Board of Higher Education Directs UND to Begin Retiring Nickname and Logo
BISMARCK, N.D. - The State Board of Higher Education yesterday directed the University of North Dakota to begin the process of retiring the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo unless the Standing Rock Sioux and Spirit Lake Sioux tribal councils give namesake approval by Oct. 1, 2009.
The board's unanimous vote to approve a resolution dealing with the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo took place during a regularly scheduled SBHE meeting at Dickinson State University, Dickinson, N.D.
"The board believes this change is in the best interest of the university, its students and members of the extended UND community," said Richie Smith, SBHE president. "Resolution of this issue is distracting from the important work of the university in serving its students and the state of North Dakota.
"The Fighting Sioux logo and nickname have been symbols of pride for many generations, but it is time to move forward," Smith said. "The State Board of Higher Education remains steadfast in its commitment to maintaining academic excellence in a welcoming and supportive learning environment for all students at the University of North Dakota, as well as its 10 sister institutions."
The resolution approved by the SBHE on May 14, 2009, follows.
Consistent with the terms and conditions of the October 26, 2007, Settlement Agreement entered into with the NCAA, the Board directs UND officials to retire the "Sioux" nickname and logo, effective October 1, 2009. Full retirement of the nickname and logo shall be completed no later than August 1, 2010. In the event a new nickname and logo are adopted by UND, they shall not violate the NCAA policy regarding Native American nicknames, mascots and imagery.
UND is further directed to undertake actions consistent with the Settlement Agreement to protect its intellectual property rights in the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and mark.
UND is further directed to address the imagery at Ralph Engelstad Arena and other venues pursuant to the terms, conditions and timelines set forth in the Settlement Agreement.
This directive shall be suspended, if, prior to October 1, 2009, the following should happen:
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe give namesake approval consistent with the terms of the Settlement Agreement; and
The namesake approval be binding upon the tribes for a period not less than thirty (30) years.