Monthly Archives: December 2017

Media Coverage Summary – Friday, Dec. 29

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Dec. 29


Bismarck State College
BSC Closing at noon, December 29

Dakota College at Bottineau
Farm & Cottage Food Safety Workshop
Local college graduate earns prestigious internship

Dickinson State University
Braeton Erhardt – A teacher at heart
Meier invited to serve as judge at “We the People” competition
DSU’s nursing students chosen to compete at state convention in January

Lake Region State College
Ramsey National Bank enhances endowmentMayville State University
It’s a great time to check out the Wellness Center
There is much for which to be grateful at Mayville State

Minot State University
Minot State earns Star Volunteers Award
Minot State plans open house for Herb Parker dome
Science students recognized at regional

North Dakota State College of Science
Learning from the land
Healthy future for NDSCS nursing

North Dakota State University
Editorial: Fargo’s ‘green city’ efforts save energy and money
Geology is destiny: A Q&A with John Bluemle, retired ND state geologist
National 4-H Congress a memorable experience

University of North Dakota
Happy Holidays from the UND Alumni Association and Foundation

Valley City State University
Transition in the President’s Office

Williston State College
COOP Class gets WSC Students into the Real World

North Dakota University System

Media Coverage Summary – Dec. 22

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Dec. 22


Bismarck State College
Livestreaming – behind the scenes of the behind the scenes action
She Works to Make Downtown Bismarck a Destination
Like Father, Like Son
BSC BookTalk series announces 2018 selections
Her dreams took her from BSC to NYC

Dakota College at Bottineau
LeaderJacks Give to the Community

Dickinson State University
Professional advisor
Student finds opportunities in agriculture at DSU
DSU thanks supporters
Seventh annual Empty Bowls event raises $4,700 for United Way

Lake Region State College
LRSC and CHS partner for ag education
Auto program enhanced through endowment
LRSC Peace Officer Program celebrates 30 years

Mayville State University
It’s a great time to check out the Wellness Center, a fantastic community resource
There is much for which to be grateful at Mayville State
Dueling Pianos coming to MaSU

Minot State University
Minot State plans open house for Herb Parker dome
Science students recognized at regional
MSU’s College for Kids expands into winter

North Dakota State College of Science
NDSCS Registered Nursing program to accept new students annually beginning in fall 2019
NDSCS Community mourns loss of student

North Dakota State University
Fargo bags $5 million prize in national energy savings competition
FCS title game set: defending champ James Madison vs. five-time champ North Dakota State
More Than 650 Students Graduate at NDSU Winter Commencement
Rural Leadership North Dakota honors supporters
Bison quarterback Easton Stick just as successful off the field as he is on it
Brainerd native distinguishes himself at NDSU while working full time

University of North Dakota
Happy Holidays from UND!
A matter of degrees
On a mission
A holiday blast
Headed for the border

Valley City State University
Bergan recognized with VCSU Distinguished Service Award

Williston State College
COOP Class gets WSC Students into the Real World
WSC Instructor Chosen for Solo Exhibitions Starting in 2019

North Dakota University System
ANNOUNCING: College of Arts and Sciences AH! Lecture

ANNOUNCING: College of Arts and Sciences AH! Lecture

Minot State University Professor Micah Bloom

The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota is proud to partner with the College of Arts and Sciences and North Dakota Quarterly in announcing the publication of Micah Bloom’s Codex at a public event hosted by the North Dakota Museum of Art on 8 December at 3 p.m. The event is part of the College of Arts and Sciences AH! Lecture Series.

Micah Bloom’s Codex explores the fate of books in the aftermath of the devastating 2011 Minot Flood. Bloom, a professor of art at Minot State University, painstakingly photographed, collected, and recycled hundreds of books and this work became the basis of a film (2013) and an art installation (2015).

This year the Digital Press published two versions of Codex that combined Micah’s photographs with a series of scholarly and reflective essays. The first was a large-format, limited-edition, fine-art book made available to wide audience as a digital download. The Digital Press has also published a low-cost trade paperback version of the book available at

The publisher, William Caraher (UND Department of History), connected with Bloom after seeing his 2015 exhibit at the North Dakota Museum of Art: “Micah’s haunting photos captured an event historically rooted in a time and place – 2011, Minot, ND – but by focusing on books, he made it speak to much more universal concerns. The destruction of the flood is brought home in an intimate way through Micah’s photographs and treatment of books. So it made sense for us to capture the exhibit /collaborate in this way.”

The North Dakota Museum of Art will host a roundtable discussion featuring the artist, and three collaborators: David Haeselin (UND, English), Sheila Liming (UND, English), and Thora Brylowe (University of Colorado- Boulder, English) will join Micah in a discussion of his work moderated by North Dakota Quarterly‘s Brian Schill.

David Haeselin, who contributed to the book, remarked that “the essays help bridge the gap between scholarship of material culture studies, book history, and eco-criticism.”Haeselin’s course in Writing and Editing in the Department of English collaborated with The Digital Press to produce the book. Haeselin goes on to say “Student copy-editors were asked to work on a real book going to press. This meant that they had to fact-check and mark up their teachers’ writing, me included. Once they got past the awkwardness, they learned how to manage author-editor relationships, a core responsibility of any editor.”

Bloom comments on this opportunity, “It has been a joy to find so much local support for this project . . . and to now have a way to share a bit of our story with a larger audience. It’s such an honor.”

To download or purchase Codex or watch the films go here:

For more on the Digital Press go here:

Bismarck State College campus successes

Mass comm students receive top national honors

BSC Mass Comm students received several awards from the College Media Association/Associated Collegiate Press. In the Best of 2017 Pinnacle Awards, The MYX placed first as Two-Year Radio Station of the Year. MystiCast took second as Two-Year TV Station of the Year. Figments of Imagination placed third in the Two-Year Literary Magazine of the Year category.


BSC launches $10M Health Sciences campaign

With approval from the SBHE and the BSC Foundation Board, BSC can now begin a fundraising campaign that will move Health Sciences from a downtown location to a building near campus owned by the BSC Foundation. The campaign will focus on both renovating the new space and expanding the college’s health science programs.


BSC professor’s article accepted for publication

An article by Jane M. Schreck, professor of English, has been accepted for publication in the December issue of Religion and the Arts, a scholarly journal published by Boston College. The article, scheduled for publication in December, is entitled “Theological Voices in Wendell Berry’s Fiction.”

Dakota College at Bottineau campus successes

DCB  ranked 2nd most affordable

The SR Education Group has ranked Dakota College at Bottineau Medical Assistant as the second most affordable online college.  The ranking is based on annual tuition rates and was calculated using the number of credits per year for a full time student and the cost per credit. Dakota College at Bottineau offers the Medical Assistant degree as one of the three programs within the Allied Health programs: Medical Administrative Assistant, Medical Coding and Medical Assistant.


Project culminates in poster display

Dakota College at Bottineau celebrated the culmination of a yearlong project entitled ‘Picturing a North Dakota Food Lexicon’ with a series of four posters to be displayed in select locations.  A lexicon is the vocabulary of a person or the language used to define the world.  The Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture staff worked with the photography students to create the posters.  The photos taken by the students were overlaid with the words supplied through community discussion.  The poster displays were located throughout the state of North Dakota.


DCB hosts math competition

High school students participated in DCB’s 6th annual Math Track Meet held on campus in November. Twelve schools participated; teams consisted of two students from 9th/10th grades and two students from 11th/12th grade.   This friendly competition challenged 23 teams of 92 student’s math abilities with a variety of tests conducted throughout the morning.  As a result, mathletes were awarded with certificates and the top three teams received medals.

Dickinson State University campus successes

DSU faculty member makes Prairie Business 40 under 40 list

Dr. Holly Gruhlke, business professor and chair of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Dickinson State, has been named to Prairie Business magazine’s 2017 40 under 40 list, featuring 40 of the top business professionals under the age of 40 in the northern Plains.


Schafer, Dragseth receive volunteer awards at National Philanthropy Day ceremony

To usher in the season of giving, the Northern Plains Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals hosts National Philanthropy Day each November where North Dakotans and northwest Minnesotans who engage in philanthropy and volunteerism are honored. Two members of the Dickinson State campus community received awards at the National Philanthropy Day ceremony.

Irene Schafer, a 1983 graduate of Dickinson State College, received the Outstanding Individual Volunteer Award. Irene volunteers for several organizations and is a wonder at selling raffle tickets for many causes. She founded the Power of 100 Women, a group that has now grown to over 200 women. This year, the group will donate more than $80,000 to four different charities.

Dr. Debora Dragseth and her Business Ethics class at Dickinson State University received the Outstanding Volunteer Group Award. For the past four years, the Business Ethics Class, taught by Dr. Dragseth, has collected items for the “Red Paper Clip Auction.” Each student receives one red paper clip and must make a minimum of eight exchanges to barter the paper clip for bigger and better items. In April the class holds an auction and the proceeds are donated to a charity or charities that the class chooses at the beginning of the semester.


Dickinson State celebrated Native American Heritage Month

Dickinson State University celebrated Native American Heritage Month with several events on campus in November. Students, staff, faculty and community members were able to participate in an array of entertainment suited for all ages.

Native American performer Jackie Bird’s performance included a hoop dance as well as traditional and contemporary Native American singing. The documentary “Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation,” which follows the Iroquois National Lacrosse Team as they compete in the 2015 World Box Lacrosse Championships, was shown. Scott Davis, executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, visited campus to speak on Native American culture and the role of Native Americans in history and modern USA. And Dr. Carter Meland came to campus for a book reading and signing hosted by the Heart River Writers’ Circle.

Lake Region State College campus successes

Opportunities for Simulation Technicians

Lake Region State College signed an official agreement with CAE to provide internships for students studying to be simulator technicians.

The corporate/campus partnership provides LRSC students in the Simulation Technology program an internship opportunity at the newly opened CAE training center in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., for 8 weeks.

Mayville State University campus successes

MaSU presidential search launched

The search for a new president to lead MaSU was launched Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. Current president, Dr. Gary Hagen, has announced his plan to retire at the end of July in 2018, after more than four decades at the university. AGB Search is assisting with the search process.


MaSU hosts Great Plains Affirming Campus Conference

About 90 people attended the Great Plains Affirming Campus Conference hosted by MaSU Oct. 28, 2017. Conference sessions focused on the stories of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer plus (LGBTQ+) individuals living and working in North Dakota and how their friends, family, co-workers, and community members can best support LGBTQ+ folks.


Cell phone images used to show likenesses between students in Vietnam and America

MaSU assistant professor of geography Dr. Aaron Kingsbury’s project, “Self and Society: The Cell Phone Images of Northern Vietnamese Students” included an event in which his students in northern Vietnam participated via Skype, as well as an exhibit of photos of everyday life taken by these students. The goal was to show that despite considerable geographic distance, university students share proximate and universal loves, concerns, and aspirations.

Minot State University campus successes

MSU sends 11 to Peace Garden Conference

Students from Minot State University and their counterparts from Brandon (Manitoba) University met Oct. 20 for the 65th Annual Peace Garden Conference for an event titled, “Canada and the US: Then and Now.”

The event was co-sponsored by the Minot State University League of Social Science and featured 11 MSU students and political science professor Jynette Larshus. According to the MSU League of Social Science president Michaela Brost, the event was student run, giving them a hands-on experience.


Tech Day attracts students from across the region

The 20th annual installment of Minot State University Technology Day brought students from across the region to the MSU campus for a day-long event filled with competitions.

Testingfeatured Accounting, Business Communication, Business Law, Desktop Publishing, Document Production, Introduction to Business, Presentation Software and Spreadsheet. The Amazing Tech Day Race followed with a pizza and ice cream lunch/awards presentation concluding the events.

Schools scheduled to participate include Berthold, Bowbells, Burke Central, Des Lacs-Burlington, Kenmare, Powers Lake, South Prairie, Stanley, Surrey, TGU-Granville, TGU-Towner, Tioga, Underwood, and Westhope. The school with the most points for placements in all competitions will receive a sweepstakes trophy.


Francis named October High Five Award winner

Amanda Francis, Publication and Design Services, was named Minot State University’s October High Five Award winner. Francis was also nominated in January and April 2017.

Staff Senate prompted the creation of the MSU High Five Award to recognize staff members who serve Minot State University by exemplifying outstanding service through their work and exhibiting positive and supportive attitudes.

North Dakota State College of Science campus successes

NDSCS opens new world-class HVAC/R educational facilities

NDSCS opened a state-of-the-art lab and classroom for its Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology program. Public funds from a $400,000 North Dakota Department of Commerce workforce enhancement grant were matched by more than $432,000 in private donations from Trane®, a leading global provider of indoor comfort solutions and services.


NDSCS completes $13 million campus water, sewer infrastructure project

NDSCS celebrated the completion of a $13 million campus water and sewer infrastructure replacement project in October. This two-year project was funded with $13,298,000 in state appropriations from 2015-2017 capital assets funding during the 64th legislative assembly. NDSCS was able to significantly address its deferred maintenance with this project and saw an approximate 20% reduction in deferred maintenance.


NDSCS announces partnership with SITECH Dakotas

NDSCS announced a partnership with SITECH Dakotas, a division of Butler Machinery, to provide state-of-the-art equipment for the College’s Land Surveying and Civil Engineering Technology department. Each academic year, SITECH Dakotas will provide NDSCS with the latest equipment to be used at no cost. SITECH Dakotas will also provide training and technical support for faculty to effectively operate the equipment.

North Dakota State University campus successes

NDSU EXPLORE showcases student research

The annual NDSU EXPLORE event showcased the scholarly accomplishments of undergraduates in all majors. About 75 student researchers gave oral or poster presentations, showing their work to the campus and community. First place winners will present their research at a national conference.


NDSU to offer new entrepreneurship class

NDSU will offer a new course focused on entrepreneurship this spring. It will cover all aspects of entrepreneurship, including basic business principles that apply to start-up companies. “Whether someone wants to start their own business or work for someone else, in today’s world, innovative thinking is a part of being successful,” said co-instructor Paul Brown. “We will look at where innovative ideas come from, how to become better at generating them and how to evaluate those ideas.”


NDSU Giving Day raises more than $471,000 to support students

NDSU Giving Day, a 24-hour, online fundraising event, was Nov. 28. Alumni, faculty, staff, students and supporters of the university gave 949 gifts in an amount totaling more than $471,000. The donations will support a variety of scholarships, programs, research opportunities and high-impact educational experiences for students.

University of North Dakota campus successes

UND Research Institute for Autonomous Systems organizes full day exploration if UAS 

On Nov. 16, leaders from the corporate world, public sector and higher education – both the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University – were brought together by the University of North Dakota’s Research Institute for Autonomous Systems (RIAS) for a full-day exploration of all things Unmanned Aircraft Systems.


UND fighting Hawks Volleyball Headed to NCAA Tournament for Second Straight Year

The University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks volleyball team is headed to the NCAA tournament after winning its second-straight Big Sky Tournament championship.


UND, adidas Sign Multi-Year Apparel Contract

The University of North Dakota and adidas announced a new multi-year partnership in which the Portland, Ore., based company will be the official athletic footwear, apparel and accessory brand of the Fighting Hawks through the 2024-25 season.

Valley City State University campus success

President Mason selected for Fort Hays State University presidency

Tisa Mason, Ed.D., CAE, president of Valley City State University, has been selected to become the next president of Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., by the Kansas Board of Regents and will leave VCSU in mid-December 2017 after three years in Valley City. Prior to joining VCSU, she had served Fort Hays State University as vice president for student affairs. The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education will direct the search for Mason’s successor at VCSU.


VP Dahlberg to serve as VCSU interim president

Margaret Dahlberg, Ph.D., VCSU vice president for academic affairs, has been appointed interim president at Valley City State University by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, effective Dec. 16, 2017. Dahlberg succeeds Tisa Mason, who resigned from VCSU to accept the presidency of Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. Dahlberg is returning to a familiar role as interim president, having served in that same capacity from July–December 2014, between the departure of former president Steve Shirley to Minot State University and the arrival of Mason. Formerly professor of English and chair of the communication arts department, Dahlberg was appointed interim vice president for academic affairs in April 2009. In January 2010, she was named vice president for academic affairs.


VCSU honored as ‘Outstanding School’ by Special Olympics North Dakota

Valley City State University was honored as the 2017 Outstanding School by Special Olympics North Dakota at its annual State Awards Banquet at Delta Hotels Fargo on Nov. 18. President Tisa Mason accepted the award on behalf of the university. VCSU was one of 16 organizations, individuals, and businesses throughout the state recognized for their outstanding commitment and support by Special Olympics North Dakota.

Williston State College campus successes

College Instructor Receives Rockwell Automation Certificates   

WSC’s Petroleum Technology Instructor, Alberto Bellina, is now Rockwell Automation certified in two fields: Programming and Maintenance.

Bellina received the Rockwell ControlLogix Programmer and Maintainer certificates on October 16, 2017 after completing a series of courses between January and June in Boston, MA; Ventura, CA; San Jose, CA; Houston TX; Manchester, NH; and Tampa, FL.

Each of the automation certificates requires a series of four courses. Each course builds upon the last and once all four courses are complete, there is a comprehensive 90-minute online exam. Examination and courses for the Programming and/or the Maintenance path must be completed within one year of commencement.


Two WSC Students Awarded API Scholarships

WSC’s Petroleum Production Technology student, Jennifer Householder, and WSC’s Welding Technology student, Trevor Smith, both received a $1,000 scholarship from the Williston Basin Chapter of API on October 2.

Householder completed a six-week paid technician internship with Schlumberger the summer of 2017 and will graduate this spring with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree.

“While at WSC, Jennifer has always performed at the top of her class, and has been able to work at up to three-part time jobs, while still finding the time for her studies, and graduating in three semesters versus the normal four or more,” stated Mack McGillivray, WSC Petroleum Technology Instructor.

A lifelong Williston resident, Smith will graduate this spring with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree and hopes to find a job welding in the oil field.


Honoring our Veterans at WSC

WSC’s Interpersonal Communication class is interviewing local veterans and documenting their oral histories on a website the remainder of the semester. The students will host a Veterans Symposium December 4 at which veterans will receive a free chili dinner at 5:00 p.m. The class will conclude with a presentation of the oral histories at 6 p.m. The presentations are open to the public.

“We had such success last year with interviewing local veterans and documenting their stories, we decided to continue the project this year,” explained Kim Weismann, Arts and Human Sciences Department Chair.

In addition to their Veterans Symposium, Weismann’s Interpersonal Communication class will be partnering with Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), WSC’s honor society, to create a veteran’s flag honoring local veterans.

“We have close to forty students in our Interpersonal Communication class,” stated Weismann. “We will cut out fifty stars and place veterans names on them and cut out hands to represent the stripes of the flag.”

Task Forces finding early results

With the end of the year approaching, I like to reflect about how much work the 45,000 students throughout the North Dakota University System are taking on. I remember the buzz of energy that campuses could take on in the final weeks of a semester, and it can be both electrifying and exhausting. There’s definitely a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that can come at the end of this period, for faculty, for staff, and for the students.

After months of research and deliberation, some working groups within the university system are about to experience the same thing.

Five task forces that were brought to life from the legislative mandate in Senate Bill 2003 got to work in October by organizing for the first time at Lake Region State College. During one afternoon session, the five task forces narrowed their respective focuses to dig deep into topics that each hold promise of finding further efficiencies in our system.

Each did so with a specific topic in mind: Alignment and Articulation; Technical Programs and Workforce Needs; Common Enrollment Management Systems; Business and Shared Services; and Academic Programs.

At the time, I’d noted that we were seeking to create systemwide efficiencies that would allow our talented campus administrators and leaders, and their teams, to move from a transactional environment to more value-added strategic goals. I wasn’t surprised to find that each of the task forces had a relatively detailed report to give at the end of that October session; details that would provide the foundation for how they would progress forward.

In forming task forces and setting them to work, it’s always a risk that certain previous efforts may be duplicated. However, in our case we were fortunate in that these five groups had access to previous studies and reports created by the academic, business, and legislative worlds. This wealth of information has a tendency to provide great opportunity for comparative analysis of what works, and for what doesn’t.

So far, a few details have come to my attention prior to the Dec. 6 report-out by the task forces. After becoming familiar with some of the direction and early highlights, I’m confident that our task forces will find certain best practices to move forward with that will fit the intent of SB 2003.

Alignment and Articulation: “The Secondary and Post-Secondary alignment task force will explore the framework for a pathways document that will prove a resource for transition counseling/advising, including career/academic advising.”

Technical Programs and Workforce Needs: “Among several strategies prepared for consideration of the SBHE, the task force recommends a closer examination of specific career and technical education high school course sequences in a number of career clusters for the potential award of certificates that could be applied to first year, college level programs of study. Supporting rationale for the award of a certificate is to encourage high school students to achieve their first academic milestone along a progressive path to an associate or baccalaureate level program of study.”

Common Enrollment Management Systems: “The Common Enrollment Task Force is studying existing models from other states and systems that improve the student experience and create operational efficiencies through common enrollment and financial aid processing.”

Business and Shared Services: “The Business and Shared Services Task Force is exploring potential consolidation of several back office operations, including payroll processing.” On November 28 the team focused on shared services in the payroll area met with the shared services payroll team at Microsoft on the Fargo campus. The NDUS campuses and system office were well represented by finance and HR leaders. It was a very productive and informative afternoon.

Academic Programs: “The Academic Programs Task Force feels the system should examine a common course catalog for the 2-year colleges, including systemwide general education programs.”

When combined with the Chancellor’s Cabinet Studies, the presidents’ goals, and findings established from the consensus-building Envision 2030 effort, the task force recommendations should serve the system well. Like our students finishing their semester work, our staff and the faculty involved in these efforts should be able to breathe a sigh of relief at this work being done. But, just as our students are continuing to move forward toward a greater goal, these reports will be the next step toward the creation of a more efficient system for all.

Climate survey among Board reports

State Board briefed on policy, Bank of North Dakota education programs, and more.


The November meeting of the State Board of Higher Education covered extensive ground, beginning with a brief from Bank of North Dakota President and CEO Eric Hardmeyer. Speaking about his agency, Hardmeyer detailed numerous programs that positively affected higher education in the state, noting “You have a friend and partner with the Bank of North Dakota.”

The presentation included details on the bank’s mission, which he said included programs ranging from scholarships to student loans and more. Hardmeyer began with details on the College SAVE 529 program, noting that $131 million had been invested in the program that was waiting to be used for higher education. He also spoke on how the bank had provided extensive funding for dual credit programs, and also extended the college application month from four schools three years ago to 131 schools in the most recent year. Hardmeyer listed other efforts the bank had undertaken concerning higher ed, including Career Discovery ND, financial aid information nights, a Facebook Live event averaging 4,000 views weekly, a college handbook, and the BND Real Deal and N.D. Dollars for Scholars scholarships. Additionally, he provided a breakdown of numbers regarding student loans in the state through BND.

After Hardmeyer’s presentation, Board Chair Don Morton brought up two reports on behalf of the Board: one on Gov. Doug Burgum’s recently-announced task force on higher education, and the second on the follow-up climate survey that had been conducted among university system office staff. On the former, Morton noted that the task force was focused toward governance.

“As we go through transformations, as we go through changes – to get the boards, faculty, administration, the presidents, everybody working together – we have a chance to move forward and we maybe have a better chance of addressing tomorrow’s reality instead of preserving yesterday’s parochial interests,” Morton said. “What he’s hoping for is if there are ways to improve our collaboration. If we can give the campuses the ability to innovate. … Are there things we should quit doing, that we should continue doing, or that we should do? I think it will be a healthy exercise and give us a chance to move higher education forward.”

Member Mike Ness asked if the Board had any representation on the task force or if anyone had applied. Morton, Vice Chair Greg Stemen and Member Kevin Melicher all noted that they had applied. Faculty Advisor Birgit Pruess asked if Morton knew how the task force representatives would be selected.

Member Nick Hacker motioned to have the SBHE become a partner with the Governor’s Task Force, and the motion passed unanimously.

Morton then spoke on the climate survey. He began by touching on the background of the survey, which was prompted by a complaint from within the system office. He noted that the early complaint had proved an exaggeration, but the Board, working with the compliance officer, decided to hold an informal survey. Following that survey the Board members held meetings with system office staff and Chancellor Mark Hagerott to work on challenges that were identified. Later, the Board held a more formal survey.

Morton said the Board had chosen to move forward with the topic through due process, not in the court of public opinion. Following the latest formal survey and complaint filed with the Department of Labor, and with that due process in mind, the Board would enter executive session to discuss the topic.

Ness noted some questions about the difference in processes between the two surveys, specifically about number of respondents and types of questions. Compliance Officer Karol Riedman provided answers to the comparisons between the informal survey in 2016 and the formal survey done recently. She noted that the follow-up survey had been planned and based on climate surveys from a variety of sources. Once the questions were selected they were input into a program called Qualtrics, which offered high levels of anonymity to survey respondents to ensure accuracy and privacy protections. Riedman noted that all system office and some Core Technology Services staff were surveyed. Board discussion noted that the formal surveys should continue annually, and include all system office staff to be as comprehensive and scientific as possible.



Hagerott’s reports included updates on the Western Interstate Compact for Higher Education and Midwest Higher Education Commission meetings, Envision 2030, Senate Bill 2003, the Chancellor’s Cabinet Retreat, Bakken U, Blackboard and joint efforts by DPI and NDUS. Hacker provided more details on WICHE, with Hagerott provide more on MHEC. On Envision 2030, Hagerott had recently provided details during a standing-room only meeting at Minot State University as well as proposed summits for students, faculty and staff in the New Year. Work on the task forces under SB 2003’s mandate had moved forward progressively, with reports expected soon detailing direction for each. The Chancellor’s Cabinet Retreat was scheduled to take place the first week of December and would cover Governance and Envision 2030.

Williston State College President John Miller provided the Board with more details on the Bakken U program, which the five western colleges and universities had run with. Each institution had put in place its own program, which had resulted in tens of thousands in scholarships for returning students. He noted that they were looking for ways to expand the reach of the program, as well.

Chief Information Officer Darin King spoke briefly to the details of Blackboard, which had been implemented systemwide. He noted that outages had occurred due to infrastructural and design issues, which had since been addressed. Performance issues had also occurred, but the support tickets had decreased in volume significantly. King said that CTS was working proactively with Blackboard to ensure that semester-end, and next semester’s start – both typically high issue timeframes – were as smooth as possible.

Dr. Jennifer Weber, director of institutional research, provided details next on a joint initiative between DPI and NDUS that provided more public-facing data similar to the NDUS’ Dashboards program. She said that the effort would provide consistency to education-related data reporting in the state. Weber said that in other states the researchers had corresponded with, these joint efforts did not exist.

Stemen briefed the Board on the audit committee report, which included an update on performance audits throughout the system.

Ness next briefed the Board on the academic and student affairs committee, which included an update on TrainND, as well as new programs at Minot State University (graduate certificate in cybersecurity and undergraduate certificate in information), a MiSU program name change (teacher education and human performance to teacher education and kinesiology), and a new program at UND establishing the school of electrical engineers and computer science.

Hacker then briefed the Board on the budget and finance committee report, which included sale of UND’s Dakota Hall, approval of deferred maintenance for NDSU’s Walster Hall, roof replacement and partial air conditioning replacement at NDSU’s Quentin Burdick building, replacement of NDSU’s water/sewer/street project, renovation of NDSU’s Johnson Hall Low Rise, approval of NDSU’s Memorial Union roof replacement, approval of MiSU’s Joint Powers Agreement and fundraising campaign, approval of BSC’s formal fundraising campaign, approval of VCSU’s formal fundraising campaign, and approval of a future campus laundry service at UND.

In other business, the Board approved changes to Policy 409 (degrees offered), Policy 509 (professional student exchange program), and Policy 611.2 (employee responsibility and activities: intellectual property), authorized an energy improvement lease refinance approval for Mayville State University, heard University of North Dakota Pres. Mark Kennedy’s goals, and appointed Dr. Margaret Dahlberg as the interim president for Valley City State University.

Council of College Faculty President Debora Dragseth briefed the Board on a report card effort the CCF would be putting in place at the end for the year, effectively grading the Board on its actions in regard to system.

N.D. State Student Senate Retha Mattern briefed the Board next on staff business, including the staff newsletter that highlighted the many regular accomplishments of staffers from throughout the system.

Board Student Advisor Jacob Dailey then provided a student government report as N.D. Student Association President Kaleb Dschaak was unable to attend the meeting. Dailey noted that the student government was undertaking numerous efforts to be more active at each campus and systemwide.

Following the faculty, staff and student reports, the college and university presidents provided brief updates on recent big news from their campuses.

Media Coverage Summary – Dec. 1

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Dec. 1


Bismarck State College
BSC theater production sheds light on seriousness of sexual assault

Dakota College at Bottineau
Dakota College at Bottineau Honors Program to Present

Dickinson State University
Gruhlke named to Prairie Business magazine’s 40 under 40 list
The point of giving: annual blood drive returns to DSU

Lake Region State College
Art instructor receives award
Make a difference by becoming a speech language pathology paraprofessional

Mayville State University
Presidential search launched
Parker named Interim AD

Minot State University
Annual ‘Messiah’ to be presented Sunday at Minot State
Props for Pictures, Art Exhibition – Opening Reception
KMSU Auction returns for its 19th year
Tech Day attracts students from across the region

North Dakota State College of Science
NDSCS announces Construction Industry Workforce Partnership
NDSCS Performing Arts Department to present Holiday Concert December 5

North Dakota State University
Student Nurses of the Year named in Bismarck, Fargo
Student writing to be showcased
Shear increase: Decade-old Hettinger wool class sees record attendance
SCHMIDT: Upcoming NDSU Extension Service programs
ENGINEERING: ‘Robot revolution’ promises to change life on the prairie
Opinion: On Black Friday, the psychology of retail rage
Local student at NDSU competes in national sales challenge
Personalized pillows: Local maker finds success selling in boutiques across the country
NDSU Research and Tech Park celebrates 10-years of the tech incubator.
NDSU research finds water needs during Oil Patch boom unprecedented
Fargo among top 10 cities in national energy-savings competition
Over 600 students compete in Regional Robotics Championship
JET-POWERED FUTURE NDSU Jamestown student developing website for JPL

University of North Dakota
Cheech chats Chicano Art at UND
North Dakota’s opportunity engine picks up steam
Déjà vu in Dinkytown
Soldiers team with Med School for realistic training
To ‘the next level’ of cancer research

Valley City State University
VP Dahlberg to serve as VCSU interim president
VCSU honored as ‘Outstanding School’ by Special Olympics North Dakota

Williston State College
WSC instructor receives certification

North Dakota University System
NDSA – The Voice of the Students
BSC Staff Profile – Courtney Reiswig

NDSA – The Voice of the Students

The North Dakota Student Association (NDSA) is an organization of students from the 11 public higher education institutions within the North Dakota University System. We advocate for the students by spreading awareness within our institutions about the topics and issues being discussed in higher education and empowering them to be able to promote their own ideas to improve upon the standard of education in our state. It is our goal to represent the students within the NDUS with an open mind, integrity, and a unified voice from all institutions

Monthly meetings are set within each school year for student delegates to be able to congregate and discuss the topics and issues within the system of higher learning for North Dakota. Each month our meeting is hosted by a different institution where a guest speaker from their community is invited to speak to our delegation about their experiences in leadership, open perspectives, and the like in order to motivate our delegation of students to continue our mission in their respective institutions and be well-rounded student leaders. We meet in three different committees throughout the night, namely the Internal Affairs Committee (IAC), the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), and the State and Legislative Affairs Committee (SLAC). During each committee’s discussions our student delegates share their varying perspectives in order to better advocate for the overall welfare of all of our students. The job of IAC is to handle and maintain our internal operations while improving our organization so that we become more efficient in carrying out our initiatives. SAC focuses on student concerns and providing a platform for students to be able to discuss their thoughts on the issues that impact higher education and the NDUS. SLAC ensures that we have the ability to make our students’ voices heard by those in charge of higher education. SLAC also makes sure that we are knowledgeable of North Dakota’s legislative process and how we can advocate for our students at the state level. We reconvene on Saturday mornings to talk about the discussions had in our committees, recommend and debate upon action items, vote upon our body’s decisions, and network amongst delegations. It is through this process that we are able to ensure that we can advocate for all of our students and arrive at the opinions and decisions that best represents the students of North Dakota.

In order to represent our students, we stay active with the NDUS and place student representation in the conversations that affect higher education. Our delegates fill council positions where it is deemed necessary and communicate back to our assembly what is going on within the different councils in order  to fulfill our advocacy. Our officers ensure to analyze every information they can attain to equip our assembly with the knowledge to serve our mission and fight for the welfare of the students of our state.

Within the school year so far our assembly has had three meetings with great conversations about the different issues going on in higher education. We have been working on resolutions regarding chosen names, OERs, and Minnesota Reciprocity. Our officer team has made great strides by establishing relationships within the NDUS. We are currently working in conjunction with the NDUS on a Student Art Project and Student Vlog Project. The goal of these two projects is to represent the students within the NDUS and bring together all of our institutions. We’ve brought more student representation on NDUS councils and continue to find passionate delegates to be part of the many councils within the system geared towards improving the higher educational system.

Overall our mission is thriving. Every day new advocates for our institutions are created through  students who are passionate about spreading the awareness of the NDSA and our goal, which is to represent the student perspective in the important conversations had within and about higher education. We continually find ways to fulfill the purpose of our organization and hope to be able to inspire and motivate the generations of students to come to work together to let their voices be heard.