MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

August 11, 2018 

We look forward to an exciting academic year

I’ve just returned from San Diego where I attended the American Association of State Colleges and Universities New Presidents Academy. It was an invaluable opportunity to spend the week with others who are beginning their tenures as presidents in state colleges and universities. The program was an intensive leadership development experience. We put in 14-hour days and members of the Academy faculty were engaged with participants throughout the week in both the formal and informal settings. AASCU's New Presidents Academy also offers new presidents executive coaching and mentoring throughout their first year to support continued learning and success.

Topics we covered during the Academy included strategic visioning institutional change; presidential leadership: diversity and inclusion; working with boss(es); fundraising; leadership in adversity; financial and facilities management; intercollegiate athletics; shaping the organization/team building; and interpretive communication.

I am grateful to have had the chance to interact with others who are in similar situations and to learn about the challenges that they face. I must say that I feel very fortunate to be at Mayville State University, where we are student-focused. While we have our challenges, it is wonderful to know that the North Dakota University System, legislature, and university work cohesively for student success.

I returned to campus this week to find our staff and faculty working diligently to get students admitted, registered, and ready for the fall semester. The members of the football and volleyball teams are on campus and have begun their pre-season practices. Installation of turf at Jerome Berg Field is moving right along. There is excitement for a new academic year!

The 2018 fall pre-service activities for faculty and staff will kick off at 8:30 on Wednesday morning, Aug. 15. President’s cabinet members will give their updates to faculty and staff.

I cordially invite all members of the community to join us for my first annual state of the university address. This will be held in the Classroom Building Auditorium, beginning at 11 a.m. The public is welcome to join us and hear the latest from Mayville State University. Please plan to have lunch with us in the Campus Center dining center following my address. We would be honored to have you enjoy a meal with us and to take some time to get to know the faculty and staff. After all, we’re all contributors to Mayville State University’s success.

Faculty will participate in informational sessions on the Starfish student retention program, academic assessment, plagiarism, the Blackboard online learning platform, and more Wednesday afternoon. In addition, employees will have an opportunity to take their official university photograph, purchase Comet Pride buttons, and visit with representatives from The Village, an agency that provides services to Mayville State University faculty and staff.

On Thursday, there will be divisional meetings and an opportunity for some emergency preparedness training led by Traill County Sheriff Steve Hunt. We’ll be transitioning to a new online learning platform this year and faculty will have a chance to have some one-on-one training throughout the day Thursday.

Friday’s activities will include divisional meetings, a Faculty Association meeting, and Academic Standards Committee meetings. At noon, there will be a picnic for all faculty and staff. And in the grand finale for the week, we’ll be happy to welcome another new group of students at a Student Success Day event planned for Friday afternoon.

The days before a new academic year begins are always exciting. I look forward to welcoming our veteran employees, as well as all of those who are new. It will be great to have everyone back on campus as we work to make a difference in the lives of students in pursuit of their educational goals. Classes for the fall semester begin at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20. The first full day of classis is Tuesday, Aug. 21.