State Board of Higher Education approves UND School of Entrepreneurship

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Business & Public Administration


The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) today approved the establishment of the University of North Dakota School of Entrepreneurship, elevating the successful program from department status.

The move makes the new School among the first in the nation, joining one other public university (Oklahoma State) and three private universities (Bradley, Drexel and St. Thomas). The School will bring new levels of coordination when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship across campus, as well as interdisciplinary entrepreneur outreach and integrated learning from various campus professions, departments and colleges. In other words, it will be the "entrepreneurial hub" of campus. With the SBHE's approval, the new School will be effective this fall.

"UND and the College of Business & Public Administration are delighted that the creation of the School of Entrepreneurship has been approved," said UND President Robert Kelley. "The School will help emerging innovators and entrepreneurs across the campus to foster interdisciplinary and integrated learning. The School will also provide hands-on learning experiences in innovation, entrepreneurship and entrepreneur capital—helping students develop skills that will contribute to North Dakota's entrepreneurial spirit and thriving economy."

The School of Entrepreneurship, part of the UND College of Business & Public Administration (CoBPA), will provide greater visibility to the programs of study associated with entrepreneurship, in turn, attracting more high-quality students and faculty as well as opportunities for increased fundraising. The mission of the new School is to nurture faculty and students' entrepreneurial actions, innovation, visionary leadership, networks and interdisciplinary learning.

UND's vision is to build the highest quality School of Entrepreneurship in the country as part of a new, technology-focused CoBPA. The national and international award-winning UND Center for Innovation, founded by Bruce Gjovig, will be the School's outreach and practitioner arm, providing experiential learning elements across North Dakota and Minnesota to support this vision. The Center for Innovation was just honored this week as being a top international business incubator.

"At this important time in the history of the state, with so much economic opportunity to be developed, it is imperative that the skills and innovative thinking possessed by entrepreneurs be leveraged by the University," said UND Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Thomas M. DiLorenzo. "The new School will serve as a catalyst for innovation across campus, with outreach to the state nation and world."

UND recently reported about 900 students were enrolled in at least one Entrepreneur Department class in 2013-14. Of those students, more than 400 were enrolled in more than one class.

"Moving entrepreneurship from a department to a School of Entrepreneurship elevates the status of the program and university," said Dennis Elbert, longtime CoBPA dean, who will be stepping down from that position this summer to assume the role as a member of the UND Entrepreneurship faculty. "We are extremely excited to further develop cross-disciplinary approaches to entrepreneurship education. This will enhance opportunities for our students and leverage the success of the Center for Innovation. This next step allows us to be on the true forefront of entrepreneurial education."