Monthly Archives: December 2013

NDUS Vice Chancellor, Lisa Feldner, featured in Government Technology magazine

Hobbies_LFeldner_SmetteCongratulations to Lisa Feldner, Vice Chancellor of Information Technology and Institutional Research, on being featured in Government Technology magazine. Lisa, a rancher in her off hours, was included in an article entitled “CIOs Off the Clock: Inside the fascinating lives of CIOs who break the mold.”

Lisa has been able to take her after hours work and apply it to NDUS. “Feldner’s hobby has taught her that concentrating on a goal is a key for success. She brings that lesson to work at her new job consolidating the IT of North Dakota’s universities. ‘Particularly at the World level where it’s very competitive, you must learn to focus and tune out extraneous things,’ Feldner said. ‘You must be reasonable about your assets and resources, and set realistic goals.’”

As the article mentions, Lisa likes to work hard and play hard. We’re very happy she does that hard work with us at the North Dakota University System.

Lisa is the former Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the State of North Dakota and currently heads Core Technology Services for the North Dakota University System.

Photo by Government Technology magazine.

North Dakota second state in the nation to sign distance education agreement

NC-SARAOn March 21, North Dakota was approved as the second member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). SARA is a collaboration among states to streamline cumbersome and costly state authorization requirements. Currently, institutions of higher education must seek authorization from each individual state in which they currently operate online. SARA provides criteria that member institutions must meet in order to provide distance education in other states. Under this agreement, participating states then automatically authorize other members to offer distance education in their state, saving them time and authorization fees. All participating institutions must be accredited and adhere to a set of best practice guidelines for distance education.

“We are pleased to be one of the first states to be approved to be part of SARA, and we would like to thank our legislators, Board and staff members who helped make this possible,” said Interim Chancellor Larry C. Skogen. “Online enrollments are on the rise, and it is critical that we help ensure our students have access to high-quality online courses. This agreement does that as well as providing a system of consumer protection for online students and a method for reducing the exorbitant costs for state authorization.”

For large institutions that deliver online education in many states, the SARA agreement will reduce the cost of state authorization by thousands of dollars per year. SARA was developed with funding from the Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation focused on increasing Americans’ success in higher education.  The agreement was developed with input from stakeholders including the U.S. Dept. of Education, state regulators, state higher education executive officers, accreditation organizations, regional higher education compacts, the council of state governments, and leaders from all sectors of higher education.

“On a national level, North Dakota is seen as a leader in this arena, and we are being contacted by other states who want to learn from us,” said Tanya Spilovoy, NDUS director of distance education and state authorization. “This is a shining moment for higher education in North Dakota.”

For more information on the SARA agreement and distance education in North Dakota, visit