North Dakota higher-ed board appoints new campus president, OK's funding measures

Rod Flanigan was appointed president of the North Dakota State College of Science at the board's regular meeting on Thursday, March 31. Board members also approved a number of spending measures.

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GRAND FORKS — After approving a slate of financial requests the State Board of Higher Education unanimously selected Rod Flanigan to be the next president of the North Dakota State College of Science.

Flanigan was appointed at the board's regular meeting on Thursday, March 31. He was the dean of business and technology at Cochise College, a two-year school in Arizona. He has a long academic background, starting with his own time as a community college student.

“I really believe that I was meant for this,” Flanigan told board members, after learning of his appointment to the position. “I have prepared for this and I hope I don't let you down, so thank you.”


Other finalists for the position included: Jeanine E. Gangeness, at Winona State University in Rochester, Minnesota, and Carmen M. Simone, who served as president of Western Nebraska Community College, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

In other higher education board news, members:


  • Gave final approval to transferring about $2.2 million for construction projects at Dickinson State University and Minot State University. The approval came after the universities raised matching funds for the projects.
  • Approved a 1% tuition increase at Valley City State University, Dakota College at Bottineau and Minot State University, for life safety projects and inflationary operating costs.
  • Approved an increase to room, board and other fees at Bismarck State College and Lake Region State College. The additional funds will be used for the creation of a student coordinator position and increased campus security, and to support athletic programs, respectively.

Board members also heard a report from North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott, about a May retreat where board members, NDUS staff and college presidents will address strategic goals. Those goals include, addressing enrollment, workforce development initiatives, inflation and system infrastructure.
Board Chair Casey Ryan thanked members and advisors who have expiring terms working with the board. Gracie Lian, a graduate student at UND, served as a student representative to the board. Her term expires in July. Other outgoing members include UND professor Elizabeth Legerski, who serves as a faculty adviser, and Retha Mattern, who serves as staff adviser.

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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