Monthly Archives: February 2017

Full days’ business for the Board during February meeting

Gov. Doug Burgum addressed the State Board of Higher Education during its regular meeting last week, focusing his talk on reinvention in higher education

Tenure, strategy and an address from the governor were major agenda items last week when the State Board of Higher Education held its regular February meeting.

The day’s discussions were set into gear by an address from Gov. Doug Burgum, who spoke to the Board, college and university presidents, and system office staff about his vision for higher education in the state.

“Higher education and lifelong learning are so important,” Burgum said. “I have often said this is the most underpaid, overworked and underappreciated Board in the state. I am grateful for the service that all of you do for this mission.”

Burgum noted that the role of education to society was important and its challenges were large.

“Change is happening faster now than ever before,” he said. “Humans have a hard time seeing accelerating change because we base our experiences on the environment.”

Burgum employed examples of changing times by highlighting how asset-free companies like Uber and AirBNB reflected a push to digitization, something he felt the North Dakota University System could look toward embracing more. He added that the time was ripe for reinvention.



Dr. Richard Rothaus spoke for first of four such presentations about the strategic plan, using metrics highlighted in the Dashboards tool. Rothaus focused on Goal 2 of the strategic plan, to “Provide programs people want, where and when they want them.” This objective included key indicators and measurements. As one example, Rothaus highlighted available data, which showed that degrees awarded throughout the system had increased since 2009.

“This is important, this is the agenda, we need a plan in place,” Board Chair Kathleen Neset said. “This is the follow-up to pathways to student success and informs us before the strategic retreat this summer.

Ryan Jockers, NDUS institutional and strategic analyst, spoke next on Strategic Planning Online, and its implementation throughout the system. Jockers noted that SPOL combined key elements of strategic planning, budgeting, assessment, program review, credentialing, and accreditation offering a unified collaborative environment for holistic continuous improvement.


Notification of termination

Board members next opened up discussion on a proposed policy change that would change the minimum notice for termination of tenured faculty to 90 days. Current policy stated that faculty be given 12 months notification of termination. At the previous months’ meeting, the institutional faculty senates, as well as faculty representatives from throughout the system made their cases in-person and through video-teleconferencing options, speaking unanimous disapproval of the proposed change.

After that meeting, a subcommittee was formed to review recommendations from the Council of College Faculty and to find a working solution for the system. System officials and Board members reiterated that the policy change was proposed to allow campus presidents budget flexibility during trying times.

Vice Chair Don Morton noted that the Board and system wanted the best policy for all the campuses, which was why allowing for a 180-day notification was included as an option.

Board Member Nick Hacker added that what the Board was looking toward was a 180-day notice period, with notification times being left to the discretion of the campuses. He reiterated that it was not an attack on tenure, noting that financial outlooks had already caused administrative and staffing cuts throughout the system.

The SBHE heard two hours of deliberation, including an address from Ernst Pijning, Faculty Adviser to the Board.  Mr. Pijning, spoke at length about the CCF’s wishes that the change would not be made because it would be viewed as an assault on tenure. He added that creating a sunset clause within the policy, effectively ending it by June 30, 2019, would help assure faculty it was only a temporary tool.

After extensive public comment, Neset reassured those in attendance and those listening via distance connect options that the proposed change was a last resort brought about due to financial need.

After discussion closed, the Board reviewed policy 605.3, as well as the CCF resolution and Board subcommittee recommendation. An amendment was proposed to require 90-day notification in the case of Board-identified financial exigency, 180-day notification in times of loss of appropriation, and 12 months for all other circumstances. A sunset date of June 30, 2019 was also proposed. Both the amendment subsequent policy change were approved by the SBHE.

Other business

The Board then heard a presentation on operations at the NDSU Bookstore, which offered a look into course material decisions, including rentals, used book sourcing, Open Educational Resources, infrastructure/software investment, online/website access codes and more. Total savings to students for the Fall ‘16/Spring ’17 semesters was estimated at $1.4 million.

Next up was a report on the Workforce Education Advisory Council, presented by WEAC Chairman Mark Anderson and Stephanie Davison, of FHI 360, which created the report. Anderson provided background on WEAC, created by legislative mandate in the previous session to look into workforce educational needs.

Davison noted that the report included energy, health care, information technology and manufacturing. She detailed the recommendations from thee report, which touched on both higher education and K-12.

Chief Compliance Officer Karol Riedman reported on the process of resolving data inconsistencies. Her report noted that all but five of 29 projects had concluded, with two of the final data inconsistencies finding resolution by this July.

Chief of Staff Lisa Feldner and Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan reported next on the legislative update, providing details on bills that had been approved as of crossover. Feldner passed along sentiments from the legislators, including appreciation of the cooperation from the Board, presidents and NDUS staff.

Dolan reported on a summary of the general fund appropriation approved by the Senate.  T Dolan noted that in totaled $616 million, about $65 million less than the 2015-17 post-allotment base. She stressed that this amount is $120.5 million below the original 2015-17 budget.  During calendar year 2016, 396 positions had been reduced throughout the system as a result of the budget allotments and initial 10 percent budget reductions. Additional staffing reduction will be necessary to meet the 20 percent budget cuts recommended by the Senate. Dolan noted that the budget presented an opportunity for restructuring and streamlining operations.

Hagerott provided his update next, noting that in addition to legislative work, other initiatives continued forward. He noted that Envision 2030 was coming along well, and nine of 10 sessions have been held with legislators to hear their feedback. Other work continued on Bakken U, Nexus ND, and other initiatives.

North Dakota Student Association President Jacob Dailey provided an update to the Board next, noting that the NDSA crafted a strategic plan to begin the year. He noted that was done to better align the organization with the path of the state. Dailey brought up efforts the NDSA supported, such as Open Educational Resources, extending the Challenge Grant fund, and institutional autonomy. He added that he was pleased to see more students becoming active in the organization, and he thanked the Board for the support it offered the state, system and students.

Staff Advisor to the Board, Andy Wakeford, spoke on behalf of the Staff Senate next. He began by noting how North Dakota was a leader in having a member of the staff on the Board, joining just six other states in that regard. Wakeford commended employees at Bismarck State College, who had participated in a voluntary action of working without pay for a day to help alleviate budget concerns.

Melicher provided an update to the NDUS Foundation. The foundation had recently raised more than $8,000 through Giving Hearts Day to aid its overall mission of scholarships, faculty awards and educational initiatives.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 30 via video-teleconference.

Media Coverage Summary – Feb. 17

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Feb. 17


Bismarck State College
Job Fair set for Feb. 23 at BSC
BSC students score big for smiles and selfies
Delivery of CTE programs in Dickinson to be explored

Dakota College at Bottineau
DCB Faculty Receive ND Community College Consortium Awards

Dickinson State University
Bertelsen attending grad school at Colorado School of Mines
Theodore Roosevelt Center acquires series of original letters
MOU with community organizations establishes a 5,500 sq. ft. multi-purpose facility at Dickinson State

Lake Region State College
Spotlight on Sim Tech education and careers
LRSC releases spring enrollment figures

Mayville State University
Mayville State named among ‘Most Affordable Online Colleges’
Mayville State student attends The National Diversity in STEM ConferenceMeet the Mayville State football coaching staff

Minot State University
Minot State University Technology Day winners
Minot State Division of Science reaches out to community
Minot State celebrates Mother Language Day

North Dakota State College of Science
NDSCS project benefits Service Dogs for America
NDSCS to ‘Give Kids a Smile’ Friday
NDSCS Awarded $154,067 Career Ready Internship Grant

North Dakota State University
Students and Professionals Network at NDSU Career Expo
Keynote speakers named for annual cyber security conference
Business students compete in human resources competition
NDSU recognized for sustainable campus forestry
Black History Month to feature film, speakers
NDSU Opera’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ features groovy twist
NDSU Working on Keeping Self-Driving Technology Secure
Clothing Is Not Consent: One NDSU student’s project to end stigma around sexual assault
NDSU Extension weed specialist named Weed Society Fellow
NDSU Extension offers youth gardening grants

University of North Dakota
Starting from the top
Set to succeed
Up to the challenge
Feast and festivity
Next step: NexusND

Valley City State University
Two for the record books
VCSU sets spring enrollment records

Williston State College
Students to Perform with North Dakota Intercollegiate Band
Record Breaking Enrollment Continues at WSC

North Dakota University System
North Dakota University System Foundation takes part in Giving Hearts Day

North Dakota University System Foundation takes part in Giving Hearts Day

As part of its ongoing fundraising efforts to raise money for public higher education, in the state, the North Dakota University System Foundation is taking part in Giving Hearts Day this week.

The 10th Annual Giving Hearts Day will take place Thursday, Feb. 9 thanks to the continued efforts of the Dakota Medical Foundation and its partnering organizations.

North Dakota University Foundation’s mission is to provide scholarships to students, awards to faculty members, and help support other initiatives to the entire university system. Through participation in Giving Hearts Day, the NDUS Foundation hopes to raise more funding for those efforts. More than $4,000 in donations have already been pledged for the purpose of serving as matching funds.

Dr. Kevin Melicher, NDUS Foundation president, said he’s hopeful that the foundation’s participation in Giving Hearts Day will help raise the bar and awareness for the organization’s mission.

“Our goal is to make the North Dakota University System Foundation a well-known entity and Giving Hearts Day, thanks to the Dakota Medical Foundation, will help provide that opportunity,” Melicher said. “By increasing our fundraising footprint, we can increase the number of student scholarships, faculty awards and other system initiatives that can be funded through our foundation.

To donate, go to and search for “North Dakota University System Foundation.”

The foundation was founded in 1991 and maintains status as a 501(c)(3) organization with a broadly stated purpose of supporting, enriching, advancing and improving higher education in the state. The foundation provides a giving program for families and institutions to donate to higher education and not just one single college or university.

UPDATE (2-13-2017): As part of the Giving Hearts Day donation drive, the NDUS Foundation raised $8,555.00.

Media Coverage Summary – Feb. 3, 2017

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Feb. 3


Bismarck State College
Lindblom artist exhibit runs through February
‘Know Your State’ contest registration due Feb. 8
Nominations sought for employee excellence awards

Dakota College at Bottineau
Photography Scholarship Contest for High School Seniors

Dickinson State University
DSU’s Miller receives RMA Foundation scholarship
Charchenko named DSU’s 2017 Nurse Educator of the Year
Agbaje pursues his dream by helping others pursue theirs

Lake Region State College
Giving Hearts Day
Workforce Advisory Council releases needs and gaps report
Students participate in theatre arts festival

Mayville State University
A new era in Comets football begins with the hiring of head coach Sean Thom
Community members invited to meet the Mayville State coaches
Support the RN-to-BSN online nursing program on Giving Hearts Day, Thursday, Feb. 9

Minot State University
Joe Davis commemorates Black History Month
Community Rocks! to benefit Roosevelt Park Zoo
Darwin Day 2017: Celebrating science and humanity

North Dakota State College of Science
“Give Kids a Smile” event returns to NDSCS
All-Collegiate Men’s Choir

North Dakota State University
NDSU students pitch ways to make world better at annual Innovation Challenge
NDSU Students are Freezin’ for a Reason
GENERATION NEXT: Following Her Passion
Little International Livestock Show set for Feb. 10-11
Annie’s Project offered in North Dakota in 2017
Variety selection tool for spring wheat updated
Student studying cancer treatment wins Three Minute Thesis competition

University of North Dakota
Investing in priorities
Positive results
Digging into Groundhog Day
Taking diversity & inclusion to the ‘next round’
UND statement: Riding the rapids to smoother currents

Valley City State University
Sharing the VCSU story with the legislature
VCSU releases fall semester honor rolls

Williston State College
College Selected for Mentor-Connect Program
Pep-Band-Palooza to Fire Up the Tetons
College Students Art on Display at the James

North Dakota University System
Strengthening education through collaboration
Board hears tenure feedback
Working together for the good of all students
Workforce Advisory Council Releases Needs and Gaps Report
SPOL implementation moving forward
Final Challenge Funds for 2015-17 awarded

Bismarck State College campus successes – January

Mystician adviser recognized by College Media Association
Karen Bauer, assistant professor of journalism at BSC, was the recipient of the Distinguished Magazine Adviser Award at a 2-year College or University by the College Media Association. Bauer is the adviser of the BSC student magazine, The Mystician.

Partnership enhances training to national energy companies
BSC and training partner Energy Providers Coalition for Education (EPCE) added four additional online energy training programs to their nationally delivered offerings: Electrical Transmission Systems Technology, Energy Services & Renewable Technician, Power Plant Technology, and Water and Wastewater Technology.


Hess donates nearly $200K of equipment to BSC
Hess Corporation donated a $192,491 wort of oil- and gas-related equipment to BSC in December, providing state-of-the-art equipment and hands-on opportunities to energy program students. The gift brings the total support from Hess to more than a quarter of a million dollars in the past three years.

Dakota College at Bottineau campus successes – January

Leaderjacks give back

Leaderjacks (Leadership Club) conducted a project this fall “Baking for a Better Community” The group of 35 Dakota College at Bottineau students comprise a unique cross-college student organization and chose baking as a fun way to give back to the community.  This project consisted of five baking events which raised over $700 for local community charities.


Honors program presents

The Honors Program is in its fifth year of courseofferings at Dakota College at Bottineau.  The DCB Honors students presented their research at the Honors Symposium held on January 18, 2017.  At the close of each semester the honors students present their research to faculty and staff at DCB.  The symposium highlights the achievements, studies and work that has been completed in the honors courses.

Dickinson State University campus successes – January

DSU nursing student receives Energizing Education Scholarship

Carissa Swick, a native of Glendive, MT, recently received the DSU Heritage Foundation’s Energizing Education Scholarship. This scholarship, funded by a generous donation to the DSU Heritage Foundation from Stark Development Corporation last year, is intended to expand access to education for energy workers and their spouses.

Dickinson State University is a partner in the North Dakota University System Bakken U initiative, a collaboration of five NDUS institutions of higher education focused on facilitating educational access for energy workers, energy veterans, and their dependents.


President Mitzel hosts ice fishing contest

To celebrate the start of a new year, Dr. Mitzel invited Dickinson State University staff, faculty and students to join him for the inaugural DSU Carp(ѐ) Diem ice fishing contest. The event is an opportunity for members of the DSU community to connect outside of the work place, strengthening connections among members of the campus community.


CommUniversity announces 2017 community course offerings

Dickinson CommUniversity courses have, for over three decades, provided a special opportunity to learn more about the world around us and the forces that affect the way we live. The program is a joint effort of the Dickinson community, generous donors, and Dickinson State University, which supports the philosophy that learning is a life-long process.

The 2017 lineup of courses include: Food Preservation Essentials, Crafting Fermented Beverages, 20th Century Mexican Muralism, Experiencing and Writing Nature, Heroes, Rogues and Authors. Oh My!, and The Celluloid Ceiling: Women and Film 1900-1955.

Lake Region State College campus successes – January

LRSC to celebrate CTE

Lake Region State College will hold its annual Career & Tech Ed Day Feb. 7 at the Bergstrom Technical Center.

The special event is an opportunity to see the variety of programs that lead to fulfilling careers. Lake Region State College holds the event each February during Career & Tech Ed month.

LRSC students, faculty receive commendations

Lake Region State College students and faculty received commendations in three categories at Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. Awards were given for work in the LRSC’s production of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress:

Directing – Casey Paradies

Costume, Hair and Makeup – Hannah Hardcastle

Publicity and Poster Design – Paige Prekker

The American College Theatre Festival is an annual festival that celebrates theatre in different regions of the United States.

North Dakota State College of Science campus successes – January

Richman receives Presidential Excellence Award

NDSCS President John Richman was presented with the NASPA Region IV-West Presidential Excellence Award. In presenting Richman with the award, the organization recognized Richman for embodying “the spirit of the student affairs profession through continually demonstrating his passion and commitment to supporting students’ success.”


NDSCS-Fargo Celebrates 20th Anniversary

NDSCS-Fargo celebrated its 20th anniversary with an open house on December 13, 2016. The building was filled with guests who heard speakers highlighting NDSCS-Fargo, enjoyed refreshments and toured the building. The celebration including a ribbon cutting with the FMWF Chamber of Commerce.


NDSCS announces fall President’s Honor List

NDSCS has named 362 students to its fall semester 2016 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.