President Armacost speaks to national group about Institutional Transformation Award

During American Council on Education meeting, Armacost explains how UND grew its relationship with Grand Forks

Clicking the above image will take you to a recording of the American Council on Education Member Open House for May 2022, during which UND President Andy Armacost spoke about UND’s work resulting in the 2022 Award for Institutional Transformation presented by ACE and Fidelity Investments.

In March, UND was one of two institutions recognized by the American Council on Education during the national organization’s annual meeting.

There, the University received the 2022 American Council on Education/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation, an award honoring UND’s commitment to North Dakota, Grand Forks and student success.

The specifics of the award were detailed in a UND Today story published at the time. And more recently, UND President Andy Armacost had the chance to share UND’s award-winning story with ACE members at the organization’s Open House.

The virtual presentation is available to view in its entirety, courtesy of ACE. David Podell, president of MassBay Community College, also spoke; he represented the other institution honored in 2022.

Both presidents were invited to speak about the work that culminated in receiving national level recognition from ACE, as well as to answer questions from the Open House audience about those efforts.

In the linked video, Armacost delivers a five-minute presentation starting at the 4:15 mark, and answers various questions at the following time signatures: 15:15, 19:40, 23:15 and 25:50.

“Let me offer my thanks to ACE and Fidelity Investments for honoring the University of North Dakota in the way that you have,” Armacost said at the top of his remarks. “There is a lot of transformation happening in higher ed, and we were pleased to be recognized this way.”

From potholes on up

As Armacost phrased in his remarks, UND’s road to an institutional transformation award started with physical transformations. Addressing conditions along University Avenue in Grand Forks, in a process that brought together city and University stakeholders, became “something much broader than that,” Armacost said.

“That led to conversations that would then really amplify the partnership that exists in many other areas,” he said.

As examples, Armacost spoke briefly about The Longest Table, a community event featuring more than 1,000 members of the Grand Forks community in 2018 and 2019. He also cited the InternGF internship program as an “outgrowth of the cooperation between the University and city.”

After a $1.3 million donation from the City of Grand Forks, UND’s forthcoming Nistler College of Business and Public Administration will host the Grand Forks Workforce Development Center. This remarkable gift from the city represented the “capstone donation” that helped the building project move ahead, Armacost said.

UND becoming the first university in the nation to sign a cooperative research agreement with the U.S. Space Force in 2021 “was brought together by a willing sense of community partners and industry partners within Grand Forks,” Armacost said.

Finally, Armacost brought up the fact that UND’s Department of Indigenous Health and Ph.D. program in Indigenous Health are both the first of their kind. These new rural public health programs will focus on tribal communities.

“What I hope I’ve portrayed is how discussions about potholes immediately grew into something much larger – that we’re able to fill the needs of so many elements of the community by looking at this partnership between university and host city,” Armacost said.

During the Q&A session, Armacost addressed questions about the key elements of UND’s town-and-gown relationship; the benchmarks of success for such relationships and handling demand for a community-wide event with The Longest Table.