Campus News

Facilities Services COVID-19 Plan The VCSU Facilities Services Department has developed campus-wide, COVID-19 mitigation measures supporting VCSU’s COVID-19 Safe Operating Procedures. Items such as building maintenance, cleaning and sanitation, increased air filtration and other building operations will play an important and complementary role in minimizing the spread of COVID-19. The COVID-19: Facilities Unit Plan provides […]

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VCSU Class Attendance during Fall 2020 VCSU Campus Students: As you plan to return to campus this fall, you are likely wondering what your classes will look like, and how we’ll manage things if someone is sick or otherwise unable to attend classes. Please see the flyer below (also attached), along with the message (attached) […]

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VCSU Campus Restart Dear students, As we move closer to beginning fall semester, I’d like to share some information about what to expect on campus when we restart. Please take a few minutes to watch my video message below. We look forward to seeing you soon. Go Vikings! (Watch the video at this link — […]

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SBHE resolution regarding face coverings Good afternoon everyone! I am passing along the resolution passed by the State Board of Higher Education at yesterday’s meeting. This resolution helped guide our most recent COVID-19 health and safety update. Resolution in Support of Mask Policies I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing, rejuvenating, and healthy summer! […]

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Coronavirus Meeting and Event Guide VCSU recognizes the positive impact of social engagement and participation in campus activities. VCSU will strive to provide students, faculty, staff and campus visitors with opportunities to engage in campus events outside the classroom while mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Given the fluid nature of COVID-19, event plans may need […]

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COVID-19 Health and Safety Updates & Resources for Campus Operations We here at Valley City State University are preparing for the safe return of faculty, staff and students to campus for the fall semester. To assist in monitoring the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, VCSU is implementing the Viking Safety Levels. The Viking Safety Level serves as […]

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REMINDER: Free COVID-29 Testing Event: TODAY This is a reminder of the free testing event described below. (See previous Coronavirus Campus Communication post for details) Please note: if it works best with your schedule, you can have the test done during work hours. Also, after the test there is no need to quarantine. VCSU Safety […]

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COVID-19 Signage Print Request The COVID-related signage has been updated and is available to order by following this link: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=kaA37Ka55UeY0JA9SkGSA2lhCHE49fNAovAkHne4y9NUMkwyRFhaTlE1RkxRMURJSTJEUVY2R1FOVy4u Please indicate the quantity of each sign you would like printed and if you would like the sign laminated. We would like to do a bulk order, so please respond by NOON on FRIDAY, July […]

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REMINDER: Free COVID-19 Testing Event: July 8th REMINDER: City-County Health is offering a FREE drive-thru COVID-19 testing event on Wednesday, July 8, from 2-6 p.m. at the North Dakota Winter Show facility in Valley City. All VCSU employees and students living in the Valley City area are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity […]

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REMINDER: Return to Work Process This is a reminder that as buildings begin to open (starting today, buildings will be open per the regular summer schedule), and employees look at returning to work, that the attached Return to Work checklist is REQUIRED to be submitted and approved prior to returning. There is also a REQUIRED SafeColleges […]

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City-County Health is offering a FREE drive-thru COVID-19 testing event on Wednesday, July 8, from 2-6 p.m. at the North Dakota Winter Show facility in Valley City. All VCSU employees and students living in the Valley City area are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to be tested.  Here are the event details: […]

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This week’s Hotline! includes the following articles: • Guest column: Classes and COVID • COVID reminders The VCSU Hotline! online newsletter is published every two weeks during the summer months. Deadline to submit articles (photos encouraged) is 3 p.m. Friday. Classes and COVID Margaret Dahlberg, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs Our goals at VCSU […]

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Margaret Dahlberg, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs Our goals at VCSU this fall are clear: Keep the campus healthy. Provide a high-quality, accessible education. And, as much as reasonably possible, provide a personal, face-to-face experience where students can flourish. VCSU officials have been working with City-County Health officials and within CDC and North Dakota […]

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VCSU alumnus Mark Zinke ’16 spends his days teaching in the gym and coaching on the field. By night he is busy designing and selling gear to people who are proud to represent their North Dakota roots. Tell us about yourself. I live in Mandan with my wife, Steph, and son Liam (20 months). I […]

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The Honor Roll recognizes students who completed 6 to 11 semester hours of Valley City State University classes for which grade points are earned with a grade point average of at least 3.50. Students are listed geographically by state and hometown; students from Canada, India and Mexico are listed after U.S. students at the the […]

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The President’s Honor Roll recognizes students who completed 12 semester hours or more of VCSU classes for which grade points were earned with a 4.0 grade point average. Students are listed geographically by state and hometown; note that international students from Australia and Canada are recognized after U.S. students at the end of this list. Arizona […]

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The President’s Honor Roll recognizes students who completed 12 semester hours or more of VCSU classes for which grade points were earned with a 4.0 grade point average. Students are listed geographically by state and hometown; note that international students from Australia and Canada are recognized after U.S. students at the end of this list. Arizona […]

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The Dean’s Honor Roll recognizes students who completed 12 semester hours or more of VCSU classes for which grade points were earned with a grade point average of at least 3.50. Students are listed geographically by state and hometown; students from Canada and Japan are listed after U.S. students at the the end of the list. […]

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The Dean’s Honor Roll recognizes students who completed 12 semester hours or more of VCSU classes for which grade points were earned with a grade point average of at least 3.50. Students are listed geographically by state and hometown; students from Canada and Japan are listed after U.S. students at the the end of the list. […]

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Teresa Cole, administrative assistant for the VCSU Department of Technology, was recently named “Staff Member of the Quarter. Her nomination read, in part, “I believe Teresa should be recognized as Staff Member of the Quarter for VCSU. Teresa demonstrated a firm desire to help me meet student needs during the COVID-19 changes of spring 2020. […]

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Pete Smithhisler, VCSU vice president for student affairs, has been appointed to the national advisory board for the University Benchmark Project (UBP) for the 2020-21 academic year. UBP advisory board members are responsible for reviewing and evaluating unit metrics, marketing to peer institutions, and providing overall advisory support for the project. Smithhisler was selected to […]

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Greetings from Valley City State University!Many outside higher education might think that the summer months on a college campus are slower paced, but folks on the inside know better. While the atmosphere is certainly different this summer on campus without students, faculty, camps and in-person workshops, we are moving forward at an increased pace with a myriad of projects and planning efforts.We recently sent a message to students detailing what they should expect when they return to our campus late next month. This includes some of the many protocols that will be in place to insure the continued health and safety of our community. We described the additional personal protective equipment that will be made available for all, new ways of handling food service and dining options, and a synchronous remote-delivery option available for all face-to-face classes. We know that as the COVID-19 situation evolves, we will need to be prepared to adjust as needed. All of our students will be tested prior to the beginning of the semester. In fact, many of our student-athletes will be tested beginning later this month through the start of the school year. The NAIA continues to update guidance and recommendations for a successful return to fall sports and is committed to minimizing health risks to student-athletes and staff. Part of our planning includes continued participation with the NDUS Small College Task Force. This sub-group reports concerns, questions and recommendations back to the overall NDUS task force. We have found these weekly meetings very helpful in sharing best practices and addressing common challenges and concerns. The NDUS task force, in direct contact and dialogue with the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH), is led by Dr. Joshua Wynne, chief health strategist for the State of North Dakota. On a local level, we continue to have twice weekly meetings with our Pandemic Response Team to address issues and challenges specific to VCSU. At our last meeting, we were fortunate to be joined by Jennifer Schmidt, NDDoH field epidemiologist, who shared her thoughts and perspectives on our reopening plan. With her thorough knowledge of the COVID-19 situation, she was able to answer many questions and provide advice. We continue to also participate in the weekly City-County Health updates led by Theresa Will and sincerely appreciate the guidance, support and collaboration with this valuable group. What an impressive job the National Guard and City-County Health leaders did in hosting the COVID-19 testing event last week. There was much interest and great participation in the event, and the organization and professionalism of all involved came shining through. We are fortunate to have such dedicated folks leading these efforts here in Valley City and all across North Dakota.In the midst of all of these meetings and planning sessions, we continue to look to our future. The upcoming VCSU President’s Cabinet retreat provides campus leaders with an opportunity to envision and strategize for the university’s short- and long-term viability. This year’s retreat will focus on strategic planning, budgeting, and student-success initiatives. To say we are excited to welcome students back to campus is very much an understatement. We believe we are stronger together, and we plan to continue providing high-quality, student-centered learning opportunities for all VCSU students.Go Vikings!

Greetings from Valley City State University! Many outside higher education might think that the summer months on a college campus are slower paced, but folks on the inside know better. While the atmosphere is certainly different this summer on campus without students, faculty, camps and in-person workshops, we are moving forward at an increased pace […]

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Valley City State University has released its President’s Honor Roll, Dean’s Honor Roll and Honor Roll for spring semester 2020.The President’s Honor Roll —www.vcsu.edu/news/presidents-honor-roll-spring-2020— recognizes students who completed 12 semester hours or more of VCSU classes for which grade points are earned with a 4.0 grade point average.The Dean’s Honor Roll —www.vcsu.edu/news/deans-honor-roll-spring-2020— recognizes students who completed 12 semester hours or more of VCSU classes for which grade points are earned with a grade point average of at least 3.5.The Honor Roll—www.vcsu.edu/news/honor-roll-spring-2020— recognizes students who completed 6 to 11 semester hours of Valley City State University classes for which grade points are earned with a grade point average of at least 3.50.

Valley City State University has released its President’s Honor Roll, Dean’s Honor Roll and Honor Roll for spring semester 2020. The President’s Honor Roll — www.vcsu.edu/news/presidents-honor-roll-spring-2020 — recognizes students who completed 12 semester hours or more of VCSU classes for which grade points are earned with a 4.0 grade point average. The Dean’s Honor Roll — www.vcsu.edu/news/deans-honor-roll-spring-2020 — recognizes […]

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Reopening Plans As you are working on your return plans please keep in mind the PPE that will be needed to assist in protecting employees, students, and visitors when on campus.  The following PPE has been identified as essential to the successful opening of campus and has been purchased, and […]

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As employees start returning to work and offices start opening for business, we wanted to send a reminder of the following employee expectations to help reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19 on campus: Wearing a proper face covering is required in buildings based on university guidelines, e.g. When social distancing cannot or may not […]

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COVID-19 Safe Operating Procedures UPDATE: Return to Work Process The VCSU COVID-19 Safe Operating Procedures have been updated as follows (click on the link to view these updates): Return to Work Process Workplace Expectations and Guidelines Mandatory training via SafeColleges Phased Staffing Staffing Options Symptom Monitoring Requirement Guidance for Specific Workplace Scenarios Department Return to Work Checklist  […]

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Valley City State University is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all members of our community. We recognize that the threat from COVID-19 is not over, and continues to affect our community in different ways, including how, when, and where many of us are able to work. Most university employees are […]

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Greetings from Valley City State University!We celebrated a major milestone in the history of VCSU this past week — the official groundbreaking for the Center for the Arts. We were so pleased to be joined by faculty, staff, students, local and state leaders, and friends of the university, along with representatives from HGA Architects, JE Dunn Construction and Strata Corporation for this celebration. New academic facilities on any campus are a reason for celebration. The Rhoades Science Center addition and renovation, completed in 2013, was the first capital construction project for an academic facility at VCSU in 40 years. And now, seven years later, we’re starting work on the Center for the Arts.This truly state-of-the-art facility will become the new home of our art and music departments. The students and faculty in these programs will be the primary beneficiaries of all the new building will offer as the space has been designed with optimum student learning in mind. The art studio spaces will be equipped with the latest equipment and technology to keep our students at the forefront of the discipline. Learning spaces will be complemented with working and lab spaces. A new graphic design lab will be included, providing opportunities for our students to pursue training in one of the fastest growing and changing fields, and allowing greater collaboration with other disciplines across campus. Traditional courses in art will be delivered in beautiful new studio spaces, and the curriculum will include drawing, design, painting, ceramics, printmaking, photography, sculpture, art history and art business. The new gallery space, located adjacent to the front lobby, will be a tremendous new venue for showcasing the work of our students, faculty and visiting artists.Our music students will be participating in courses including music education, theory, history, pedagogy, recording technology, applied instruction, choir, band, chamber music, athletic band and jazz ensemble. The music rehearsal, recording studio, classrooms, faculty studios and performance spaces have been designed with optimum student learning outcomes in mind. As you might expect, construction of this type of facility, which includes different programs and the louder-than-normal volume levels in some rehearsal spaces, needs to take into account sound transfer from one space to the next and meet safety standards for student and faculty hearing. The technology and acoustical design and treatment of these spaces will not only provide safe and comfortable environments for music instruction but also the latest applications for recording and playback. The faculty teaching studios, along with the large rehearsal and performance spaces, will all be integrated from a technology perspective, allowing students to receive nearly instantaneous feedback on their work. The band and choir rehearsal halls have been beautifully designed with function and acoustical response as top considerations. The meticulously planned design of the 350-seat performance space will provide for adjustable acoustics depending upon the performance group utilizing the space. The new Center for the Arts will become a hub of activity and culture for the campus, the Valley City community, the region and state. Numerous local and statewide events that will bring thousands of students and patrons to campus during the coming years will certainly have a positive impact on growth prospects for VCSU and our local economy. Whether it’s a VCSU event or an exhibition or performance by a guest artist, the Barnes County Music Festival, Ployhar Band Festival or NDHSAA state music contest, this showcase will be a point of pride for us all. We can’t wait for this outstanding facility to open; in the meantime, please join us in watching construction progress via a webcam at www.vcsu.edu/center-for-the-arts-building.Go Vikings!

Greetings from Valley City State University! We celebrated a major milestone in the history of VCSU this past week — the official groundbreaking for the Center for the Arts. We were so pleased to be joined by faculty, staff, students, local and state leaders, and friends of the university, along with representatives from HGA Architects, […]

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A groundbreaking ceremony for the Center for the Arts at Valley City State University was held Wednesday morning, June 24. University officials, along with community, regional and state leaders, gathered with representatives from the architectural, construction and site preparation firms to break ground on the $32 million project. Funded by a state appropriation from the […]

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A groundbreaking ceremony for the Center for the Arts at Valley City State University was held Wednesday morning, June 24. University officials, along with community, regional and state leaders, gathered with representatives from the architectural, construction and site preparation firms to break ground on the $32 million project.Funded by a state appropriation from the 66th North Dakota Legislative Assembly with the approval of Gov. Doug Burgum, the Center for the Arts will bring the VCSU art and music programs together in a state-of-the-art facility replete with spaces designed specifically for the disciplines.Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included VCSU President Alan LaFave; Roxanne Nelson, arts, community and education principal at HGA, architects for the project; Marc Mellmer, vice president of JE Dunn Construction; Dave Carlsrud, mayor of Valley City; and Angeline Gannon, VCSU Student Senate president. Wesley Wintch, VCSU vice president of business affairs and chair of the Center for the Arts Steering Committee, served as emcee.“Given the situation with COVID-19, sometimes it feels like the world is standing still,” said President Alan LaFave. “We are not standing still at VCSU. We are moving forward; we are moving forward together. This ceremony today is an important milestone at the university, one that will help secure our future and a big step as we create a showcase for the arts for our students, the campus community and Valley City. Thank you to all who played a role in the planning and funding of the Center for the Arts.”Art facilities in the new building will include a ceramics lab; printmaking, painting and drawing studios; a digital design lab; a digital photography studio; and a woodshop. An art gallery will provide a highly visible, secure space to showcase student and visiting artist exhibitions.Music facilities will include a 350-seat performance hall, a 100-seat recital hall/choral room, a band room, a piano/computer lab, a recording and production studio, large and small practice rooms, and faculty offices/studios. Acoustic treatments have been designed for all performance, rehearsal and practice spaces, and the larger spaces feature adjustable acoustics and audio/video recording capabilities.Gathering spaces will be found throughout the building, and a grand lobby will provide a reception area and showcase for the arts at VCSU.

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A groundbreaking ceremony for the Center for the Arts at Valley City State University was held Wednesday morning, June 24. University officials, along with community, regional and state leaders, gathered with representatives from the architectural, construction and site preparation firms to break ground on the $32 million project. Funded by a state appropriation from the […]

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Unfortunately, due to the Corvid-19 virus, VCSU was unable to hold their annual scholarship auction.Jennifer Lang an alum of VCSU is in her 13th year with Norwex, a company whose goal is to radically reduce the use of chemicals in our homes and personal care products. Norwex allows you to clean your entire home with 2 cloths and water. The microfiber cloths remove 99% of bacteria and once the cloths are wet, the antibacterial agent (micro silver which is embedded in the cloth), self-cleanses.Here is an opportunity to support VCSU and our athletes, make you and your home healthier and save you time and money when it comes to cleaning. Jennifer would like to donate 30% of every sale placed off her website to the VCSU scholarship fund.To make it more fun, she will be giving away numerous hostess packages. Every time sales reach $1000, the names of those who ordered will go into a drawing for the Norwex hostess gifts.Follow the following instructions for ordering:1. Go to: www.jenniferlang.norwex.biz2. Do your shopping3. Place your order4. Click on the tab in the top left corner, “Add Order To Party”5. Click on the drop-down arrow in the box6. Click on VCSU Scholarship Norwex Fund Raiser7. Complete your orderIf you have any questions, feel free to contact Jennifer at 701-412-6586 or jenniferlang2017@gmail.com.

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Greetings from Valley City State University!As you might imagine, the most frequent question I’m asked these days is whether or not VCSU will be opening this fall and resuming face-to-face instruction. I am very pleased to enthusiastically answer with a resounding yes!In response to the pandemic, our campus Emergency Management Team is meeting twice weekly to complete our plans for a successful and smart restart plan for this fall. This local group includes chairs for nine different working groups focused on North Dakota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, along with recommendations and procedures developed by several national health and higher education organizations.Prior to reopening many of our campus buildings on July 6, we are ensuring that proper protocols, equipment and supplies are in place, including sufficient PPE (personal protective equipment), face masks, signage, training for employees, see-through barriers, hand sanitizer dispensers, electrostatic disinfecting machines for large spaces, and office cleaning supplies.Additionally, Jill DeVries, VCSU athletic director, and I are serving on the NDUS Small College Restart Task Force. This group is very engaging and conversational as we look for the most appropriate and size-specific solutions and strategies to address the many challenges for smaller schools such as ours.One of the biggest challenges we face will be to provide ample and sufficient testing for our students, faculty and staff upon their return, but rest assured that all of the NDUS institutions, in concert with state health authorities and agencies, are sharing plans and best practices as we reopen our campuses.We know how very important it is for us to be responsible and vigilant as we move forward with a thorough and smart restart plan. We also know that even though our move to remote learning for the last eight weeks of spring semester was successful, students prefer face-to-face classes for delivery of instruction.The campus experience is an amazing and wonderful teaching and learning environment. In addition to classroom learning, the environment nurtures the development of lifelong friendships, faculty mentorship, and leadership development. Living on campus and playing an active role in community life through participation in student organizations, intercollegiate and intramural athletics, and art and music, among others, provide unrivaled opportunities for personal growth and complete the educational experience for our students. We look forward to having our community back together on campus this fall!In the meantime, I trust you are enjoying these early days of summer. I invite you to take a walk, a run or bike ride through our beautiful campus. Please do stop and take a break on campus —relax on one of our benches or picnic tables and take time to appreciate the beauty of our front yard.Go Vikings!

Valley City State University is now offering a wide variety of courses for adults in partnership with Ed2Go, a leading provider of online continuing education.Two types of courses are available: skill development courses that offer advanced training in a number of subject areas and career training courses that include industry-standard certification exams.“We’re very excited to provide these new courses in skill development and career training in our extended learning program,” said James Boe, VCSU dean for graduate studies and extended learning. “We’ve always offered a wide range of courses for teacher professional development and license renewal, and now we can also provide valuable resources for workforce development. All classes are online, and many offer self-paced options, as well as instructor-led courses.”In June 2020, 10 courses in the skill development category are being offered free of charge; these courses include:

  • Small Business Marketing on a Shoestring
  • Marketing Your Business on the Internet
  • Managing Customer Service
  • Creating Web Pages
  • Creating WordPress Websites
  • Individual Excellence
  • Personal Finance
  • Fundamentals of Supervision and Management
  • Keys to Effective Communication
  • Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search
For the free skill development courses above, registration must be completed in June, but participants have three months access to the self-paced courses. The career training category of online courses covers a wide variety of business and industry topics, preparing participants for nationally recognized certifications. Topics include business, accounting, healthcare, information technology and more.Examples of career training courses include:
  • Commercial Driver Training
  • HVAC/R Certified Technician (certification exam voucher included)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (certification exam voucher included)
  • Certified Administrative Professional (certification exam voucher included)
  • Quality Inspector
  • Child Development Associate Training
  • NASM Certified Nutrition Coach (certification exam voucher included)
  • Pharmacy Technician (certification exam voucher included)
  • Teacher’s Aide with ParaPro Prep
  • CNC Machinist
  • AutoCAD 2018 Certified User (certification exam voucher included)
To view more course offerings or obtain more information, visit www.vcsu.edu/extend online or contact Misty Lindgren, VCSU coordinator for extended learning, at misty.lindgren@vcsu.eduor 701-845-7303. Note that these courses do not carry VCSU credits.

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Greetings from Valley City State University!The vision came years ago, and then came the funding from the legislature with the governor’s approval. Next was the design process, and then the redesigning and value engineering. Now we’re entering the home stretch, as the construction process for our new Center for the Arts begins in earnest.Construction fencing is being installed, and the pace of activity on the site just west of the Student Center will pick up very soon. While ground preparation began last summer and ran into the fall, mobilization of equipment and the construction process will start in the first two weeks of June.In addition to creating an outstanding educational facility for our students and the community, we are also planning for beautiful landscaping to enhance this wonderful addition to our campus. At $32 million, the Center for the Arts represents the largest and most significant investment made in VCSU in decades.Construction bids on the Center for the Arts are being let in two distinct packages. Package No. 1 — about two-thirds of the project budget — includes excavation, final site preparation, footings, pilings, cement, structural steel, exterior building skin, and electrical and mechanical systems. This is the work that will be seen in progress in the next few weeks.Construction package No. 2, the remaining third, will address the interior work, wall systems, sheetrock, acoustical treatments, casework, flooring, painting and finish work. Bids for package No. 2 will be let in mid-June.Projects of this magnitude start with an idea, a seed planted to address current and future campus needs. Leadership in the form of VCSU faculty, staff and students has brought this project along through the years. I’d like to thank all of those who have worked, often behind the scenes, for many years to help bring us to this exciting moment of construction.The university’s future prospects are bright, and the new Center for the Arts will provide a special place for discovery, creativity, and performance for generations of students in the years to come!We’ll share plans for a virtual groundbreaking ceremony as they develop; in the meantime, keep an eye on the building progress.Go Vikings!

Video message for all students Dear students, Congratulations on completing spring semester, and for those graduating tomorrow, congratulations on completing your VCSU degree! I speak on behalf of all of my colleagues on faculty and staff when I say how proud we are of all of you. Please take a few minutes to watch my video message below; know […]

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Virtual Commencement and live-streamed Senior Awards Program Dear students, faculty and staff, Save the dates! To honor our graduating class of 2020, Valley City State University will hold a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, starting at 10 a.m. Central Daylight Time. Our virtual ceremony will be played on the university’s YouTube channel, VCSUVikings (www.youtube.com/user/VCSUVikings/). The […]

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More cloth masks are available at the Info Desk! Good morning, Thanks to Kerry Gregoryk, there are more cloth face masks available for VCSU employees! You can stop by the Info Desk in the Student Center to pick one up. Also a thank-you to Rhonda Fairfield, Deb Horner and Paulette Everson for donating the first […]

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Cloth face masks available Good afternoon, VCSU has received some donated cloth face masks, if you would like to have one, stop by the Information Desk in the Student Center to pick one up. You might want to call ahead before you stop by to make sure there are still some available. Also, if you […]

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Greetings from VCSU Counseling Services We recognize that all of us have all been adjusting to rapidly changing personal and professional lives. We wish to acknowledge what many may be feeling. The discomfort you are feeling might possibly be grief! Once we name it, we can manage it. The world has changed, and we know […]

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This past week spring semester 2020 came to an end. I think we all breathed a sigh of relief to have pushed through the challenges the coronavirus presented us, but it was something of a bittersweet ending without many of the festive gatherings that typically abound this time of year.We didn’t skip the celebrations, but the events were held virtually, including our commencement ceremony and senior honors program. Under the circumstances, those events were successful, and we did some extra things to make sure our students’ accomplishments were honored appropriately.Let me share some excerpts from a couple video presentations I made last week to students, faculty and staff.Excerpts from Message to StudentsAs we began spring semester 2020, none of us could have anticipated the emergence of COVID-19 and the significant impact that it would have on our campus, community, state, nation and world. Never could we have imagined delaying your return to campus following spring break and then moving classes online for the remainder of the semester. This unprecedented health crisis has led to challenging times, but through hard work by all, it has also increased our ability to create and innovate. It has honed our entrepreneurial spirit.…Those of you who graduate on Saturday have been especially hard hit — missing out on the last weeks together with your classmates — and your mentors — on the campus you’ve given so much to and have come to love. Thank you for your countless contributions to VCSU. Please know how incredibly proud we are of each of you; know how much we wish we could shake your hand on Saturday. Your achievements are noteworthy, and your abilities and experiences will propel you into a future full of opportunity.To all of you — those who leave us for new beginnings and those who will return in the fall — I continue to marvel at your can-do spirit and strength in the face of adversity. Your efforts — and those of the faculty and staff here who care so much about you — define this university. My wish for all of you is to stay healthy and maintain your optimistic outlook. Work hard and enjoy life to the fullest. We look forward to seeing all of you soon— in person — and once again sharing together what it means to be a Viking. Thank you to each and every one of you for your efforts this semester. It has not been easy, but you have persevered. Take pride in that accomplishment, and let it make you stronger as we move forward together.Excerpts from Message to Faculty and StaffAs we come to the end of our spring 2020 semester, I want to take a moment to provide a few updates: the success of this semester, our plan to move “safely together, forward together” as we plan to open for face-to-face instruction this fall, and our need to address emerging budget adjustments due COVID-19’s impact on the state’s economy.First, I want to extend my deepest thanks to all of you for your flexibility, understanding and contributions in helping VCSU successfully navigate these past eight weeks of working and teaching from a remote environment. While the challenges you have each encountered during this time have been different for each unique situation, one thing is certain — your innovative and creative spirit has shown brightly during this time. Comments I’ve received from your supervisors, students and parents have been highly complimentary of your work. Thank you.As we begin preparing for a successful restart in fall 2020, our Emergency Management Team has been meeting regularly to develop and refine considerations, actions and protocols for this return to face-to-face instruction. Be assured that we are taking recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Dakota Department of Health, and the American College Health Association all into consideration as we develop this plan.…As you are probably aware, the recent budget guidelines from Governor Burgum propose a 10% reduction in our funding formula payments for the 2021-23 biennium. We are fortunate that our continued enrollment growth and wise planning from past budget declines have put us in a solid fiscal position. However, responding to a 10% reduction in funding formula support will take cooperation and collaboration from all of us to identify areas of potential savings. I ask you to begin thinking not only of places for tightening our belts, but also areas for potential investment that could lead to growth that benefits our entire institution.Thank you again for a wonderful year. Thank you for all you do to add value to what we do at VCSU, and thank you for your participation, ideas and work as we move forward together for a successful fall opening and a plan to adjust our budget for the 2021-23 biennium.Thanks to Our Alumni and Friends in the CommunityLet me close with a word of thanks for the support we receive from our alumni and all of our friends in the community, state and region. Regardless of the challenges VCSU has faced over time, you have been steadfast in your support of this great institution. We cannot navigate any academic year without our partnerships with you.This spring we haven’t been able to provide you with some of the typical activities that we all treasure — Viking athletic contests, music recitals and concerts, art exhibitions and gallery receptions, to name a few. But with your help, we’ve been able to continue our mission of providing a tremendous academic program for our students. Thank you.We aren’t out of the woods yet, but it’s our intention to have campus open in the fall. Let’s work together to make that happen.Go Vikings!

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Joe Stickler, Ph.D., professor emeritus of science at Valley City State University, received the Trailblazer Award for Tourism Innovation on May 4, 2020, as part of the 2020 Governor’s Travel and Tourism Awards.Stickler was cited for leading the development of Medicine Wheel Park in Valley City. Work on the park, which sits above a wooded hillside overlooking the main VCSU campus, began in 1992.The 30-acre park features a medicine wheel — a large solar calendar derived from a Native American concept — along with a meridian calendar, a solar system model on a paved trail (the Path of the Planets, part of the North Country National Scenic trail), and a perennial garden (the Garden of the Sun). Five interpretive panels emphasize the park’s human connections to the Sheyenne Valley, the planet Earth, the solar system and the universe. “Over a thousand students, VCSU employees, community members, and Friends of the Medicine Wheel created this park, said Stickler. ‘The Wheel’ is an extraordinary student project that went beyond the classroom walls. And it was my joy to work with all to create this park.”Stickler retired at the end of spring semester 2013 after 30-plus years of teaching science at Valley City State. An engaging and intellectually demanding instructor, Stickler received the VCSU Teacher of the Year award four times—in 1991, 2004, 2008 and 2013. Medicine Wheel Park attracts thousands of visitors annually, including solstice and equinox celebrations, school field trips, bus tours and family gatherings. Native American drummers and dancers have performed at the park frequently over the years, and several weddings have been held at the park as well.More information about Stickler’s Trailblazer Award can be found online at www.ndtourism.com/articles/2020-governors-travel-and-tourism-award-winners. Additional information about Medicine Wheel Park can be found at medicinewheel.vcsu.edu.

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To honor its 2020 graduating class, Valley City State University will hold a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, starting at 10 a.m. At the ceremony, VCSU will recognize 299 graduates — 261 candidates will receive bachelor’s degrees and 38 students will receive master’s degrees.The VCSU virtual ceremony will be played on the university’s YouTube channel, VCSUVikings (www.youtube.com/user/VCSUVikings). The event will appear on the YouTube channel that Saturday morning.“COVID-19 has changed much of how we do things in 2020,” said VCSU President Alan LaFave. “Unfortunately, responding effectively to the coronavirus requires us to alter our plans for one of the most hallowed of university traditions, the commencement ceremony. Although we wish we could honor the Class of 2020 with an in-person ceremony, we trust that this virtual ceremony will provide a way to honor our graduates and their accomplishments.”President LaFave will preside over the commencement exercises. Audience members will also hear from Nick Hacker, chair of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education (SBHE), along with graduating senior Brandi Aranda and Steven King, professor of social science.Alan LaFave has served as president of Valley City State University since December 2018. He previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. In addition to his SBHE service, Nick Hacker is CEO of Guaranty and Title Company, which provides title insurance and real estate closing services across North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Montana.A VCSU senior from Hitterdal, Minn., Brandi Aranda will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. She has served the university as an R.A. and a Viking Ambassador, and also as a student athletic trainer and leader in the Athletic Training Club. Aranda, who served as homecoming co-chair last fall, received a Viking Pilot Award in 2019 in recognition of her passion for and contributions to the student body and campus community.Steven King began teaching at VCSU in 1998 and secured a tenure track position in 2005. In 2019, he was recognized at the Dakota Conference at Augustana College with the Distinguished Contribution to the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of the Northern Plains Award. Campus adviser for the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, King was honored by VCSU’s Student Senate as its 2020 Teacher of the Year.VCSU has invited all spring 2020 and fall 2019 graduates to return to campus to participate in one of its next in-person commencement ceremonies in December 2020 or May 2021.

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Cory Anderson ’89 of Jamestown, N.D., has been named director of development and major gifts in the VCSU Foundation, according to an announcement made by Larry Robinson, foundation executive director. Anderson will begin his work at VCSU on June 15.“We’re very excited to have Cory return to VCSU,” said Robinson. “He brings a wealth of valuable experience and connections to the foundation, and he’s a Viking through and through.”Anderson currently serves as commissioner of the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA), the conference in which the VCSU Vikings compete. He has held that position since the NSAA’s inception in June 2013. Under Anderson, the NSAA grew from 5 members to 10 in its first 2 years, and he has helped the conference increase its national profile in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in the ensuing years. Prior to leading the NSAA, Anderson served as executive director of the James River Family YMCA in Jamestown. He previously had served VCSU as head baseball and assistant football coach, with additional responsibilities in enrollment services, sports information and athletic administration. In 2005, Anderson was recognized as the first recipient of the NAIA Coach of Character Award.A storied athlete at VCSU, Anderson was a two-time all-conference pitcher and a quarterback and punter on two conference-championship football teams for the Vikings. Anderson and his wife, Kristi, have two adult children, Brady and Kadie. Kristi, Brady and Kadie all attended VCSU.

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The Student Senate of Valley City State University has announced its 2020 awards. Steven King, professor of social science, was named Teacher of the Year, and Betty Tykwinski, director for health services and worksite wellness coordinator, was named Student Advocate of the Year.King began teaching at VCSU in 1998 and secured a tenure track position in 2005. He served as chair of the Department of Social Science from 2007–14. In April 2019, he was recognized at the Dakota Conference at Augustana College with the Distinguished Contribution to the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of the Northern Plains Award. King has led VCSU students on four European study tours.He holds two advanced degrees in history, a doctorate from the University of North Dakota and a master’s from St. Cloud State University, along with a bachelor’s degree from Oak Hills Christian School.Tykwinski has served VCSU as director for health services since 2018; she previously served as interim director of student academic services. Tykwinski serves as member-at-large on the regional board for the North Central College Health Association.From 2011-18, Tykwinski taught nursing at Dakota College at Bottineau’s site on the VCSU campus. She served Mercy Hospital in Valley City in various education and nursing roles from 1986-2015 years. A registered nurse, Tywkinski hold a master’s degree in nursing education from Walden University and a bachelor’s in nursing from Mankato State University.

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Greetings from Valley City State University!As we near the end of the academic semester, preparations are underway for online celebrations of academic and athletic achievements. Our virtual commencement ceremony will be broadcast on the university’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/VCSUVikings on Saturday morning, May 16, at 10 a.m. I invite you to join us as we celebrate our 2020 graduates.As you know, all courses at VCSU have been delivered online since spring break. Despite the challenges, the feedback has been largely positive, and our faculty and student success team have been hard at work helping students through this unanticipated twist to the semester. Although the move to online delivery has been adopted by almost all colleges and universities across the country, VCSU enjoys a unique position that allows us to provide exceptional online instruction. As a laptop university, all of our students have an exceptional computer with tremendous (and similar if not uniform) software platforms in their hands. Coupling that with strong technology support infrastructure and personnel, along with talented and skilled faculty and staff, provides us with distinct advantages in navigating the switch to online with strength and confidence. And let’s not forget our experience with the 2009 flood, when all courses went online after Easter break. We know how to do this well.Our continued focus on the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff has resulted in a few schedule changes for our campus. All summer events and camps, including the STEM Middle School Academy and our athletic camps, have been postponed until at least July 1. In addition, our first session summer school courses will be delivered online.I’m very pleased to announce our intention to return to an open campus with face-to-face instruction in the fall, moving toward normal operations as much as possible. Our Cabinet and the other members of our Emergency Management Team will be working diligently as we plan for a restart that places the safety of our community members as our top priority. We realize things may change in the months ahead, but we’ll continue to plan carefully and pragmatically as we move forward.I wish to thank the entire Valley City community for the support, cooperation and collaboration we continue to enjoy. We’re in this together, and I know that we all look forward to the positive energy and excitement that our students will bring back to our beautiful campus and this tremendous city.Go Vikings!

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Now, more than ever, we need your support! The world has certainly changed over the past few weeks. It has been a challenging time. Our students will complete their coursework for this semester online. Commencement will take on a new format. We have been working from home. Communication has taken on new meaning with Teams, Zoom, and conference calls. One thing that has not changed is our scholarship commitment to our students.Now, more than ever, we need your support. Throughout the past few weeks we have continued to work toward reaching our scholarship goals. Needless to say, it has not been easy. We still have a considerable way to go to generate the necessary dollars to cover those commitments. If you have been supporting our scholarship programs (Phone-a-thon, Century Club or V-500), thank you for that support. If you have not, please consider making a contribution today. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated. You can make a difference. Just like with the effort we are making to confront the coronavirus pandemic, it takes all of us to be successful.DONATE NOW! To pledge your support to VCSU-please contact our office at 1-800-532-8641, ext. 37203-donate online at vcsualumni.org-or mail your contribution to: VCSU Foundation 101 College St SW Valley City, ND 58072