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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

Tuition Waivers
VCSU Wildlife Club Fundraiser This Wednesday
Faculty Workshops Scheduled
Pianist John McKay to Perform at VCSU
Dr. Hagen Visits China
Improv Club Performs
This Week at VCSU ...
January / February Birthdays

Tuition Waivers

Tuition Waivers
by Dr. Steve Shirley, VCSU President

The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record this week.

Last week, presidents of the public four-year universities in North Dakota met with the Legislature's Interim Higher Education Committee in Bismarck. We had a very productive discussion during two days on a variety of issues related to higher education in North Dakota. My thanks to the members of this Legislative Committee for the vibrant dialogue and productive interaction – legislators on the committee asked many good questions, and their interest and concern for the future of higher education in North Dakota is appreciated.

Among the items discussed during the meetings, the issue of tuition waivers (discounts) has received considerable follow-up attention in the media. This article outlines how tuition waivers are used at Valley City State University, and defines what a tuition waiver is and the function it serves.

A tuition waiver is a reduction in the published rate of tuition for a student at VCSU. A few important points: 1) A tuition waiver is not defined as a "free ride." When used for a non-resident, it is generally a PARTIAL waiver/discount on their higher rate of tuition, NOT a full waiver. 2) Tuition waivers are not used exclusively for non-resident or international students; North Dakota students also receive waivers. 3) Waivers are only applied to tuition; recipients still pay full expenses for room, board, books, fees, etc.

There are several categories of waivers used at VCSU (and all ND colleges and universities). Some waivers are mandated by state law, others are mandated by State Board of Higher Education policy, and others are used at the discretion of the individual university. At VCSU, the various categories include waivers for: members of the National Guard; those with POW/MIA/Vets Dependent status; employees/staff; international students; senior citizens; cultural diversity; and institutional waivers.

Here is an example of how a tuition waiver might work. If John Doe from Miami, FL is interested in VCSU, his tuition would be $11,434.80 in 2009-10 (based on 15 credits/semester). If John earned a 23 on his ACT exam, he would be eligible for an institutional waiver of $4,500 through VCSU's Student Talent and Academic Recognition (STARS) program, bringing his tuition to $6,934.80. John might also qualify for a $1,400 cultural diversity waiver, reducing his final tuition to $5,534.80. Tuition at VCSU in 2009-10 for a North Dakota resident taking 15 credits/semester is $4,282.80. Therefore, John from Miami is charged a tuition that is $1,252, or 29%, MORE than the North Dakota resident. Of course, in addition John would still also pay the full expenses for the residence halls, meal plan, mandatory fees, etc.

When all waivers and tuition rates are computed at VCSU, 87 non-resident students received some form of waiver in 2008-09, and they paid an average of 11% more than the resident tuition rate. Bear in mind, there are also resident students receiving various waivers reducing the average rate North Dakotans pay even below the published in-state tuition rate.

Partial tuition waivers have long been used to recruit and retain talented students to VCSU (and have been used strategically at thousands of other colleges and universities throughout the US). In addition to enhancing the overall academic, classroom, and college life experience at VCSU, these non-resident students also live in the residence halls, utilize food services, purchase books at the bookstore, pay other fees, etc. These additional students help generate a critical mass and spread fixed costs over a larger base keeping the costs of some operations lower for ND resident students.

Of course, these students also add much to the economic and cultural environment within Valley City and the state. These are students who may not otherwise attend VCSU without these incentives. They are important to the overall vitality of the VCSU community, they add much to our city, they become our graduates and alumni, they enrich classroom discussions, they join student clubs and organizations, they compete in our athletic programs, they work and shop in our local businesses, and in many cases they stay in North Dakota upon graduation and add to the strength of our state. As we move ahead, VCSU is excited to serve all of our students and strategically recruit the best and brightest from our region and beyond.

VCSU Wildlife Club Fundraiser This Wednesday

The VCSU Fisheries/Wildlife Conservation Club is now in its 4th year. Some activities that the club has been involved in includes canoeing/cleaning stretches of the Sheyenne River and raising funds to support fees that enable Fisheries/Wildlife students to attend conferences. During these conferences, they have ample chances to secure future job opportunities.

The club also raises funds to support the Valley City Junior Naturalists Program, which is free to any child interested in getting involved. This is an activity based program based on outdoor learning experiences for children in the community. This program was basically nonexistent in the community before the club decided to take it over, due to the low enrollment of children. Since adopting this program we have had good success. Turnouts for each month's activity from students grades K-6 have ranged from 3 to almost 20 for each activity. Some activities that we've had include canoeing, archery, lure making, summer/winter fishing, mammal ID, and outdoor art. Our purpose for this program is to open children's eyes to the beauty of nature and to show them how fun it can be outdoors.

The clubs next fundraiser will be our first annual ALL YOU CAN EAT taco feed. This event will take place Wednesday, January 27, 5:30-7:30 pm at the Valley City VFW. Advanced tickets are $7 for adults and $3 dollars for kids ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased from any VCSU club member, NW Industries, the Valley City Chamber Office, or at the L & H Shoe Shop. Tickets are $8 for adults at the door. We hope to see everyone there!


Club President,
Dan Ryba

Faculty Workshops Scheduled

Instructional Designer, Dan Clark, has scheduled faculty workshop
"Don't Let Your Students Get Caught Stealing." Those that attend will learn to use "SafeAssign," Blackboard's Integrated Plagiarism Prevention Service.

Workshop Topics Include:
- An introduction to SafeAssign and the Safe Assignments feature.
- Demonstration of the SafeAssign interface.
- "Tweaking" your computer to get SafeAssign working properly
- Hands-on Exploration of SafeAssign
- Brainstorming: What do you do once you have found a plagiarized paper?

Workshop Dates and Times are:
- Monday, January 25 @ 3:00 PM in McFarland 426
- Thursday, January 28 @ 11:00 AM in McFarland 426
- Friday, January 29 @ 8:30 AM in McFarland 426

Space is limited. Please email: to reserve your spot.

Pianist John McKay to Perform at VCSU

Pianist John McKay to Perform at VCSU
The Valley City Area Concert Association will present pianist John McKay, winner of the Prix d'Europe, in a recital of "classical favorites," Sunday, February 21, at 3:00 pm, in Valley City State University's Vangstad Auditorium. Admission is by season membership, with memberships available at the door of every concert.

John McKay retired from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2004 after teaching piano and music history there for twenty-eight years. A native of Montreal, Canada, Dr. McKay earned his Bachelor's degree in Music from McGill University, and his graduate degrees at the Eastman School of Music. From 1962 to 1969, McKay lived in Europe and gave recitals in Brussels, London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Munich, Berlin and Cologne. During the 1971-72 concert season, while teaching at the University of Toronto, McKay presented the complete works for solo piano by Johannes Brahms in a series of four recitals at Toronto's Town Hall. As a result of a sabbatical leave granted him in 1985-86, he performed Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas in a series of eight concerts.

Dr. McKay has appeared often as soloist with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, including a performance of Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 3 during Diane Pope's final season as conductor. In March, 2009, he performed Mozart's Piano Concerto in C major, K. 467 under Ken Freed. With Al Behrends and Harry Dunscombe, Dr. McKay directed a chamber music series at Gustavus for seventeen summers, the Minnesota Valley Sommarfest. In July, 2000, he and his wife Sara were honored by the State Arts Board for their service to music in their community.

Dr. McKay is well-known to Valley City audiences, having performed in Froemke Auditorium in 2008. McKay's February 2010 recital program includes: Sonata In C Major, Hob. XVI/48 by Haydn; Sonata in E Flat Major Op. 31 No. 3 by Beethoven; Barcarolle in F# Major Op. 60 by Chopin; and Le Tombeau de Couperin by Ravel.

Memberships available at the door are: Family-$65.00; Single-Parent Family-$40.00; Adult-$30.00; and Student-$12.00. The final concerts of the VCACA season are: the Rastrelli Cello Quartet, Tuesday, April 20, 7:30 pm, in the Lisbon High School Commons; and Home Free, a male acapella group, Sunday, May 9, 7:30 pm in Vangstad Auditorium.

Dr. Hagen Visits China

Dr. Hagen Visits China
Dr. Sara Hagen traveled to China from December 11-21, 2009 as a music education delegate with People to People Citizen Ambassadors. As President-Elect of the North Dakota Music Educators Association, Dr. Hagen was invited by MENC Past-President Dr. Lynn Brinckmeyer to join the group for a tour of Beijing and Shanghai schools and cultural events.

In Beijing, Hagen and the delegation toured the China Conservatory, a post high school setting which serves the most talented of all music students in China. Founded in 1964, the Conservatory offers eight fields of study, including Musicology, Composition, Chinese Instruments, Vocal and Opera, Piano, Music Education, Conducting, and Arts Administration. The delegation met with instructors and a group of graduate students to share how selection processes for their school compared to that of higher education in America. The group heard a composition student's recorded work and a piano/violin concert of alumni. Other schools visited were Beijing No. 35 High School, famous for its Golden Sail Folk Orchestra. Also in Beijing, the delegation met with faculty and heard students perform from the Beijing Xuanwu District Children's Palace. While in Beijing, the group visited the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Gate of Heavenly Peace.

In Shanghai, the group visited the National Music Ensemble of Xuhui District Aiju Elementary School, which was the delegation's favorite stop. They were treated to a fourth grade teaching lesson and short concert, a 7-year-old pianist, a folk orchestra and small chamber groups of traditional Chinese instruments. At each school there was time set aside for teacher-to-teacher conversations and question-answer sessions, which often included students. Places visited in Shanghai included the Shanghai Museum, the Shanghai No. 1 Silk Rug Factory, the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, and the Xin Tian Di Area, a section of the city that has maintained the façade of the old town, but has been rebuilt from the inside.

Hagen was one of 50+ music educators who participated in this tour. She was supported in part by the North Dakota Council on the Arts.

Improv Club Performs

Improv Club Performs
The VCSU Improv Club received rave reviews for their first off-campus, corporate gig! Six of the club members performed for the private show over the winter break. Please call the VCSU Theatre Box Office at 701-845-7320 for more information about upcoming Improv Club opportunities.

Improv Club performers in photo to the right include: Back Row: (L-R) Garrett Anderson, Dillon Ostrom, and Anthony Williams. Front Row: (L-R) Danielle Phares, Travis Bomber, and Joey Ostgarden

This Week At VCSU

Monday, January 25

12:00 noon Campus Closing Due To Inclement Weather

Tuesday, January 26

5:00-7:00 pm Rotary Pancake & Sausage Supper, VFW (Proceeds go to support V-500 Scholarship Program)
5:30 pm Viking Women's Basketball @ Dakota State University
7:30 pm Viking Men's Basketball @ Dakota State University

Wednesday, January 27

Business & Information Technology Day for area High School Students, All Day Event
11:00-12:15 pm Garage Band Performance, Froemke Auditorium
5:30-7:30 pm VCSU Wildlife Club Taco Feed, VFW (Proceeds go to VCSU Wildlife Club)

Thursday, January 28

5:00 pm Art Faculty Exhibition Reception, VCSU Art Gallery, McCarthy Hall 3rd Floor

Friday, January 29

Pay Day
5:30 pm Viking Women's Basketball vs Dickinson State University, VCSU Fieldhouse
7:30 pm Viking Men's Basketball vs Dickinson State University, VCSU Fieldhouse

Saturday, January 30

VCSU Viking Visit Day for Prospective Students
3:00 pm Concert Band & Chamber Ensembles Performance, Vangstad Auditorium
4:00 pm Viking Women's Basketball vs Minot State University, VCSU Fieldhouse
6:00 pm Viking Men's Basketball vs Minot State University, VCSU Fieldhouse

Sunday, January 31

3:00 pm Valley City High School Café Concert