Hagerott: Closing in on the (en)Vision

March 29, 2018

I am choosing a quote to start this month’s perspective because it reminds me of the hard work of the people of North Dakota; the members of the SBHE; students, faculty, staff of the 11 campuses; and our system staff. Louis Pasteur once said, “Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goals: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.”  Perseverance, diligence and tenacity in the undertaking of long-term projects are what it takes to make those projects succeed.

Thanks goes out to the SBHE, many students, staff, faculty, legislators, business leaders, and our Advisory Teams for their perseverance, diligence, and tenacity in supporting Envision 2030 effort.

Since Governor Dalrymple and past Board President Neset kicked off the SBHE’s Envision 2030, we’ve held countless informal discussions, dozens of listening sessions, numerous luncheons and formal summits. Legislative input has provided us with an idea of important priorities for our communities. A recent student summit, coordinated brilliantly by the North Dakota Student Association, offered candid feedback from members of our student body on their views toward vital topics now and in the future. The upcoming faculty and staff summit will provide further insight from those on the front lines, diligently engaging in the university system’s sacred public trust: educating current and future generations of students.

From the many sessions the feedback we’ve received, both formally and informally, has shown quite a bit of overlap across our different constituent groups and stakeholders. While nearly all the comments, recommendations and suggestions encourage more opportunities for student success, they sometimes strive to do so in different ways. For instance, some aim at increasing ACCESS to programs across geographical divides, others strive to foster programming that is more responsive to our changing economy and changing technology and the resulting changes in workforce needs. Other input encourages us to endeavor to strengthen our faculty and staff to ensure that we can recruit and retain needed talent.

Over the next two months we will synthesize and solidify recommendations, and determine what new things we must do, and if there are things we might need to do differently. Concurrent task forces created by the Senate Bill 2003 study will be making recommendations this spring, and it’s likely that some of those findings will pair up and be integrated with those of the Envision process.

To close, I want to thank everyone who has provided feedback and for your work supporting a highly complex initiative that stretches across our state, among all 11 colleges and universities, and out to the year 2030. There’s work yet to be done, but the process has already yielded benefits.  Lastly, let me wish you a Happy Easter holiday.