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President’s Column: State Board of Higher Education June meeting held on VCSU campus

Jun 26, 2023

We were excited to host the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) on our campus for their June 27, 2023 meeting. The SBHE is the policy-setting and advocacy body for the North Dakota University System and the governing body for North Dakota’s 11 publicly supported colleges and universities. The SBHE is made up of seven citizen members appointed to four-year terms by the governor and one student appointed by the governor to serve a one-year term. The Council of College Faculties select the board’s non-voting faculty advisor, and the North Dakota State Staff Senate selects the board’s non-voting staff advisor. State Board meeting in the Center for the Arts Performance Hall

This is the first meeting held on campus since the fall 2018 semester, when the board appointed me as the 14th president of VCSU. It’s hard to believe that was nearly five years ago! The adage that time flies is certainly fitting in this case. During that time the campus has undergone many changes and improvements. Most notably, the completion of the Center for the Arts, where the meetings for the board were held. We were so pleased to host them on our beautiful campus.

Meetings of the SBHE include discussion of important policy. During this meeting, the board heard reports from the Chancellor, budget and finance committee, audit committee, research and governance committee, efficiency and opportunities ad hoc committee, and post-tenure ad hoc committee. The board also heard reports from the North Dakota Student Association, Council of College Faculties and Staff Senate.

I wish to extend sincere thanks to our facilities personnel and staff for assistance in the preparation of campus and facilities for this meeting. Special thanks to Dr. Jamie Wirth, Department Chair, Mathematics, and Director of the Great Plains STEM Education Center for an outstanding report and update on the Math Pathways initiative – aligning math curriculum with appropriate coursework for various disciplines and IN-STEM. Both initiatives have statewide implications, and his report was outstanding and appreciated by the SBHE.

This meeting was the final meeting for board member Nick Hacker, Bismarck. We thank member Hacker for his outstanding support of higher education during his time as a board member and as past Board Chair. Mr. Hacker served the North Dakota State Senate from 2004-2008 in District 42. His leadership, vision, and ability to communicate were superb and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.

Additionally, this meeting was the final meeting in which Dr. Casey Ryan, Grand Forks, served as Board Chair. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Research and Governance committee. We are grateful he will be continuing as a board member and wish to thank him for his leadership and direction provided in his important role as Chair. Vice Chair Tim Mihalick, Minot, has been elected as the next chair for the SBHE and Dr. John Warford, Bismarck will assume the role as Vice Chair.

As we continue to move our campus forward together with new facilities, campus updates and renovations, additional programs and workforce initiatives, we thank the SBHE for their support, advocacy, and leadership.