Get to know the Interim provost of NDSU

David Bertolini promoted to interim provost in October

David Bertolini became the interim provost in October, being moved up from his position as the Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. As the provost, Bertolini is working with the changes that are coming to NDSU. The provost works with many different departments and student services on campus. 

Bertolini has a multidisciplinary background. “I am an Architect, but I also have a Ph.D in English,” said Bertolini. He first came to North Dakota as the chair of the Architecture and Landscape Architecture program in 2013. Originally he was from Florida, later attending Louisiana State University. “I came from Florida, believe it or not, so this kinda hot climate to cold climate,” said Bertolini. 

Bertolini was a first generation college student, starting at a community college in St. Petersburg. His father worked as a bus driver while his mother was a department store clerk. “I had no reason to succeed,” said Bertolini, “but because of the community college experience and then moving on, having great professors and then people that were encouraging and having the right ways to succeed allowed me to get to this point.” 

Bertolini relates his past to the Land Grant mission of the university. The mission of the Land Grant is to provide a world-class education for normal people. In the 1960s, the high-class citizens would go to prestigious schools, but a majority of people would not attend college. However, the Land Grant provides for everybody to attend university. 

“With my background it just resonates with me, that we have an obligation to students,” said Bertolini, “to bring the absolute best education, so that you can do great things for us in the community.” 

About 6 weeks ago, Bertolini stepped into the provost position. “President Cook is doing a remarkable job here, moving us forward and transferring NDSU around student success,” said Bertolini. “He asked me to participate in that.” President Cook asked if Bertolini would fill the role of NDSU Interim Provost from his position as the Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Science. 

“[President David Cook] felt like there were good things we needed to work on and saw what I was doing in the college and felt that with my background, the things that I was doing, it would be a nice alignment,” said Bertolini. In his role as the Dean, Bertolini was able to connect with the entire university, learning about the student body and the work of the faculty.

One of the largest changes for Bertolini was the number of meetings with staff, faculty and students at NDSU. “My calendar immensely just filled up completely with meetings because you have to communicate with everyone to succeed,” said Bertolini. “That was probably the biggest transition.” 

NDSU is going through transitions that will bring changes to the campus and its academic colleges. “We have challenges ahead,” said Bertolini. “But that idea of communicating on complex issues with lots of different types of people, I really enjoy.”

Bertolini works with many different groups on campus and at various events at NDSU. He works with things such as classes, professors, student services, graduation, academic advising and registration and records. “Everything from mental health to student clubs,” said Bertolini. Much of his work is behind the scenes, but it is integral to the success of NDSU. 

“So, all of those things are on my table to make sure that we do do that, that if we say we are doing it, we need to hold ourselves accountable,” said Bertolini. 

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