MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

July 7, 2018

Brian Van Horn - web.jpgWe are excited to be here!

As you may know, I was named president of Mayville State University on March 28, 2018. My first official day on the job was July 1. Misty and I are delighted to be in the Mayville-Portland community and on the Mayville State campus in an official capacity. We look forward to meeting everyone on the campus and in the community. This is a special place and we feel blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of it.

I express my sincere appreciation for the privilege of serving as the 17th president of Mayville State University. Dr. Gary Hagen, the Mayville State cabinet, faculty, and staff have worked together to build a strong foundation from which I hope to continue improving. We’re fortunate to have a quality university that serves a niche market for North Dakota and beyond.

Please allow me to share my background. I was born in Benton, IL and graduated from Benton Consolidated High School before beginning college at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. I played baseball there, and after attending SIUC for two years, I transferred to Murray State University, which set the direction for my work in life.

It was my honor to serve at Murray State in various capacities as a student. This included one year as Student Government Association vice president, two years as Student Government president, including a one-year term over state presidents, and two terms on the Murray State Board of Regents. It was those life experiences and my desire to help others that led me to the field of university administration.

I hold two degrees from Murray State University, a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Public Administration. I earned a doctorate in leadership and policy studies from the University of Memphis.

In 1998, I returned to Murray State as the director of the Paducah campus, the first regional campus. From 1998 to 2018, I served in various positions, including assistant dean and then dean of Continuing Education and Academic Outreach, and lastly associate provost of Regional Academic Outreach. These experiences prepared me for the opportunities that I have found in Mayville State University. A student focus with attention on access to education relates very closely to my previous educational experiences.

By serving in many organizations, which include, but are not limited to Paducah Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Paducah Economic Development Council Board of Directors, Purchase Area P16 Council, West Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, past board member of Community Financial Services Bank, and Purchase Area Diabetes Coalition, I have developed community partnerships. I also served as a founding member of the Juvenile Diabetes Walk in Paducah, which is one of the largest for the state of Kentucky.

Beyond the regional community, I was also a member of the International Association for Continuing Higher Education, and served as the organization’s president in 2014. I am currently an advisor to the association, actively speaking and participating in conferences.

Misty and I reside in Mayville. We have four children, Tyler, Ali, Will, and Ella. My family also includes my father, who served in WWII as a member of the United States Navy, and my mother, who live in southern Illinois.

We look forward to getting to know you! We will work hard to build on the great things that are already happening at Mayville State and to bring Mayville State to even greater levels of success.