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The State Board of Higher Education for the North Dakota University System and the Valley City State University (VCSU) community invite nominations and applications for the position of President. The State Board and Chancellor have charged the search committee to identify an inspirational, innovative leader, one who will embrace and enhance the university’s vision to deliver distinctive, learner-centered experiences to its students.

Founded in 1890 and located in the Sheyenne River Valley, VCSU shares a mutually supportive and strong relationship with its namesake city. The university is ranked consistently by U.S. News & World Report among its “Best Colleges.” VCSU faculty and staff guide 1,500 students in the study of more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs through traditional classroom, online, and hybrid study opportunities. VCSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, with program accreditations by NCATE, NASM, and CAATE. The VCSU Viking athletic teams are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.


The president will be asked to provide consistent, balanced, thoughtful leadership, serving as the trusted voice of VCSU for the long-term. Noted as a showcase for innovation since its founding, the university’s president must be cut from the same cloth, an individual who will demonstrate an ability to act with ongoing strategic student-focused creativity. The president will be expected to arrive with a can-do attitude and to be an active difference-maker for the university. A staunch advocate who will make complex decisions for the common good is expected. She or he should be able to manage diverse relationships, build consensus, and practice integrity. The president will be expected to build partnerships and collaborate for the well-being of the university, the system, and the state of North Dakota.


The successful candidate should possess the following characteristics:

  • Demonstrated commitment to student access, achievement, retention, and success;
  • Deep knowledge of strategic visioning, planning, and informed decision making;
  • Ability to connect with alumni, the community, and private sector to fundraise on behalf of the university;
  • Appreciation of faculty, staff and student contributions and recognition of shared-governance practices;
  • Capacity to invigorate an active VCSU alumni association and the foundation;
  • Record of success in diversity and inclusion initiatives among students, faculty, and staff;
  • An inward- and outward-facing leader, engaging the school district, local industry and business, the state legislature, and community leaders;
  • Advocate for VCSU and partner with a statewide team, working with the State Board of Higher Education, North Dakota University System Chancellor, staff, and other NDUS presidents;
  • Approachable, humble, and skilled in active listening to all levels of the organization, assessing fairly, and acting decisively;
  • Appreciation for the Northern Plains culture, values, and small community living;
  • Significant executive level leadership;
  • Appreciation for the important role athletics play on campus and in the community, and experience supporting athletic programs (preferred);
  • Faculty and higher education experience (preferred); and
  • Earned doctorate or terminal degree appropriate to the discipline (preferred). 

Nominations and Applications

To assure best consideration, nominations and applications should be received by July 12, 2018. The application must include a letter of interest of not more than three pages; a current résumé (or curriculum vitae); and the names of five professional references with each person's position, office or home address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers. References will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant. The new President will assume office on or before January 1, 2019.

The North Dakota University System and university presidential search committee are being assisted by James H. McCormick and Janice S. Fitzgerald, Executive Search Consultants, AGB Search. Nominations and applications should be sent electronically to (MS Word or PDF Format). Additional university information may be found at The consultants may be contacted at 651-238-5188,, or 717-580-0663,

Pursuant to N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications which contain information that could reasonably be used to identify an applicant are confidential until finalists are designated by the State Board of Higher Education. Only information about finalists will be public.

As employers, the State of North Dakota and political subdivisions prohibit smoking in all places of state and political subdivision employment with N.D.C.C. § 23-12-10.

Equal Opportunity Employer: The State of North Dakota and this hiring agency do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, genetics, religion, age, or disability in employment or the provision of services, and comply with the provision of the North Dakota Human Rights Act. Effective August 1, 2015, veterans' preference is applicable to this position (N.D.C.C. § 37-19.1-02). Applicants who are residents of North Dakota and eligible to claim veterans' preference must upload Form DD214. Claims for disabled veterans' preference must include a current statement of disabled status from the Veteran Affairs Office.

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Terry Meyer
Executive Assistant to the Chancellor
North Dakota University System
Phone: 701-328-2963

NOTE: Names of finalists for the position are a matter of public record per the open meetings-open records statutes and policies of the State of North Dakota. Because of the public nature of the campus visit portion of the interview process, the names of semifinalists selected for on-campus interviews also become public.

The North Dakota University System and the Valley City State University Presidential Search Committee are being assisted by:

James H. McCormick
Executive Search Consultant
AGB Search
Phone: 651-238-5188

Janice S. Fitzgerald
Executive Search Consultant
AGB Search
Phone: 717-580-0663