Monthly Archives: March 2016

Advisory council moving ahead

A new council has been created that will provide recommendations to higher education in North Dakota based on the ever-changing needs of the workforce.

Comprised of business and industry leaders from throughout the state, the Workforce Education Advisory Council came together for the first time in January in a series of organizational meetings that helped refine the focus of the advisory body. With many workforce-related issues the council to weigh in on, WEAC will work toward refined recommendations that give the State Board of Higher Education and North Dakota University System an idea of the workforce needs of today and tomorrow.

The board was created through legislative action in the 64th Legislative Assembly to “advise the board regarding skills and qualifications needed for workforce training, vocational, and technical education programs offered by institutions under the control of the board.” Makeup of the council is mandated to include one representative from the Department of Career and Technical Education, one representative of Job Service North Dakota, one representative of the Department of Commerce, and eight members representing business and industry who are appointed by the Chairman of the Legislative Management.

Bios received by publication deadline include those below:


Wayde SickWayde Sick, 

Director of Workforce Development, N.D. Department of Commerce

Wayde Sick is the Director of Workforce Development at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. Sick is responsible for carrying out activities that support and promote efforts to meet North Dakota’s workforce needs.  In his position he is also the executive director of the federally mandated State Commission on National and Community Service that oversees the administration of the Federal AmeriCorps program. Sick has been a member of a number or organizations and boards such as the North Dakota Workforce Leadership Team, Governor’s Workforce Development Council, the North Dakota Early Childhood Education Council and the Succeed 2020 Steering Committee to name a few. Prior to  starting at Commerce in 2012, he has 12 years of experience in the education field as an instructor and administrator at the Burdick Job Corps Center in Minot and the School Director at the Missouri Valley Montessori School in Bismarck. Sick has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science Education and Master’s in Management, both from Minot State University.

“The Workforce Education Advisory Council is another key component in North Dakota that will continue to build partnerships between workforce development, Higher Education and the private sector,” Sick noted.


Wayne Kutzer,

Director and Executive Officer, N.D. Department of Career and Technical Education

Wayne Kutzer is the Director and Executive Officer for the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education, where he has served since 2000. After college Kutzer spent nine years in the private sector, entered the education profession and spent 16 years at the Southeast Area Career and Technology Center in Oakes as teacher and ultimately as director. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Career and Technical Education from the University of North Dakota. He currently serves on numerous boards and councils, including the N.D. Workforce Development Council, Workforce Leadership Team, the two year campuses’ College Technical Education Council, N.D. Educational Technology Council. Kutzer also served on the national Board of Directors for DECA, and SkillsUSA, as well as the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Directors for Career and Technical Education.

“The importance of this council is providing a direct connection between business and industry’s need for a skilled workforce and the Board of Higher Education who oversees the campuses deliver it,” Kutzer said.


Mark AndersonMark R. Anderson

President and CEO, Mainstream Investors, LLC

Mark R. Anderson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mainstream Investors, LLC, a non-operating oil and gas company focused on energy production in North Dakota’s Williston Basin.  Mr. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Advertising from the University of North Dakota.

Prior to forming Mainstream Investors in 2012, Anderson spent 20 years working in the financial services industry, where he served in a variety of roles, including operations, account administration, new business development and executive leadership. In addition to his service on the Workforce Education Advisory Council, Anderson has provided leadership to several local and state service organizations, including Minot Exchange Club, Scandinavian Heritage Association, Minot Area Community Foundation and Greater North Dakota Chamber.

Anderson believes that North Dakota’s economic development will be increasingly dependent upon its ability to blend the workforce needs of business and industry with the program delivery of the Department of Public Instruction and North Dakota University System.


Steve McNally

General Manager – North Dakota, Hess

Mr. Steve McNally has been the General Manager, North Dakota since 2012. At this point in his career, he has worked in on every continent of the globe outside of Antartica.  With Hess, he has served as the Country Manager of Jakarta Indonesia, and General Manager Equatorial Guinea.

Mr. McNally has a BSC in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick and speaks two languages.  He and his wife Fiona have four children and currently reside in Minot, N.D.

McNally states that having a qualified workforce remains one of the keys to continued economic growth for the state.

“Progress has been made in attracting people to move to North Dakota, however, there is still work to be done to meet the every evolving skills  and training required by many industries in the state,” McNally said. “The WEAC will provide guidance to maintain the highest quality education system in the nation.”


GiesenCheri Giesen

Executive Director, Job Service N.D.

Cheri Giesen is the executive director of Job Service North Dakota, which delivers specific services to targeted workforce sectors, administers the state and federal unemployment insurance program, and provides comprehensive labor market information. Giesen attended the University of Mary where she earned a M.A. degree in Business Management, B.S. degrees in Computer Information Systems and Accounting, a minor in Business Administration, and a certificate of leadership. Giesen has more than 20 years of experience in organizational and information technology management. Giesen held management positions within North Dakota state government for the Attorney General’s office, the Supreme Court, and the Department of Transportation. Giesen’s information technology management positions include Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Job Service’s information technology department.

Giesen is a member of the Workforce Development Council, Career and Technical Education (CTE) board, State Information Technology Advisory Committee (SITAC), Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) committee, the North Dakota Cyber Security Taskforce and ex-officio member of the Administrative Committee on Veteran Affairs (ACOVA).

Giesen notes that WEAC is important for the state, now more than ever, due to the growth in new and current industries across the state. Through WEAC, the state can ensure that educational programs are available to meet the state’s workforce needs.


Tom ShormaThomas D. Shorma
CEO, WCCO Belting

Thomas D. Shorma is CEO/President of WCCO Belting, Inc. located in Wahpeton, a position he has held since 2002. WCCO Belting, Inc. is a privately owned manufacturer of agricultural and industrial rubber belting and conveyor products.

Prior to joining WCCO, Mr. Shorma was Founder and President of TEAM Marketing, Inc.  Shorma is a business, marketing, advertising graduate and football alumni of the University of North Dakota (1980) and the North Dakota State College of Science (1978). Most recently, he has been involved in several national, state, and local organizations including: The Valley Prosperity Partnership; The North Dakota Regional Workforce Training Council (Past Chairman); The North Dakota District Export Council (Chairman); The North Dakota Trade Office Board of Directors; The Skills & Technology Training Center / Fargo (Past Vice-Chairman); A member of the North Dakota Roundtable for Higher Education; The North Dakota State College of Science Foundation Board (Past President); The Richland / Wilkin United Way (Board Member), and The Wahpeton Optimist Club (Past President).

Tom lives in Fargo, North Dakota and is married to Julie Shorma (Fisher) with four children, Karley (28) – UND class of 2010, Cassie (24) – NDSCS class of 2013, Maggie (10) and Thomas / TJ (9).


GaylonGaylon Baker

Executive Vice President, Stark Development Corporation

Gaylon Baker is the Executive Vice President of Stark Development Corporation and is a native of Jamestown, N.D. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and a Master of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning from North Dakota State University. He joined Stark Development Corporation in 1995.

He formerly was the President of the Duluth Greater Downtown Council and the Executive Director of South Central Dakota Regional Council.

He is Past President of the Economic Development Association of North Dakota. Served as Rotary President in 2007-2008. He has also served on the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was Treasurer of the Information Technology Council of North Dakota.  He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Mid America Economic Development Council.

He received the Governor’s Choice Award, Professional Developer of the year in 2004 and the Greater North Dakota Association, Business and Industrial Development Award in 1999. He and his wife, Barbara, have four children, Amy, James, Brandi, and Anna.

“North Dakota has fallen behind in the provision of the breadth and convenience of workforce preparation that we see in neighboring states,” Baker said. “This is one of the most vertical economic development issues we face right now.”


mjlMarvin Lein

CEO, Mid Dakota Clinic

Marvin Lein is the current Chief Executive Officer for the Mid Dakota Clinic. He has 25 years of senior healthcare management experience, with a passion for delivering a superior customer experience. He has a Masters of Science in Business Administration/Marketing from Colorado State University, a Masters of Healthcare Administration from University of Colorado Denver, is the ACMPE Forum Representative for North Dakota (ACMPE association member education/certification program; is a Certified Medical Practice Executive by the American College of Medical Practice Executives, and is a member of American College of Healthcare Executives.


Media Coverage Summary – March 24, 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, March 25.


Bismarck State College
BSC Summer Session registration begins March 21
Community raku prep underway at BSC
Volk awarded BSC’s Jack Fellowship
BSC musical ‘Legally Blonde’ opens April 6

Dakota College at Bottineau
St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation Awards

Dickinson State University
DSU to offer merit based scholarships for fall 2016
International Club at DSU hosts Taste of Nations April 1
Two DSU students receive Research Experience for Undergraduates Awards

Lake Region State College
Training series offered in Pembina and Walsh County

Mayville State University
North Dakota General Education Summit
Students share Mayville State personal service across the country during spring break

Minot State University
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Creative costuming: DeVera Bowles creates amazing costumes
Why not Minot? After 4th straight ACHA Elite 8 appearance, Regier dreaming of Division I jump for MSU hockey
Polish university could send students to Minot this fall

North Dakota State College of Science
Where to go after graduation?
NDSCS awards over 60 Scholarships to area Students
Hires and promotions
Wahpeton graduates share a scholarly nomination

North Dakota State University
CHS announces $2.5 million gift to NDSU
How being busy became a badge of honor
NDSU students selected to participate in Clinton Global Initiative University
Registration open for Summer STEM Kids Camps
Architecture students to display birdhouse projects

University of North Dakota
Water wars
Elite exposure
Three’s Company for UND Innovation Fellows
Christina Wenko,’12, Named President of SWJD Bar Association
Northeast Regional Science and Engineering Fair awards
Medical students match up

Valley City State University
VCSU Scholarship Auction set for April 15

Williston State College
North Dakota Challenge Fund Contributes to WSC Successful Scholarship Programs

North Dakota University System
Smart schools, smart state: Interview with Chancellor Mark Hagerott

Bismarck State College campus successes – March

BSC student chosen for national fellowship program

Katie Winbauer, a Bismarck native and BSC student, was selected for a Washington D.C., journalism fellowship. The North Dakota Newspaper Association board of directors chose Winbauer from a field of eight for the two-day fellowship that will focus on reporting about the war on terrorism.


Huber selected for national post

Lane Huber, BSC’s chief distance learning and military affairs officer, was chosen president-elect by the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME). Huber will become president of the CCME in March 2017. He’ll work with policy makers in the Department of Defense, military education officers, and his counterparts at colleges and universities.


Report shows 98 percent placement rate

According to BSC’s 2014-15 First Destination Report, 98 percent of BSC career and technical program graduates are employed or continuing their education.

Out of 40 programs reporting, 30 report 100 percent placement among students surveyed. Of respondents from BSC’s nursing, HVAC, medical administrative assistant, engineering technology, automotive collision technology, and agriculture programs, 89% are employed in their line of work in ND.

Dakota College at Bottineau campus successes – March


The 2015-2016 Campus Read project features The Circle by Dave Eggers, a futuristic book about personal privacy in a world made transparent by a controlling internet.  Previous Campus Read events this year included a presentation on the available technology services on the DCB Campus, a presentation on the dangers of social media and identify theft, and a student panel discussion regarding attitudes and usage of social media. Chancellor Hagerott was invited to speak on cybersecurity issues related to Egger’s novel.  Because of his academic and professional experiences related to cybersecurity, Dr. Hagerott was uniquely qualified to speak to this topic.  In his presentation, The Chancellor cited examples of how technology has impacted societies throughout history.  He especially pointed out today’s vulnerabilities involved in protecting data and the increasing use of intelligent machines and massive clouds of information.



The Dakota College campus and faculty served as hosts for a North Central Education Cooperative (NCEC) professional education workshop on Water Education for Teachers (WET). Supported through a collaboration of the NCEC, DCB, the Water Education for Teachers project and Succeed 2020, the outcome of the workshop was the development of hands-on teaching techniques that could be used by high school and elementary school teachers in various educational disciplines.  Educators from St. John, Westhope, MLS – Mohall, Lansford, Sherwood, TGU Granville, TGU Towner, Bottineau and Drake – Anamoose participated in the workshop.



The DCB Lumberjack community celebrated the DCB Hockey Team’s NJCAA Region XIII win and ultimately, the National NJCAA Hockey Championship.  This is the DCB’s ninth national NJCAA hockey title. The DCB hockey team entered the 2015-16 season as a young team with seventeen freshmen. The Jacks won the national championship in an overtime victory over Erie (N.Y.) in Binghamton, NY.  This gave the Lumberjacks their first national title since 2010

Dickinson State University campus successes – March

DSU students volunteer to meet needs of Dickinson community

In early January, Perzen Polishwalla, the director of international programs at Dickinson State University, received a special request. Representatives from Dickinson’s Community Action and Head Start programs were in desperate need of translators for French, African, Vietnamese and Spanish languages and were hoping the students, staff and faculty of DSU would be able to help. And they were right!

Polishwalla quickly sent an email notification to DSU constituents alerting them of the need and requesting that interested individuals contact her. The response was overwhelming. Currently, Dickinson State University has had international students from Tunisia, Nigeria, Mali, Rwanda and Canada volunteer their translation services.


Senator Heitkamp visits with honors students at DSU

Dickinson State University’s Theodore Roosevelt Honors Leadership class spoke to North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp Feb. 9, via video teleconference. She wanted to talk to the honors students about the millennial generation and ask them what it would take to retain them in western North Dakota. She also encouraged the students to take courses in the humanities, adding that many successful business leaders have majored in areas such as philosophy and religion.


Dickinson State theatre students receive KCACTF awards

Each year, Dickinson State University’s theatre program participates in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. This year, several DSU theatre students were nominated and received awards for their participation in a DSU production. Madison Rhoades received the Merit Award for Excellence in Stage Management for her outstanding work as a stage manager for the fall production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” The entire cast of the same production also received an Ensemble Acting Award, an award that is given to casts that are consistently strong.

Lake Region State College campus successes – March

Theater students recognized

Lake Region State College students recently were recognized for acting ability and creativity in costume design and construction.

Bailey Pelchat and Paige Prekker received the Irene Ryan acting scholarship nomination for their performances in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. Hannah Hardcastle, who also starred in the show, will be nominated for a certificate of Merit in Costume design/construction for her work with costuming. The nominations came after a review of their latest production Five Women Wearing the Same Dress March 3-6 at LRSC’s Robert Fawcett Auditorium.

The competition will take place at the American College Theatre Festival January 22-28, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition provides financial assistance and recognition to outstanding student performers who plan to continue their education. The students will prepare two scenes and a monologue and will compete against nearly 400 other students from the region of North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The top two winners receive a scholarship and the top prize also includes an invitation to the national scholarship competition.


Baby Boomers go to college

A nationwide program involving 100 community colleges has assisted thousands of baby boomers in going to college and earning degrees and certificates to improve their employability.

Researchers found that 15,800 students age 50 and up have participated in workforce development courses through the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, a grant program involving 100 community colleges across the country coordinated by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The program ran from 2012 to 2015.

Lake Region State College in Devils Lake was one of the participating colleges, with students entering the nursing program.


Retired coach inducted into national hall of fame

The NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced its 2016 Hall of Fame class that included former Lake Region State (N.D.) head coach Duane Schwab.

Originally as a student-athlete then followed by various coaching positions for an assortment of teams from, to being the head coach of the men’s basketball program for two seasons till his retired in 2014, Duane Schwab’s service and tenure with Lake Region State spans over 30 years.

The majority of Schwab’s tenure with Lake Region State was spent as the head coach of the women’s basketball team, a position he held for 25 seasons. Over that stretch, he guided the program to nine NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship appearances and finished the season with 20 or more wins 16 times.

Mayville State University campus successes – March

Spring enrollment sets record

The final spring semester headcount at Mayville State is at 1,044 students. This tops records set during the last four spring semesters, and represents an 11% increase since the record-setting trend began in 2012. This is the third-time-ever that spring semester enrollment has been over the 1,000-student mark at MaSU.


MaSU students travel

“The School of Personal Service” is being personified across the country as MaSU students travel to Courtland, Va. and Washington, D.C., stopping along the way in Illinois and Indiana, during spring break. Students are extending community connections, providing services to those in need, and building social and professional relationships and skills.


MaSU students excel at DECA

Several MaSU students excelled at the North Dakota Collegiate DECA Career Development Conference, where they competed against their peers from eight North Dakota colleges and universities in business-related events. A number of MaSU students qualified for the International Competition in Washington, D.C. in April. The MaSU group also earned several individual and chapter awards.

Minot State University campus successes – March

Largest gift in MSU history will support Severson Entrepreneurship Academy

The College of Business announced a milestone gift Feb. 9 of $2 million from alumnus Clint Severson and Conni Ahart. The largest gift in Minot State University’s history, it will endow the entrepreneurship program.

Severson is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Abaxis, a medical devices company based in northern California. He is the 2007 Forbes Entrepreneur of the Year and a 1973 MSU graduate.

SEA engages students from multiple disciplines, not just business fields. Students from non-business fields like history, broadcasting and art bring their skills and viewpoints to projects and students and the community benefit. MSU will apply for a $1 million matching grant from the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Grant Program.



Recently, the U.S. News & World Report reported Minot State University’s College of Business online graduate and undergraduate online programs ranked among the country’s best online education programs. Recognizing the growing significance of online education in the university experience and the unique, numerous factors involved in making online degree programs successful, U.S. News released its annual “Top Online Education Programs” rankings.

Among universities reporting their graduate business program practices, the CoB’s online Master of Science in management and Master of Science in information systems ranked 78th in the nation for “Best Online Graduate Business Programs.” CoB ranked 191st for “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.”


Business students gain knowledge in network security

College of Business students who major in management information systems learned the latest about network security from industry leader North River IT, a Palo Alto Networks partner.

Chaz Hager, North River IT owner, focused on perimeter and edge network security. Discussions included firewall products and security solutions to detect, identify and mitigate threats many businesses don’t know exist. Hager also shared his experiences with actual network security, explaining how he helps clients with today’s ever-changing security needs.

North Dakota State College of Science campus successes – March

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 – March

NDSU researchers to receive major grant to establish pancreatic cancer research center

NDSU researchers Sanku Mallik and D.K. Srivastava are receiving an Institutional Development Award Center for Biomedical Research Excellence grant of up to $9.62 million. The grant is being used to establish a research center aimed at early diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. The center will support the research of three junior investigators and will help recruit other researchers interested in complementary areas of pancreatic cancer research.


NDSU students clone tumors for personalized cancer treatments

Prajakta Kulkarni and Matthew Confeld, who are pharmaceutical sciences students, are working on a method to clone tumors, so treatment can be tested outside of a cancer patient’s body. This will help find the optimal treatment and reduce side effects. Kulkarni and Confeld won first place in the service category of NDSU’s annual student innovation competition.


NDSU researcher earns major award for game-changing wind energy study

Nilanjan Ray Chaudhuri has received a $502,810 National Science Foundation CAREER award to study a system to more reliably and efficiently integrate wind energy into the grid. “North Dakota is uniquely positioned to lead the wind energy integration efforts in the nation. The proposed research is very timely and has the potential to act as a game changer in solving different energy challenges not only in the U.S., but the rest of the world.”

University of North Dakota campus successes – March

UND History Professor Writes Book on Nuclear Weapons

University of North Dakota History Professor Albert Berger— a long-time teacher and researcher about atomic weapons — just released Life and Times of the Atomic Bomb: Nuclear Weapons and the Transformation of Warfare, a book about this compelling subject.  Berger, who’s been teaching a class on atomic weapons regularly since 1988, tells this story in 260 pages.


UND Law School Reaccreditation Successful

The University of North Dakota School of Law recently received its clearance letter from the American Bar Association (ABA) Accreditation Committee, formally completing the 2014 reaccreditation visit and certifying it to continue as an ABA-approved school.  The completion of the recent $14.4 million building addition and renovation was the critical piece in securing the final approval.


Hundreds Help UND Make North Dakota’s First Phone Call to the International Space Station

Hundreds of public school children joined the University of North Dakota Student Amateur Radio Association and the UND-based North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC), in collaboration with Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), at UND for North Dakota’s first phone call to space.  About 300 K-12 students from schools around the region plus several UND undergraduate and graduate students had a 10-minute window students will get to ask questions.after amateur radio operators called the ISS.

Valley City State University campus successes – March

President Mason receives two honors

VCSU President Tisa Mason recently received two honors. She was named one of Prairie Business magazine’s 2016 Top 25 Women in Business in the March 2016 issue of the magazine, which recognizes successful businesswomen in the northern plains region who have made significant impacts in their chosen professions, industries and communities. President Mason also received the Pillars of the Profession award from the NASPA Foundation in Indianapolis March 14 as part of the 2016 annual conference of NASPA: Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education. The Pillars of the Profession award recognizes outstanding members of the student affairs and higher education community who have served as teachers, leaders and scholars in the field.


VCSU contingent attends fisheries meeting

Andre DeLorme, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Science; Casey Williams, Ph.D., assistant professor; and Louis Wieland, lab manager, along with 16 VCSU fisheries and wildlife science students, attended the 2016 annual meeting of the Dakota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) in Spearfish, S.D., from Feb. 1–3. The annual meeting provides an opportunity for professors to keep current on fisheries science issues and provides learning and networking opportunities for students.


Gjovik recognized in ITEEA’s 2016 Leaders to Watch

Peder Gjovik, chair of the VCSU Department of Technology and co-director of the Don Mugan CTE Leadership Center, was recognized in the March issue of Technology and Engineering Teacher magazine as a 2016 Leader to Watch. The recognition is conferred on individuals who have “shown outstanding leadership ability as educators early in their careers.”

Williston State College campus successes – March

WSC Foundation Announces New Regional Scholarship for Fall 2016

At a time when students can expect, on average, $35,000 in debt after four years in college, Williston State College’s new Regional County Scholarship will provide two years of paid tuition and fees to the region’s high school classes of 2016. Building on the success of the Williams County Graduate (WCG) Scholarship, the Williston State College (WSC) Foundation will extend scholarships to include the 2016 high school graduating classes in Burke, Divide, McKenzie, and Mountrail Counties.


Spring Enrollment up again at Williston State College

For the second year in a row, Williston State College (WSC) has broken its spring enrollment record, based on the fourth week census totals released Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Full-time students have increased by 21% over 2015, leading to a 14% increase of scheduled credit hours. WSC scheduled credit hours have jumped from 8,780.5 (Spring 2015) to 10,026.5 (Spring 2016). Last spring, WSC had seen only a 4.75% increase of scheduled credit hours when they set their previous spring enrollment record.


WSC Students Recognized by ALEKS

Five students at Williston State College (WSC) were awarded Certificates of Achievement from Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) this January.

Media Coverage Summary – March 18, 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, March 18.


Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College to host energy open house
BSC faculty exhibit reception set for March 24

Dakota College at Bottineau
Are Your Electronic Devices Secure?

Dickinson State University
DSU’s Ty Orton to be featured on NBC-TV
DSU Ranked Among Best Value Colleges for Online Accounting Degree
Stark Development Corporation donates 50K to DSU Heritage Foundation

Lake Region State College
Drama students recognized
Kelsey Schlenk first four-time national qualifier
Marketing students advance

Mayville State University
SMHS Dean attends MSU concert
The halls are alive with the sound of music
DECA members successful at state conference
Sparkling Affair 2016 is a dazzling experience
HPER facility replacement project reaches completion 

Minot State University
MSU event on fracking in America
‘Scan Day’ To Preserve Historical Materials
Books all around: Val Stadick surrounds herself with books
Authors rail against fracking at MSU event
MSU theater’s ‘heart and soul’ delivers final act
Science Olympiad At MSU
Polish University Could Enter Co-op with MSU

North Dakota State College of Science
Nelson named executive director of Alumni/Foundation
Nelson promoted at NDSCS
Student news
Length, amount of credits for nursing program to be adjusted
NDSCS promotes Vangsness Frisch to lead new Student Affairs Area
NDSCS-Fargo to hold Program Preview Day for prospective Students

North Dakota State University
NDSU launches center to study diagnosis, treatment of pancreatic cancer
NDSU event encourages nontraditional students to consider higher education
NDSU students are cloning tumors for personalized cancer treatments
NDSU expert launches online game to help homeowners save energy
NDSU to hold W-Challenge writing contest
Nursing professor to serve on tribal health advisory committee
‘Women Behind the Plow’ exhibit to be featured at NDSU Library
Two NDSU students doing work that can potentially change cancer treatments… with just a 3D printer
NDSU offering evening of educational possibilities for women
NDSU statisticians come up with a model to predict the NCAA Tournament
Out of India: Ag agent serves Cavalier County from Langdon
McNair Scholar finds niche through undergraduate research opportunities
North Dakota students earn national art and writing awards
NDSU center to host Midwest Sales Symposium

University of North Dakota
State Board of Higher Education appoints Mark Kennedy UND president
Gender genetics
Atomic tales
‘As we are’
Science Day is Saturday, April 23
Jondle to present at annual meeting of the American Association of Immunologists
UND’s Saleh Faruque publishes another ‘Made Easy’ book for his series electrical engineering concepts
Nominations sought for Kupchella Preventive Medicine and Wellness Awards
Hundreds of region’s K-12 students to experience radio connection with astronauts on the ISS

Valley City State University
VCSU: A Learner-Centered Organization

Williston State College
Easter Bunny Visits WSC
Diesel Technology Instructor Receives Two ASE Certifications
Two New WSC Employees on United Way Board

North Dakota University System
Board talks goals, budget
Board names Kennedy next UND president
CTS: Don’t get hooked by ‘phishers’
Foundation members named

A Nexus of Change

Mark Hagerott - North Dakota University System Chancellor

Mark Hagerott – North Dakota University System Chancellor

Much has happened already these first few months of 2016, and it all points to another milestone year for higher education in North Dakota.

Albert Einstein famously said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” The quote’s longevity is a reflection of its substance, and I believe it aptly fits the changing landscape of higher education. For the North Dakota University System there have already been numerous moments of change already this year.

One of those milestone moments was the naming of the Hon. Mark Kennedy as the 12th President of the University of North Dakota. Aside from having a great first name, the former Congressman has established for himself a distinguished record of public service. He’s no stranger to the academic world either, and currently serves as the professor of political management and director of the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Upon his selection, Kennedy stated that he was humbled and honored to serve as the next UND president, and that he understands the importance of quality education for students and research that impacts the community, state and nation. I’m looking forward to having him as part of the university system team, and am confident that we will see UND flourish under his leadership.

Kennedy’s selection as president was but one of many changes that will likely affect the North Dakota University System. Another is a drive forward to help the state and university system help embrace tech-related economic growth as we position ourselves as cyber-leaders of tomorrow.

That change can be known as Nexus ND, which encompasses three efforts based around Cybersecurity, High Performance Computing, and Unmanned Aerial Systems. In addition to Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s creation of the first-ever Cybersecurity Task Force, this past week’s N.D. Cybersecurity Conference at North Dakota State University indicates an increased focus on the creation and securing of digital applications and information networks.

I was fortunate enough to attend the conference at NDSU and speak with many participants on myriad topics. The enthusiasm is high for the potential our research universities, regional universities and community colleges hold for fostering in this tech-driven change to our landscape, both in a digital sense and in an economic one.

Our research universities have developed strong respective track records already concerning High Performance Computing and Unmanned Aerial Systems. Both HPC and UAS are poised to be at the center of many of tomorrow’s industries, from agriculture to energy, businesses large and small. Developed programs such as Computer Information, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at our two- and four-year schools also provide a great opportunity to gain the skills necessary to be one of the 6,500-and-growing employees of the nearly 350 tech-related businesses that are here already.

Nexus ND will integrate all 11 university campuses to produce more computer scientists, IT experts, and a new Cyber Security degree, among the first in the nation. The graduates of our universities will help staff our businesses and government, and it promises to be an interesting time for the state, and the system. There will be much more news in the future as the Nexus ND initiative progresses through university-business-employer events to hear all your ideas.

Board talks goals, budget

Budget allotments, Envision 2030 meeting among agenda items at State Board of Higher Education meeting

State Board of Higher Education members and Chancellor Mark Hagerott listened intently to candidates during the final phase of the UND Presidential Search, which ultimately named the Hon. Mark Kennedy as the 12th President of UND.

State Board of Higher Education Chair Kathy Neset, Vice Chair Don Morton, and Chancellor Mark Hagerott listened intently to candidates during the final phase of the UND Presidential Search, which ultimately named the Hon. Mark Kennedy as the 12th President of UND. Photo by UND University Photographer Shawna Noel Schill.

After taking the morning to select the new president for the University of North Dakota, the State Board of Higher Education wasted no time in getting down to other important business this week. Among the most vital agenda items were updates on the presidents’ goal evaluations, the budget allotment and “Envision 2030,” a higher education summit.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott opened the topic of the presidents’ goals, and outlined the timeline for evaluating progress on the goals. The heads of the 11 public colleges and universities submitted goals aligned with the system’s strategic plan last fall and have been implementing them during the academic year at their respective institutions. Hagerott said he and Board Member Mike Ness and Valley City State President Tisa Mason are researching different approaches to conducting the evaluations and will present their recommendations to the Board at a future meeting.

Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan spoke briefly on budget allotments for the next biennium based on campus need. She said that university system staff would continue to monitor the State budget, with further reports issued to the Board on each step in the biennial budget process. Dolan later provided details for the current reports.

Vice Chancellor for Strategic Engagement Linda Donlin then opened up talks of strategy and the future with an overview of an education summit planned for May 23. The “Envision 2030” event will bring together leaders from the university system and Board, the legislature, state agencies and the business community for a one-day session in Bismarck aimed to lay the foundation for the future of higher education in the state.

After comparing the childhood experiences of today’s students and workers to the incoming preschoolers’ technology-driven world, Donlin challenged the Board.  “The question is: Will we be ready for the students of 2030?” she asked. “We want to get the people who care about our colleges and universities together in one spot … to have a very good discussion about where we are now, and where we’re going.”

Donlin said the event will feature a keynote address by Gov. Jack Dalrymple; a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities surrounding the demographics of the state from pre-school through retirement, led by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley; a discussion on the meaning of attainment in education, followed by inclusive breakout sessions tackling the state’s workforce needs, the impact of globalization, what the classroom of 2030 may look like, among other topics. Results of the summit will inform the Board’s strategic planning session in June.



In detailing the 2016-2017 annual budget, Dolan provided details on increases including salary guidelines and tuition rates. She noted that the 2016-17 salary guidelines provided that campus/entity-wide average salary increases could not exceed a maximum of three percent for permanent employees.

Dakota College at Bottineau, Dickinson State University, Mayville State University, Minot State University, North Dakota State College of Science, University of North Dakota, Valley City State University and Williston State College have proposed maximum tuition rate increases of 2.5 percent. North Dakota State University would increase 2.4 percent. Lake Region State College would increase 2.0 percent, and Bismarck State College would increase 1.9 percent. The University of North Dakota Medical School, which is not subject to the legislative tuition increase cap, would increase 3.0 percent. Full campus budgets are due to the university system office by early June.

Board member Nick Hacker led discussion on student fees, touching on how the Board might administer fees for facilities or programs in the fairest manner.  He noted that many students might not utilize services or facilities but still have to pay those fees. Board members Greg Stemen and Kevin Melicher added their perspectives to the discussion, noting that it would be hard to say who did and who did not utilize any service or facility, and that impact to students was always up for review.


Public comment

Two students with the UND Music Therapy program then approached the Board, with an official statement on behalf of the program’s students regarding the proposed closure of the program. They noted that in the past week they were informed that the UND administration had planned to close the program. The students urged the Board to ask the University of North Dakota to reconsider the closure of the program.


Other business

The Board also held the first reading of policies 402 (delegation of admission authority), 402.1.1 (admission policies standardized test scores), 402.1.2 (Admission policies placement in college courses), HR 6 (annual leave) and HR 7 (sick leave). It also held the second readings of policy 402.1 (first-year applicants-certificate, diploma, and associate degree programs) and HR 13 (employment of relatives).

The Board also considered and approved honorary degrees from Bismarck State College, North Dakota State University and UND.

The Board also changed its May meeting from May 26 to May 23-24 to coincide with the Envision 2030 event in Bismarck. Board members also discussed changing the annual retreat from June 27-28 to June 16-17.

Board names Kennedy next UND president

The State Board of Higher Education today named the Hon. Mark Kennedy as the next president of the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota. Kennedy currently serves as a professor of political management and director of the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. His bio can be viewed here.

Mark Kennedy was named the 12th President of the University of North Dakota

Mark Kennedy was named the 12th President of the University of North Dakota

“I am honored and humbled to serve as the next president of UND. It is important to have quality education for students and research that impacts our community, state and nation. As a leader, I will be collaborative, accessible and seek input from all constituents to connect and have a shared vision for UND. We are focused on the future,” said Kennedy.

He said North Dakota’s universities and colleges are assets for the state. “I think we have a strong system in the state. All elements of the North Dakota University System need to be working together to ensure North Dakota stays in the lead. In my time on campus, I have been impressed with the focus on student success,” said Kennedy.

The search for the next UND president began mid-August after Dr. Robert Kelley announced his upcoming retirement.

“It’s obvious from the careful deliberations that the Board had a difficult decision to make – and for all the right reasons,” said Kathy Neset, chair of the State Board of Higher Education. “We had three very strong candidates, all good leaders, all people that are student centric and understand the value of higher education in making North Dakota strong. We made the best decision for UND at this time, and we are excited about the possibilities for the students, the university and the whole system. I want to thank the presidential search committee for all of the time and effort that was spent to ensure that we found the best fit for the UND community. The committee always kept in mind what was best for UND and with that, what was best for the students. I’d also like to thank Interim President Ed Schafer for his leadership of UND, especially as we have faced budget reductions across the board in higher education.”

The Presidential Search Committee was co-chaired by Dr. Hesham El-Rewini and Grant Shaft, who led the effort to interview semifinalists and forward its three recommendations for the position to the Board for final interviews.

“Thank you to all of the applicants that put the time and effort into the search process and were willing to put themselves under the microscope. I also thank all of the stakeholders that made the process inclusive and thorough, especially the committee members, as well as the NDUS and UND staff that were integral to the success of the search. Together this group helped shape the future of our university,” said El-Rewini. “The committee was impressed by Kennedy’s commitment to higher education and I know he will do an excellent job leading the university.”

Kennedy is the Founder and Chairman of the Economic Club of Minnesota and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Economic Club of Washington and the Chatham House in London. He is also affiliated with GWU’s Elliott School of International Affairs’ Institute for International Economic Policy.

Kennedy served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (R-Minn.) from 2001 to 2007 and established a reputation for bipartisanship. He served as a presidentially appointed trade advisor under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In business, he was senior vice president and treasurer of Macy’s, helped Pillsbury acquire Häagen Dazs and expand its markets around the world, and worked in a global role with Accenture.

Kennedy will take over as the 12th president of UND no later than July 1, 2016. He will succeed Dr. Robert Kelley who retired Jan. 14, 2016. Schafer is currently serving as interim president.

CTS: Don’t get hooked by ‘phishers’

Core Technology Services advises university system users to watch out for email scams


Some recent hacking attempts directed toward North Dakota University System email accounts have Core Technology Services leadership reminding users to remain vigilant.

Attempts to lure users to click on links in emails or offer personal or work information through falsified emails is commonly referred to as “phishing.” The attacker uses emails or malicious websites in an attempt to steal passwords or other credentials by pretending to be from a trustworthy organization. Thousands of these phishing attempts are made each day by financially-motivated cybercriminals.

Brad Miller, CTS director of information security, said one example of phishing could be a person claiming to be from the NDUS IT helpdesk requesting that the recipient click on a link to verify account information. The helpdesk does not request account verification through an email link, Miller advised.

“Many phishing attempts are blocked by spam filters, but a certain percentage of them occasionally make it through,” Miller said. “If the recipient clicks on the link and enters their username and password, the attacker can then access any systems or accounts that use these credentials.”

Due to the sheer volume of attempts, NDUS doesn’t track the total number reported or received. However, a few recent reported attempts have prompted system officials to remind users about the hidden dangers of such emails.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott drew on his experience at the Naval Academy’s Center for Cyber Security Studies to remind everyone in the system office and CTS to remain wary of any email soliciting information.

“These types of malicious hacking attempts are becoming more and more common throughout the world and help to emphasize the importance of cyber security,” Hagerott said. “While I have every confidence in our staff at CTS, security is everyone’s job, and we should all be aware of these new tactics that hackers and phishers are employing.”

Originally, phishing emails started as relatively unsophisticated mass mailings, but have evolved since then. While early methods to gather general data are still in use, now phishers are also employing “spear-phishing” methodologies, or those that directly target specific individuals, groups or organizations.

“The emails appear to come from someone known to the individual and have company logos and signature blocks that make the email look very convincing,” Miller warned. “Besides using email, cybercriminals will also call on the phone claiming to be from Microsoft or another reputable company, offering to fix computer problems or asking for personal information. Most of the phishing emails just try to get the recipient to reveal personal information by having them click on a link that leads to a website to collect the information, but sometimes the phishing websites will attempt to exploit the individual’s computer or install malicious programs designed to steal additional information.”

There are a few ways to recognize phishing emails including looking for improper spelling, bad grammar, or threatening language. Official-looking logos or graphics can easily be replicated, and should not be taken as a sign of legitimacy, nor should the “From” address field, which can be “spoofed.” The best advice is to never click on a link in an email or provide information on a website that looks or feels suspicious.

If a user suspects he or she is being targeted in a phishing attempt, Miller said the user should forward the email as an attachment to NDUS Information Security at Those emails could also be forwarded to the Federal Trade Commission at, or the Anti-Phishing Working Group at

“Often, reporting leads to investigation or notifications that can prevent others from falling victim to the phishing email,” Miller noted, adding that once the email is forwarded, delete it and don’t ever reply.

He said some basic tactics in dealing with any suspected phishing attempt include never giving your personal information out through email. If someone asks you to provide information over the phone, make sure you are providing it to authorized personnel.

If you believe you are a victim of a phishing attack:

  • If your NDUS username/password was involved, go to or contact the NDUS helpdesk at 866-457-6387 to change your password. If you use this same password on any of your other personal accounts, you may want to change those also, and remember never to use that password again.
  • If your financial accounts were compromised, contact your financial organization immediately for assistance.
  • Watch for other signs of identity theft – you can request a free credit report at

Media Coverage Summary – March 4, 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, March 4.


Bismarck State College
Conversations at BSC features American West and Bill Cody
BSC hosts artist reception for Shane Balkowitsch March 10
Bismarck State College accepts students for Spring 2016
Report shows BSC graduates fill needed roles in ND and beyond

Dakota College at Bottineau
DCB and MSU Meeting the Need for Nursing

Dickinson State University
DSU to offer engineering classes beginning fall 2016
DSU students volunteer to meet needs of Dickinson community
Department of Language and Literature faculty and student visit DHS

Lake Region State College
LRSC Playmakers Production opens March 3 in Robert Fawcett Auditorium

Mayville State University
After Hours social planned for March 15
A Sparkling Affair 2016 is a dazzling experience
The halls and corridors at MSU are alive with the sound of music!

Minot State University
MSU ‘Spread the Word to End the Word’
Bakken U’s Purpose
MSU Theater Professor’s Last Play
MSU History Department and Minot Public Library welcome the public to Scan Day on March 5

North Dakota State College of Science
Kim Nelson to lead NDSCS Alumni/Foundation

North Dakota State University
Students develop projects to solve real-world problems
Students’ innovations could mean opportunities for farmers
ND Lieutenant Governor toured NDSU’s facility on unmanned aircraft at NDSU Tuesday
NDSU student awarded Mid America CropLife Scholarship
Competition raises more than $4,500 for two families
NDSU students advance in financial analysis competition

University of North Dakota
Crafting a solution
Anti-racism speaker Tim Wise to spur meaningful dialogue during March 7 visit to UND
UND Digital Press releases ‘The Bakken Goes Boom’
UND Wildlife students earn state, national recognitions
Master of Public Health Program expands to Bismarck and Minot campuses
UND students take part in North Dakota Intercollegiate Band event in Jamestown

Valley City State University
President Mason to receive national student affairs award

Williston State College
Two New WSC Employees on United Way Board
Tetons Make Fifth Trip to Nationals
Teton National Champ Turns Pro, Tetons Head Back to Nationals

North Dakota University System
Title IX training held
Workshop provides planning focus

Foundation members named

The North Dakota University System Foundation wasted no time in 2016 getting ramped up for new fundraising efforts. After setting relatively dormant for a few years, the NDUS Foundation has sprung into life again after a State Board of Higher Education meeting when Foundation Board Members and Trustees were approved.

The NDUS Foundation was initially founded in 1991 as a 501(c)(3) organization with a broadly stated purpose of “…support, enrichment, advancement and improvement of higher education in the State of North Dakota…” It was created for the assistance of students, faculty, employees and officers in public higher education in North Dakota, and support of any of the programs, activities or services of the NDUS.

Its newest Board members bios are listed below.


Kathy NesetMs. Kathleen Neset, Trustee

Kathleen Neset is President of Neset Consulting Service, Inc., which provides well site geologic/geosteering services to the oil industry since 1980. She received a B.A. in Geology from Brown University and then went to work as a seismologist in Michigan. Neset worked for Core Laboratories in Texas and Wyoming. In 1979 she moved to North Dakota pursuing work as an independent petroleum geologist. She is owner of Neset Farms and formerly worked as a Tioga High School science teacher, a Tioga school board member and a substitute business manager at Tioga High School. Currently she manages wellsite geology and mudlogging crews throughout the Bakken and Northern Rockies Region.

Kathleen is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologist, Williston API, Dickinson API, North Dakota Petroleum Council Board of Directors, Bush Foundation, BSC Petroleum Technology Advisory Committee, UND Petroleum Engineering Advisory Committee, Tioga Golf & Country Club board, and St. Thomas Parish Council Secretary.





Dr. Kevin Melicher, State Board of Higher Education

Dr. Kevin Melicher, State Board of Higher Education

Dr. Kevin Melicher, Trustee

Kevin Melicher, OD, Fargo, N.D., is an optometrist at Eyecare Associates, P.C. who specializes in contact lenses, sports vision and refractive surgery consultations. Melicher attended North Dakota State University while completing his pre-optometry coursework and holds a doctor of optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry.

Melicher is no stranger to higher education. He’s been the Team Optometrist for NDSU Athletics since 1982, and served as an adjunct assistant professor of optometry at both Illinois College of Optometry and Pacific University College of Optometry. He also served on the Fargo School Board for eight years, including terms as board president, treasurer and negotiations leader, and as a member of the North Dakota Board of Optometry from 2011-2014. Melicher was named the 2013 North Dakota Optometrist of the Year and earned the Dakota Medical Foundation Star Award in 2014.




john backesMr. Jon Backes, Trustee

Jon Backes is the President of McGee, Hankla & Backes, P.C., a full service law firm operating continuously in Minot since 1901. Jon is North Dakota native, born in Grand Forks and raised in Minot. Backes graduated from Minot Bishop Ryan High School in 1979 and received a B.S. in accounting from Minot State University in 1984.

Following graduation, Backes was a licensed realtor and worked for Signal Management in the property management and real estate business from 1984 to 1987. He later earned a juris doctorate (with distinction) from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1990. Jon was selected as a member of the Order of the Coif, national scholastic honorary society. Following graduation, he practiced securities and commercial law in Denver for several years before returning home to Minot in 1993.

He is a past president, and a current member of, the Ward County Bar Association; the State Bar Association of North Dakota; the Colorado Bar Association and is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts in North Dakota and Colorado. Backes has served as a director of several community service organizations in the Minot area, including the Minot Area Junior Golf Association; the Norsk Hostfest; the Minot Area Girls Fast Pitch Softball Association; the Minot State University Development Foundation; the Minot Catholic Schools Foundation; the Hogan Heritage Society Board of Regents for Bishop Ryan High School; the St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation; the Minot Art Association; and, the Minot Gun Club.

From 2007 through 2011 Backes served on the State Board of Higher Education spending two years as vice president and chair of the budget audit and finance committee, and one year as president of the Board.

Jon and his wife, Karla have three adult daughters.


eobanSenator Erin Oban, Trustee

Erin Oban was elected in 2014 to the North Dakota Senate serving District 35, encompassing much of central Bismarck, the State Capitol, and campus of Bismarck State College. During her first legislative session, Erin served on the Senate Education and Agriculture Committees. A native of Ray, ND, she received a B.S. in Mathematics Education from the University of Mary before becoming a 7th and 8th grade math and technology teacher. Erin currently serves as the Executive Director of a statewide non-profit organization.

As a freshman legislator, Erin has been selected to SLLF’s “Emerging Leaders” program, CSG Midwest’s “Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leader Development”, Governing Institute’s “Women in Government” Class of 2016, and was awarded ND AARP’s “2015 Capitol Caregiver” recognition. Erin stays active in her community as a board member for Designer Genes, playing league volleyball with friends and piano for her church, and is a council member on the North Dakota Farmers Union Alumni Foundation. She lives with her husband, Chad, in Bismarck.



2014 C Beck color photo Lemar glassesRepresentative Cynthia Schreiber Beck, Trustee

N.D. Representative Cynthia Schreiber-Beck serves as Owner/President of Tri-State Aviation, Inc., and CinderWhit Company Inc.

She also serves as the Airport Manager at Harry Stern Airport, Wahpeton, N.D., the Executive Director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, a Board Member for the Fargo Air Museum, and the Richland/Wilkin Salvation Army Service Unit.

Schreiber-Beck has served N.D. District 25 in the N.D. House of Representatives since 2015. She is also a former educator.

Her past service includes the Bremer Bank Board, CHI St. Francis Health Care, National Agricultural Aviation Association, North Dakota State College of Science Foundation, ND UAS Airspace Integration Team, and the North Dakota Aviation Council.




Dr. Larry Skogen PortraitDr. Larry Skogen, Trustee

Dr. Larry C. Skogen became president of Bismarck State College on March 1, 2007. He is the college’s sixth CEO during its 77-year history.

He was appointed to serve as Acting Chancellor of the North Dakota University System in June 2013 and served as Interim Chancellor of the NDUS from Nov. 1, 2013 until June 30, 2015, when he returned to BSC.

Retired from a career in the U.S. Air Force, he is a native of Hettinger, N.D. Dr. Skogen holds degrees from Dickinson State University (B.S. in secondary education); University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg (M.A. in history); and Arizona State University, Tempe (Ph.D. in history).

Throughout his career, he has been involved in education as a high school teacher and as a college instructor and administrator in a variety of military and civilian institutions, including the United States Air Force Academy.

Dr. Skogen is the author of a legal history of federal Indian policy that was published by the University of Oklahoma Press, as well as articles and reviews in historical journals.”



Mike Warner, trustee

Mr. Mike Warner, Trustee

Mike Warner brings a unique cross-section of diverse experiences to the NDUS Foundation. Warner has background in health care, agriculture, food processing and policymaking, with a wealth of perspective from both private and public sector associations.

Warner currently serves as treasurer for the Dakota Medical Foundation, and has served as president and founder of Agriceutical Resources Co., formed Pedigree Technologies LLC, and prior to those ventures ran what was considered to be one of the largest sole proprietor sugarbeet farms in the U.S.

Warner’s service record is also extensive. He has served on numerous boards, councils and steering committees, including the Board of Directors of American Crystal Sugar, the nation’s 2nd largest sugar processor/marketer and the Meritcare Health Services Board of Trustees.  These two organizations were the largest businesses in the region, during the time of his service, with combined revenues of over $1.5 Billion.  He was the national legislative chairman for the American Sugarbeet Growers Assn.  During his tenure, the sugar policies upon which the industry now depends were developed and legislated.  He also served on the Minnesota Migrant Health Council Board of Directors, the Dakota Growers Pasta Company Founding Board of Directors, Progold corn processors development steering committee, the Halstad Elevator Company Board of Directors, Director of the Ag Product Utilization Committee (APUC) and the Governor’s Committee on Value Added Agriculture, among many others.

Warner graduated from North Dakota State University in 1972 with a pharmacy degree and received the Upjohn Achievement Award. Since then, he has served as a teaching fellow at University of Missouri Columbia, been part of the 2010 NDSU presidential search committee, received the NDSU Heritage Award and was named the 2003 NDSU Outstanding Agriculturalist, among many more distinctions.


Mark Hagerott - North Dakota University System Chancellor

Dr. Mark Hagerott, Ex Officio

Dr. Mark R. Hagerott is Chancellor for the North Dakota University System. He was appointed to the position following a unanimous vote by the State Board of Higher Education on April 30, 2015. Most recently, Hagerott served as the senior civilian and deputy director of the Center for Cyber Security Studies at the Naval Academy and served on the Defense Science Board study of unmanned systems during the summer of 2015.

A certified naval nuclear engineer in power generation and distribution, who also served as chief engineer for a major environmental project involving the defueling of two atomic reactors, Hagerott changed from engineering to a career in higher education in 2005. Hagerott has conducted research and writing about the evolution of technology, education, and changes in career and the workplace.

Hagerott held numerous academic leadership roles to include the dean of humanities and social sciences, special assistant to the provost, chair of the admissions board, chairmanship of senior faculty senate committees pertaining to assessment and accreditation, and as a planning and strategy director in one of the largest U.S. Army educational organizations. Prior to his transition to an academic career path, he held numerous leadership positions in the U.S. Navy, both aboard ships and in administrative positions in the Department of Defense. He is a fourth-generation North Dakotan.

Hagerott holds a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy, an M.A. in political science and economics from Oxford University where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. in history from University of Maryland, and also served as a White House Fellow.


Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan

Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan

Ms. Tammy Dolan, Secretary/Treasurer

Tammy Dolan is the University System’s chief financial officer. Dolan oversees administrative affairs as it impacts all stakeholders within the university system.

She previously worked in the Office of Management and Budget Fiscal Management Division as a management and fiscal analyst. While there, she helped develop and implement a new funding model for higher education in North Dakota, which focuses on completed credit hours.

Her 25-year career in state government has centered on the financial and administrative operations of multiple state agencies and the legislative process. In that role her expertise included a portfolio representing 20 state agencies responsible for the state’s education and economic development systems. She worked with OMB for nine years, 14 with Workforce Safety and Insurance, and two years with the Office of the State Auditor.

Dolan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Minot State University, and both a Master of Business Administration and Master of Management – Human Resource Management from the University of Mary.

Workshop provides planning focus

New software training provides insight to Strategic Planning Online software suite



Planners from throughout the North Dakota University System attended a two-day workshop last month regarding a new “suite of systems” called Strategic Planning Online.

Financial analysts, communicators and other strategic planners from throughout the North Dakota University System sat down together last month for a 16-hour course focused on tracking system progress.

The two-day course on the Strategic Planning Online software suite, or SPOL, was given by presenter Erin Bell, SPOL’s vice president of client services, who’s been shaping it since its inception. As “User Zero” of the software, she had valuable insight to provide the two dozen assembled planners, mostly to facilitate strategic processes on behalf of their respective campuses and the system itself.

Bell stated that numerous benefits were now available thanks to the NDUS recent adoption of the software. Some of those benefits included the common platform and framework itself, which would assist the 11 institutions in their respective planning and promote a shared understanding of institutional effectiveness; integrated modules that could be used to meet a variety of needs and reducing duplication of effort; the ability created by the software that allowed users to track cause-and-effect through the planning process; and how SPOL served not just as a documentation tool, but a productivity tool that collected institutional intelligence to support collaboration and long term effectiveness.

According to university system strategic planners, the goal is to have the software fully implemented by the end of the planning cycle. A task force is being formed to iron out details of how best to tailor SPOL for NDUS use. The planning and budget modules will be the first to implemented systemwide.

“We believe it would be tremendously advantageous for us to be able to access this and pull up data during board meetings or legislative hearings,” said Vice Chancellor of Strategic Engagement Linda Donlin. “This could provide updated, real-time measurements of where we are as campuses and as a system in relation to our goals.”

Currently, system office employees are using the software to track progress on the presidents’ goals, but many other applications exist. The cloud-based software includes modules surrounding planning, budgeting, assessment, accreditation and credentialing. Each have unique metrics to help track operational statuses, challenges and results. Assessments, for instance, allows for the tracking of criteria surrounding measurements that constituted success rates. Other examples noted by Bell included allowing the user to shape the response narrative for documentation requested by accrediting agencies. For goal-tracking, “the cloud is the limit” she said.

Bell noted that SPOL was originally conceived and developed at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Florida, as a suite of standalone access databases. Bell had developed the accreditation and planning databases in 1998 with the budget database having been developed earlier by a colleague. By 1999 the three databases were set to be integrated as one that could be accessed online. With the help of software development contractor Think Education Solutions, Strategic Planning Online was born.

With its origins as a suite of databases, SPOL now serves as a combination website, database and software suite.

“We call SPOL a suite of systems, when it is actually a suite of functional modules that exist within a single system – but SPOL can be deployed as a single module or custom suite of modules,” Bell said, noting that NDUS had licensed the entire suite – Planning, Budget, Assessment, Accreditation, and Credentialing modules. She said SPOL is primarily accessed through a cloud service, although it could be installed locally on a client college or university’s servers.

“Consequently, whether locally installed or served from the cloud, users can access SPOL anytime, anywhere over the internet,” she said.

With a primary focus on higher education, system planners felt SPOL would be a great fit for NDUS. Bell said because of that, SPOL development and deployment was focused on the unique nature, needs and operating atmosphere of higher ed.

Currently it is in use at around 100 colleges and universities in the U.S. the Caribbean, and the Middle East. The “suite of systems” employed common templates that fostered shared languages for planning. Once input into templates, planning objectives could be easily aligned with common institutional structures.

“Our greatest presence is in the 11-state region served by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, with Florida, Texas, and Alabama being the states with the greatest number of SPOL schools,” Bell said. “We also have a strong presence in the Higher Learning Commission region. Our license with NDUS is our first installation in North Dakota and our first state system!”

Bell added that SPOL assessment module helps enhance the ultimate goal of student learning by helping “chart the course for improved performance.”

“The SPOL planning objectives provides a framework to not only identify what we intend to do, but to prepare ourselves to analyze the results we achieved to better understand what worked and what didn’t,” she said. “Using SPOL for the day-to-day repository of data, and tying the data to specific course sections, provides faculty with a real-time indication of student performance on outcomes, which have been designed by the faculty to be indicative of student learning.  … Enhancement of student learning is, thus, not focused solely on students who take courses in the future, but students who are taking courses now.”