March 28, 2018Brian Van Horn - web.jpg

The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education named Dr. Brian Van Horn as the next president of Mayville State University on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Van Horn currently serves as associate provost at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.

During the interview, he said that he appreciated North Dakota’s investment in Mayville State University. “Here we make an impact for life on students and I appreciate North Dakota’s commitment to affordability,” Van Horn said.

The night prior to his interview, he said that he walked around campus visiting with students and every student he spoke with expressed love for the university experience at Mayville. “In my time on campus, I have been impressed with the friendliness of the people and the student-centered focus of the institution. It is clear to me that Mayville is a special place and I am honored to be selected as the person to lead this institution. I am excited to begin working on behalf of the students here as well as all of the people on our campus and in our community,” said Van Horn.

The search for the next MSU president began mid-November 2017 after Dr. Gary Hagen announced his upcoming retirement this summer.

“The Board underwent careful deliberations and it was a difficult decision to make,” said Don Morton, chair of the State Board of Higher Education. “We had three strong candidates, all good leaders who understand the value of higher education in making North Dakota strong. We are excited about the possibilities for Van Horn. I want to thank the presidential search committee for all of the time and effort that went into the search to find the best fit for the Mayville State University community. The committee always kept in mind what was best for Mayville and with that, what was best for the students.”

The presidential search committee was co-chaired by Dr. Andrew Pflipsen and Board member Dr. Casey Ryan, who led the effort to interview semifinalists and forward its three recommendations for the position to the Board for final interviews.

“Thank you to the Mayville community and the Mayville presidential search committee for their active participation, commitment, engagement, and efforts throughout the presidential search. As a campus, this has been a good process for us to gain insight from the students, faculty, staff, and community members about the new president as well as the campus itself. I believe that we have a lot to be proud of right now and I know the new president will serve our students and campus community well into the future. Now is an exciting time for us at Mayville State,” said Pflipsen.

Van Horn holds two degrees from Murray State University, a Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration. He earned a doctorate in leadership and policy studies from the University of Memphis. He believes strongly in access to education and has grown Murray State through many distance learning avenues. He has served at Murray State in various capacities including campus director, assistant dean, dean, Student Government Association president and also served on Murray State University’s Board of Regents for two terms.

Van Horn will take over as the 17th president of MSU no later than July. He will succeed Dr. Gary Hagen who will retire this summer after serving more than four decades at the university.