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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The State Board of Higher Education will ask UND administration to reconsider the suspension of its music therapy program in light of budget cuts. UND students Jenna Tullius and Melea Hoeffner addressed the board at a meeting Tuesday and asked them to intervene with the suspension of the program while about 15 music students and supporters stood silently in the back of the room. SBHE Chairwoman Kathleen Neset responded by saying she would do as the students asked. "We would ask administration to take this under advisement," she said.
During his interview with the State Board of Higher Education Tuesday for the job of UND president, Mark Kennedy joked that he loves spending time in coffee shops meeting people so much he was thinking about writing a book on the subject. "That is my approach," he said. "You'll be sick and tired of seeing me because I will be spending very little time in my office, and I won't just be on my campus, I'll be around the state."
Immediately after pulling into his driveway, UND Interim President Ed Schafer walked over to greet a group of about 30 students holding a protest near his home on campus Monday evening. The group was there during a State Board of Higher Education social to protest the suspension of the UND Music Therapy Program, something event organizer Melea Hoeffner said had been done based on incomplete information. "We just think that cutting the UND Music Therapy Program is going to be detrimental to the entire music department," she said as those at the rally played music behind her.
The UND Student Senate is looking at reconfiguring its senate seats. Potential changes to the group's constitution and bylaws would reduce the number of senate seats from 23 to 21, eliminating a senator for those in Greek housing and giving that seat to a representative of students who live off-campus. The Honors Program senate seat would be combined with one for undeclared students, and one off-campus seat will be eliminated altogether.
A position sought by a UND administrator at University of Florida has been filled by another person. UND Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Reesor was a finalist for the position of vice president for student affairs at UF. The university announced in an online news release this week that the position has been filled by David Parrott, executive associate vice president and chief of staff in the division of student affairs at Texas A&M University.
The representatives from WTW Architects really wanted to know Wednesday at a forum what people want out of a potential renovation of the UND Memorial Union. Before the event started, Senior Principal Paul Knell asked the about 30 people in attendance to move to the chairs in the front of the hall and take clickers to cast votes as part of a preliminary data-gathering phase. UND Student Body President Matt Kopp said renovations at the Union is something he and Vice President Taylor Nelson have wanted to get off the ground since taking office.
The UND Presidential Search committee selected Steven Shirley, Mark Kennedy, and Nagi Naganathan as finalists to serve as the university's next president. At a meeting Friday, the three were chosen from a group of six who have all visited UND's campus in recent weeks. Shirley is the president of Minot State University, Kennedy is a former U.S. congressman from Minnesota and the director of the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and Naganathan is the dean of engineering at the University of Toledo.
Morgan Olsen has withdrawn from the UND presidential search. Olsen is the executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer of Arizona State University. UND Presidential Search Committee Co-chairman Grant Shaft announced Olsen's withdrawal during the committee's meeting Friday morning. Shaft did not elaborate as to why Olsen withdrew. "We don't ask for any other information at this time," he said.
At a forum Thursday, UND aerospace professor John Bridewell said he has met or been contacted by numerous people throughout his time at the university seeking to partner on research endeavors. Vice President for Research and Economic Development Grant McGimpsey said he realizes there isn't really a system in place to take advantage of those kinds of opportunities. "In the absence of a structure, at this time I would just say send me emails," he said.
Interim UND President Ed Schafer said positions and programs could be cut when it comes to looking for solutions for budget cuts. UND must trim $9.5 million from its 2015-17 budget while its School of Medicine and Health Sciences must reduce its own by $3.1 million after North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered state agencies to slash budgets in response to a forecasted state revenue shortfall. Schafer said this means low priority positions and programs could be eliminated, and the university's administration will not be immune to cuts either.