courses, which students can take online at whatever pace they choose as long as they complete it within nine months, from 65 classes to 90.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota University System Office and State Board of Higher Education budgets for next year have been reduced by $10.7 million. The SBHE Budget and Finance Committee unanimously approved a $72.2 million budget for fiscal year 2017 at a meeting Friday, a more than $10 million decrease from the $82.9 million budget the year prior. NDUS Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan said the decrease was due to a state-mandated budget cut affecting all state agencies and universities, known as an allotment.
Mariah Salfer isn't an experienced cyclist but after five straight days of biking, she was still in good spirits. "I guess I like to challenge myself and try to do things I've never done to find out if I like it or not," she said. "You never know until you try it and I've always had that attitude in life." The 20-year-old UND sophomore from Sleepy Eye, Minn., began her cross-country ride Sunday in Baltimore, Md. She has been training since January and will ride roughly 100 miles each day, ending her journey more than 4,000 miles later in Portland, Ore.
VALLEY CITY, N.D.—Many students taking classes at colleges and universities in North Dakota are doing so online. At the 11 North Dakota University System institutions, 47 percent of students take at least one distance course, which is defined as a class delivered via video, online, or other long distance instructional method. In 2012, that number sat at 40 percent, according to information presented to the interim Legislative Higher Education Funding Committee.
VALLEY CITY, N.D.—Lawmakers had a lot of questions for North Dakota University System representatives at a meeting this week. Lisa Feldner, the NDUS vice chancellor for information technology and institutional research presented rough data regarding administration, faculty and staff growth over the last decade at an interim Legislative Higher Education Funding Committee meeting Tuesday.
Wayne Stenehjem's gubernatorial campaign is sending online advertisements using university student emails obtained by a consulting firm's open records request. One such email went to UND student Michael Dulitz. It depicts Stenehjem and his running mate Nicole Poolman and includes a message about their track record of "championing the needs of our state's college students." Dulitz was traveling Thursday afternoon but said in an email the advertisement was "particularly off-putting."
A UND administrator has left the college for another job. Dave Chakraborty, the associate vice president of facilities management, is leaving for another job at Wellesley College in Boston, according to a campuswide email obtained by the Herald. Chakraborty said in the email he feels blessed by how welcomed he was in the community and thanked interim President Ed Schafer and Vice President for Finance and Operations Alice Brekke for their support.
Amanda Boyd, an associate professor of German Studies at UND, has been made director of the school's Honors Program. Boyd has worked at UND since 2007 and will assume her new role in July, according to an announcement on the school's online newsletter. Excluding benefits, Boyd will make $72,896 for her nine-month appointment starting this fall, interim Vice President for University and Public Affairs Peter Johnson said. She also is making $20,249 for her work over the summer.
The head of UND's School of Entrepreneurship said the donation to North Dakota's only other research university for an endowed chair of entrepreneurship is a positive thing for the whole state. "My reaction is congratulations to them," Executive Director and Chairman Tim O'Keefe said. "That success on their part does nothing other than validate the value of entrepreneurship as an educational pursuit and that it bodes well for entrepreneurship education in the entire region."
UND will be hosting the State Bar Association of North Dakota's Annual Meeting and hosting two accomplished leaders in the legal community. Paulette Brown, the first African American woman to be elected President of the American Bar Association, and Alan Page, the first African American to be elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court, will speak at the UND Chester Fritz Auditorium June 16. Brown will participate in a 10:15 a.m. panel discussion on diversity and bias and Page will speak at 8:30 a.m. about ethics and the elimination of bias in the law.