Statement by President Charles Kupchella
Regarding State Board of Higher Education decision
to retain the Fighting Sioux Team Name
December 21, 2000

As the board took up the issue of the Sioux nickname and made its decision today, I was in the final stage of considering several options and was prepared to take action to be announced during the first part of January. Instead, the decision has been made unanimously by the body that has ultimate authority in all matters related to this University and the other public institutions of higher education in North Dakota.

The University of North Dakota is proud of its record in providing educational opportunities for our Native American citizens, and for attempting to generate understanding and appreciation of Native American culture. But much more needs to be done, and I pledge to lead UND in new efforts to accomplish this goal. It is especially important that we make sure that Native American leaders are invited to the campus to see what the University is doing to support Native American students and to learn more about the richness of their culture and to seek their insight into how UND can better serve their needs.

I have made an unconditional commitment that the University of North Dakota will seek to become the leading institution in the United States of America in serving both Native American students and people and we are going to continue to pursue that objective.

Peter Johnson
Media Relations Coordinator
(701) 777-4317


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