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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published April 28 2010

NDSU can gain nationwide recognition, candidate for university president says

North Dakota State University could be recognized as the best university of its kind in the nation, a presidential candidate said Tuesday.

The key is that NDSU needs to work on building that recognition, said Dean Bresciani, a former vice president for Texas A&M University.

“NDSU needs to be known for more than floods and a movie that wasn’t really about here,” Bresciani told a crowd of about 200 during an hourlong open forum.

Bresciani, now an adjunct professor at Texas A&M, was the first of four candidates to visit NDSU.

He said NDSU has the potential to be recognized as the best student-focused land-grant university in the nation.

“Many of your land-grant peers have forgotten that they’re supposed to be about students,” he said.

Bresciani, a native of Napa Valley, Calif., gave a 15-minute presentation on a vision for NDSU and then took questions from the audience.

Sean Sather-Wagstaff, assistant professor of math, asked Bresciani how he would build resources for NDSU so facilities and faculty could catch up with recent enrollment growth.

Bresciani said NDSU is in a strategic position to ask legislators what NDSU could be and how it could contribute to the state.

He said building resources requires relationship building with state leaders and re-establishing public trust.

State Sen. Judy Lee of West Fargo asked Bresciani what he sees as NDSU’s role in the university system.

Bresciani said he’s familiar with adjacent universities occasionally butting heads, but he prefers to work together.

“By collaboration, we both get our jobs done better, we allow legislators to do their job better and we serve our states better,” he said.

Bresciani said each time he’s visited NDSU he’s become more enthusiastic about the university, but he sees more potential.

“The truth is I think you can do more, and the truth is I’ve heard you say you can do more,” Bresciani said.

The other three candidates will visit NDSU during the next two weeks. Each will spend 2½ days in Fargo touring the city and campus and meeting with various groups.

The search committee meets May 13 to select three finalists to forward to the state Board of Higher Education.


Dean Bresciani


Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590