[This letter was sent individually to each member of the N.D. State Board of Higher Education:]

 

Mr. Chuck Stroup
209 N. Central Ave.
Hazen, ND 58545

Dear Mr. Stroup:

I can not express to you my extreme disappointment in your recent vote to mandate that the University of North Dakota retain the "Fighting Sioux" logo. Such a vote demonstrates a disregard of basic human rights and is very rude. Polite educated people work hard to live with each other in our society. Our mutual respect for human beings brings about a civil society; your action demonstrates that you disregard the wishes of others. People in civilized societies do not use living humans as mascots. You are a terrible role model to our students who will graduate and leave the state to work in diverse environments.

Secondly, your vote undermines the governing authority of the president of UND, Dr. Charles Kupchella. The decision regarding the "Fighting Sioux" logo/nickname/mascot was to have been his. You have taken that away from him. I can assure you that every faculty member at UND fears what you will do next. Will you start mandating the cases we are to use? how many hours we are to spend on each theory? the specific textbooks we are to use? the questions we will ask on an examination? At a time when the faculty members in higher education in North Dakota are the worst paid in the nation and the projections for enrollment in higher education in this state are negative in the long term, you have contributed to the Board of Higher Education becoming a national laughingstock. You should spend your time dealing with the terrible funding for higher education, not just for salaries but for research funds, equipment and library materials, instructional development activities, etc. We have had a difficult time recruiting competent faculty in the past; I expect the task will be impossible now.

I request that you withdraw your misguided vote supporting the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and ask President Charles Kupchella to make the decision that is appropriately his. Please feel free to contact me if you want to talk about this matter or any matter relating to higher education in North Dakota, the United States or the world.

Sincerely,

 

Jan Zahrly, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
University of North Dakota