UND is now taking suggestions for what the school's permanent nickname should be.
Online and print submissions of nickname suggestions will be accepted as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 1, through April 30. The school's nickname committee is looking for nickname ideas only, so drawings, designs, logos or special characters will not be considered.
"I think it'll be great to see the response," UND alumnus and committee chairman Karl Goehring said. "We're just hoping all the people that care about UND and the people we talked to with the prior task force have an opportunity to be a part of this."
The online process can be accessed at und.edu/nickname and will allow for two suggestions.
Print submissions will allow for one suggestion and forms will be made publicly available in the April 4 issues of the Herald, Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Bismarck Tribune, Dickinson Press, Minot Daily News and Williston Herald. Those submissions must be postmarked no later than April 25.
All entries are anonymous, will be limited to 25 characters (letters and spaces) and can be accompanied by a 140-character description of why that particular idea should be chosen. Those who submit ideas will not be entitled to compensation if their ideas are accepted, and names that have already been trademarked will not be considered.
Goehring said President Robert Kelley told the committee recently that keeping UND/North Dakota as a permanent name is still an option.
UND's former controversial Fighting Sioux name was retired in December 2012 after a contentious legal battle and the NCAA threatened sanctions. The school has been playing simply as "UND/North Dakota" ever since.
Almost two years later, Kelley appointed a now disbanded task force that developed the idea of creating the current committee and soliciting ideas from the public in some manner.
A name for UND
At the committee's first meeting in early March, Kelley tasked the group with vetting and narrowing down the suggestions to three for the public to vote on in mid- to late-May.
But UND spokesman Peter Johnson said the date of the public vote would depend on how many suggestions the committee had to look through.
"We're taking it one step at a time," he said.
Suggestions will go to PadillaCRT, a public relations company that has had an advisor working with the old nickname task force and current nickname committee.
The committee will then evaluate the rest of the submissions based on four attributes the task force found the public valued in a November 2014 survey. They are:
• Be unique, recognizable, inspiring and distinctly UND's.
• Promote a sense of pride, strength, fierceness and passion.
• Be representative of the state and region in a way that honors the traditions and heritage of the past but also looks to the future.
• Be a unifying and rallying symbol.
The committee has considered weighting the categories but had not landed on a concrete solution as of its last meeting.
The task force's January plan stated the nickname should be chosen before a logo and branding effort was made, and the committee is following that plan.
Goehring said the committee also has yet to decide how the public vote will take place and what the definition of "public," is, though Kelley told the group he wanted it to be as inclusive as possible.
"We're hoping to clarify how this is going to work moving forward," Goehring said.
As unsolicited nickname ideas have been coming in to the university for years, Johnson said it's up to the committee to decide what to do with those that have been catalogued.
"We'll see what they want to do," he said.
All nickname committee meetings are open to the public, and the next one has yet to be scheduled.