Monthly Archives: December 2018

Media Coverage Summary – Dec. 21

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Dec. 21


Bismarck State College
Happy Holidays from BSC

Dakota College at Bottineau
Looking Forward

Dickinson State University
Graduates say goodbye to Dickinson State during fall commencement
Blue Hawk Supporter – December 2018
Dickinson State’s Sharon Kilzer selected to serve on Theodore Roosevelt Association advisory board

Lake Region State College
Royal Treatment arrives at local schools

Mayville State University
Glitz & Glam Gala Feb. 2 
Broken Foot kicks off career for Creighton PFAU

Minot State University
Marina Carrillo: Looking forward
ALUM FROM DAY 1: Carlton Mhangami
Sister Queens: MSU students use pageants to promote passions

North Dakota State College of Science
NDSCS graduates report 99 percent placement

North Dakota State University
New Bison Alumni: 730 Students Graduate from NDSU
NDSU named Palo Alto Networks Authorized Cybersecurity Academy
New study touts agricultural environmental benefits of biochar
NSF CAREER recipient appointed Welch Faculty Fellow
New precision ag major offered at NDSU
Susan Keller named 93rd Little International Agriculturist of the Year
Landscape architecture students envision multi-use space for downtown Fargo

University of North Dakota
Big day for ‘Big Data’
A’maize’ing scholar
President Kennedy: unleash the waves others must surf
Happy Holidays from UND!
One for the ages

Valley City State University
2018: A good year at VCSU

Williston State College
3rd Annual WSC Arizona Gathering Scheduled

North Dakota University System
Board of Higher Education Finalists Chosen

Board of Higher Education Finalists Chosen

State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced Monday that a nominating committee has recommended candidates for three openings on North Dakota’s Board of Higher Education.

The board now has one vacancy, created by the September resignation of former vice chairman Greg Stemen. The eight-member board will have two more openings on June 30, when Stemen’s original four-year term ends, and the four-year term of incumbent board member Nick Hacker expires.

The nominating committee on Monday chose these finalists for the three openings:

For Stemen’s unexpired term, which ends June 30:

  • Timothy Mihalick, Minot, a business development officer at First Western Bank & Trust of Minot;
  • Thomas Atkinson, Bismarck, an environmental engineer for the Western Area Power Administration; and
  • Lonnie Pederson, Oxbow, director of the Jeremiah Program, which provides aid to single parents and their children.

For a new four-year term that begins July 1: Mihalick, Atkinson and Pederson.

For a new four-year term, which begins July 1, for the seat now held by incumbent Nick Hacker:

  • Hacker, of Bismarck, the president of North Dakota Guaranty & Title Co.;
  • Mike Seminary, Bismarck, who is business development manager at Houston Engineering and a former mayor of Bismarck; and
  • Taya Spelhaug, West Fargo, the North Dakota manager of Microsoft TechSpark, which promotes broadband access and computer science in schools.

Baesler is chair of a five-member committee that recommends whom the governor should appoint to the Board of Higher Education. Gov. Doug Burgum will make the final choices. His picks are subject to confirmation by the North Dakota Senate.

Choosing identical lists for Stemen’s unexpired term, and for the new four-year term that follows it, will give Burgum the option of appointing the same person for both terms. That would avoid the possibility that a newly selected Board of Higher Education member would serve for less than six months.

The nominating committee’s other members are North Dakota House Speaker Lawrence Klemin, R-Bismarck; state Sen. David Hogue, R-Minot, the North Dakota Senate’s president pro tempore; Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle; and Nick Archuleta, the president of North Dakota United, which represents public employees and school teachers. The nominating committee is established in the North Dakota Constitution.

The Board of Higher Education oversees the 11 public colleges and universities in the North Dakota University System. It has eight voting members and two advisory members who represent the university system’s faculty and staff.

Media Coverage Summary – Dec. 14

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Dec. 14


Bismarck State College
Hour of Code event reflects statewide effort to promote technology and cyber education
BSC’s BookTalk series marks 20 years with a minimalist theme
BSC nursing students earn 100 percent pass rate

Dakota College at Bottineau
Successful Collaboration Between MSU and DCB

Dickinson State University
DSU School of Business and Entrepreneurship approved to offer master’s program
Video: DSU Student-Athletes Volunteer
DSU’s Moberg works to improve teacher education across the nation

Lake Region State College
Student nurses send books to Africa

Mayville State University
‘Tis the season of giving
Dr. Kelli Odden personifies Mayville State’s motto

Minot State University
‘Magnetic forces’ lead Vigstol to Minot State
Minot State is Murray’s place

North Dakota State College of Science
Breckenridge students taking unique class in Wahpeton

North Dakota State University
NDSU and UMN researchers unearth old Red River flood evidence
NDSU scientist to visit Ben Franklin sixth grade students
Annual Western Dakota Crops Day set for Dec. 20
‘I’m very excited’: Siblings to play in opposing marching bands in NDSU-SDSU game
Commencement speaker to emphasize hard work
The best part of the NDSU experience, according to new grads
Alumni named to ’40 Under 40’ list
Menard reflects on his NDSU experience
NDSU students receive national and state nursing scholarships
Inspiring Teacher: Paul Brown, senior lecturer and MBA program coordinator

University of North Dakota
One for the ages
A vigilant voice
Spotlight on students
UND on the global stage
Remembering Abi Nadeau Winsor

Valley City State University
Winter Commencement to be held Thursday, Dec. 13

Williston State College
WSC Student Excels in ALEKS

North Dakota University System
‘Operation Red, White & Blue’ hits CTS

Bismarck State College

BSC partners with Straighterline

BSC and Straighterline have partnered to help students affordably earn college credit and complete complete their degrees. StraighterLine provides high quality, flexible, low cost, online general education courses. With this agreement, BSC will recognize the Straighterline credits, allowing students to onboard to BSC and earn a degree.


BSC part of K-20W team nominated for Roaming Bison Award

BSC is proud to be part of the team engaged in the mission of “Every Student, Cyber Education, K-PHD,” an initiative nominated for the Roaming Bison Award – one of the North Dakota Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service.


Novak publishes in national academic journal

Lindsey Novak, Assistant Professor of Agriculture, Technology and Natural Resources, recently published an article (Factors Impacting Corn Establishment and the Role of Uniform Establishment on Yield) in Agricultural Sciences, a national academic journal.

Dakota College at Bottineau

Health Profession Scholarship Recipient

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation has awarded scholarships to twenty-six health profession students attending North Dakota colleges, universities or technical colleges.

Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB) is happy to announce Norah Gable among the recipients.  Norah is from St. John, ND and a 2018-19 AD nursing student at DCB.  Congratulations to Norah and these outstanding students who have each received a $2,500 health profession scholarship for the 2018-19 school year.      


honors symposium

The Honors Program is in its sixth year of course offerings at Dakota College at Bottineau.  The DCB Honors students presented their research last week at the Honors Symposium.  At the close of each semester the honors students present their research to faculty and staff at DCB.  The symposium highlights the achievements, studies and work that has been completed in the honors courses.  The symposium features seven courses on the Dakota College at Bottineau campus.

Dickinson State University

DSU School of Business and Entrepreneurship approved to offer master’s program

Dickinson State University (DSU) received approval at the Dec. 6, State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) meeting to offer a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship (ME), the University’s second approved master’s program. In a unanimous vote, DSU was approved to launch its inaugural cohort, which will begin online in August 2019.

In 2016, the School of Business and Entrepreneurship (SoBE) at Dickinson State developed a strategic plan that aligned with the North Dakota University System’s objectives, emphasizing its efforts to support entrepreneurial activities and economic development. After that work was completed, SoBE forwarded a proposal to the SBHE in February 2018 requesting permission to offer a master’s in Entrepreneurship. Read more here.


Video: DSU Student-Athletes Volunteer

The interview with members of the DSU basketball teams can be found here:

Meet the young men and women of the Dickinson State University basketball teams! When they aren’t studying or shooting hoops, they’re giving back to the community that supports them. Check out what they’ve been up to!

Lake Region State College

LRSC Nursing Director receives national honor

The National Organization of State Office of Rural Health recently released its stars from each sate. ​ In 2015, NOSORH asked states to nominate hospital and emergency first responder teams, community health, and volunteer service heroes on the front lines of rural health who were making a positive impact on rural lives. Soon after the stories started coming, the book of National Rural Health Day Community Stars was published.
Karen Clementich, Nursing Director at LRSC, appeared in the 2018 edition that is available on the website, the official hub for National Rural Health Day and the Power of Rural movement, beginning November 15, 2018. She was nominated by the Center for Rural Health at UND.
LRSC Precision Ag Program showcases at National FFA convention
It’s not every day that you can showcase your program to 65,000 high school students, but that is what the Lake Region State College Precision Ag program did during the National Future Farmer of America conference in Indianapolis Oct. 24th through 27th.
The opportunity to attend came through the Cenex Harvest States Foundation, which supports LRSC Precision Ag with scholarships and program enhancement.
The CHS Foundation funded the purchase of the combine simulator that was on display at the FFA convention. The simulator is used in classroom application, workforce training for producers and laborers, and at outreach events to showcase the precision ag program.
Two inducted in Hall of Fame
Two were inducted into Lake Region State College’s Hall of Fame November 2.
Longtime registrar and math instructor Dan Johnson and college advocate Annette Hofstad are this year’s inductdees.
Johnson has been the registrar and math instructor for 50 years. Recently, the college named the mathematics classroom in his honor.
Hofstad served on the Community College Foundation and has been an active supporter of LRSC through participation in the Foundation and as an advocate to various audiences.

Mayville State University

MaSU students assist with Feed My Starving Children project

MaSU students enrolled in instructor Michelle Warren’s Seminar on Success (SOS) class volunteered their services for the Feed My Starving Children Project on Nov. 30. During the MobilePack event, the students joined members of the community packing MannaPack™ meals for starving children around the world. The event was organized by churches of the community.


Comets football players prepare Military Honor Garden for the holidays

Members of the MaSU football team took time from their studies to put up lights at the Military Honor Garden at Mayville State in preparation for the holidays. The men strung red, white, and blue lights on the evergreen trees that grace the south edge of the garden.


Michael Kjelland presents keynote lecture in Tuxpan

Dr. Michael Kjelland, MaSU Assistant Professor Biology, presented a keynote lecture at the VII Congreso Internacional Biologico Agropecuario held Oct. 3-5 in Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico. The conference facilitates the exchange of ideas and recent research experiences with students and others. Kjelland’s presentation focused on biotechnology tools for enhancing livestock production and wildlife conservation.

Minot State University

SPED receive approval, sign Memorandum of Understanding

Minot State University’s special education (SPED) programs recently received final approval from the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (ND ESPB), and also signed their second five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Michigan Department of Education for National Deaf Education Consortium.

The ND ESPB is an independent board that continually reviews North Dakota standards and procedures pertaining to licensure and teacher education programs, and approved Minot State’s Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd) with a major in Special Education and Master of Science (MS) in Special Education.

The Michigan Department of Education MOU establishes continued collaboration with Minot State University to deliver online coursework that will permit certified teachers in Michigan to qualify for an additional Michigan teaching endorsement in Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH)


Minot State finalizes rededication of WWI Memorial

Minot State University, along with the Minot State Veterans Services office, had a final rededication ceremony for a memorial for two former MSU students, Henry Finn and James Otis Cooper, who died during World War I.

The Veterans Day event started in the Westlie Room before moving outside to conclude the rededication efforts that began on Memorial Day acknowledging the sacrifices of Finn and Cooper. A memorial bench was placed in between two trees planted in May between the Gordon B. Olson Library and Swain Hall.


Essentials for Learning makes big impact

The Minot State University Roger Looyenga Leadership Program started a class assignment two years ago hoping to help the community. Fast forward to this fall and the project, named Essentials for Learning, has done just that.

After partnering with the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce 2018 Community Leadership Institute (CLI) Class, the project raised nearly $10,000 in cash and items to fulfill the most basic needs for students in the Minot Public School System.

North Dakota State College of Science

NDSCS graduates report 99 percent placement

North Dakota State College of Science’s 2018 Graduate Placement Report has revealed that 99 percent of the College’s 2018 career and technical education graduates are employed or continuing their education. NDSCS has consistently reported a 98 or 99 percent placement rate since 2010.

North Dakota State University

NDSU to offer new precision ag major and minor

The use of emerging technology, such as drones or GPS data, is transforming the agriculture industry. In January, NDSU will begin offering a program so students can stay at the front edge of the curve. NDSU’s new precision agriculture major and minor will educate the farmers, ranchers and ag technologists of tomorrow.


NDSU historical film project to be unveiled

A new documentary film, “1898-1899, North Dakota Goes to War,” is  a product of NDSU’s Digital History class taught by associate professor Angela Smith. The story focuses on the 1st North Dakota Infantry Volunteers, men who fought in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. It premieres Dec. 10 at the Fargo Theater.


Showcase of Student Writing highlights students’ work

The writing talents of NDSU students were spotlighted during the fourth annual Showcase of Student Writing Dec. 3. Students from more than 60 NDSU courses displayed their work, including first-year writing, writing in the humanities and social sciences, business, technical, scientific and professional writing, creative writing and writing in foreign languages.

University of North Dakota

High standards hall pact with FedEx

Student-pilot scholarship program supports future flight instructors at UND. The FedEx Purple Runway Aviation Scholarship Program will provide funding to students completing training as certified flight instructors. It’s also designed to support those earning their instrument and multi-engine instruction ratings. Highlighting the occasion was a larger-than-life check written out to the school for $500,000. That amount will fund five years of scholarships targeted specifically to those becoming flight instructors.

UND student vote to fund new Memorial Union

UND students voted to leave a legacy for future students on Tuesday, November 20. They voted 54 to 46 percent to increase their student fees and build a new Memorial Union. A total of 2,439 students took part in the election, more than in the vote for the mascot. Planning for the new building, which will cost about $80 million, begins soon. It is expected to be completed in Spring 2021, pending approval by the State Board of Higher Education and the North Dakota State Legislature. The new, 158,000 square-foot, three-story Memorial Union will include study and meeting spaces with up-to-date technology, expanded dining and retail options, indoor/outdoor gathering spaces, a rooftop terrace, and more.

UND representatives attend Department of Homeland Security’s Future UAS Threat Workshop at Camp Grafton Training Center

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) led an unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, workshop this week (Nov 6-7), which partnered private and government agencies at the North Dakota National Guard’s Camp Grafton Training Center. Attending the workshop were representatives of the University of North Dakota (UND); MIT-Lincoln Laboratories; Sandia National Laboratories; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; and Aerospace Corp. The groups worked together to analyze and identify future threat UAS capabilities. Some of the key participants from North Dakota during this week’s workshop included Mark Askelson, of UND’s Research Institute for Autonomous Systems; and Paul Snyder, head of UND Aerospace’s UAS Program. Their involvement in the workshop highlighted North Dakota’s position as a leader in UAS and counter-UAS technology.

Valley City State University

Dahlberg recognized for interim presidential service at VCSU

Margaret Dahlberg, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs at Valley City State University, was recognized for her service as VCSU’s interim president at a reception held in the Student Center on campus Nov. 29. Guests from throughout the North Dakota University System and the Valley City and VCSU communities turned out to thank Dahlberg for her exemplary work in the local community, on campus and within the system. Dahlberg has served two stints as interim—one in the last half of 2014, and another which began a year ago. As interim president, she has put her signature on VCSU’s strategic plan and encouraged innovation while strengthening the university’s core programs. She will return to her role as VCSU vice president for academic affairs with the arrival of incoming president Alan LaFave in mid-December 2018.


VCSU alumni Gjovik and Hatt win ACTE national awards

Peder Gjovik ’77 and Katie Hatt M.Ed. ’16 won awards at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) national conference, CareerTech VISION 2018, in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 28. Gjovik, associate professor and chair of the VCSU Department of Technology, was named ACTE 2019 Teacher Educator of the Year. Hatt, health careers instructor in the Grand Forks (N.D.) Public Schools and the Grand Forks Area Career and Technology Center, was named ACTE 2019 New Teacher of the Year.


VCSU’s Roelfsema named to Prairie Business ‘40 Under 40’ list

Stephanie Roelfsema, director for residence life at Valley City State University, has been named to Prairie Business magazine’s 2018 “40 Under 40” list, which recognizes 40 of the top business professionals under the age of 40 in the Northern Plains. Roelfsema founded and organized a committee which created the campus Shatter the Silence walk against sexual assault this fall. The Oct. 1 event brought together more than 70 students, faculty, staff and community members who walked through campus and part of Valley City in an educational and supportive crusade.

Williston State College

Nebeker Named New TrainND Regional Director

Williston State College is pleased to announce Kenley Nebeker as the new Regional Director for Technical Programs and Training at TrainND. Nebeker assumed his new role in November. A native of Murtaugh, Idaho, he earned his AS at the College of Southern Idaho, BA at Idaho State University (ISU), and is completing his M.ED in Instructional Technology from ISU.


Tis the Holiday Music Season!

The holiday music season is here and it is a busy one for the Williston State College Music Program. On Sunday, December 9, WSC will host its 6th annual WSC Holiday Concert at 2:30 p.m. in the Skadeland Gym.


WSC Giving Tree Returns

Williston State College’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) has put up its annual Giving Tree for the 2018 holiday season. Given the success of previous trees, the 2018 PTK Giving Tree now holds 100 ornaments – double from last year. Gifts will go to Williston Wonders and Head Start.

Media Coverage Summary – Dec. 7

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, Dec. 7


Bismarck State College
BSC winter play tells not-so-typical love story
BSC surgical tech program achieves 100% pass rate for 10th consecutive year

Dakota College at Bottineau
Successful Collaboration Between MSU and DCB

Dickinson State University
Odyssey leases space at DSU for temporary theatre
Alumni Spotlight: U.S. Marshal for the District of North Dakota – Dallas Carlson ’03
Empty Bowls event raises $4,300 in its eighth year
Wohletz named to Prairie Business 40 Under 40
DSU fall commencement to feature Moerkerke as student speaker

Lake Region State College

Mayville State University
Miranda Petersen looks to make a positive difference as an elementary school teacher
Football players prep Military Honor Garden for holidays
MaSU students volunteer

Minot State University
ALUM FROM DAY 1: Junior Haley Hildenbrand
Essentials for Learning makes big impact
Kittelson stays close to family roots

North Dakota State College of Science
Daily News: NDSCS holds Christmas Concert Tuesday in Wahpeton

North Dakota State University
NDSU study documents impacts of Fusarium Head Blight
NDSU’s Wachenheim receives teaching award
Israeli drone could revolutionize US farm production
Two Harbors native leads team in national cybersecurity contest
Former IRE student proving to be a cybersecurity leader
Professor honored by Durum Growers Association
Books on Broadway hosting authors as part of Holiday Stroll

University of North Dakota
Right at home in the ‘real world’
Kennedy: five vital lessons from George H.W. Bush
Whirlwind semester
Search panel named for Arts & Sciences deanship
A stone’s throw

Valley City State University
The Normal School Museum and Lura Perrine
VCSU’s Roelfsema named to Prairie Business ‘40 Under 40’ list

Williston State College
WSC Giving Tree Returns

North Dakota University System
‘Operation Red, White & Blue’ hits CTS

Board preps in last meeting before session

The last meeting of the 2018 calendar year and the start of the legislative session was packed with plenty of business for the State Board of Higher Education. Among that business were updates on Envision 2030, a Lumina Foundation grant, and of course, processes involving the upcoming session.

In addition to preparations for the legislative session, much discussion also revolved around Gov. Doug Burgum’s 2019-21 Executive Budget, which had been presented the day before. Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs/Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan spoke to the Board about that. She noted that she was happy there was not a larger base budget reduction, and that Gov. Burgum had prioritized salary increases and benefits for state employees. She added that there were lingering concerns over how the five percent reduction would still be felt on top of the previous 17 percent budget cuts, but that the governor’s budget was a good starting point from which to move forward.

Additionally, significant time was spent discussing a proposed adjustment to certain tuition rates. The topic was brought up after it was noted that South Dakota’s Board of Regents had recently moved to allow the state’s public colleges and universities to offer in-state tuition rates to students from six surrounding states as a way to increase enrollment. During the Board meeting, North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani and North Dakota State College of Science President John Richman both noted that the move could result in decreased enrollments at their schools, and others in the state, if North Dakota didn’t respond with an adjusted rate for out-of-state students. Board members differed on whether or not to move forward with a proposal so quickly after hearing about it, and opted instead to move any decision on the topic to a special meeting later this month.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott’s reports started with an update on the Envision 2030 initiative, as well as bringing attention to the NDUS Biennial Review publication. He noted that progress was being made on the Polytechnic and Dual-Mission initiatives at Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University.

Vice Chancellor for Information Technology/Chief Information Officer Darin King then presented his IT status report. King stated that a recent phishing management system had been implemented throughout the university system.

Vice Chancellor of Strategy and Strategic Engagement Phil Wisecup provided the Board with an update on the Lumina Foundation Attainment Grant. Wisecup noted that his team had been working with the Consensus Council and workforce groups to further the goals outlined under that grant.

Dolan reported on updates to information requests and legislation tracking in advance of the upcoming session. She walked Board members through a handful of bills that had been proposed so far by legislative committees, and added that the list would only grow as the session began. Dolan noted that senior staff would be in contact with the Board throughout the session as legislation developed.

Legal Counsel Eric Olson provided briefs to the Board on Title IX Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and the status of a labor complaint.

The Board also heard bond proposals for the University of North Dakota, which included $25 million capital project request for parking infrastructure. Additionally, UND requested approval to pursue legislative changes related to project financing mechanisms. After discussion, the Board offered support for a proposal that would allow campuses to access financing through the Bank of North Dakota for infrastructure.

The Board held first readings of Policy 409 (Degrees Offered), and 440 (Enrollment Reporting), as well as the second readings of Policy 403.1 (Academic Program Requests) and 605.1 (Academic Freedom and Tenure; Academic Appointments). The latter was previously tabled pending further review by the Board. At the December meeting, the policy was brought back for open discussion and was ultimately approved.

North Dakota Student Association President Jared Melville noted that the association’s most recent meeting was held at VCSU. He touched on NDSA’s 2019-2023 strategic plan, collaborations among its executive team and system office during legislative session, and planned upcoming meetings.

Faculty Advisor to the Board Birgit Pruess provided an update from the Council of College Faculty. Pruess noted that CCF had two meetings since the last update, which included discussion on proposed Policy 605.1. Pruess noted that she’d conducted several trips to campuses, and across the Board had received tremendous feedback reflecting how dedicated faculty was systemwide to student success.

Staff Advisor to the Board Andy Wakeford provided an update from the North Dakota Staff Senate, which included numerous staff efforts throughout the system, such as fundraising. Wakeford noted that he had also met with staff members from campuses, and much of the feedback dealt with morale issues stemming from the lack of salary increases and the increase in workloads.

The Board also approved the final adoption of Policy 303.1 (Board meetings and agendas). The policy effectively allows for shorter, more efficient meetings through a procedural change that moves the Board’s consent agenda to the top of the meeting agenda. The consent agenda typically includes recommendations from the Board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, and the Audit Committee. Previous discussion among the Board had reached a consensus in that approving the consent agenda items would be done simply through a unanimous approval of the consent agenda, without having to review each item.

This month’s consent agenda included recommendations from Academic and Student Affairs to create new programs, such as a certificate and AAS in Agriculture Management (Dakota College at Bottineau); Master’s in Entrepreneurship (Dickinson State University); certificate in Go Global Academy (University of North Dakota); several different minors in Essential Studies (UND); and a certificate and minor in Adapted Physical Education (Valley City State University).

Other recommendations came from Budget and Finance on restating retirement plan summary documents; approval of the 2019-2020 Room, Board and Fee rate guidelines; spending authority for DUS for its May Hall and Woods Hall renovations; spending authority for Minot State University’s Dome renovations; and a funding transfer for VCSU from its operations to capital assets lines.

During the meeting the Board also presented Margaret Dahlberg, Ph.D. with a plaque of recognition for her time as VCSU Interim President.

The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 24, via video teleconference.

‘Operation Red, White & Blue’ hits CTS

Core Technology Services brings the holiday spirit – and some snacks – to service members


‘Tis the season to be generous, and Core Technology Services staff has embraced that spirit. For the seventh year running, a team effort has put together numerous care packages for service members.

CTS Business Analyst Angela O’Leary organizes the effort, which has grown significantly over the years.

“My husband Sean and I started Operation Red, White and Blue about seven years ago by collecting donated items from colleagues and friends around the community and sending packages to people we knew that were deployed oversees,” O’Leary said. “It all started when my sister was deployed to Kuwait as a flight nurse and asked what items I could send her. She mentioned that she didn’t need anything but there were troops who don’t have families that do not receive anything, not a card or letter or packages. We went from sending six packages our first year to sending 68 total this year.”

From early on, it didn’t take much for others to want to get in on the holiday giving.

“[Last year] Staff Senate offered to get involved and sponsor the event and I happily accepted, being a senator at the time,” O’Leary said. “LM Wind Power, my husband’s employer, also offered to partner with North Dakota University System and collect items and help pack. This year we had local dental offices donate toothbrushes, paste and floss and Hugo’s family marketplace (six locations) allowed us to place boxes in their stores, and a small business out of Maricopa, Arizona, donate painted these rocks and included a message, she did over 40 of them.”

In order to get the donations, an announcement was made throughout CTS and system office. From there, it was a matter of gathering materials together and then shipping them out. Items typically sent include sunscreen, women’s hygiene products, deodorant, body wash, Kleenex, hand wipes, hair spray, detergent, Q-tips, Chapstick, bobby pins, manicure sets, mouthwash, socks, cross word puzzles,  cards, dice, microwaveable popcorn, hard candy, jerky, peanuts, cheese/crackers, granola bars crystal light, instant coffee, and prepackaged cookies.

Once all the donations are gathered, it’s time to box them up.

“We actually order military boxes from the USPS,” O’Leary said. “You can order the boxes and ship to your office at no charge, they are free. We line up all the goodies by category and create an assembly line, then we have someone line the boxes with tissue paper, we have packers then go down the line and start filling the boxes. We have sticky notes by each item that states quantity of each goes into the box. Then we have a few people sealing the boxes and added the labels. Last step, about three of us load the boxes and take them to the post office to ship.”

Bismarck was able to send out 25 packages this year to Marines. O’Leary added that this year, MDU partnered with the Bismarck location and was “very generous” with donations of cash for shipping and donations.

“Patty Shock was leading the charge from that site and did a wonderful job,” she noted. “They had originally planned to send out 10 packages, but because of the amount of donations, they were able to send out 25.”

Additionally, the Grand Forks and Fargo teams sent 43 packages out to Army, Navy and Air Force personnel. To get the care packages where they need to be, O’Leary said they utilize a website set up for just that purpose:

Vice Chancellor of Information Technology/Chief Information Officer Darin King said that the effort proved the selflessness of the CTS team.

“We have some of the best team members around, and it really shows at times like this,” King said. “When your staff comes together so effortlessly for projects like this, it’s proof of the generous spirit of the people we work with every day.”

O’Leary said staff seemed to really enjoy the project.

“We had more this year help pack the boxes than we had any other year, pretty exciting, it’s a way NDUS to give back to our military,” she added. “Senior Staff really step up with support and encouragement of the initiative.

“Last year someone who received one of our packages tracked my name to social media and sent video and pictures of a few military members receiving packages,” O’Leary added. “That was a pretty special moment. Many of these men and women do not get anything for the holidays and glad we can put a smile on their faces.”

Core Technology Services rounds out listening tour

After feedback from the Student & Academic Affairs retreat, Core Technology Services staff conducted a listening tour this fall designed to get questions answered.

Assistant CIO for Enterprise Services Jody French noted that the listening tour had been in response to calls for information from the campuses including Blackboard and multifactor authentication. The largest item of interest: PeopleSoft.

According to CTS, the PeopleSoft Governance Committee requested the informational sessions extend to all campuses to discuss information technology-related topics, “ensuring awareness of institution/CTS goals, priorities and concerns.”

“We had many student-focused questions regarding what would happen, for example, if students couldn’t easily access the systems they need daily,” French said. “Once the campuses were able to see the full plan – that we have a Security Council and privacy-protection measures in place – that seemed to make everyone feel a lot better.”

General themes that emerged included improved communication and support on campus-based IT issues, increased self-service access to documentation and support, and additional campus involvement in IT planning and decision-making.

French added that specific feedback on PeopleSoft-related issues brought forward topics including enterprise risk management, software integrations, expanded data access and improvements to Employee Self Service and Manager Self Service. Overall, the listening sessions proved invaluable to all present for the meetings.

“CTS extends a sincere thank you to everyone who participated in the listening tour,” French said. “We appreciate you taking time out of your schedules and value our working relationships. We would also like to extend our appreciation to the PeopleSoft Governance members and other campus leaders who assisted in the preparation for each visit. We look forward to future discussions and opportunities to work collaboratively as a system.”