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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

Great Enrollment News at VCSU!
Editorial by Jon Backes, President, State Board of Higher Ed
September Brown Bag Seminars Scheduled
Pfeifer Invited to Author Chapter for Textbook on ERP
Blackboard Tip of the Week:
SVeN 1 Scheduled
Come Run the Sheyenne Valley
Meet the Team
This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...
September Birthdays

Great Enrollment News at VCSU!

Great Enrollment News at VCSU!
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

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

The Fall 2010 Semester at Valley City State University is now underway, and the campus is alive with the return of students and faculty. It has been a remarkable start to the new academic year at VCSU. Student enrollments are up significantly, and I want to share a few more details about the numbers so you have a better understanding of the full enrollment picture.

The beginning freshmen enrollment on the first day of classes was 223 students, representing the largest incoming class of new freshmen since 1988. The average size of our freshmen class during each of the past ten years has been 168 students. Therefore, the 2010 class is not only the largest in nearly 25 years, but it is also 33% larger than the average size of the past decade. Within this large freshmen class, we also have a higher percentage of North Dakotans. Last year, 57% of our freshmen were from North Dakota, and this fall 66% of VCSU freshmen are North Dakota natives. In addition, we have students from 30 of North Dakota's 53 counties in the freshmen class, demonstrating the wide area from which VCSU attracts new students.

This large class also means there are more students living in the residence halls on the VCSU campus. As of the first week of classes, there were 332 students in VCSU residence halls, including a few in a local hotel. This represents a 10% increase over last year and nearly 50 more residential students this fall compared to just two years ago. The 332 students in the residence halls are the most at VCSU since 2000. This fall's residential population would have been even larger, but older students were encouraged to find other housing arrangements since Snoeyenbos Hall is closed for major renovations during 2010-11.

As of the second week of classes, the overall institutional headcount enrollment at VCSU was 1234 students. This is an increase of 200 students (nearly 20%) over last year, and the largest fall enrollment since 1970. Total enrollment includes students from 46 North Dakota counties, and 62% of all VCSU students are North Dakota natives. Among the non-North Dakotans, VCSU currently has students from 42 states, four Canadian provinces, 11 countries, and Puerto Rico.

Headcount enrollment represents every student who is enrolled in at least one credit through the University, and it is the figure most commonly reported in the media. Unlike the comparison of new freshmen enrollment to past years, the overall headcount figure is a bit more difficult to compare to a long-term trend. The reason is simple: the educational environment at VCSU has changed over the past thirty years, and the technologies used to deliver this education have changed (dramatically!). VCSU now has graduate students; students learning at a distance; collaborative students shared through partnerships with other campuses; and students taking courses via the Internet and Interactive Video Network (IVN). All of these advancements still translate to students taking courses from VCSU, but the reality is that some of these students may be living in a location outside Valley City.

The Fall 2010 enrollment at VCSU is great news for Valley City and the surrounding region. We look forward to building upon this fall's momentum and are already beginning work on recruiting the incoming Fall 2011 freshmen class. It is an exciting time, and I join the faculty, staff, and students in being enthusiastic about a bright future at VCSU!

Editorial by Jon Backes, President, State Board of Higher Ed

Members of the State Board of Higher Education are entrusted with tremendous responsibility – the responsibility of setting the course for a University System that impacts nearly every resident of the state of North Dakota at one time or another in their lives. With that responsibility comes both great challenge and great opportunity.

When I applied for a position on the board, friends asked what motivated me to seek what they perceived to be a very time consuming and often thankless job. My response was simply this: I want my children to have the opportunity to attend college in North Dakota and build their lives and careers in this great state. For too many decades, as a state we have exported far too many of our greatest assets, our children. The advance of a global, knowledge-based economy, coupled with a University System that creates the educated human capital necessary for economic prosperity, provides North Dakota with the opportunity to reduce or even eliminate that decades-old trend. Thanks to our exceptional public higher education system, my daughters – and the sons and daughters of all North Dakotans – have access to affordable, high-quality education and a breadth of career choices here in our state.

Now, as president of the board, I have an even deeper appreciation for the North Dakota University System and the remarkable evolution that has occurred since the system was created in 1990, just 20 short years ago. Prior to 1990, 11 stand-alone institutions and their home communities competed for the same resources, often in an adversarial environment that pitted the needs and objectives of one institution directly against the needs and objectives of another. While competition among the institutions still exists, now it is a healthier competition, rooted in a common vision, a view toward collaboration and cooperation, and shared strategic objectives.

We have the Roundtable on Higher Education to thank for much of this success. These private and public sector leaders who made up the roundtable left an indelible mark on the future of our state by unleashing the 11 University System colleges and universities to act more entrepreneurially to enhance and diversify North Dakota's economy. The roundtable process established better connectivity between the campuses and the private sector. As a result, the campuses now are more responsive to workforce needs, and more graduates are finding high-paying career opportunities in our state. It's a win-win all-around.

One of the more exciting and challenging aspects of this systemic revolution is that the University System is still evolving. As a result, State Board of Higher Education members continually ask: How can we best harness the power of the University System for the benefit of all of our state? As board members, we understand our constitutionally defined role of supporting all 11 institutions as well as our mandate under the roundtable to create greater efficiencies among those institutions in a manner that provides for academic excellence, economic diversity and affordability for both students and the taxpayers of the state.

As the new SBHE president, I pledge to do what's right for all of North Dakota, and I will be principled in my approach to this important work. North Dakota needs a highly educated workforce, our economic well-being demands it and our future will depend upon it.

September Brown Bag Seminars Scheduled

BROWN BAG SEMINAR: Navigating Tests, Quizzes, and the Grade Center in Blackboard

Building tests? Creating quizzes? Having difficulty setting up the Grade Center or grading assignments? Jonna Ziniel, Beth Klingenstein, and Shannon VanHorn will discuss uses and organizations of the Evaluation and Grade Center components of Blackboard. Come to find out a quick way to upload tests!

When: Wednesday, September 8, noon-12:50 pm
Where: Norway and President's Room, Student Center

Box lunch for just $5 will be provided. Please RSVP by 8 am Wednesday morning so Sodexho will know how many to make.

(We will not have a second session on Thursday, due to the all-campus convocation.)

Be sure to check out upcoming Brown Bag Sessions:
Sept. 15 and 16: Wimba Live, by Jim Boe
Sept. 22 and 23: One Note, by Jodi Shorma
Sept. 29 and 30: Photoshop by Kerry Gregoryk

Pfeifer Invited to Author Chapter for Textbook on ERP

Pfeifer Invited to Author Chapter for Textbook on ERP
Assistant Professor Susan Pfeifer has been invited to author a chapter entitled "ERP-Related Careers" to be included in an upcoming textbook Readings on Enterprise Resource Planning.

The book's editors are a group of professors from HEC Montréal: Pierre-Majorique Léger, Robert Pellerin, Gilbert Babin and Jacques Robert. Five years ago, these professors created tools designed to transform the way ERP is taught in classrooms: the ERPsim game and The Participant's Guide to the ERP Simulation. These tools are now used by over 100 universities worldwide and are played by over 2,000 students annually. VCSU uses these tools in its ERP coursework and in the BAIT summer camp produced by the Division of Business and Information Technology.

The editors are producing Readings on Enterprise Resource Planning to provide participants of the simulation games as well as other students of ERP with a comprehensive source of readings on ERP. The chapter that Pfeifer has been invited to contribute will provide an overview of career opportunities related to ERP systems from a business and IT perspective and the hiring practices of businesses hiring for these positions. The goal of the chapter is to familiarize students with various ERP-related careers and increase their comfort level with pursuing opportunities in these areas. The book is expected to be published in 2011.

Blackboard Tip of the Week:

Interested in a creative way to engage students and help them learn the material? Try Quiz Bowl in the Test assessment area. Quiz Bowl asks questions ala Jeopardy, where the user responds in the form of a question. For example, if the question is "This Shakespearean play revolves around two star-crossed lovers in Verona," the answer would be "What is Romeo and Juliet?" Try this feature as a study guide for students!

SVeN 1 Scheduled

Sheyenne Valley Expedition Number 1 (SVeN 1) has been scheduled September 11-12, 2010 to take place in the Sheyenne River Valley .

This is an event for the entire family to bike the beautiful Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway. There are two starting points accommodating riders on a 52 or 106 mile tour.

Included in the ride is Saturday night supper and camping fee. A continental Sunday breakfast is also available.

For more information, contact or call the Rosebud Visitor Center at 1-888-288-1891.

Come Run the Sheyenne Valley

The Annual Sheyenne Valley Shuffle, certified 5K fun/run/walk and half marathon has been scheduled for September 18.

The half marathon begins at Baldhill Dam and ends at City Park in Valley City. Awards will be given to age group winners and overall champions.

To register, visit Valley City Website and complete the registration form or email

Meet the Team

Meet the Team
The VCSU Cross Country Team's season is underway. The team is coached by Galen Morton.

Team members are:
Back row, l to r: Tanner Hovland, Andrew Reichenberger, Travis, Bomber, Wayne Engelhard, Spencer Ruebke
Front row, l to r: Jeni Von Bank, Katie Ingebretson, Ashley Kassenborg, Erin Leier

This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...

Monday, September 6

Labor Day
August 30 through October 1 MFA (UND) Student Art Exhibit, VCSU Gallery (3rd Floor McCarthy)

Tuesday, September 7

Teacher Appreciation Day, Apple Pie Eating Contest (sponsored by VCAB)

Wednesday, September 8

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown
11:00 am Viking Men's & Women's Golf @ Bismarck State Open

Thursday, September 9

Eid al-Fitr begins at sundown
11:00 am All Campus Convocation

Friday, September 10

SVeN 1 Family Bicycle Tour (click for more information)
2:00 pm Viking Volleyball vs Dakota State @ Mitchell, SD
6:00 pm Viking Volleyball vs Kansas Wesleyan University @ Mitchell, SD
5:00 pm Abused Person's Outreach Center 24th Annual Fundraiser (supper and silent auction), VCW Club

Saturday, September 11

Viking Golf Invitational, Maple River Golf Club, Mapleton, ND (September 11-12)
Viking Cross Country @ St. John's Invitation, St. Cloud, MN
11:00 am Viking Volleyball vs TBD @ Mitchell, SD
6:00 pm Viking Volleyball vs Dakota Wesleyan University @ Mitchell, SD
7:00 pm Dakota Air: The Radio Show, Vangstad Auditorium

Sunday, September 12