Skip to main content

This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

• Another Strong Ranking from US News!
• Diversity@VCSU to host Mexican Independence Day celebration Sept. 16
• Lecture series season 16 kicks off Sept. 19
• National Guard Band to perform in Valley City
• 2nd Annual VCSU Rendezvous to be held Oct. 18
• VCSU Alumni Association to celebrate Homecoming
• VCSU named to ‘military-friendly’ list
• Update on President Shirley’s Faculty/Staff Campaign Challenge
• What's happening at VCSU and around Valley City...
• September Birthdays

The VCSU Hotline! online newsletter will be published each Monday during the academic year. Deadline to submit articles (photos encouraged) is 4:00 p.m. the preceding Friday.

Another Strong Ranking from US News!

Another Strong Ranking from US News!
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

The following article will appear it the Valley City Times-Record the week of September 16, 2013.

U.S. News released its annual Best Colleges rankings earlier this month, and Valley City State University was ranked as the #2 Public Regional College in the Midwest for 2014. This is the 16th consecutive year VCSU has been ranked as a “Best College” by U.S. News in our category.

As you may recall, VCSU was ranked in the number one position each of the past two years, so we were of course disappointed in dropping a notch to the number two ranking this year. However, I do want to stress the bright side (and there is a bright side!). With this year’s ranking, it now marks the fifth consecutive year that VCSU has been in either the #1 or #2 position (in 2010 and 2011 VCSU also held the #2 position) among the Top Public Regional Colleges in the Midwest. No other college or university can make that claim, and VCSU is rightfully proud to be consistently ranked with such a high rating. Remaining at or near the top of the rankings is certainly an accomplishment and represents a powerful testimony to the strong teaching and learning environment at VCSU. VCSU also remains the highest rated North Dakota public university in our category.

The Midwest region includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio. The colleges and universities in this category recruit most of their students from within their surrounding area (thus the term “Regional College”). This category is comprises colleges and universities that primarily focus on undergraduate education and grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. There are a total of 99 institutions ranked in the Midwest Regional Colleges category, and of these, 85 are private schools while 14 are public like Valley City State. Therefore, in comparing schools with a similar profile to VCSU in the 12-state Midwest, Valley City State University ranked #2 among the 14 public colleges and universities.

The value of a VCSU education should also be highlighted. Most of the private schools ranked in the Midwest list annual tuition/fees in the $25,000-$35,000 range. When you consider VCSU’s tuition/fees are substantially less at approximately one-fourth that amount, it only serves to further emphasize the value proposition of VCSU combining educational excellence and affordability.

The rankings methodology comprise important indicators such as graduation rates, freshmen retention, percentage of full-time faculty, peer institution assessment, average class sizes, student-to-faculty ratio, average ACT/SAT scores, freshmen in the top 25% of their graduating class, and alumni donor giving rates. The faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters of this campus can be proud of VCSU’s tradition of excellence within this annual ranking system!

As U.S. News notes, the annual rankings allow its readers to “…compare at a glance the relative quality of institutions based on such widely accepted indicators of excellence as freshman retention and graduation rates and the strength of the faculty.” College rankings are not the only metrics for selecting the best option for higher education, but they certainly are a key part of the overall criteria used by prospective students when making such important decisions.

VCSU is proud to be ranked #2 among 14 similar colleges and universities in the Midwest, and we look forward to sharing this news with prospective VCSU students while also working hard to regain the top spot in next year’s rankings! It is another great start to the 2013-14 academic year at VCSU.

Diversity@VCSU to host Mexican Independence Day celebration Sept. 16

Diversity@VCSU to host Mexican Independence Day celebration Sept. 16
All are invited to attend the Mexican Independence Day Celebration today, Monday, Sept. 16, featuring a presentation by Abel Turrubiates, owner of Another Time/Mi Pueblito restaurant. Turrubiates will share his personal perspective on Mexican Independence Day.

The event, beginning at 2:30 p.m., will be held in the Skoal Room of the Student Center. The celebration will include giveaways and prizes.

Hispanic Heritage Month is being celebrated in the United States from Sept. 15 to October 15. To learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, visit

Lecture series season 16 kicks off Sept. 19

Lecture series season 16 kicks off Sept. 19
The Barnes County Historical Society Lecture Series Season 16 presents “Theatre Without the Drama: It’s Not About the Performance,” by Jenni Lou Russi, VCSU theatre director, at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, September 19, at the Barnes County Museum. The event is free and open to the public.

Russi has worked in theatre around the country. As a practitioner of the craft through many stages of her own life, she has an appreciation for the ways in which this performance art can influence our lives off the stage. Russi doesn't buy the oft-quoted line in Hamlet: “The play’s the thing.” The play isn’t the thing—the thing comes before, during and after the play. (She also doesn't buy that a guy named William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet—but that's another lecture for another time.)

Join the discussion about the ways in which our lives, families and community can be enriched by theatre—without the drama. Theatre has been used in a variety of settings—including prisons, schools and churches—to engage people of all ages in performance; theatre can teach and heal, as well as entertain.

As director of theatre at VCSU, Russi teaches theatre and directs the MainStage productions at the university. In Valley City she has volunteered with projects for the Pioneer Park Amphitheatre and City Park Bandshell. After performing as a featured player in Fargo with the Silver Follies, Russi was inspired to contact the Sheyenne Care Center to create theatre performances with and for seniors.

National Guard Band to perform in Valley City

The North Dakota National Guard’s 188th Army Band will perform in Valley City on Saturday, Sept. 21. The musical tribute to the 164th Infantry Association and veterans will begin at 3:00 p.m. on the Barnes County Courthouse lawn.

The concert, free and open to the public, will include a Dixieland ensemble, woodwind quintet, jazz combo, jazz band and concert band. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to VCSU’s Vangstad Auditorium.

2nd Annual VCSU Rendezvous to be held Oct. 18

2nd Annual VCSU Rendezvous to be held Oct. 18
V-500 is hosting the 2nd Annual VCSU Rendezvous on Friday, October 18, at the Valley City Eagles Club. This year’s headlining entertainment is comedian Chad Daniels. Come out for a night of fun! Ticket sales benefit V-500 scholarships. This is an event for those age 21 and over. Tickets are $25 and on sale now at the VCSU Foundation Office.

VCSU Alumni Association to celebrate Homecoming

The Valley City State University Alumni Association will celebrate Homecoming October 4 and 5. Activities will begin on Friday, October 4, with the Viking Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction ceremony, to be held at the VCSU Student Center Cafeteria beginning with a social at 5:00 p.m. and dinner at 6:00 p.m. The 2013 inductees include the 1958 Football Team, the 1981 and 1982 Baseball Teams, Robert (Bob) Maresh, Brent Lick and Terry Corwin. Tickets for the Hall of Fame banquet are available by calling the VCSU Fieldhouse 845-7161. Tickets must be purchased by Friday, September 27.

On Saturday morning, the Alumni Honors Breakfast will be held at the VCSU Student Center beginning at 9:00 a.m. The Honors Breakfast provides the VCSU Alumni Association with an opportunity to present fellow alumni with the Certificate of Merit and Alumni Service awards.

Eight alumni will be honored with the Certificate of Merit award. The Certificate of Merit award was adopted by the VCSU Alumni Association to recognize alumni for accomplishments, service or other noteworthy honors. This year’s recipients include James Jeske ’78, Matt Johnson ’94, Mel Klingenberg ’81, Lindsey Lesniewski ’01, Jason Lindgren ’92, Del Schwartz ’66, Edith Wagar ’86 and Amy Sinness ’03.

Don Bauer ’63 and Dean Pedersen will receive the Alumni Service Award. The Alumni Service Award was adopted to recognize alumni or university friends who have attained exceptional achievement in their careers and have made significant contributions to the university through dedicated service, promotion, financial support or other efforts. Tickets are $10 each and may be reserved by calling the VCSU Alumni Office at 701-845-7203 or emailing

Other activities on Saturday include the homecoming parade at 11:00 a.m., football game at 1:00 p.m. against Presentation College, and a postgame social held at the Valley City Country Club at 4:00 p.m.

Anyone needing more information can contact the VCSU Foundation and Alumni Office at 701-845-7403.

VCSU named to military-friendly list

VCSU named to military-friendly list
Valley City State University has been named to the 2014 Military Friendly Schools list, which honors the top 20 percent of U.S. colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students, and ensure their success on campus.

Maintained by Victory Media, the Military Friendly list highlights 1,868 schools nationwide that exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. The Military Friendly website——features profiles of the listed schools, along with tools to help military students find the best school to fit their needs and preferences.

Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for Veterans Administration tuition funding.

Update on President Shirley’s Faculty/Staff Campaign Challenge

Update on President Shirley’s Faculty/Staff Campaign Challenge
The graph at right illustrates employee participation thus far in the VCSU Faculty/Staff Campaign. President Shirley has set a goal of 100% participation; help move us closer to that goal!

Percentage of Giving by Offices
• Academic Affairs-Registrar's Office-STEM 53.8%
• Advancement-Marketing-FMC 100.0%
• Athletics 66.7%
• Business and Information Technology 92.3%
• Business Office-Employee Services 87.5%
• Communication Arts & Social Science 64.7%
• Facilities Services 29.2%
• Fine Arts 77.8%
• Information Technology 90.9%
• Library 100.0%
• Math, Science, and Health & Physical Education 73.7%
• School of Education and Graduate Studies-Tech Ed 85.7%
• Student Affairs-Financial Aid-Enrollment Services 91.7%
• Student Center-Bookstore-Housing 70.0%

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

What\'s happening at VCSU and around Valley City ...
Monday, September 16

2:30 Mexican Independence Celebration, Student Center Skoal Room

Tuesday, September 17

Constitution Day

Wednesday, September 18

Graduate/Professional School Day, NDSU
Hispanic Heritage month kick off, Student Center Cafeteria
Viking golf at United Tribes Invitational, Apple Creek Country Club, Bismarck
7:00 pm Viking volleyball vs Dakota State University, Graichen Gymnasium

Thursday, September 19

Friday, September 20

7:00 pm Viking volleyball @ Presentation College, Aberdeen, S.D.

Saturday, September 21

4:00 pm Viking volleyball vs Briercrest College, Graichen Gymnasium
6:00 pm Viking football vs Trinity Bible College, Shelley Ellig Field
N.D. Junior High and High School Rodeo, N.D. Winter Show Building (September 21-22)

Sunday, September 22

First day of autumn
Viking golf at Valley City State Invitational, Cross Roads Golf Course, Carrington (September 22-23)

Monday, September 23

EBC pledge begins
5:30 pm United Way door-to-door drive

Tuesday, September 24

12:00 noon “Why to Attend and How to Work a Career Fair,” Norway Room
7:00 pm Viking volleyball vs Mayville State University, Graichen Gymnasium

Wednesday, September 25

6:30 pm “Why to Attend and How to Work a Career Fair,” Norway Room

Thursday, September 26

6:00-8:00 pm Microsoft Recruiting Visit Event, Skoal Room (must pre-register)
7:00-8:30 pm Sue Fink art reception, VCSU Art Gallery, McCarthy Hall 3rd Floor

Friday, September 27

Viking men’s golf at Palace City Classic, Mitchell, S.D. (September 27-28)
6:00 pm Viking volleyball vs Calumet College @ Clarke University Tournament, Dubuque, Iowa
8:00 pm Viking volleyball vs Clark University @ Clarke University Tournament, Dubuque, Iowa

Saturday, September 28

Viking cross country @ Roy Griak Invitational, Minneapolis, Minn.
12:00 noon Viking volleyball vs Hannibal-LaGrange College @ Clarke University Tournament, Dubuque, Iowa
2:00 pm Viking volleyball vs Mount Mercy College @ Clarke University Tournament, Dubuque, Iowa
Sheyenne Valley Arts and Crafts Festival

Sunday, September 29

Sheyenne Valley Arts and Crafts Festival