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Published October 13, 2010, 04:43 PM

Panel Begins Work on UND Nickname Transition

One of the leaders of a panel guiding the University of North Dakota in its retirement of the "Fighting Sioux" nickname said the first job is cataloging all the ways the name and Indian head logo are used.

By: Associated Press,

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — One of the leaders of a panel guiding the University of North Dakota in its retirement of the "Fighting Sioux" nickname said the first job is cataloging all the ways the name and Indian head logo are used.

Kris Compton, who co-chairs the school's "honoring history and traditions" task force, said there are many "non-athletic" uses. For example, UND's highest honor is the Sioux Award, and UND's aviation students use Sioux as their flight call sign.

UND has started retiring the nickname and logo, under orders from the state Board of Higher Education. It resolves a lawsuit with the NCAA, which considers the nickname hostile and abusive.

Bruce Smith, UND's dean of aviation and co-chair of the group, said student pilots are known by a call signal that includes "Sioux" and usually the last two digits of their tail number. The department quit using that signal in the midst of the nickname controversy, but the Federal Aviation Administration asked to have it resumed because it is well-known to controllers around the country, Smith said.

"We can change it, and we will," Smith said.

Two other task forces will work on the issue, one to communicate the progress of the transition, and one to decide on a new name and logo.

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