Fargo, North Dakota


The North Dakota University System State Board of Higher Education has opened a search for President of North Dakota State University (NDSU). The university's 258-acre campus is located in Fargo, the state's largest city, with a metro area population of nearly 250,000. NDSU has a statewide presence through NDSU Extension, which has a local presence in each of the state’s 53 counties, and the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station’s Research Extension Center network which has seven locations across the state. NDSU is one of 11 public institutions (five community colleges, four regional universities, and two research universities) comprising the North Dakota University System. The successful candidate will succeed Dr. Dean L. Bresciani, who has served the university since 2010.


Founded in 1890, NDSU embraces its distinction and opportunities as a student focused, land- grant, research university. The university offers 97 undergraduate degrees along with 86 master's and 51 doctoral degree programs. A student population of some 12,500 undergraduate and graduate students is guided by an accomplished, dedicated faculty and staff numbering about 6,000. The Colleges of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources; Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Business; Engineering; Health Professions; Human Sciences and Education; Science and Mathematics; and Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies adhere to the NDSU mission to provide transformational education, create knowledge through innovative research, and share knowledge through community engagement that meets the needs of North Dakota and the world. The NDSU Bison student athletes compete in 14 women's and men's sports at the NCAA Division I level. NDSU has passionate alumni and friends who connect, support, and advance the university through philanthropic support. In Our Hands, a six-year, $400 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, will conclude December 31, 2021, and is likely to exceed $450 million in total support for all areas of campus.


The State Board and the NDSU Search Committee seek an inspiring, visionary, goals-oriented leader to set the university's direction, fulfill its mission, and advance its values. They desire a unifier, one who is politically astute, entrepreneurial, and forward-thinking. This individual will be a visible, congenial leader who will manage an inclusive, transparent, and prioritized agenda in alignment with the strategic plan. The new president is expected to be a committed advocate, positively representing all aspects of the NDSU campus community.


Managing diverse relationships, building consensus, and practicing unquestionable integrity are part of maintaining NDSU traditions and environment. The new president will strengthen partnerships and collaborate effectively for the well-being of the university, the University System, the State Board of Higher Education, the greater Fargo community, and the state of North Dakota.




The successful candidate will be passionate about NDSU, ready to become a part of its rich history and inspire a renewed sense of stability, energy, and direction for the entire academic community. The candidate is expected to represent the following:


  • Proactive commitment to student success, student-centered learning, student services, safety, and all-around student well-being;
  • Unwavering voice, presence, and support of the public university’s land-grant mission, including educational accessibility and outreach;
  • Substantial understanding of undergraduate and graduate teaching, learning, research, international education, and technology;
  • Recognizes the importance of and shows commitment to the NDSU research enterprise;
  • Ability to enhance the research mission through collaborative partnerships, strengthening and building research infrastructure, and seeking additional opportunities to commercialize intellectual property;
  • Practiced leader of equity, inclusion, and respect in NDSU's policies, procedures, and practices;
  • Experienced in state of the art, imaginative recruitment methods, retention, and all aspects of enrollment management;
  • Proven success with innovation in fiscal management, resource generation, and budget allocation and realignment;
  • Skilled relationship-builder, fundraiser, and steward in working with the NDSU Foundation, benefactors, alumni, and friends to generate private resources;
  • Demonstrated commitment to shared governance practices and support of transparent consultative engagement at all levels;
  • Empowering respect for faculty and staff contributions and necessity of professional development engagement;
  • Recognition and knowledge of emerging innovations in academic delivery that support both traditional and non-traditional learners; support for online, hybrid, and traditional campus-based learning;
  • Ability to interact with the broader community and work side-by-side with constituents and stakeholders to enhance NDSU’s role in addressing workforce challenges through innovation and diverse education offerings;
  • Effective interaction with diverse constituencies, including K-12 and the state's higher education sector; businesses and corporations; local, state, and federal elected officials; the Native American community; and the state’s residents;
  • Engaged, bold advocate and partner in a statewide team, working with the State Board of Higher Education, the Chancellor, and fellow NDUS presidents;
  • Skillful, caring listener – capable of assessing fairly, acting decisively, and making complex decisions for the common good;
  • Excellent communication skills, written and spoken, with ability to practice an open-door, open-mind style;
  • Experience from within an 1862 land-grant university (preferred); and
  • Earned doctorate from an accredited institution of higher learning (preferred).




North Dakota State University will give its next president the rare opportunity to join a distinctive, energetic community and carry the Bison spirit as a team leader, team player, and team builder. For best consideration, applications and nominations should be received by November 22, 2021, and must include a letter of interest addressing the qualifications described (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. The new president will assume office by July 1, 2022.


The search is being assisted by James McCormick and Janice Fitzgerald, Executive Search Consultants, AGB Search. Contact may be made at, 651-238-5188, or, 717-580-0663. Responses should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to For more information about the NDSU presidential search, go to


CONFIDENTIALITY OF APPLICATION MATERIALS: Pursuant to NDCC 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications that identify an applicant are exempt from public disclosure, except that records related to the finalists for the position shall be open to the public after the search committee has identified no fewer than three finalists who will be invited to campus. Pursuant to the North Dakota University System’s General Record Retention Schedule, all records related to this search will be maintained for a minimum of three years, and all applications and related materials shall be retained for a minimum of six years, though the application materials of non-finalists shall remain confidential.


EEO/AA STATEMENT: The North Dakota University System is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.


VETERAN’S PREFERENCE NOTICE: Pursuant to NDCC 37-19.1-02(4) this position is not subject to veteran's preference.


NO SMOKING NOTICE: As an employer, the State of North Dakota prohibits smoking in all places of state employment in accordance with N.D.C.C. § 23-12-10.


Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S. and I-9 employment certification is required at hire. There is no sponsorship available for this position.


Successful completion of a criminal history background check for finalists is required.