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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The names of two women killed Thursday morning in a head-on car crash outside Thompson, N.D., were released Friday by the North Dakota Highway Patrol. The deceased -- both residents of the Hatton Prairie Village retirement and assisted living facility in Hatton, N.D. -- are Lynette Ysteboe, 59, and Alpha Flaten, 97. At the time of the crash, the women were being driven to doctors’ appointments in Grand Forks.
UND is looking to fill a number of high-level positions before this semester is up. Those searches are for new executive cabinet leaders to fill the roles of vice president for finance and operations and the relatively new office for the vice president for university relations. The roles are now respectively held by Alice Brekke and longtime UND spokesman Peter Johnson, both of whom announced last year their intent to retire.
A half-century after his death, the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. lives on. The continued vitality of King's message of justice was a key theme Monday during an event at UND's Gorecki Alumni Center hosted by the university and the city of Grand Forks. Queen Ngale, a leader of the Black Student Association of UND, introduced speakers and musical acts, including university President Mark Kennedy and the Grand Cities Children's Choir.
The college experience is always changing—and now, it's increasingly online. UND provided a key example of that recently with a jump in a national ranking of best online programs put together by U.S. News and World Report. The university was listed this week as taking the 66 place for "Best Online Bachelor's Programs" out of more than 350 ranked schools across the country.
The problems in Mark Hagerott's office began early on, according to the woman who once worked as his right-hand employee. Hagerott is the chancellor of the North Dakota University System, the executive of an office that sits atop the 11 colleges and universities that make up the state landscape of public higher education. Until September, he oversaw that system with the help of Lisa Feldner, a longtime public sector employee hired as a vice chancellor by Hagerott's predecessor.
Kathryn Rand, dean of the UND School of Law, will be stepping down from her leadership position but will remain on campus as a tenured faculty member. Rand said Friday she intends to leave office Aug. 1 but is willing to remain longer "as needed" if the university is unable to name a new permanent dean by that date. Rand has served as dean of the law school, the only one in North Dakota, since 2009, beginning in an interim capacity before being appointed on a permanent basis in 2011.
A former leader of the North Dakota University System has signed off on an official allegation that her September termination was a retaliatory action by the system chancellor. Lisa Feldner, a vice chancellor who also served as chief of staff to NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott, signed on Dec. 19 an official complaint prepared by the state Department of Labor and Human Rights to further her charge that Hagerott had unjustly fired her for reporting what she "believed to be violations of rule, policy, and/or law by Chancellor Hagerott."
DeMers Avenue in downtown Grand Forks could be heading for a major overhaul subject to a coming decision of city leaders.
A crowdfunding campaign at UND could give weather watchers a new eye to the sky. If all goes as planned, there could soon be a new web camera placed atop Odegard Hall, home of the university's aviation program, to provide a live feed to the internet for viewers.
A new Grand Forks winter attraction could open soon. The Freezeway, an ice skating concept now being finalized on the Greenway, is scheduled for a grand opening Jan. 12, says project leader Nick Jensen. When completed, the Freezeway will be an ice skating rink designed as a pathway in which skaters cruise on a loop beneath strings of overhead lights.