MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

June 6, 2020 

Grateful for positivity, hard work, and a bright future

It’s hard to imagine that we’ve already turned the calendar page to the month of June. I feel that because we’ve missed so many of the things that we identify with spring, such as graduations, recognition events, and more, we kind of lose our place, so to speak.

The summer session is underway! Classes are being offered online, which is the norm for us at Mayville State. Typically, most summer classes are delivered in this way. We’re happy to have this annual summer tradition in full swing.

Preparing for the summer session has kept our staff and faculty very busy. Many have been able to do their work from home, but some of that work really has to take place on campus. For example, since early in May, bookstore employee Cheryl Angen has filled and shipped out about 400 orders for students studying online this summer. She’s been sending out books, lab kits, and more. In addition, she’s been handling the book buyback process. We are happy that the bookstore has been able to remain open throughout this time of the pandemic.

Very soon, we’ll be announcing plans for how and when we’ll be getting our employees back to working on campus instead of from home. It will be good to reach this milestone in the return to normalcy, yet we know we must proceed with caution with the best interests of safety in mind.

Discussions for how the fall semester will look have been underway. We are committed to having face to face classes on campus and having the residence halls open. Following the North Dakota Smart Restart guidelines, Mayville State task forces will be working to make accommodations that will keep our staff, faculty, and students as safe as possible. We very much look forward to returning to a life that looks and feels more like normal in the fall.

Plans are to open the Wellness Center on June 15. Hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Those who enter will need to answer some screening questions and cleaning and sanitizing procedures will be in place. For more information about the opening of the Wellness Center, call 701-788-5200 or email

There is no doubt this pandemic has brought some challenges at Mayville State University. It was no small feat to move all course delivery to online on a short timeline this spring. It’s not been easy for our employees to balance working from home or on campus with the needs of children and other loved ones who have needed extra attention. I am very proud of our faculty, staff, and students for being flexible and working extra-hard during uncertain times.

In helping to ensure that we will have a successful academic year in 2020-2021, our enrollment staff and coaches have been reinventing the way they recruit and keep in touch with prospective students. They have done very well in thinking out of the box and finding ways to connect. Let’s face it, high school seniors and college students considering a change have been very preoccupied with how the pandemic is affecting them today and haven’t been thinking so much to the future. We look forward to welcoming what looks to be a good number of new students to the Mayville State family, along with our continuing students, in the fall.

The pandemic has had a financial impact at Mayville State as well. Closing the residence halls and offering very limited dining services, along with issuing 30% refunds to those who moved home has taken a toll. We are pulling up our boot straps and tackling budget concerns with positive attitudes and open minds.

With all of the unrest in our country right now, I cannot help but reflect on the sense of safety we feel at a place like Mayville State. In a rural community like ours, social distancing is kind of built in – there aren’t as many people as in larger urban areas. Yet, the people of our area are kind, thoughtful, understanding, and respectful of one another. I am grateful that we live in a place where our students, faculty, and staff are welcomed with open arms.