Monthly Archives: April 2014

Dispelling myths about higher education spending

Information comes at us from all directions and in ever-changing formats in today’s world. It’s often difficult to tell the difference between fact and fiction, myth and reality, responsible journalism and tongue-in-cheek entertainment. This section in our newsletter was created to provide a resource for those who want to know the “rest of the story.”

Using headcount paints false picture of staffing increases

Yes, the number of people employed by the North Dakota University System has increased over the years. There are many reasons, but here’s an important one to remember: To serve our students’ growing needs and use resources efficiently, we hired part-time people at a faster rate than full-time people.

In Human Resources terms that means we increased our “headcount” but have hired more people for part-time positions than for full-time positions. Many businesses have adopted the same business model: part-time people are generally not paid benefits, so it costs less to employ them. An added benefit is that part-time faculty or “adjuncts” often bring business experience into their classrooms, and part-time employees may be people who want more flexibility in their lives.FTEvHeadcount FINAL

Instructional staff growth rate serves student growth rate

Full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollment increased 7.5 percent between 2005 and 2013, and full-time equivalent instructional staff increased 22.2 percent.  For perspective, our student to faculty ratio at our largest institution, the University of North Dakota, is 20:1 and the average class size is 28, ensuring our students get the attention they need. This ratio rivals private schools where tuition is much higher.

On the other side of the spectrum, more students want online courses, which caused nearly an 8 percent increase in enrollment in online courses provided by NDUS in just one year. These classes are often taught by part-time faculty. Between 2005 and 2013, the number of students served (headcount) in our system increased by 14 percent.

Non-instructional staff growth rate appropriate

Staff positions that are part of academic units are included in “non-instructional” headcount numbers, but they are a direct part of teaching and research activities of faculty. These include positions such as researchers, clinicians, academic advisors and librarians. They are all critical to the success of our students and institutions, but their classification as non-instructional can be confusing.

Extra Credit FTE-HC math problems - CalibriWhen headcount employee numbers are converted to full-time equivalent or FTE, the rate of increase in instructional staff vs. non-instructional staff becomes clearer. Certainly there was an increase, but again, more part-time positions were filled to meet the needs of our students while wisely using resources. Two part-time librarians may have been hired to fill an open position formerly filled by one full-time librarian. Those two people (two “headcount” employees) working half-time (.50) now do the work of one (1.0) full-time equivalent employee.

Federal and state mandates require more staff support

The growth in “non-instructional” employees is related in part to specific federal or state mandates. For example, more staff is needed to help our institutions comply with increasing federal regulations including serving persons with disabilities or monitoring distance education providers. Last session, the North Dakota Legislature provided funds for increasing safety and security staff on our campuses and for hiring counselors to help improve mental health services for students. This is very important work that needs to be done, but it adds to our non-instructional employee headcount.

Headcount includes those not paid by state funds or tuition

In addition, many of the “non-instructional” employees included in the headcount numbers are not funded through state or tuition dollars at all. Their salaries are paid through federal research grants that their work is tied to, through self-supporting student services such as the bookstore and cafeteria or through “local funds” such as athletic event gate receipts. A ticket taker at a basketball game may only work two hours per week, but that employee is counted as one “non-instructional” employee in our headcount numbers, even though that person’s hourly wage is paid through ticket sales. Numbers experts at our institutions have sharpened their pencils and looked at entrepreneurial ways to provide needed services to students at little “state-appropriated” cost.

Two-thirds of salary dollars dedicated to academicsSalary Dollars Pie Chart

If “it takes a village to raise a child,” the same could be said about educating a student. Thousands of dedicated people devote their life’s work to preparing North Dakota’s students for their future careers. Two-thirds of the state and tuition dollars allocated for salaries in the North Dakota University System are invested in instructional and academic support. The other third goes to the people who manage the systems that support them, including payroll staff who pay faculty, staff and student workers; the financial aid office, which processes student aid; the registrar’s office, which keeps students’ official records; the physical plant staff, who manage the heating and cooling equipment and oversee the maintenance of our educational facilities. Each person is a valued member of the NDUS team and takes great pride in the work he or she does to ensure our students get the best education possible.


Extra credit question 

NDUS has increased its employee numbers in order to:

T     Provide quality education for a growing number of students and their changing needs.

T     Provide a wide variety of student services including more counseling, financial aid assistance and safety and security.

F     Hire a large number of high-paid administrators who work in lavish offices and fly around in airplanes.

T     Ensure compliance with federal and state regulations and mandates.

T     Be good stewards of the funding provided through state funding and student tuition.


We have a system that works

State Board of Higher Ed President Diederich

A column by Board Chair Kirsten Diederich

We’ve had some good news lately both nationally and locally about North Dakota and about the university system’s key role in its success.

A recent story in Forbes magazine highlighted our state’s booming economy, saying “North Dakota leads the nation in virtually every indicator of prosperity: the lowest unemployment rate, and the highest rates of net in-migration, income growth and job creation.” It goes on to say, “Today more than half of North Dakotans aged 25-44 have post-secondary degrees, among the highest percentages in the nation and well above the roughly 40% number for the rest of the country.” That’s music to my ears, as that is one of the goals of the State Board of Higher Education’s current strategic plan – to lead the nation in educational attainment, and we’ve been working hard to achieve that.The article also noted that in Fargo, “STEM employment is up nearly 40% since 2001, compared to 3% nationally.” That’s certainly due in part to growth in the industrial and technology sector there, but I think also because NDUS is No. 2 in the nation in the percentage of graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields who can fill those jobs. Our colleges and universities strive to provide the best possible opportunities for those students. In addition, the state offers a loan forgiveness program for STEM graduates, which NDUS administers.

A recent editorial in the Grand Forks Herald also highlighted that NDUS leads the nation in completion rates – meaning that 74% of our community college graduates who plan to go on to earn bachelor’s degrees or higher are able to successfully transfer and obtain those degrees. The national average is 36%. That’s primarily due to the fact that the institutions in our system got together and developed the General Education Requirement Transfer Agreement, an approved set of general education courses transferable between University System campuses and North Dakota’s five tribal colleges. The transfer agreement is designed to improve student access to college degrees and avoid course duplication or loss of credit when students transfer within North Dakota. As the editorial pointed out, other states have not been as successful as we have, and that’s become a source of frustration for their students and lawmakers.

In addition, a study by PayScale, a salary analysis site, got media attention when it concluded that an education at NDUS’ two research universities provided the best bang for the buck in the country. At the top was North Dakota State University, providing a 9.5% annual return on investment over 20 years. In-state students at the University of North Dakota have the second-highest rate of return at 7.4%

It’s all good news – whether it’s ensuring smooth transitions while in school, providing the best value for the investment our students and state make or supplying an educated workforce for the future of our state, NDUS has a system that works, and I’m so proud to be part of it.


April 24 Board Meeting Agenda Highlights

Agenda Highlights:

  • Update on Higher Learning Commission Visit
  • Institutional Initiatives: Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University
  • Request to Establish Global Institute of Food Security and International Agriculture at NDSU

The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. MST/9:30 a.m. CST. The live stream of the meeting will be available at

View the full agenda here.

SBHE to attend Association of Governing Boards training

Merrill Schwartz Vice President, AGB Consulting

Merrill Schwartz
Vice President, AGB Consulting

Clyde Allen Association of Governing Boards Council of Board Chairs

Clyde Allen
Association of Governing Boards Council of Board Chairs

The State Board of Higher Education will be attending a training session after this month’s Board meeting presented by the Association of Governing Boards (AGB). The session will be conducted by two AGB consultants, Clyde Allen and Merrill Schwartz.This training session will help prepare the SBHE for the upcoming advisory visit by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) scheduled for April 28-29. The presentation will include background information on HLC authority, what the components are of an HLC advisory visit, and the criteria used by the HLC to assess issues related to accreditation and governance.

On top of the HLC visit preparation, the AGB training will also cover important topics in regards to the roles and responsibilities of the SBHE and Chancellor, including communications with constituencies, board structure and relationship to the institutions, establishment of policies, board accountability and board engagement.

The training will be held this Thursday, April 24, at the West River Community Center, 2004 Fairway Street, Dickinson. The training is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. MST.

North Dakota Second State in the Nation to Sign Distance Education Agreement

SARA statesThe Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) announced April 8 that North Dakota was approved as the second member of the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA). SARA is a national collaboration among states to streamline cumbersome and costly state authorization requirements.

“We are pleased to be one of the first states to be approved as part of SARA, and we would like to thank our legislators, Board and staff members who helped make this possible,” said North Dakota University System 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.”

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. For institutions that deliver online education in many states, the SARA agreement will reduce the cost of state authorization by thousands of dollars per year.  All participating institutions must be accredited and adhere to a set of best practice guidelines for distance education.

Across the 11 public institutions that make up NDUS, there were over 17,500 online course registrations in the Fall 2013 term – a 7.9 percent increase over a one-year span. Valley City State University, Bismarck State College, Lake Region State College and Minot State University have been approved by NDUS as the first M-SARA institutions.

“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

NDUS names Valley City State University presidential search committee

The North Dakota University System (NDUS) named the members of a Presidential Search Committee to identify candidates for the position of president of Valley City State University (VCSU), Valley City, N.D. Dr. Steven W. Shirley, current VCSU president, will be taking over as Minot State University president in July 2014.

The Committeeagb search logo is chaired by Dr. Kirsten Diederich, Chair of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, and is composed of students, faculty and staff from VCSU, as well as community leaders from the area. In addition, AGB Search has been selected as the search firm to assist with the process.

“I believe the members who have been chosen to serve on this search committee will do an excellent job of representing the many constituencies of this fine institution,” Diederich said. “I look forward to working with them and am confident we will soon have a list of the best possible candidates.”

Members of the committee include the following:

  • Dr. Heather Kvilvang, VCSU assistant professor, school of education and graduate studies
  • Mr. Jamie Wirth, VCSU instructor/chair, department of mathematics
  • Ms. Charlene Stenson, VCSU director of enrollment services
  • Mr. Richard Clark, VCSU building services, Rhoades Science Center
  • Mr. Nick Lee, VCSU undergraduate student
  • Ms. Darla Jacobson, VCSU graduate student
  • Dr. Margaret Dahlberg, VCSU vice president for academic affairs
  • Mr. Phil Mueller, retired farmer and former legislator, VCSU alum and VCSU Foundation board member
  • Mr. Dick Gulmon, Dacotah Bank president and VCSU Foundation board member
  • Ms. Jennifer Feist, Valley City-Barnes County Development Corporation director of development
  • Dr. Ken Grosz, Dakota College at Bottineau campus dean

TrainND Takes Workforce Training to the Next Level

TrainND RegionsWhat sets workforce training apart from typical higher education courses? Workforce training through TrainND is oriented toward serving the training needs of business and industry, and often involves customized and contracted training by specific companies or organizations. In short, TrainND is helping North Dakota businesses maintain a competitive advantage. TrainND is offered through four community colleges separated by region: North Dakota State College of Science, Bismarck State College, Lake Region State College and Williston State College.

Since its creation in 2000, TrainND has served 21,000 businesses with more than 170,000 participants. From 2000 to 2012, the TrainND program maintained an outstanding 98.8 percent client satisfaction rating. That rate has risen to 99 percent in FY 2013.

The TrainND program has proved its worth four times over. For every $1 the state invested in TrainND in 2013, the return on that investment was $4.10. The program generated $6.146 million in training revenue that year.

All this has been possible through collaboration with stakeholders. In an effort to reach the business community, TrainND has formed valuable partnerships with:

  • Industry (energy, health care, manufacturing)
  • State agencies (Department of Commerce, Job Service, Small Business Association, Career and Technical Education)
  • Tribal colleges
  • Local economic developers
  • Local Chambers of Commerce

TrainND held its 2014 Summit recently to plot the course for the future of the program. Summit participants determined that, overall, the TrainND operational model is working. However, to improve collaboration and cohesiveness between the regions, a request has been made for a new NDUS position to serve as the TrainND Statewide Coordinator.

For more information on the TrainND program, visit

Connie Sprynczynatyk Joins NDUS as Director of Strategic Planning

Connie Sprynczynatyk photoConnie Sprynczynatyk joined the North Dakota University System as the Director of Strategic Planning at the beginning of April.  She comes to NDUS with decades of experience in strategic planning and board development.

As the Director of Strategic Planning, Sprynczynatyk is coordinating the effort by the State Board of Higher Education and University System to create a new, meaningful strategic plan for the system. She will be collaborating with education stakeholders outside and within the university system to help the Board determine priorities and a solid direction for NDUS going forward.

Sprynczynatyk is a graduate of North Dakota State University who spent 32 years in elected office, including 20 years on the Bismarck Board of City Commissioners. She served as executive director for the North Dakota League of Cities for 17 years, and is appointed by Secretary John McHugh as North Dakota’s Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army. Sprynczynatyk has been a member of the North Dakota National Guard family for more than 40 years.

She also served on the North Dakota Supreme Court’s Judicial Nominating Committee, the board of directors for the North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund, the National League of Cities board of directors, and the board of directors of Starion Financial. She and her husband David live in Bismarck.

Alumni Spotlight: Jessica (Henman) Wilhelm

By Debra Dragseth, Ph.D., and Holly Forsness | Edited for content and consistency.

Recent Dickinson State University grad Jessica Henman smiles while at her internship with Sanjel USA.

Recent Dickinson State University grad Jessica Henman smiles while at her internship with Sanjel USA.

Popular wisdom tells us that all oil and gas related jobs require steel toed boots and the ability to withstand North Dakota’s legendary below zero wind chill. In reality, there are thousands of people working behind the scenes sitting at their desks in climate-controlled offices. Dickinson State University is building a pipeline of talent by preparing their students with professional skills they can put to work in the oil and gas industry and beyond.

A college internship is an excellent way to take skills learned in the classroom and apply them to the unique challenges of the oil and gas industry. Recent Dickinson State University grad and human resource management major Jessica (Henman) Wilhelm of Miles City, Montana interned with Sanjel USA, a privately owned global energy service company specializing in pressure pumping and completions.

During her internship, we had a chance to sit down with Wilhelm and gain some insight into her experience at Sanjel USA.

How do you think Dickinson State University’s human resource program has prepared you for this internship?
DSU has given me the skills to provide wonderful customer service as well as the fundamentals of how businesses work at all levels.

What is your proudest achievement so far in your position?
My proudest achievement is that I have proven to myself that my change of majors (from elementary education to human resource management) was a good choice for me. All the hard work that I have put into my classes has paid off in a positive way.

How do you think this experience will prepare you for your career?
I have learned a great deal while working at Sanjel and I am always looking for opportunities to learn more. The possibility of moving up within the company is exciting. Sanjel is a company that appreciates hard work and there are definitely opportunities for advancement.

How did you find your position?
I found Sanjel through an employment agency when I applied for a summer job.

What is your typical day like?
My typical day consists of answering phones, greeting and assisting employees, customers and vendors as well as offering information and directing calls. I collect, distribute and prepare mail, shipments and faxes coming in and going out of Sanjel. I audit and process monthly employee expense reports, receipt expenditures and record the minutes for our weekly safety meetings.

What career do you picture for yourself?
I picture myself working within an HR department.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I see myself working in HR. I also see myself with a family. I know with my education and experience my future is bright and I am excited to see what it has waiting for me!

If you could clear up one common misconception about working in the oil and gas industry, what would it be?
One common misconception about working in the industry is that oilfield companies are only about getting the job done and getting paid. It is often said these companies do not care about their employees or the environment. But, as a matter of fact, that is far from the truth. Sanjel USA is committed to safety, for both employees and the environment. Our motto is “Pride by Performance” and every one of our employees is committed to this principle. Sanjel complies with all governmental laws and regulations, company-established policies, plans, practices and standards.

If your company is interested in working with a Dickinson State University intern or you would like to learn more about the program, please call our office at 701-483-2333.

Debora Dragseth, Ph.D. is a national award-winning journalist, a tenured professor and chair of Dickinson State University’s Department of Business and Management. Holly Forsness is lecturer at DSU who teaches the University’s capstone course in business.

BSC distance ed now more accessible

BSC distance ed now more accessible – BSC is one of four institutions in ND approved by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) to join the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA) – making distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines.


Janelle Masters receives leadership award – Janelle Masters received the 2014 Idahlynn Karre Exemplary Leader award from The Chair Academy in March. Masters has been at BSC for 30 years and is currently dean of academic affairs. The award recognizes a person’s ability to advance academic and administrative leadership at his or her workplace.


Events abound during ArtsQuest – The 17th annual ArtsQuest continues through April and early May with performances by guest artists and BSC students. This week alone saw residencies by alumni artists Tama Smith and Lee Hulteng, a concert by Lauren Pelon, and the Collage Concert. All events are free and open to the public.

DCB grad receives NJCAA Achievement Award

DCB grad receives NJCAA Achievement Award – Dustin Penner, a 2002 DCB graduate, has received the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Achievement Award. The award is given to those who have displayed outstanding athletic ability in national, olympic, or international competition, and who possess excellent ethical character. Dustin has played in the National Hockey League since 2005 and is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion.


Dakota College presents conservation award – As part of its Earth Day observance, Dakota College presents a conservation award to an individual who demonstrates an enduring commitment to our natural resources. This year, the award recipient is Dennis Nelson, a Rolette, ND, native and 1978 graduate of DCB. Mr. Nelson is an internationally known water resource management and education expert and is the President and CEO of the Project WET Foundation.


Rummage sale profits donated to charity – Again this March, Dakota College sponsored a rummage sale and donated the profits to community service organizations. This year, $1240 was raised. Over the years, $14,565 has been donated back to groups like the Imagination Library, Turtle Mountain Cancer Group, and Bottineau Volunteer Fire Department.

U.S. military veterans presented monologues in ‘Warrior Words’ through DSU

Warrior Words – Heart River Writers’ Circle co-sponsored an event called “Warrior Words” that presented the monologues of U.S. military veterans.  During a five-week writing workshop, hosted by Drs. Peter Grimes and Karen Foster, the veterans prepared monologues about their military experiences and shared them with the Dickinson community.


TR Center Open Forum – The Theodore Roosevelt Center held an open forum to discuss 3 proposed models for development of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library. Models proposed by Hilferty and Associates included staff and building strategies and business plans.


Hilltop Holiday “Under the Sea” – The DSU chapter of National Association for Music Education presented their 59th annual Hilltop Holiday Variety Show.  The theme “Under the Sea” featured acts performed by University faculty, students, alumni and community members who performed musical selections from “The Little Mermaid”, “Guys and Dolls”, “Titanic”, and “The Beatles”.

LRSC receives $250,000 nursing education grant

LRSC receives $250,000 nursing education grant – Lake Region State College received $250,000 from the Otto Bremer Foundation to support nursing education.  The grant fund will enable Lake Region State College provide accessible, timely, and appropriate clinical educational opportunities for healthcare students and workers in the northeast quadrant of North Dakota.


Honor society hosts elementary school reading event – Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society students at LRSC promoted literacy with a March Madness reading event at a local elementary school.  Students read books at after school programs. The K-1 students selected winners in tournament format.  Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education.


LRSC approved to participate in SARA – Lake Region State College is one of four NDUS institution to be approved by the North Dakota University System as the first institutions to participate in Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA).


Lady Royals advanced to NJCAA Division 1 Tournament – With an 82-71 victory March 8 over Sauk Valley Community College of Illinois, the Lady Royals basketball team earned a berth to the NJCAA Divison 1 Tournament in Salina, Kansas. The Lady Royals were eliminated in that tournament by Salt Lake City Community College.

Student organizations raise money for Mayville State employee battling cancer

Student organizations raise money for Mayville State employee battling cancer – MaSU Student Senate, along with other campus organizations, sponsored a pancake breakfast and raised thousands of dollars to help defray medical expenses for Sandy Popiela, an MaSU employee who is battling cancer. Ms. Sandy, as she affectionately known, has been a mainstay in the university snack bar. Her smiling face and welcoming disposition have made her a beloved member of the campus community.

MaSU to host Early British Literature conference – MaSU will host the Northern Plains Conference on Early British Literature in the spring of 2015. The conference will expose liberal arts students to academic research, and give students and faculty an opportunity to showcase their work and collaborate with students and faculty from other universities.


Larson Leadership Program hosts leadership summit – MaSU’s Larson Leadership Program recently hosted a leadership summit, which was very well received by campus and community personnel. Speakers included Dave Mitchell, nationally known author of The Power of Understanding People; as well as Terry Kemmer, Ellen Chaffee, David Braaten, Michelle Worner Kommer, and Grant Olson. Each discussed leadership from a different perspective.

Minot State student at Princeton

Minot State student at Princeton – Chloe Ondracek, Minot State University mathematics major and member of an undergraduate research group advised by Narayan Thapa, assistant professor of mathematics, has been invited to participate in the 2014 Program for Women and Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study May 12-23 in Princeton, N.J. Since 1994, the institute and Princeton University have brought together mathematicians and students, at graduate and undergraduate levels, with the support of the National Science Foundation. During her stay in Princeton, Ondracek will participate in a formal course for undergraduates, problem sessions and an interdisciplinary undergraduate seminar on women in science. She will also share her current research on inverse problem for projectiles funded by NASA through the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate Fellowship.

Heitkamp hired as Veterans Center director – Andy Heitkamp has been named Veterans Center director at Minot State University, and assumed his new duties March 31. For 19 years, Heitkamp has been an assistant football coach for Minot State and assisted in recruiting. He came to MSU in 1995 after being an assistant coach at Mayville State University for seven years. Heitkamp served in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1983 to 1991.

NDSCS named Promising Place to Work in Student Affairs

NDSCS named Promising Place to Work in Student Affairs – NDSCS was one of 31 institutions named a Promising Place to Work in Student Affairs (PPWSA) 2014 by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. The “30+ Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs” list was unveiled in the March 27, 2014 edition of Diverse magazine.

John Deere Tech students place in national competition – NDSCS John Deere Tech students recently placed, with one team taking first at the National Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) conference for Agricultural Machinery Service Technicians in St. Cloud, Minn. Four NDSCS teams comprised of two students each participated, winning first, fifth (tie), seventh and fifteenth places, respectively.


Alumni Foundation receives $25,000 gift from Bell State Bank & Trust – The NDSCS Alumni Foundation recently received a $25,000 gift from Bell State Bank & Trust of Fargo, N.D., to establish the NDSCS Leadership Fund. This fund will provide students with an opportunity to join the NDSCS Ambassadorsan on-campus student organization that will focus on cultivating and growing the proper leadership skills needed in order to become a successful leader.

NDSU chemist receives prestigious research fellowship

NDSU chemist receives prestigious research fellowship – NDSU chemist Svetlana Kilina received a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship. The fellowship includes $50,000 to advance her research that blends renewable energy, high-performance computing, nanotechnology and quantum chemistry. Kilina is the first faculty member at NDSU and at a North Dakota college or university to receive the honor.


NDSU hosted forum on UAS testing and NDSU research – NDSU hosted a forum on North Dakota’s Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems Test Site and NDSU research activities, such as microelectronics technology, remotely sensed data, precision agriculture, transportation and advanced coatings, related to the site. NDSU faculty, higher education colleagues, government agency representatives and people from the private sector attended.


Professor publishes Common Core book – Kelly Sassi, assistant professor of English and education, recently published “Writing on Demand for Common Core State Standards Assessments. ” The book, geared for secondary teachers of all subject areas, provides principles of effective writing and shows how to apply the principles in the Common Core State Standards assessments, which begin in the 2014-2015 school year.

Estate gift supports UND Writers Conference

Estate gift supports UND Writers Conference – Beginning in 2015, the University of North Dakota Writers Conference will benefit from an annual commitment of $35,000, thanks to an estate gift from the late Alice Carlson and the efforts of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation.  Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tom DiLorenzo announced the funding during the Founders Day banquet while honoring the Department of English for earning the UND Award for Departmental Excellence in Service.


Nuremberg Trials Digital Collection available from Chester Fritz Library – The University of North Dakota Chester Fritz Library, in collaboration with the UND Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies and the UND Department of English, has created the “Nuremberg Trials Digital Collections: Nazi Occupation of Norway.”  This digital collection provides important primary resources for the study of human rights, Norway and World War II.


UND men’s hockey advances to NCAA Frozen Four – The University of North Dakota’s men’s hockey team earned its 20th trip to the NCAA Frozen Four and faced-off against long-time rival Minnesota in the semifinal in Philadelphia, Penn.  UND’s men’s team has won seven national titles.

VCSU students shoot film with Hollywood actor

Freshman honor society inducts 34 new members – 34 freshmen VCSU’s chapter of Alpha Delta Lambda, the national honor society for first-year students, inducted 34 freshmen into the society Sunday, March 9. To qualify, students must maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA and rank in the top 20 percent of their class during their first year or term of higher education.


VCSU students shoot film with Hollywood actor – Student actors in VCSU’s Advanced Acting class worked with Josef Cannon, a former VCSU student who is now an actor in Los Angeles, to shoot a film, “Hel U,” at various locations in town and around campus. The completed film was aired Sunday, April 6, on campus.


VCSU approved to participate in SARA – VCSU is one of four NDUS institutions approved to participate in the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA). SARA is a nationwide initiative to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines and to make it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education.

New Teton Promise scholarship available to WSC students

Construction begins on second WSC apartment building – Construction on a second apartment building, known as Phase II, has begun at WSC. It will be identical to the first apartment building currently operating and located at WSC. Half of the units will be for essential service workers and half will be available at market rate. Expected completion – December 2014.


Teton Promise scholarship now available – In partnership with the WSC Foundation, WSC has announced the availability of a new scholarship, the Teton Promise. This scholarship offers to pay half of a student’s tuition over the course of two years and requires that students follow certain criteria proven to promote student success and graduation rates.


Largest Parks-owned rec center in the country opens at WSC – The Williston Area Recreation Center (ARC), located on WSC’s campus, has opened. The ARC is the largest Parks owned recreation center in the country. Thousands of community members visited the facility during opening weekend. Through a partnership between the Parks department and college, WSC students will have a membership.