Fall 2015 has been a “record-setting” semester at North Dakota State, Dean Bresciani said in a recent email.
NDSU’s president briefed the student population on nine highlights of the fall, including enrollment of undergraduates, Bresciani’s plan to grow enrollment to 18,000 students and the success of student-athletes. Bresciani also touched on the STEM building nearing completion and the positivity of NDSU’s campus culture, among other highlights.
Bresciani’s email focused heavily on non-resident tuition and fee rates, which the president wrote has been the focus of conversation among private sector groups, North Dakota government and North Dakota University System institutions.
“The growing notion is that with the current job vacancy rate in our state (which is estimated to double if not triple in the next five years), and the flat if not slightly declining North Dakota high school graduation numbers over that same period, our state needs to do all it can to encourage out-of-state students to come here for college,” Bresciani wrote.
“This being said out-state-students may be seeing a decrease in their tuition rates to assist in their decision to attend a college in North Dakota.”
The university’s fall enrollment numbers, while down slightly over 200 from fall 2014, “continues to lead the state, by a wide margin” in regards to underclassmen, Bresciani wrote.
“Overall, campus inquiries, visits and applications suggest that our steady upward enrollment trend over the past few years will continue into the foreseeable future,” he wrote.
A September enrollment census summary found 14,516 students enrolled at NDSU for fall with one of the largest first-time freshman classes in school history.
Bresciani made further note of students in his campus update by highlighting student-athletes excelling both in the classroom and on the field, course, court and mat.”
The president devoted two sentences of his email to research at NDSU.
“Research productivity, in spite of heightened competition for decreasing federal R&D support, continues to quietly increase across at NDSU,” Bresciani wrote. “We are bucking national trends in doing so.”
He also highlighted the near competition of the STEM building which will open for use in January, as well as the university completing several aspects of its 10-year Higher Learning Commission accreditation process.
Bresciani also wrote about the lack of “incidents of incivility” at NDSU compared to other universities in the nation, writing that students “should be proud of that.”
“We are fortunate to share an environment where we support one another versus the vulgar behavior that is becoming far too common elsewhere,” he said.
University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe resigned earlier this month after allegations of campus-wide racism. Yale University also has been immersed in racial controversy, as has Harvard.
Finally, Bresciani welcomed open communication to himself, Provost Beth Ingram or any other “applicable” university officials regarding thoughts on campus leadership.
“While at most major research universities that type of contact is generally discouraged … we’re not most major research universities.” Bresciani wrote. “I’m proud of that.”
Jack Dura and Benjamin Norman contributed to this story.