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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

Higher Education and Our Economy
Annual Bell Ringing to Begin in Valley City
First Annual Alumni Board Online Auction
Thank You from V-500!
VCSU Employees Supports Stuff for the Tough
Teaching with IVN: Best Practices
Walsh Presents at Barnes County Historical Museum
Technology Tip of the Week: Voice Over Responses
Viking Athletic Update
Energy Conservation Tip of the Week
Winter Safety and Tips
This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...
November & December Birthdays

Higher Education and Our Economy

Higher Education and Our Economy
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

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

Last week I attended the Annual Meeting of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). AASCU is an association of 420 public colleges and universities focused on promoting support for public higher education while also encouraging access and opportunity of higher education for all people.

During the three days of meetings, I attended several sessions and heard from national speakers about a range of topics directly related to the current state of higher education in the United States. As you might imagine, a number of the topics focused on finances and the current state of the economy. Obviously, North Dakota's economy has bucked the national trend and coped with the economic downturn far better than most (if not all) other states in the nation. During the presentations I attended, however, the interconnectedness of our local and state economy with that of our national (and global) economies were repeatedly emphasized.

The closing keynote speaker was David Gergen, a senior political analyst for CNN, an editor-at-large for US News & World Report, and a former adviser to four American presidents. Mr. Gergen also serves on the faculty at Harvard, and, based on his credentials, is in a unique position to provide commentary on the interplay of economics, politics, and higher education in the U.S. It was clear from his talk, and by the discussion of others, that we are at a critically important time in our nation's history. The levels of debt in our federal government (along with the debt of many states and municipalities) are unsustainable and have the potential to completely cripple our economy and produce long-term devastation. Throughout his address, Mr. Gergen emphasized the value of education and its potential, unlike any other single factor in our society, to assist individuals by opening new doors and providing new opportunities. A well-educated society, coupled with the creativity, innovation, ingenuity, and research it produces, is absolutely fundamental to our nation's long-term economic success and global competitiveness.

Another session I attended further emphasized the importance of education and its vital link to economic success. The current unemployment rate in the U.S. is 9.6% (and it is only 3.7% in North Dakota – the lowest in the nation). However, in delving further into the national figures, there is a dramatic divide that is realized. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics most recent data, the unemployment rate among those with a bachelor's degree is only 4.7%, while it is 8.5% among those with some college or an associate's degree, and it is 10.1% among those with only a high school diploma, and 15.3% among those who have not graduated from high school. The evidence is clear and indisputable: the level of educational attainment has a directly positive impact on an individual's ability to succeed in our society.

The United States currently faces significant fiscal challenges to which long-term remedies must be identified. The path we are on is simply not sustainable in the long-run. However, it is also evident that a sound educational system, from pre-school to graduate school, is an important ingredient in helping restore our nation's competitiveness. In order to successfully emerge from our financial challenges, the United States must have the strongest educational system in the world. Now is not the time for being short-sighted with our educational system. Rather, we must continue to make the necessary investments required to maintain a strong system of education as it is such a key ingredient for solving many of our long-term, national challenges.

Annual Bell Ringing to Begin in Valley City

Annual Bell Ringing to Begin in Valley City
The Salvation Army's Bell Ringers and red kettles will be making their annual appearance in Valley City very soon. Kettles will be located at Leevers Super Valu, Marketplace Foods, and Pamida.

This year, Valley City State University employees and students will be manning the red kettles at all three locations on Tuesday, December 7, 11:00 am through 7:00 pm. Employees are allowed to sign up during normal work hours for one hour and are encouraged to sign up for time after regular work hours.

To sign up for your volunteer time, call or email Rhonda Fairfield (37102) and warm your heart by helping others during this holiday season. Let's fill the time slots and show our VCSU pride to our community.

First Annual Alumni Board Online Auction

The VCSU Alumni Board of Directors are holding a online auction to raise funds for VCSU scholarships. The online auction will be open for bids at 8:00 am on Wednesday, December 1 thru noon Friday, December 10.

This is a fun way to support scholarships at VCSU, do some early Christmas shopping, and bid on some cool items! All proceeds from this online auction will be used to support VCSU scholarships.

Do your Christmas shopping from home and benefit VCSU students at the same time! The online auction can be found at ONLINE AUCTION or by going to the VCSU Alumni website and click on the Online Auction banner.

Thank You from V-500!

The V-500 Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to express their thanks and appreciation to the following members of the VCSU Faculty and Staff for their new and renewed V-500 membership pledges. This list is for the time period July 1, 2010-November 26. Watch the next issue of the Hotline! for a list of all VCSU Faculty and staff who are members of V-500;

New/Renewed V-500 memberships since July 1, 2010

Kathleen Bennett-Zaun
Shou-Ching Chao
Karen Crooks
Jack Denholm
Jill DeVries
Benjamin Ferguson
Donald Fischer
Patricia Fisher
Tricia Gegelman
Jane Hammer
Wayne Hammond
Diane Hill
Kathryn Holleque
Jennifer Jenness
Kim Knodle
Heather Kvilvang
Joelle Manlove
Bev McAllister
Susan Pfeifer
Dr. Steven Shirley
Joy Smith
Connie Stavens
Tyler & Emma Tufte
Jeremy Wiebe

VCSU Employees Supports Stuff for the Tough

VCSU Employees Supports Stuff for the Tough
On November 22, Joy Smith, Staff Senate President and Betty Kuss Schumacher, Fundraiser/Potluck Coordinator presented Laura Becker (employed at Dakota Bank) funds raised in the amount of $312 for the purpose of Stuff for the Tough.

Becker began Stuff for the Tough when her son was set for deployment with the United States Marine Corps in September, 2010. Her son is Cpl. Jace-Owen Skramstad, a 2007 VCHS graduate. Hearing the conditions in which his platoon would live tugged at a mother's heartstrings.

Skramstad's troop would be in the Afghan desert, not on a real base. They would have nothing to eat but MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat). They would get pallets of bottled water, and that water would have to be used for washing, brushing their teeth, everything. They would be cleaning their clothes in a garbage bag inside of a box. Since they can only bring one bag each, they would not have very many changes of the basics like socks and underwear.

"Their mission, when my son told me, gave me goose bumps: 'Security, but mostly winning the hearts and minds of the Afghani people.' I know my son is doing his duty, and I want to do mine – anything I can to make them more comfortable. My goal is to send them tiny luxuries from home. Really, they are near-necessities. I so appreciate all the support and generosity so far and I hope we can keep it up until they come home, hopefully in April 2011."

A potluck was held on campus November 17 in the Alumni Room with donated food and cash donations offered toward this cause. Thanks to all who participated and for your wonderful support.
Plans are in place to have monthly fundraisers starting in January to support various campus organizations so watch for more opportunities.

Teaching with IVN: Best Practices

Have you taught with our IVN system before or do you anticipate doing so in the near future? VCSU offers many programs online, and as we are branching out with articulation agreements, we now have several programs that potentially could have courses via IVN.

Come to this week's Brownbag Seminar and learn about IVN-what it is, how it works, and best practices to help you be an engaging instructor and not just a talking head in the class. Cheryl Thompson, Instructional Specialist for the North Dakota University System, will be leading us in this seminar.

Where? Vangstad 004 (note change in place)
When? Wednesday, Dec. 1, Noon-12:50

As always, box lunches will be available for just $5. Please RSVP Shannon by Wednesday, December 1, 9:00 am.

Walsh Presents at Barnes County Historical Museum

Walsh Presents at Barnes County Historical Museum
Valley City State University Instructor, Rob Walsh, delivered a presentation on History of Korea at the Barnes County Historical Museum this past week. Walsh returned to America in August 2008 after nearly 6 years in South Korea where he taught and consulted in the areas of communication arts and English.

Following is a brief of his presentation.

Yi Sun Shin: Korea's National Hero
More than 400 years after the illustrious life of Admiral Yi Sun Shin, the Korean people still look to his world view as a pathway to singleness of purpose, persistence in adversity, and precision in leadership. Admiral Yi is one of the few naval officers in history to have been victorious in every conflict where he was the commander. Killed in the Battle of Noryang, his final command sealed a victory and ensured his position of eminence in the archives of public esteem. This presentation places Yi Sun Shin's principled life within the context of Western thought.

Technology Tip of the Week: Voice Over Responses

Students like immediacy in their online courses. Immediacy is where the students feel like the faculty member sees them, knows them, and understands them. Often in face-to-face courses, immediacy can be conveyed through nonverbal gestures. Immediacy is difficult in the online course. But students can make connections with their faculty through voice over responses.

Voice over responses are essentially sound bites in which you discuss an assignment with a student. For example, let's take the ability project for your class. If the students are turning in drafts, provide feedback using sound bites recorded in Audacity, PowerPoint, or Jing. Open up the document and talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the document with the student. Remember, some people are aural learners. It's difficult for them to learn in a strictly print course.

Want to learn more? Talk to your design team representatives! Or visit the Instructional Design Blackboard presence by clicking on the tab at the top of the Bb screen.

Viking Athletic Update

Viking Athletic Update
The Viking Men's Basketball team dropped three games over the weekend. They Lost to Division 2 Augustana and Upper Iowa, along with Concordia of St. Paul. They will take on NDSU tonight in an exhibition game at 7:00 pm in Fargo.
The Viking Women split over the weekend as they defeated Briar Cliff by a score of 77-66 in OT, but were defeated in the championship game by #17 University of Sioux Falls 66-39. Making the All Tournament team for the Vikings were Kristin Bearstail and Amanda Brown.

Next Home Events at W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
Thursday, December 2 vs Minot State
The Viking women tip off at 5:30 with the men playing at 7:30.
Friday, December 3 vs Dickinson State
The Viking Women tip off at 5:30 with the men playing at 7:30.

Come out and support the Vikings!

Energy Conservation Tip of the Week

At the Office
Turn Out the Lights! Lighting is one of the largest users of energy in the classroom. By turning out the lights when a room is unoccupied, VCSU can save energy and money. Start the trend by switching the light off when you leave a room and help remind others to do the same whether it is a classroom, office, or restroom when the rooms are not being occupied.

At Home
Weatherize your home. You can save money and stay warm while keeping your energy bill and your pollution output low this winter by doing these simple things to your home:
· Caulk and weather-strip any doors and windows that leak air.
· Properly maintain and clean heating equipment.
· Replace furnace filters regularly.
· Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawl spaces to see if it meets the levels recommended for your area.

Winter Safety and Tips

Winter Safety and Tips
With the recent winter storms that hit the VCSU area, it is important to refresh winter safety. Here are a few tips to get you started:
*Winter Driving Tips: Winter driving in North Dakota can be unpredictable. The following four precautions may help you avoid an unpleasant or dangerous situation when traveling.
Winterize your vehicle to keep it in top operating condition. This will also improve safety and fuel economy.
Keep your gasoline tank full. This will minimize water in the tank and will provide the maximum advantage in case of trouble.
A cell phone, CB radio, or amateur radio can be a very useful item in emergencies.
A winter survival kit is a must!

*When going outside, remember the following:

Dress warm in loose-fitting, layered, light weight clothing.
Avoid overexertion.
Keep yourself and your cloths dry.
Walk with caution on icy sidewalks and streets.

For more winter safety tips, check out VCSU's Safety webpage.

This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...

Monday, November 29

Kyle Schoenberger Senior Art Exhibition, VCSU Gallery (November 29- December 10), McCarthy Hall 3rd Floor
7:00 pm Viking Men's Basketball @ North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
7:30 pm Leesa Levy, Soprano, "Lullabies and Carols for Christmas," Froemke Auditorium

Tuesday, November 30


Wednesday, December 1

Hanukkah Begins at Sundown
12:00 noon Teaching with IVN: Best Practices, Vangstad 004

Thursday, December 2

East Region Instrumental Concert, Foss Music Hall
NDWS North Star Classes Cattle Show Opens (December 2-5), North Dakota Winter Show Event Center
Valley City Merchants open until 8:00 pm with Events Scheduled (go to Hello Valley for details)
5:30 pm Viking Women's Basketball vs Minot State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
7:30 pm Viking Men's Basketball vs Minot State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse

Friday, December 3

10:00 am – 4:00 pm Christmas Book Fair, Sheyenne Care Center Coffee Shop
5:30 pm Viking Women's Basketball vs Dickinson State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
7:30 pm Viking Men's Basketball vs Dickinson State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
North Star Classic Concert "Abby Road Band," Valley City Eagles

Saturday, December 4

1:00-4:00 pm Whoever Can Come Jam Session, Valley City Sons of Norway Lodge
3:00 pm Valley Voices, Children's Choir & Civic Orchestra Performance, Froemke Auditorium
North Star Classic Concert featuring John Anderson, Valley City Eagles

Sunday, December 5