Monthly Archives: February 2018

New digital dashboards to prove insightful

The N.D. Insights homepage.

A collaborative effort among three state agencies has resulted in a brand new set of digital dashboards that aims to make the most up-to-date data available to parents and taxpayers.

Referred to as North Dakota Insights, the project took a page out of previous public data repositories – Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) and North Dakota University System’s (NDUS) Dashboards – and went one step further.

To make it happen, researchers, programmers and administrators at DPI, NDUS and the state’s Information Technology Department (ITD) started brainstorming more than a year ago. From that came a common goal: the agencies would create a dashboard that included information regarding high school graduation rates, student participation and test results from the N.D. State Assessment for English, math and science, and state results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to be more transparent and publicly accountable to North Dakota’s students, parents and taxpayers,” State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler noted at the launch of N.D. Insights. “North Dakotans invest their tax dollars in education, and we must make sure that information about how our schools are doing is easily accessible.”

From the technical side of the collaboration ITD SLDS Director Tracy Korsmo said his agency helped coordinate resources, design and develop the Insights site and the dashboards on it. Having been previously involved with Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) committees that defined the state’s plan and dashboard requirements, Korsmo had plenty of working knowledge on how to get the collaboration moving smoothly forward.

“The collaborative efforts were prompted by the need to cost-effectively create public data and dashboards from complex rules and data collections,” he noted. “The transition from No Child Left Behind to ESSA required a different approach to data collections by the DPI; gone are the days of spreadsheets, manually manipulated to produce static pdfs which took approximately 8 months to produce.

“To meet new accountability reporting requirements data such as graduation rates, assessment results, survey results are needed within a month after school ends and some collections during the current school year,” Korsmo added. “The need for more data, faster and valid data requires DPI to utilize the N.D. SLDS data and staff and be able to combine this with other state data collected by DPI.”

DPI Management Information Systems Director Ross Roemmich said the N.D. Insights project started because of the North Dakota Consolidated State Plan ESSA, which required states to publicly report academic achievement levels for all public schools. Roemmich said that four-phase project required school dashboards that existed under one accountability system and included information on advanced improvement and long-term goals.

Collaborative work began in earnest at the start of July when appropriations funded research staff for work involving both DPI and NDUS. At that time the two agencies entered an agreement with ITD to get the framework together for a website. After all, once the research was gathered, it would need a home. It was given one at

NDUS Institutional Researcher for Special Projects Greg Carlson said the site was split into two distinct portals.

“The N.D. Insights portal provides a public display of data at the state, district, and school levels while suppressing low subgroup counts in accordance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FERPA) Act guidelines preventing disclosure of identifiable student data,” he noted. “The N.D. Education Portal intended for state, school and district leaders provides a display similar to the N.D. Insights portal, without suppressing low cell counts as is required on the public portal.”

Carlson’s work included developing a testing script with a series of questions for each dashboard data element and corresponding spreadsheet for reporting, presenting a session outlining the purpose and structure of the testing plan. Additionally, he worked on providing direction on what testers should do to complete the process, and providing support during the process. After that, more collaboration in providing term explanations and portal testing took place to get the sites functioning prior to their November release dates.

Korsmo noted that due to data validation and resources from NDUS, statisticians from both SLDS and NDUS, and DPI staff providing accountability via official data, the work was a successful collaborative effort.

“Insights complements the SLDS as a public site that allows for interactive engagement with data, visual presentation and a means of informing the public and policy makers,” he said. “The Insight project provides an ‘official’ data layer to the SLDS. While the NDUS does use SLDS data for its Dashboards and public reporting, Insights allows DPI to utilize the SLDS for public reporting.”

Fully available to the public and true to its name, N.D. Insights gives the public a look into every public school in the state, Roemmich noted. Previous data such as SLDS required direct permission from a school district in order to view data. At N.D. Insights, all publicly-available data is accessible in one location.

“DPI has been blessed with great people that help us from NDUS and ITD,” Roemmich said. “ITD has developed years and years of work on the SLDS. DPI has compiled years and years of data for this project. Working collaboratively with NDUS–DPI-ITD, this project has been in preparation for many years.”

Korsmo added that Insights would expand to include information on K-12 schools not necessarily required, but still informational for the public. That would include information on transition and preparation for college and workforce, as well as data on the supply and demand of high-need careers and students enrolled in degrees/certificate programs to fill those careers.

“It has been difficult work and this multi-agency team has done a great job!” Korsmo stated.

“We have accomplished so much in such a short period of time with collaborative team work,” Roemmich said.

Carlson echoed the sentiment.

“The collaboration between NDUS and DPI has been exciting,” he said. “Through this process, N.D. has created a pioneering model of how institutional research can facilitate inter-agency collaboration, transcending differences in culture and constituency groups. To our knowledge, no other state features agency collaboration of this nature between K-12 and higher education.”

Miller: Helping expand Precision Ag education

In recent years Bismarck State College has shown its strengths in the realms of energy and cybersecurity, but take a closer look and one would find a growing interest in its long-time focus on agriculture.

Associate Professor of Agriculture, Technology and Natural Resources Carmel Miller may have helped that along.

Miller, now in her 17th year of teaching at BSC, initially got into the role after working with the NDSU Extension Service’s education and outreach. Looking for something that was a new challenge, she found the opportunity to work extensively with students at BSC.

Agriculture was a natural choice. Miller grew up on a ranch, and like many in agriculture-focused states, was involved in 4-H and FFA so agriculture education was a natural fit.

“Even though agriculture has faced some financially difficult times, I don’t ever regret being involved in this industry, she noted. “It has given me the opportunity to continually be challenged in a dynamic, always evolving and rapidly changing industry. There are so many diverse opportunities for students choosing agriculture. I’m thankful to do my part in promoting and teaching about ‘ag.’”

That part in promoting agriculture has aligned her with the Precision Ag curriculum at the college. While Precision Ag courses seem to be gaining steam throughout higher education thanks to rapid shifts in technology, BSC’s class has been around as long as Miller has been teaching. Recently three additional precision ag courses have been added.

According to Miller, new technologies give ag producers the ability to apply precise amounts of product at a specific place and a specific time. In addition to plenty of environmental and economic appeal due to site-specific management, Precision Ag technology has also become more user-friendly and efficient.

Miller said it could be hard to keep up with technology that changed so rapidly, but noted that was a challenge for many industries. In North Dakota, industry support helped keep the program’s equipment updated and helped pass along expertise when applicable. Occasional grant funding helped, as well.

“The equipment we have today will be old tomorrow, and so it’s important to change the way we look at teaching students,” Miller noted. “It’s not so important that they are proficient at one piece of technology, but rather that they have the tools in their toolbox to be able to adapt to changes in technology.”

Miller added that while tech may have changed, the students’ enthusiasm for the subject matter has not.

“Part of the enjoyment of teaching in a ‘tech’ program is the students are for the most part engaged in the classroom,” she said. “They are taking classes in their interest area and I find the students to be just as passionate about agriculture as I was at their age.”

She and the other instructors should have plenty of interested and engaged classrooms. In the past few years, BSC’s Agriculture Program has increased by leaps and bounds thanks to good years for ag commodities and corresponding excitement throughout the industry. That all aided student enrollment even after commodity price dips.

“Agriculture still provides many great career opportunities and I think that people are generally more aware of this,” Miller stated. “These is also a renewed interest in food including how you grow food and consumer awareness in general.

“Our program specifically increased our Precision Ag curriculum, along with Agronomy courses, in response to industry needs in our area,” she concluded. “We also have put forth more effort in marketing “agriculture careers” to high school students. Changes in our curriculum and getting the word out, along with some excellent jobs for two year degree students, has certainly helped our program grow.”

Bismarck State College campus successes

BSC student chosen for D.C. fellowship

BSC Mystician Editor Hunter Andes has been selected by the ND Newspaper Association to attend a reporting fellowship program in Washington, D.C. This is the second time in five years a BSC student has received this honor. Andes will join students from six other states to cover politics.


Successful energy conference

BSC Continuing Education once again coordinated the annual Energy Generation Conference Jan. 23-25. In its 39thyear, the conference drew 2,603 participants over three days, and a record number of exhibitors representing 35 states and filling 319 booths.


Energy, tech scholarships awarded

The BSC Foundation granted technical and energy scholarships to 85 BSC students for the Spring 2018 semester. Thanks to generous donors, the BSC Foundation provided more than $400,000 in scholarship awards this academic year.

Dakota College at Bottineau campus successes

Spring enrollment finalized

Enrollment is up for the spring semester at Dakota College at Bottineau, based on data for the 20th day of classes, which is the official census date for all North Dakota University System colleges.  The official enrollment this spring is 882 students, which compares to 789 a year ago and equates to an 11.8% increase in the student headcount.  This is a record headcount enrollment for the spring semester, surpassing the previous high of 868 students in the spring of 2011.For additional information on this story go to DCB’s news page:


Space Grant recipients announced

The North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, under the direction of the University of North Dakota, made available $7,000 in scholarship funds to students at Dakota College at Bottineau.  These funds were awarded to four students who show promise in the areas of science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).  The goal behind the North Dakota Space Grant Scholarship program is to identify, recruit and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; to encourage women and underrepresented students to enter these fields of study; and to increase NASA activities and awareness in North Dakota.  To qualify for the Space Grant Scholarship, students must show academic excellence, have a sophomore standing, and have education and career interests relevant to STEM. For additional information on this story go to DCB’s news page:


Director appointed to state advisory committee

Gov. Doug Burgum announced the creation of a 15-member Innovative Education Task Force last fall.  The Task Force, which is comprised of education, youth development, business and community leaders, is charged with creating a system of identification and support for schools and districts implementing innovative practices. In addition to the Taskforce, Gov. Burgum has created an Advisory Committee of individuals who work directly in the field to provide real-life, hands-on feedback to the Task Force.  Dakota College at Bottineau’s Distance Education Director, Kayla O’Toole, has accepted an invitation to be a member of the Advisory Committee.

Dickinson State University campus successes

Dickinson State has solid representation at 2018 ND Farm Bureau conference

Carlie Bowditch, a student at Dickinson State University (DSU) and member of the University’s Collegiate Farm Bureau Club, attended the North Dakota Farm Bureau’s (NDFB) Farm and Ranch Conference in Minot, Jan. 26 – 28. Bowditch, who is planning to graduate in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural studies, progressed through two preliminary rounds and placed in the top four in the conference’s discussion meet alongside DSU alumnus Jon Leadbetter. The topic for the final round was, “How can Farm Bureau help members with increasing legal and regulatory obstacles so they can focus on farming and ranching?”

Leadbetter, who graduated from Dickinson State in 2016 with an associate degree in agricultural sales and service, went on to win the discussion meet. Leadbetter currently works as a loan officer at Security State Bank in Wishek, where he lives with his wife, Mandi, and has a small herd of registered Simmental cattle. As the winner of the meet, he received a four-wheeler and will go on to compete in the national competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th annual convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.


DSU’s School of Business and Entrepreneurship receives 2018 LEAD awards

The distinguished recipients of the Leadership Excellence and Development (LEAD) Awards for 2018 were named for outstanding achievements in leadership development and programs in the areas of education, corporate, and individuals at the 2018 LEAD event held at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 7-8, 2018. Dickinson State is pleased to announce that the University’s School of Business and Entrepreneurship (SoBE) was among those recipients in several categories.

The SoBE at Dickinson State was nominated for awards in 3 academic categories, including: “Best Certificate with emphasis in HR” for the School’s Human Resource Management certificate, “Best Degree Program with emphasis on Leadership and Organizational Development” for the School’s Business Administration major, and “Best Degree Program with emphasis on HR” for the School’s Human Resource Management major.

Additionally, Dr. Holly Gruhlke, assistant professor of business and chair of the SoBE at Dickinson State, was nominated and advanced to the 2018 LEAD Awards’ winner circle in the category “Top Future Leader – 35 and Under.” Gruhlke attended the LEAD 2018 national conference in February on behalf of the University where she conducted three roundtables showcasing the School of Business and Entrepreneurship’s programs in human resources, administration and leadership.

“After a challenging two days of round tables, workshops and interviews, I’m thrilled to share we placed third in the HR certificate program and leadership degree program categories, fifth in the HR degree program category, and I received fourth place nationally in the top future leader category,” said Gruhlke. “Competition was fierce, as each category had anywhere from 100-250 nominees and there were many other notable universities nominated, including Harvard, UCLA and Vanderbilt. Not only were we in the top 10 percent, we were in the top 5 percent nationally across the board! This was truly a great day for DSU and the School of Business and Entrepreneurship.”


Dickinson State’s 2017 Impressions magazine wins first place in national contest

The 2017 edition of Dickinson State University’s (DSU) literary-art magazine Impressions won first place in the American Scholastic Press Association’s (ASPA) annual review and contest for scholastic yearbooks, magazines and newspapers. Impressions scored 945 out of 1000 points in the category of Scholastic Magazine Awards for Universities with enrollment of 1001-1700 students. Impressions has been published since 1989 by the Department of Language and Literature at Dickinson State. The 2017 edition was the first year that the magazine was created as a co-requisite of the Graphic Design III and the Literary Publications classes under the direction of Adjunct Faculty and Impressions Faculty Advisor Darla Hueske and Assistant Professor of English and Impressions Faculty Advisor Dr. Peter Grimes, respectively.

DSU students Jessica Grebner, Josh Reed and Megan Dailey were given full publishing liberty from soliciting magazine submissions and editing written work, to designing and submitting the final layout of the magazine. The collaborative experience provided the students with practical experience and a completed portfolio project, which will strengthen their marketability in the workplace.

Lake Region State College campus successes

LRSC Faculty earns honor

Dr. Betsy Bannier, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Lake Region State College, recently completed training to be a certified Solar System Ambassador volunteer. Solar System Ambassador program is volunteer outreach coordinated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech. Bannier will be hosting NASA-related community events (lectures, discussions, and children’s activities) in the Milwaukee area and also in North Dakota.


Social Work degree coming to LRSC

Cankdeska Cikana Community College and Lake Region State College signed a memorandum of understanding to deliver CCCC’s Associate in Arts degree in Social Work to students on the LRSC campus.  “The new MOU reflects a long history of the working relationship between CCCC and LRSC. The need for social workers for the region is significant, and this brings a unique pathway for students,” said Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, president of CCCC. Students choosing this Social Work degree program will apply for admission at CCCC and enroll as degree-seeking students. Students will complete a minimum of 22 credits at CCCC and approximately 38 credits at LRSC. Courses will be delivered from CCCC to LRSC utilizing distance education.

Mayville State University campus successes

MaSU research finds prospect of wheat as an industrial resource

The milling of wheat produces a large amount of bran that is either disposed of or sold at a low price. An MaSU research team of faculty and students found an alternative use for the bran, one of North Dakota’s most abundant agricultural byproducts. Using the bran to reinforce thermoplastic is an economical and effective way to make the product stronger.


Kelli Odden to represent National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators

MaSU Associate Professor of Education Kelli Odden has been selected to serve on the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE), representing higher education from North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, and Colorado. Odden serves on a committee that is aligning National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation standards for early childhood programs.


MaSU RN-to-BSN online nursing program benefits from Giving Hearts Day

Nearly $9,000 was raised to support the needs of MaSU’s RN-to-BSN online nursing program through the efforts of Giving Hearts Day, a 24-hour give-a-thon hosted by Dakota Medical Foundation and Impact Foundation on Feb. 9, 2018. Designed to assist with the shortage of nurses in the state, MaSU’s RN-to-BSN program accommodates current registered nurses who are pursuing baccalaureate degrees.

Minot State University campus successes

English students selected to present at Sigma Tau Delta International Convention

Four MSU students will present their academic and creative works March 21-24 at the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The works to be presented include: “Cerebra” by Martina Kranz, “A Lifetime of Races” by DeAndra Miller, “The Dystopian Influence on Postmodern Literature” by Adrianna Varbero, and “Free-Writing, Twofers, and Other Things” by Wyatt Olson.


Science students recognized at regional

Ten Minot State University students along professor Mikhail Bobylev attend the 12th annual Northwest Region Meeting “Undergraduate Research in the Molecular Sciences” event held at Minnesota State University – Moorhead.

The event featured students presenting the results of their research projects in organic chemistry. MSU students recently completed their projects in Bobylev’s lab. As a part of the event, nine students displayed poster presentations, while one made an oral presentation.


Minot State earns Star Volunteers Award

For the third straight year, Minot State University received the Star Volunteers Award from the Roosevelt Park Zoo.

The Star Volunteer Award recognizes businesses who have done over 500 hours of volunteer service at the zoo. MSU earned the designation for 2016 having reached the plateau in 2014 and 2015. Minot State is also on track to reach that level again for 2017, which will be awarded next year.

Minot State, over the past three years, has averaged 575 hours of volunteer work per year.

North Dakota State College of Science campus successes

NDSCS Spring Enrollment remains consistent

Spring enrollment at the North Dakota State College of Science remained consistent, with 2,827 students enrolled for the spring 2018 semester. The number of credits students are taking has increased by 28 to 30,561.


NDSCS announces Fall 2017 President’s Honor List

The North Dakota State College of Science named 423 students to its fall semester 2017 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 credits with letter grades.


NDSCS announces Construction Industry Workforce Partnership

The NDSCS Division for Workforce Affairs is announcing a partnership with the Minnesota / North Dakota Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) to offer Construction Core, a Rapid Response Training, as a pre-apprenticeship program. The training will be offered quarterly and will help to fill a need for additional skills in the region’s workforce.

North Dakota State University campus successes

NDSU nursing students earn state awards

Aurora Obembe was named the North Dakota Student Nurse of the Year, and Gabriel Eronmosele was named North Dakota Student Leader of the Year by the North Dakota Nursing Students’ Association. Obembe and Eronmosele are students in the NDSU School of Nursing.


NDSU named Military Friendly School

NDSU received gold status for its 2017-18 Military Friendly School designation. The list, in its 16th year, was released by Victory Media. It provides a comprehensive education guide for veterans and their families using data from federal agencies, veteran students and survey information from participating organizations.


NDSU faculty member leads Fargo to win $5 million energy prize

Malini Srivastava, assistant professor of architecture at NDSU, led Fargo’s efforts to win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize. The city of Fargo, NDSU, Cass County Electric Cooperative and Xcel Energy teamed up to create innovative ways to improve the city’s energy efficiency. Fargo’s strategies will serve as a national model.

University of North Dakota campus successes

UND student-athletes shine in the Winter Olympics

The University of North Dakota has an established presence in this year’s Winter Olympics, with current and former UND student-athletes representing and competing for their respective countries. Nine athletes in Pyongyang have roots at the University of North Dakota:  Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, USA Women’s Hockey; Monique Lamoureux-Morando, USA Women’s Hockey; Michelle Karvinen, Finland Women’s Hockey; Emma Nuutinen, Finland Women’s Hockey; Susana Tapani, Finland Women’s Hockey; Johanna Fallman, Sweden Women’s Hockey; Chay Genoway, Hockey Canada; Ludvig Hoff, Norway Men’s Hockey; and Joe Polo, USA Curling.


Harold Hamm visits UND College of Engineering & Mines

Harold Hamm, a pioneer of the Bakken oil boom and major UND benefactor, recently visited the UND campus to speak with students and share his advice for their future success. As the namesake of UND’s Harold Hamm School of Geological and Geological Engineering, the founder and CEO of Continental Oil has been a champion and advocate for the University. President Mark Kennedy hosted an event where Mr. Hamm was able to interact with current UND students on how they can be leaders in the oil and gas industry.


Bill Chaves named next Athletic Director for UND

The University of North Dakota has a new leader to guide the Fighting Hawk athletics programs. Bill Chaves, who previous served as the Athletic Director at Eastern Washington University, was named as the next AD for the University of North Dakota in January. As Athletic Director at EWU, Chaves achieved three Big Sky President’s Cups (2009-10, 2014-15, and 2015-16), record years in fundraising, and major athletic facility renovations.

Valley City State University campus successes

VCSU student selected for chemistry research experience in Prague

Casey Engelhard, a VCSU junior from Valley City, has been selected for an eight-week chemistry research experience this summer in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Engelhard will participate in a UND program, “International Research Experience for Students: Interdisciplinary Environmental and Green Applications in Chemistry.” The research project aims to develop a comprehensive understanding and description of adsorption mechanisms of microalgal biosorption. The study of adsorption of specific organic molecules to microalgal biomass will then enable effective application in environmental biotechnologies. Engelhard’s research award includes a stipend, housing and travel expenses.


VCSU sets spring enrollment records

VCSU has set spring enrollment records for the third consecutive year according to official Spring Semester 2018 census numbers released Feb. 6. The VCSU enrollment figures show a record spring headcount of 1,500 students, along with a spring record for FTE (full-time equivalent) enrollment of 1,044. Over the last 10 years, VCSU spring headcount has grown from 959 to 1,500—a 56 percent increase—and spring FTE enrollment has increased from 767 to 1,044, a 36 percent increase. The record spring enrollment follows an all-time record headcount enrollment of 1,522 students in fall 2017.


N.D. math/science teachers to meet at VCSU March 16-17

VCSU will host the collaborative spring conference of the North Dakota Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NDCTM) and the North Dakota Science Teachers Association (NDSTA) to be held Friday and Saturday, March 16–17. About 400 North Dakota K-16 math and science teachers will attend the event, held over VCSU’s spring break. Co-chairing the event are Jamie Wirth and Gary Ketterling of VCSU’s Great Plains STEM Education Center. An outstanding slate of keynote and special presenters has been secured. More information can be found at

Williston State College campus successes

WSC receives substantial assistance from STAR Fund

Four Williston State College projects were awarded a total of $12,000 from the STAR Fund, an initiative from the Williston City Commission to help finance local business and community improvement initiatives.

Submitted to the City of Williston Economic Development Board, groups from around the area are given the opportunity to submit grant applications to fund various projects. Four WSC staff members that successfully applied were Amanda Piesik, Cailtin Pallai, Shanna Curlin, Karissa Kjos, and Jenny Wolf.


WSC Foundation Adds Academic Scholarship

Each year the WSC Foundation creates something bigger and better for future WSC students. Beginning Fall 2018 graduates from Western North Dakota, Eastern Montana, Southern Saskatchewan or Southern Manitoba, Canada who have either passed six credits of Early Entry (dual credit) through WSC, have a cumulative high school GPA of a 2.75+, or an ACT score of 20+ (SAT equivalent) may be eligible to receive the WSC Foundation’s new Academic Achievement Award (AAA).

The Fall 2018 AAA mimics the Williams and Regional County Scholarships but expands past the nine current counties.

The Fall 2018 AAA will cover between 12-16 credits of tuition and fees for any eligible 2018 graduates from Western North Dakota or Eastern Montana and $1500 per semester  for eligible Southern Saskatchewan and Southern Manitoba, Canadian students who plan to attend WSC this fall.


WSC Enrollment Numbers Released

Official census numbers released today have Spring 2018 headcount at 1,164 making it WSC’s second highest overall enrollment, and only down slightly compared to last spring’s record-breaking headcount total of 1,168.

Part-time, online and Early Entry (Dual-Credit) students are up when compared to Spring 2017, but WSC saw its decrease in credit hours due to fewer full-time students.

Media Coverage Summary – Feb. 23

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Feb. 23


Bismarck State College
BookTalk at BSC wraps up March 4

Dakota College at Bottineau
DCB Director Appointed to State Advisory Committee

Dickinson State University
“Spoken from the Heart” HRWC gives local creative writers an opportunity to share their work
If Music Be the Food: Faculty recital at DSU to benefit AMEN food pantry
Women’s Voices 2018 “Women of the Past and Present: Celebrating a Century”
Dickinson State Brass Day Concert to be held Feb. 28
Dickinson State choir voices take listeners around the world

Lake Region State College
LRSC Playmakers present Dearly Departed

Mayville State University
MSU’s biology program graduates enjoy great career and educational opportunities

Minot State University
MSU nurses, nursing students to travel to Haiti with medical supplies
Division of Humanities begins Campus and Community Dialogue Series
Sen. Heitkamp visits MSU Nursing Department

North Dakota State College of Science
NDSCS now #15 in NJCAA women’s BB rankings

North Dakota State University
Pharmaceutical sciences graduate student wins Three Minute Thesis competition
Groundbreaking Research at NDSU Could Change the Future of Cancer
World Thinking Day Teaches Girl Scouts About World Cultures
NDSU Students Walk in the Shoes of Low-Income People with a Poverty Simulation
Collegiate FFA hosts high schoolers
Horn Enthusiasts Gather for “I Love My Horn” Event
Income tax filing deadline is March 1 for ag producers
Tips to keep stored grain cool during spring and summer
NDSU to host Fulbright Days
NDSU students learn with augmented-reality technology
NDSU Battle of Cents-es fundraiser sets record for donations
NDSU Concert Choir announces spring tour

University of North Dakota
Class acts
New approaches for Honors
Student-athlete of the Month: Davide Callegari
Gaming for impact
Trivia night

Valley City State University
Health Services to host Wellness Fair on campus March 7
A look at Generation Z

Williston State College
North Dakota University System
Morton: Digital options in a digital age
Board hears Commerce presentation, system policy revisions
Committee narrows list of presidential candidates to interview on Mayville State University campus
New report highlights distance education facets

Morton: Digital options in a digital age

Within the SBHE we are very supportive of Governor Burgum’s focus on raising awareness around the disruption that technology is bringing to the transfer of knowledge. Like the Governor we want to embrace the digital options and at the same time continue to enhance the on-campus experience for our students. All of us in leadership roles throughout the university system have seen firsthand the impact of technology in our continual quest to bring real innovation to higher education in our state. Our current students and future students bring a high digital IQ and high expectations as they prepare for a rewarding professional career.

That outlook naturally lends itself to wanting to explore the “how” and “why” of offering more digitally-based learning opportunities in classrooms throughout the North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities.

In the past two years, Interactive Video Network usage throughout the university system has increased substantially. While a year-round application of IVN has been to make meetings easier for everyone from our campus councils to the SBHE itself, the real winner has been in student growth. From 2014 to the last report from Core Technology Services, the number of undergraduate courses offered through IVN grew from 88 to 133. During that same time, the number of students grew by nearly 67 percent, from 1,011 to 1,680.

Recently, the system office released a report that supported IPEDS data indicating how our state has a lower-than-average rate of students who are attending college strictly online, even while we have a higher-than-average rate of students enrolled in at least one online course. It’s surprising but seems to show that while our students today still prefer classroom interaction, they still want the occasional convenience online courses can offer.

That’s not to mention the new opportunities that are being examined by faculty and staff through our learning management systems and the creation of mobile portals.

Nevertheless, these reports give us great data allowing us to see where we are as a university system, and what opportunities are available for our students. While the idea of knowledge transfer continues to evolve, the knowledge itself, plus the means and medium by which the knowledge is exchanged also evolves. As a Board we are confident that we will continue to innovate and offer the types of courses our students want, when and where they want them.

Board hears Commerce presentation, system policy revisions

The State Board of Higher Education heard numerous proposals and policy revisions at its meeting this month, including a technology commercialization proposal from the Department of Commerce, and revisions to a policy regarding faculty sick leave. Early in the meeting, Commerce Secretary Jay Schuler presented to the Board on the topic of technology transfer, noting during his presentation that the missions of the two organizations had interesting overlap at times. His overarching message: Jobs, jobs, jobs. Schuler spoke largely about the protection of jobs and intellectual property in the state, both of which could help foster long-term economic growth. Schuler spoke at length from his background with Giant Snacks, the nationally-recognized, local food brand known for its sunflower seeds. Schuler also talked with the Board about breaking down silos so that cooperation among business, industry and education could flourish.

Schuler also introduced Pam York, who provided an analysis on technology commercialization within college and university systems. She noted that regional economies that included colleges and universities benefitted highly from university “knowledge spillover” much more than those without systems of higher education. She added that university startups had a proven track record of creating “economic development and superior performance.”

Following the morning presentation, the Board held policy readings, including the first readings of policies 402.1.2 (student placement into college course), 917 (smoke-free facilities), and 803.2 (purchasing), and the second readings of policies 607.5 (faculty leave) and 916.1 (possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon in a campus residence). The latter two policies were those that had generated significant feedback from the campuses in the preceding months.

Chief Compliance Officer Karol Riedman provided insights on the background and frequently asked questions about the sick leave policy. She noted that the formal conversation was prompted by House Bill 1003 in 2015, which referred to data inconsistencies. One of those inconsistencies was a difference among campuses in how they addressed sick leave and accrual. By January 2017, a working group was staffed by campus representatives, who worked out the details of the policy in the following year.

After extensive discussions and revisions, the Human Resource Council, Council of College Faculty and Academic Affairs Council all approved the final version before the Board, with one major revision that brought it into compliance with 2017 legislation. As it currently read, faculty sick leave would begin at the date of appointment to position and have no redeemable cash value, although certain payouts up to 10 percent of accrued leave could be grandfathered in at campus discretion. Among other things, the policy would provide for a consistent non-accrual sick leave policy for all faculty, and it defined short-term sick leave, long-term sick leave, compensation during long-term sick leave, parental leave and more. Ultimately the policy discussion was tabled pending further review.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott provided a brief update on an Emerging Technology Working Group, followed by an update from Board member Kevin Melicher on the NDUS Foundation’s fundraising outlook, which included recent participation in Giving Hearts Day.

Board member Casey Ryan then provided a brief update on the presidential search at Mayville State University, where the search is underway to replace President Gary Hagen, who’s been at the university nearly four decades. He noted that out of the original 49 applications, 12 individuals had been selected for interviewing and the current applicant pool was down to five finalists. Strategic Analytics Coordinator Ryan Jockers provided a brief update on the planning process for presidential evaluations. He said the planning process would be wrapping up soon, with the biggest change being that the evaluations would be staggered by tier.

Vice Chancellor of Strategy and Strategic Engagement James “Phil” Wisecup then provided the Board with brief updates concerning the Envision 2030 initiative and the Senate Bill 2003 studies. Wisecup noted that both a student and faculty summit were scheduled to hear generate feedback to include in the final recommendations document due out this spring. On the campus studies, Wisecup stated that final report-outs and recommendations would also be coming this spring.

Chief Information Officer/Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Darin King spoke the expansion and utilization of BlackBoard. King provided a detailed account of BlackBoard usage across the system, including metrics, campus-level traffic and the tracking of performance problems. Board member Mike Ness provided the Board with recommendations from the Academic and Student Affairs Committee. Those recommendations included new programs such as an undergraduate certificate and Associate of Applied Science in Human Resource Management at Dakota College at Bottineau; and a minor and Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship at Minot State University. All recommendations were approved.

Under that committee report, Dr. Jeff Holm provided an update on distance learning at University of North Dakota. Following that was a report from Director of Student Affairs Katie Fitzsimmons, who touched on the growing needs at the campus levels.

Ryan then provided recommendations from the Budget and Finance Committee. Included in that report was an interim authorization for North Dakota State University to retain the law firm of Stinson Leonard Street LLP to defend the lawsuit initiated by Roers Construction, Inc. relating to the A. Glenn Hill Building; and establish a deficiency fund to pay the costs of the litigation in the expectation that NDSU will seek reimbursement of such costs through a deficiency appropriation in a future legislative session. Other recommendations were for NDSU to proceed with a fundraising campaign; for UND School of Medicine and Health Science to transfer funding to UND; for UND to raze two buildings; for Lake Region State College to increase mandatory fees by $6 per hour; for Valley City State University to proceed with repairs on the Lokken Field outdoor track field; and for MiSU to proceed with maintenance and renovation of MiSU Dome seating. All recommendations were approved. Board member Kathleen Neset then provided an update from the Governance Committee, including details on the chancellor evaluation process, and committee charters and policies. Board Vice chair Greg Stemen provided the Board with an update on the Audit Committee’s report. Representatives from North Dakota Student Association, Council of College Faculties and North Dakota State Staff Senate also took time to update the Board on their respective groups.

In other business, the Board also heard updates on the UND Steam Plant, and spent some time in executive session to discuss a complaint filed against the university system with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights. The next Board meeting is scheduled for March 28 and will included the MaSU Presidential Search.

Committee narrows list of presidential candidates to interview on Mayville State University campus

The Mayville State University presidential search committee interviewed presidential candidates February 20 and 21 over the interactive video network (IVN) at the Mayville State campus to narrow the list of 12 candidates to five.

“Our committee was very impressed with the breadth of experience and high caliber of our candidate pool, which made narrowing it down to the five semi-finalists a challenge,” Mayville State Presidential Search Committee Co-Chair Andrew Pflipsen said. “We are excited for the candidate’s upcoming visits and introducing them to our students, faculty, staff, and the greater Mayville State campus community. We are confident that through these visits and campus conversations with our constituents both on and off campus, we will be able to identify a leader that will be able to build upon the great foundation that has been established over the last 12 years and take Mayville State to the next level.”

The semi-finalists will be invited to campus between the dates of March 5 through 7 to meet with the search committee as well as meet with a broad base of internal and external constituency groups. The search committee will solicit feedback from faculty, staff, students and all other stakeholders before the final meeting of the search committee scheduled for March 8.

The finalists who will proceed to the next interview stage include:

  • Tom Corti, vice president for student affairs, Farmingdale State College, SUNY, Farmingdale, New York.
  • Bernell Hirning, interim associate vice president and associate regional dean, National University, Fresno, California.
  • Timothy O’Keefe, dean, College of Business and Economics, Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia
  • Keith Stenehjem, vice president for academic affairs at Mayville State University, Mayville, North Dakota
  • Brian Van Horn, associate provost, Murray State College, Murray, Kentucky

The search committee will recommend a group of finalists to the State Board of Higher Education, which will conduct final interviews on the Mayville State campus March 28, with the selection of the next Mayville State University president announced thereafter.

Media Coverage Summary – Feb. 16

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Feb. 16


Bismarck State College
Job Fair set for March 1 at BSC

Dakota College at Bottineau
DCB Director Appointed to State Advisory Committee

Dickinson State University
DSU’s School of Business and Entrepreneurship receives 2018 LEAD awards
Dickinson State band students enjoy an orchestral weekend
Dickinson State Theatre presents “Time Stands Still” opening Feb. 22
Putting the Fun in Fundraising- the Inaugural Sweating for Scholarships
Dickinson State celebrates Black History Month
Hawk’s Perch – February 2018

Lake Region State College
LRSC faculty earns honor

Mayville State University
MSU’s biology program graduates enjoy great career and educational opportunities

Minot State University
Minot State adds three criminal justice minors
English students selected to present at Sigma Tau Delta International Convention
Anderson wins Minot Symphony Orchestra’s Young Composers Competition

North Dakota State College of Science
Nihilism expert speaks at NDSCS

North Dakota State University
NDSU students take third place in snowplow competition
NDSU researchers examine dolls/trucks choices by babies
Faculty member honored by national architecture group
NDSU nursing students receive state awards
NDSU event to showcase African culture, heritage
NDSU coordinating Lakota language revitalization event
Nursing faculty member named Nurse Educator of the Year
Three Minute Thesis competition, Graduate Student Showcase to highlight graduate student research
Command performance – Dicamba training draws a crowd
 Garden club to learn about growing apples
Soil Health Minute: Grazing cover crops
NDSU Extension direct contacts top 1 million
Date set for Woodlands and High Plains Powwow at NDSU
NDSU’s Darwin Day Teaches Community About Life Sciences
NDSU Saddles Up for 92nd International Livestock Show
Fundraiser Helping Former NDSU Engineering Student Battling Cancer

University of North Dakota
Talking about tough topics
U.S. Presidents and UND
Knack for giftedness
Passion for preservation
Going for gold

Valley City State University
MLK performer Stephon Ferguson to present at VCSU Feb. 26
What our enrollment growth tells us about VCSU

Williston State College
WSC Enrollment Numbers Released

North Dakota University System
New report highlights distance education facets

New report highlights distance education facets

A recent North Dakota University System report noted two particular facets of distance education in the state.

The report, which is available here. This report supports IPEDS reported data that indicates that North Dakota has a lower-than-average rate of students who are attending college only through online means, yet the state has a higher-than-average rate of students who are currently taking at least one course online.

According to Chancellor Mark Hagerott, that signified that students enrolled in the public system aren’t averse to online courses, yet prefer the in-class instruction offered by traditional classrooms.

“Students today grew up connected to a digital world, so feel comfortable in that realm,” Hagerott said. “However, a majority of our students still prefer to attend class with their peers. What that means for our university system is that we will continue to focus on providing opportunities for student success in the traditional classroom even as we look to see if there’s room to increase an online presence.”

Additionally, the report showed that a majority of students who attended online-only resided in the same county as the school they were taking courses from. For instance, most online-only students taking courses from Bismarck State College reside in Burleigh and Morton counties, and most taking online courses from North Dakota State University reside in Cass County.

Media Coverage Summary – Feb. 9

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Feb. 9


Bismarck State College
BSC men’s ensemble will serenade your Valentine

Dakota College at Bottineau
2018 DCB Space Grant Scholarship Recipients Announced

Dickinson State University
Inaugural Small Business Workshop to provide valuable resources to business owners
DSU students participate in adjudicated jazz festival

Lake Region State College
Customer service training

Mayville State University
MSU’s biology program graduates enjoy great career and educational opportunities
President search update

Minot State University
Accounting students assist taxpayers through VITA
Foreign Language students engage with community
From Nordic Waffles to the Super Bowl

North Dakota State College of Science
Governor visit

North Dakota State University
Local club to feature guest lecture on use of UAVs in photography
In Fargo, a Bittersweet Super Bowl Without Wentz
5 questions with … Tim Petry, extension livestock marketing economist at NDSU
NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Club announces livestock show
NDSU Lends Helping Hand to United Blood Services
NDSU Is Preparing Students for the Future

University of North Dakota
Doctor is in
Liberal arts’ next chapter
Sally Page — dedication and longevity
Giving back now and for years to come
Peace of mind

Valley City State University
VCSU sets spring enrollment records
Fall 2017 honor rolls released

Williston State College
WSC Enrollment Numbers Released
WSC Foundation Adds Academic Scholarship

North Dakota University System
Dolan named NDUS vice chancellor for administrative affairs
Search for new president to lead Mayville State University progressing
Department of Homeland Security Convenes Pilot Leadership Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education

Dolan named NDUS vice chancellor for administrative affairs

The North Dakota University System has named Tammy Dolan as vice chancellor for administrative affairs. She continues to perform the duties of the chief financial officer position for the system office as well.

Tammy Dolan has taken on responsibilities as the system’s vice chancellor for administrative affairs as of Jan. 1, 2018. She has been the chief financial officer since November 2015. The new position fills the need for leadership level oversight of financial administration, development of the tuition model and other financial functions at the system level.

Prior to working at the NDUS, Dolan previously served as a management and fiscal analyst at the Office of Management and Budget. She has more than 25 years of experience in state government, including helping to create the higher education funding formula.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott said Dolan continues to be an exemplary fit to the organization.

“Ms. Dolan has extensive leadership-level experience in administrative operations, experience with the higher education funding formula and with the legislative process and a work philosophy that has been an asset to the NDUS,” Hagerott said. “She has helped us navigate the budget cuts across the system and her professional approach has helped us create a budget plan to continue our strategic process while maintaining minimal impacts to our students and campuses.”