MSU President's Newspaper Column

January 14, 2023

Enjoying the present while paving the way for the future

The spring semester officially began this week, and we are excited and energized for what the new academic term will bring. We know that the spring is always packed full of extra activities that include awards programs, conferences, campus events for prospective students, and more.

The busy semester will culminate with our greatest annual celebration, commencement. It is our honor to celebrate with our newest graduates and their families as the new owners of Mayville State degrees are recognized for reaching their academic goals and dreams. For our faculty and staff, graduation means a feeling of accomplishment as well because they have played an active role in making it happen for the students.

The 68th North Dakota Legislative Assembly began its regular 2023 session at the state capitol in Bismarck the first week in January. We are grateful to our legislators and elected officials for the work they do to help North Dakota be the best it can be, a special place to live, work, and learn.

Vice President for Business Affairs Amber Hill and I had the opportunity to deliver a presentation on behalf of Mayville State University to the House Appropriations Committee, Education & Environment Division, on Wednesday, Jan. 11. The other North Dakota University System institutions also made presentations during hearings held during the week.

It was a pleasure to let the committee members know about some major accomplishments at Mayville State since the last legislative session in 2021. These include improving our CFI score from .41 to 3.92 and increasing our financial reserves on the business side of operations. We’ve also developed new degree programs that are making an impact on workforce in our state. Our nursing, K-12 education, and special education, and other graduates are desperately needed in the workforce in our state.

It’s important to note the important positive impact Mayville State makes locally, as well as statewide and beyond. Not only is the university supplying graduates who can fill critical employment positions, Mayville State Child Development Programs are providing services for families in seven counties: Traill, Steele, Griggs, Nelson, Walsh, Cass, and Grand Forks. Having childcare is essential in allowing parents to be employed.

Some points of pride for Mayville State in serving the state include the following facts and figures: 69% of all students enrolled at Mayville State are North Dakota residents; 79% of our freshmen are North Dakota residents; nearly 800 Mayville State graduates are teachers or administrators in North Dakota’s K-12 schools; and 69% of our recent graduates report they are employed in North Dakota or are furthering their education.

Education of the whole student really sets Mayville State apart. The Mayville State experience includes intellectual development, personal grown, volunteerism, community involvement, character development, social, emotional, and personal development, and leadership development. This package can be wrapped up in a bow called “personal service.”

Our presentation concluded with our funding request for the next biennium. Our priorities are the renovation of Old Main, support for employee compensation equity and retention, and support for a stabilized funding stream for higher education in North Dakota.  

Dealing with physical plant deferred maintenance, salary equity issues that play a big role in being able to maintain a stable and qualified workforce, and maintaining budgetary consistency are among the challenges we face at Mayville State. Our funding request to the legislature takes these challenges into consideration. This funding has the potential to make a huge positive difference at Mayville State University.

The new year is off to a very exciting start. While we’re enjoying the present and all that comes with the spring semester, we look ahead with the best intentions for our university, our students, our community, and our state at the forefront. We are grateful beyond measure for the support of our public servants, alumni, friends, employees, and students as we pave the way for a continued bright future.