UND planning to become economic, opportunity engine of North Dakota

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) A strategic planning committee is moving forward, with its directive from President Mark Kennedy, to make UND the economic, opportunity engine of North Dakota.
It’s a planning process officials believe will also ready the school for another round of legislative cuts next month, because of the State’s slumping economy.
UND’s campus is just about deserted today with students on Christmas break. But behind the scenes plans are in the works to make sure this university is positioned to provide the education needed for a wave of emerging technologies.
Laurie Betting, UND Strategic Planning Committee: “We certainly are privy to understanding the importance of Unmanned Aerial. We’ve got Energy, Biomedical. We also have interesting conversations regarding the Arctic and other things that sort of position UND uniquely.”
Dana Harsell, UND Strategic Planning Committee: “One of the larger goals the President would like us to do is help the University of North Dakota become the chief, economic opportunity engine for the State of North Dakota.”
But, UND will likely once again be faced with accomplishing that goal with less money, because of a slumping oil economy.
The Strategic Planning Committee says its new plan will also help prioritize finances. And that’s going to be important when the Legislature meets in January, because it’s expected to hand out more cuts to North Dakota Universities.
Laurie Betting, UND Strategic Planning Committee: “So, do we address money? Yes, we have to, that’s the only responsible way of doing strategic planning. We have to look at what resources are available to us. We have to prioritize, which might mean that we’re investing more in something and less in something else.”
UND President Kennedy has directed the committee to create a concise, clear plan that puts everyone on the same page.
Dana Harsell, UND Strategic Planning Committee: “By the time we get all done, he wants something that can fit on a card. Something that can be easily remembered. Something that everyone can rally around. He doesn’t want to create a plan that will sit on a shelf and never be look at again.”
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