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President's Desk

President’s Column: Recognition, sport season, Envision 2035

Nov 8, 2023

Greetings from Valley City State University! 

Alan LaFave

The second half of the fall semester is well underway and external recognition of our campus excellence continues. We were recently notified of our selection as a 2023-2024 College of Distinction. VCSU is one of three North Dakota institutions recognized on this year’s list with special recognition cited of our Business and Education programs. 

Through a rigorous vetting and interview process, we were identified as striving for excellence in line with four areas of distinction – Student Engagement, Teaching, Community, and Outcomes. We are proud to be included in this exclusive list of schools, all distinguished by a commitment to a quality undergraduate experience. Our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community continue to set us apart as a high-quality destination for pursuit of academic and extra and co-curricular excellence and we thank them all for their dedication and excellence! 

Our fall athletic teams are nearing the end of their seasons and the transition to winter sports is underway. With the first snow, our golf team concluded fall competitions, but are preparing for indoor practice to gear up for spring tournaments. Our baseball team was able to play some excellent fall contests, and our cross-country teams are participating in the conference championships as I pen this column. Special congratulations to Jasmine Barnes and Karly Just for their top ten finishes! Additionally, we wish the best to our VCSU volleyball team as they play for a conference championship in Watertown and our football team as they conclude the fall season with a home game against Waldorf on Nov. 11. We look forward to the women’s and men’s basketball season! 

Finally, I had the opportunity to participate in the SBHE strategic planning session in Bismarck on Wednesday, Nov. 1 which included other college and university presidents, faculty members, State Board of Higher Education, and members of industry. Entitled, “Envision 2035”, the day began with comments from Governor Burgum on the important connection to workforce and included reports from nine different working groups including energy, agriculture, infrastructure, programs of the future, values, and workforce of the future. I served as co-chair of the “Infrastructure of the Future” working group along with Dr. John Warford. We reported on both the instructional technology and physical infrastructure future needs of our students and campuses. 

A strategic plan must include strategic thinking to be successful. While it may be difficult to know exactly what 2035 will hold for higher education, this planning will help shape that future and position our colleges and universities as partners and leaders in the rapidly changing landscape. 

Go Vikings!