North Dakota's Board of Higher Education has agreed to drop the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian head logo, a move intended to resolve a decades-long campus dispute about whether the name demeans American Indians.
The name and logo, which is a profile of an American Indian man with feathers and streaks of paint on his face, could still be saved if North Dakota's Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes agree by Oct. 1 to give the university permission to use them for at least 30 years.
However, tribal officials say that possibility is remote. Unless the name and logo receive tribal endorsement, they will be retired for good on Aug. 1, 2010.
The board, which met Thursday at Dickinson State University, voted 8-0 to retire the logo and nickname. UND President Robert Kelley began making plans for replacements.
"This has been a long-standing tradition at UND, and I think the board action now instructs the university to develop new traditions," he said.
Board member Grant Shaft, who is chairman of a committee that has been studying the issue, said the move may help UND's likely application to join the Summit League, an 11-member NCAA Division I conference that is seeking a 12th school.