Exciting news and continued innovation – pushing UND into the future

As UND’s Provost, it is exciting to witness the advancements and innovations achieved at UND from year to year. Each spring, we graduate another successful class of students and each fall begins a new chapter, adding to the ever-growing story of UND.

The 2018-2019 school year had many notable changes and firsts: introduction of a new Fighting Hawk Mascot, campuswide construction, a UND made fabric was launched into space by NASA, and most recently, the announcement of new interim President, Dr. Joshua Wynne, as we offer a farewell and best wishes to President Mark Kennedy as he departs for the Presidency at the University of Colorado System.

Innovation in our processes

UND faculty and staff are working diligently to improve upon processes to enhance the student experience. At a recent meeting, discussion touched upon numerous developments on track to be completed over the course of the upcoming weeks.

For Example, Core Technology Services (CTS), the Registrar, and One-Stop Student Services are collaborating to develop an online registration action form set for release in the fall. This will create a self-service form for students with specific, exceptional enrollment needs.  It will also eliminate the need for a paper form requiring students to obtain multiple signatures.

Additionally, CTS is creating a new access for Campus Solutions administrators. This change will enable these student advocates to view the student layout and will permit them to more effortlessly assist students who are having difficulties in Campus Connection navigate through the site.

The Registrar’s Office has introduced an online grade change form.  This form will eliminate the need for carbon copy forms, leading to a faster, paperless process. In addition to the online grade change form, the Registrar’s Office is working on developing an online transcript order service, which allows anyone who needs their transcript to login, request and receive it within hours or minutes – reducing the waiting period.

Seeing innovation firsthand

Elsewhere on campus, the Energy & Environmental Research Center hosted the fourth annual “Energizing North Dakota” Partnership Summit on May 21. The summit engaged attendees with topics on the future of energy, both local and abroad.

Les Bjore, Debbi Storrs and Provost Tom DiLorenzo
Lesie Bjore, Debbi Storrs and Provost Tom DiLorenzo

EERC CEO Tom Erickson had this to say about the summit, “We have not only the opportunity but also the obligation to the citizens of North Dakota to adapt and prepare for the future.  Venues like this are important to enable collaboration on those opportunities.”  Read more about the Summit here.

I was privileged to be given tours of the Chester Fritz Library and the third floor of O’Kelly Hall.  Both are undergoing extensive renovation. Dean of Libraries Stephanie Walker led Vice Provost Storrs and I through each level of the library, describing the impressive progress made.  The main floor, which once housed microfilm and other items, will now be home to University Information Technology.

Provost DiLorenzo and Stephanie Walker
Provost DiLorenzo and Stephanie Walker

The second floor will feature areas for inquiries and general, immediate assistance.  The third floor will feature the Writing Center and Visualization Lab, which will be used for more in-depth questions and research, including state-of-the-art equipment. Also new will be 3D printing areas, a coffee shop, and student meeting and study spaces.

Leslie Bjore helped us envision how the third floor of O’Kelly will be opened up to house the Teaching Transformation and Development Academy (TTaDA). This space will be used to promote teaching enhancements, professional development opportunities, host forums, promote leadership, and enhance learning for students, staff, and faculty.

Innovative staff

Not only are we making great strides in the efficiency, processes, and innovation at UND, but we are also building a phenomenal team.  Beginning in July 2019, we will have a new Learning Specialist joining the Student Success team.

Jacoba de Boer currently serves as an academic advisor and teaching specialist at the University of Minnesota Crookston where she has worked for the past 12 years.  She will work with students seeking help with academic skills and resources, supervise tutoring and tutors across campus and online, and collaborate with Core Advisors on implementing success programs for at-risk students.  It is an exciting time for UND and as we begin this new chapter, I look forward to sharing in all of the progress we will make together as One UND.



— Tom DiLorenzo, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost