Leaders of UND Hope to Move Forward with a New Strategic Plan

A presentation at UND was held to discuss the new five year strategic plan

GRAND FORKS, ND — UND is working on overcoming many obstacles throughout the school year after being hit with major budget cuts.

From the commotion of cutting women’s hockey, controversy over re-branding athletics and getting a new president, one of North Dakota’s major universities went through several changes in a short amount of time.

“I’m hoping there’s no more allotments that are coming at us in the next two years,” said UND President Mark Kennedy.

President Kennedy said he’s ready to get the ball rolling on new transitions to help get UND back on the road to success.

“There’s a bright future ahead for the University of North Dakota if we just follow the plan our strategic planning committee came up with,” he added.

“It’s been a tough year with budget cuts, but I think this plan presents a lot of opportunities for us to best figure out how to move forward,” said Dana Harsell, who is an associate professor in the political science department.

Some of the new ideas are increasing credit hours by 10 percent and getting digital advertising.

President Kennedy also said a main goal of UND is to become one of the top research institutions in the nation.

“A bigger focus on PhD programs will align with one of our five grand challenges and is going to be part of the focus you’re going to be seeing coming out of this plan,” said President Kennedy.

President Kennedy also said he wants to move forward with a new name and logo to boost school spirit.

“We need to have today’s generation of students who feels passionate about being the Hawks as previous generations were about the logo at their time,” he said.

Despite major budget cuts, leaders at UND say the new five year plan is something the university deserves and needs.

They’ve been working since August to ultimately increase the four year graduation rate from 28 percent to 34 percent.

Officials said it hasn’t been easy.

“Getting the college alignment plans and getting everyone so they understand what role they play in moving this great institution forward,” said Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, Laurie Betting.

The strategic plan won’t happen overnight, but it’s a challenge that leaders are ready to tackle.

“This isn’t the end,” said Betting. “This is the beginning. I think that’s really the most important part here.”

President Kennedy said the top transitions he hopes to make are learning, discovering and engaging with more students.

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