Welcome back to the start of a new academic year at UND! As summer draws to a close and we look forward to resuming classes, I hope you were able to relax, recharge, and prepare for all of the changes this year will bring. I would like to extend a most happy greeting to new students, staff, and faculty. Whether you are new to campus or taking on a different role, new beginnings are always exciting, and we have seen more than a few beginnings ushered in at UND over the summer.
Making UND History and Other Exciting News
The incoming freshman class is making UND history. They are the most academically qualified cohort, with an average high school GPA of 3.5, which is up from the 2018 freshman class with an average high school GPA of 3.46. 2019 freshmen are also on track to be the most diverse class in UND’s history. Their cohort is up 10% in diverse students.
UND’s Honors program has also started the year off on a historic note. They retained 91% of their fall 2018 freshmen, now sophomore class and will welcome 199 freshmen this semester which is a 48% increase from two years ago and a 19% increase from last year. They have exceeded their enrollment goal for fall 2019 by 9%. Honors students major in degree programs across campus and thus their enrollment success benefits all colleges and schools.
Obvious, and not so obvious improvements
The most obvious changes on campus include the completion of University Avenue. The massive project was undertaken at the conclusion of the spring 2019 semester. Another large project currently still in progress is the Chester Fritz Library (CFL). Over the summer, the University IT Department moved into their new space in the basement of the CFL. In July, I was given a tour of the space as they were in the process of moving and the progress was impressive. The rest of the Library is still undergoing construction, which will see the Library go through much needed revitalization.
The committed staff of the Teaching Transformation and Development Academy (TTaDA) have officially moved into their new space in the O’Kelly building. The summer saw the reconfiguration of the third floor to fit TTaDA’s needs. I was lucky enough to view the project while it was still under construction and it is amazing to see how far it has come in a matter of weeks. They plan to host an open house on September 23 from noon to 3 p.m., and I encourage you to stop by.
These projects were not the only ones undertaken this summer. The Stone house is still undergoing extensive renovation. The Memorial Union is currently in the process of being demolished in order to make way for the new Union slated to be completed in 2021.
Within Twamley, fresh paint, new flooring, and rebranding have made the space feel refreshed as we expect more students in the building to meet with core advisors, career services, One Stop, the Office of Student Finance, and the Registrar’s office. The addition of UND wraps on the elevators and stairs, along with our Fighting Hawk mascot plastered in the stairwell, have rebranded the space as a student friendly UND building.
Leaders Making a Difference
Jennifer Aamodt, the Director of Admissions, has been spearheading the merger of the undergraduate and graduate admissions offices into the University Admissions Office. The University Admissions Office is up 10% in graduate students who confirmed their plan to study at UND.
In the spirit of collaboration and to increase efficiencies, another merger has occurred. The Student Financial Aid Office and Student Account Services merged into Office of Student Finance. The unit is led by Chelsea Larson, who started in her role as Director of Student Finance this summer.
Events to look forward to
As we gear up for a new year, I would like to take a look ahead to outline a few of the many exciting events that will be occurring around campus this year.
- Saturday, August 24 – Student Move In
- Monday, August 26 – Classes Begin After 4 pm
- Saturday, August 31 – Fighting Hawks Football Drake
- Thursday, September 12 — French Fry Feed (full list of Potato Bowl Events here)
- Monday, September 23 – TTaDA Open House, noon to 3 p.m.
- Tuesday, September 24 – Chester Fritz Library & University IT Open House 10 am – 1 pm
- Monday, September 30 – Start of Homecoming Week
- Saturday, October 5 – Homecoming Hockey Exhibition vs. Manitoba
- October 17 & 18 – Fall Open House for New Students at the Chester Fritz Auditorium
- December 13 – Reading and Review Day
- December 16 – Beginning of Finals Week
- December 19 – Doctoral Master’s Degree Ceremony
- December 20 – Winter Commencement
- For a full academic year calendar, please click here
— Tom DiLorenzo, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs