- Associated Press - Monday, December 14, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The University of North Dakota is searching for a designer to develop a logo for the school’s new Fighting Hawks nickname.

The Grand Forks school adopted the predatory bird mascot last month to replace the Fighting Sioux nickname that the state Board of Higher Education retired in 2012 after the NCAA deemed it “hostile and abusive” and said UND couldn’t host playoff games if it kept the moniker.

The school announced over the weekend that it has issued a request for proposals for a Fighting Hawks logo.

UND President Robert Kelley said the school wants a professional designer that will allow the public to provide input and will come up with “an identity that effectively captures who we are as a university.”

“We’ve developed a process that allows for all three of those important factors,” Kelley said in a statement. “We are very pleased to be moving to this next phase.”

UND said ensuring public input is a “significant feature” of the request for proposals. The school arrived at its new nickname through a lengthy process that culminated with a vote open to students, staff and alumni. More than 27,000 people voted, choosing from five finalists, and there were two runoff votes to ensure the winning nickname had majority support. Potential nicknames that didn’t make the cut were Roughriders, Nodaks, Sundogs and North Stars.

UND is expected to select a designer within a few weeks of the Jan. 12 deadline for proposals. The design process is to take place next spring.

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