CROOKSTON, Minn. - Greetings from the University of Minnesota Crookston. I hope this finds you well during this fabulous March weather. We have many reasons to celebrate as we near the end of this term. Our faculty and staff have done an amazing job of providing quality education on-campus and online this past year through COVID. We are looking forward to fall when most of our classes will be held in person and will closely resemble pre-COVID days.

While the COVID pandemic has disrupted some of our lives, we are moving ahead in several key areas on our campus. Among those areas are greater campus efficiencies, enhanced communications, professional development and helping people discover their right work-life balance, especially when many are still working from home.

You may have read we are joining forces with UMN Morris to recruit students. We both attract and recruit students that are very different and our offerings aren’t competitive. For this reason, when our recruiters are out and about they will represent both of our campuses and help students find which campus is the best U of M for them. Finding a place to attend college is about finding the right fit, a very personal journey for each student.

Over the last several years, we’ve made a lot of improvements ensuring people have the skills they need to do their job. For instance, we’ve been providing online training for faculty and specialized training on how various groups need to deal with COVID-19. Our professional development is geared toward aiding employees in fulfilling their roles.

We've had a few significant philanthropic gifts lately from our beloved alumni and friends. From all accounts at this time, it looks like the state budget is in better shape than anticipated. While we don’t know the outcome, it is a good beginning. 

Our comprehensive human resources planning has enabled us to replace several positions following recent retirements. We are actively hiring for many roles on campus. We recognize many of our employees have had to step up to assume new duties. We thank them for their extreme effort and dedication. 

Our equine arena in the University Teaching and Outreach Center (UTOC) will be named the Charles H. Casey Equine Arena in honor of University of Minnesota Regent and Chancellor Emeritus Charles H. Casey. A celebration in his honor will be held later this summer on the Crookston campus. Read more about Casey’s nomination and recognition here.

The UMN Crookston men's and women's basketball teams recently completed their seasons. Minnesota Crookston was one of just three NSIC institutions to play all of their games in 2021. Many teams had to cancel because of COVID. Our teams were vigilant in following COVID health guidelines. The Golden Eagles men's and women's basketball teams both played 16 games. It was great to see fans in the stands later in the season as local health guidelines allowed. 

The UMN Crookston hockey team was welcomed back in 2021 after nearly a decade without any hockey on campus. The Golden Eagles had a strong debut under Head Coach Steve Johnson. They ended the season last weekend with dominant wins over 10th-ranked University of Jamestown. UMN Crookston is currently ranked No. 20 in all of ACHA Division II, which includes nearly 200 teams. 

We are excited for spring sports to return soon. The equestrian, tennis, baseball, and softball teams are currently competing. The baseball team is off to their best start in the NCAA Division II era with a 4-0 start. The Western equestrian team wraps up their season later this month  including the IHSA Regional Championship. The hunt seat equestrian team recently got underway with their season. 

The UMN Crookston tennis team has already hosted matches in Grand Forks. The Golden Eagle women's golf and men's golf teams get under way soon. The University is still awaiting official guidance from the MDH on testing for home games and fan policies. We certainly hope there will be an opportunity for you to attend our games and matches.

Last we learned of loosening of the restrictions for large gatherings. We are planning an in-person commencement. We will be determining the maximum number of individuals we can have in our venue and will plan for there. We most likely will need to have more than one commencement ceremony depending on how many of our students wish to walk at their celebration. 

Until next month. Stay well, healthy and remember our health guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus.

Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause

Photo of Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause

Story Contact: Shawn Smith