President’s Blog Just another weblog

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October 20, 2010

To watch the go to OnDemand Webcasts

The State of the

By Dr. Robert O. Kelley, President

of North Dakota

September 30, 3:30 p.m.

Memorial Ballroom

Thank you, Chair Stofferahn, and good to the members of the University Council, and to all the staff and students of the University of Dakota.

I look forward to great year working the leadership of the University:  in the University Kathy Smart and Curt the Staff Senate, Loren and Kristi Swartz; and the Student Matt Bakke and Grant

And thank you for the opportunity to visit all of you this afternoon.

I believe we are at an important time in the history of the of North Dakota.  UND is approaching legislative session in January; we are as a university as we have ever in our history; and we are looking forward to a major announcement next UND has many partners and friends, within the state and around the and we gratefully acknowledge the critical of these relationships.

  In many this year will be for all of us…legislators, friends, partners… as we together to move the University of Dakota from “Great to


A deal has changed since UND was in 1883.  Our society is more and connected, more immediate, and focused on performance measures and than ever before.

But core principles is central to our even as we adapt to the changing and expectations of our constituents.

UND was founded on the that an outstanding liberal education is at the core of successful We continue that principle It is the foundation of the core mission of the learning, and service to the State of Dakota.

  UND benefits from an world class faculty; knowledgeable staff; bright, students; and strong commitment to an spirit …that “can-do our community and state.


All of us are aware of the many facing higher education the country as a consequence of the continued economic downturn.  North has not been impacted as severely as states and, as a result, the of North Dakota is not only financially, but is able to effectively itself to excel in meeting its mission.

UND will continue to an excellent education and university at a great value, for students and families.  I urge leaders in our to continue their commitment to education…the payoff is real, and can be measured in hard economic

In addition, as we enter the 2010-2011 year, UND is experiencing an all time enrollment – almost 14,200 Overall enrollment in the graduate is up some 14%, an all time Revenue from research and contracts, some $128 has also achieved an all time

  All these numbers translate an economic impact of more $1 billion for our city and state.   I to thank the faculty, staff and at UND for their hard work in these significant, essential

I believe that these numbers are just about for the physical resources of the institution.  So, I to you that the challenge before us, is not so much quantity, but to continue to on quality.  Of course, we will to sustain enrollment numbers.

  of greater importance for the long focus now on enhancing the quality of the programs at the university; the quality of creative and scholarly opportunities for and faculty; and an enhanced overall of the university experience at UND.  speak more to this in just a moment.

Let me develop “quality” theme a little bit by some successes and achievements of faculty and students.

UND is entering the year of the 2009-2011 fiscal As a result of generous legislative which helps keep affordable), UND’s record enrollment, and the success of extramural from all sources,  UND is not only to continue support for critical academic  programs, but is also important new programs that the contemporary priorities of our state.

  For we have established new undergraduate and degree programs in energy and a new Petroleum Research, Education and Center.  And we have developed the only major for learning the and technology behind remotely vehicles.

I should mention, in the breath, that UND also termination of some 12 programs to the Board of Higher Education year.  Growth of quality is not about increasing numbers of Quality is also about the most out of available resources.

To end, working in full with North Dakota University, a new Masters degree in Health is nearing completion.  innovative program will institutional resources, both old and and will permit students in either institution to complete a program very much in the state.

As an aside, it is a pleasure to President Dean Bresciani to Dakota.  UND looks forward to collaboration with our colleagues at

On the interdisciplinary front, UND students may complete a Ph.D. in educational with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and a degree in Public Administration in entrepreneurship.

UND’s program in psychology just received the seven year accreditation the American Psychological Association.

Law School has just been in the nation’s Top 20 Best Value Law by prelaw magazine.

And, most useful of all, can now take Norwegian 101 on-line.

UND students are competing successfully for national scholarships, and for national in both academic and athletic Did you know that UND’s Team just won their national championship?

And I just this morning that UAS Engineering Laboratory team history this week in the Australian International UAV Outback and Rescue competition held in UND’s team became the in the four-year history of the competition to locate the prized target, a dummy known as “Outback To achieve their success, used ground-assessment technologies on UAV platforms that have developed at UND.

In recognition of the emphasis UND places on participation in shared governance,  leadership has been advanced to on the President’s Cabinet, with Matt Bakke and, unable to attend, Vice Grant Hauschild bringing the perspective to the considerations of that

And UND’s staff isn’t badly, either.  Janice in the Music Department and Kirk of the Odegard School of Aerospace just received the Governor’s for Public Service to citizens of the of North Dakota.

Speaking of the Cabinet, a search is nearing for the next Vice President for Affairs upon the announced of Bob Boyd, who leaves office in

I’ve asked Dr. Boyd to on with UND for a bit as the Name and Logo Officer.   As you know, UND  is the Fighting Sioux nickname and following the directive, last of the State Board of Higher

  UND has until August 15, 2011, to the transition.

As an aside, I hope all of you are as much as I am, watching the renovation of the old building. When finished it be the proud new home of the UND College of and Human Development.  I want to the legislature for approving Stimulus for this project; and I also to thank the faculty and staff for patience while the construction and are being completed.

And even we can’t enjoy watching in Bismarck on a daily basis, the new facility for the UND School of Medicine and Sciences Family Medicine is almost at the groundbreaking stage.

I also mention that at time of the year, with just a week away, the is beautiful and buzzing with thanks to the hard work of dedicated facilities and operations

And mentioning Homecoming prompts me to you to join me Friday, October 8, at 3 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium for an that will “Ignite the and help explain how we are going to this University “from to Exceptional”.

So, in summary, all appears to be well at UND.

OVER THE what’s coming?

But what’s just over the horizon will affect UND?

summer, I’ve attended legislative committee meetings in As we get a bit closer to the 2011 session, be bringing to all of you an update of the budget and construction requests for the university.

At the though, many individual are asking some fundamental all of which center, in one way or another, on the of “return on investment” for UND, and the NDUS institutions.

These are often worded in different but they still have the message.

Is Higher Education still and necessary for North Dakotans?  Are universities worth the cost of them?  Do the research universities serve an important role as engines for the state?  Why should we use funds to educate students out of state?

  And when do the continued for increased appropriations for higher end?

So, in a nutshell, what’s the on investment?

I believe that UND is a significant return on investment for Dakota.  We are helping to enrich a economy, and this is happening in meaningful ways.

UND is preparing an educated workforce with the of critical thought, effective and problem solving that is in employees in every industry.  engage the essential studies then commit to majors and programs in the STEM disciplines Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), professions, business and industry, and law…all needed by North

UND is also helping industry more effective ways of their productivity…for example, new vaccines; thinking through effective business plans; novel technologies for aviation and defining  innovative ways of human performance and behavior.  And providing employees of these the opportunity to access courses and programs on-line…in partnership other colleges and universities in the Dakota University System.

is no better example of UND’s proposition to North Dakota the work UND is doing to help the oil find better ways of oil and geothermal energy from the Formation in the western part of the to manage carbon emissions and storage in innovative, creative and to develop novel techniques to use waste to make biodiesel UND provides the educated workforce delivers health care in areas; provides executive for established companies in the state; entrepreneurial leadership that is to small business start and contributes to the education of students in And I would be remiss if I didn’t say UND to help enrich the quality of for North Dakota by providing to the performing arts…including the Theatre celebrating its Centennial this through the  performances of our faculty and

students, and through such as the nationally acclaimed UND Conference.  By the way, if you haven’t the exceptional new text, Storytelling by Prof. Art Jones and his colleagues, catalogs the remarkable collection of North American art and other on our campus, I encourage you to do so.

As I study the reports of Prof. David RD revenues at the university, in 2009, $100 million.  As I mentioned a ago, these revenues are $28 million greater in 2010.  But in adding direct, indirect and impacts, UND research and development an almost $200 million economic output impact the region.

  The employment impact 1,650 jobs, and nearly $20 in cumulative tax revenues in the region.  I that this is a significant, return on investment by UND.

And UND’s value to society…?

UND has about 45% of the physicians practicing in Dakota.  Most of the presidents of colleges in North Dakota, and across the nation, are UND graduates. percentages of the state’s physical occupational therapists, speech pathologists, clinical laboratory physician assistants, social school superintendants and principals, and secondary school teachers, and almost 1000 engineers and oil and gas working the oil play that is so to the economic health of the state…are all at UND.  According to the latest study, 60% of UND graduates who also from a ND high school in ND to contribute to the state’s economy.

I am when I say that UND demonstrates a return on investment for North I submit that no other in the state contributes more to and sustaining the efficient, quality  needed to support the state of Dakota than does

So…please get out there and tell story…of the faculty, students, and graduates of UND who are making a bold, difference for North Dakota.

TO THE FUTURE…where are we going?

I’d like to my remarks about the state of the today by reminding everyone of the that were started semester, and that continued the summer with the community of Forks… and in which most of us in the community were engaged.  As you I charged UND’s Provost leading an effort to take our strategic plan and sharpen its so that we would have a vision of our university’s priorities forward.

Working closely Vice President Alice Provost Paul LeBel consultants from the Stratus to facilitate a series of conversations the future of UND.  I was very at how many of you participated in these and how many of you made productive, contributions to the development of a shared for UND.

I believe that conversations have produced support for five key elements of a that holds the promise of this university… by strengthening both inside and outside the

The vision that has emerged listening to all of you about what is important to our future can be organized five broad headings.

I am excited to share them you today.

The first is to enrich the learning experience.

It is not surprising this is at the top of the list. This is, all is said and done, why we exist as an of higher education, and the primary way we the citizens of North Dakota.

this heading of enriching the experience, there are already underway.  One clear example is the Learning Working Group. Led by Zerr from the Department of and Brett Goodwin from the of Biology, this faculty-initiated is identifying some promising projects to improve the first experience and to develop an early advising system.

  We know how both of these activities are to the of our students, to keeping them and intellectually challenged in a supportive

In addition, UND has created a new position – Provost for Undergraduate Education – to continuity and to underscore UND’s to a successful undergraduate experience.

the UND that you envision, an exceptional will employ more communities;  have more engaged in research;  place students into real experiential learning settings;  integrated advising about programs, academic success, counseling, and life issues; and clear pathways for students to while they are at UND.

A set of vision elements revolves the idea of facilitating collaboration.

are obvious strengths across that could have an greater impact if they worked together.  We know there is already a good of collaboration in research, and Vice Johnson is leading the development of a strategic plan to identify and even more ambitious and edge projects.

Collaboration in is critical to an exceptional university, but is not the only area in which can create greater impact. can be more engaging to students and to faculty when instruction across traditional boundaries disciplines.  Similarly, collaborative can bring faculty, staff, and organizations together in ways add value to the Greater Grand community and to the surrounding region.

  We search for ways to both and reward successful collaborative in teaching and service.

A third that you told us was important to this university truly was encouraging gathering.

This covers a number of both and large initiatives that change the way we interact. For example, we to make it easier than it is now for to get together spontaneously. We also to create places that are intentional destinations…places that strengthen our sense of community and us fulfill the multiple dimensions of our

 Two of the exciting ideas were raised in our conversations the future involve the creation of that are focused on essential of university life.

One is an intellectual a place where people go to ideas and to gather together others who may have similar This intellectual commons evolve around the hub of the Chester Library, so that even its symbolizes the centrality of learning to an university.

A second hub would be a gathering place that a broad range of activities and suitable for different types of getting together.

By exercising our about how to encourage gathering, we can be as a campus that offers the of a major research university, yet much of the feel of a small arts college.

A fourth of priority is improving the quality of for the people who promote the university’s our faculty and staff.

UND is a community.

We implement such initiatives as child care opportunities;  a deliberate and effective approach to the needs of dual career provide mid-career faculty development opportunities that are to the world class Alice T. Mentoring program for new faculty;  and that all of our staff have the opportunities to enhance their and career progression and satisfaction.

And finally, a fifth vision involves expanding UND’s

Some of UND’s presence be physical.  We must continue to for opportunities downtown and around the of campus to develop meaningful with our local businesses, community groups, and government

Some of this expanded will be virtual, as we continue to learning at a distance that our first rate education to who can’t come to us.  of this expanded presence be global, as we strengthen our partnerships such institutions such as the College of Norway and the University of for Science and Technology, and as we continue to additional academic partnerships.

And of this expanded presence draw on connections that we have, in the form of our graduates who and work around the state, the nation, and throughout the world.  We can to build on our relationships with our so that they help us both ends of our student recruiting prospective students and well-educated graduates.

And the relationship our alumni operates in both They help inform our in teaching and research, so that we are of the changing world in which our will operate.

And we help maintain and sharpen the skill that contribute to their by making available continuing and information about the breakthroughs in and creativity that are occurring as a matter at an exceptional university.

So, to my thoughts this afternoon, you and I, together, can transform UND through our activities into five simple priorities:


facilitating collaboration


improving the quality of life for and staff

and expanding UND’s

The time is right.

We are located in a with a thriving economy and a that is historically supportive of education.

We have students who are to be challenged by their education and to the leaders of tomorrow.

And we have the desired resource of all… a faculty and staff who are committed, not to their personal and professional but who devote enormous time, and talent to the students and to the mission of UND .

I all of us to transform this great

Help create the UND of which you to be a part.

Ignite the Spirit…

we will make our shared a reality.

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