MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

August 23, 2014 

Faculty and staff gear up for new academic year during pre-service workshops

It seems that summer has flown by! Campus personnel have been extremely busy during the last few months preparing for a fresh new start with the fall semester of 2014. In addition to the completion of the campus drainage project, there’s been lots of general sprucing up going on in the area of facilities. The new and improved Stan Dakken Drive opened on Friday, August 22! The east side of the campus looks great! We’re thrilled that we’ve had this opportunity to address the perennial problem of drainage on the campus, which has significantly impacted the area east of the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. We’re already seeing how this drainage project is having a positive impact on the campus.

Pre-service workshops were held August 20-22 this year. These annual workshops generally take place during a three-day period the week before the fall semester classes begin. This is a time to meet new faculty and staff, learn about new policies and procedures, and become acquainted with new programs and initiatives.  

A complimentary breakfast for faculty and staff kicked off Pre-service 2014 Wednesday, August 20. This was followed by my annual state of the university address. During the opening session, division and department heads introduced new employees who have begun working in their areas. About 35 new folks were introduced. For fun, I conducted an activity I’d tried a couple of years ago. I asked all Mayville State employees in attendance to stand. Then I asked those who’d worked at Mayville State five years or less to sit, and continued this in five- or 10-year increments until we were left with those who’d worked 40 years or more. Tom Moen, Karen Amundson, and Janice Jorgensen were the final trio standing. The activity demonstrated that we have a great mix of short- and long-time employees.

Other pre-service activities included discussion on topics such as diversity, Title IX, ADA, Google collaborative tools, university marketing, Atomic Learning, and Tegrity. New employees had a chance to have an orientation to their new place of employment and take care of some of the “nuts and bolts” tasks. The Faculty Association held its fall meeting as well. Another highlight of pre-service activities was a picnic at Island Park for faculty and staff and their families. This marks the sixth year that the Office of Academic Affairs has hosted this event.

The first sign of fall and a new academic year is always the return of the athletes, which began the first part of August. About 115 football players are currently participating in pre-season camps. Volleyball pre-season camp began about a week later. Both teams will begin official play this weekend, when the volleyball team will travel to Sioux City, Iowa to participate in a tournament. The football season will kick off with a home game versus Waldorf (Iowa) Saturday, August 23. Game time is 1:00 p.m. This is a conference game, as Waldorf has joined the North Star Athletic Association, just in football, this year.

August 23 is significant, as that is also move-in day for new students who will be living in the campus residence halls. We look forward to greeting many new faces and welcoming them to the Mayville State University family. The new students and their families will be our guests at a noon luncheon on Saturday. We’re also giving families complimentary tickets to attend the football home opener on Saturday. I invite you to come out and join us in welcoming these folks to the Mayville-Portland community.

A number of welcome week activities are planned for students, including a parking lot dance outside of the Classroom Building on Sunday evening. The much-anticipated Campus Crusade-sponsored “Night at the Island” is planned for Thursday evening, August 28. The event will include a meal and the opportunity to have some fun with a variety of inflatable games. Mayville State students have come to look forward to this event each year.

We are extremely excited about the beginning of a new academic year. I am happy to welcome our new and returning students, as well as new and veteran employees. It is great to have the campus bustling with people as we at Mayville State celebrate 125 years of making a difference in the lives of those in pursuit of their educational goals and dreams.

Please mark your calendar and plan to join us this fall and early winter for a number of opportunities for involvement at Mayville State: September 6, Comet Athletic Club Sportsmen’s Raffle; October 3-5, Homecoming; November 1, Farmers Bowl; December 7, Music Department Christmas Concert; and December 13, Poinsettia Ball. You can keep up-to-date with all Mayville State activities at I encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by Mayville State University. You’ll be glad you did!