Wednesday, June 10, 2015

President Kelley Will be Known for his Efforts on UND Nickname

There's a lot of news breaking on President Robert O. Kelley's retirement. Tom Dennis for the Herald has an interesting take on the Kelley retirement. One thing from Dennis' article that sticks out for me, Kelley's work on the Fighting Sioux nickname.
Tom Dennis, Grand Forks Herald -- First, there's the matter of the nickname and logo—in the case of Ben Brien's famous Fighting Sioux logo, the face of UND athletics.

UND's change to a new nickname and logo isn't yet complete. But it will be before many more months are out.

And when the new name and design finally are unveiled, Kelley will be there, as he'll be the author who'll get both the credit and the blame for this very significant chapter in the story of UND.
Right, wrong, or indifferent, Kelley will always be known for what he did and didn't do in regards to the Fighting Sioux nickname.

From my perspective, it appeared that Kelley wanted quickly to move away from the Fighting Sioux nickname. Honestly, he's no different than many progressives that make up college campuses. That's the nature of the academics. It's a very liberal field.

When I attended UND from 1993-1999, many of my professors railed against the Fighting Sioux nickname. I had one professor that called the Fighting Sioux nickname a red-faced minstrel. So, it's nothing new. Was it irritating to listen to. Yep.

Also, Kelley was accused of not putting up a fight to keep the Fighting Sioux nickname. Some have suggested he could have done some outreach to the Tribes and gotten approval to use the Fighting Sioux nickname. I don't know, but it appeared that Kelley wanted to move forward away from the Fighting Sioux nickname. Kelley is not the only one that wanted UND to drop the name.

Finally, I believe that UND had no choice but to move on and drop the Fighting Sioux nickname. With Kelley or without Kelley. If UND hadn't dropped the Fighting Sioux nickname, I don't think that there's any way that UND is in the Big Sky Conference. Moreover, the Summitt wasn't going to take UND with the Fighting Sioux nickname, either. It was a no win situation. Do I like the fact that the Fighting Sioux nickname is gone forever? Nope, not at all.

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