UND Rolls Out Kelly Green Carpet For Gov. Burgum

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (middle) made a five-hour visit to the University of North Dakota campus on April 6, during which he heard UND’s plan to overcome higher education challenges to serve its students and the state. Photo by Shawna Schill/UND Today.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum walked into the board room of UND’s Robin Hall Friday morning and got to warmly shaking hands with every person in it.

Soon he came to Morgan Tomchuck, a dietetics major invited to share her experience with UND’s new Math Active Learning Lab (MALL).

“I’m Morgan Tomchuck – I’m just a student here,” she said timidly as she gripped Burgum’s hand.

“No, not just a student,” he replied. “You’re why we’re here.”

This was the first stop of a five-hour visit to the University of North Dakota, during which the governor heard from campus and community leaders and students about recent achievements of the One UND Strategic Plan, current building and infrastructure challenges around campus, and ambitious plans to make UND the research giant of the Northern Plains.

It was a lot to pack into 300 minutes, but the UND team was primed for action.

“We recognize the fact that there have been a lot of changes going on in higher education,” UND President Mark Kennedy said, addressing the day’s initial gathering. “Our belief is that the changes that you see now are just a shadow of what’s yet to come.”

President Kennedy further explained to Burgum, first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum, Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford and their staff that UND is harnessing these changes through its Strategic Plan – for the benefit of its students and the state of North Dakota.

Kennedy said that a swell in automation is altering the career landscape, causing demand for four-year and advanced degrees to rise. The day’s presentations would highlight how UND will be ready with the necessary innovative technology and leading-edge program offerings.

Read more about the governor’s visit at UND Today!