|President Kupchella, First Lady Adele Kupchella lead bus tour|
President Charles and First Lady Adele Kupchella are leading about 40 new faculty and top administrators and their guests on a three-day tour of northern and central North Dakota Aug. 13-15. This year’s tour —- the 17th since the tour series was launched in 1990 by then-president Thomas Clifford —- is the ninth for the Kupchellas and also is their final tour before he retires early next year.
Funded by the Alumni Association, these trips are designed to acquaint new faculty and administrators with the state and its landmarks as well as provide them with an opportunity to form connections with other people on campus, said tour coordinator Fred Wittmann, assistant to the UND vice president for student and outreach services.
The tours alternate each year between southern and northern routes. The tour begins with a community breakfast in Park River and a luncheon and tour at Turtle Mountain Community College on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation near Belcourt.
"We want to help our new faculty and administrators to feel that North Dakota is their home," Wittmann says. "Our intent is to give them a sample of the state, a glimpse of what is available."
One of the new key administrators on the tour this year is Joshua Riedy, associate vice president for outreach services and dean of continuing education.
Tour participants will get an education about their new state which they will be able to translate to the classroom; the tour also gives new faculty a sense of where many of their students will come from, says Kupchella. "In order to help North Dakota, it is important for UND’s new faculty and administrators to see and understand the state."
"Every year on the bus the faculty begin talking about what they are learning about the state's agricultural and energy industries, and about North Dakota's historical and political roots, and how they could connect better with their students because of what they are learning on the trip," said Kupchella.
Douglas Munski, a geography professor with a solid repertoire of North Dakota geographic, cultural, and political lore, is the tour's color commentator for the seventh time. Veteran UND motor coach driver Fran Kryzsko —- now officially retired —- is the tour driver again this year. To view the tour blog, visit www.und.edu.