Letter: Time to recognize UND's positives
To the editor,
I'm a UND student, and I'm also an "established professional" in our community. I see UND from two lenses.
I recently spent some time in Fargo and was impressed by how much the Fargo community has embraced NDSU. Green and gold is everywhere, and the turnout for NDSU activities is amazing! Any time something negative hits the press about NDSU, the community rallies around it and its leadership. The private investment into the campus (Scheels, Sanford, John Deere, Gate City Bank, and many more) is enviable.
It's disappointing how much negativity is directed at UND. There is negative media coverage concerning UND, and negative conversations among Grand Forks community members. Our community, and higher education, is at a pivotal juncture. Grand Forks is positioned to lead the next technological frontier and UND is a vital component. UND leadership is challenged with providing a world-class education and to evolve with the changing landscape of higher education, all while doing this with severe budget cuts and decreasing enrollment.
I don't envy the heavy decisions that are having to be made by UND leadership. And while they are doing this, the community attacks leadership for taking down buildings that are no longer up to code, or cost too much to maintain (or are an eyesore to potential students touring UND), cutting programs and shedding personnel due to shrinking budgets.
I know prospective students are turned away from UND due to negativity surrounding the school, and that the logo is still a controversy - it has become exhausting to current students as well. We cannot allow such things to deter UND's growth.
UND, and higher education in general, is at a time where it needs to adapt or face becoming irrelevant to those who are adapting. As human beings we fear change, it's in our nature to resist it; however, change is not always bad, especially when you are forced to change or be left behind.
Now, more than ever, UND needs our support. Let's start sharing UND's positive stories: ongoing research, the initiatives, and the students.