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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

A Time of Thanks
State of the University address scheduled
Beauchman presents in lecture series
Thompson attends EduCause
8 VCSU students attend the MN Chapter of ASUG Meeting
Staff Senate Update
Blackboard tip of the week!
What's happening at VCSU and in Valley City...
November Birthdays

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

A Time of Thanks

A Time of Thanks
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record the week of November 12, 2012.

As the 2012 fall semester nears completion (hard to believe final exams are just a few weeks away!) and the Thanksgiving Holiday rapidly approaches, now is a time of reflection and giving Thanks. Thanksgiving is such a special holiday, and it is an important time to reflect and appreciate everything for which we are thankful.

We have much to be thankful for as a society, a state, and a nation, and we have so much to be thankful for right here in Valley City and across the campus. Regardless of where we stand politically, I think we are all thankful that the season of political advertisements and mailings has ended! OK, so that is not such a big reason for giving thanks, but on a serious note – we truly do have much for which to be thankful.

Certainly, I am thankful to be surrounded at VCSU by a team of faculty and staff who work every day on priorities and initiatives that ultimately fulfill our mission and help our students achieve their educational and personal goals. It is truly a privilege to be in such an environment that is full of professionals working together with a common goal of educating and serving students. We are also thankful for the students and their families who choose to attend VCSU. We are deeply entrusted when a student makes the important decision to attend this university, and we take seriously our commitment to serve those students. The resulting effect of students, faculty, and staff interacting across campus creates a dynamic and fulfilling setting of higher education.

I am thankful every day to work in an environment that has been here for over twelve decades serving and educating students, fulfilling the needs of our region, and creating opportunities that assist in moving our state forward. I am certainly thankful for the strong base of dedicated VCSU alumni and committed supporters who help this university be all that it can be in effectively serving our students. The individuals who support our students, help fund scholarships, volunteer their time and energy on boards and committees, attend campus events and activities, and offer their thoughts, suggestions, and feedback are all so important in complementing a state-supported institution such as VCSU.

On a personal note, my father passed away last month. He and I were very close and had an incredibly strong relationship. He grew very fond of this region and became a big fan of Valley City State the past five years; he was a regular attendee at many campus events. During the past several weeks of grieving and coming to terms with his death, the one constant I have found each and every day is how thankful I am for the relationship we had and the many experiences, memories, and good family times we shared. I am thankful for the 71 years he had on earth, and thankful that I had the good fortune to be his son. The passing of a loved one certainly puts things in perspective, and allows us to truly appreciate life's special gifts and give thanks for those gifts.

Whatever it is that you are thankful for during this season of Thanks, I hope you take a few moments to reflect on those special gifts. I wish each of you a peaceful and relaxing season of Thanksgiving in the days ahead.

State of the University address scheduled

Dr. Steve Shirley, president of Valley City State University, will deliver the annual State of the University address on Monday, November 19 at 3:30 pm in Vangstad Auditorium. During the address, Dr. Shirley will review 2011-12 accomplishments as well as strategic initiatives in 2012-13.

The event is free and open to the public.

Beauchman presents in lecture series

Beauchman presents in lecture series
The Barnes County Historical Society lecture series season 15 presents Alice Beauchman, Valley City State University administrative assistant and photography instructor, "Travels and Birding in Ecuador" 7:00 pm Thursday, November 15, at the Barnes County Museum.

Alice Beauchman spent two weeks in Ecuador in September, 2011, participating in a "Hummers of Ecuador" trip. After a day of sightseeing in Quito, the group traveled to five different lodges catering to birders and photographers. Her presentation will document the journey with narration and images. There will be a number of images detailing some of the spectacular birds that can be found in Ecuador.

Alice graduated from VCSU, as did her husband, Jan, and three children, Jenner, Tanner and Andrea. She teaches three photography classes: Introduction to Photography, Digital and Adobe Elements, and Advanced Photography. Her interests include photography, birding, beading, and minor attempts at gardening.

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.

Thompson attends EduCause

Thompson attends EduCause
Gary Thompson, Dean of the School of Education and Graduate Studies, attended the EduCause Conference in Denver, CO, on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.

During the event, Thompson attended a presentation by Michael Horn on "Disrupting College" which described how colleges need to make changes to keep up with the pace of innovation in our society (a "disrupting innovation" was defined as a change that "changes everything"). The presentation discussed ways to drive change which focused on the idea that information technology plays a key role and needs to be involved.

Another presentation Dr. Thompson attended was "The Road Ahead – New Blackboard Features." In this presentation, he learned about several aspects of VCSU's Blackboard implementation including major innovations underway, development of social learning networks, new products, and functions that address retention and students at risk.

Thompson also attended sessions that discussed the "Cloud" and how that is going to change the way we invest in devices. Students now want, and frequently have, a variety of devices including Xbox, smart phones, iPads.

He also attended a meeting with Blackboard leaders and representatives from other institutions to discuss the changes that will be coming out within the next few weeks.

Dr. Thompson said, "This conference was very eye opening for me and helped me to realize that there is so much change happening in the computing/IT world that, if we do not get on board fast, we will be left behind by other universities."

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology. EDUCAUSE delivers both forward-thinking innovative solutions as well as practical, tangible ideas to handle campus challenges and identify opportunities.

VCSU students, faculty & staff attend MN Chapter of ASUG

Eight VCSU students accompanied Valley City State University Assistant Professor Susan Pfeifer and Director of Career Services Marcia Foss to the MN Chapter ASUG Conference in Minneapolis, November 1, 2012.

The students attending were Kayla Geske, Kayla Visto, Michael Gershman, Dillan Anderson, Colin Waldner, Brock Anderson, Kyle Langland and Damchaa Batchuluun. Kayla Geske and Colin Waldner presented an overview of the VCSU SAP Program to the 200 attendees and all of the students assisted in facilitating a networking event for the attendees.

On Friday, November 2, the group toured Target Corporate, where VCSU alum Lori Salberg presented on their utilization of SAP, and students heard from HR and Merchandising about internship and full-time opportunities. The group then visited Medtronics.

Staff Senate Update:

Just a reminder that you can nominate someone for the Difference is Me Award. * The Difference is Me Award information and nomination form is available at X: Institution > Offices > StaffSenate > The Difference is Me Award.docx. Nomination forms may be returned to any of the voting members of Staff Senate.

Valley City State University Staff Senate will hold the next monthly meeting on Thursday, November 15 at 11:00 am in McCarthy Hall Room 255. Agenda and minutes are available at X: Institution > Offices > Staff Senate.

Blackboard tip of the week!

Add Rubrics to Grade Center Columns:

Associate a rubric to a Grade Center column for quick reference when viewing or grading a student's submission. Using rubrics makes grading easier and more objective because the criteria for achievement are available during grading and can be applied for all students as you add grades.

For convenient reference, you can view a rubric while grading student submissions. From the Grade Details page, click View Rubric. The rubric will open in a new window so that you can view it and student submissions.

1. On the Control Panel, under Grade Center, select Full Grade Center.
2. In the Grade Center, click the action link beside a column heading to access the contextual menu.
3. Select View and Add Rubrics.
4. Click Add Rubric.
5. On the Rubrics page, preview and select one or more rubrics you have made.
6. Click Show List beside Selected Rubrics to view the rubric or rubrics selected.
7. Click Submit.

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

What\'s happening at VCSU and in Valley City ...
Tuesday, November 13

7:00 pm Barnes County Music Festival, Vangstad Auditorium
7:30 pm Valley City High School Play, HS Theatre

Wednesday, November 14

7:00 pm Viking women's basketball vs St. Cloud State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse

Thursday, November 15

7:30 pm Valley City High School Play, HS Theatre

Friday, November 16

7:30 pm Jose Gomez, Clarinet & Chamber Ensembles performance, Froemke Auditorium
7:30 pm Valley City High School Play, HS Theatre

Saturday, November 17

Viking Visit Day
Music Scholarship Auditions
Snowball Arts & Crafts Festival, Valley City High School Activities Center (the HAC), 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
2:00 pm Viking women's basketball vs Dickinson State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
4:00 pm Viking men's basketball vs Dickinson State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
7:30 pm Kirci Wagner, Soprano performance, Froemke Auditorium
7:30 pm Valley City High School Play, HS Theatre

Sunday, November 18

Monday, November 19

Tuesday, November 20

7:00-8:30 pm Stephani Steffen, Reception, VCSU Gallery, McCarthy Hall 3rd Floor

Wednesday, November 21

Thursday, November 22

Thanksgiving Day - No VCSU classes - offices are closed

Friday, November 23

No VCSU classes
1:00 pm MST Viking women's basketball vs Rocky Mountain College, Dickinson, ND
3:00 pm MST Viking men's basketball vs Rocky Mountain College, Dickinson, ND

Saturday, November 24

Mercy Hospital "Festival of Trees" auction and fundraiser, Valley City Eagles
5:00 pm MST Viking women's basketball vs Dickinson State University, Dickinson, ND
7:00 pm MST Viking men's basketball vs Dickinson State University, Dickinson, ND

Sunday, November 25