UND and SIL International to phase out long-standing cooperative program

Staff Photographer at SIL
SIL linguistics classes will be offered one last time at the UND campus in Summer 2019

(12 February 2019 ) The University of North Dakota (UND) and SIL International announced today the planned phase-out of the “Summer Institute of Linguistics at UND” program. Operated under a long-standing partnership agreement between UND and SIL, the intensive summer training program offered undergraduate and graduate courses in linguistics and related fields.

UND and SIL jointly agreed to phase out the cooperative program, citing decreasing enrollments, increasing costs, and shifts in UND priorities.

SIL will offer courses on the UND campus for the last time in summer 2019. Students currently enrolled in the MA program in Linguistics at UND will be provided with a way to complete their degrees.

Dr. Albert Bickford, current director of the program, said “SIL has very much appreciated UND’s support of the program through the years and the opportunity to participate in the academic life of this vibrant campus. We regret the end of this collaborative effort but are grateful for how much our students have benefited from it.”

”The program provided numerous students to earn a master’s degree in linguistics in a unique way, over an intensive summer program” said Senior Vice Provost Debbie Storrs. “We are pleased so many students were able to earn a graduate credential and subsequently work in a variety of professional fields.”

The cooperation between UND and SIL dates back to 1952, when summer linguistics courses taught by SIL staff were first offered on the UND campus. The first of the program’s over 160 MA in Linguistics degrees was conferred by UND in 1959; the graduate’s MA thesis was about the Dakota language. In recent years, the program added a focus on linguistic study of signed languages. During the program’s 67 years, thousands of students have taken undergraduate and graduate courses. Many of these students have gone on to do research and development projects in lesser-studied language communities around the world. 

About University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota is the chief opportunity engine for North Dakota and UND students. Founded in 1883, six years before North Dakota was granted statehood, UND is among the nation’s premier regional public research universities and is at an exciting point in its 136-year history. Classified as a “Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity” institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, UND is characterized by a solid foundation of the liberal arts, high quality students and faculty, a diverse curriculum, a widely recognized program of graduate education and research, law and medical schools praised for quality and innovation, rich cultural resources, and an outstanding record of alumni support. Its major academic divisions include Arts and Sciences, Aerospace Sciences, Business and Public Administration, Education and Human Development, Engineering and Mines, Nursing and Professional Disciplines, Medicine and Health Sciences, Law, Extended Learning and the School of Graduate Studies. Long a provider of distance education, UND is developing a robust online presence.  Learn more at www.und.edu. Contact David.Dodds@UND.edu

About SIL International

SIL International is a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to serving language communities worldwide as they build capacity for sustainable language development. SIL does this primarily through research, translation, training and materials development. SIL works alongside ethnolinguistic communities and their partners as they discover how language development addresses the challenging areas of their daily lives—social, cultural, political, economic and spiritual. Learn more at www.sil.org. Contact Communications_Global@sil.org.