THEIR VIEW: Is UND’s nickname saga near end?
In the latest iteration of the never-ending saga of selecting a new nickname for the University of North Dakota, President Robert Kelley capitulated (yes, that's the right word) to the lunacy of the social media universe and added a sixth name to...
In the latest iteration of the never-ending saga of selecting a new nickname for the University of North Dakota, President Robert Kelley capitulated (yes, that’s the right word) to the lunacy of the social media universe and added a sixth name to a list of five that had been agreed to by the selection committee.
UND’s official spin on the addition was that Kelley was responding to genuine sentiment out there for another choice, and that no more choices would be added. Not convincing, in light of adding a name because a lot of shallow noise.
It is possible, although sometimes it seems improbable, that UND will have a new nickname in the near future. After all, the painful-to-watch, all-inclusive process has been going on for – what? – three years. Heck, why not string it out indefinitely to ensure that “all-inclusive” really means “all.” It might be some UND alums – or anyone with an opinion about UND – might not have had an opportunity to chime in.
Silly, right? Well, no sillier than attempting (and ultimately failing) to be fair to all when it was crystal clear from the beginning that there was no way “all” could ever come to agreement, or even consensus, about a new nickname. And of course, the mossbacks who cling to the retired nickname will continue to do so no matter what.
Leadership requires leading. It means making unpopular – but right – decisions. The faux egalitarian exercise to select a nickname has become cartoonish. Purpose has been sacrificed to process. A nickname in and of itself isn’t much. But as a vessel, a reflection, an image, it’s very important. The character of athletes, the conduct of fans and the earned reputation of a university will define the nickname, whether it’s Ducks, Gophers, Mud Hens or Cobbers – or whatever at last emerges for UND .
But c’mon, pick one! And move on.
Forum editorials represent the opinion of the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's management and that newspaper’s Editorial Board.