The State Board of Higher Education for the North Dakota University System and the Mayville State University community invite nominations and applications for the position of President. The successful candidate will succeed Dr. Gary Hagen, who has served the university with distinction since 2005. The State Board and system Chancellor are searching for a thought leader to build upon Mayville’s sound foundation of good fiscal management and creative problem solving, while advancing the university’s mission of excellence in teaching, service, and scholarship.

Mayville State’s residential, online, and hybrid-served undergraduate and graduate student population of 1,140 is guided by an exceptionally talented full-time faculty, staff, and administrative team numbering 206, including supportive temporary employees. A vibrant living, learning environment invites students across the region and nationally to be part of the university communities in Mayville and its off-site locations. Mayville State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Student athletes, the Comets, compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The university budget is $22.5 million.


Mayville State University seeks an energetic, committed, can-do President. The President must embrace a genuine commitment to the university's mission and four core purposes: academic programs and services for contemporary career and workforce opportunities; collaborative relations to contribute to the growth and vitality of North Dakota; flexible programs, instruction and student services for the individual; and an environment that supports creativity, intellectual curiosity, lifelong learning, and an appreciation for diversity.

The President will need to support and enhance the 2017-2021 strategic plan, working to advance the university's directions as they align with systemwide goals, objectives, and directives. The university expects a staunch advocate and an inspirational, collegial leader, both on campus and as the voice and face of the university in the state. The next president must enthusiastically and vigorously continue and nurture the close-knit, mutually cooperative relationship with the Mayville and Portland communities.

The candidate must be politically savvy and able to make complex decisions for the common good, using innovative insights for solutions and resolution. She or he should be able to manage diverse relationships, build consensus, and practice unquestionable integrity. The new President is expected to build partnerships and collaborate for the well-being of the university, the system, local communities, and the state of North Dakota.   


The successful candidate should possess the following characteristics:

  • Students-first view and understanding of recruitment, retention, and enrollment management to yield access and success;
  • Firsthand knowledge of successful financial management, resource generation, and fundraising;
  • Appreciation for transparent and collaborative governance practices;
  • Knowledge of technology framework for online, classroom, and blended learning growth opportunities;
  • Bold advocate for the university while joining a statewide team with the State Board of Higher Education and colleague presidents;
    • Excellent listening and communication skills with an open-door, open-mind, mentoring style;
    • Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with university constituencies, including the state legislature, city, county, and tribal leaders, K-12, agriculture, business, and industry;
    • Desire to engage enthusiastically with the alumni association, foundation, and other university support groups;  
    • Significant senior level leadership with faculty experience (preferred); and
    • Earned doctorate or terminal degree appropriate to the discipline (preferred).
  • Success in leading and implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives;


To assure best consideration, nominations and applications should be received by January 18, 2018. The application must include a letter of interest of not more than three pages; a current résumé (or curriculum vitae); and the names of five professional references with each person's position, office or home address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers. References will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant. The new President will assume office on or about July 1, 2018.

The North Dakota University System and university presidential search committee are being assisted by James H. McCormick and Janice S. Fitzgerald, Executive Search Consultants, AGB Search. Nominations and applications should be sent electronically to  (MS Word or PDF Format). Additional university information may be found at and The consultants may be contacted at 651-238-5188,, or 717-580-0663,


Pursuant to N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications which contain information that could reasonably be used to identify an applicant are confidential until finalists are designated by the State Board of Higher Education. Only information about finalists will be public.

As employers, the State of North Dakota and political subdivisions prohibit smoking in all places of state and political subdivision employment with N.D.C.C. § 23-12-10.

Equal Opportunity Employer: The State of North Dakota and this hiring agency do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, genetics, religion, age, or disability in employment or the provision of services, and comply with the provision of the North Dakota Human Rights Act. Effective August 1, 2015, veterans' preference is applicable to this position (N.D.C.C. § 37-19.1-02). Applicants who are residents of ND and eligible to claim veterans' preference must upload Form DD214. Claims for disabled veterans' preference must include a current statement of disabled status from the Veteran Affairs Office.

Download a PDF version of this position announcement.