UND’s Susan Walton has accepted a senior public affairs position at Mayo Clinic.

The vice president for university and public affairs’ last day at UND is April 6, according a news release issued Friday. Walton said the move is a great opportunity but was a tough choice to make.

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“I hope to be able to apply my experience at UND to another world-class institution -- the Mayo Clinic -- that provides hope and healing to people the world over,” she said in the release.

She said she will be able to maintain her connection to higher education, as Mayo offers graduate medical programs.

“An additional benefit of the job is that it will enable my husband and me to live much closer to family,” she said. “That said, I plan to continue my connection with UND, and I look forward to becoming an alumna when my doctoral program concludes.”

Mayo is located in Rochester, Minn.

Walton has worked at UND since July 2012. In her time at UND, she has assisted in the recent planning and selection of UND’s athletic nickname, the Fighting Hawks, which replaced the controversial Fighting Sioux moniker. She also served on a committee that chose the design firm -- SME Inc. -- that will create the Fighting Hawks logo. The logo is expected to be completed by the end of May for use in the fall.

Walton had applied to be vice president for strategic communications, a senior leadership and cabinet position, at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., but the search was suspended shortly after her Jan. 14 visit to the campus as a result of BSU President Paul Ferguson resigning on Jan. 25, according to a report in The StarPress.

Interim UND President Ed Schafer said Peter Johnson, UND’s executive associate vice president for university relations, will replace Walton in the interim.