State Board of Higher Education names Cook NDSU’s next president

State Board of Higher Education names Cook NDSU’s next president

Fargo, N.D. — The State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) has selected Dr. David Cook as the 15th president of the North Dakota State University (NDSU). The Board interviewed three finalists at their meeting Wednesday, Feb. 23, on the NDSU campus as well as virtually due to the winter weather travel restrictions.

During his interview, Cook talked about his focus on community and the importance of students. “During my visit here, I was blown away by the deep pride the community and the state has for NDSU. There is a tremendous opportunity for partnerships and collaborations across the state.” He added, “Being agile and flexible to student needs is very important and the enrollment issue demands more attention.”

SBHE Chair Casey Ryan said, “I would like to thank the co-chairs of the Presidential Search Committee and all the members who volunteered time; we owe the committee a debt of gratitude for the hundreds of hours you dedicated to the process. I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Cook’s leadership skills and commitment to the future of North Dakota State University and the entire state.”

The Search Committee was co-chaired by Dr. Jill Louters, SBHE vice chair, and Dr. Greg Lardy, NDSU vice president for Agricultural Affairs.

Louters said, “We had a committed group of representatives from all facets of the NDSU and Fargo community and we all knew that we were doing very important work for the future of the North Dakota State University. I appreciate everyone who provided input to the presidential search committee. Through the process, we realized that we wanted a president who has a philosophy that is consistent with North Dakota values and has a vision that weaves into that culture. Dr. Cook is that person.”

Lardy added, “We had a dedicated, hard-working team. The campus visits consisted of a thorough interview process from every facet of stakeholders that are integral to the campus community. We held listening sessions to gain input from all facets of the community, both on campus and off, and attendees consistently focused on the importance of leadership, enrollment and research. We all joined the group to find the right leader for NDSU, and today we found the right leader.”

A total of 47 candidates were initially reviewed after meeting qualifications. Last month, five candidates each spent three days visiting campus and partook in public forums, meeting with students, faculty and staff, and interviewing with NDSU’s Presidential Search Committee. The Committee narrowed the field to three finalists on Feb.4. It is anticipated that the new NDSU president will assume office in June 2022.