Andrew Haffner covers higher education and general assignment stories for the Grand Forks Herald. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied journalism, political science and international studies. He previously worked at the Dickinson Press.
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UND is holding a memorial service Monday for professor emeritus Don Poochigian, who died in late December in his native state of California. He was 74. Poochigian, who was educated in California, started work as a professor of philosophy at UND in the early 1970s. Known by his university peers as a "crusader" in his educational advocacy, Poochigian was vocal during his tenure about his concerns that UND was turning away from its foundation as a liberal arts institution to become a "business-technical institution."
Recent UND graduate Janelle Hakala is no stranger to chilling temperatures, having grown up in Ely, Minn., before coming to Grand Forks. But her current home may as well be in a different world of cold. That's because Hakala, a student of UND's atmospheric sciences program, has been living and working since last fall in Antarctica—specifically, the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which Hakala says is one of three year-round installations maintained by the U.S.
Almost a year after a coverage mandate for an autism therapy failed in the state Senate, North Dakota health insurers are beginning to roll out coverage of their own. House Bill 1434 would have required insurance companies in the state to provide coverage for applied behavior analysis, a specific treatment often used to address the behavioral symptoms associated with autism and other disorders. Before this year, that therapy went uncovered by insurance plans used by most state residents, causing many parents to pay bills out of pocket—a condition HB1434 sought to remedy.
Campus facilities plans are coming together at UND, but some faculty are questioning the process and asking if more could have been done to seek their input. "It's not a monumental task to contact faculty," Gary Towne, a professor of music, said after a Thursday forum led by representatives of Sasaki, a planning and design agency hired to help reimagine the campus. "The faculty are the longest-lived members of the university, we're the ones who know it best."
Sally Page, community leader and longtime UND administrator, died last Friday in the Grand Forks Valley Eldercare Center. She was 75. Though she was born in the state of Michigan, Page—described in an obituary by her sister, Suann Nichols, as a "pioneer in the field of affirmative action"—set down local roots that spread deep and wide.
GRAND FORKS—Cold and dark as it might get here, the upper Midwest has enjoyed some time in the sun with relatively strong economic fortunes and population growth.
Cold and dark as it might get here, the upper Midwest has enjoyed some time in the sun with relatively strong economic fortunes and population growth. But even in good times, racial disparities continue to undercut both Minnesota and North Dakota. The first remains one of the more divided states in the nation in terms of race, with many nonwhite residents facing worse conditions than their white peers. And North Dakota, buoyed as it was by an oil boom at a time when the national economy faltered, still isn't exempt from the racial gulfs witnessed across the rest of the country.
Skiers hit the trails Saturday on the Greenway in Grand Forks despite falling snow and increasing winds bringing freezing wind chills. Chili and hots helped recharge the outdoor enthusiasts.
Mayville State University Comets fans, now is your moment. MSU is hosting four finalist candidates for athletic director on campus this week as it narrows down to a decision to replace former leader Mike Moore. The candidates will each make an individual presentation on campus every day of the week except Wednesday from Feb. 5 to Feb. 9. In order of scheduled appearance, the finalists are Kurt Bienias, Anthony Stone, Dennis Ziegler and Scott Parker. All four men will speak on their day from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room.
With higher education in flux across the country, steady sources of funding are hardly guaranteed. The drawdown of state dollars for many institutions could make outside fundraising an even more attractive option than it is today. In North Dakota, as with most of the colleges and universities in the country, much of that fundraising goes toward building and growing an endowment, a pool of investment funds that grow over time and send gains back to campus.