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Gipp statement on SBHE action
Statement of David M. Gipp, President, United Tribes Technical College, regarding the May 14 action of the North Dakota Board of Higher Education regarding the UND nickname and logo:
15 May 2009

BISMARCK (UTN) - “I am encouraged by the press accounts of today’s action by the State Board of Higher Education, meeting in Dickinson. I am optimistic that this will ultimately result in discontinuing use of American Indian imagery in the nickname and logo at UND, my alma mater.

      While I await further information about today’s action, the motivation for it is not entirely clear from the media reports. On the surface it appears the main concern is about membership status for UND teams in an athletic conference. I am not aware if the board is acting out of concern for human dignity and the institutional and educational values associated with higher learning.

      The State Board of Higher Education is to be commended, if its members have found the courage to break free of the influence exerted by the nickname money interests. It is unethical and immoral that tribal people have been manipulated, divided and turned against each other in this process.

      As I have said before, letting go of the nickname and logo will lead to a better higher educational system in North Dakota – one that all of the state’s citizens can begin to take part in with pride.”