Monthly Archives: November 2015

Q & A with the new CFO, Tammy Dolan

Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan

Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan

How long have you been with state government and what brought you here to NDUS?

I have worked for the state for 25 years. After graduating from Minot State University, I worked for the state auditor for two years. Next, I spent 14 years at Workforce Safety & Insurance focusing on the fiscal and administrative operations of the agency. It was while working as a fiscal analyst at OMB for the last nine years that I became interested in education issues, particularly higher education.

How do you plan on approaching your responsibilities within the position?

One day at a time. The position involves a broad range of fiscal and administrative areas. While I am quite familiar with the budgetary and fiscal issues, I still have a lot to learn. I intend to spend the first several weeks learning from the exceptional staff at the system office and within the 11 institutions.

You were described as instrumental in helping with the higher education funding formula. How will that knowledge base help in your new role?

Development of the funding formula was a cooperative effort between the campuses and Governor’s office. During that time, I developed close working relationships with the college presidents, vice presidents of finance, and the finance staff members, as well as the system office fiscal staff. I also gained a deeper understanding of the campuses’ fiscal operations, which will be critical for success in my new position.

Describe your leadership style.

I view every person as a key member of our higher education team. My goal is to empower staff to perform their jobs and make decisions, and then get out of the way. This requires providing the necessary training, tools, and operating policy/procedures structure to ensure each person can be successful. If that occurs, then the entire team will succeed.

What do you feel are some of your greatest accomplishments?

There are two items that I consider my biggest professional accomplishments. First, is having the higher education funding formula approved on the first attempt during the 2013 Legislative Assembly. This was a significant policy shift, and similar changes have taken two or more legislative sessions to be accepted. It took lots of hard work on the part of many, many people to achieve this success in one session.

Second was construction of the Workforce Safety & Insurance building on time and within budget. The agency experienced significant turnover in upper management during the planning and construction of the facility, which could have derailed the project.  As an accountant with absolutely no facility experience, I am extremely proud have been the lead on this project. Plus, I got to have my very own hard hat, which was pretty cool.

What are the goals that you have while here?

My focus is on building relationships. I want to strengthen the relationship between the system office and institutions. Additionally, I want to help build the trust and faith with the legislature and general public.

What do you feel are your greatest strengths and experiences that you bring to this role?

During the last 25 years, I have had the opportunity to work with nearly 50 different state agencies as either an employee or as an OMB Fiscal Analyst. At OMB I was part of a team that assisted the Governor in developing the statewide biennial operating budget and supported the recommendation throughout the legislative process. As a result, I worked closely with both the House and Senate Appropriations committees. From these experiences, I gained a breadth of knowledge in many operational areas that I believe will allow me to make more impactful and well-thought-out decisions in my new NDUS role.

What are you most excited about?

Everything! I am excited, and grateful, for the opportunity to work with the entire NDUS team. I am especially looking forward to working with the Board and legislature in shaping the direction of the higher education system.

Are there any changes you aim to seek to implement?

I want to ensure the higher education budget is transparent to the legislature to help alleviate any concerns about lack of information. To that end, my goal is to include the complete budget, including all revenue sources, in the budgetary request. I also want to continue streamlining the financial aid processes and develop a strategic direction for future financial aid funding requests.

Highly-accomplished faculty

Fellows and scholars among those educating the next generation within NDUS

It’s said that excellence is its own reward. That may be true, but for some faculty throughout the North Dakota University System, excellence has awarded them in other ways, as well. In the past year, several educators throughout the system’s 11 colleges and universities have been named fellows and scholars.
The honors are distinguished ways for professors to have their work recognized, and to help bolster the academic experiences that they’re bringing to their respective schools, and to their students. While only five are featured here, many more have been honored throughout the system.
Here are a few of their accomplishments.

Aaron Kingsbury, Mayville State University, Political Science
Aaron Kingsbury was selected earlier this year for Taiwan Research Fellowship, which became fully funded during this past summer when he traveled to Taiwan to conduct an extensive cross-cultural comparative study of the last few centuries of Taiwanese and Japanese viticulture and winemaking.
Kingsbury will be hosted by National Taiwan University during his fellowship, which is the main foreign research fellowship of the national government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and is awarded by their Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The purpose of the fellowship is to conduct advanced research at universities or academic institutions in Taiwan.
For more, read here.

Ryan Stander, Minot State University, Arts
Ryan Stander was selected for one of the North Dakota Council on the Arts Artist Fellowships this year. The NDCA sponsors the artist fellowship in three-year cycles rotating among visual artists, musicians and writing. This year, Stander, of Minot, and Guillermo “Memo” Guardia of Grand Forks, were the honored recipients.
According to Stander, the accompanying grant will help him revive a series of work he set aside after my second year of graduate school for other projects.
“My plans are to rework the alternative photo processes on wood and other substrates as a way of transition from one body of work, into another,” he said. “At the time in grad school the work had some good successes, but since then it has largely been dormant. The fellowship will allow me to pick up these experiments and expand upon them. As a requirement of the fellowship, the work will be made public through exhibits and such in multiple parts of the state in the coming years.
“I am so thankful to NDCA for their commitment and generosity toward artists in general, but also to me in particular for seeing the potential of this work,” he added.
For more, read here.

Patrick Carr, North Dakota State University, Agronomy
Patrick Carr was named a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy this year. He was recognized during the society’s international annual meeting earlier this month in Minneapolis.
The honor is one of the highest that the society can bestow. Members nominate colleagues based on their professional achievements and meritorious service. Only point-three percent of the organization’s active and emeritus members may be selected for outstanding contributions to agronomy through education, national and international service, and research.
Carr directs conventional conservation tillage and organic research programs at the Dickinson center. His responsibilities include developing energy- and resource-efficient crop and integrated crop-livestock systems that are economically and environmentally sustainable. He was the first NDSU researcher to have a formal program focused on organic farming methods.
For more, read here.

Richard Shafer, University of North Dakota, Journalism
Jill Shafer, University of North Dakota, English
Richard and Jill Shafer were each named as Fulbright fellows this year at the University of North Dakota. For Richard, it was another of “7 or 8” Fulbright fellowships he’s received. For Jill, it’s her first.
Richard teaches journalism in the UND Communication Program while Jill heads up the graduate English Learner Education Program. As part of the fellowship, the two reported to the University of Rwanda in the capital city of Kigali in early October. They will each be conducting research throughout the country for up to nine months.
The Shafers began the application processa bout two years ago among options such as Rwanda, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
“UND has always been generous and supportive,” Richard said. “The University is pretty encouraging when it comes to flying the UND flag around the world – it’s built into our academic culture.”
For more, read here.

Media Coverage Summary – Nov. 20, 2015

Media Coverage Summary Colleges

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Nov. 20.


Bismarck State College

BSC offers water survival training
BSC jazz concert Nov. 24 features three groups
Katherine Kirschmann performs senior recital Nov. 22
Greek myth retold in BSC play, ‘Eurydice’
BSC promotes STEM to middle school girls


Dakota College at Bottineau

‘LeaderJacks’ group formed at Dakota College at Bottineau


Dickinson State University
Empty Bowl event raises $6,000 for food programs in Dickinson
Celebrate the Holidays with Dickinson State
Solheim and Hanson share life as art in upcoming poetry reading


Lake Region State College

LRSC Playmakers present Crimes of the Heart
Give the Gift of Music!
Music Department Presents Holiday Concert


Mayville State University

Comets women’s basketball team organizing toy drive
Collegiate DECA chapter and Mayville VFW reach out to help one another
Mayville State approved to offer Master of Arts in Teaching degree
Thanksgiving is a great time to open your home
Scholarship recipients and donors recognized
MSU Theatre picks up the tempo of 1980s music
Madrigal feast planned
Dr. Anderson presents technology research


Minot State University
Trinity-MSU partnership increases number of nursing graduates
Photo exhibit shows how memories are lost over time
Minding our manners
Giving the gift of life
“Messiah” to usher in holiday season
MSU Bone Marrow Drive
Dancing for Special Stars Raises Money for Special Olympics
Minot State Students are ‘Freezin’ for a Reason
Taco John’s Opens New Minot Location, Gives Old Building to MSU


North Dakota State College of Science
North Dakota State College of Science deemed Military Friendly
‘Nancy Drew’


North Dakota State University
ND researcher developing smart pipeline technology
Miss Indian World To Visit Ponca City
Experts to explain the importance of pollinator-friendly gardens
NDSU Dedicates $33 Million Research Greenhouse
Students receive awards at NDSU EXPLORE


University of North Dakota
Fighting Hawks selected as new nickname
U-Life students collect loads of food for donation to the local Kids+ Backpack Distribution Program
Cast of UND’s ‘Little Women’ to hold meet-and-greet for the public prior to Friday’s showing at Burtness Theatre
How to Respond to People Who Question Your Life Choices
UND’s Chester Fritz Library raises money for books for Head Start classroom
UND again named ‘Top Military-Friendly School’
Psychology presents DeCoteau-Kwant with Distinguished Alumni Award


Valley City State University

Four Vikings named NSAA Champions of Character


Williston State College
Chemistry Department at WSC Receives Generous Donation
Faces Behind the Funds: Shaina Lord

Bismarck State College – Campus Successes November

Chamber concert set for Nov. 17 at BSC

The Bismarck State College Music program features its chamber ensembles in concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, in Sidney J. Lee Auditorium. Music includes selections from classical repertoire, early American and folk genres, African dance, contemporary jazz and 1960s rock.
The Brass Ensemble, directed by John Darling, performs a program of classical and contemporary works, including Henry Purcell’s “Air and Allegro” from “The King Arthur Suite” and a suite by Frederick Werle. The Guitar Ensemble, directed by Doug Klein, plays classical works by Bach and Mouret and a medley of the jazz standard “Blue Monk” by Thelonious Monk with “Green Onions,” an R&B soul instrumental made famous by Booker T and MGs.


Student nurses host Scrub Camp Nov. 11

The Student Nurse Organization at Bismarck State College is holding a Scrub Camp for children ages 7 to 12 on Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the BSC Allied Health Campus, downtown Bismarck. Activities are designed to provide a fun, educational way for kids to learn about the profession of nursing. They include Barbie Triage, operation game, organ game, sterile technique and wound care.
The day camp runs 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes lunch and a snack. Each child receives a nursing badge and scrub top. Cost is $50 per child.

Dakota College at Bottineau – Campus Successes November

DCB Announces Performance

​The LumberActs will host a performance of Twelve Angry Jurors the first week of December.  Performances are scheduled for Wednesday, December 2 for the DCB family and Thursday, December 3 for the general public.  At the beginning of Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose, the jury has just finished listening to six days of trial proceedings. A nineteen-year old man is on trial for the murder of his father. The defendant has a criminal record (and a lot of circumstantial evidence piled against him). The defendant, if found guilty, would receive a mandatory death penalty.  There are fourteen LumberActs involved in this performance.


Staff Senate Recognizes Veterans

The Staff Senate along with the local VFW conducted a flag raising ceremony to honor their faculty, staff and student Veterans. Even though the campus was closed over Veteran’s Day, the ceremony was held the day prior to thank those who served our country. There were 14 faculty and staff recognized and 10 students.


DCB Graduate Success

2013 DCB graduate, Seth Serihenko was recently awarded the Outstanding Accounting Student presented by the Iowa Society of CPAs (ISCPa).  The ISCPA presents this award to one account student from Iowa State University each year.  The selection committee was thrilled by Serihenko’s impressive academic performance indicated by his strong GPA.

Anthony Swain Benson has been appointed to the Northeast Judicial District Court bench. He brings to the position a wealth of legal experience and an unwavering commitment to justice and public service.  Benson earned his associate’s degree in mathematics from Dakota College in Bottineau and a degree in university studies from NDSU, and from UND a law degree in 2000

Dickinson State University – Campus Successes November

Introducing the newly formed DSU Heritage Foundation

​Since assuming his role as interim president of Dickinson State University (DSU) in August, Dr. Jim Ozbun has been working diligently to build relationships in the community and to see a new foundation formed to support the university.  18 individuals have agreed to serve on the new foundation board.  The newly formed board convened on Oct. 16, 2015, to review the articles of incorporation, develop bylaws, and elect officers.  The board agreed to call the new foundation the “DSU Heritage Foundation.” A website was launched on Nov. 6, 2015.


DSU named a 2016 Military Friendly School

DSU has been recognized annually as a Military Friendly School for 2016 by Victory Media, this is the fifth time DSU has received this recognition.  DSU supports veterans by providing veteran specific services, in-state tuition to veterans, online academic programs and supports, and flexible withdrawal policies with no penalty to the student if they are called to active duty.


Theodore Roosevelt Center assists in creation of exhibit in France

The Theodore Roosevelt Center at DSU assisted in the creation of a permanent exhibit featuring Quentin Roosevelt, the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt, in Château-Thierry, France. The exhibit is held in Maison de l’Amitié Franco-Américaine (MAFA), or The House of French-American Friendship.  The MAFA is dedicated to preserving the memory of all those who fell on the French battlefield during World War I. Quentin Roosevelt was a pilot in the United States Air Service during World War I.  He perished when his plane was shot down on July 14, 1918 near Château-Thierry.

Lake Region State College – Campus Successes November

Accreditation Commission visits

An onsite national accreditation review recently was completed for the Lake Region State College Nursing Department. This site review is for initial accreditation of its associate degree nursing program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Results will be announced later this academic year.


Final Tally Announced for fundraising event

The Community College Foundation is pleased to announce a final tally for the Key Event fundraising gala held Oct. 16.  The event raised around $85,000 to support scholarships and special projects at the college.

Each year, the Key Event raises money that the Community College Foundation uses to support the college’s scholarship program, athletic program, Paul Hoghaug Library, and other special projects. For more information on the Key Event or donating to Lake Region State College call (701) 662-1598.

Mayville State University – Campus Successes November

Mayville State madrigal feast is Dec. 4, 5
The Mayville State University Music Department will present its Madrigal Feast on two evenings, Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. Each evening, the event will feature entertainment by the Mayville State University Music Department Chattingsworth Chorale, Sommerset Singers, and Wellington Winds. A social will begin at 5:30 p.m. inMayvilleState’s Campus Center Foyer. This will be followed by dinner at 6:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Luckasen Room.

Tickets for the Madrigal Feast are $35.00 each and can be purchased at or by calling 701-788-4687. Reservation deadline is Monday, Nov. 23. Seating is limited.

Scholarship recipients and donors recognized at annual MSU Foundation event
The Mayville State University Foundation hosted its annual scholarship recognition event hosted by the MSU Foundation for Mayville State University scholarship recipients and their families, together with the scholarship donors. About 150 people attended the luncheon which was held Wednesday, Nov. 4 in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room. With their financial assistance, Gate City Bank sponsored the event for the fourth year in a row.

Through the generosity of Mayville State University alumni and friends, the MSU Foundation was able to award academic and/or athletic scholarships to more than 360 students for the 2015-2016 academic year. Academic scholarship awards total nearly $475,000.

Minot State University – Campus Successes November

New interpreting and sign language degree approved for MiSU

In collaboration with Lake Region State College and the North Dakota School for the Deaf/Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Minot State University will offer a Bachelor of Applied Science in interpreting and sign language studies. According to Holly Pedersen, assistant professor of special education and program director, there is a shortage of qualified interpreters nationwide, and the hope is that this will help to address that problem in North Dakota and beyond.

The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education recently approved the degree, which is expected to be offered beginning spring semester 2016.


MiSU and DCB parter to promote early childhood education

Minot State University and Dakota College at Bottineau are partnering to make teacher education programs more accessible to students. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed Oct. 21, stating that once students earn their associate degrees at DCB in early childhood education, they can then transfer to MSU to complete their Bachelor of Science in Education in early childhood development.


Nearly $300K grant awarded to MiSU in support of students with intellectual disabilities

The North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, a Center of Excellence at Minot State University, has been awarded a $289,518 grant from the U.S. Department of Education-Office of Post-Secondary Education under the Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities to support the Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program (ASTEP). ASTEP will help young adults with intellectual disabilities, living in rural communities, transition into post-secondary education, resulting in improved employment opportunities and greater life skills and self-determination. NDCPD anticipates the grant will be funded for a total of five years with a cumulative budget of approximately $1.5 million through the year 2020.

North Dakota State College of Science – Campus Successes November

NDSCS tops job placement list

The NDSCS 2015 Graduate Placement Report revealed that 99 percent of 2015 career and technical education graduates are employed or continuing their education. Sixty-six percent have accepted employment in North Dakota.


NDSCS Celebrates Completion of Earl “Skip” Bute Alumni Stadium Reconstruction

​The newly reconstructed Earl “Skip” Bute Alumni Stadium officially celebrated its completion in early October. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Alumni Foundation and Athletics department, Wahpeton Public Schools and NDSCS Student Senate support, the Stadium renovation is now complete and student athletes, coaches and fans alike are all enjoying a fully functional Athletic complex.


NDSCS deemed Military Friendly

​NDSCS was recently named to the 2016 Military Friendly Schools® list by Victory Media. The Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students, and ensure their success on campus. ​

North Dakota State University – Campus Successes November

NDSU receives major grant to transform STEM teaching and student learning

NDSU received a $2.63 million grant from the National Science Foundation to change how science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses are taught. 

The funding will be used to expand the number of faculty members who use a set of teaching approaches called active learning. More than 10,000 students are expected to benefit.


NDSU Explore highlights undergraduate research

The second annual NDSU Explore celebrated the scholarly accomplishments of undergraduates. Students gave poster, oral or video presentations about their research and creative projects. The benefits of undergraduate research include better academic performance, improved retention and greater satisfaction with the college experience. It also builds skills employers seek, such as problem-solving, collaboration and communication.


NDSU hosts BEST robotics competition​

The College of Engineering hosted the BEST Robotics Competition for the ninth year. The competition offers hands-on engineering-based experience to middle and high school students. Teams from 17 area middle and high schools competed in the event. NDSU also will host the regional competition in December. ​

University of North Dakota – Campus Successes November

UND named military-friendly again

The University of North Dakota has once again been named a Top Military-Friendly University and will be listed in the 2016 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities, which serves as a research tool for service members, education services officers and transition officers.


UND, private donors welcome new indoor sports facility

The University of North Dakota held a grand opening event on Monday, Nov. 9, for its new all-privately-funded 200,000 square-foot indoor High Performance Center, which serves as the school’s year-round indoor training center for all UND Athletics programs.


UND student team best in the ‘business’

A team of University of North Dakota business students took top place recently at the Fifth Annual General Motors/Wayne State University Supply Chain Case Competition, held in Detroit. The UND team competed against 24 other teams from around the world.​

Valley City State University – Campus Successes November

VCSU’s STEM Education Center receives nearly $300,000 from DPI

The Great Plains STEM Education Center (GPSEC) at VCSU has received a grant of $298,288 from the N.D. Department of Public Instruction (DPI) through the U.S. Department of Education’s Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) program. GPSEC staff will provide professional development for 40 K–12 teachers, including monthly 1-day sessions from November 2015 to March 2016, followed by a 5-day summer camp in June 2016, all on the VCSU campus


Smithhisler joins VCSU as interim VP for student affairs

Peter Smithhisler has joined the VCSU administrative staff as interim vice president for student affairs. Smithhisler previously served the North American Interfraternity Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., most recently as president and CEO. His prior experience includes serving the University of North Dakota as coordinator of Greek life from 1990–94


Professor Listopad receives Hefner First Amendment Award

Steven Listopad, VCSU assistant professor and director of student media, received a Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award on Sept. 29, 2015. Listopad was honored for his work in support of the John Wall New Voices Act, a bill “which ensures the free-speech rights of journalism students in North Dakota public schools and colleges.” The Hefner Foundation cited Listopad “as a shining example to teachers everywhere when he helped his students craft the nation’s strongest and most comprehensive statutes protecting North Dakota student journalists.”

Williston State College – Campus Successes November

WSC Student Receives Highest North Dakota GED Score

David Wilson, a WSC student, was recognized at the state capitol September 24 for receiving the top 2014 GED score for North Dakota with a 724.

The 2014 GED exam is composed of four test subjects: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. In order to pass, test-takers must earn a minimum score of 150 on each exam. Wilson averaged 181, placing him in the top 4% in the estimated national class rate.


WSC’s Norris Performs With South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Kyle Norris, Assistant Professor of Music was invited to play with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO) at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, SD, October 3.

The SDSO is a professional orchestra made up of musicians from South Dakota and the surrounding areas. The orchestra presented Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A minor, sometimes referred to as the “tragic” symphony due to events taking place in Mahler’s life at the time of composition. Norris joined the SDSO for their first concert of the season.


CTE Programs Take Learning Opportunities Outside of the Classroom

To emphasize the importance of networking, the petroleum, welding, and transportation departments at Williston State College (WSC) are helping students interact with local companies.

WSC’s two petroleum instructors, Alberto Bellina and Gerald (Mack) McGillivray, took ten of their petroleum production technology students on a tour of the Schlumberger Artificial Lift Systems facility near Williston on October 7.

To conclude the day, the petroleum students attended the Bakken Oil Show in Williston hosted by DAWA Solutions Owner/President Jeff Zarling free of charge. Shelley Rencher, WSC welding instructor, also attended this show with fourteen welding students.


Media Coverage Summary – Nov. 13, 2015

Media Coverage Summary Colleges

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Nov. 13.


Bismarck State College

Chamber concert set for Nov. 17 at BSC
Pack the Pantry supports BSC project


Dakota College at Bottineau

Book Tour to Honor Korean War Veterans Visits DCB


Dickinson State University
State board adds masters teaching degrees at three state universities
DSU aims to add reclamation program
Benesh, who helped plan military memorial services in town for 16 years, steps aside


Lake Region State College

LRSC men split games in home invitational
Nursing program hosts open house
Student story of faith
VIDEO: Area students attend career expo to explore interests


Mayville State University

State board adds masters teaching degrees at three state universities
Mayville State University STEM department hosts “Mommy, Me and SWE”


Minot State University
Freezin’ for a Reason brings awareness of homelessness, hunger
Minot Student Selected to Sing at Carnegie Hall
Veterans’ stories shared at Warrior Words
MSU Encourages Student Wellness


North Dakota State College of Science
North Dakota State College of Science deemed Military Friendly
NDSCS honors employee efforts with 2015 Steeple awards
Taste of Norway
NDSCS grads report 99 percent placement


North Dakota State University

Faculty research examines stress impact on health of future generations
NDSU student receives grant to benefit elementary school
NDSU student inspires kindness by leaving inspirational rocks in the F-M area
Vietnam Vet waits 50 years for Bronze Star


University of North Dakota

Final UND nickname runoff vote continues through Monday, Nov. 16
State Board of Higher Education appoints Schafer interim president of UND
UND coaches and athletes give a grand tour of new $13 million indoor High Performance Center on Monday
UND again named ‘Top Military-Friendly School’
UND production of ‘Little Women’ opens Nov. 12 at Burtness Theatre


Valley City State University

NASPA Foundation announces the 2016 Pillars of the Profession
For Ellenson brothers, exhibition game will be a family affair
After slow start, Marquette cruises to easy win
State board adds masters teaching degrees at three state universities
A free public planetarium


Williston State College
Faces Behind the Funds: Kylee Shea Meyer
Taco John’s Partners with Delta Kappa Gamma

Collaboration and standardization

Mark Hagerott - North Dakota University System Chancellor

Mark Hagerott – North Dakota University System Chancellor

I had the opportunity recently to speak twice on topics revolving around the digital environment we inhabit. The first, on cyber security, illustrated how that environment is changing and how we could change with it. The second, on data inconsistencies, fleshed out how North Dakota University System employees were working toward creating standardized processes throughout our infrastructure to help make it more efficient, and more secure.

I feel that these topics and others involving digital systems will help shape the next few years in higher education, and I’m happy that the system has the skilled teams it does as Core Technology Services undertakes these projects – more than two dozen in all.

Collaboration will help us move forward in the next 14 months toward goals set by the 64th Legislative Assembly and embraced by the State Board of Higher Education.

Earlier this year, language within House Bill 1003 called for the Board to proceed with policy changes to rectify concerns over data inconsistencies within the university system. The inconsistencies ranged from simple definitions regarding employee status to complex processes surrounding financial reporting and information coding. To address these concerns, standardized processes will be put into place by the time the legislature meets again in 2017.

Thanks to the spirit of collaboration and the application of hard work, project teams have already formed to address more than two dozen objectives that could solve those inconsistencies.

As numerous project team members from NDSU System Office, CTS and our 11 colleges and universities move forward together to solve these problems, new standards and definitions will be created throughout the system.

Standardized processes for accreditation exist already to ensure that institutions of higher education maintain certain quality standards for instruction and research. Likewise, standardized processes within our campuses will help foster an environment where services can be more easily shared, audits can be made more efficient and reporting done with more transparency. That will us implement policies and procedures that fit the intent of the legislative mandates and the needs of the North Dakota people, all on behalf of the students of our university system.

Over the course of the coming months, there will be a discovery phase to find where exactly the data inconsistencies exist, then research done on how to resolve them. After those two phases are done then the implementation of standardized procedures will be undertaken to bring any and all departments or campuses in line with each other.

None of the goals or objectives are focused on any particular department or campus, but aim instead to be the rising tide that lifts all boats. Smaller projects will build toward the larger goal that benefits all of higher education throughout North Dakota, and will prove that the spirit of collaboration is alive and well throughout our campuses, and beyond.

Board approves MAT offering

Programs aimed at nontraditional, location-bound students

More candidates will have the opportunity to earn teaching credentials now after a decision was made this week by the State Board of Higher Education.

At a special meeting Tuesday, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Master of Arts in Teaching program for Dickinson State University, Mayville State University and Valley City State University. A similar teacher credentialing program currently exists at Minot State University.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott said it was part of an “ongoing effort to be responsible to the needs of our people.”

He added that he felt the decision to move forward with the new offering the potential to alleviate some of the stress felt throughout the state’s K-12 districts under the current teacher shortage.

“More professionals in the state will now have an opportunity to go back to school to get their credentials thanks to the Board’s decision,” Hagerott said. “Now that these three universities will be able to offer the program, those who want to attend won’t have to go far, either.”

Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs Richard Rothaus noted that the program wasn’t designed to give potential new teachers a how-to in any particular subject. Rather, it would aim to deliver pedagogical methodologies to teaching candidates who had built careers in those subjects already.

“What this will attempt to do is provide teaching credentials to people who have already become subject matter experts,” Rothaus said. “In doing so the offering could help create a brand new crop of teachers to supplement those already in the field.”

Rothaus stated that the intent for the programs was to provide a program for nontraditional students who were location-bound.

The three institutions will now apply to the Higher Learning Commission for approval to offer the program, and the first student could be admitted as early as this fall.

Other business

In other business, the Board set its tentative schedule for 2016, and revised language for the policy regarding president searches.

Hacker: Advancing education through service

Hacker mugshotNick Hacker has not led a typical life. One of the younger members of the State Board of Higher Education, Hacker also holds the distinction for having been the youngest person to serve in the North Dakota Senate at the time he was elected.

But his relatively young age shouldn’t come as an indication of a general lack of experience. In fact, Hacker has already racked up quite an extensive portfolio of service and now he is focused on service in education. He currently serves as president of North Dakota Guaranty and Title, the state’s largest title insurance and real estate closing company with operations in N.D., Minnesota and Montana.

Hacker grew up in Alexandria, Minn., and enrolled in the University of North Dakota’s aviation program. While there he also attended classes at the College of Business. It was there that he discovered a passion for real estate finance. According to him, his motivation to grow as an undergraduate helped advance his education to achieve relatively high levels of success and be involved on campus.

“I had always been interested in politics, but more importantly, in giving back to my community and state,” Hacker said. “I grew up in a blue-collar, hard-working family who believed that with dedication and perspiration, anything is possible.”

In 2004 that dedication and perspiration led Hacker to win an election into the N.D. State Senate at just 22 years of age. During his time there he had to quickly learn about topics most people his age weren’t thinking about, at least not on a daily basis, ranging from educations to corrections. Soon the opportunity to attend the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership arose and he took it. That helped him on his way to becoming a more effective public servant and state senator.

“I have had a lot of wonderful opportunities following graduation from working with entrepreneurs, real estate development and working in Washington, D.C., to moving back to N.D. and leading a business in Williston at the height of the oil boom,” Hacker said. “During these experiences I continued to stay connected to UND through the Delta Tau Delta Education Foundation, which awards tens of thousands in scholarships every semester.”

His motivation to stay involved in education leapt to new levels with his appointment to the SBHE last year.

“I was interested in joining the State Board of Higher Education because I felt I could bring collaborative leadership to stay focused on delivering value to our students, all while ensuring an environment in which they can succeed,” he said. “What has interested me most about higher education is the dedication to the advancement of our intellectual youth at all turns. I hope we can innovate and evolve to address student trends and meet their needs. I believe we need to think differently to increase accessibility and to provide students with more opportunities to succeed.”

Hacker noted that his background in business in the state had allowed him to see firsthand the high level of talent coming out of the state’s 11 public colleges and universities.

“I have had the opportunity to see the wonderful talents of our graduates, as well as many of their needs post-graduation,” he added. “I believe we need to continue to strengthen our focus on what is important: student success.

“I look forward to a successful four years on the board through contributing my time and talents to better our system, colleges and universities,” he concluded.

State Board of Higher Education appoints Schafer interim president of UND

Ed SchaferThe State Board of Higher Education voted unanimously today to appoint Ed Schafer as interim president of the University of North Dakota. Current UND President Robert Kelley will retire Jan. 14, 2016. Schafer will begin serving as interim president Jan. 15.

The Board also agreed that the timeframe for the interim service and salary would be negotiated by North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott with Schafer depending on the needs of the university and the successful search for a permanent president.

“I want to thank Pres. Kelley for his years of service. His tenure saw unprecedented growth in enrollment and program offerings. He helped orchestrate the single largest fundraising campaign in North Dakota history, which raised $324 million for scholarships, endowments and other support. I appreciate his dedication to the university and to the state of North Dakota,” said Hagerott. “Schafer is respected for his leadership, and with his extensive background, he will be able to fulfill the duties as we continue our search for a permanent president.”

At the Chancellor’s recommendation, the Board considered two interim candidates: Schafer and Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, current UND provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. Hagerott thanked both of them for their willingness to serve. He commended DiLorenzo’s dedication to UND and his time of service there.

“This is a historic time in the shaping of UND’s future and we need someone able to dedicate time to ensuring that we create a path of excellence,” Hagerott said.

Schafer was the governor of North Dakota from 1992 to 2000 and also served as the U.S. secretary of agriculture, overseeing an operating budget of more than $95 billion. He is well-versed in business, having led multinational consumer products business and several entrepreneurial start-up companies. Schafer currently serves on public and private corporate boards of directors and holds leadership positions in foundations and trade associations. He’s also an active member of many civic and service organizations.

The search for the next UND president began immediately after Kelley’s retirement announcement, and a presidential search committee was formed in July. Kelley is the 11th president of UND and began his work at UND on July 1, 2008. The formal search for a new president will launch Nov. 13.

Cybersecurity Presentation


North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott was recently the keynote speaker at University of Mary’s Leadership Summit in Bismarck. Hagerott spoke about the importance of cyber security, as well as its potential impacts on students, North Dakota and the nation. His address was informational and given to an audience of students, faculty, community leaders and business executives. His expertise in the area of cyber security has been the catalyst for business and community leaders to further explore the potential impact that cyber security has on everything we do and the opportunities that North Dakota has to take the lead in the field. Hagerott’s keynote was followed by cyber security experts in the healthcare, energy and utility sectors as well as financial and retail sectors.

Media Coverage Summary – Nov. 6, 2015

Media Coverage Summary Colleges

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Nov. 6.


Bismarck State College

McElroy prints exhibited at BSC Gannon Gallery
BSC Wind Ensemble performs Nov. 9
Student nurses host Scrub Camp Nov. 11
BSC Students Host 60s Themed Media Day


Dakota College at Bottineau

New judge has DCB ties


Dickinson State University
DSU Fine and Performing Arts department to hold several upcoming performances
DSU hosts more than 700 at fourth annual Boo Hawks event
Dickinson State Named to Victory Media’s 2016 Military Friendly® Schools List
Empty Bowls annual fundraiser to take place Saturday, Nov. 14


Lake Region State College

LRSC volleyball player earns honors


Mayville State University

Dr. Anton Treuer to share information on Native American culture
Young veterans serve around the globe
Student and Staff organizing a Collegiate Relay for Life
Opportunity to enhance knowledge of Native American culture


Minot State University
Hess Corp. employees to speak at MiSU
Trick or Treat – photo


North Dakota State College of Science
NDSCS graduates report 99 percent placement
NDSCS-Fargo to hold Open House sessions for prospective students
Future of the college revolves around students


North Dakota State University

Can Parents’ Stress Impact the Health of Future Generations?
Spiders aren’t spooky says one NDSU professor
NDSU students named University Innovation Fellows
NDSU faculty members named teachers of the year
Alumna named national preceptor of the year


University of North Dakota

UND production of ‘Little Women’ opens Nov. 12 at Burtness Theatre
Careers in Aviation: Aeronautical Analyst at the NGA
UND, NDSU researchers land funding to seek ways to map and forecast occurrences of West Nile Virus in North Dakota
UND’s Prakash Ranganathan receives grant to promote engineering at tribal schools
Eligible voters have until 11:59 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, to vote for a UND nickname
Meester named UND’s Nontraditional Student of the Year for 2015
ND Supreme Court Presides Over Moot Court Final
SMHS selected to join AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium


Valley City State University

VCSU in 30 seconds
Do the Math: The Movie


Williston State College
Parking at WSC Gets a Facelift
CTE Programs Take Learning Opportunities Outside of the Classroom
Faces Behind the Funds: Stephanie Oyloe