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UND President Kelley remarks at 'Wake Up To UND'

Here is a copy of text that served as the basis for UND President Robert O. Kelley's speech at the "Wake Up To UND" breakfast event Wednesday. Kelley diverged only slightly on occasion from the text, UND spokesman Peter Johnson said.

Here is a copy of text that served as the basis for UND President Robert O. Kelley's speech at the "Wake Up To UND" breakfast event Wednesday. Kelley diverged only slightly on occasion from the text, UND spokesman Peter Johnson said.

"Wake Up To UND"

Thank you. [TO AUDIENCE]

Thank you, Barry, for that introduction and for all that YOU do for the university, the city and the state of North Dakota.

I also want to thank Marcia Kelley, UND's First Lady, for being with us this morning. If you haven't met Marcia yet please do so before the morning is over. I've heard people say that UND has approachable leadership, excellent management, and common sense...and it's clear to me that they are talking about Marcia. Marcia and I both want to say "thanks" to our new city and state for the welcome that you have extended to us over the past year.


Would you also join me in thanking our pianists...UND students Laura Fehr and Lysa Berhow. They represent their fellow students in UND's Department of Music with great distinction.

And thanks to all of you for this great opportunity to tell you about the University of North Dakota - and what it means to be "Future Ready".

This morning I want to talk about partnerships...productive, helpful partnerships...that grow, nurture and sustain both the university and the community and state in which we reside.

To begin, I want to emphasize the core mission of the University...the advancement of knowledge and learning through teaching, research, scholarship and creative work, and through service to our city, community, state and nation. UND is about people...students, faculty, staff and the many activities that must come together if the university's mission is to be successful.

Considering all of the issues surrounding UND today...issues that include physical growth, necessary funding, appropriate enrollment, strategic planning, capital construction, presence in the community, and name and logo...as president, I cannot permit UND to lose sight of its core mission.

And UND wishes to be the best in all that it does...academics, athletics, community engagement and developing our students to be leaders for coming generations.

So...To excel at UND's mission requires partnerships...partnerships with Grand Forks, the Greater Grand Forks community, the NDUS, the State of North Dakota, and North Dakota's highly supportive and productive congressional delegation in Washington. And to become exceptional in our mission, UND must continue to encourage synergies...to become an institution that is more than just the sum of its parts.

To this end, Grand Forks is a marvelous place to position and grow the University of North Dakota. The community is growing, the main campus is beautiful, and the region is a dynamic place in which to live and work. Building on these attributes, it is my vision that, in the future, UND will be functionally and visibly present in all parts of Grand Forks, including the downtown, the Alerus Center, the health care and business communities, and beyond, to what I might cautiously call the "suburbs".


Since I mentioned the Alerus Center, I want to acknowledge Steve Hyman and the Alerus Commission for their commitment to UND by making the Alerus Center the Home of UND Football. I hope that you have noticed the new signage outside, and if you haven't already, take a moment to walk around the center a bit and get a sense of how the place will look on game day for the UND football program. UND is proud to be the primary tenant and to have a 10-year-contract to underscore our partnership. UND also conducts its spring commencement here. And the university hosts many other institutional activities at the center, including major alumni functions. It's a productive partnership, helpful to both partners.

But I also want to emphasize that the entire state of North Dakota is UND's campus. UND partners with every institution in the NDSU system; and UND's impact reaches into virtually every community in the state.

To this end, every year the university introduces 30 or so of our newest faculty members and administrators to the campus of North Dakota by means of a bus tour around the state. And every year, these new members of the community are impressed by how important UND is to both alumni and citizens in the state that are served by the university. And...they learn about where many of UND's students come from. They learn about the state's economy - especially the major economic pillars: agriculture, energy, tourism. And they learn about North Dakota's culture - the people of many great nations, both indigenous and from abroad, who form the complex cultural fabric of the state. And many hear for the first time phrases like "Uff-da," and "Oh for Nice", and they learn that "Dakota" means friend, and that "Oyate" confers community identity. It's a great experience, funded by a very committed UND Alumni Association and Foundation.

This Foundation supports the university in activities that cannot be funded in other ways and its contributions to UND are central to UND's success. UND's alumni are passionate about their alma mater's cultural and athletic programs and this enthusiasm for their university is unequalled in my experience at other universities. I am pleased to be able to tell you that this past year generated records in terms of charitable giving to UND...both the number of donors - 13,491- and also in new gifts -- $47 million compared to $36 million the previous year.

As UND addresses its core mission, and as the institution looks to the future, change is a natural occurrence. A major change over the past year has been at the level of vice presidential leadership for the university.

I am very proud of the team we've assembled. And it IS a team. These folks are working together closely to lead the University.

Let me introduce them to you and I hope that you'll visit with them before the morning is over. I wonder if each of you might stand up for a moment as I call your name...

First, Paul LeBel, our Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Paul was dean of the School of Law when I asked him to help me lead the university as Provost. Effectively, Paul's portfolio includes oversight of all elements of academic affairs, faculty affairs and the curriculum of the university. In addition, as provost, Paul works closely with me and all the vice presidents to assist with the overall leadership of the university.


Alice Brekke is our new Vice President for Finance & Operations. Alice served for a number of years as the Budget Director and Assistant to the President, so she has a thorough understanding of how to pay the bills, manage UND's finances, keep the physical plant going, and run the business operations of the university. She is also a UND graduate.

Joshua Wynne is our interim Vice President for Health Affairs and Interim Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Josh is a very effective administrator and advocate for the medical school, which he demonstrated very effectively during the legislative session this past Spring. He's also a clinical cardiologist practicing at MeritCare in Fargo.

Phyllis Johnson is the newest member of the team. A Grafton native who grew up in Grand Forks and graduated from UND, Phyllis is charged with developing our growing research enterprise. She is the Vice President for Research and Economic Development - a new title designed to underscore the importance we place on UND as an economic engine for the city and state.

And a familiar face to all of you, a man I like to call "Mr. UND," Bob Boyd, Vice President for Student and Outreach Services. Bob's institutional history, his knowledge of Grand Forks and the state, and his thoughtful advice have been invaluable to me during my first year as president.

Let me return to UND's core mission and to being ready for the future.

UND is an institution that builds on excellence in the liberal arts. That excellence becomes the foundation for achievement in advanced studies in such fields as renewable and sustainable energy systems; biomedical and life sciences; and aerospace and earth systems sciences. Applications of basic learning are expressed through UND's professional programs in law, business, education and the health professions.

To contribute to the success of these programs, and the students who use these programs for their personal and professional development, UND partners with many public and private agencies across the state. For example, students in the health professions gain instruction and clinical experience from preceptors employed by the Altru Health System in Grand Forks; the MeritCare System in Fargo; and the HealthOne System in Bismarck. Students in the College of Business and Public Administration engage in interships provided by the city and private businesses in the city and immediate region. Law students work with the court system and private law firms. Students in engineering, computer sciences and aerospace sciences work in industries and with advisors associated with the Grand Forks Air Force Base and the Department of Homeland Security, the Cirrus Corporation, and LM Glassfiber, to name just a few.

So, my point is this...UND requires helpful, productive, vibrant partnerships with the city, the state and the nation to meet the expectations that we have for the University in accomplishing its core mission.

Central to UND's core mission is enrollment. Enrollment is always a subject of considerable interest, especially to the media, so I want to take a moment to talk a bit about our numbers this fall. The head count won't be finalized until next week, but all indicators are that we will have at least a near-record enrollment well over 13,000 students. We will have nearly 3,500 new students on campus - almost 2,000 freshmen, and more than 800 transfer students - which appears to be a new high for us - and 500-600 new graduate students. In fact, this will be our highest-ever Graduate School enrollment (more than 2,200). Our online programming has been increasing and student numbers exceed 2,400. Just to give you a sense of the magnitude of on-line instruction, UND offers more than 400 for-credit online sessions and 362 non-credit online career and personal training courses. These online offerings -- 40 online programs, including degree and graduate certificate programs -- literally extend the University across the nation and the rest of the world. UND's masters degree programs in Early Childhood Education, for example, moved online this fall. Its enrollment has tripled and applications are coming in from all over the world. Now, it is true many of those individuals don't and won't come to Grand Forks. But they are paying for the opportunity to participate in our programs, and that money enters the economy of the Grand Cities and adds to UND's overall economic impact.

Enrollments are up as a direct consequence of UND's excellent academic reputation.

In the past few weeks UND has been recognized as one of the nation's best public universities by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and Washington Monthly.

And an excellent academic reputation requires leading educators. Let me provide a few examples:

Jianglong Zhang, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, was recently named by President Obama as one of the top 100 most promising young researchers in the United States. Zhang uses satellites to detect and analyze atmospheric aerosols and thereby produces better computational models for creating better air quality forecasts.

One of UND's economists, Professor David Flynn, has been quoted in many major publications -the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times - the Grand Forks Herald - for his studies of how North Dakota has bucked national financial trends; countered the global economic downturn; and for his analysis of the economic impact of the flood in Fargo last spring.

Sandra Donaldson, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of English, is an internationally noted scholar on the works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Professor Donaldson recently discovered a manuscript of one of the Sonnets from the Portuguese by Browning in a manuscript notebook that had been in private hands since 1915. This unique document is Browning's draft of "Sonnet Five," and is the earliest known manuscript of any of the poems in the sonnet sequence.

Kathryn Rand, Dean of the Law School, and Steven Light, College of Business and Public Administration are recognized nationally as THE experts on Indian Gaming in North America.

And there is Jeff Vaughan from the department of Biology, who recently was awarded a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant to study ways to eradicate malaria around the world.

There are many, many more. UND is blessed with creative, innovative faculty who place a premium on teaching, on scholarship, on research, and on service.

If I only used the UND faculty as a metric, I believe that UND is well positioned to be an exceptional university. But UND also defines the future by preparing students for a tomorrow that only begins to excite the imagination. I have said before that our students are being educated for jobs and careers that don't even exist yet. UND is FUTURE READY.

I can't say enough about our students. You saw them in action in the Spring during the flooding in Fargo. You saw them in action winning the McNaughton Cup in the WCHA hockey. And you saw them in action in winning the National Championship at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association competition in May. UND's flying team not only took the team championship, but Ryan Guthridge won the top pilot competition. Again, I could on and on. UND's students are simply outstanding.

And as students and faculty work together, new programs emerge...

There is a new Unmanned Aerial Systems major in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. This is the first major of its kind in the country.

UND has also been recently designated as a Center of Excellence in Unmanned Aerial Systems. And you are aware of UND's partnership with both the Grand Forks Air Force Base and the United States Customs and Border Patrol. The Center of Excellence is located on the base. Not only will this partnership open new synergies and new opportunities for education, but it will enhance research and development into the rapidly growing technologies for remote sensing, and for the complex regulatory and legal issues surrounding use of airspace. The potential for attracting new businesses that will participate in the UAS/UAV future is immense.

You have heard about UND's Space Studies Department, the School of Engineering & Mines, and Energy & Environmental Research Center and their recent experiences in partnership with NASA. The AgCam developed by students and faculty was installed on the International Space Station earlier this year. The Mars space suit, which was tested in the North Dakota badlands a few years ago and then in Utah, was tested successfully by NASA this summer. Paul Hardersen and Pablo de Leon from Space Studies have just secured a $740,000 NASA grant to help design the next-generation lunar exploration system. And a horizontal space-flight simulator - built by students with help and donated materials from Cirrus Design Corp. and modeled on the pioneering personal commercial spacecraft, SpaceShipOne - is up and operational. I had an opportunity to fly it a few months back, and if you ever get the opportunity, you should try it. I flew it into a low space trajectory, corrected roll during re-entry, and managed to locate the landing zone. I then hit the ground four times before Professor de Leon took pity on me and stopped the simulation.

We have a number of Sustainable Energy projects in process on campus. The School of Engineering & Mines is headquarters for a hands-on faculty and student project to develop a high quality jet fuel from soybean oil. The EERC has a staggering number of energy related research projects. Through its National Center for Hydrogen Technology, the EERC is working on many aspects of making hydrogen a more viable fuel cell resource. In addition to its many other energy related research and development projects, the EERC is also working on an algae-based jet fuel. Clearly, UND is doing its part to help create a new energy future.

The College of Nursing and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences are making use of state-of-the-art technologies to educate health care professionals. This includes the use of computer-based simulators... mannequins so life-like that they can be programmed to exhibit virtually any kind of health-related symptom.

And a final example of a "future ready" program is the new Formula One project -- this dynamic race car that we have on display. A School of Engineering & Mines team competed against 130 other teams in the Society of Automotive Engineers competition at the Michigan International Speedway in May, and finished 6th in acceleration, and 12th in design. This program was made possible through partnerships with Rydell Motors, Cirrus Aircraft, American Defense Industries, Mike's Custom Truck, 3M, Arctic Cat, Firecharger, Honeywell, Basin Electric, Malco, and the Brainerd International Raceway. We have members of the team here with us today. Would you guys stand and wave?

As I emphasize the importance of partnerships, a very fundamental point should not be lost...the growth and success of the University of North Dakota depends on our community; and the growth and the success of our community depends on UND. Going forward, we must continue to work together to build a shared future...based on helpful, productive, positive planning for our collective success.

Speaking of planning...a major component of UND's planning involves capital construction to enhance university programs, both on and off campus. Last September, we dedicated the new National Center for Hydrogen Technology at the EERC. In October, we dedicated the Northern Plains Behavioral Research Center, which houses research activities in nursing and psychology. Earlier this year, we dedicated the new REAC 1, the first building in UND's Research, Enterprise and Commercialization Park. These projects require local architectural and engineering services, as well as providing many well paying jobs in the construction industry.

And, thanks to legislative appropriation, UND will begin building a new family medicine clinic in Bismarck. And also through legislative appropriation, and funded by federal stimulus dollars, UND will begin a major renovation and new addition to the College of Education and Human Development on campus in the next few months. Both of these new facilities will be planned to meet LEEDS standards for promoting responsible and sustainable energy utilization. And, during the period of construction, the leadership of the university is exploring the feasibility of moving faculty and academic programs for the college of education and human development to a downtown location. As a matter of fact, conversations between university and city leaders are ongoing regarding opportunities that would provide mutual benefit if university programs were located in downtown and other off campus locations.

All of these activities have a productive, positive economic impact on both UND and the community.

Regarding economic impact, a North Dakota University System study for Fiscal Year 2008 showed that for the third straight year, UND had an economic impact of more than $1 billion on the local and state economy.

UND's research enterprise also continues to grow. Awards for research and sponsored programs have been near the $100 million mark for the past three years.

Successful competition for both federal and state support contributes to UND's research enterprise. UND is a key component of the Red River Valley Research Corridor, a partnership with NDSU and associated business ventures, and sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan. And state support is provided by legislative appropriation for North Dakota's Centers of Excellence Program, a program strongly supported by both the Legislature and Gov. Hoeven.

As this morning's program draws to a close, I want to take a moment to demonstrate another way in which UND partners for economic development with our community. UND brings professional programs and associated conferences to town. These activities benefit a number of hotels and conference facilities in Grand Forks, and by bringing more visitors to the Grand Cities, there is an associated benefit to restaurants and other retail activities in the region. For example, in May, UND hosted a Nursing education conference with 240 attendees from 16 states and the province of Manitoba.

This September 26 through 30, another group of nearly 300 visitors will arrive for the Central Association of Physical Plant Administrators...the CAPPA conference. Last year, this group met in Oklahoma City. The conference includes attendees, families and exhibitors.

In an effort to bring the CAPPA conference to Grand Forks, CAPPA members at UND produced a video. The video showcases the city of Grand Forks; and promotes the quality of what is in store for attendees if they attend a conference here.

The video you are about to see was prepared entirely by UND employees and was assembled by UND's television group under the direction of Mr. Barry Brode. Barry manages UND Channel 3. The star of the video is Tony... played by Tony Trimarco, Director of the UND Memorial Union...and Monte Koshel, who you will also recognize as UND TV's host and news anchor.

I think you will enjoy seeing how UND can be creative, innovative, entrepreneurial and spirited in this short video designed to enhance economic development in the Grand Cities...


As a postscript, that isn't the way I run the university...although it does have some attraction.

In closing, I want to say a few words about UND's transition to Division I in the NCAA. All of us know that UND has had an outstanding Division I hockey program. UND continues to be a powerhouse in the Western Intercollegiate Hockey Association and the facilities available to this program through the Ralph Englestad Arena and its management are second to none in the nation. UND will continue to compete in hockey at the national championship level.

For all other sports, and under the very capable direction of UND Athletics Director, Brian Faison, UND is in the second year of transition to full DI membership. Last year, UND took a big step as a DI program when we were joined the brand new Great West Conference. This was a good starter conference for UND, but not all of our teams are included in the Great West. Clearly, conference affiliation will continue to be very important to the success of UND's move into Division I athletic competition.

I have to digress for just a moment and tell you about UND's coming football season. It's shaping up to be a good one.

Weekend before last, UND's football program competed against Texas Tech, a nationally ranked, Division I Bowl championship team. UND's team went to Lubbock to play football and they did, impressing the 49,000 fans with their ability to take the game to the Red Raiders. In addition to the quality of play by our team, I was equally impressed with the confidence and downright savoir faire of our players. In being asked about one of the Red Raider defensive linebackers, Mr. Carter, who sports spiked hair and face paint during the game, Ty Boyle, Carter's opposite number on the UND team commented that the men on the UND team didn't need to wear makeup when they played the game.

Clearly, UND is ready for the future...and prime time.

So, one of UND's priorities now is to find the right Division I conference for our maturing football program. We'll get there. And we'll experience some outstanding football right here in this facility along the way.

I hope it shows that I'm proud of our student athletes. They work very hard to represent themselves, their sport and their university at the highest levels of excellence...both academically and athletically. Six student-athletes earned Academic All-America honors during the 2008-09 season, the most in school history. UND's student-athletes earned a 3.085 grade point average during the 2008-09 academic year, including a 3.112 GPA during the spring semester. The highest GPA among UND's teams belonged to coach Tom Wynne's tennis squad, which produced a 3.654 GPA during the academic year.

In conclusion, I know that all of you are aware of the ongoing conversations regarding UND's Fighting Sioux name and logo. It is all too easy for the University to be distracted by these issues and to lose sight of what is important in the long run for the education of UND's students and for the continued striving for ever greater quality for UND's many programs.

As UND goes forward, I want to emphasize that the university community will continue to focus on the University's core mission and that we will do so in an environment in line with UND's core values. These values include the right and the freedom to express one's views in public discourse in a civil manner...the ability to express and respect honest differences of opinion, also in a safe and civil environment. I want to assure all of you that the University will continue to concentrate on its core mission of teaching and learning, scholarship, and service as the University moves into the future.

So...Thank you for your attendance this morning, and thank you for your support of UND. Clearly, UND -your University - Our University -- is a great university on its way to becoming an exceptional one. UND is a spirited place - one that is educating students for the future and one that is committed to research, scholarship, creative work and service that is designed to help build a strong future for our community, our state and our nation.

UND is "Future Ready".

I want to close today by celebrating that spirit by showcasing one of UND's most visible spirit-generating organizations -

Please welcome The Pride of the North Marching Band:

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