[The following was sent to members of the UND Campus Community on Dec. 6, 2011.]
Dear Campus Community:
I want to bring you up to date on recent events related to the nickname and logo. As you may know, the North Dakota Legislature met in Special Session in November and, among other issues, took action to rescind the law mandating that the University of North Dakota use the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. The new law, which became effective Dec. 1, allows UND to begin transitioning away from the nickname and logo, in compliance with the Aug. 15 directive of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, charging the University to “substantially complete the [transition] process by the end of December 2011.”
To that end, I have directed the Athletics Department and the Office of University Relations to initiate transition processes with the goal of substantially completing them by the end of December. For example, you will see references to the nickname and the use of the logo disappearing from the UND web site, except where it makes sense to retain them for historical or similar reasons. The University will also remove nickname Images and verbiage from University owned facilities, except for their use in historical or similar applications, such as championship banners.
It is important to understand that the transition process will not be entirely completed by Dec. 31. For example, the new uniforms for the UND men’s hockey team won’t be available until late February. As a result, the men’s hockey team will finish the rest of the regular season in their current uniforms. Another example relates to our contracts with several vendors licensed to produce UND apparel and merchandise. Under the terms of the contracts, we must provide at least a 90-day notice of a change to the contract. That means licensed vendors will be allowed to produce apparel and merchandise with the Fighting Sioux name and logo through March 31, 2012, and will have until June 30, 2012, to sell off their stock. Retailers will be able to sell Fighting Sioux apparel and merchandise as long as supplies last, but there will be no more production of Fighting Sioux apparel and merchandise under existing licenses after March 31, 2012.
You can find more information about the transition process under “UND’s Transition Process: Frequently Asked Questions” on the Nickname/Logo web site at http://nickname.und.edu/logo.
As we work together over the next month to transition away from the nickname and logo, I ask all UND employees, especially unit heads, to help with the process. If you use the nickname and logo in your area, please take steps to remove their use. If you want to identify an area where you think a change needs to be made, please contact Peter Johnson, Office of University Relations, at email@example.com.
Thank you for your help and cooperation. Together, we will effect an orderly transition.
Robert O. Kelley