MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

November 25, 2017 

Grant funding provides Mayville State with exceptional opportunities

At first glance many see university funding from a lens of receiving state-appropriated funding. What most do not know is that many of Mayville State University’s activities are funded through grants and contracts.

During the most recent Interim Higher Education Committee meeting, on Nov. 3, 2017, the committee was given budget information for all North Dakota institutions. Pie charts were used to indicate the sources from which each North Dakota University System (NDUS) institution’s funding comes. Mayville State University’s pie chart indicated that grants and contracts funding provides for 24.1% of the institution’s total revenue. This is significant because Mayville State has the highest percentage of grant funding across all NDUS institutions. 

Mayville State University has had success receiving outside funding in the form of federal, state, local, and private grants. The university’s grants office, operated by Allison Johnson, the executive director for institutional effectiveness, provides resources and support for faculty and staff who are writing proposals of all sizes and topics. Allison also writes for proposals that impact the institution as a whole. The office maintains practices necessary to ensure integrity and the responsible conduct of grants and research for which the institution has been funded. The business office provides the all-important financial management of these grants.

At Mayville State University, every proposal has an impact on students, and for most, the community as well. The North Dakota Humanities Council recently provided us with funding to explore images and cultural landscapes of Northern Vietnam. We were able to discuss the Vietnam conflict and talk to college students in Vietnam “live” during a community and student event. The Larson Foundation provided funding to develop MSU’s RN-to-BSN nursing program and the Master of Arts in Teaching degree to meet critical workforce shortages across the state. INBRE and EPSCoR grants support research in the sciences, with opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in critical research areas. The Child Development Programs provides critical services to children and their families, as well as our university students, both far-and-wide and north-and-south along the Red River Valley corridor. The North Dakota eastern and western Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) impact high school and university students, as well as our health care providers across the state, from the east to the west. These are just a few of the high impact programs provided at MSU as a result of current grant funding.

I would be remiss not to mention the importance of our collaborative partnerships related to grant funding at both North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota. In many cases their success is our success. 

The university continues to seek out new and innovative projects, programs, and opportunities for funding. Faculty and staff work hard to develop proposals. They are not always selected for funding, even though they may score at the highest levels in the selection process. The competition is getting greater and we need to continue to seek out grant funding that meets MSU’s mission, purposes, and core values.

External funding helps us to move forward with our strategic plan. Because of the grant funding we receive, we are able to do many more things than we can with state-appropriated funds alone. This external funding is crucial to our success and we are grateful for the opportunities it affords.