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UND asks state to match $20 million for business school

DeAnna Carlson Zink, CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, discussed the state of her organization Tuesday at an annual address at the Gorecki Alumni Center in 2017. Andrew Haffner / Grand Forks Herald

BISMARCK—UND is asking the state to match a $20 million donation to help construct the university's new College of Business & Public Administration building.

The university requested the House Appropriations committee add an amendment to Senate Bill 2297, which deals with bonding on several higher education buildings, including North Dakota State University's Dunbar Hall.

DeAnna Carlson-Zink, CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, said an anonymous donor and his wife have committed $20 million to the project if the state matches an additional $20 million.

The Legislature and State Board of Higher Education already have approved plans to raise as much as $70 million for the project. The additional $30 million would come from donors, and the building would become a part of the quad on UND's campus.

"This state-of-the-art building will be a place that produces strong business leaders who will, in turn, invest back into this beautiful state," she said, reading the donor's letter. "This new building is essential for UND to recruit, retain and graduate top students who will become our future business leaders, meeting essential workforce needs of the state."

Carlson-Zink said the university has been working with the anonymous donor for the past five years, but has been working with them on this specific project over the past nine months. The donor chose to move forward with the proposal last week.

She added that other donors also have indicated they would like to see the state become involved with the project.

The program currently is housed in Gamble Hall, which is scheduled to be taken down in the coming years. Gamble Hall is more than 50 years old, and the college has outgrown the space.

Dean Amy Henley said construction of a new business school would be a "more financially sound path for our future." She said experts have determined that the deferred maintenance and capital renewal needs for Gamble Hall would total $19 million.

Sydney Mook

Sydney Mook has been covering higher education at the Grand Forks Herald since May 2018. She previously served as the multimedia editor and cops, courts and health reporter at the Dickinson Press from January 2016 to May 2018.  She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in three and half years in December 2015. While at the USD, she worked for the campus newspaper, The Volante, as well as the television news show, Coyote News. She also interned at South Dakota Public Broadcasting and spent the summer before her senior year interning in Fort Knox for the ROTC Cadet Summer Training program. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys cheering on the New York Yankees and the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as playing golf. If you've got an idea for a video be sure to give her a call!

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