|Message to the University community from President Kelley|
I met today (Monday, Sept. 28) with the leadership of the Staff Senate, the UND Foundation and Alumni Association, as well as my vice presidents, and I have communicated with the leadership of the University Senate and Student Senate. We talked about Homecoming this week and about how this is a time to celebrate the achievements of the University in our core mission of teaching, research, and service. As I told the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks Chamber earlier this month, we have much of which to be proud. We have globally-respected faculty, dedicated staff, and hard-working, intelligent students. We are developing innovative academic programs to complement an already comprehensive list of majors and minors. We are conducting world-class research in areas that matter to people, and we are finding ways of providing service that meet the real needs of the citizens of our state, region, and nation. In short, we have a lot to celebrate.
I also talked about the ongoing conversations regarding UND's Fighting Sioux name and logo. As it stands now, the State Board of Higher Education met May 14 and passed a resolution that directs the University to start the process of changing the nickname and logo, unless the two name sake tribes each pass resolutions that support the University keeping the nickname for at least 30 years. On Thursday, Oct. 1, the State Board will hold a 9:30 a.m. teleconference to consider extending the deadline.
This morning I told the group that we must continue to keep our eyes on the ball: the University's core mission. It is important not to lose sight of what is important in the long run for the education of our students and for working toward even greater quality for our many programs.
As we go forward, I want to emphasize that we, the University community, will continue to focus on the University's core mission. We will do this in an environment that lines up with the University's core values. These include the right and the freedom to express one's views in a civil manner and to express and respect honest differences of opinion, also in a safe and civil environment. I want to make it clear, and to assure all of you, that the University will continue to concentrate on its core mission of teaching and learning, scholarship, and service as we move into the future.
-- Robert O. Kelley