Four presidential candidates invited to North Dakota State College of Science campus

Four presidential candidates invited to North Dakota State College of Science campus

The North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) Presidential Search Committee, charged by the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) to evaluate candidates for the NDSCS presidency, has narrowed an expansive, nationwide pool of highly-qualified applicants to four candidates who will interview on campus between February 28-March 8, 2022.

“The candidates bring an extremely strong range of leadership experience from colleges with similar outlooks as NDSCS,” said Jeffry Volk, member of the SBHE. “We’re excited to bring these candidates forward from an impressively strong pool of talent.” Volk is co-chairing the NDSCS Presidential Search Committee with Terry Marohl, NDSCS associate professor and transportation department chair.

The candidates include a president, associate vice president, and deans. They have a wide range of experience in business, career and technical education, and work force development.

The candidates are (full bios are attached at the end of this release):

Rod L. Flanigan, Ph.D.

Dean, Business and Technology

Cochise College – Arizona


Jeanine Gangeness, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs and Dean, School of Graduate Studies

Chief Executive and Operations Officer

Winona State University – Minnesota


Dimitria Harding, Ed.D.

Dean of Health Sciences & Dean of Career and Technical Education

South Central College Fairbault Campus – Minnesota


Carmen Simone, Ph.D.

President (through 2021)

Western Nebraska Community College – Nebraska


During their campus visits, the candidates will meet with students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and campus and community leaders, with the search committee soliciting feedback from these key stakeholder groups.

Following the on-campus interviews, the search committee will recommend an unranked slate of finalists to the SBHE. The board will conduct final interviews on the NDSCS campus on Thursday, March 31, 2022, with the selection of the next NDSCS president announced thereafter. It is anticipated that the new NDSCS president will assume office by July 2022.

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Rod L. Flanigan, Ph.D., MBA

Dr. Rod Flanigan has spent his entire career successfully building, leading, and guiding organizations in industry, education, and non-profits. As a first-generation college student, he spent his early college years going to school and working as a machinist at a small machine shop. The foundational skills and strong work ethic learned in this environment served as the cornerstone of his professional career as he began as a Manufacturing Engineer at McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) working on the Apache Attack Helicopter program. He later transitioned into the fluid power industry where he progressed through increasingly more responsible positions, including Vice President and General Manager of a fluid power distributor. Dr. Flanigan led his business unit through difficult economic conditions and became a top leader in the company, while also guiding and directing other corporate activities such as mergers and acquisitions. It was during this time he earned an MBA from the top ranked Executive MBA program at the University of Utah.

With his unique combination of entrepreneurial skills and proven business acumen, Dr. Flanigan started his own company in 2005. Under Rod’s leadership, the company grew quickly and soon became a well-respected power transmission consultant and distribution company in the entire intermountain region (UT, ID, CO, WY). During this same time Rod began his journey through the doctoral process at Utah State University (USU). While managing his growing company, taking doctoral classes, and teaching at USU, Rod was also serving his community as a City Council member. In 2011, the company that Dr. Flanigan founded was sold to a private investor.

After over 25 years working in industry, Dr. Flanigan took his industry experience, and passion to help others, to the classroom and became an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) in the Industrial Distribution program. He quickly advanced to become the Director of the program and using the relationship building skills he had developed in industry began adding industry partners to the program, all of whom provided financial support for the program. Under Dr. Flanigan’s leadership the program added student scholarships, established an endowed faculty fund, and continued building laboratory resources through corporate donations. While at UNK, Rod was a governing board member for the Power Transmission Distributors Association Foundation, as well as the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE), which is the accrediting body for many 2-year and 4-year technical programs in higher education. In 2016 Dr. Flanigan was promoted to Associate professor, and in 2017 he was awarded full tenure within the University of Nebraska system.

Continuing his passion for Career and Technical Education (CTE), Dr. Flanigan accepted the offer to become Dean of Business and Technology (B & T) at Cochise College in 2018. As Dean of B & T, he is responsible for the vision, direction, and leadership of a wide range of programs including Welding, Cybersecurity, Automotive, Business, Culinary, Building Trades programs, and many others. While at Cochise College Dr. Flanigan and his team have built programs, created novel stackable degrees and certificates, increased enrollment, developed new assessment tools for prior learning (PLA), and pioneered a new instructional modality at the institution.

In addition to his Ph.D. from Utah State University, and MBA from the University of Utah, Dr. Flanigan has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, and an associate’s degree from Kishwaukee College. He and his wife are sports enthusiasts, and the proud grandparents of five grandchildren (with one on the way). His greatest source of joy in life is watching his children and grandchildren grow, learn, develop, and find their own path to success.



Jeanine E. Gangeness, Ph.D.

Jeanine E. Gangeness is currently the Associate Vice President and serves as the Chief Executive Officer responsible for leading the Winona State University (WSU)-Rochester campus and the School of Graduate Studies. She provides leadership for the following areas: Academic Affairs, Information Technology, Student Life and Development, Finance, and Advancement.

An action-oriented leader, Gangeness has been instrumental in engaging the academic deans, community partners, and faculty through her visionary leadership. She utilizes Strengths © guided leadership to shape and inform relevant academic programming, student engagement, responsibility-based budgeting concepts, facilities management, and development activities. Community engagement – internal and external – are central to her work to ensure success in heightening institutional profile, increasing alumni engagement, and raising funds for facilities and scholarships.

She has a passion for fostering excellence and has been actively involved in university-wide master academic planning, developing business plans for the launch of programs, and was the trailblazer for an entrepreneurial program model that expanded enrollment and student access. Her expertise includes regional accreditation; Gangeness is an active site visitor for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Gangeness cultivates a dynamic campus through student engagement, which is instrumental for student success. She promotes and facilitates student involvement in decision making and creating learning opportunities throughout their education. Gangeness is enthusiastic about participating in a residential campus with athletic programs that support academic and athletic successes. Beyond the campus, Gangeness promotes student learning through community workplace partnerships. She enthusiastically facilitates the expansion of internships, community engaged learning, and workplace sponsored scholarships – experiences that also promote enrollment.

She successfully enhanced the profile of the Rochester campus through intentional community engagement. Gangeness leads a marketing, recruitment, and advising team that expanded a shared advisor approach between the community college and the university, resulting in growth in transfer enrollment and increased graduate programming and enrollment (9% overall increase, fall 2021). Further, Gangeness researches and publishes on best practices in academic industry/practice partnerships and sister-institution partnerships.

Previously, Gangeness was the Founding Dean of the Bemidji School of Nursing, a joint venture of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College. As a tenured and full professor, Gangeness chaired departmental efforts in program reviews and accreditation achieving full accreditation during a time of start-up and transition in the department. Over a three-year period, she facilitated an increase in enrollment from 40 to over 400 students (1,000% increase).

Dr. Gangeness presents extensively and publishes on topics such as leadership, strategic planning, collaborative programming, tobacco policy, case study design, built environments, and online nursing education. She serves on national, state-wide, and regional boards. Gangeness currently teaches a graduate level course on contemporary practices in leadership.

As a first-generation student and a graduate of Northwest Technical College, Gangeness believes strongly in the value of technical education and lifelong learning. She earned a Master of Science degree, and PhD degree, in nursing from the University of North Dakota.

Gangeness and her husband of over 22 years, have benefited from the strong higher education system in North Dakota. Ron, a retired school psychologist who earned a degree from UND, is looking forward to fully participating in the Wahpeton community and surrounding region.



Dimitria Harding, Ed.D.

Dimitria Harding spent over 15 years in the healthcare industry as a Cytotechnologist, screening cells under the microscope for the presence of cancer and other diseases. She has served as Dean of Health Sciences and Dean of Career and Technical Education at South Central College, a member of the Minnesota State College and University System, since 2019.

Previously, she served as Academic Dean at Remington College from 2016-2017 and Allied Health Program Director, Assistant Professor, and Practicum Coordinator from 2014-2016 at South University, both in Columbia, South Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia, and a doctorate from Argosy University in Organizational Leadership.

Dr. Harding’s strong leadership skills stemmed from her background within the healthcare industry then transitioning into an award-winning faculty member, which has helped her to inspire, allow for transparency, and empower faculty, staff, and students. As a first-generation college student, Dr. Harding understands the importance of an education and the need for holistic, wrap-around services and the key roles of business and industry. She is an advocate of career and technical education, workforce development, creating pathways to success, and shrinking the achievement gap. As a servant leader, she believes in putting others first, creating a vision, and leading ethically, with humility, grace, and self-awareness.



Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.

Dr. Carmen Simone, Executive Director University Center Sioux Falls, SD

Dr. Carmen M. Simone has nearly thirty years of experience working in the higher education sector. She most recently served as President of Western Nebraska Community College. While there, she guided the institution through the worldwide pandemic with a commitment to serving students. During her tenure, the institution also successfully completed virtual and verification accreditation visits, launched a new technical program, and focused on strategic enrollment management.

Before taking the position in Nebraska, Simone was the founding Vice President and Dean at the University of South Dakota Community College for Sioux Falls. Her responsibilities included the transformation of an existing university center into an integrated community college, which was completed under her leadership. The goals of the project were to better serve site-bound students in the Sioux Falls area, while also supporting the local business community.

Simone spent over five years as the President of Trinidad State Junior College, a multi-campus, Hispanic-serving institution in rural southern Colorado. During that time, the College served a primarily under-resourced, first-generation student population with a 55% retention rate and a 45% graduation rate. While in Colorado, Simone was trained as a peer reviewer with the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional accreditation agencies for higher education.

Prior to her presidency with Trinidad State Junior College, Simone served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. In addition to the main campus in Lewiston, the College supported an educational center on the campus of North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene. While at Lewis-Clark State, she established recruiting offices in southern Idaho to promote institutional recognition throughout the state and attract additional undergraduate students.

Simone began her career at Casper College in Wyoming as a faculty member, while retaining a summer teaching appointment as an Assistant Professor with Colorado State University. She spent eighteen years in Casper, holding progressively responsible roles including Instructor, Faculty Senate Chair, Division Chair, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. While in Wyoming, she served as president of the National Council of Instructional Administrators (NCIA), an affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

Simone grew up in western North Dakota. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She and her husband, Alan, have two grown sons, Anthony and Edward.


Carmen M. Simone, Johnstown, CO

Passionate educator with strong leadership and communication skills seeking a new challenge within the collaborative environment of the North Dakota University System as President of North Dakota State College of Science.

• Communication Skills
• Critical Thinking
• Self-Motivated
• Fiscal Management
• Decision Making
• Detail Oriented
• Conflict Resolution
• Computer Skills

• President, Western Nebraska Community College
• Vice President and Dean, University of South Dakota Community College for Sioux Falls
• President, Trinidad State Junior College
• Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Lewis-Clark State College
• Vice President for Academic Affairs, Casper College

• Chemistry Instructor, Casper College
• Assistant Professor, Colorado State University

Ph.D. in Chemistry Colorado State University 1992
B.S. in Chemistry University of North Dakota 1987

• Led during the coronavirus pandemic, assuring student instruction continued while maintaining a safe environment for faculty and staff.
• Transformed educational access for community while preserving and strengthening relationships.
• Managed multi-million-dollar institutional budgets, aligning revenues and expenses while focusing on college mission and employee morale.
• Stabilized enrollment, increased retention and persistence rates, and improved credential attainment for a primarily first-generation, often under-resourced, student population.
• Reinforced workforce training programs in partnership with governmental and business partners.
• Completed numerous reaccreditation processes, including programmatic and institutional reviews.
• Instructed wide variety of chemistry courses for thousands of students throughout career, utilizing multiple techniques and modalities.