Wade Rupard is a reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. Rupard is a 2014 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and is originally from Normal, Ill.
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Each week at elementary schools in Grand Forks, the schools' principals and staff lead the students in weekly all-school assemblies on the district's six pillars—caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness. Building those qualities starts young within Grand Forks Public Schools to ensure students understand the importance of diversity and inclusion.
After two racially charged photos were posted to social media within 48 hours of each other, UND President Mark Kennedy said more will be done at the school to educate people on campus about diversity and inclusion. In a statement released Thursday, Kennedy said he and a team will look at how other universities are educating people on diversity issues and bring those best practices to UND.
A $2.9 million wrongful termination lawsuit filed by the former director of the UND Energy and Environmental Research Center has been dismissed. In a ruling Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson dismissed the lawsuit, saying, in part, UND and the State Board of Higher Education went through the proper procedures when Gerald Groenewold, the former director of the EERC, was fired by then-President Robert Kelley in May 2014.
UND is investigating a photo posted online with a derogatory racial slur and what appears to be college students. A photo posted on Snapchat, a popular mobile app used to post videos and images, depicts three women wearing UND apparel smiling in what looks to be a UND dormitory. The photo is captioned "Locked the black b**** out." The Snap has triggered outrage on social media, with some saying racism is alive at the school. Others have demanded action by the university's administration.
After years of battles over the school's nickname and faculty unhappiness, new UND President Mark Kennedy wants harmony at the university. On the job for less than three months, Kennedy has spent most of that time listening to various stakeholders in the university and hearing their ideas for charting UND's future. Kennedy shed light on what he's learned at the start of his tenure and the plan he's laid out for the university at the annual Wake Up to UND breakfast Tuesday morning.
Though UND saw a 2 percent dip in enrollment, its 2016 freshman class is the school's most academically qualified based on average high school GPA and ACT scores. With an average high school GPA of 3.46 and an average ACT score of 24.0, this year's freshman class exceeded last fall's, which touted a then-record 3.42 GPA and 24.0 ACT average. That compares with a 3.33 GPA and 23.5 ACT average just four years ago for the fall 2012 entering class.
A survey of more than 300 UND administrators, faculty and staff shows many at the university are unhappy with the school's senior leadership, communication and collaboration. In a survey released Monday, UND received poor marks in areas such as interaction between staff, faculty and administrators while scoring well in job satisfaction, work/life balance and benefits.
With just six weeks until a final decision is due to UND President Mark Kennedy, the university's Intercollegiate Athletics Committee will begin to look at which sports it may cut at its next meeting. The committee, tasked to examine UND's athletics department, asked department staff during Monday's meeting to run as many scenarios as possible as to how the athletics department would look if some sports were cut.
Parents often worry a lot, particularly when it comes to their children's health. They shouldn't worry, however, about whether their child is getting enough vitamins, said Eric Lunn, Altru Health System president and pediatrician. If a child has a well-balanced diet, kids shouldn't need to take vitamin supplements, Lunn said. "The vast majority of kids eat or drink plenty of foods containing vitamins," Lunn said. "So actually, pediatricians feel healthy children who are eating a healthy diet don't need vitamins."
Internet blogs have been teeing off on UND's recently launched social justice living learning community, which has surprised Connie Frazier, executive director of housing and dining at UND. "This is one of the best lessons in what social justice is and helping to have a conversation with people who maybe aren't so sure about what you're trying to do," Frazier said.