A Message from your Vice President for Student Affairs

Welcome to the University of North Dakota! The University is a learning community dedicated to the intellectual and personal growth of our students. It is an environment where all students, faculty, and staff are treated with dignity and respect. The University's community values statement specifies: That everyone be allowed to work, learn, and live in a safe, caring environment. That everyone learn about, understand, appreciate, and respect varied cultures. That everyone matters. That all individuals be respected and treated with dignity and civility. That everyone continue to share in the responsibility of making UND a better place. Readmore http://www.protein-barscheap.info

A Message from your Vice President for Student Affairs

The Code of Student Life serves to enrich the University experience and as a guide for the University disciplinary/conduct system. The Code addresses the rights and responsibilities of all UND students and includes processes intended to ensure fair treatment of all students. We take these policies and processes seriously and believe it is our responsibility to help students learn about the choices they make, about the consequences for their decisions, and about how to respect others. Welcome to the UND community. We are glad you are here. Sincerely, Laurie Betting, PT, DPT - Interim Vice President for Student Affairs.

About The Division. The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for providing leadership to the campus and Division of Student Affairs. Reporting directly to the President, the Vice President is committed to the general welfare and vitality of the institution and is a primary liaison between Student Affairs and other major components of the University. The Vice President for Student Affairs is an advocate for students and seeks to create a positive learning environment for all students especially outside the classroom. The VP is also responsible for policy, long-range planning, budget, personnel, and coordination of the departments which together comprise the Division of Student Affairs.

Be kind to your mind… 


A big “thank you” to Dr. Cara Halgren, Associate Vice President & Dean of Students, for providing input and a list of resources which have been incorporated into this week’s blog post. This week I would like to approach a topic that is not easy to discuss but, given my background in health and wellness, I feel it is an important subject and I believe that it deserves its own dedicated post mental health.  As a society we are beginning to demystify mental illness and break down the stigmas that are often associated with mental health and depression but we still have a ways to go.  Seeking help is often difficult but it is the smart thing to do and it is becoming more socially acceptable. We should think of it as preventative medicine for the mind.

As student affairs professionals, we may find ourselves in situations with students who are having difficulty adjusting to their new life at UND or are having a tough time getting back into the groove of college life.  It is important for us to recognize warning signs, keeping in mind that often these signs are subtle.  We want to know what to say and do or where to direct those students and how to best assist them. Our very own University Counseling Center (UCC) offers one-on-one and group counseling. The staff at UCC are professionally trained and certified to assist with a wide variety of mental health-related issues including anxiety, depression, relationships, and stress-management. When referring students to UCC please keep in mind that they welcome appointments but also accept walk-ins. For other resources offered by UCC and to gain more knowledge about warning signs and what to do if you suspect a student needs help, please call the staff at UCC at 777-2127 or visit their website.  Another terrific resource right here in our own division is the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities (OSRR). Students are welcome in the OSRR and may go to that office to discuss their concerns.  OSRR staff are trained to assist in problem solving and may assist struggling students with identifying appropriate services to get them the assistance they need to be successful.  The staff in OSRR collaborate with various other offices across campus and are well-versed in making appropriate referrals for students.  You can contact the OSRR at 777-2664 or learn more about what they offer by visiting their website.

We all know we need to eat right, exercise regularly and get adequate rest to feel good and be at our best but we do not always think about our emotional health.  At the risk of sounding like a flight attendant, we must secure our own masks before assisting others. What I mean is that as employees it is important to recognize and attend to our own needs, too.  In order for us to do our best work and to be there for our students, we need to take stock of how we are feeling and recognize when we need to take time for ourselves admittedly this is not always as easy to do nor are the signs as obvious as the sniffles or a stomach ache.  Maybe our fuse is shorter, maybe we are crying more easily or we could just be feeling “off”. We need to recognize these as legitimate symptoms and causes for concern, too. As UND employees we have resources available to us, as well. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a great benefit we receive as employees of UND.  They offer confidential assessment, counseling, and referral services. These services are extended to our immediate family members, too.  To learn more or contact EAP go to eap-program cfm. Sometimes in the chaos of everyday life and all we are doing to keep our students healthy we forget to take care of ourselves.  Please remember to take care of your whole self body, mind, and spirit. Now, to spotlight a couple of everyday superhero staff members who are here daily doing the important work in the field of mental health… Let’s go Fighting Hawks! – Laurie

Greetings and welcome to the 2016-17 academic year !


I can’t believe I have been in the interim Vice President position for almost two months already! It has been a wild and awesome ride so far and I am so excited for the coming year. The students are back on campus and the energy they bring is invigorating I hope you feel it, too! As we begin a new academic year, I wanted to provide a space for staff to come to read about what’s going on around the Division of Student Affairs, the campus, and the community. You will find that here on my brand new blog! Monthly I will be featuring posts that revolve around my four major focus areas: students, employees, communication and innovation. I will include professional development opportunities, concerns of our students, hot topics in student affairs,  and events going on in our division, around campus and in the community.  I hope you will find it insightful and helpful as you go about your work with our UND students.

Our work here at UND and in the Division of Student Affairs is vital I really want to emphasize that we are all student affairs professionals in essence, we are “students of students”.  The students are the heart of what we do and connecting with them, understanding where they are at on their journey, and doing what we can to contribute to their success is the core of our work. I want you to know what a very unique and important job you do for student affairs and that is does not go unrecognized.  Whether you are the employee who delivers snacks to the vending machine at Twamley, a nurse who takes the temperature of a student who is feeling ill, the staff member who helps fix a student’s or staff member’s computer problem, or the success coach who helps a student plan her course load, you have an effect on our students.  You are an everyday superhero!  As such, I will be spotlighting an everyday superhero staff member or two in each of my posts.  Come back monthly to see the featured staff-it might be you!

Lastly, I invite you to visit this link to see the latest generational “mindset” published by Beloit College.  It puts into perspective who our students are and helps us understand how we can best communicate with them.  (Don’t worry, it made me feel old, too!) I’m looking forward to working with all of you. Our door is always open should you have ideas or issues you would like to discuss. It will be my pleasure to hear from you during the semester. Let’s go Fighting Hawks! – Laurie

Post Potato Bowl Post


I hope you were able to participate in the Potato Bowl festivities last week and over the weekend and got your fill at the French Fry Feed! Congrats to Bubba and our UND Fighting Hawks Football team–way to go on the win in double overtime against the South Dakota Coyotes! Our UND freshmen have now been in their first year of college for almost a full month. They are developing a routine, learning to navigate campus and their classes (they may have even had a quiz, test or paper due already), are busy making new friends and learning new things. They are juggling a lot of first year experiences and with that can come some varied emotions.  In short, stuff is getting real.

It is also about this time when some may be suffering a little homesickness or missing the familiarity of life before college. Chances are good that as a student affairs professional, you have had one of these students through your office, on the other end of the phone, or perhaps have just observed them around campus. As Student Affairs professionals we want to do all we can to help students circumnavigate this transition. We might find ourselves in conversation with students about some of the obstacles they are facing and our talks with them oftentimes reveal more than the original reason for them coming in to see us.  Our role in students’ lives is a vital one and that 1:1 time with them is of the utmost importance.  It is our opportunity to guide, offer suggestions, but most of all to listen and let them know they have a strong support network in us as Student Affairs professionals.

To conclude this post I wanted to take the opportunity to spotlight a couple of everyday superhero staff members who do this type of work daily but do so behind the scenes.  They do important work to serve our students and they serve as excellent role models for the students at UND, as well.  My deep gratitude goes out to these staff members, and the many others like them their hard work is often unseen, but ultimately has a great impact on the success and happiness of our students. Let’s go Fighting Hawks! – Laurie. Student Affairs Everyday Superhero Staff Spotlightspotlightright. If you know of a Student Affairs Everyday Superhero staff member you would like to nominate, contact our office at 777-2724 or email.

Homecoming Week - The Tradition Continues


This week we celebrate our 100th Homecoming here at UND.  It is our opportunity to celebrate our UND spirit and to reflect on the last 100 years. Many of you know that I am a Grand Forks native and as the air is getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors and our campus is alive with homecoming activity I feel such pride to call this my home. We will have a lot of visitors in town and on campus this week as people “come home” to celebrate our UND pride.  Our Student Ambassadors in collaboration with the UND Alumni Association and Foundation have coordinated a variety of events and the entire schedule can be found here: homecoming.  I encourage all of you to attend as many events as possible and to wear your green and pink proudly all week long!

To kick off our special Homecoming week we have a very significant and historical event in UND history the Inauguration of our 12th president, Mark R. Kennedy.  This event is a momentous occasion and I hope that you will make plans to attend and welcome Mark & Debbie into our UND family.  The Inauguration is today, October 10th at 2pm at the Chester Fritz Auditorium and will be followed by a reception at the Gorecki Alumni Center.  Please join in the pomp, circumstance, and tradition of welcoming our new president to UND! I would also like to make you aware of a publication that UND’s Marketing and Public Affairs staff will be rolling out shortly.  It is called UND Today and it will highlight key focus areas such as research, faculty voice, and campus life to name a few. This publication will be a “go-to” for community members, students, faculty and staff to learn more about what is happening around campus and in our community.  It is part of the effort to be transparent and keep our UND family abreast of happenings in and around UND and Grand Forks.  Be on the lookout for the first issue tomorrow, October 11th.

We have been met with some very difficult issues already this fall.  It is apparent that we have some work to do to educate our students, faculty, staff, and community on some very important and diverse topics. I believe we are making progress and I have faith in our student leadership as well as our UND faculty and staff that we will come together to move forward with that education.  President Kennedy has received positive feedback about the messaging that we have been communicating to our parents and students.  They are feeling informed and included.  We have staff from our Division to thank for those efforts.  Things like these take time, take us away from our daily routine, and often require working extra hours not to mention how emotionally taxing they can be.  I’m appreciative of our dedicated staff who coordinate these efforts seamlessly.  As Student Affairs professionals we are passionate, hard-working, and incredibly dedicated and I am grateful to be on this journey with you.  Now, for a few superhero staff members who know a little something about the “blood, sweat, and tears” that go into our daily work! Let’s go Fighting Hawks and Happy Homecoming! – Laurie