A UND fraternity has been shut down after its national headquarters said it did not meet academic and membership standards.
Pi Kappa Phi received the notice Friday via email, said Robb Jeffries, a spokesman for the chapter's alumni organization..
"While the decision to close a chapter is never taken lightly by the National Fraternity, we must also protect Pi Kappa Phi's long-term best interests on campus," Mark E. Timmes, the fraternity's national CEO, wrote in the email.
Pi Kappa Phi's minimum average GPA standard for its chapters is 2.5, and chapters must have at least 25 members.
Jeffries said the UND chapter, which had 17 members as of Friday, had an average GPA of 2.63 when it received the notice, though it had dropped below the national standard in the past.
"The chapter had never been in any sort of disciplinary issues with the university, certainly not for the last decade. It's a numbers game," said Jeffries, an employee of Forum Communications Co., which owns the Herald.
Reaching membership goals has been an issue for several semesters, he said. While the closing wasn't a surprise, receiving the notice was sad, he said.
The UND chapter was chartered Nov. 21, 1986, and would have celebrated its 30-year anniversary in November.
"Right now we're looking forward to taking a bit of time to analyze where we went wrong," Jeffries said.
Timmes wrote the UND chapter would be eligible to reopen in the fall of 2018.
"In the meantime, the Pi Kappa Phi Properties staff will work with the housing corporation to determine an appropriate plan for the chapter house in Grand Forks," Timmes wrote in the email.
The two-year window is a standard "cooling off" period for Pi Kappa Phi when a chapter is asked to close, Jeffries said, adding other chapters on UND's campus have closed.
This is the first time the UND chapter has closed, he said.
"It's pretty remarkable, a 30-year run," he said. "There are a lot of fraternities that rise and fall in that time."
Jeffries said the alumni base is very strong and that he has heard members are making plans to reclaim the charter. The fraternity still plans to host its 30th anniversary celebration, and though it has been disbanded, alumni hope to support their brothers.
"A piece of paper isn't going to determine if we are brothers or not," he said.
Notable members of Pi Kappa Phi include state Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who is running for governor.
The Herald was unable to reach the Pi Kappa Phi's headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., before it closed.