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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

VCSU Top 10 List (Vol. 4)
IT projects update at VCSU
Defensive Driving Course at VCSU
BCHS lecture series season 14 continues
Drivers needed for VCSU Soapbox cars!
IRA Convention held in Chicago
What's Happening at VCSU and in Valley City...
April & May Birthdays

The VCSU Hotline! online newsletter is published each Monday during the academic year and every other Monday May 14 through August 6, 2012. Deadline to submit articles (photos encouraged) is 4:30 pm the preceding Friday.

VCSU Top 10 List (Vol. 4)

VCSU Top 10 List (Vol. 4)
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record the week of May 14.

As I have done the past three years, this column represents a Top 10 List of Valley City State University accomplishments from throughout the just-completed academic year. Thanks to the efforts of our faculty, staff, students, and supporters, there is much of which to be proud as we conclude the 2011-12 academic year. Here is the fourth annual 'VCSU Top 10 List of Accomplishments' (in no particular order):

1) In October 2011, VCSU hosted a site visit team from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC is the regional accrediting agency that has responsibility for accrediting colleges and universities in 19 states (including ND). The work to plan for this visit had been underway for the past two years and involved virtually every employee on campus. As a result of this visit and the accompanying documentation we provided, VCSU has received a ten-year accreditation renewal. This full accreditation renewal is important, and it signifies the rigor and quality of VCSU's academic programs as well as the robust learning environment provided here.

2) Fall 2011 enrollment of 1,384 students was the largest in the 120+ year history of VCSU. We welcomed another historically large freshmen class to campus last fall, and are anticipating a third straight large incoming class in Fall 2012. VCSU also enrolled 157 Master's students; a record number since the inception of the graduate program seven years ago. To accommodate this growth throughout the campus, several new full-time faculty instructors and other staff positions have been hired for 2012-13.

3) Last weekend, VCSU held its 120th Commencement Exercises with a graduating class of approximately 250 undergraduate and Masters students. Of note, the very first student graduating with an M.Ed. concentration in Teaching English Language Learners received her diploma during the Ceremonies. During Commencement, we also recognized students earning their nursing credentials as part of VCSU's collaborative program with Dakota College at Bottineau through the Dakota Nursing Program. We wish the 2012 Graduating Class all the best with their next steps, and thank them for the many contributions they have made to Valley City State.

4) The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) division of the American Library Association (ALA) recognized VCSU's Master of Education (M.Ed.) Library and Information Technologies (LIT) concentration as a quality school librarianship program. VCSU is the only university in a four-state region (MN, ND, SD and MT) with a nationally recognized program of this type. The LIT concentration is designed for practicing librarians who wish to further their careers with graduate-level credentials, or teachers wishing to gain new credentials. Previous recognition the M.Ed. program has received includes a $573,909 IMLS grant in 2007 and an ALA/AASL statement of commendation in 2008.

5) Thanks to a very mild winter, significant progress has been made on the Rhoades Science Center expansion during the past six months. The $10.3 million project includes an approximately 27,000 square foot expansion that is transforming the east end of campus. The project will also include a complete renovation of the existing Rhoades structure set to begin this summer. When the entire project is completed in August 2013, Rhoades will be a state-of-the-art, preeminent facility in the state of North Dakota for undergraduate science education.

The list is only half-finished. Unfortunately, like the past three years, due to space constraints it will be a two-part series. Check the next column for five more entries in VCSU's 2011-12 Top Ten list.

IT projects update at VCSU

This is a short update of IT projects that will either directly impact VCSU users, or that users have been asking about:

· VCSU will NOT change LMS for the next academic year. We will continue to use Blackboard. Any possible change to an NDUS LMS would involve training next academic year with a transition in the summer of 2013. Nothing is certain at this point and it is possible that Bb Learn could become the NDUS standard. We need to wait to see what the SBHE oversight committee decides.

· We will upgrade Blackboard Learn to Service Pack 8. We do not anticipate significant impact on users, just a few new features/enhancements. Timing of the upgrade will be announced well in advance of the implementation.

· Tegrity has been selected as an NDUS standard and this will replace Panopto. As Brad Mills mentioned in a previous message, we will transition from Panopto to Tegrity and we will work to migrate the Panopto recordings to Tegrity as identified by faculty. Panopto will remain in operation until at least October. Tegrity training will be provided prior to the start of fall semester.

· Wimba is being phased out as a product and it will be replaced by Blackboard Collaborate. This change will occur gradually during next academic year to allow for faculty training. Blackboard Collaborate is currently available and the instructional design team is gearing up to assist other faculty with this software.

· We do not anticipate a need to re-image Lenovo laptops. There will be an upgrade to Cisco CUPC or Personal Communicator client, but we anticipate providing this to users in the form of a download.

· Apple MacBook laptops will be upgraded to OSX Lion operating system. This will require a re-image and users are encouraged to bring their MacBook to the Helpdesk in Vangstad 116 any time after August 1 and before the fall rush. Faculty may wait until Welcome week, if necessary. Please have your personal files backed up before coming to the Help Desk. This process may take around an hour to complete.

· A new ID Card system, branded as the "Viking Card," will be operational on July 12th. Users will need to get a new ID card from the Student Center Information Desk and this can be done any time after July 15th or faculty may want to wait until Welcome week. The Viking Card will have significantly increased functionality versus the current ID card. For more information and ongoing updates, go to

· A new classroom AV standard is being developed. The standard is based on a campus wide meeting earlier this spring and additional input from the instructional design team. We anticipate applying this new standard to the Rhoades auditorium (room 102 in the new building numbering system) and Graichen 005 this summer. These rooms will serve as pilots that will allow for additional hands-on use and feedback. Initial training in the fall will likely be targeted to individuals who plan to teach in these rooms. New features we are trying to incorporate in the classroom standard include microphones that will better facilitate classroom recording and web streaming; a more intuitive, easy to use system; digital writing capability; and display of Apple iPads.

Defensive Driving Course at VCSU

VCSU will be offering a Defensive Driving Course on Wednesday, May 16 from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm in the Skoal Room of the Student Center.

If you have previously taken the course and are unsure if you are up to be renewed, or wish to take the course for the first time, contact Jessica Frerich at 845-77710 or email

BCHS lecture series season 14 continues

BCHS lecture series season 14 continues
The Barnes County Historical Society Lecture Series Season 14 Presents Valley City State University Instructor Dina Petherbridge "Mayan Gastronomy: Maintaining our Culinary Heritage" at 7:00 pm Thursday, May 17 at the Barnes County Museum.

You may be asking yourself, "How are the Mayans connected to North Dakota?" If your answer is the Mayan calendar and the end of the world . . . you are not correct.

It's their cuisine! Maíz (corn), squash, beans, and chili peppers were the four main staples in the Mayan diet. Mayan cuisine influenced Latin American cuisine, and with Latino population growth in the United States, Latin food has become one of the most popular cuisines.

This presentation will focus on the influence of Mayan ingredients on Latino dishes, and how they reflect current North Dakota tastes. Different samples of dishes will be presented and the audience will have an opportunity to see the transformation of the Mayan's main staple foods.

Dina Zavala-Petherbridge is Instructor and Spanish Program Director at Valley City State University and teaches Spanish and Latin American history in the university's undergraduate program. Petherbridge was born and raised in Honduras, Central America, and returns often with her husband Steven and their two children, Tanisha and Thomas.

Dina explains "I live far away from my family and cannot bring my entire culture to North Dakota. However, one of the ways I maintain my heritage is by cooking dishes that represent it. My children need to know their roots. They were born in the U.S.A. and have an English and German heritage, but they are also Honduran with a Mayan heritage, and that makes them unique!"

All Lectures are at the Barnes County Historical Society Museum and held in conjunction with Valley City State University. They are free and open to the public.

For more information contact Wes Anderson at 701-845-0966.

Drivers needed for VCSU Soapbox cars!

VCSU has invested in two new cars for the annual Soapbox Derby (one Stock, one Super Stock) being held June 9 – 10 in Valley City, and we are seeking nominations for drivers.

Driver age limits:

Stock: Age 7 – 13 on date of race
Super Stock: Age 10 – 17 on date of race

See for other restrictions and requirements.

If you would like to nominate a driver, submit the name, the desired Division (Stock or Super Stock) and contact information Kerry Gregoryk. One driver for each car will be chosen by random drawing on Friday, May 18. Preference will go to children of VCSU employees. In addition to participating in the competition in June, the selected drivers will be expected to participate in building the cars before the event. If they win their Division in the local competition, they will have the opportunity to compete in the national championship being held in Akron, OH in July.

For questions or more information, contact Kerry Gregoryk.

IRA Convention held in Chicago

Valley City State Univeristy Associate Professor Dr. Tricia Gegelman and Assistant Professor Dr. Cindy Zahn attended their first International Reading Association national convention in Chicago, IL, April 29 – May 2.

Highlights of the convention included the inspirational key note speakers, many authors and illustrators and the informational/hands on sessions. Key note speaker, Dr. Perry, opened the convention. Dr. Perry, a principal of a highly successful magnate school in Hartford, CT, asked "Is this what you were called to do?" and shared his philosophy of loving your learners and questioning the status quo "competence is the enemy of excellence."

Another keynote speaker was innovative teacher, Ron Clark. He shared his passion for education and encouraged all educators to be passionate about teaching and facilitating learning.

Authors were abundant and engaging throughout the conference and included Peter Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, Christopher Paul Curtis, Henry Winkler, Laura Numeroff.

Other speakers presented on current educational trends including Common Core writing, Daily 5 and CAFE, textHELP (assessment software) and co-teaching. The information will be applied to numerous courses as faculty revise and update curriculum.

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

Tuesday, May 15

Pay Day

Wednesday, May 16

Thursday, May 17

Track & Field at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, La Crosse, WI
11:00 am Staff Senate Meeting

Friday, May 18

Saturday, May 19

Sunday, May 20

Monday, May 21

Tuesday, May 22

Wednesday, May 23

Thursday, May 24

Track & Field NAIA Championship, Marion, IN (May 24-26)

Friday, May 25

Saturday, May 26

Sunday, May 27

Monday, May 28

Memorial Day – Campus Offices Closed