Monthly Archives: May 2015

Board moves to keep salaries, tuition competitive

State Board of Higher Education Chairman Terry Hjelmstad listens as board members discussed salary and tuition increases at the monthly meeting in May.

State Board of Higher Education Chairman Terry Hjelmstad listened as board members discussed salary and tuition increases at the Board’s monthly meeting in May. Much of the agenda surrounded budget proposals.

The State Board of Higher Education worked toward keeping employees from throughout the university system fairly compensated at its regular meeting last week, despite some campuses having to operate within a lessened overall budget.

At its regular meeting for May, the Board recommended taking steps to find the money for those increases – three percent on average – as well as approving modest increases to colleges and universities throughout North Dakota. The Board also moved forward on a request from Williston State College regarding increased student fees.

Laura Glatt, vice chancellor for administrative affairs, provided the Board with the annual budget guidelines. Before doing so, Glatt gave background on the final 15-17 state budget noting that total NDUS base funding is up about 8.5 percent; however, she pointed out  funding differences among campuses, noting that some campuses will have less after funding salary, health insurance and utility cost increases. The guidelines included a recommendation to provide a minimum campus-wide average salary increase for faculty and staff of three-percent on July 1, 2015.

“It doesn’t mean it’s across the board that everyone gets three percent increase, some may get four percent and some may get two,” Glatt said. “On average it should be no less than three percent across the campus as a whole.”

She offered further insight, that as campuses  prepare their budgets they focus on investments aligning with goals from the Board’s strategic plan, such as delivering degrees that were the best value in the nation, providing programs people want, prepare students for success and maximize the strengths of a unified system.

The total 2015-17 general fund appropriation for 11 campuses, the school of medicine, and the system office and state financial aid programs is $895 million. With North Dakota State University agriculture research and extension added in, the total is approximately $1 billion. About one-third of that came from the state’s general fund. Under the guidelines, tuition increases had been capped by the legislature at 2.5 percent. All campuses, except three, required more than a 2.5 percent increase to adequately fund the “student share” of the funding formula; however, they will be capped at three percent. This will necessitate additional internal reallocation to cover the gap. Three institutions will have tuition increases less than 2.5 percent – Bismarck State College at 1.9 percent, Lake Region State College at two percent, and North Dakota State University at 2.4 percent.

Williston State College mandatory fee increases required SBHE approval since they exceeded the one percent statutory. The proposed increase of $708 in mandatory student fees would be largely offset by increased scholarship funding. The Board also heard from legal counsel after previously moving into executive session to discuss an update on litigation.

The update was on Minard Hall in connection with a potential settlement regarding the NDSU structure’s collapse in late 2009. The action taken by the Board was to authorize the NDSU legal counsel to resolve the litigation based on the settlement information provided during executive session.

In other business the Board held the first readings for policies 803.1 (purchasing) and 602.3 (employment background checks), as well as the second readings of policies 806.3 (moving expenses), 918 (alcoholic beverages), 820.1 (employee tuition waivers) and 907 (building plaques).

The next meeting will take place in line with the Board retreat scheduled for June 24 and 25.

Congratulations, Graduates: you’ve dared greatly and succeeded

A column by Temporary Board Chair Terry Hjelmstad

A message by Board Chair Terry Hjelmstad

More than 7,400 students graduated this semester from a North Dakota University System institution of higher learning. At community colleges from Wahpeton to Williston and universities from Dickinson to Grand Forks, members of the State Board of Higher Education joined your family and friends in celebrating your achievement.

Theodore Roosevelt’s quote about surmounting challenges resonated with me as I reflected on our graduates and those who have supported them along the way: “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena … who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Our graduates have achieved that first step toward greatness at a faster pace and a lower cost than most students across the nation. While there are critics who would have you believe otherwise about our system, allow me to share my “view from the arena.”

North Dakota ranks 8th nationally in the percentage of adults 25-34 who have attained degrees. With 76,000 new jobs expected to be created in our state by 2020, and 72 percent of those jobs requiring postsecondary education, we’re excited about opportunities for our graduates.

Our four-year campuses retain 71 percent of their students from their first year to their second year, compared with 61 percent on a national level. Our community colleges retain 62 percent of their students, compared with 58 percent nationally. This is critical to a successful college experience and speaks volumes about the quality of education that students are receiving in North Dakota.

Student retention strategies, which are built into our five-year strategic plan and were supported by the Legislature in the biennial budgeting process, should help us make even greater, measurable strides. With a plan for the future of our N.D. education system and the dreams of our graduates coming to fruition this week, we can all be proud of what has been accomplished.

We know it’s not unusual for students to change their minds about their career choice during college. Studies show that 80 percent of college students change their majors at least once, and the average is likely closer to changing majors three times, which makes it harder to graduate in the traditional four years. Using measures that track students who start and finish at the same institution, our community college graduation rates are higher than national averages; while our universities are slightly lower.

It’s important to remember that, unlike many other states, North Dakotans have 11 choices to fulfill their potential within the university system. Students often start at a college close to home and finish at another college in the state. When we use measures that track students from enrollment to graduation, our graduation rates are well above national averages. It is our goal to create an even more seamless process that allows students the flexibility to transfer to another school within the system. We want our graduates to choose their path to success, and it’s our job to make that happen.

Costs at our four-year institutions average $775 per year less than the regional average. For a master’s degree, that number translates to savings of $943 per year, and $746 per year for doctoral students. The exception is for some of our community colleges, which are slightly higher when compared to similar institutions. However, because we collaborate on credit transfers, students who have achieved their initial goals at community colleges complete at a rate of 74 percent, more than double the national average.

Your education is a wise investment in your future and our goal is to provide students the best possible return on that investment. Affordability is a high priority for us, and North Dakota has long been favorably compared to other states in the region and especially across the country when it comes to tuition costs.

A national group concluded that an education at a North Dakota university provides the best bang for the buck in the country. At the top was North Dakota State University, providing a 9.5 percent annual return on investment over 20 years. In-state students at the University of North Dakota had the second highest rate of return at 7.4 percent. Another national study called “Where Value Meets Values” reported that community college graduates receive nearly $5 in benefits for every dollar they spend on their education, while the return to taxpayers is almost six to one.

Congratulations again; thanks for choosing the North Dakota University System, and best wishes as you find your next arena in which to dare greatly and thrive!

Markel recognized for achievement

North Dakotan with university ties leads nation’s top cyber defense team


When North Dakotans cross paths outside the state, history is sure to take notice.

Such was the case recently when Zane Markel, a Minot High School (Magic City campus) graduate and current midshipman graduating May 22 from the U.S. Naval Academy, took his team to victory and White House recognition. According to Zane, the victory was a result of his team’s tremendous efforts. According to his father Paul, a Minot State University professor of psychology and interim dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences, it was due to a lifetime of hard work and diligent studies.

And, he may have had some guidance in the past two years from a mentor and fellow North Dakotan who was serving as the deputy director of the Center for Cyber Security Studies and is coming into a position where even more students can be positively affected – incoming North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott.

The victory came for Zane’s group in an annual Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX) that puts students to task in a competition against teams from other services and the intelligence community. According to Zane, his team had to design, build and defend a physical network capable of withstanding digital intrusion from the “Red Cell” hacker team made up of computer security experts with the National Security Agency/Central Security Services.

By the end of the four-day exercise, Zane’s team from the Naval Academy had kept the integrity of their network the longest, and they’d repelled intrusions the fastest. The 20-midshipmen team beat their counterparts from the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Air Force Institute of Technology and Royal Military College of Canada.

First Class Midshipman Zane Markel (pictured directly left of the flag) led his Cyber Defense Exercise Team to victory and a meeting with President Barack Obama. Photo courtesy of U.S. Naval Academy.

First Class Midshipman Zane Markel (pictured directly left of the flag) led his Cyber Defense Exercise Team to victory and a meeting with President Barack Obama. Photo courtesy of U.S. Naval Academy.

The exercise proved a milestone for a student whose focus was matched only by his longtime drive.

Paul stated that Zane had always been the type of young man who had a strong idea of what direction he wanted to go, and what experiences to pursue. After completing service with the Civil Air Patrol and a brief summer stint at Camp Grafton, Zane’s mind was made up about military service. A principal appointment to the Naval Academy by U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad solidified his choice of higher education, which had come down to being between the respected school at Annapolis and the computer science program at the University of Minnesota.

He added that his path to through the USNA was helped forward by his early curiosity in math and ability to take on hard topics through and through. Paul provided one example of Zane taking computer programming projects on his own even while going through high school, in addition to taking on a third-level calculus class that wasn’t offered as a traditional class.

“He convinced two classmates to do it with him,” Paul said. “He persevered and was able to test out of that third-year calculus. That’s always been Zane. He’s disciplined, he’s persistent. He sets a goal and works steady toward it. I wish I had half his energy and half his tenacity – he would move toward his goal like a steady locomotive.”

Zane said he felt the decision to move toward cyber studies was pragmatic. He’d always been drawn to both math and while theoretical applications interested him, he felt more of a draw to the practical applications of mathematics through computer science.

“I thought that, essentially, I would have the opportunity to do more things with math,” he said. “Once I got to the Navy I got the impression that cyber security would be a big growth area.”

He couldn’t have been more right. While the CDX has been going on for about 15 years, the military – and Navy in particular – have been growing closer to digital studies and implementing more policy through that time. Newly-commissioned officers in the Navy typically had four career tracks to go down after graduating from the academy: below the sea (submariner), on the sea (surface fleet), above the sea (aviation), or anywhere the sea touched (special warfare). A fifth option recently become available that will take new officers through an ocean of ether: Information Warfare.

When he graduates, Zane will be one of the first officers commissioned down that track. His commission will come after a lot of work after his interest in the subject sprouted from a class during his freshman year as a Naval Academy plebe.

“The moment that really did it was when I took the cyber security course at USNA and did some hacking-type stuff,” Zane said. “Before that I was pretty lukewarm about it because I wasn’t sure how it would stop the bad hackers out there. After that class my viewpoint changed.”

By March of that year he’d declared his major and from there it was a lot of work with the fundamentals of computing: programming, networking, security.

“You start with the theory of how computers work, how programming works, how networks work,” Zane explained. “Then you move into security and how things tie together. I think that makes a big difference over being a self-educated hacker in high school. That word usually has a derogatory connotation. My information warfare group is full of hackers, you could say, who aren’t interested in stealing people’s credit card information. We’re interested in offense and defense, to keep information safe.”

The CDX was a defensive exercise, designed to test each team’s ability to monitor their networks and their understanding of how each network or local service was supposed to function.

Knowing how to guard against a good offense required knowing what a good offense looked like. To be fully prepared, the team started getting ready in January. They designed their network, hosted a website, offered an email service and complied with other tasks the competition required. Then they divided themselves up into teams with specialties and trained for the spring semester.

“NSA has offensive hackers – Red Cell –who hacked into competitor’s networks,” Zane said. “You win by keeping them out and then kicking them out the fastest when they do get in. This year we were the fastest at kicking out the bad guys.”

The team was able to travel to the White House for the recognition by President Barack Obama, who congratulated their successful efforts. Later, they met with members of the National Security Council for a discussion surrounding cyber security.

Capt. Paul J. Tortora, USNA Center for Cyber Security Studies director, stated that members of the group were ecstatic to have had the opportunity to be recognized for their accomplishment.

“The fact that the president is highlighting this for the first time in the 10-year competition’s history is great for the program, the midshipmen, and the Naval Academy,” Tortora said in a news release.

Additionally, the team met with Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command and director of the NSA. Rogers presented the CDX trophy to the team during a ceremony last week.

The wealth of career-shaping experiences was helped along, Zane said, by his interactions with Hagerott since they met during Zane’s junior year at the academy. Early on, Zane made use of Hagerott’s mentorship.

“He was one of the foremost experts on cyber security at the USNA,” Zane said. “I talked with him about the future of cyber security and that was incredibly valuable to me. I began talking with him more regularly and his office was right next to our war room, so this semester I saw him daily.”

Although Hagerott and Zane spoke on a wealth of topics, one that stood out was guidance Hagerott provided Zane for a speech he gave at a conference this past spring on the future of warfare. Sponsored by the New America Foundation, it delved into topics such on how global events and new technology could change how war was conducted. Markel was invited to speak on the next generation of cyberwar.

“He was instrumental in my ability to give that speech,” Zane said. “It was through Dr. Hagerott that I learned about the opportunity to give it… They brought in a lot of academics and a lot of generals. I think they wanted to bring in a new officer who would represent the future of warfare.

They asked me to come in and give my perspective on cyber security, and the future of cyber warfare.

“I did a lot of brainstorming and bounced a lot of ideas off him,” Zane continued. “He watched me practice and I couldn’t have given the presentation as I did without him.”

Paul noted the conference included quite the lineup, including U.S. Sen. John McCain, Jim Sciutto and Wolf Blitzer from CNN, and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, among many other distinguished panelists and speakers.

“Here comes Zane to speak to the same group from the perspective of a cyber warrior,” Paul said. “I know Dr. Hagerott helped him polish that speech and the 10-minute presentation. It gives you a real sense of what they’ve been working on at the Naval Academy.”

Hagerott noted that it was his distinct pleasure to be able to offer guidance to the young leader.

“When I first met Zane I could already see his potential being fulfilled,” Hagerott said. “The combination of his drive, natural talent and ability to manage teammates and foster their skills will prove him to be markedly successful in all his future pursuits. To be sure, Midshipman Markel was already on that path when we met, I was only able to offer him some advice along the way.”

Paul Markel, left, Minot State University President Steve Shirley, center, and Dr. Mark Hagerott took a moment recently to view a video of Zane Markel preparing his speech to a conference sponsored by the New America Foundation.

Paul Markel, left, Minot State University President Steve Shirley, center, and Dr. Mark Hagerott took a moment recently to view a video of Zane Markel preparing his speech to a conference sponsored by the New America Foundation.

Zane stated that the mentorship had helped him greatly.

“Dr. Hagerott has profoundly influenced my ideas and on the relationship between security and warfare,” Zane said. “Some people have the attitude that technology is always better and you don’t have to focus on the social side. In all my interactions with Dr. Hagerott I understand that that is not the case. Technology is just tools, and attention needs to be paid to how it’s used. He’s given me a lot of advice for my career as well. I think I would be significantly less well off without his advice.”

“I’d heard considerable things about ‘Professor Hagerott’ through the past two years,” Paul said. “Even though my son hasn’t formally taken a class from Dr. Hagerott, he’s had what’s referred to as student engagement outside the classroom. Hagerott has been a considerable mentor for Zane – giving him advice, sending him articles, Powerpoint presentations on cyber security, and having discussions where they sat down and talked about research into the state-of-the-art.”

He was hopeful that the CDX win would be a boon to his teammates, who’d done a huge amount of work.

“I think this would be great if it paved the way for our team members,” he noted. “This sort of thing really turns people’s heads. Hopefully people of future years will benefit. I’m grateful for the opportunity to make an influence, and that I’m going to be part of the class that helps set the precedent for how career profession would work in this community. It’s really exciting to be here and make a difference.”

And a difference this North Dakota native is likely to make. Upon graduating Zane will do temp work for the summer before starting in the MIT master’s program on Technology Policy.

End of an Era – Grosz looks back

DrGroszFor four decades one face familiar to many has served faithfully at the Dakota College at Bottineau, recruiting students, administering policies, aiding his DCB team and family, and doing everything he could to ensure campus-wide successes.

And now, Dr. Ken Grosz, the Campus Dean at DCB will be retiring after 15 years in leadership at the college and four decades serving the community.

Originally graduating from Kulm, North Dakota, Grosz holds a B.S. in Psychology and History from the University of Jamestown, his M.S. in Guidance and Counseling from North Dakota State University, and his Ph. D. in Higher Ed Administration from the University of South Dakota. The wealth of education credentials has served him well at DCB since he first started there in 1975.

After college, his first teaching role was at Walhalla Public Schools. Four years later he transitioned to DCB, where he’s been ever since. He attributed his life-long focus on education to his youth.

“My mother was an elementary school teacher for nearly 40 years,” Grosz said. “As a result I grew up in that environment spending countless hours at school. So, it seems like it was a natural transition for both my brother and me.”

Now, with 44 years of his own put into the education world – a full 40 of them at DCB – Grosz looked back with much fondness for his decades in higher education. “I’ve always thought of DCB as a special place that has all of the attributes a vibrant community college ought to have,” he stated. “Given that as the years fly by, those positive qualities and characteristics impressed me more and more, I couldn’t think of a career or location that I would enjoy as much as DCB.”

Grosz got his start at DCB when it was still referred to as NDSU-Bottineau, as an admissions counselor/recruiter in 1975. Later, he became the college’s Associate Dean for Student Affairs/Dean of Students before he found himself in what he referred to as the “fortunate” position of being selected as the Campus Dean in May of 2001, where he’s been ever since.

Through it all, DCB has remained a special school for one big reason, Grosz maintained.

“It’s the people who make any organization special, and the people at DCB (students, faculty, and staff) are the best,” Grosz said. “The same is true for the people in the community of Bottineau.”

Throughout all that time, he said it’s been the people who kept up with the changes necessary to keep the college up-to-date, both in terms of facilities and curriculum. Grosz noted that educators at DCB have kept their school successful in a shifting landscape because they understand technology and its many applications in and out of the classroom, and through the use of developmental coursework to improve student success, retention, and persistence to graduation.

Shifts in how things were done through the years has kept the school competitive thanks to a team effort that Grosz credits his college and community for aiding.

“There have been many shifts in policy throughout my years at DCB,” he said. “I find that the phrase ‘hand-in-hand’ is appropriate when describing that situation. The heavy lifting has been done by faculty and staff.”

He touched on a few highlights of those shifts in policy and curriculum, including comprehensive nursing and allied health curriculums; a strong photography program now in its second year; reclaiming the school’s 108-year-old ‘school of forestry’ mission by developing a nature, technology, and beyond focus; becoming an honor program; beginning 1st year experience, 1st year activities, and 1st year sequence programs; and having new programming pushes in aquaponics with the International Peace Garden, in health information management, and community ambulance.

Grosz added that retention and advising initiatives; the campus read program; PHI THETA KAPA honor society; the addition of varsity football and softball; and infrastructural improvements and new construction including $2.7 million addition to Thatcher and a $1.1 million upgrade of the Nelson Science Center helped punctuate those achievements.

He said he was particularly proud of changes implemented by his colleagues.

“The continuation of the DCB Foundation, Logroller, and Alumni Association is an ever-growing support system for the college,” Grosz said, before touching on further accomplishments: “The vigorous faculty and staff when changes had to be made in a hurry for the benefit of the institution. The implementation of a higher education funding formula that took into consideration ‘economy of scale’ in regards to the smaller institutions’ budgets. A homecoming weekend that was made successful through community college collaboration. The recognition by the SBHE and the citizens of North Dakota that there is an important role for each college or university in the 11 members that make up NDUS.”

Interim Chancellor Larry Skogen stated that Grosz has been a stalwart “Jack” for 40 years. “Dakota College of Bottineau, the community of Bottineau and the surrounding area, the whole university system, and the entire state are indebted to Ken for his service and, in the last couple of decades, his steady hand on the helm of that institution,” Skogen said. “Ken and Kathleen will be missed, but we wish them well on this new chapter of their lives.”

Minot State University President Steve Shirley lauded Grosz’s accomplishments and leadership through the four decades.

“Dr. Ken Grosz has had a terrific career spanning 40 years at Dakota College at Bottineau,” Shirley said. “He has been a tireless advocate on behalf of DCB and DCB students, and his leadership, dedication, and service, to the DCB campus has been so appreciated. We thank Dr. Grosz for all his wonderful efforts on behalf of this campus, and convey a hearty congratulations to him and Kathleen along with best wishes in retirement. Unquestionably, Ken is leaving big shoes to fill!”

Forty years in higher education provided quite a resume of favorite moments, including ongoing successes of graduates who went on to many accomplishments, the collegiality of faculty and staff in regard to setting goals and accomplishing them, having four DCB students chosen as the top N.D. Community College Scholars, and in being on the stage as his two children received their Dakota College at Bottineau diplomas.

He said that the decision to retire after all that wasn’t easy.

“It was a very difficult decision and there wasn’t any one thing that prompted it,” he said. “I love my job and fear I will have a hard time adjusting to not working at DCB. I just have a feeling that the timing is right for me.”

He added that his time would be spent well, with children and grandchildren. He noted that he’d like to do some traveling, reading, and “having time to do what I find interesting.”

“I would like to thank the state, the SBHE, the NDUS office, my colleagues at the other colleges and universities, and my DCB colleagues for the opportunities that I have been provided during my time here at DCB, and most of all, I would like to thank my family for their support and understanding they have given me,” Grosz concluded.

Now, DCB and Minot State University will begin the search process to find who will be the next dean to fill Grosz’ very experienced shoes.

Interim Chancellor video address – May

During the past few months, we’ve seen the culmination of hard work, dedication and a commitment to higher education through teamwork on many fronts, including the close of the 64th Legislative Assembly and the selection of a new chancellor.

Now as commencement approaches, I look forward to a time of new beginnings. It has been my honor to serve as interim chancellor for the past two years. I sincerely appreciate each of you who have been part of the team that has brought us through the many challenges we’ve faced. We now journey onward into the future, where together, we will serve our students, institutions, communities and our state. Please take a few moments to watch my final video message as interim chancellor.

New officers elected at regular Board meeting

The State Board of Higher Education elected new officers this week during its regular monthly business after its special meeting to name a new chancellor had concluded.

IMG_2869 - front

Current Board Vice Chair Kathleen Neset was elected as Board Chair and Don Morton was elected as Vice Chair, both unanimously. Their one-year terms will begin July 1, 2015. Neset will step into the role currently filled by Dr. Terry Hjelmstad, who will step down June 30 after serving a four-year term, with the last four months also serving as Chair.

The board also recognized its two newest members who were appointed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple in January. Hjelmstad and the board welcomed Nicholas Hacker, Bismarck, and Greg Stemen, Fort Ransom, who are each beginning four-year terms.

Hacker serves as president of the North Dakota Guaranty and Title Company. Stemen is president of First State Bank of North Dakota in LaMoure and Marion.

Hacker and Stemen will respectively succeed Hjelmstad and Board Member Grant Shaft. Shaft has served two four-year terms.

Additionally, the Board unanimously moved to appoint both Keith Peltier and Dean M. Wehri to initial four-year terms on the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education, effective July 1, 2015.

Further down the agenda the Board heard an updated mission statement for Williston State College. After a unanimous vote the new mission statement is “Williston State College: ‘Where the People Make the Difference,’ is to provide accessible, affordable, life-changing, and life-long educational pathways to residents of North Dakota, the Upper Plains, and beyond.”

The board also heard a Memorandum of Understanding that would allow police officers at the University of North Dakota to be designated as special customs agents by the Secretary of the Treasury and provide a limited expansion of the authority to work with that department. The Board unanimously approved the MOU.

Next up was another MOU from the UND Chief of Police that would allow the university to participate in a joint communications plan. It also received unanimous approval.

Following that came a topic of discussion delving into the termination of 13 North Dakota University System employees including eight attorneys, two legal support staff and three internal auditors. The action came after House Bill 1003 acted to limit funding for those positions. The bill was approved by the 64th Legislative Assembly and will go into effect July 1. At that time NDUS legal services will be provided by the Attorney General’s office.

The Board’s discussion revolved around notice of termination. Board policy states that if an employee is terminated without cause then they are provided 3-12 months’ notice. The Board deferred to legal counsel on the proper way to move forward, and ultimately approve, a motion to declare “financial exigency” based on the Interim Chancellor’s recommendation to provide notice of termination to those 13 employees.

Later in the meeting came recommendations from the SBHE Academic and Student Affairs Committee from Chair Kari Reichert. Those recommendations included a request from UND for a new five-year B.S.- M.S. degree in Physics, the termination of the Physical Education Minor from North Dakota State University, the termination of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance with Major in Theatre Arts from UND, and those recommendations for tenure and provisional tenure. All were approved.

Recommendations from the SBHE Budget and Finance Committee were brought forward next by Chair Morton regarding: authorize issuance of Minot State University Facilities Revenue Refunding Bonds, authorize NDSU to proceed with the construction of the Wallman Wellness Center Aquatics Addition project, authorize NDSU to proceed with the renovation of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Building, authorize NDSU to proceed with the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Family Life Center Footing Stabilization project, authorize NDUS to proceed with the Memorial Union Dining Center and Upper Floor Fit Up project, authorize an increase for the NDSU AES Research Greenhouse, authorize NDSU to proceed with the construction of campus-wide retention pond, authorize NDSU to proceed with the Library Entryway/Circulation/Deferred Maintenance Renovation project, and approve a proposed change to the Investment Policy Statement that would change staff membership on the Retirement Plan Oversight Committee. All were approved.

In other business the board heard the Chair’s report, Interim Chancellor’s report, legislative update, institutional reports, Council of College Faculties report, and Staff Senate report.

Additionally the Board held first readings of Policies 806.3 (moving expenses), 918 (alcoholic beverages), 820.1 (employee tuition waivers), and 907 (building plaques). The Board also held the second reading of Policy 840 (contracts).

The next regular Board meeting will take place Thursday, May 14. A Board meeting and retreat is scheduled to take place June 24-25.

Hagerott to Lead Higher Education System as New Chancellor

After the State Board of Higher Education unanimously voted Dr. Mark Hagerott in as the new lead for higher education, he has accepted the role of the new chancellor of the North Dakota University System.

The announcement concludes a months-long process that saw more than 20 candidates vying for the position. It has included Listening Meetings, the assistance of a Search Advisory Team of key stakeholders and coordination by a professional higher education search firm. The announcement was the culmination of an extensive search process that led to final candidate interviews at Bismarck State College Thursday, April 30.

“This unanimous decision highlights our commitment to higher education in the state of North Dakota,” said Dr. Terry Hjelmstad, SBHE Board Chair. “We’ve worked hard to ensure the process was open and transparent to the public. The Board’s vote today shows confidence in what Hagerott could do for the stability and adaptability of the system.”

“I am honored to be here and to be your chancellor choice from a field of very qualified candidates. It’s been a pleasure as everyone here has been kind and professional,” Hagerott said. “You have a great system framework and I thank you for putting your faith in me and allowing me the opportunity to take the system forward into the future.”

Dr. Mark Hagerott sat with leadership from the state's 2-year, 4-year and research institutions before the final selection process was made.

Dr. Mark Hagerott sat with leadership from the state’s 2-year, 4-year and research institutions before the final selection process was made.

Monsignor James Shea said the selection of a new chancellor would serve to create a new day for higher education. Shea, a member of the Search Advisory Team, said in recent months external conversations had been more about budgets and policies than students. Hagerott had spoken about all three.

“Students are who we serve and their good is at the center of everything,” Shea said. “We’ve got three good candidates here who could focus the conversation in their own way. I wonder if the one who expressed the most concern for students wasn’t Dr. Hagerott. It’s a new day and to focus on students is important. I believe Dr. Hagerott can do that.”

Hagerott has held several academic leadership positions over the past seven years at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he currently serves as the senior civilian and deputy director of the new Center for Cyber Security Studies. With a full career in the U.S. Navy, he has held leadership roles to include dean of humanities and social sciences, special assistant to the provost, chair of the admissions board, and leadership of senior faculty senate committees pertaining to assessment and accreditation. Hagerott is originally from North Dakota and still has family connections to the area.

“My background is fourth-generation family farm in North Dakota. My great-grandfather settled there, and it’s something I hold dear,” Hagerott stated. “My dad, at 80 years of age, is still farming, and I come back from time to time to help him out.”

He spent the first part of his career in engineering and technology, and then 10 years ago switched to higher education. Hagerott has been studying and writing about the evolution of technology during that time. His qualifications include several years of experience both in the military and civilian world and revolve around integration and collaboration.

“Communication flow and transparency will enhance the collaboration between the universities and stakeholders,” Hagerott said. “I am personally committed to the students and other stakeholders of our beautiful state, committed to help each of the member colleges and universities achieve greater success. One of the great benefits of the NDUS is its diversity – academically, geographically, and variable size of student body.”


Before the final selection process, each candidate had time to speak candidly with members of leadership and university representatives.

Before the final selection process, each candidate had time to speak candidly with members of leadership and university representatives.


Hagerott believes that the NDUS needs to be positioned for a changing future.

“It’s a time of wonderful opportunity,” he noted. “What I see is continuous demands, and we need to give our workforce a strong foundation of knowledge through higher education so that they can teach us in the future,” he added. “We need to look at our education programs and give our faculty the resources to continue to advance technology as well as support the arts and humanities through adaptive education.”

Hagerott stated that the state’s enduring assets were its people, their knowledge and the land that were the sustainable research that would ensure success in the years to come.

Hagerott’s duties will formally begin July 1, 2015. His contract includes a salary of $372,000 per year, standard benefits package and $15,000 in moving expenses. Dr. Larry C. Skogen has served as interim chancellor since June 2013. He will return to his position as president of Bismarck State College.