A Love for Academics & Football


The University of North Dakota’s College of Business and Public Administration has a new dean who has a special place in her heart for academics and football.

Dean Amy Henley grew up in the south and was born into a family that loved Southern Mississippi football. Her uncle played football there and her dad went to the school as well. Her parents were donors to the school, and traveled every weekend to go to the games in the fall. Henley’s dad always made sure that she had an appreciation for what she had, and that she understood the importance of the opportunity to go to college.

“It really instilled in me this appreciation for education because you know I could have taken for granted that I was automatically going to college, but it helped me understand that not everyone had the opportunity to go to college and that college really changes the path of your life if you can have a college degree,” said Henley.

Henley credits college football as the reason that she chose a career in academics.

This past weekend UND football had their home opener against Mississippi Valley State, and won 35-7. Henley had the opportunity to attend the tailgate and the game with her family. Henley noted with a smile on her face that UND is 1-0 under her expertise. She was especially excited to meet the people in the Champions Club tent.

“I got to meet the people that I consider were much like my dad, who supported their alma mater, supported their institution,” said Henley.

Henley was pleased to meet people who are as excited that football is back as she is. Henley was also happy to meet the people that help provide funds for both academic and athletic scholarships, which both promote experiential learning for UND students.

Henley felt that the atmosphere in the Alerus was both enthusiastic and family friendly. This was great for her, because she brought her two-year-old son, Collier, along for the fun. Collier, who is named after former Southern Mississippi Quarterback Reggie Collier, sported his brand new UND football jersey at the game.

One thing that Henley is proud of is the amount of student athletes that the CoBPA has.

“Forty percent of the student athletes at UND are in the College of Business and Public Administration, and I take that very seriously,” explained Henley, who went on to emphasize about the large load that student athletes have on their shoulders.

One person that knows the relationship between academics all too well is former UND kicker Reid Taubenheim. Taubenheim finished out his football eligibility last season with UND, and is finishing out his Accounting degree with a minor in Economics this December.

Taubenheim has been heavily involved in many things during his time at UND on both the athletic and the academic side of things. To name a few: he played on the UND football team, he was the Vice President of SAAC (student athlete advising committee), the President of Beta Alpha Psi, he served on the Athletic Director search committee, interned at Deloitte, interns for the Alumni Foundation Champions Club in fundraising, and was the president of the Accounting Club. Following graduation in December, Taubenheim accepted a job at Deloitte.

Taubenheim knows the importance of the academic body of UND supporting the athletic body and vice-versa.

“I think it’s really important that from the top, our dean supports athletics and football, and I think that that’s going to trickle down to the students here and I think that in the long run it’s going to be good for not only the CoBPA, but definitely for the athletic department,” said Taubenheim.

Taubenheim noted that how important it is.

“For student athletes to get involved in things like Beta Alpha Psi, or the Accounting Club, or even just in your group projects … the more you’re involved, the better you’re representing that brand, the more individuals are going to want to come watch football.”

Taubenheim says that the most important thing to UND football coach Bubba Schweigert is championship behavior. What is championship behavior?

“It’s really just a matter of doing the right thing. Whether that is going to class, or answering something in class, or doing your homework, or even just out in the community. You know, you see somebody throw trash on the ground, pick that up and throw it away. Really the entire time that you spend in Grand Forks and especially at the University, you’re representing a brand, and that is football,” said Taubenheim.

Former UND football player and current chairman of True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Winnipeg Jets, will be coming to UND this fall to talk about topics similar to championship behavior as the keynote speaker for UND’s 14th Annual Olafson Ethics Symposium.

With the positive attitude towards academics and athletics from students and administration alike, UND is set up for a great year in the classroom and on the playing field. Dean Henley is excited for what’s to come and so is Taubenheim.

“I’m really excited for our new dean and I think that we have a lot to look forward to here,” said Taubenheim.


Author: Kari Strandberg