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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

A Very Mild Start to Winter
IDEA Corner
Viking Athletic Update
What's Happening at VCSU and in Valley City...
January Birthdays

The VCSU Hotline! online newsletter is published each Monday during the academic year. Deadline to submit articles (photos encouraged) is 4:30 pm the preceding Friday.

A Very Mild Start to Winter

A Very Mild Start to Winter
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record the week of January 9.

Without a doubt, our winter (or lack thereof) has been one of the mildest since weather records began and will certainly be remembered for the pleasant conditions. There are pros and cons associated with such weather. After the past several winters and record snowfalls, however, I would think most of us would concur that the positives of our mild winter certainly outweigh the negatives. Of course, there are outdoor winter enthusiasts who likely would appreciate seeing more of the white stuff on the ground.

For many of us, the mild weather and minimal snowfall during the past ten weeks has been a most welcome change. On a personal basis, this weather afforded me the opportunity to ice-fish on Lake Ashtabula (thanks to John Hill!) right before Christmas, and just days later play a round of golf. Golfing the day after Christmas in North Dakota is an experience I may never have again.

There are many other beneficial outcomes resulting from this weather. Valley City State University has saved much in the way of resources (employee overtime, salt, sand, fuel, and general stress) by not having several feet of snow to plow and clear from campus sidewalks and streets. There has not been a single day yet this winter where we have had to contemplate closing the campus or canceling classes. This saves much in the way of headaches and angst in preparation and planning among our faculty and students. For our students who have traveled (athletic teams, clubs and organizations, individual students heading home for the Holidays, etc.) there have not been any major concerns regarding road conditions or winter weather hazards.

Perhaps the most positive impact the mild start to the 2011-12 winter has had on the VCSU campus is the ability to make significant progress on the Rhoades Science Center expansion project. The project officially began on November 7, and there has rarely been a single day the past two months where progress has not been made. The ability to get a jump start on this project in late Fall 2011 coupled with the wonderful weather conditions (instead of waiting until Spring 2012 to begin), will result in the project being successfully completed a semester (or two) earlier than would normally be expected. This expedited timeline will benefit many current students and faculty, and allow VCSU to continue promoting this wonderful new facility to future VCSU students as well.

All the positive attributes of our favorable conditions from Mother Nature listed above do not even address perhaps the biggest benefit of this winter. This is the first January in the past four years where my mind is not constantly contemplating what might await the campus in March and April regarding flood possibilities. I am sure our entire region would agree a respite from this particular issue has been a most welcome change. Our dry fall and mild winter with minimal snowfall should certainly create more favorable conditions in the spring months ahead.

I sincerely hope you have all had an opportunity to enjoy this mild winter. Of course, as North Dakotans, we all know that our fortunes can change in an instant and the next ten weeks ahead could be a completely different story!

IDEA Corner

IDEA Corner
Message from Instructional Designer, Roger Skophammer

Welcome to the start of another semester at VCSU. This semester and the IDEA Corner will focus on a couple of things. The first is to present thought-provoking ideas in education in general. This will be either TED talks or articles that will challenge the way we think about teaching and learning. There will be corresponding opportunities to discuss these ideas in the Instructional Design pages of blackboard.

The other area of focus of IDEA Corner, some of the Brown Bag discussions, and possibly a workshop or two, is how to maximize the benefits of our efforts through the entire teaching and learning process. More specifically, how do we take the goals and objectives of a course and engage the students in learning activities and assesses students based on those objectives in efficient and effective ways.

iPads are available to be checked out in sets of 10 for use in your classroom. Please contact me via email if you are interested in using iPads this semester. (

Completed online checklists are due to me by Friday, January 13. For he filename, please use your last name and course number. For example, "Skophammer TECH 651." Please put "online checklist" in the subject of the email.

I am available to help develop learning activities, choose the best learning tools and provide ideas on relevant assessments for your course. Have a great semester!

Please contact me at, Blackboard IM, or at x7449. Of course, you can always stop my by office in McCarthy 156.

Roger Skophammer

Viking Athletic Update

Viking Athletic Update
The women's basketball team lost an exhibition contest to D-2 opponent University of Sioux Falls on Friday night by a score of 38-65. The Vikings came back on Saturday and defeated Dakota State University by a score of 68-52, as they improve to 12-8 on the season.

The men's basketball team lost a hard fought contest to D-2 opponent University of Sioux Falls by a score of 75-76. The men currently stand at 14-5 on the season and are receiving votes in the NAIA National Poll.

Upcoming away event

Thursday, January 12 the Viking men travel to the University of North Dakota. Game time is 8:00 pm.

Upcoming home events at W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse

Saturday, January 14 at 7:00 pm the Viking men will host the University of Northern New Mexico.

Sunday, January 15 is a double header with the Viking women playing at 2:00 pm and the men at 4:00 pm as they take on the Johnson and Wales University, Colorado.

Come out and support your Viking basketball teams!

What's Happening at VCSU and in Valley City ...

Monday, January 9

International Mezzotint Exchange 2011 Exhibit, VCSU Gallery (January 9 – February 10)
12:15 pm On the Move Event – Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Hi-Liner Activities Center
6:00 pm On the Move Event – Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile – Hand Weights, St. Catherine Gym

Tuesday, January 10

6:00 am On the Move Event – Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile – Hand Weights, Legacy Place
6:00 pm On the Move Event – Toning Tuesday, St. Catherine School Gym

Wednesday, January 11

12:15 pm On the Move Event – Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Hi-Liner Activities Center

Thursday, January 12

6:00 am On the Move Event – Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile – Hand Weights, Legacy Place
12:15 pm On the Move Event – Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights , Open Door Center
6:00 pm On the Move Event – Toning Tuesday, St. Catherine School Gym
7:30 pm On the Move Event – Yoga for beginners, Valley City Fitness Center
8:00 pm Men's Basketball at University of North Dakota

Friday, January 13

Pay Day
12:00 pm On the Move Event – Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Mercy Hospital Health Education Center

Saturday, January 14

7:00 pm Men's Basketball vs Northern New Mexico College, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse

Sunday, January 15

2:00 & 4:00 pm Women's & Men's Basketball vs Johnson & Wales University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse