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UND hires interim vice president for student affairs after previous administrator fired following discrimination case

Beth Hellwig has been named interim vice president for student affairs by UND President Andrew Armacost. She began her new role on Oct. 1, and is working virtually, but will soon come to Grand Forks.

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UND has named an interim administrator following the termination of the previous person who held the job.

Beth Hellwig has been named interim vice president for student affairs by UND President Andrew Armacost. She began her new role on Oct. 1, and is working virtually, but will soon come to Grand Forks.

Hellwig has held several positions in higher education at universities across the country. Most recently, she served as interim vice president of student affairs and enrollment management at San Francisco State University. Previously she served as vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Before that she was dean of students at Gonzaga University. Hellwig has held several different positions concerning student life at other universities, including the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University and Montana State University.

“Dr. Hellwig brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in higher education that ties directly into the mission of UND’s Division of Student Affairs,” said Armacost. “Further, her lifelong commitment to inclusion, equity, and diversity will be instrumental as we refine our UND organizational structures to better serve the needs of all students. I’m looking forward to the dynamic leadership she’ll bring to our campus as the division’s interim vice president as well as her efforts working alongside our Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion Tamba-Kuii Bailey, as we work to advance our efforts around inclusion on campus.”

Hellwig will hold the position for at least eight months, while the search for a permanent replacement for the position is underway.

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She succeeds former UND vice president for student affairs Cara Halgren, who was removed from the position by Armacost following the resolution of a discrimination complaint filed by former university Police Chief Eric Plummer. Halgren was found by an administrative law judge to have discriminated against Plummer on the basis of his political beliefs.

Hellwig holds a doctorate in college student personnel administration from the University of Northern Colorado, a master’s degree in student affairs and higher education from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in pre-law and political science from New Mexico State University.

“I can’t wait to begin my interim role, and already can tell what an incredible president leads the university,” Hellwig said. “My philosophy aligns with his leadership beliefs. I am committed to collaboration with faculty, staff, administrators and community members, and my heart is enriched by working with student affairs professionals who are truly dedicated to helping students reach success.”

Hellwig, who grew up in Albuquerque, N.M., has two adult children. She will come to Grand Forks with her dog, Savannah, a west highland terrier.

beth-hellwig-headshot-web.jpg
Beth Hellwig has been hired in an interim capacity by UND, as the vice president for student affairs. (submitted)

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at akurtz@gfherald.com, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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