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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published May 01 2010

Candidate describes vision for NDSU

The second candidate for North Dakota State University president outlined his vision for the university on Friday.

Gary Miller, provost and vice president for academic affairs and research at Wichita (Kan.) State University, spoke to about 185 people during an hour-long open forum.

Miller, a Virginia native, said if chosen as president, he would spend the first year working with the university community to develop a vision for the future.

“I see North Dakota State University as a global university serving North Dakota with a commitment to entrepreneurship, innovation, partnership and service,” he said.

In an interview before the open forum, Miller said he sees the NDSU presidency as an opportunity to make a difference and apply his experience to an institution on the move.

“The momentum at this university is really outstanding,” Miller said, “and there’s a great love for this town and a great love for this institution.”

While talking about NDSU during the open forum, he occasionally used “we.”

“I’m not trying to be presumptuous, but I’ve been here a couple of days, and I’m kinda into it,” Miller said.

Mark Sheridan, professor of biological sciences, asked Miller how he would convey the importance of research to state leaders.

Miller said he’d emphasize the economic development aspect of research and the partnerships with government and private businesses.

Communication professor Paul Nelson asked Miller how he would attract more women and minorities to NDSU.

Miller said the president and leadership team need to make diversity a priority and state that publicly and create a welcoming environment.

Miller and the other three candidates for president are spending two and a half days touring NDSU and the community and meeting with various groups.

The final two candidates will visit NDSU next week. The search committee will meet May 13 to select three finalists.

The state Board of Higher Education meets May 24 to interview the finalists and name a new president.

Gary Miller

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