KNDS News Updates Get the latest news from the KNDS news department Statement of No Confidence Marred by Allegations

As the provost office continues searching for a new dean of the College of Business, documents have surfaced that suggest turmoil bubbling within the college.

A Statement of No Confidence was uncovered through an open-records request submitted by The Spectrum.

The statement, which was received by the provost’s office April 11, “strongly express(ed)” discontent for then-Dean Ronald Johnson and Associate Dean Tim Peterson’s leadership.

“To minimize further loss of college momentum and potential for retribution,” the statement concludes, “we respectfully request that Dean Ronald D. Johnson and Associated Dean Tim O. Peterson be removed from their positions.”

Johnson has since relocated to a faculty position.

Peterson remains as the associate dean.

In September, Provost Beth Ingram appointed Jane Schuh as interim dean.

A press release said Johnson would work with Schuh “to enable a smooth and timely transition in leadership.”

At the time of publication, Peterson and Schuh had not responded to email requests.

Johnson returned an email but could not elaborate further at the time of publication.


Seventeen faculty members of the College of Business had their names on the Statement of No Confidence.

Of the 17 names undersigned on the statement, however, only 14 names were physically signed.

Three faculty members, Joseph Szmerekovsky, Chanchai Tangpong and David Zhang, did not have their signatures on the statement.

These three later sent a memo to the provost’s office, wishing to clear their names from the document.

A copy of the document was sent to The Spectrum anonymously, attached with a sticker that called it a “copyh (sic) of (the) memo sent to (the) provost.”

The sticker called out the “unethical and bullying” nature  of the “chairs who are still in charge.”

In the memo, Szmerekovsky, Tangpong and Zhang write to “clarify” and “express concerns regarding activities surrounding the Statement of No Confidence.”

The three write, “Though our names appeared on the document we would like to make it clear that we had no part in the creation of the document.”

They continue, writing they had “no knowledge” of the statement’s existence “until after it was received by the Provost’s office.”

The memo claims they were not the only ones inflicted by intimating tactics put in place by “department chairs.”

An unnamed signee allegedly told Szmerekovsky, Tangpong and Zhang “that at least some of the signees were given little or no time with which to decide whether to sign.”

The chairs, the memo reads, wished to keep the document confidential and discouraged open discussion regarding it.

The memo calls for more “transparency, mutual respect, and open communication” and disciplinary actions against those who acted with “unbecoming behavior.”

It concludes with a call for punishment, as the authors write, “Unfortunately, it is likely that the behavior will continue as the Statement of No Confidence is considered a success by those responsible.”

It is unclear if punishment was ever doled out to the chairs.

To read more about the provost office's search for a new dean, read on via The Spectrum.

]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:51:18 -0700
Student Government Has High Hopes For Upcoming Legislative Session BY: PACE MAIER

Every two years, North Dakota State compiles a list of projects that need to be made or reevaluated on campus. The North Dakota University System then adds or subtracts projects to that list.

A proposal is then sent to the governor, who considers it before releasing his/her own budget.

NDUS prioritizes projects from all 11 campuses.

The run-down Dunbar Hall on NDSU’s campus was NDSU’s main priority, but the Gov. Jack Dalrymple did not allot any money for Dunbar or any other NDSU capital projects.

“This does not mean we won’t get (Dunbar Hall) funded,”said Aaron Weber Executive Commissioner of Governmental Relations and Intercollegiate Affairs. “We are exploring a few options for getting an appropriation for the building.”

Dalrymple did not include money to replace Dunbar Hall in his budget for the state, but he did include $5 million to repair the building. Weber said, however, to solve the problems with the 50-year-old building is well over that amount.

“Though we may have been disappointed at the initial proposal of the Governor’s budget,” Student Body Vice President Hilary Haugeberg said, “we are optimistic that it is going to be a great session in Bismarck, and that there will be opportunities for students specifically to voice their concerns regarding the proposed budget.”

This spring, NDSU student government has an opportunity to have their voices heard during the legislative session.

“We have opportunities to share our own thoughts, speak to our representatives directly and advocate for the better of NDSU students,” Haugeberg said on trying to get the budget to include replacing Dunbar Hall.

To read more about Dunbar's struggles, read on via The Spectrum.

]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:47:45 -0700
Keeping NDSU Clean: A Laughing Matter PHOTO CRED: GABBY HARTZE

The mop slides back and forth across the linoleum. It has for nearly 14 years, though the tedious job hasn’t silenced the laughter. Shawn Odden’s chuckle bounces through the Stockbridge bathroom he cleans for a living.

From his phone, Tom Petty radio on Pandora accompanies Odden’s cleaning.

“It’s usually Red Hot Chili Peppers,” the West Fargo native said.

Odden said he, for the most part, enjoys one of the dirtiest jobs on North Dakota State campus: residence hall custodian.

Back to school

After high school, Odden said he had no inclination to go back to college.

“I hated school, so I just wanted to find a good job,” he said.

So he went straight to NDSU — to work as a custodian.

“The best thing about working here,” Odden said, “is I get free healthcare. I get sick leave. I get vacation time and holidays off.”

The weekends off are nice too, he said.

During weekdays, Odden cleans Stockbridge’s first and second floors from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. His responsibilities include three bathrooms and six trash rooms.

To read about the horrors Odden has seen while on the job, read on via The Spectrum.

]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:45:43 -0700
NDSU Leaves Students in the Dark BY: CAMILLE FORLANO


Over winter break, three female international North Dakota State students were sexually assaulted near the campus on Dec. 20.

The students’ apartment was entered by a stranger and the women were forced to remove their clothes while held at knife point.

Bison Arms did not have building security doors at the time and the women’s apartment door was unlocked.

Stanley Busche, 39, turned himself in for the crime Dec. 29.

The attack sent a wave of fear throughout the campus, especially to students living off-campus. The incident took place at the Bison Arms Apartments, which is located across the street from T-Lofts.

At the time of the incident, NDSU did not implement their notification system, leaving many students feeling fearful with a criminal on the loose so close to where many students live.

Although the event occurred over winter break, students still felt that they should have been notified.

To read more about the assault, including reaction from a Bison Arms tenant, read on via The Spectrum.

]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:42:02 -0700
'North Water Rising' Exhibition Bridges Art and Science BY: JACK DURA


Events at North Dakota State were fairly quiet over the semester break, but the new year brought a new exhibition to the Memorial Union Gallery.

“North Water Rising,” a collaborative showing between students in advanced photography and landscape architecture, showcases the art and science of the Red River, its drainage basin and the surrounding region. The exhibition is the brainchild of Meghan Kirkwood, assistant professor of art, and Dominic Fischer, assistant professor of landscape architecture, rounding up dozens of students for the artful, educational showing.

It’s a kind of collaboration that gallery coordinator Netha Cloeter points to as wonderful for any department.

“Any time you collaborate with another department and further your educational goals and the depths that a project goes into, it’s a positive thing,” she said. “That represents real-world collaboration. This is a project that really does that well.”

While Cloeter admits the Red River is not a traditional example of landscape photography, the pairing of photography of the river with charts, maps and project of landscape architecture students sparks a certain dialogue in the collaborative match.

“These photos tell a story that’s coming from that student individual but more of a research perspective,” Cloeter said. “So it’s thinking about using photography to tell an important story, not just that you create, but that is from this area.”

Stories and themes range far and wide in “North Water Rising,” with projects covering subjects such as a historic tale of a water monster in the Red River to a detailed work depicting the entire runoff region of the river.

To read more about the exhibition, including access to the event's information box, read on via The Spectrum

]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:38:46 -0700
Friendship Day at Plains Art Museum Unites FM BY: JACK DURA


On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, one area arts organization is celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of the Fargo-Moorhead community.

The Plains Art Museum of downtown Fargo will open its doors at 1 p.m. Monday for Friendship Day, a free event aimed at bringing together people of all ages and walks of life. With activities and galleries open to all, Friendship Day embodies the spirit of the holiday at hand.

“It’s really a celebration of our diverse community and the opportunity for people from all parts of the community to come together, celebrate the art and start bonding friendship,” Brianna McNelly, manager of youth programs, said.

All of the gallery spaces at the museum will open for viewing, and Fargo R&B/jazz group Heart&Soul is lined up to perform.

To read more about Friendship Day, including access to the event's information box, read on via The Spectrum

]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:35:26 -0700
To the Haters: The Real Reason NDSU's Football Team is Special BY: SAM HERDER


Yeah, I get it. Some North Dakota State football fans are idiots. While the majority of the rabid fan base is made of passionate, but reasonable, human beings, there is that small percentage who think Bison football is the greatest thing to hit this earth and will argue with anyone that disagrees.

These sorts of fans and the Internet do not mix.

And while these sorts of fans are extremely vocal, the NDSU haters are also vocal. I know several people who dislike the Bison football team along with many others. Some of them even attended this school. And I ask them why.

Their answer is never “I’m a North Dakota fan” or “I think the players are cocky” or “I think their head coach is a piece of crap.”

It’s always “Their fans are so damn annoying.”

That’s their reason.

Well, get ready for a lecture, haters. Because not liking a team because of its fans is like saying “Blank Space” is a bad song just because you don’t like Taylor Swift. Every team has a handful of “that guy” as fans.

To read Herder's lecture in full, visit The Spectrum.

]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:32:14 -0700
Why Geeks Make Good Significant Others BY: CALEB WERNESS

Advertisements and other media try to give the impression sexy supermodel is someone you should want as your significant other. Like nothing is better than strutting around with this gorgeous companion as your trophy of sorts.

But anyone whose been in a relationship should know there is more to a significant other than looks alone. It is important to find someone who you enjoy being with and can be fun.

Look no further than your average geek.

Stereotypes have portrayed geeks as quite awkward and typical unhygienic creatures who have an aversion to sunlight. This is not the case, usually.

There are several reasons why a geek may just be the type of significant other you are looking for.

Exhibit A. Geeks are very passionate people

The standard tell of a geek is their collection of various pop culture or niche paraphernalia. Often times this is pretty easily identifiable such as a Legend of Zelda shirt or a TARDIS on their keychains.

This is important in a potential significant other because it shows how much commitment these people have when they find something they like. Geeks are willing to go the extra mile to show how much they care about games or shows they like.

When this liking is established, it is not a casual liking — it is a commitment. Last time I checked, people don’t look for a relationship where their partner is one foot in, one foot out. Commitment and loyalty help establish trust.

Trust is essential in any relationship. Without trust, it dies.

Exhibit B. Geeks will buy you nice things

When I was walking around the mall one day, I came across Dr. Who’s sonic screwdriver. I bought it simply because I love the show and thought it was cool.

If you know any geeks, they do these things a lot. Geeks like to buy cool stuff to show their affection.

When you are now part of that affection be sure to receive many gifts.

Gifts are fun and it goes to further prove love and affection which is always key in a relationship.

Besides, geeks have the coolest toys. I, for one, have never seen an unhappy person running around with a Nerf gun or playing with a lightsaber.

For Exhibits D & E, read on via

]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 17:14:17 -0700
A Bison Abroad | Oxford BY: LINDA NORLAND

Few cities have such a prestigious ring to their name as Oxford. With 39 colleges making up the famous Oxford University, this city is one of the most famous collegiate towns in the world. Countless scientists, politicians, writers and artists have lived and studied there — Albert Einstein, Margaret Thatcher, J. R. R. Tolkien and even Bill Clinton.

Oxford has not only been home to real-life luminaries but many fictional ones, as well. The popular crime series “Inspector Morse” was based there, and several locations served as Hogwarts settings in the Harry Potter movies. The infirmary for Hogwarts was set up in The Divinity School, a magnificent room in the Bodleian Library.

The crown jewel of Oxford’s libraries, the Bodleian, is one of the oldest in Europe. It has a collection of over 11 million books, falling just short of the British Library in London. However, its collection grows every day, as the library is entitled to a free copy of every written work published in the U.K. On the guided tour, our chaperone told us that the last time he checked the library was receiving about 6,000 items every week.

No visit to Oxford is complete without a tour of this magnificent temple to books. Luckily, I visited on a Sunday, when the rooms normally full of scholars are open to the public. I also got a peek inside the Radcliffe Camera, an enchanting circular library that is used more for study space than book storage.


For more about Linda's adventures in Britain, read on via The Spectrum.

]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 17:11:18 -0700
Renaissance Era Madrigal Dinner Turns 40 BY: JACK DURA

For 40 years, North Dakota State’s Madrigal Dinners have been bringing the sounds and scene of the 16th century Renaissance to the campus and community.

The long-running dinner theater event encompasses a meal with music in the Challey Atrium of Reineke Fine Arts Center, where 200 guests will be entertained with food, fanfare and some interactive surprises.

“The script is full of audience participation and surprises,” Madrigal Singers conductor Michael Weber said. “Of course, I can’t give the surprises away.”

The University Chamber Singers conducted by Charlette Moe and the Madrigal Singers conducted by Weber help present this dinner with a show assisted by live brass ensembles on the floor above the atrium in the upstairs music wing. A different brass ensemble entertains each night, bringing the grand total of student performers to somewhere around 70.

Musicology lecturer Annett Richter also contributes to the sounds of the century with her lute, an ancestor of the mandolin.

On the floor of the main event, a lord and lady preside over a four-course meal catered by Dining Services including soup, salad, entree and dessert. A court jester and a fool character add some audience interaction to the event, as well as a theatrical aspect to the dinner theater-type event.

From start to finish, the event is longer than your average production, but the food and fanfare only add to it.


For more about Madrigal and the info box, read on via

]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 17:09:21 -0700