MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

August 24, 2019 

Transformation is on the horizon

Wednesday, Aug. 21 was a big day at Mayville State University, as it marked the official beginning of the new school year. As is the tradition at Mayville State, faculty are on campus a few days ahead of the start of classes for an orientation of sorts for the new year. It’s always exciting to welcome new faculty and staff, as well as those who are returning.

Activities on Wednesday began with my cabinet members giving updates from their respective areas. This was followed by my annual state of the university address. Our faculty and staff were present for the address, as were several members of the community. We all enjoyed lunch together at the campus dining center following my presentation.

After having spent the past year, my first at Mayville State, observing and learning about the ins and outs of the university, I was ready to be more specific about my goals and plans for transformation at Mayville State. My goals for the institution are reflective of Mayville State’s strategic plan, the North Dakota University System, and the Mayville State President’s cabinet. In a nutshell, they are:

  1. Enrollment growth,
  2. Meeting athletics roster goals,
  3. Academic program growth (in-demand degree areas),
  4. Remaining “The School of Personal Service, and
  5. Revenue generation.

Developing and maintaining partnerships and collaborating with K-12 education, community colleges, and the community is a top priority. Efforts will be heightened during this school year through outreach activities conducted by faculty and professional staff.

Other transformational considerations are new degree programs, when/how to offer courses, class sizes/efficiency, and new enrollment opportunities.

Several new degree programs were approved in 2018-19 and will be offered beginning in the fall of 2019. They are: Associate of Arts (liberal arts transfer), an undergraduate certificate in Online Digital Teaching, an undergraduate certificate in Biotechnology, Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Coaching, and an undergraduate certificate in College Studies.

A couple of other new degree programs were approved by the State Board of Higher Education in 2018-19, but offering them is pending approvals from other agencies. They are the Master of Science degree in Nursing and graduate certificates in Nurse Educator and Nursing Leadership. We hope to have those additional approvals soon so that we may begin offering the programs to students.

One of my observations of the past year has come through loud and clear. At Mayville State University, we don’t talk about personal service. We live it. I’ve never seen a higher education institution do a better job of providing the best possible service to students in a friendly environment. This makes me more Comet Proud than you could even imagine. Personal service is what tipped the scales for me when deciding to come to Mayville State as the 17th president.

Our faculty and staff have done a fabulous job of making Mayville State the university of choice for many, many students. I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts and the fact that we have had record fall enrollment for seven-straight years. I commend our people for going above and beyond to ensure that the Mayville State legacy of providing quality education at an affordable cost can continue. Through our transformation efforts, I know that the future is bright at Mayville State University and that we can continue to have a positive impact, not only in the lives of our students, but also in the state of North Dakota. Our state has workforce needs and we are committed to helping.

This promises to be a rewarding year at Mayville State University. I am grateful to all who partner with us to help Mayville State University stand apart. This includes our faculty, staff, and students; North Dakota University System personnel, including Chancellor Mark Hagerott; the State Board of Higher Education; and state legislators; as well as our alumni and community members. It’s a great team effort!