SBHE Moves Ahead with Blueprint for the Near Future

SBHE Moves Ahead with Blueprint for the Near Future

The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education has moved forward on a blueprint for the near future of the university system. The Board approved Chancellor Mark Hagerott’s goals for 2023-2024 during the Board’s Sept. 28 meeting.

The approval of those goals comes as the system is seeing an upswing in student enrollment. Jennifer Weber, Director of Institutional Data and Reporting, said that the 2023 NDUS Census shows the system has a total of 44,227 students measured by headcount and 33,422 students measured by Full Time Equivelant (FTE).

“The Chancellor’s goals are ultimately derived from the SBHE goal of ‘Unified System’ to support the entirety of the SBHE goals, through those who care for students, maintain facilities, teach, train and do research,” Hagerott wrote in his report.

In brief, Chancellor Hagerott’s goals are:

    1. Implementation of 68th Legislative Session law; Preparations for 69th Legislation Session in 2025 with emphasis on Legislative Interim Committees and Listening Sessions
    2. Cybersecurity of NDUS and 11 Campus System
    3. Goals Pertaining to NDUS System Policy Development:
      • Workforce
      • Dynamic Enrollment Environment, Retention, Attainment at the 11 Campuses
      • Helping Students and Faculty Respond to Digitization
      • Inflationary Impacts on Presidential Cabinet and NDUS Staff
      • SBHE Strategy Review: Envision 2035
    1. Goals Pertaining to NDUS Office Operations:
      • Enhance Stakeholder Engagement
      • System Office Staffing and Ability for Smooth Success Processes
      • NDUS Staff Management and Processes
      • NDUS Office Audit and Compliance
    1. Goals to Support Campus and Cabinet Operations:
      • Mentoring, Leadership Development, and Presidential Evaluations
      • Assist Campus to Expand Online and Collaborative Programs
      • Work Force Initiatives – Facilitating Key Collaborative and Integrated System/Campus Programs
      • Educational Pathways
    1. Goals to SBHE Research Committee, Legislative Research Funding
    2. Getting to Scale at Hi Tech Innovation, Adaptation and Transformation in Research and Defense Work Force, State-Wide and Regional
    3. Goals Pertaining to IT Systems (Campus and System):
      • IT Consolidation of additional campus digital programs
      • North Dakota Statewide Longitudinal Data System


In an addendum, Hagerott described a short list of prioritized goals. They include:

    1. Dynamic Enrollment, Retention, Attainment at the 11 Campuses
    2. SBHE Strategy Review: Envision 2035
    3. Implementation of 68th Legislative Session law; Preparations for 69th Legislation Session in 2025 with emphasis on Legislative Interim Committees and Listening Sessions
    4. NDUS Office Development, Mentoring and Morale


Dr. Joshua Wynne, Dean of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, provided a COVID update for the Board’s information. He said, while the virus continues to be an issue, we are in better shape today than a few years ago. He said there now is an uptick in the number of cases and another seasonal spike is expected near the end of the year. However, no widespread mitigation practices are currently needed at system campuses.

Dr. Wynne suggested students, faculty and staff should be encouraged to receive the new COVID vaccine and school administrators should plan for what they will do if a key faculty member or a group of students become ill.

In other business, UND was authorized to rename its Department of Accountancy and Information Systems as the Herr School of Accountancy, making it the first named accountancy department in the Midwest. DeAnna Carlson Zink, CEO of the University of North Dakota Alumni Association & Foundation, told the Board that Henry and Judee Herr have been loyal contributors for 40 years, providing mentoring and support for faculty, students, and facilities.

Board chair Tim Mihalick presented Terry Meyer, NDUS Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to Chancellor Hagerott, a plaque in recognition of her four decades of service to the Board office. He described the soon-to-retire Meyer as “a multi-tasker who gets things done.”

Minot State University President Steven W. Shirley as granted tenure, effectively immediately. Board members and Chancellor Hagerott said the decision was based on Shirley’s long record of achievement.

The Board also received retirement plan fiduciary training, led by Angie Mirrione of HUB International. She detailed roles, responsibilities and duties of persons designated as fiduciaries for the retirement plan sponsored by the North Dakota University System. Fiduciaries for the plan include Chancellor Hagerott, SBHE members, the Retirement Oversight Committee and HUB International, a third-party provider that serves as the plan’s advisor.

The Board also held first reading and waived second reading for Policy 302.4, Councils. It also gave second readings and approval to Policy 100.6, Authority and Responsibility of the SBHE; Policy 302.2, Audit Committee; and Policy 306.2 (Part A only).

The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 26.