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New nickname plan on its way to UND president

The plan UND could use to pick a new nickname will be in the hands of the university's president by the end of the day Friday, after the school's nickname task force signed off on it.

UND logo

The plan UND could use to pick a new nickname will be in the hands of the university's president by the end of the day Friday, after the school's nickname task force signed off on it.

UND's Nickname and Logo Process Recommendation Task Force looked at copy edits on the plan at a meeting Wednesday, and after representatives from the university's marketing and public relations department address some minor tweaks, the plan will to go President Robert Kelley.

The group's recommendation is to appoint another committee of 15 stakeholders that would ultimately choose a name after gathering public input and holding a series of polls to narrow down choices. The plan includes keeping "UND/North Dakota" as an option for a permanent nickname, which the school has been playing as since the controversial Fighting Sioux name was retired in late 2012 after the NCAA threatened sanctions.

At the last minute, the task force decided to include the recommendation that UND not change its school colors with the implementation of a new nickname and logo.

"It needs to be said upfront that our goal was never to change the colors or university marks, it was the athletic logo," task force member and UND faculty member Sue Jeno said.

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The plan has been in the works since September and was developed after gathering information through public meetings and an online survey.

The new committee will consist of a variety of stakeholder group representatives who will be selected by their various overseeing agencies, such as the University Senate and Student Senate. Rather than using a concrete date, the task force is recommending the new committee be appointed as soon as possible after Kelley approves the plan.

While the president is not required to accept the task force's recommendation, Kelley told the Herald in December he's going to take it seriously.

"We've got to move through the process eventually of getting to a new name and that's what I'm wanting to hear from this task force," he said.

The plan also includes a soft two-year timeline, with leeway for any potential legal issues that could arise with the development and implementation of a new name or logo. The plan calls for a new nickname to be chosen within six months to a year, with the development of a logo to follow.

 

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