Monthly Archives: February 2016

Media Coverage Summary – Feb. 26, 2016

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, Feb. 26.


Bismarck State College
BookTalk at BSC concludes Vietnam series March 6
BSC’s Lane Huber selected for council post

Dakota College at Bottineau
2 North Dakota teams playing in NJCAA hockey championships

Dickinson State University
“Fracture” book tour to make stop at Dickinson State
Dickinson State to participate in 30th Annual National TRIO Day
DSU’s 13th annual Women’s Voices set to begin March 1

Lake Region State College
Former LRSC AD, women’s basketball head coach Schwab inducted to NJCAA Hall of Fame

Mayville State University
Growth and prosperity will continue at MSU
Public invited to welcome Dr. Pflipsen to the community

Minot State University
Minot State IT Students Focus on Career Options
College wrestler proposes to girlfriend before big match
Science Open House for Kids at Minot State University
Minot branches get clipped: Budget cuts felt in Minot
Student Inventors Present Ideas at Marketplace for Kids
MSU Professor to Share Research in Lecture Series
MSU hosted Nationally Federated Gold Cup Music Festival

North Dakota State College of Science
NDSCS students excel in local DECA Competition
Local music ensembles join NDSCS for spring Band and Choir Festival

North Dakota State University
NDSU to host Woodlands and High Plains Powwow
Knowledge is Power event to offer pathways to education
Science Café to explore NDSU heart technology research
Health care adventure mentors elementary students
NDSU Lincoln Speech and Debate team earns 20 state awards
NDSU, area companies partner to introduce girls to engineering
Middle school students problem-solve at NDSU
New lab helps NDSU students learn how to crack fraud cases
NDSU researchers to receive up to $9.62 million to establish a center for pancreatic cancer research

University of North Dakota
University of North Dakota Applied Economics
Finley, N.D., native Haylee Archer among UND student team searching for distant dwarf galaxies
Rocky Mountain dry
Zooming in on Zika
UND Digital Press releases ‘The Bakken Goes Boom’
John Marshall, ’62, receives Grand Forks Lifetime Recognition Award
Logo design firm to visit UND campus March 1-3; public meetings scheduled
UND Wellness Center one of the best in the nation

Valley City State University
Wellness Fair to be held on campus March 2
President Mason named to Top 25 Women in Business list

Williston State College
Sons of Norway Elect Two WSC Faculty to Lead
WSC Students Recognized by ALEKS

North Dakota University System
Stay updated with the latest from the NDUS Blog

Media Coverage Summary – Feb. 19, 2016

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, Feb. 19.


Bismarck State College
Visiting Writers Series features fracking anthology writers
Job Fair set Feb. 25 at BSC
Film on Afghan journalists to screen at BSC Feb. 23
BSC student chosen for Washington D.C. news fellowship program

Dakota College at Bottineau
Dakota College at Bottineau Campus Successes

Dickinson State University
DSU spring choir concert to feature pieces from “Across the Pond”
DSU to host Dr. Mitzel Feb. 25 in Bismarck
DSU Theatre presents Charlotte’s Web

Lake Region State College
LRSC Coaches go barefoot for a cause
LRSC Open House in Grand Forks

Mayville State University
A Sparkling Affair promises to be a fun-filled event
Mayville State Collegiate DECA members successful at state conference
MSU spring semester enrollment record topped again

Minot State University
MSU Art Student Dresses the Seven Deadly Sins
Over 11,000 Pakistanis study in U.S. colleges, tells Consul General Health
Mid-Dakota Education Coop Offers Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Training
Area Teachers Receive Training on Mental Health, Suicide Prevention
MSU set to open curtain on ‘These Shining Lives’
Recruit, train, retain: Minot State University meets the need for nurses
Minot High School to Compete in National Science Bowl

North Dakota State College of Science
NDSCS Automotive Technology department receives Vehicle Donation
NDSCS Enrollment shows steady increase
Spring Enrollment continues to increase at North Dakota State College of Science

North Dakota State University
NDSU Professor Wins CAREER Award
NDSU ecologist receives international award
Field to Fork webinar dates set
Pharmacy practice professor named to national rheumatology committee
Graduate student researcher wins NDSU’s Three Minute Thesis Competition

University of North Dakota
Dr. Steven Shirley First of Six Candidates for UND Presidency to Visit UND; Visit is Feb. 18-19
UND astrophysicist helps confirm Albert Einstein got it right
UND to host spring International Studies speaker series
Man behind the desk
UND medical students receive scholarships
Black History Month: Jesse, ‘Fritz’ and Der Fuhrer
UND Libraries’ Kristen Borysewicz picked to attend Information Literacy Immersion Program

Valley City State University
VCSU ranked 12th in nation in affordable online education
Strategic Enrollment Planning at VCSU

Williston State College
Williston State College sets another spring enrollment mark
LETTERS: Generous scholarship benefits Williston-area students

North Dakota University System
Stay updated with the latest from the NDUS Blog

Media Coverage Summary – Feb. 12, 2016

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, Feb. 12.


Bismarck State College
Report shows BSC graduates fill needed roles in ND and beyond
BSC theater program does well in regional competition

Dakota College at Bottineau
HLC persistence and completion academy

Dickinson State University
Dickinson State to offer Woodwind Day for area students
DSU Multicultural Committee to host screening of Academy Award nominated documentary film

Lake Region State College
Retired LRSC coach inducted in NJCAA Hall of Fame

Mayville State University
Mayville State offering online bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and mathematics education
A Sparkling Affair will benefit students through the annual fund drive
Let your Comet Pride show on Giving Hearts Day
Olson speaks to Business Income Taxation class

Minot State University
Minot State University developing new strategic plan
Group asking community to join and get involved
And then there were seven
Minot State University Reacts to Budget Cuts
Darwin Day returns to MSU
The Learning Loft is living up to its name at MSU
Artist Grant Funds Filmmaking Project for Third Graders
Minot State receives $2 million gift for its entrepreneurship program

North Dakota State College of Science
‘Give Kids a Smile Day’ set for NDSCS

North Dakota State University
Annual fundraising competition to support two families<
NDSU Darwin Day events scheduled<
Engineering professor, alumnus earn recognition for research
Civil engineering professor, graduate student present on water resources
Public health department chair to be on panel addressing rural child poverty
Years of research presented in three minutes at NDSU event

University of North Dakota
UND Theatre Arts to celebrate evening of stagecraft with original works by students Feb. 17-20
Sara Bjerke wins National Athletic Trainers’ Association Service Award
UND’s new Ombudsman, is available to give people the tools — and the words — to navigate their differences
UND’s Heidi Czerwiec wins top honors for writing from ‘The Baltimore Review’
New UND Art Collections exhibition is focused on University’s relationship with the Grand Forks community
UND’s next AH! panel discussion focuses on body and mind consciousness Thursday, Feb. 18

Valley City State University
Cheap Public Online Bachelor’s Programs for Out-of-State Students
VCSU achieves record spring enrollment

Williston State College
Spring Enrollment up again at Williston State College
WSC Foundation Announces New Regional Scholarship for Fall 2016

North Dakota University System
New round of Challenge Grants awarded
Chancellor Mark Hagerott’s February video message:

New round of Challenge Grants awarded


North Dakota’s public colleges and universities have received another round of funding thanks to the N.D. Higher Education Challenge Fund.

Bismarck State College, Lake Region State College, Mayville State University, North Dakota State College of Science, University of North Dakota and Williston State College were all awarded funding recently through the fund, which was set up by the N.D. Legislature in 2013 and is overseen by a grant review committee.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott said the Challenge Fund continued to be a significant initiative that helped the state, campuses and their respective foundations partner together for education.

“These opportunities wouldn’t have been possible without forward thinking by our lawmakers and dedicated efforts by our campus foundations,” Hagerott said. “Because of their respective work, more opportunities will exist for students looking at higher education right here in North Dakota.”

The total biennium-to-date grants have been awarded in four categories: education infrastructure, endowed chairs, scholarships and technology, with the majority of funding ($5,084,962.60) going to scholarships.

The recent award totaled nearly $1.8 million, out of more than $23.5 million set aside for this purpose by the legislature as matching funds. Under the grant process, the Challenge Fund Grant Review Committee awards one dollar in matching grants for every two dollars of non-state, non-federal funding raised by the institutional foundations.

The latest round of awards was as follows:

  • Bismarck State College: $397,037.13 for foundation endowment for scholarships.
  • Lake Region State College: $46,577.00 for endowments for scholarship support.
  • Mayville State University: $115,881.88 for the Academic Excellence Campaign endowment and scholarship.
  • North Dakota State College of Science: $283,403.00 for foundation scholarships and other endowments.
  • University of North Dakota: $803,092.41 for scholarship endowments under its colleges and schools.
  • Williston State College: $150,000.00 for endowments.

Last November, LRSC, MaSU, NDSCS, North Dakota State University, UND and WSC received financial awards through the Challenge Fund. For more information, check out the previous grants story posted here.

Media Coverage Summary – Feb. 5, 2016

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, Feb. 5.


Bismarck State College

Journal accepts Schreck paper
BSC ensemble sells songs for Valentine’s Day
BSC students awarded technical scholarships
Academic scholarships awarded to 238 BSC students

Dakota College at Bottineau

Garden Project donates 1.4 million pounds of produce

Dickinson State University
Feb. 7 recital featuring DSU faculty to benefit Amen Food Pantry
Dickinson State is honored with National Award in the 2015 Collegiate Advertising Awards Program
Impressions magazine calls for submissions for 2016 edition
Roping and Reciting: Presenting Cowboy Poet Rodney Nelson Feb. 11
Date selected for inauguration of Dickinson State’s 12th president

Lake Region State College

Music Department Gives the Gift of Music
Baby Boomers go to college

Mayville State University
MaSU to host area teachers for day of professional development
Million-dollar gift is changing lives
Olson speaks to Business Income Taxation class

Minot State University
MSU offering more scholarships than before to all students
Minot State art professor to lead students on trip to China
Almost five years after devastating flood, Minot tries to rise above the water
Minot Symphony Orchestra to Present Family Concert
Rocking the community

North Dakota State College of Science
‘Give Kids A Smile’ event returns to NDSCS

North Dakota State University
NDSU research could change wind power grid
Vietnam vet honored, thanks to granddaughter’s fight
NDSU Innovation Challenge Asks Students to Effect Change with Innovation
NDSU Graduate School to host competition that challenges students to communicate the importance of research
NDSU expert offers 10 ways for homeowners to save energy and money
University press has new name
Spectrum newspaper earns awards
Black History Month events scheduled at NDSU
Tree selections introduced

University of North Dakota
UND’s Collin Hanson named national Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Student Leader of the Year
UND online recognized for affordability
UND to host annual FIRST LEGO League Championship
UND spring 2016 Space Studies Colloquium Series hosts NASA’s Michael Watson
UND’s Iseminger receives regional history award
Social Work Welcomes New Faculty
Stone Soup Award Nomination
Child Welfare Research

Valley City State University
The Power of Encouragement and Celebration
Hotline Newsletter

Williston State College
WSC’s Art Instructor’s Work Recognized

North Dakota University System
Envisioning the Future of Education
Board updated on cabinet studies
Joint meeting ‘historic’ between lawmakers, Board
Higher Ed Committee Meets with State Board of Higher Education

Bismarck State College Campus Successes – January

Record attendance at EGC

The 37th annual Energy Generation Conference (EGC) achieved a record attendance in January with nearly 2,700 attendees and over 300 booths. BSC coordinates the annual conference in a collaborative effort with energy producers and suppliers to promote competitive, efficient and safe energy production.


BSC encourages girls in STEM industries

In January, BSC hosted 55 eighth grade girls to encourage them to consider careers in energy.  Part of a larger effort to inspire students to pursue education leading to STEM careers, students participated in hands-on activities, and visited with women both in the energy industry and enrolled in energy programs.


BSC receives top score in military journal

BSC was selected as a top school for best practices in military and veteran education by the Military Advanced Education and Transition journal of higher education. The recognition appears in the December issue of the journal’s 2016 Guide to Colleges & Universities.

Dakota College at Bottineau Campus Successes – January

HLC persistence and completion academy

DCB has been accepted into the Higher Learning Commission’s Persistence and Completion Academy.  During this four-year program, DCB will develop and implement a plan to improve student persistence and completion at DCB.  The Academy experience is unique in that it will provide guidance from assigned mentors assigned as well as guidance from other colleges in our cohort group.  DCB’s participation in the Academy will begin with attendance at the HLC’s Information and Planning Workshop in March.  Involvement in the Academy also meets the HLC’s ongoing accreditation requirement that each college or university undertake a major Quality Initiative during the 10-year Open Pathway Cycle.


DCB space grant scholarship recipients announced

The North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, under the direction of the University of North Dakota, made available $6,500 in scholarship funds to students at Dakota College at Bottineau.  These funds were awarded to students who show promise in the areas of science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).  The goal behind the North Dakota Space Grant Scholarship program is to identify, recruit and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; to encourage women and underrepresented students to enter these fields of study; and to increase NASA activities and awareness in North Dakota.  To qualify for the Space Grant Scholarship, students must show academic excellence, have a sophomore standing, and have education and career interests relevant to STEM. This year three students from Dakota College at Bottineau were selected to receive this scholarship:

Mattie Schmitt (Towner, ND) is pursuing an Associate of Science degree.  She plans to double major in Agricultural Systems Management and Agricultural Business at North Dakota State University.  Her future goal is to pursue a career in the agricultural industry.

Amber Tikalsy (Minot, ND) is pursuing an Associate of Science degree in Fish and Wildlife Management.  Combining this degree with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, she hopes to one-day work as a game warden.

Frank Flight (Edmonds, WA) is pursuing an Associate of Science degree in Health Professions.  He plans to earn a degree in Physical Therapy and eventually work as an athletic trainer for a sports team or at a rehab facility helping those with serious injuries.


TRIO up and running at DCB

DCB is pleased to announce that the TRIO program is officially “up and running”. As part of the Department of Education’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program, DCB now provides academic and general support services to low-income, first-generation or disabled college students who qualify.  Currently there are eight-six students that qualify in the spring 2016 semester. The goal is to increase student success throughout the DCB campus, to increase student grade point average and graduation rates, and enhance faculty, staff and student relationships. The program will also facilitate career awareness and readiness, helping students transfer from two-year to four-year colleges or into their field of work.

Dickinson State University Campus Successes – January

DSU student receives first Bakken U Scholarship

Warren Logan, a Dickinson State University (DSU) student and former oilfield worker, received a $5,000 scholarship from the North Dakota University System’s Bakken U initiative, the first of its kind. Logan intends to use the scholarship to complete a degree in business administration. Jerry Rostad, director of the Bakken U initiative, said that Logan exemplified the characteristics of students the program aimed to reward.


Strom Center secures over $575,000 in grants for small businesses in 2015

The Strom Center at Dickinson State University secured over $575,000 in grants in 2015 for small businesses in their service area. The grants will assist the businesses in planning, feasibility studies, marketing plans, prototyping, Web development, marketing outreach and other areas. The Strom Center also supported eligible businesses through a variety of programs, including Innovate ND, the Agriculture Products Utilization Commission, and the ND Department of Commerce Child Care Grant program.


Joan Riley named ND Music Educator of the Year

Joan Riley, adjunct instructor of music for Dickinson State University Bismarck, received the 2016 ND Music Educator of the Year Award, an award that recognizes excellence in teaching among ND music educators. Nominees must have taught for at least 10 years, be a current music educator in grades K-12 or college, have demonstrated excellence in education by the success of students in performing skills and musical achievement and have demonstrated commitment to music education and the arts through outside participation in local, state, regional or national music activities.​

Lake Region State College Campus Succeses – January

Wakeford elected as Staff Advisor

Andy Wakeford, Online Coordinator/Online Advisor at LakeRegion State College, has been elected as the 2016-2017 State Board of Higher Education Staff Advisor. He was elected January 25 during the North Dakota State Staff Senate meeting. Wakeford is immediate past president of the Lake Region State College Staff Senate and served as its president from 2013 to 2015.


LRSC Theatre Students compete for scholarship

For the first time in history, students from the Lake Region State College “Playmakers” drama club have been nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition. Jasmine Swinland and Kaitlyn Halvorson were nominated for their recent performance in Crimes of the Heart at LRSC. The competition took place at the American College Theatre Festival in Minneapolis, MN.


LRSC & Minot State partner to enhance interpreting

A new degree program recently approved by the SBHE is designed to teach more people how to communicate with people who are deaf and hard of hearing. The new Bachelor of Applied Science in Interpreting and Sign Language Studies is a collaborative effort among Minot State University (MSU), Lake Region State College (LRSC) in Devils Lake, and the North Dakota School for the Deaf/Resource Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing (NDSD/RCDHH). A grant from the Bush Foundation and a match from the Higher Ed Challenge Fund will assist in the development of the program.

Mayville State University Campus Successes – January

Nursing Bachelor’s degrees awarded

MaSU’s first class of RN to BSN nursing students earned bachelor’s degrees in nursing in December. Through the online nursing program, which began in 2014, MaSU is fulfilling an essential need: to increase the number of baccalaureate and higher-prepared nurses needed to meet the demands of the health care community of North Dakota and beyond.


Locker room completed

A new football locker room was recently completed at MaSU, funded with state funds and institutional reserves. This project was a priority due to the need to accommodate the growing number of student athletes and Health, Physical Education, and Recreation students at MaSU. Growth of the student athlete population is a strategic plan goal for MaSU.


Online math program ranked best

MaSU’s online B.S. in Mathematics degree program was ranked among five of the best online mathematics degree programs by is a leading resource for prospective students seeking college or university degrees. MaSU’s fully-online cohort-based program features small class sizes. Students complete the program in three years, including two summer sessions.

Minot State University Campus Successes – January

Minot State announces two Bakken U scholarship awardees

Two Minot State University students, John Newcomb and Jennifer Hutchins, will receive Bakken U scholarships for spring semester. The Bakken U scholarships were made available to recently displaced oil workers, current oil workers, or spouses of oil workers who wish to expand their knowledge and job marketability in North Dakota. Newcomb is employed as a line technician by Minot Aero Center. He is currently a sophomore at MSU and eventually wants to become a petroleum engineer. Hutchins, a spouse of an oilfield worker, is an administrative secretary in the university’s Student Health Center. A freshman, she is pursuing a nursing degree.


History professors receive grant to preserve ‘Minot’s Common Heritage

The National Endowment of the Humanities recently awarded Professors Bethany Andreasen and Dan Ringrose of the Minot State University History Department a grant to preserve “Minot’s Common Heritage.” History students and faculty will host “digitization days” at the Minot Public Library and area assisted living centers, where members of the public will be invited to share photographs, artifacts, family letters and artworks related to family and community history.


Community Rocks! 2016 to benefit music program for youth

With proceeds benefitting the Minot String Academy, the second annual Community Rocks! concert will be Feb. 6 at the Grand Hotel in Minot. Local orchestra musicians will present three sets of rock favorites by acts such as the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Cold Play and many others. Funds from Community Rocks! 2016 will provide the instruments, supplies and instruction necessary to begin the Minot String Academy. The academy will be dedicated to providing one-on-one lessons and string orchestra experiences to low-income children, beginning in the first grade. This head start will provide social and academic benefits, as well as create the future leaders of the Minot Public Schools orchestra program. Co-founded by Minot State Professors Erik Anderson and Andy Bertsch, Community Rocks! exemplifies local initiative and talent coming together to benefit the community.

North Dakota State College of Science Campus Successes – January

NDSCS Announces Fall President’s Honor List

The North Dakota State College of Science has named 420 students to its fall semester President’s Honor List. The Honor List recognizes students who have achieved grade point averages of 3.5 or higher while taking at least 12 credit hours.


NDSCS Students Heinz and Mastel Nominated for ND Community College Academic All-State Team

NDSCS students Taylor Heinz and Jessica Mastel, both from Wahpeton, N.D., were recently selected to serve as the College’s representatives on the North Dakota Community College Academic All-State Team. Nominees are selected through the Phi Theta Kappa All-USA and Coca-Cola Community College Scholarship application process.


NDSCS Precision Machining Technology Student Wins Oktoberfest Student Demo Contest

Recent NDSCS graduate Matt Niess won the Oktoberfest Student Demo Contest earlier this fall. Niess, a Minot, N.D. native, is a 2015 graduate from the NDSCS Precision Machining Technology program. In recognition, Niess received two prizes while the NDSCS Precision Machining Technology department received a Haas Control Simulator.​

North Dakota State University Campus Successes – January

NDSU engineering student named to Forbes 30 under 30 list

Andrew Dalman was named to Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 list, which recognizes the country’s best and brightest young people. Dalman was recognized for developing a patented composition for the production of 3D-printed artificial bones and for helping develop a prosthetic arm for children. He is a graduate student in mechanical engineering.


New STEM Classroom and Lab building opens for classes

NDSU’s new STEM building is open for classes. “To say that I am excited to take classes in the STEM building would be an understatement,” said NDSU student Erica Odegard. “As soon as I walked into the building, I knew that new advances were going to make a huge change in the way students learn. The environment makes our learning a top priority.”


NDSU sociologist leads project to increase understanding of veterans’ experiences

NDSU’s Christina Weber received a $201,104 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to help the community and state better understand what happens when soldiers return from war. The yearlong project will include creation of an oral history archive, writing and ceramics workshops for veterans and a series of public programs.

University of North Dakota Campus Successes – January

Schafer begins duties as Interim UND President

Ed Schafer, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under George W. Bush and former North Dakota Governor, officially started as the Interim President of the University of North Dakota on Jan. 15. A UND alum, Schafer follows Robert Kelley, who retired on Jan. 14.


UND Aerobatic team soars to eighth national championship

The University of North Dakota Aerobatic Team flew past the competition last year to lock up another national championship – its eighth in a row. The International Aerobatic Club recently announced the 2015 season results for the Eagle Collegiate National Championship Award Program: the University of North Dakota ranked No. 1.


UND College of Engineering and Mines celebrates ‘Topping Off’ event

University of North  Dakota’s College of Engineering and Mines celebrated a “Topping Off” ceremony on Jan. 12. The event centered on the emplacement of the final structural beam atop the College’s new Collaborative Energy Complex on Jan. 12. The new addition is expected to be completed by late summer.​

Valley City State University Campus Successes – January

Browne performs solo theatre piece

Monika Browne, VCSU English major and theatre minor, performed “EnTRANSed: The Making of a Transnational Woman” in McFarland Hall’s Theatre 320 on Jan. 30. Browne grew up in Poland, and she wrote the solo performance piece to chronicle her international journey. The performance was the culmination of Browne’s SOAR (Student Opportunities for Academic Research) project. VCSU’s SOAR program supports student-driven, faculty-mentored interdisciplinary projects.


Online programs nationally ranked by U.S. News

VCSU’s online degree programs—both its Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Bachelor’s Degree programs—have been nationally ranked in the 2016 U.S. News Best Online Programs. VCSU’s online M.Ed. is ranked 83rd among 263 programs listed in the Graduate Education rankings, and in the Best Online Bachelor’s Program category, VCSU is ranked 143rd of 297 listed programs. No other North Dakota schools were listed in the Graduate Education rankings; in the Best Online Bachelor’s Program lists, Minot State University (191st), Mayville State University (205th) and the University of North Dakota (208th) were ranked along with VCSU.


VCSU featured in North Dakota magazines

VCSU has received feature coverage in both the winter issue of North Dakota Horizons magazine and the February issue of North Dakota Living magazine. The North Dakota Horizonsfeature, available online at, recounts the 125-year history of VCSU, while the North Dakota Livingfeature centers on VCSU President Tisa Mason and the current status of the university.

Williston State College Campus Successes – January

Enrollment Spikes at Williston State

​Williston State is experiencing its third enrollment spike in as many semesters. Early spring enrollment numbers are up 100 percent from the same time last year (Week of December 1). Last spring was a record breaker with enrollment passing the 1,000 mark for the first time in the College’s history.

This semester, 33 percent of students were awarded the Williams County Graduate Scholarship, which explains the 43 percent increase in full time students. Headcount increased by 17.5 percent. More significantly, students took more classes with the number of scheduled credit hours increasing by 27.5 percent.


Dean and President’s List Released for Fall 2015

Williston State College (WSC) saw an increase of honor students in both the Dean’s List and the President’s List for Fall 2015 after receiving record-breaking enrollment for the second consecutive semester.

Students who have earned a 3.8 grade point average (GPA) or higher while enrolled in twelve or more credits for the Fall 2015 semester are named to the President’s Honor Roll. WSC’s President List’s saw a 48 percent increase in students since Fall 2014 with 89 students receiving this honor.


Mental Health Awareness is Ahead of the Game at WSC

Reflecting the increased enrollment and higher mental health awareness at Williston State College (WSC), student sessions with WSC’s Mental Health Counselor, Leah Hoffman, have doubled since last spring.

Hoffman had 97 sessions with 48 students during the Fall 2015 semester, a jump from spring semester when she only had 48 sessions with 25 students. The documented numbers only include scheduled 50-70 minute sessions with Hoffman and do not account for time where a student might stop in to chat or her time in the classroom.

Envisioning the Future of Education

Mark Hagerott - North Dakota University System Chancellor

Mark Hagerott – North Dakota University System Chancellor

Historic times are upon us.  The engineers and scientists of NDUS realize that technology is changing and morphing in ways that would have seemed impossible just 10 years ago. For the economics and business students, they know the swings in the price of oil are almost unprecedented. For our ag students, who continue to help feed the world (the single most important work of our state), the changes in agriculture from precision ag to the lab are breathtaking.

NDUS exists in the midst of this historic time, and has a major role to play. So allow me to reflect a bit on what is going on, and what are doing to plan for the future. This is a short column, but let me offer one idea up front: we live in an age of massive information, data overload, so to speak.  In times such as these, we need to sort thru the chaff and find the wheat. We need to focus on what counts.  One famous scientist admitted the difference between counting things and finding what things count: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.” So, lets reflect on some of the things that count during these exciting times and what we are doing so that in the future every dollar we spend, every minute we are on campus, counts more in creating a better NDUS.

We count on the dedicated faculty and staff within the North Dakota University System whose tireless efforts have brought us to this point in our history. We count on the state leaders, business people, citizens and benefactors who have supported us along the way. We count on students to absorb and create knowledge to build the North Dakota of the future. So what are we doing today to make NDUS better?

We are working to make our system more efficient and responsive to change. Some of these efforts will help bring us in line with legislative mandates and help ensure we’re where our elected officials want us to be, such as resolving data inconsistencies.  Other efforts include reinvigorating NDUS audit function, finding new ways to share services, and implementing programs to boost student retention, an effort led by the presidents Gary Hagen and Tisa Mason, and supported by representatives of the eleven campuses.

We believe that a recent review by the Higher Learning Commission will soon be resolved favorably for the system – another effort that counts. Bakken U awarded its first Bakken Scholarship to Dickinson State University, complements of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

Our students, faculty, staff, legislative allies are writing the current history of NDUS.  While it feels good to count up good marks on a report card, and they do indicate we are on the path to a better run, more responsive NDUS system, another task remains to be tackled: thinking and planning for the future. How do we chart a path into the future history we want to be written?  Who is part of the effort to create a broader vision of the future?

A joint meeting this week of the Interim Higher Education Committee of the Legislature led by Representative Sanford and the State Board of Higher Education led by Kathy Neset is a visible sign of a new era of collaboration as we come together in the best interest of our students.  The presidents of our 11 public colleges and universities have taken on studies ranging from governance to cost containment for the university system. Several of these studies complement legislative interim work, and the cooperation among staff, faculty, administrators, and elected and appointed officials has been outstanding, and, I believe, a sign of important things to come.

In the coming months, we will bring together stakeholders to continue to shape a broader vision. What that means is taking all the perspectives we’ve heard, combining them with cabinet studies,  and then connecting these with the input from legislative, community, and business leaders to develop a path that leads to the future of higher education here in North Dakota.

This process of envisioning the future of NDUS will take a big step 23 May 2016, when we hold a strategic retreat titled Envision 2030.  My staff and representatives from campuses and other stakeholders will work during next few months to prepare for this event.  We look forward to welcoming your vision for the future of higher education in North Dakota.

We’re counting on all of us to do the work of today and envision yet a better future of higher education in North Dakota.

Board updated on cabinet studies

State Board of Higher Education members hear details on studies regarding cost containment, mission, tuition and fees, shared services and retention

After an historic joint meeting with the Interim Legislative Higher Education Committee earlier in the day this Wednesday, the State Board of Higher Education was ready to learn about recent studies that had been progressing forward in the new year. Numerous topics were discussed at the North Dakota State University Alumni Center, including a recent security event at Bismarck State College, the Chancellor’s Cabinet studies, NexusND, and the North Dakota University System Foundation.

Ensuring campus security

BSC President Larry Skogen provided an update on the recent security threat at BSC.

BSC President Larry Skogen provided an update on the recent security threat at BSC.

SBHE Chair Kathleen Neset took time during the meeting to praise BSC President Larry Skogen on his handling of a recent security issue at his campus. Skogen briefed the Board on what happened during the incident, including how the Federal Bureau of Investigation had learned of the purported threat to the point where an arrest was made of the minor who was alleged to have made it. Skogen said the FBI office in Minot had learned of a Twitter posting where the account claimed to be planning a shooting on the BSC campus. After tracking the location of the person who made the tweet to the BSC campus it was decided to lock down the campus.

During that time the Bismarck Police Department, Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies responded to the campus to help assess the threat and respond to it as safely as possible. After setting up an incident command site at the library, law enforcement began a room-by-room search of the campus. After the nearly five-hour ordeal, Skogen said there were some lessons learned. He noted that the communications process had been great, providing updates through the phone notification system regularly.

“The most valuable thing for us is that we had been through a couple tabletop exercises and asked ‘what if’? so when this happened it wasn’t the first time we’d talked about it. So that was helpful,” he said. “The other thing – and this is a sign of the times – the students all knew how to react. They’d practiced it in grade school and high school.”

Skogen said the FBI had continued the investigation, and had indicated to him that it would be handed over to the state. He added that the incident had prompted campus leadership to look at the way doors could be locked, and that steps were being taken to ensure all doors could be locked from the inside.

Neset commended Skogen for the way it was handled and expressed her thanks that it had ended peacefully.

Sen. Tim Flakoll spoke next on the topic relating to security, touching on how campus police interacted with other law enforcement. He brought up a document had been drafted by the Legislative Council, which could serve as a template for formal working agreements between campus and municipal police, as well as addressing cross-jurisdictional responsibilities.

“It’s been discussed with some campuses that have a police force, as well as the Attorney General’s office, to have a draft before the 2017 session and we wanted to get it on everyone’s radar on how that would get accomplished,” Flakoll noted during his report. “It’s our mutual goal to have safe campuses, so that when parents send their kids here we’re doing the best we can to make sure that it goes well for them.”

The need for agreements was prompted by a N.D. Supreme Court ruling last year that limited the jurisdiction of campus police.

Chancellor report

Chancellor Mark Hagerott then gave his report, first welcoming University of North Dakota President Ed Schafer and Dickinson State University President Thomas Mitzel, before moving into the topics of budget guidelines, his cabinet studies, NexusND, and Bakken U.

Schafer said that he and his wife had been welcomed with open arms to the UND campus, and that there were challenges at the campus that he would like to see met.

Mitzel said that he’d been welcomed with unmatched enthusiasm at DSU, and he was quickly bringing himself up-to-speed to address issues on campus, such as enrollment. He added that the re-founding of the DSU Foundation had been a positive sign of the university’s progress forward.

Hagerott said work in the upcoming months, including the cabinet studies and standardization projects already underway, would feed into the higher educational summit called Envision 2030 to be held in May.


NDUS Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan then provided an outline to the budget so far.

“We started in December working on an outline based on our budget allotment. We planned for a 2.5 percent cut, and now know that it will be more than four percent,” Dolan said. “The total that we’ll need to save from the general fund is $41 million across all institutions. It will affect everything. So we need to come up with a plan.”

Dolan said she’d be working with the institutions respective financial teams, and that each president would be submitting more detailed plans later this month.

Cabinet studies

The meeting provided a venue for updates on most of the six studies being undertaken by the Chancellor’s Cabinet. The studies, on governance, cost containment, mission, tuition and fees, shared services, and retention were divided up to address concerns from constituent groups. Hagerott noted that the Board would receive details on all the studies but cost containment, which would require more budget analysis before progressing forward. More concrete details are expected at the March SBHE meeting.

Board Member Mike Ness spoke on the governance study, and asked the other Board members and presidents for input. Hagerott said that as presidents’ goals were reviewed this spring he would ask Board members to participate in the review process. Other Board members voiced what they felt were pros and cons of the plan, which would focus on growth of campuses.

Mayville State University President Gary Hagen then reported on the retention study. He noted that the role of the study included four distinct parts: successful implementation of Predictive Analytic Reporting, ensuring appropriate graduation and retention metrics for continuous improvements, reporting progress and challenges to the chancellor and SBHE, and providing for ad hoc committee oversight when needed.

North Dakota State College of Science President John Richman spoke next on the tuition and fees cabinet study. He said it would involve such actions as analyzing the state model, comparing it to other models and reviewing revenue sources for each campus. Later phases would involve looking at waivers and how they tied into tuition.

Minot State University President Steven Shirley spoke next on the shared services study. He said that “quite a few” shared actions were happening already throughout the system, either between two campuses or among multiple campuses. He said that the study would look at those types of campus cooperative agreements, and to see if they could find systemwide application. Other opportunities for short-, mid-, and long-term shared services existed in such areas as payroll, internal auditing, human resources, learning management systems and more.

Skogen then spoke about the study on mission, noting that it would involve workforce and education needs. He said that the study would need to look at numbers, diversity and knowledge.


Don Morton, Member, State Board of Higher Education

Don Morton, vice chair, State Board of Higher Education, said working together not only “brings out the best in all of us, it brings out the best in each of us.”

An initiative that would combine proposed high-tech efforts was next on the Board’s agenda. Josh Riedy, the vice provost and chief strategy officer at UND, spoke on NexusND. The proposed initiative would combine Cybersecurity efforts with High Performance Computing and Unmanned Systems.

Riedy said those three topics were the “three pillars” of NexusND, which would create opportunities for regional partnerships and take advantage of the state’s agile education system.

“Ultimately this would make North Dakota the most attractive environment possible,” he said, noting that each of the three pillars held an opportunity itself. “With these we can move outside the traditional sectors of agriculture and energy.”

Hagerott added that recent events in the world of cybersecurity helped underscore the need for further research in many aspects of the cyber world, a need that the NDUS’ 11 public colleges and universities could help address.

Riedy said that the three pillars would each have its own working group. The university system would lead HPC, UND would lead the UAS working group and NDSU would lead the working group on Cybersecurity. He added that NexusND would actualize the SBHE’s approved concept for a Collaborative Center for Computation and Data, which would be a key player for the region’s economic development.

Morton stated that an inventory was underway on research projects at NDSU and UND. He said the timing for NexusND was great. He added that for Microsoft in Fargo, where he is a site leader, there was massive interest in business development in the area.

“It will be interesting to see where all this goes,” he said. “As you look down the road you can see that we need all 11 campuses. You’ll need trained personnel. Working together not only brings out the best in all of us, it brings out the best in each of us.”

Hagerott said there had been a wonderful response from the five western schools under the Bakken U initiative. One $5,000 scholarship had been awarded under Bakken U, Minot had awarded its own scholarships, and both Williston and Dickinson were working on scholarships of their own.

Intellectual property

Heads of research from the two research institutions spoke to the Board during the meeting on efforts at their respective universities to protect intellectual property.

Dr. Kelly Rusch, NDSU, noted that many times IP was used to refer to the creation of widgets, but that wasn’t necessarily accurate. She noted that it was most often defined as being research or the process of research. A research foundation at NDSU existed to, in part, help protect the intellectual property that was created there. She added that licensing revenue had hit an all-time high of nearly $2.6 million through dozens of patents.

Dr. Grant McGimpsey, UND, discussed intellectual property at UND, noting that from his experience it was typically a result of federal research funding and often required a ‘market push’ when what researchers were hoping for was a ‘market pull.’ He said that an expanded IP strategy at UND was to be both open for business and open to business, adding that a corporate engagement effort could lead companies to partnerships with the university.

Trustees named

A nonprofit foundation aimed at supporting higher education in the state was given new life during the Board meeting.

The SBHE unanimously approved five trustees who were named to guide the North Dakota University System Foundation into the future. The foundation had been dormant until recent years when interest piqued in bringing it back to life as a fundraising arm of the NDUS.

Those named as candidates for the foundation are Dr. Larry Skogen, Bismarck State College president; John Backes, attorney with McGee Law Firm; Mike Warner, found and board member of Pedigree Technology; Sen. Erin Oban, and Rep. Cynthia Schreiber Beck. As per foundation by-laws, the SBHE president and vice president will also serve as trustees. However, SBHE Vice President Don Morton has expressed a desire to relinquish his trustee position. Due to that, Dr. Kevin Melicher was suggested as his replacement. Hagerott will serve as an ex-officio, non-voting trustee.

SBHE President Kathleen Neset and Melicher will serve as trustees for the duration of their term with the Board. Skogen, Backes and Warner will hold four-year terms. Oban and Schreiber Beck will each hold two-year terms.

All candidates were approved for inclusion as named trustees to the foundation.

Originally founded in 1991 and having 501(c)(3) status, the Foundation exists with a broad purpose of supporting, enriching, advancing and improving higher education in the state of North Dakota. The stated goal of the Foundation is to “provide a mechanism to collect donations from companies and individuals who want to support higher education, as a whole, in North Dakota and fund larger, system wide initiatives, such as Bakken U or Cybersecurity.

Other business

Dr. Richard Rothaus brought forward a request from UND for Dr. and Mrs. Robert Kelley to be named as President Emeritus and First Lady Emeritus of the university. Rothaus said that the request was in line with policy and had much precedent. Morton and Hagerott said they felt the request was both appropriate and fitting, and should be granted. The Board unanimously approved the request.

Hagerott noted that there would be cost savings in the near future by moving NDUS personnel from their current office space in the Horizon building near BSC to offices in the state capitol.

The Board also heard brief updates on the search for the NDUS Compliance Officer and Director of Audit Services, positions which had been offered to, and accepted by, Karol Riedman and Laura Anne Schratt, respectively.

In other business the Board approved the consent agendas for the Budget, Finance and Facilities Committee, as well as for the Academic and Student Affairs Committee. It also held the first readings of policies HR 13 (employment of relatives), 402.1 (first-year applicants), the first reading and adoption of policies 608.2 (NDUS employee non-renewal and dismissal), 703.1 (early retirement), 707 (severance pay), and it held the second readings of policies HR 2 (appointments), HR 5 (pay policy), 820 (tuition waivers/tuition assistance) and 402.11 (test of high school equivalency).

The Board also changed the dates for the May meeting to May 23-24, and rescheduled the July retreat to June. The next Board meeting will take place March 15 at UND.

Joint meeting ‘historic’ between lawmakers, Board

Informational sharing meeting highlights challenges and successes for higher ed

Rep. Mark Sanford and State Board of Higher Education Chair Kathleen Neset listen to testimony during the joint meeting of the Interim Legislative Higher Education Committee and the SBHE.

Rep. Mark Sanford and State Board of Higher Education Chair Kathleen Neset listen to testimony during the joint meeting of the Interim Legislative Higher Education Committee and the SBHE.

An historic meeting took place this week that helped lay new foundations for higher education in North Dakota as the State Board of Higher Education and Interim Legislative Higher Education Committee heard updates on the university system.

During the morning meeting held at North Dakota State University’s Alumni Center prior to the regular SBHE meeting, lawmakers and Board members alike heard details on how university system representatives do everything from conduct student outreach to offering financial aid to what types of programs are available.

Kathy Neset, chair of the SBHE, called the meeting an historic event. She added that the Board greatly appreciated the input and shared vision from the legislators.

“This is an historic day that we are all working together and I will continue to say that we’re working together for the betterment of students and young people of North Dakota – that is truly our focus here,” Neset said. “This demonstrates a new spirit of collaboration between higher ed and the legislature. We all want what’s best for our students and the state of North Dakota. We’ll work together to achieve that.”

Later in the meeting, Rep. Mark Sanford, chairman of the Interim Legislative Higher Education Committee, provided some statistics that helped paint the picture of higher education in the state, including how appropriations had increased since 2009 and tuition had leveled off. He noted that was due, in part at least recently, to agreements between the Board and the Legislature for the current biennium. He added that in the last few years the tuition rate had gone down when compared to the national average, the appropriation rate was “among the finest in the country” and operational revenue sources for the state were 12th in the nation.

“That gives you the reality of where we are today, which is probably pretty close to where we want to be,” Sanford said. “We’re doing a pretty good job of providing revenues for higher ed and its balanced out a little bit more to where we’re not as reliant on tuition as we used to be.

“It definitely gives us a jump-off point of where we want to go,” he added.

Presentations from NDUS representatives throughout the day’s proceedings included statewide student outreach efforts through the ND Choose initiative, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process and federal student financial assistance.

Following that were presentations on basic student costs and how they compared to regional and national averages, to include student tuition and fees, and student room and board rates. Later, details were provided on financial assistance programs from the state, such as state grants, state scholarships, and student loan and loan forgiveness programs.

Additionally, local financial assistance in the forms of institution scholarships and institution work opportunities were discussed at length before representatives moved into presentations on student debt issues and student success measures.

Richard Rothaus, interim vice chancellor of academic and student affairs, said that North Dakota had the some of the best transferability in the nation in regards to students being able to move between institutions. He added that it helped our students complete their own educations successfully, and ahead of national averages.

“Seventy percent of our students stay in North Dakota after graduation,” Rothaus said. “Nationally, less than 35 percent of students graduate within four years.”

Tammy Dolan, chief financial officer, said students within the university system’s 11 public colleges and universities typically fared better financially than the national average.

“Students from North Dakota graduate with less debt on average than the rest of the nation,” she said.

In the last hour of the joint meeting, healthy discussion commenced among members of the committee and the Board on waivers, having a diverse student body and more.

Rep. Roscoe Streyle began that discussion by asking after the value of providing tuition waivers to international students. Discussion covered ground on how bringing in international students was good for both the student body and the area’s workforce, as well as what they returned to the schools.

Board member Dr. Kevin Melicher added that nearly half of the 11 proposals for federal funding on research projects had come from international students conducting research at a state university.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott took the opportunity to provide a few details to the Joint Board on a study underway regarding tuition and fees, which included waivers. Hagerott added that the issue was complex and that the system was working on it diligently. He hoped to address the topic further at the educational summit scheduled for this May titled Envision 2030.

To close out presentations, the Legislative Council staff provided a memorandum summarizing historical student tuition rates throughout the university system and state appropriations for higher education.

All involved indicated their hopes for the joint meeting to be the first of many to come in the future regarding higher education in the state.